County meal tax approved

Published 1:11 pm Friday, May 13, 2022

The Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors met for their monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 10, and held six public hearings.

One public hearing was held for a county ordinance to enact and levy a county food and beverage tax at a rate of 6%, which would only be collected outside of the corporate limits of the Town of Farmville and which proceeds would be earmarked to help pay for anticipated school capital improvements.

During the fiscal year 2020 to 2021 budget process, the Board asked staff to look at alternative funding sources. Since that time, the County has instituted the transient occupancy tax at 7% and is in discussions on a regional cigarette tax.

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“As you know, Delegate Edmunds carried a bill in the 2022 General Assembly session to have Prince Edward County added to the list of qualified localities under Chapter §58.1-602 that would have allowed us to collect up to 1% in additional sales tax revenue for the construction or renovation of schools within the locality,” said County Administrator Doug Stanley. “We will ask him to please try again next year.”

Three individuals spoke in support of this tax, Ben Campbell of the Farmville District, Justin Pope of the Farmville District and Dr. Chapman Hood Frazier from the Locket District. All three see this as a step in the right direction and what needs to be done to bring needed funding to the schools for repairs and overall maintenance.

This tax will be collected outside the Town limits mostly generated from prepared food at various mom and pop convenience stores around the County. Based on the per capita collection amount, the county anticipates collecting $300,000 to $600,000 per year which will help pay for anticipated school capital projects in the coming years.

The Board approved the request to establish a county food and beverage tax and the effective date will be Oct. 1.

In other business:

• The Board recognized Deputy James Taylor as the first Employee of the Month. He works at the courthouse screening for COVID-19 and regulating those who came inside with a smile.

• Farmville Town Manager, Dr. Scott Davis gave an update on the town. The Fourth of July fireworks have changed. They will now be from 6 to 10 p.m. on July 2 in Downtown Farmville off the roof of the Town Hall building. The Heart of Virginia Festival will be Sept. 17.

• The Board voted to approve a resolution for VDOT Division Resident Engineer Scott Frederick to send a letter up the chain for speed reduction at the 460/307 Intersection.

• A public hearing was held for VDOT’s six-year plan for fiscal years 2023 to 2028. The Board unanimously approved the plan with the amendment of Rice Creek Road being fixed before Lowman Road.

• There was a second public hearing on the subdivision ordinance. This will allow agricultural/forestal exception of five acres that will not have to be perked for possible drainage use.

• A third public hearing was held for Israel Yoder for a Special Use Permit to operate a sawmill facility on Tax Map Parcel # 086-A-1 on County Line Road, in Cullen. Tom Grant of County Line Road in opposition as a sawmill would not be best suited in the residential area. The permit was unanimously approved with conditions previously set by the planning commission.

• Another public hearing was held for a request by Impact Power Solutions LLC, for a Special Use Permit to operate a 5 MWac community solar energy facility on Tax Map Parcel # 043-A-36, on Llama Road in Pamplin. George Welch of the Buffalo District in opposition to the solar farm as it would be across from his property. The solar farm was approved unanimously with conditions previously set from the planning commission.

• The last public hearing was held for comprehensive amendments to the County’s Public Dancehall Ordinance, to include: moving the permit authority from the Board to the County Administrator; expanding the information that is required from the applicant; increasing the permit fee to cover the costs to the county for staff time and inspections. No one signed up to speak. The amendment passed unanimously including the new 1 a.m. closing time changed from 2 a.m.

• The Board approved to advertise the vacancy of a citizen volunteer position. They also voted to reappoint Jerry Townsned for the Board of Supervisor’s position on the Virginia’s Heartland Regional Industrial Facility Authority.

• The Board voted to approve the $2,500 cash match request required for the GO Virginia Grant for the Commonwealth Regional Council Regional Economic Development Organization Business Plan.

• The Board of Supervisors approved the fiscal year 2021 to 2022 Locality Agreement between Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors and the Virginia Department of Health for funding and services of the Prince Edward County Health Department as proposed. The proposed agreement reflects a budget of $194,873.00 in local matching funds and an additional $12,113.00 in local funds from the past fiscal year.

• The Board approved the appropriation of a payment from VACORP in the amount of $6,541.97 and Virginia Farm Bureau in the amount of $8,446.62  to the Sheriff’s Department for vehicle repairs.

• The Board approved three requests from Prince Edward County Public Schools requesting an appropriation in the amount of $188,833.18 to the school operating budget. This total is a combination of federal, state and CARES Act ESSA grant funds. There is no local match for these appropriations.

• The Board of Supervisors authorized a public hearing for it’s June 2022 meeting prior to acting on the appropriations for the school’s CARES ACT budget.