Partner with Virginia Tech, UVa and whomever else wants to - The Mill Mountain Observatory. To be built a good distance behind the star, with a museum element and other displays and such.
Besides - the Mill Mountain Observatory sounds so classy.
Vice Mayor David Trinkle noted that others have had similar ideas for Mill Mountain before.
"Your group appears to be the right group at the right time," he
said, adding that he still has come concerns about lighting on the site.
Hmmph. Lighting. Good concern.
Councilwoman Gwen Mason said her phone has rung all week with calls
from concerned citizens, whose message she summed up this way: "Touch a
blood root plant in Mill Mountain Garden at your peril." The powerful gardening lobby must be oiling up their bypass loppers.
Mason also latched onto former Councilman Rupert Cutler's proposal
to couple the inn with a conservation easement that would protect the
rest of the mountain from further development.
"I'm hot on the trail on that idea," she said.
Get it? Heh! Hot on the TRAIL! Conservation easement... heh.. TRAIL!!!
Of course, the leadership of For the Valle.. um.. Valley Forward fared no better. Chairman Lugar said this is a great way to "democratize" the mountain. Hey, thats a piece of truthiness you can't deny.
Although obviously Valley for th. Forward's friends have not advised them well enough - the estimates they are running public with would build a restaurant on Mill Mountain.
A really fancy one, but $12 million will truly not go far due to materials, site, access, and all those other fun reasons. Allow me to share a bit of news: The "range hood" for a commercial kitchen (which the Mill Mountain thing would have 2 of) runs anywhere from $3k to 8k a linear foot. That's one of the biggest expenses.
Ah - whatever. Darlene has it now, I'm sure it will be months before we hear of it again, if at all.