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PE Board Talks Roads

PRINCE EDWARD – There was little money and little to talk about in the proposed Secondary Six-Year plan.

Supervisors essentially have about $50,000 per year in allocated funding (funds generated with utility usage of VDOT right-of-ways) they can prioritize in a plan highlighted at the May Board of Supervisors meeting. Currently, there are two projects on the list that, at the moment, highway officials are working on the designs: Back Hampden-Sydney Road and Aspen Hill Road.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Dillwyn Residency Administrator Kevin Wright said they should get started on the Aspen Hill project next spring.

“What we did find was that we had some money that we were able to start developing a new project,” he also cited. “We have identified, after some discussion with the board, Route 725, Watson Boulevard, was the ideal candidate to fit into the plan between the length of the road, the amount of work that needed to be done, it actually matched up very well with the funding that we had and we anticipate being able to start construction on that in June of 2015.”

The project is expected to be done as a rural rustic surface treatment.

The public hearing generated no speakers.

In other highway news, Wright reported that they are getting geared up to begin mowing. He also cited in the maintenance area that they are working on resurfacing some of the secondary routes as well as some of the primaries.

Lockett District Supervisor Robert “Bobby” Jones relayed citizen concerns about trees hanging over the road and potholes on High Rock Road.

Asked about the cost savings with the mild winter, Wright noted that it was minimal and, what little bit they have, they put into extra surfacing.

An Expedited Process

Supervisors, following the recommendation of the planning commission, will try an expedited process that could cut down the time between the commission and board hearings on such matters as rezoning requests.

Both the commission and the board have to hold public hearings on zoning issues and it was noted that in some cases, applicants had to wait as long as seven weeks between the two hearings. County Administrator Wade Bartlett stressed that's just the time between the hearings and that it's up to a three-month process.

“In an effort to expedite that timeline, we thought of a way that we possibly could move this forward while still providing enough notification to the public and the board of supervisors,” he cited.

Specifically, the commission has proposed that, once they hold their public hearing and decide to move forward, they would automatically advertise a public hearing for the board of supervisors (rather than for the issue to first come to the board and supervisors schedule their own hearing).

“And all that would be subject to meeting the legal requirements, because there are certain legal requirements,” Bartlett said.

The change, he assessed, would basically cut a month off of the process.

The board, Bartlett told supervisors, would still receive information “and in fact probably more information than what you're currently getting” because there would be a report at the board meeting following the planning commission.

He noted that if it's a controversial item they can decide on a longer process so the citizens have a greater time to review whatever the request.

While the board would agree to try the expedited process, they also discussed Chairman William G. “Buckie” Fore's suggestion of having a joint public hearing with the commission. Supervisor Jones, the board's planning commission representative, however, highlighted there is some benefit of having the time between the two.

The commission, in the process, can make recommendations so things can be corrected before the matter goes before the board of supervisors and the issues are answered.

The new process will start in June.

In Other News…

*The board agreed to set a public hearing on updates to the Enterprise Zone for the Board's June 12 meeting. Additions include the Farmville Route 15 corridor (including areas outside of the Town) which extends as far west as the Luck Stone property and areas south of Farmville to the Kingsville area), the Rice area with all the properties facing U. S. Route 460 with all but two properties in the proposal being the site of an existing business, and the Green Bay/Meherrin/Route 360 corridor.

Nearly all of those on the list, Ms. Carney cited, expressed an interest in wanting to be included. (There was only two or three, she cited, they couldn't reach.)

An Enterprise Zone boundary adjustment committee had recommended the addition of 418.835 acres to be added, removal of 274.93 acres-with a net increase of 143.905 acres. The changes would leave 1,298 acres available for future expansion of the zone.

“The reason we've concentrated on commercial sites, as opposed to residential or farmland, is the threshold to qualify for the real property improvement grant is substantially less to do a existing business as opposed to a new concern,” Ms. Carney said.

More properties may be added until the board makes approval. Board members wishing to recommend additional properties had until a May 29 meeting to get those recommendations in.

*Supervisors approved an events permit for Walker International Events, Inc., for Friday, June 1 for two circus shows at the Five County Fairground contingent upon the company providing proof of insurance, adding the County as additionally insured as well as a clarification on another matter.

*The board agreed to the Moton Museum's request to transfer the management/administration of a VDOT enhancement grant for the Museum to the Town of Farmville.

*Supervisors designated the county administrator as the director of emergency management and Assistant County Administrator Sarah Puckett as the deputy director. The board also adopted an authorizing resolution for the statewide mutual aid program. The resolution has been requested by the state's Department of Emergency Management. Each locality is asked to adopt a resolution for the program. The resolution designates that the county and assistant county administrators are authorized to request, offer, provide assistance and incur cost on behalf of the County in the event of an emergency/disaster. It also designates coordinating officers that are authorized to provide information on resource capabilities on behalf of the county.

*Supervisors approved a resolution establishing the employer contribution rate for the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) at 12.25 percent and a second resolution to implement the employee contribution rate at five percent. (Employees are set to receive an offsetting salary increase effective July 1.

*Supervisors approved a consent agenda that included a refund of $202.95 from the postal service. The clerk of the court had been over-billed.