New Faces Are Appointed To Cumberland IDA And PC

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2012

CUMBERLAND – During September's Board of Supervisor's meeting, two Industrial Development Authority positions and one Planning Commission position were filled with new faces, although all three of the incumbent members had expressed interest in being reappointed.

The vote for all three positions was consistently split, with Supervisors Bill Osl, District One, and Parker Wheeler, District Five, the minority voices in support of the incumbents. While discussing the nominations for IDA positions, Wheeler stated that he would rather see both current members of the IDA reappointed since “they have the experience and the knowledge of the IDA behind them.”

Board Chairman David Meinhard, District Four, was joined by Supervisors Lloyd Banks, District Two, and Kevin Ingle, District Three, in consistently voting in favor of new members to the IDA and Planning Commission.

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Meinhard, during the close of the meeting, extended a special thanks to all those who served on the IDA and Planning Commission, saying the board appreciated their work, help and “willingness to serve the county.” However, he went on to justify his nomination of a new planning commissioner: “I think some of the members on the board, like myself, like to see some of these things spread around to new people in some of these positions.” He was quick to add that “it was nothing personal against anybody that is on any of those boards… just looking at moving some other people into these positions and doing some things in them.”

IDA Appointments

Two IDA positions, held by Constance Pepper and Darlene Pelot, were expired. Meinhard reported that both board members had expressed an interest in reappointment.

All seven of the IDA positions are “at-large,” not requiring delegates from any particular district. Members are appointed for four year terms. Appointments for the IDA are on a rolling basis.

Pelot was appointed to the authority in 1995, a year after it was established by the board. Pepper was completing her first four year term.

Osl nominated Pelot to be reappointed, stating, “she's a senior-person at Central Virginia Community Bank, lives here in the community and a good resource to have on the IDA.”

Ingle nominated John Godsey, stating, “he's a real estate agent who lives and operates within the county and surrounding counties with years of reputable service.”

The board voted between Pelot and Godsey to fill one of the two vacancies, with Godsey receiving the majority of the votes.

Ingle also nominated Leroy Pfeiffer Sr., for the second position, stating “he is retired. He is in the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. He owns and operates a community of rental properties and manages property within the county and surrounding counties.”

Osl re-nominated Pelot for reappointment.

Pfeiffer obtained the second position, with Banks, Ingle and Meinhard voting in favor of Pfeiffer; and Wheeler and Osl voting in favor of reinstating Pelot.

At the beginning of the Community Director's Report, Director of Economic and Community Development Greg Baka thanked both Pelot and Pepper for their many years of service, also welcoming Godsey and Pfeiffer to the IDA.

The IDA owns and manages several properties in the county, including Riverside Industrial Park, Cumberland Community Center and an industrial park being developed off Poorhouse Road. According to Baka, the goal of the IDA is to develop relationships with business and industries that will further the economic growth of the county in the long run.

The IDA meets on the third Tuesday of every other month at 9 a.m. in the Old Clerk's Office in the Courthouse. The public is welcome. The next meeting is November 20.

Planning Commission Appointment

The Planning Commission is made up of seven commissioners: a delegate from each of the five county districts and two “at-large” members.

Carol Miller was the District Four commissioner. According to Planning & Zoning Administrator and Planning Commission Secretary Bret Schardein, Miller was appointed to the commission January 8, 2008. She completed the year and a half term of the previous District Three commissioner who resigned and was then reappointed in 2009 for another four years.

Meinhard nominated Hubert Allen.

Wheeler nominated Miller for reappointment.

Allen was appointed to the Planning Commission with Banks, Ingle and Meinhard voting in his favor and Wheeler and Osl voting in favor of the incumbent, Miller.

Later in the meeting, while reporting on Planning Commission activities, Schardein stated that, “We will miss Ms. Miller on the commission and appreciate her years of service there.” He felt that Miller had a good perspective on how rural localities grow, “I hope we remember that even though it may be slow here now, it can grow pretty quick.” He also looked forward to working with Mr. Allen in that capacity.

Miller was the third longest serving commissioner on the Planning Commission, out-served by Roland Gilliam, District Five, who was appointed in 2004 and William Burger, District Three, who was appointed in 2001.

While the commission was not originally designed to have staggered appointments, they currently are, due to vacancies caused by resignation, death and transfer to other government positions. Five of the seven commissioners' terms will expire in 2014. Besides Allen's newly acquired appointment, the only other outlying term is for District Three's commissioner in 2013.

The commission provides recommendations to the board of supervisors in matters relating to land use. This includes recommendations regarding the Comprehensive Plan, Capital Improvement Program and subdivision and zoning requests.

Planning Commission meetings are open to the public and occur the third Monday of every month. A schedule of upcoming minutes, agendas and minutes from past meetings can be viewed online at the county's website:

Refinancing Update

County Administrator Vivian Giles informed the Board that the refinancing of the refinancing of the County's 2001 public facility lease revenue bonds and 2008 VML/VACo bonds that were approved by the school board and board of supervisors on July 26 are now complete.

Giles stated that they both went through as planned, with the interest rates as established, and “hopefully the cost savings will begin.”

According to Giles, the county will save approximately $80,000 a year by refinancing the two bonds. The 2001 bonds were refinanced at a fixed rate of 2.31 percent for ten years, an approximate savings of $30,000 yearly. The 2008 bonds were refinanced at a fixed rate of 2.96 percent for the next twelve years, an approximate savings of $50,000 yearly.

Audit Update

Giles informed the board that the auditors were in the county office the previous week and were “very complimentary of the county staff with whom they worked.” At the time of the meeting, the audit results were not yet complete.

Citizen Request

After reviewing additional information provided by the County Administrator's Office, the board voted to deny Margaret Atkinson's appeal for a reduced rate for water taps on two lots on Foster Road. The county offered a discounted fee of $50 for residential customers during the construction of the waterline. The tap fee is usually $4000.

According to Giles, the reduced tap rate was not made available to vacant lots at the time of the program, because of maintenance concerns. The two lots were vacant at that time. In order to receive the discount, there needed to be a structure to be hooked up or a building permit in place for imminent construction.

Ingle abstained for reasons of family conflict, all other board members voted in favor of denying the appeal.

Animal Control

The board approved an appropriation of $100 for the Animal Control Department. The county received the funds as a donation to purchase food supplies for animals under its care.