Library Site Change Sought

Published 3:41 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BUCKINGHAM – During the June 10 meeting of the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors, Ivan “Chip” Davis, representing the Buckingham County Public Library Building Committee, shared that he and Julie Dixon, of Rosney Architects, recently met with a civil engineer at the proposed site.

“One of the first things that we noticed when we looked at the site is that it is probably not the best site (in the industrial park) that the library could use for construction,” stated Davis, noting the lot would require significant site work.

Offering that the library committee is very grateful supervisors offered the site, he shared, “They would have to spend a whole lot of money in site development. It would cost them a whole lot of money before they could even start building.”

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Continuing, Davis said the committee is requesting that supervisors consider switching the site for the one next to it, which is closer to Main Street, and right at the entrance to the industrial park. He added that the requested site would also provide a focal point for the area and would be a much better location.

Davis offered, “We are looking at a three million dollar building that will be a huge investment done with private funds. But it will be a public building. It will represent all of us and everyone in the county will benefit from this.”

He added, “So we would like for you to consider this before we start doing test borings and that type of things.”

County Administrator Rebecca Carter explained that the requested site would be the corner lot across from Bullock Brothers.

Subsequently, Supervisor Bill Talbert moved and the board concurred to schedule a public hearing for the July 8 meeting to hear comments on changing the site for the library to the adjacent lot in the industrial park.


Providing a residency update, VDOT's Scott Shippee, assistant administrator, reported that crews have been focusing on mowing as well as clean up from the severe weather. He said the first round of mowing along primary roads has been completed and crews are working on paved secondary roads.

He reported that over the next couple of months contractors will be in the area doing surface treatment of secondary roads in keeping with the maintenance schedule.

According to Shippee the work will include plant-mix overlay on Route 636 from Route 15 at Sheppards to a point just west of Route 609. He added that on Route 700, Woodyard Road, Pearson Construction plans to begin that work around the first of July. Shippee said VDOT crews would be coordinating with Pearson to complete the rural rustic surface treatment on the remainder of the road in conjunction with the intersection project.

Referencing the board's request last month for signage in the area of the Buckingham Community Park located on Main Street adjacent the industrial park, Shippee said a traffic study request was submitted to VDOT's traffic engineering department in Lynchburg.

Shippee also advised that supervisors needed to schedule a public hearing for this year's secondary road six-year plan.

“There were some additional unpaved road funds available for allocation this year for roadways exceeding a volume of 200 vehicles per day,” stated Shippee. “The only roadway in the county to meet the criteria is Route 720, which is Georgia Creek Road on the north part of the county. So that is the only addition that I am aware of to this year's plan.”

Supervisors responded by scheduling a public hearing on the six-year plan for their July 8 meeting at 7:15 p.m.

Shippee added that they should schedule a workshop this winter to discuss funding allocations and how best to select roads to apply those funds for future projects.

After Shippee's report, Supervisor John Staton thanked VDOT for the safety work on Route 658 and 659.

Talbert added his appreciation for VDOT's efforts at Route 15 and 636. “The signs have really helped,” he offered, “especially the sign and the lines at Sheppards.”

Supervisor Donnie Bryan shared his concern about a location on Route 650 where water tends to stand on the road.


Zoning Administrator and Planner Rebecca Cobb introduced a special use permit request for National Communications Towers, Inc. to locate a 195-foot monopole tower on land owned by Herbert and Nancy Maxey located off Route 631, Troublesome Creek Road.

Cobb, noting that the planning commission held a public hearing on the SUP in May, said an adjacent landowner, expressing concern about the possibility of the tower failing or falling onto his property, requested the location be moved. She added that a letter was received from an individual opposing towers for health-related reasons.

Cobb shared that the commission recommends approval but did add a condition in response to the adjacent landowner's concerns. That condition stipulates, “The tower shall be constructed to fall within the lease area upon failure. Upon seeking a building permit, the applicant must certify and provide construction plans showing the break point technology.”

Subsequently, the board, concurring with Cobb's request to schedule a public hearing, set the hearing for its July 8 meeting.

Near the end of the meeting, Supervisor Talbert shared that he told one communications' representative that he would not support any more towers unless they were placed in rural areas of the county where residents would benefit from the coverage.

Piedmont Area Transit

Following a report from Assistant County Administrator Karl Carter, regarding the six-month trial bus route from Arvonia to Farmville by Piedmont Area Transit, the board, with a motion by Supervisor Bryan, voted to discontinue the service.

Carter said a representative with PAT reported a lower than anticipated ridership. “Based on our conversation, she said the numbers are as low as five riders a month,” he stated.

School Budget Update

Supervisors approved the finalized version of the FY14 school budget. The assistant county administrator explained that the final numbers show a total school budget of $22,601,586 with a local appropriation of $6,047,678,

He added that the final numbers reflect a small increase in the ADM, average daily membership, from 1,975 to 1,978.93; and represent an increase in state and federal funds of $78,696.

General Properties Maintenance Options

Reminding the board that with the transfer of Gold Hill School to the county the maintenance staff now has an additional property to mow, the county administrator explained that the county also has the responsibility of maintaining the grounds at Dillwyn Primary while the department of social services is utilizing the building. However, she noted that the DSS should be moving back to the administration complex by mid-July when work on the old administration building is completed.

With the additional properties, Carter said they do not have enough equipment or work force to handle the sites.

She recommended that the county purchase a new mower; and utilize inmates from Piedmont Regional Jail to assist with the seasonal work of mowing and trimming.

Noting that the county's lawnmower is about seven years old, Carter provided supervisors with three bids for a new one.

The bids included (1) $4,700 from Southworth Auto and Paving Equipment for Model MzT61-61″ deck, 30 hp mower with a three year engine warranty and two year transmission warranty; (2) $5,349 from Dillwyn Power Service for the same model with a similar warranty, and (3) $6,740 from Scottsville Power Equipment for a Snapper Pro 28 hp Briggs and Stratton, 61″ deck mower.

Supervisor Talbert, sharing that he liked to support local businesses, said he felt they would be justified in going with Dillwyn Power Service rather than Southworth, which is in Cumberland, because of the expense in transporting the mower for repair work.

Subsequently, Talbert moved to award the bid from Dillwyn Power Service. With a second by Stish, the board unanimously agreed.

Firefighters Incentives

Last month, supervisors asked the county attorney to research whether the board could make cash payments to volunteer firefighters when they receive certifications relating to firefighting training.

E. M. Wright explained that he could find no reference in the Code of Virginia that would allow the board to make payments directly to individuals.

However, he said a locality may make gifts and donations of property, real or personal, or money to voluntary firefighting organizations.

The attorney, pointing out that the county currently makes lawful appropriations to its volunteer fire departments, explained that the county could request that part of the appropriation be used for the purpose the county desires.

He emphasized that although the county could request that the departments apply the money in certain ways, it could not direct or restrict them to do so.

Later in the meeting, Supervisor Cassandra Stish, who introduced the idea of providing the monetary incentives for training, said she met with the fire training committee.

“We agreed while the idea was a good and noble one that perhaps it was not the best way to support the training center at this time,” shared Stish. She added that she wanted to explore other options and work with “the folks in Richmond” regarding the training requirements.

Administrator's Report

The county administrator updated supervisors on their directive for the development of an incentive package to enhance consideration of economic development projects for the county.

Carter, drawing from the Virginia Department of Economic Development's Guidebook for Elected Officials, shared that incentive discussions should come only after many other issues have been settled. She added, “Incentives are not used to buy a project but instead to tip the scales once basic consideration has been met.”

She provided information from the state regarding factors of importance for attracting economic development projects and the need to establish an incentive philosophy that is supported by the public as well as government entities and the private sector.

Advising that she is working closely with the Virginia Department of Economic Development to formulate the incentive policy, procedures and practices, Carter said doing so would enable her to more effectively market the county and be more effectual when meeting with a prospective client. She said she should be able to bring the proposed documents to the board very soon.

During her report, Carter said one of the issues that came up during the discussions involved the county's contract with East Coast Transport, Inc. for the availability of up to 700,000 gallons of water per day from the James River. She said the county was advised to have a plan in place for withdrawing the water.

In turn, she asked for the board's permission to work with East Coast Transport to ensure such a plan is in place. Supervisors responded by authorizing Carter to work with the water company regarding issues and provisions involving water availability and usage.

Continuing with her report, Carter said they had their first round of meetings with Robinson, Farmer, and Cox for updating the financial forecast.

She explained the process involves looking at revenues and expenditures in context with the goals set forth by the board. Carter said she would bring the various scenarios back to the board. She added, “This will show us what we can afford to do with the money we have and what we will have to do to afford other things.”

Carter announced that Carolyn Amos, solid waster supervisor, would be retiring due to health-related issues

Supervisor Staton responded that he would like the board to recognize Amos for her many years of service to the county. In turn, the board unanimously agreed to do so.

Concerns Noted

During the announcement segment, Supervisor Talbert, District 3, Curdsville and New Store Precincts, addressing his constituents about their concerns regarding Buckingham's mutual agreement with Prince Edward County for rescue squad coverage, said an officer with the Buckingham County Volunteer Rescue Squad told him the service is the same as it has always been.

Talbert added, “There is something that they have to work-out and he didn't say what but the meeting will be on the June 25.”

Subsequently, he asked Carter to place BVRS representative Sonny Gray on the agenda for the July 8 meeting. “He said he would come and speak to the board to explain what this is all about,” stated Talbert.

In Other Board Action

Supervisors approved a request from Treasurer Christy Christian to carry over $10,000 in funds to be used for computers, printers and training through the Treasurers Association of Virginia.

The board appointed Linda Paige to a four-year term on the social services board. She will be replacing Betty Toney, who is completing her second four-year term and is ineligible for reappointment.

In his memo to the county administrator, Braxton Apperson, Director of Buckingham County Department of Social Services, described Toney as a “good and faithful board member.” He added that she chaired the board for the past six years.

Supervisors also reappointed Joyce Wilson to the Piedmont Senior Resources Board.

The board concurred with a recommendation from the county administrator authorizing her to send a letter of interest to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development indicating the county would like to obtain community development grant assistance for a telecommunications-planning grant.

Supervisors concurred with a request from members of the fire training facility committee to relocate the flagpole at Gold Hill School to the fire training facility. The committee agreed to be responsible for excavating and transporting the flagpole to the facility at no cost to the county.

Responding to a request from the Yogaville Community Association, Supervisor Stish recommended the board work with VDOT to assist Yogaville in obtaining signage for Route 604, on the Woodland Church side, alerting drivers to be cautious because of children at play in that area. The board followed with a unanimous vote supporting the request.

On behalf of the board of supervisors and the county administration staff, County Administrator Carter presented a plaque to this retiring reporter expressing their appreciation for serving “as journalist reporting our county news while highlighting the county's history, people and sense of community.”