By Carol Vaughn —
There continues to be interest from people wanting to rent spaces in the former Chincoteague fire house.
Five spaces in the fire house and one in the former town garage have been rented to date with one-year leases, according to Town Manager Mike Tolbert.
Most recently, the ambulance bay was leased to someone who plans to conduct fitness classes there, he said.
Chincoteague will submit an application by the end of the year to the Virginia Department of Transportation for grant funds to pave all 10 roads in Ocean Breeze.
The town paid to repair and repave Ridge Road extended in the community, from Beebe Ranch to Main Street.
The town sent a letter to Ocean Breeze residents explaining the process, according to Tolbert.
“They do know what we’re going to do. We also explained in that letter that the town now owns those roads and that we would be improving them as funding allows and it would take a period of years, not months,” he said.
New aluminum floating piers are being manufactured and should be delivered by Jan. 1 to Curtis Merritt Harbor. The piers will replace the existing wooden pier and slips.
Additionally, a kayak launch is complete and will be delivered soon, but will not be installed until spring to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on it.
The town as of Dec. 6 had collected around 80% of real estate taxes and 76% of personal property taxes, which were due Dec. 6.
Tolbert and Mayor J. Arthur Leonard attended a legislative priorities meeting Nov. 8 with Sen. Lynwood Lewis and Del. Rob Bloxom, along with representatives from Accomack and Northampton counties.
Chincoteague’s legislative priorities for the General Assembly’s upcoming session are, in order of priority: erosion on the island’s southern end; causeway improvements, including shoulders, addressing of flooding at the eastern approach, and elevation; permanent solutions to wastewater needs; tourism funding; and development of new sources of drinking water.
The water treatment plant has treated more than 20 million gallons of water for the town and water samples are showing either non-detected levels of PFAS or levels well below the maximum recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Tolbert.
NASA leadership at a Nov. 10 meeting told Chincoteague officials NASA included in its latest congressional budget request funding to relocate Chincoteague’s wells off NASA property, which should remove the potential of future PFAS contamination.
Transient occupancy tax collections for November increased 33% over last November, after correcting for the 1% tax rate increase this year.
Meals tax collections showed a 15% gain over November 2020.
Chincoteague had 26 new cases of COVID-19 since Nov. 1, according to Emergency Services Director Bryan Rush.