First meeting of the year held

Published 10:32 am Friday, January 14, 2022

Cumberland County Board of Supervisors started the new year by taking care of old and new business in their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

During the meeting, Lisa Davis at the library announced that they are distributing at-home rapid response test kits for COVID-19 at the Cumberland County Public Library.

Due to the Virginia Department of Health being low on tests because of the rise in the Omnicron variant, these tests can help citizens who need one. Due to the limited number, the library will limit the amount given to each person to ensure there is enough for everyone. Tests are limited to one per person and will only give out 54 tests a day.

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“We’re trying to make sure that the people who are getting sick will be able to have access,” said Davis. “We’re trying to do a service but still keep people from doing things they shouldn’t be doing.”

These tests are to be used within two weeks of receiving. Therefore, these are to be used for needed testing and not hoarding. According to Davis, as long as the VHD has tests, the library will continue to distribute so if citizens only take when they are needed there will be plenty to go around.

These tests must be taken with an online proctor. Those who take a test must have a device that can connect to the internet and has a front-facing camera, speaker and microphone so that a professional can make sure the test is taken accurately. The test cannot be taken in the library, but there is free Wi-Fi in the parking lot for those who need it.

Folks can stop by the library during regular business hours as the library is doing its best to limit closings and restrictions as long as they can with the newest variant.

The Board also discussed:

• As part of the beginning of the year business, the Board voted Brian Stanley for chair and Eurika Tyree for vice-chair for 2022. The Board also approved the bylaws, Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, committee appointments, goals and priorities and the 2022 proposed meeting schedule.

• A public hearing was held for a permit fee increase, as requested by Casey Littlefield, acting building manager, in the December meeting. He gave a presentation showing that in 2021, permit fees collected were $53,597.72 compared to the operating budget of $166,000. Agreeing that this increase is overdue, the Board approved the raise in permit fees that will keep Cumberland in the middle range for the area instead of the cheapest.

• Virginia Department of Transportation gave an update after the two storm events that came through. According to Steven Snell, all roads are cleared, but debris clean-up will be a process for the next two weeks or so. He assured that the trees still on the side of the road that were cut down by VDOT will be taken care of soon. Citizens are encouraged not to stop on the road to take the wood for themselves as it creates a traffic hazard.

• Fire and EMS Chief, Tom Perry, gave an update after the recent snowstorm. He reminded citizens that another snowstorm is expected this weekend to prepare and be careful with space heaters as they can create a fire hazard. He also gave a reminder that the hospitals are once again experiencing long wait times due to a rise in COVID-19 patients and being short on staff.

• The Board approved $99,763 to Cumberland County Schools for 2021-2022 Advance Computer Science Education.

• The Board approved a supplemental appropriation of $1,800 to cover fees charged by Merchants Bank for payments made by citizens using credit cards. These charges are usually passed along to citizens, but last year the charges were offset by CARES funds. Due to the county receiving miscellaneous revenue for the fiscal year of 2022 of $1,800 the funds will offset the expenditure instead of passing it back to the citizens.