National Day For Cowboys
BUCKINGHAM – During its April 9 meeting, the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors approved a music/entertainment festival permit request from Lionheart Resorts, LLC.
The resort plans to host a National Day of the American Cowboy Celebration in conjunction with the resort's grand opening scheduled for July 27 through July 29.
During the public hearing on the request, Theresa McManus, a participant in last year's Cowboy Day, which was hosted at the Historic Village at Lee Wayside, encouraged supervisors to grant the festival permit.
McManus, sharing how much she enjoyed reliving her childhood at the event, stated, “If Buckingham allows this to fall by the wayside because of a special use permit it would be a sin to the county.”
She added, “I think with the bigger venue where it's going to be held, we could really put ourselves on the map with something that is really exciting.”
After Chairman Monroe Snoddy closed the hearing, Supervisor Joe Chambers, with a second from Supervisor Cassandra Stish, moved to approve the permit.
During the ensuing discussion, Supervisor John Staton asked about the admission/entry fees.
When Supervisor Donnie Bryan questioned whether there was a representative from Lionheart present, Wade Brandt, project development manager for Lionheart, went to the podium.
Brandt told supervisors that Lionheart has not finalized the fees. However, he offered, “We don't intend to be very high-priced on the event.” He explained that there would be different fees based on whether someone was attending for the entire weekend or one day.
“The only thing I will say to you about pricing is that we want people to come,” stated Brandt. “But, we've got to cover the cost.”
After County Administrator Rebecca Carter presented information on two zoning cases, the board scheduled public hearings on the respective requests to coincide with its May 14 meeting.
Providing an overview of Case 12-SUP-209, for a special use permit by applicant Theresa McManus to operate a commercial equine facility, Carter reported that the property is located on Scotts Bottom Road, Route 632, in the Whispering Ridge Subdivision.
She explained that although the applicant does most of her equine work away from the property McManus would occasionally like to host clinics at the facility.
Carter said the planning commission conducted a public hearing on the request during its March 26 meeting and was recommending approval of the request with a list of conditions.
With a motion by Supervisor Staton and a unanimous vote by the board, the hearing for SUP 209 was set for 7:15 p.m.
Moving on to Case 12-SUP-210, Carter said the applicant, Clear Signal Towers, wants to construct and operate a 195-foot telecommunications tower near Route 60 on property owned by Margaret Ellis, Tim Martin, Irene Ellis and Randy Leech.
During her overview, Carter advised that it was brought to the county's attention that the site is close to a flight path of a private landing strip. However, she shared, “The county has received a review from the FAA stating that it does meet their requirements and does not have to be lit.”
Carter added that the county's consultant, CityScape, reviewed the application and was recommending approval with 12 conditions.
Following the report, the board unanimously voted to schedule the hearing immediately following the hearing on the special use permit for the commercial equine facility.
Responding to a request from the county administrator regarding the formation of a committee to review eight proposals for GIS mapping software, Supervisors Stish and Bryan volunteered to serve on the committee.
The committee will also include both the county administrator and assistant county administrator along with Jamie Shumaker, IT manager; Kevin Flippen, E-911 coordinator; and Stephanie Midkiff, commissioner of the revenue.
Carter explained that GIS mapping would digitize all property parcels in the county. Moreover, taxpayers would be able to access the information via computer. She added that the county did receive some grant money to assist with the cost.
Explaining the role of the committee, Carter said it would review the proposals and then select and interview the viable candidates. The committee, in turn, would report back to the board to see if it is something supervisors want to pursue.
Last month supervisors, responding to a request from Chairman Snoddy about the possibility of expanding the services of the Piedmont Area Transit system to include a bus route from Arvonia to Farmville, tasked Carter with finding any information about the number of possible riders.
In response, Carter advised that they talked with PAT about the possibility of initiating a three-month trial of the route to ascertain how many riders it would draw.
However, PAT recommended a trial period of six months, stated Carter, noting the cost for those six months would be approximately $2,000 based on PAT's quote of approximately $4,000 to add the route on an annual basis.
Subsequently, with a motion by Chambers, the board approved a six-month trial route from Arvonia to Farmville, at a cost of $2,000.
Snoddy stated, “I've had some call for that so I am glad that we are giving it a trial.” He added, “With gas $4 a gallon, we might have some riders.”
Although there was no report from VDOT, Supervisor Bill Talbert, reminding that he recently shared his concerns about some of the trees along 636 that he felt posed a potential safety hazard to motorists, shared that VDOT was now cutting those trees.
“That's great,” stated Talbert. “I feel like people's lives will be saved.” He added, “I'm glad to see them doing that.”
County Attorney E. M. Wright, Jr. advised that the board packet included a copy of the proposed Cable Franchise Agreement between the county and Comcast.
Reminding that the board adopted the cable franchise ordinance last month, Wright explained that the proposed agreement flows from that ordinance.
The attorney stated that although discussions on the agreement were continuing, he was presenting the document to supervisors for their review so they have the opportunity to become familiar with its contents.
Carter began her report with information from the Town of Dillwyn inviting the board of supervisors to participate in Buckingham County Day, which will be held in Dillwyn on May 12.
She explained that this year, the Buckingham Lions Club, which hosts the event, is joining with the town to celebrate Dillwyn's 100th Anniversary.
Advising that last week the heat pump at the sewer treatment facility stopped working, Carter, citing the emergency need, said the utilities director received bids and she approved the low bid from Huskey Heating and Air for $3,200.
Following a discussion by the board on the unit's SEER rating and the affect that may have had on the bids, Carter, noting she was unsure whether the unit had been installed, said she would check on the specifications of the bids.
Carter also reported that the Commonwealth Transportation Board would conduct a public hearing on projects and programs to be included in the 2013-18 Six-Year Improvement Program on April 24, 6 p.m., at Northside High School in Roanoke.
Supervisor Stish said if she is able to attend, she would be happy to take notices from Buckingham residents who have concerns. She added that they could put them on her Facebook page.
The letter from District Administrator Rob H. Cary included that comments may be emailed to Six-YearProgram@vdot.virginia. gov.
Carter concluded her report with an announcement about an upcoming rabies vaccination clinic. She said the Buckingham County Health Department and Buckingham County Animal Control Office were sponsoring the clinic on Saturday, April 28, from 1 to 3 p.m., at Buckingham County Middle School. Cost per vaccination for dogs or cats will be $6.
During the public comment segment, Pete Kapuscinski requested supervisors discontinue the practice of allowing budgetary carry-overs.
Offering that by doing so the board would force budgets to begin from a zero base, Kapuscinski stated that excesses at the end of a budgetary period belong to taxpayers and not the county employees or executives for their discretionary spending.
He urged the board to reject such requests and take the necessary steps to ensure that any money requested by county departments in any budgetary period is necessary. Kapuscinski added that the detail regarding those funds be documented in the budget before approval.
Later in the meeting, following the board's unanimous approval of a carry-over request, Supervisor Stish suggested that the board should have a discussion about the carryover policy.
The county administrator responded that the board did not have a written policy but procedurally entertained each request individually.
After Kapuscinski's request, another resident shared his concerns about the noise from logging operations during the early morning hours from daybreak to 8 a.m. He asked why the logging company's rights should supersede his rights. The speaker concluded by stating that the board needs to look into the matter.
The board unanimously approved a request from E. M. Wright to carry over $15,699 from the commonwealth's attorney's 2010-2011 budget to the current budget.
Concurring with a recommendation by Supervisor Bryan, the board appointed Stephanie Oliver as the District 2 representative on the Industrial Development Authority.
Supervisors, agreeing with the county administrator's recommendation, added building official to the building inspector's current responsibilities and title.
Carter explained that she currently serves as the building official but does not have the certifications. However, she said Tommy Ranson is certified as a building official and may serve in both capacities.
At the conclusion of the agenda, Supervisor Talbert asked the county administrator to look into the possibility of having a public hearing and taking the necessary steps to legalize hunting from the ground with rifles.
Supervisor Stish, expressing concern about possible drought conditions, wondered if there was something the board could do regarding water conservation and fire safety in combination with the Soil and Water Conservation District and the Virginia Department of Forestry. She suggested a series of workshops or fire safety and going into the schools to teach students about water conservation.
Chairman Snoddy recessed the meeting to reconvene on April 16, at 7 p.m., for the public hearing on the FY13 budget.