September 2022      

98th Edition              


I hope this finds you enjoying the summer weather and all the activities of this time of year. As you look at the crazy weather happening all around the Country we have been very lucky so far. Hopefully that luck has still held by the time you are reading this newsletter. Hurricane season is upon us and we never know what might happen when a storm moves ashore.

It seems like we are still dealing with Covid related issues and my guess is that it is here to stay. Hopefully it will evolve to something that can be controlled somewhat with an annual shot like the Flu. You might still get it, but the vaccination will help lessen the severity of the illness. I now think of hand sanitizer simply as a condiment that has enhanced the taste of many a meal.

Regrettably the Fire Department wasn’t able to have their Parade and Lawn Party this year. I know that this event is one of their fund raisers for the year; so be on the look-out for any other requests for donations they might send out. Hopefully none of us ever have need of their services, but it is important that we support them and let them know we appreciate all that they do for the community.

Around this time last year, I told you that the Edinburg Mill had been chosen by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) to become a Certified Virginia Visitor Center. I traveled to South Boston earlier this year to accept the official certificate and we have been working on the new signage for Interstate 81 that will inform travelers that they can get information at the Mill. We hope to see these up soon.

As in years past, Shenandoah County Parks and Recreation will be holding “Paws in the Pool” at the Edinburg Pool. It will be on September 10th from 10AM to 2PM; it is always a fun time for our four legged friends and their owners. This year the Humane Society Shenandoah County (HSSC) will be selling shirts and animal magnets. Boy Scout Troop #54 will also be on hand with food to purchase while you watch all the fun. HSSC can also use your help by providing donations of dog food, dog treats, peanut butter, paper towels, laundry detergent and trash bags; and cash if you are so inclined. Even if you don’t have a furry friend of your own you can come out to see some Olympic level doggy paddling.

September 10th is also the date of an admission free festival celebrating Shenandoah County’s 250th Anniversary. The focus is honoring our past and inspiring our future, and will recognize the County’s rich cultural heritage, past and present. It will be held from 11AM-5PM at the Hottel-Keller Homestead, Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum, located at 11523 Back Road, Toms Brook.

The Hottel-Keller Homestead is an almost 400 acre property that was settled by the two families in 1750. Festival visitors will enjoy the 1800s farmhouse, Loom House Museum, springhouse, historic exhibits and demonstrations, antique tractors, local preservation organizations, cultural exhibits, craft vendors, historic military encampments, music, the 250th special brew and a variety of food trucks.

After celebrating with the County you have a week to rest up and come out for the 41st Edinburg Ole Time Festival on September 16, 17 and 18. The Opening Ceremony will be Friday, the 16th, at 5:30 PM in St. John’s United Methodist Church on S. High Street; then stick around after the Opening for the Sing Along.

Plan to start Saturday, September 17th with a Pioneer Breakfast at the St. Paul’s Heritage Center at 106 S. High Street.  After breakfast go out and explore the Town. As always, there will be crafters, food vendors, entertainment and demonstrations around the areas of the Edinburg Mill, in the old bank parking lot on Main St, in front of the Charterhouse School and all points in between. 

There will be Civil War related events including lectures at the Heritage Center and a living history encampment at the Mill. Take a ride on a hay wagon or in Keith Rocco’s antique taxi and check everything out without walking your legs off.

Don’t miss the “March Through Town” Parade on Saturday at 1:00, and Saturday evening will find everyone at a Party in the Town Park with 1752 BBQ and Beer Garden with Seven Bends Band providing the music. The Party is from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM. Check out the Festival schedule for things like the OLE TIMER’S BASEBALL GAME, the BED RACE and don’t forget to buy your DUCK RACE tickets. There is so much more that will be happening that weekend; but no matter what you like to do, there is sure to be something at this year’s Ole Time Festival for you to enjoy.                 

It is hard to believe that we are already at Ole Time Festival time and will soon be talking about fall and winter. Before the cold weather settles in, we hope to make some real progress on the Sewer Plant upgrade. We finally got to start moving some dirt sometime in July. We had to shift quite a bit of our normal maintenance items around on the site to make room for the excavation equipment to move around in what are very tight quarters. Having to keep the existing Plant up and running while building the new one has its challenges. Eventually parts of the old plant will be demolished and other areas will open up. But until then things are crowded.

Right now the Project looks like a really large hole in the ground that is around 18 feet deep. We were very lucky in that there was very little rock, which always slows things down. Receiving construction materials has not been a major hurdle so far, but it has slowed things down slightly. The Contractor actually pulled off the job in August because the Rebar (steel reinforcing rods) could not be delivered until sometime in September. The scheduling was disappointing until we learned that the concrete crew couldn’t be on site until sometime in September anyway. So things have been rather quiet on the job site during the last few weeks.

The hope is to have all of the concrete structures in place before winter. This should include the building that will house the electric and new screening equipment. If you have ever driven into our Sewer Plant then you are aware of the very narrow access road that continually challenges any truck the size of a concrete truck. So it is going to be interesting to see this all come together. There are a number of parts to the Project that should be able to be worked on in colder weather and hopefully Mother Nature will be kind to us as the Project moves forward.

Meanwhile our Maintenance Crew has been working on and coordinating a number of projects. One of them might have caught your attention while driving into Town. Three solar powered speed signs have been installed, two on Main Street and one on Stony Creek Blvd. We decided to place these at the 25 mile per hour areas that greatly affect pedestrian safety. I can tell you that I was standing next to the first sign when it was installed and it continually registered speeds above 35 MPH in the 25 MPH zone.  And if you have ever crossed Main Street at the Post Office or Harry Murray’s Fly Shop, you have probably wondered why 25 MPH always seems faster than you imagined it to be.

Work is also scheduled on two Town streets where the speed limit is even lower than 25 MPH. The Town doesn’t actually maintain that many of the roadways in town. Most of our roadways are State roads and as such, maintained by VDOT. The ones that we are responsible for are usually the less traveled and slower traffic roadways. They don’t need maintenance that often; but when they do, they really do. Creekview Lane and Veteran’s Way are scheduled to be surface treated sometime in October. 

A project is also in the works to install a Disc Golf course at the Town Park. We are working with a young man from Shenandoah County Parks & Recreation to design and install a 6 Hole Course that will wind through the White Pines at the Park. For those that don’t know: Disc Golf, sometimes called “Frisbee Golf”, is a flying disc sport where players throw a disc at a target using rules similar to golf.  Players throw a disc from a tee pad toward a target known as a basket. Like golf, they throw again from where the disc lands until they reach the basket. Baskets are a metal ring with hanging chains above a basket. The chains are designed to catch the incoming disc which falls into the basket. That’s a fairly simple explanation, but hopefully you get an idea of how it all works.

Disc Golf, like golf, usually has 9 or 18 holes (baskets); however, our Park is not large enough to have a full course. But there is always a need for a place to practice for more experienced players and an interest in simpler courses to introduce young people and beginners to the sport. The decision to do 6 holes will allow us to offer a three circuit course (3X6=18 holes) by having 3 different tee pad areas for each hole as the players make their way around the course for a second and third round; and our pine trees will add an interesting element to reaching each basket. The gentleman we are working with to design the course is very excited about the opportunity a course like ours has for children’s programs. We are not sure if this will be in place before winter but know it will be ready for the opening of the Park next spring.

We will also be doing a number of repairs to the Town Pool this fall and will be looking into the resurfacing of the Tennis Courts in the near future. One thing the Pandemic taught us was the importance of providing residents with the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities. With that in mind, it is appropriate that we use some of the American Recue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to do a few things to improve our Park. We are still planning on the waterline work at Cave Springs and the 200,000 gallon ground storage tank. The hold up on this work is due to getting the engineers involved. Everyone everywhere is working on projects and it has been difficult getting interest in smaller projects like ours.

The Town is also purchasing the old “King Cola” building at the corner of Piccadilly St and Shenandoah Ave. This is another ARPA project which will give us some much needed storage as well as a winter weather staging area in the heart of town where it is needed. This also gave us the chance to renovate and preserve a historic building that might otherwise be endangered. I started this letter thinking I didn’t have that much to tell you. Now it seems that I could use another page. We are still in need of members on the Planning Commission, Architectural Review Board and Board of Zoning Appeals. Please consider serving.

See you at the Ole Time Festival!
Your Mayor, Dan Harshman