Sheriff Nets New Cars From Board

Published 4:01 pm Thursday, February 23, 2012

PRINCE EDWARD – County Sheriff Wesley Reed asked for, and the Board of Supervisors approved, funding for additional patrol cars at the board's February 14 meeting.

“We can't keep the fleet up like that,” Reed said, of purchasing the two vehicles per year, which the County has done in recent years.

The board approved the purchase of two additional vehicles for the department and forfeited asset funds will fund the purchase of a third vehicle, and the board has included two in the budget cycle.

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The cars, similar to those in service, offer a savings on switching equipment. The board agreed to appropriate $50,000 from the general fund and $25,000 in forfeited assets to purchase three vehicles.

The board also, following a request from Sheriff Reed, agreed to supplement the salary for the new chief deputy, Major David Eppes, by $3,000.

“Chief Deputy is a lot of work. He's almost just like the sheriff. I mean, it's a 24-7 job,” Reed pitched.

It's their responsibility for operational management of the entire system, he also noted.

Topics For Discussion

Supervisors are scheduled to meet with Farmville's Town Council March 20 to hash over issues. County Administrator Wade Bartlett suggested budget issues and that Council and the County may want to have an event for the opening of High Bridge.

Board members are scheduled to meet again prior to the joint meeting with Council and will have opportunities to submit other possible topics for discussion.

Tourism Project

Supervisors held a public hearing and adopted an ordinance authorizing funding for a tourism project and approved a revised economic development grant agreement between the County, Industrial Development Authority and Prince Edward Development. The board agreed to authorize Chairman William “Buckie” Fore to sign the performance agreement.

Specifically, the Virginia Tourism Development financing program affords an option to provide gap financing for tourism projects between developers, localities, financial institutions and the state and affords a means of financing to compensate for a shortfall in a project not to exceed 20 percent of a qualified project's total cost.

For eligible projects, one percent of state sales tax generated by the project is matched by an equal dollar amount in local tax revenue, matched by an equal dollar amount from the developer to help pay the debt service on the project.

For its part, the County adopted an ordinance that specifies the County is to match the one percent of state tax revenue by an equal dollar amount of local tax revenue generated by transactions taking place on the premises. The board also approved the revised economic development agreement.

The County, the performance agreement details, collects an amount equivalent to the entitled sales taxes from other local tax revenues generated by transactions taking place on the premises of the project.

There were no speakers for the public hearing.

Public Comment

Sam Campbell, of the Prospect District, addressed a previous board discussion on increasing supervisors' pay by $100 for called meetings. (A motion was offered in a special meeting, but was later withdrawn.)

“…Each supervisor knew what the pay was when they ran for office and in doing so made a promise to their constituents that they were willing to do the job for the pay rate that was in effect at the time of the election,” Campbell said.

Supervisors getting paid for a meeting, he also cited, leaves open the possibility of a supervisor needing or wanting extra money calling a meeting or several meetings just for the purpose of getting extra money.

Most of the extra meetings in the last couple of years, Campbell asserted, dealt with a water plant that did not have customers and a road that did not go anywhere.

He suggested they stop introducing such projects. “And then you would not have to have extra meetings and the taxpayers of the county would save millions of dollars and the extra pay will be a non-issue,” he said.

Henry Shelton suggested that they forgo salaries and work by the meeting-offering that $100 a meeting “sounds pretty good.”

Shelton also questioned the County buying more land, which he asserted they really don't need. (Supervisors later in the meeting agreed to purchase property for the construction of an alternate Route 628 and 13 additional acres from Glad Hill Properties LLC.)

Hearings Set

Supervisors have scheduled several public hearings for their March meeting.

Specifically, the board will receive comments on a special use permit application by Virginia Electric and Power Company to construct an electricity distribution substation along Worsham Road between the intersections of Leigh Mountain Road and Westover Ridge Drive.

The board has also agreed to hold a public hearing on a special use permit, in accordance with the County's Agricultural Conservation (A-1) zoning requirements to operate a commercial outdoor sports and recreation use on Monroe Church Road in Rice.

The third hearing involves a request from Richard Raymond Jr. and Robert Raymond Sr. to amend a site plan to allow for an accessory building on a 1.5-acre parcel on Farmville Road.

Social Services Space

Supervisors discussed and approved a committee recommendation to allow the Department of Social Services to use a conference room. The space will be used for a part-time employee and as an area to observe families.

While the space could still be used for meetings, Social Services would have control of the room and its use as well as scheduling meetings.

In Other News…

*Supervisors approved a request from the County Treasurer to advertise delinquent properties for sale. Properties that have been delinquent for at least three years. Notification, the Treasurer cited in a memo to the board, has been mailed to the delinquent taxpayers informing them of impending legal action. Parcels may be redeemed at any time before the date of the sale by payment of all taxes, penalties, interest, and collection costs.

*Supervisors approved a resolution to adopt the Commonwealth Regional Council's regional hazard mitigation plan. The updated plan must be approved by the seven counties and 11 participating towns in the region.

*Supervisor Fore listed the names of citizens to assist the board from the Buffalo District to in the selection of a school board member from that district. Leigh District Supervisor Don Gantt was expected to name a citizen committee later last week. The board set a public hearing for March 8 where citizens can nominate individuals for the two school board openings. Supervisors are scheduled to make their appointments in June.

*Bartlett noted that with the conclusion of Operation Iraqi Freedom it would be time to add to the war memorial. They are aware of one local citizen that perished in the conflict and will look to see if there are others.

*Staff discussed the challenges of finding a citizen to serve on the Buy Fresh/Buy Local Council.

*Supervisors approved a budget amendment which will return some funds to the County's fund balance. Specifically, with the issuance of VRA bonds in November and with monies to pay off several bonds, the County refunded a revenue bond through Rural Development, a general obligation bond issued in 1998 for courthouse construction and a construction bond issued through Rural Development.

The board de-obligated payments for those bonds (totaling $353,008); the new bonds require an interest-only payment in April totaling $106,790. The board's action means $246,218 will return to the fund balance.

*Several board members relayed road concerns to the Virginia Highway Department. Among the issues addressed was a request from citizens to reduce the speed to 45 mph on First Rock Road and a reduction in the speed limit on a portion of Abilene Road.

Vice-Chairman Howard Simpson also thanked Virginia Department of Transportation Dillwyn Residency Administrator Kevin Wright for putting the lines in at the stop signs on Stokes Road (it was noted that the reduced speed signs were also posted on the road). Lockett District Supervisor Robert “Bobby” Jones expressed appreciation for work on the medians on Route 460.

*The board, without action, effectively declined retired sheriff Travis Harris' request for payment of used sick leave accumulated while he was a deputy. The personnel committee had recommended that the request not be granted.