Sewer Upgrade Granted

Published 4:22 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2013

BUCKINGHAM – During the March 11 meeting of the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors, County Administrator Rebecca Carter shared what she prefaced as “some very good news.”

Noting that for the last four or five years the county has been pursuing an upgrade of its sewer system, Carter reported that a February 20 meeting with USDA Rural Development resulted in a $3.8 million grant offer to the county for that much needed project.

She added that the county might also be able to receive a 2.25 percent interest rate to fund the remaining cost of the projected $9.2 million upgrade, which would double the plant's capacity.

Email newsletter signup

Carter said that since that February 20 meeting, she and Mike Markley, Utilities Director, along with the finance and utilities committees have been working to find a way to take advantage of the grant offer.

Explaining that they were recommending including an additional $1 million for a remaining debt service on the sewer plant, Carter said that would bring the total amount for the project to $10.2 million.

“So that would be a loan amount of $6.4 million and a grant of $3.8 million,” stated Carter.

“It looks like we would need about $90,558 a year to make this payment,” she said, noting that the water system would pay a portion of that amount and the county would pay about $3,000 per month through an arrangement with the Industrial Development Authority.

Outlining the recommendation, Carter said they were seeking permission from supervisors to move forward with the project. She added that no money would need to be appropriated at this time. “It would be another 18 to 24 months before we would have to make a payment,” said Carter.

Continuing, the county administrator explained they were also requesting authority to modify the existing contract with the county's engineering firm. Carter said to revise the preliminary engineering report would be about $9,000.

Lastly, Carter said they would need the board's permission to develop a contract with the IDA and the utilities department, mainly its wastewater plant, for a reservation of availability of sewer capacity.

“With this, the Industrial Development Authority would contract with the sewer plant for the availability of sewer at about $3,000 a month,” said Carter, reiterating that would be how the county would pay its portion.

“This is a grand opportunity,” shared Carter as she asked the board for its consideration.

“I am thrilled with the idea of doubling our capacity at such a price with such an interest rate,” stated Supervisor Cassandra Stish as she moved to authorize going forward with the sewer system upgrade. After a second by Supervisor John Staton, the board gave its unanimous support.

Staton led with a successful follow-up motion authorizing modification of the existing contract with the county's engineering firm to revise the preliminary engineering report.

Subsequently, Supervisor Joe Chambers moved to authorize developing a contract with the IDA and the utilities department, mainly the wastewater plant, for a reservation of availability of sewer capacity. After a second by Supervisor Bill Talbert, the motion drew the board's unanimous support.

April 15 Hearing on BARN Project

Supervisors, responding to a request from Zoning Administrator/Planner Rebecca Cobb, scheduled a public hearing for its April 15 meeting on a special use permit request by the Buckingham Cattlemen's Association for the proposed BARN, Buckingham Agricultural Resource Network facility. The hearing is set for 7:15 p.m.

BCA is seeking the SUP to construct and operate an agricultural auction barn on approximately five acres of land zoned A-1, Agricultural. Owned by H. E. Maxey, Jr., the property is located off Route 60, in the Maysville Magisterial District, approximately a mile west of the courthouse.

The proposed 16,000 square foot structure would include a closed-in section featuring a meeting room and kitchen; and an open-end section used as a livestock working facility.

Cobb reported that the planning commission held a public hearing on the SUP at its February 25 meeting and is recommending approval of the SUP with 22 conditions.

Information in the board packet noted that during the commission's hearing, concerns were discussed about the entrance and that one adjacent landowner sent a letter expressing opposition to the SUP.

According to the SUP narrative, “The use of the building will generally be quarterly Buckingham Cattlemen's Association member meetings, yearly heifer sale and yearly feeder calf sale load-out facility, as well as Extension, USDA, and PFSWCD educational workshops, seminars, and meetings, community banquet and meeting space, possible location for the local Farmer's Market, and outdoor community events.”

Continuing, the narrative states, “The parking lot, covered cattle-working facilities and future arena shall be lighted. During sales and load out, animals may arrive as early as 4 a.m. and leave as late as 10 p.m. Very few animals on only special occasions may need to spend the night at the facility.”

The narrative offers, “This project is funded by state grants. The Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission has awarded the Buckingham Cattlemen's Association full funding of their Agribusiness grant request. The purpose of the project is to support the agricultural market and economy in Buckingham County.”

According to information on the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission's website, the TIC approved an award of $550,311 for the project in January.

In another zoning/planning matter, Cobb advised that the planning commission was requesting a joint meeting with supervisors to share the commission's direction thus far on revisions to the Mobile Home Park Ordinance.

Noting the board's busy schedule due to the budget, Stish moved and the board concurred to meet with the commission during its May 20 work session, at 7 p.m.

Cobb concluded her report with her annual update. She said the planning commission reviewed 11 cases in 2012; held 18 meetings including six work sessions; and updated the Music Festival Ordinance and the Noise Ordinance.

According to Cobb, in 2012, 277 building permits were issued, including 58 for dwellings. Although that is a decrease from the 64 permits for dwellings in 2011, Cobb noted, “We are seeing more remodels, additions, sheds, garages-that type of thing.”

Financial Report

Robert Huff, of Robinson, Farmer and Cox Associates, who met earlier in the day with supervisors two at a time, publicly advised that the firm had completed the county's audit for the year ended June 30, 2012; and, issued its report to the county. He added that the report has been filed with the Auditor of Public Accounts as required by statute.

Continuing, Huff said the opinions contained in the report are unqualified. “Which is the best you can do,” he stated, referencing results reported on page 14 and 18 of the report.

“The other two opinions we issue on internal controls as well as your expenditure federal programs were unqualified as well,” stated Huff. “To that end, I'll conclude my remarks to you and say that your report is a good one and is inclusive as through June 30, 2012.”

After the report, Supervisor Talbert shared that he thought they should thank the county administrator and assistant county administrator for doing such a good job.

Huff stated, “It's not possible to do an audit of this quality without capable persons at a very high level and good leaders as well.”

FY 13 School Budget Adjusted

Following an explanation by Assistant County Administrator Karl Carter on a request from the school board to adjust its FY 13 budget from $21,053,151 to $22,045,222, supervisors, with a motion by Chambers, unanimously approved the request.

Carter explained that the $992,071 adjustment includes $320,158 in local money. However, he explained that the $320,158 represents money that was carried-over from FY 2012 and was used to prepay bills in July but the auditors wanted them to reclassify it back to June.

Budget Requests

Emily Marshall, Executive Director of Southside Center for Violence Prevention-Madeline's House, reported that they have a new location.

After thanking the board for its assistance with additional funding for the new location, Marshall presented a request for $7,000 in funding for FY 2013-14. She offered, “We are an integral part of the 12-county area's rescue infrastructure.”

Brad Sheffield, representing JAUNT, presented the pubic transit provider's budget request for $22,948. He explained that due to increased ridership, the request is actually six percent less than last year's.

Along with that good news, Sheffield shared that one of JAUNT's new 28-passenger buses was out in the parking lot for everyone to see.

He concluded by reminding that riders and prospective riders can follow JAUNT on Facebook for updates on service and other information.

In Other Board Action

Following a report by Kevin Flippen, E-911 and Emergency Management Coordinator, on revisions to the county's emergency operations plan, the board, in a unanimous vote, adopted the 2013 Emergency Operations Plan as presented.

After Flippen noted that a printed copy of the plan is available for review, Supervisor Stish requested that the document be available on the county's website.

Concurring with a request from the Buckingham Anti-Litter Task Force, supervisors appointed Joe and Joyce Williams to that organization.

The board also approved a request by the Anti-Litter Task Force to continue its support of Tire Day with an appropriation of $3,500 to cover the cost of the annual event.

Although the exact date has not been set, Tire Day corresponds with the county's Spring Clean-Up, which is organized each April by the Anti Litter Task Force. On Tire Day, residents may turn-in tires for recycling at a pre-determined location.