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Public Water Hearing Set

CUMBERLAND – County Supervisors set a public hearing for the borrowing of funds for Cumberland's waterline extension project during its May meeting. The hearing was set for Tuesday, June 14 on the borrowing from USDA Rural Development for approximately $939,000.

“This is for the waterline project,” recalled Michael Cooper, assistant administrator of community development. “We received approval from USDA of an award for $1,939,000.”

The one million is in the form of a grant and the rest is a loan from USDA for the waterline extension.

“Believe it or not, we are getting the project close to getting it out for bid for construction,” he told the Board of Supervisors. “This is a procedure that needs to take place before USDA allows us to move forward with putting the project out to bid.”
<br />The borrowing is for the completion of the County's waterline extension project that will extend its public water and sewer capabilities along Route 60 near its intersection with Route 45 to the area of the Cumberland Community Center.

There is a revenue stream associated with the borrowing from the participants of the waterline-the borrowing is not all tax money although, the community center is being served by the extension, which that usage would be paid by the County.

“The majority of the funds of this project will be coming from user fees,” said Chairman Van Petty, District Three. “Not tax dollars. I just want to get that point out.”

“That's a good clarification,” said Cooper. “But, you're absolutely right…the borrowing was dependent on the justification that the revenue from customers would be sufficient to carry the debt service.”

A motion was made to set the hearing for the Board's regular meeting on Tuesday, June 14 at 7 p.m.

In other public hearing news, the Supervisors will also make their final decision on the proposed subdivision ordinance.

The overhaul of the ordinance is set for a public hearing the same night and portions of the County's zoning ordinance will also be included in a separate public hearing.

Telecommunications Tower

The Supervisors held a public hearing during their May meeting related to a conditional use permit submitted by National Communication Towers, LLC for the purpose of constructing a telecommunications tower and related facilities on Route 60 near the Buckingham County line.

The tower will be placed on a portion of property that is being leased from Mark H. Robinson Jr.

Structures on the proposed lease area would include the tower, unmanned support buildings and equipment pads, which would all be surrounded by a six-foot tall security fence, according to the presentation given.

The Planning Commission conducted its own hearing on April 18 and unanimously recommended it to the Board for approval, according to Andrew Sorrell, planning director.

After the presentation, the Board approved the conditional use permit for the placement of the tower with the following conditions: that the conditional use permit be allowed for construction to commence on or before one year of the effective date of the permit; that all operations on the property shall comply with the health and environmental laws and rules with the County, state, and federal laws that govern the tower; and that the permit shall not become effective until a removal bond in the amount of $25,000 has been approved by the County Attorney and filed with the County Administrator.

Finally, the last condition states that the “radius width shall be limited to three feet for any antennae or dish placed on the tower.”

Once the public hearing was opened for comments, Robinson addressed the Supervisors and spoke in favor of the project.

The applicant, Al Doss, was also present to answer questions from the Board related to the tower's construction process.

County Business

Supervisors authorized the Assistant County Administrator of Finance and Human Resources, Jill Matthews, permission to hire a deputy clerk replacement effective July 1, as the current deputy clerk will be retiring this summer.

County Administrator Judy Ownby asked the Board if a representative and an alternate had been decided upon to serve on the Commonwealth Regional Council for the fiscal year beginning on July 1.

Since Supervisor Bobby Oertel, District Five, was absent for the meeting it was decided that the designations would be made at the Board's next meeting in June.

Ms. Ownby later requested that the Board make the 2012 Sub-recipient Designation related to the indoor plumbing rehabilitation loan program for the County.

The program provides state and federal funds for the rehabilitation of homes, which lack indoor plumbing due to inoperable household plumbing.

Southside Outreach Group has administered the program in Cumberland in the past, according to the County Administrator, and will continue to operate in this capacity.

In the past, approximately 14 households have been identified in Cumberland as needing assistance, she noted.

Planning And Zoning

In other planning and zoning news, the Board authorized the annual festival permit for the Cartersville Ruritan Club for its Fourth of July event in Cartersville.

A request for renewal of a special temporary use permit submitted by Mary Tyson was also approved.

The applicant has provided temporary housing for workers constructing the Bear Garden Power Plant in Buckingham County, approximately five miles from the property, to reside their recreational vehicles while construction of the power plant was completed.

Another request for renewal of a special temporary use permit was also granted to Terry Toney.

According to the letter in the Board's packet, the permit was requested originally because the area in which the applicant proposed to locate a manufactured home is approximately 700 feet from the centerline of Route 60 and has residential zoning. In residential zoning districts only class A manufactured homes are permitted, class B homes are not.

School Students Recognized

As part of her school report, Superintendent Dr. Amy Griffin introduced the Cumberland High School's top students from the Class of 2011.

Valedictorian John Brandt and Salutatorian Heather Fowler were introduced to the Supervisors.

She noted that Brandt will be attending Hampden-Sydney College in the fall and Fowler will be traveling to James Madison University to attend college.

Supervisor Bill Osl, District One, congratulated the students on their accomplishments while receiving an education from Cumberland.

Osl said, “We hope that as you go forward with your education and your careers you remember Cumberland. Speak fondly of us and if there is an opportunity to come back and be part of the community here, I'm pretty sure we'd like to have you come back.

“You are some of the best and brightest that we have. We certainly need you back here to help us continue to build and grow. Congratulations to both of you and to the proud parents and grandparents,” he concluded.

Board Recognizes Garden Club

The Board recognized the Cartersville Garden Club for its contributions to the community in a resolution of appreciation.

It was organized in 1979-charter members include Edith Poates, Kathleen Boggs, Mona Dabney, Marlene Martens, and Laura Trace, according to the resolution.

“…The Cartersville Garden Club has always been and will continue to be dedicated to the study of the floral design and horticulture; continuing education for both youth and adults; and involvement in our community,” read Ms. Ownby from the resolution that was presented to member Connie Pepper.

Projects this year for the club have included, installation of the Blue Star Memorial Marker and Tranquility Garden at the Cartersville Cemetery, Golden Days Plantings at the Cartersville Community House, youth gardening and educational projects at Cumberland County Public Schools, plant sale at Cumberland's Patriot Day, and blue bird house family day at Bear Creek Lake.

According to the resolution, the Club is currently working towards raising money for a Tranquility Garden at the Cartersville Cemetery by applying for grants and conducting raffles and soliciting community involvement.

“…The Board of Supervisors recognized and expressed with utmost appreciation the time, devotion, and commitment of the Cartersville Garden Club for the numerous projects which have been undertaken for the beautification of the community and the education of our youth and adults,” said Ms. Ownby.

Board Comments About Tornado Response

Supervisor Tim Kennell, District Two, took time during the Board's comment segment to address the quick response by County staff and emergency response and Sheriff's Department personnel related to the tornado event that blew through Cumberland in April.

Cooper also commented about the coordinated efforts that took place with the Red Cross to get the impacted citizens into hotel rooms for the evening after the event.

Gary Thompson, representative from the emergency services committee, Kennell, and Cooper all followed up with the families afterwards as well as the state's Emergency Management Services representative for the area, according to the discussion, to inspect the properties that were damaged during the storm.

“The response from the citizens involved was very positive,” added Cooper. “…I just wanted to take a minute to express my gratitude to them… Thankfully, nobody was hurt that night.”

According to Kennell, the northern end of the county received the most storm damage.

“I think there were seven houses that were actually damaged,” said Kennell. “Two of them seriously and a number of people…had nowhere to stay that night. We went door-to-door after our Sheriff's Department's deputies went door-to-door checking on folks and thank goodness everyone was okay. We assessed damage and talked to our citizens. They seemed to be very thankful we were out there. Those folks were terrific and their attitude was terrific.”

The Red Cross was called in to assist two families, Kennell continued, about the assistance that was provided.

“Thanks everyone for a job well done,” he continued about the County's emergency response system and committee, as well as the responders that are in place to assist citizens in Cumberland during such circumstances.