letter

Flooding is inevitable in portions of Yowell Meadow Park since the majority of the park is within the floodplain. Although flooding of park trails and amenities cannot be eliminated, some improvements are feasible, but would require the town to prioritize these improvements as there would be significant cost to redesign and replace.

The most frequently impacted amenity, which also contributes to the flooding, is the low water bridge near Route 522. This bridge floods frequently, restricts flow in Mt. Run during flooding events, and collects debris that further restricts flow in Mt. Run during flooding events. The result is additional flooding within the park. To improve this crossing, the Town has plans to remove the low water bridge and install one at a higher elevation. This would remove the flow restriction on Mt. Run to minimize flooding of this new bridge and the park. This was initially in the FY21 Budget but was removed due to COVID-19’s impact on Town revenue. We anticipate returning this item to the Draft FY22 Budget that Council will consider later this winter and spring. The inclusion of this bridge in the Draft FY22 Budget was discussed with Council at their January 28th Retreat. This project is estimated at $89,000.

Although we cannot prevent portions of Yowell Meadow Park from flooding, the Town has recently installed an additional 1 mile paved trail with multiple trailheads within the Lakeview Subdivision that connects Yowell Meadow Park to the Lake Pelham Dam that is outside of the floodplain. This also improves the existing nature trail and provides an additional trailhead with parking at the end of Spring Street. Additionally, Rockwater Park was added as a new 32 acre park with an additional 1.5 miles of paved walking trails and a new trailhead on Sunset Lane. We are currently working on an additional trailhead and parking lot on Blue Ridge Extended to improve accessibility to the park and to provide additional parking to meet the increasing parking needs for that park. Rockwater Park does not have the flooding issues that are inherent at Yowell Meadow Park.

Chris Hively

Culpeper Town Manager

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