Bedford Co. Property Owner Battling VDOT Over Pond

Bedford Co., VA - A Bedford County property owner wants to refill his pond, but VDOT says he'll have to pay to do it.

The culvert in front of Bob McMillan's house on Irving Road in Thaxton failed two summers ago. McMillan's one-acre farm pond was hooked up to the culvert.

To connect it to the new culvert, VDOT wants McMillan to pay a surety bond, to cover any potential future damage.

McMillan has already spent $10,000 dollars on design plans to submit to VDOT.

"Then they came to me and said, well this is really good, by the way, we want you to post a bond forever," said McMillan. "Every year, you're going to have to buy a bond, or whoever owns the property forever, and ever, and ever."

"If a private property owner wants to use one of our drainage structures, on VDOT right of way, they're going to need to pay a surety in case there was something to go wrong," said VDOT spokesman Jason Bond.

Bond says the agency can't tell McMillan how much he'll have to pay over time because he hasn't submitted a final design. McMillan says every time he submits a plan, VDOT asks him to change something.

McMillan suggests VDOT do regular inspections of the culvert, and if his pond is causing damage, he should be given two options; fix the problem at his expense, or drain the pond.