Cumberland departments lay out road construction, merger plans

Published 1:01 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

In December, Cumberland County departments made several changes, from preparing for road construction to continuing a merger of sorts. They all gave a report to the Cumberland supervisors in the final meeting of the year. 

Chief Andy Aigner reported that Cumberland Fire and EMS obtained a quick response vehicle. They took their Jeep and have a trained volunteer and have it licensed to respond. It’s stationed at the end of the county that doesn’t have an ambulance. This is an added bonus to help reduce response times, especially at night when more calls come in. 

“It can do the same thing an ambulance can do… it just can’t transport,” said Aigner. “It can get there, start care and do all the things the ambulance will be able to do until it gets there to be able to transport.”

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During the chief’s meetings this year they have completed the first two chapters of the standards of procedure and are still working on chapter three which is 157 pages. The first six sections are complete and create common terminology. 

They are also transporting 10% more people. They are receiving fewer calls as they have partnered with Social Services to help some of the frequent callers get better resources for their needs. Now that the needs of these frequent callers are being better addressed by other resources, more of the calls coming in need emergency assistance creating that 10% increase. 

Cumberland library prepares to merge

Glenn Mozingo, chair of the library board of trustees, gave his last report for the Cumberland County Library. At the start of the new year, the library will officially be a part of the Central Virginia Regional Library.

This past month was full of last minute preparations before the official merger. Time was spent merging information, preparing IT equipment, updating other equipment and various other changes. 

“Our patrons will see familiar faces, but as we’ve discussed throughout the course of this year, there will be a vast improvement in resources,” said Mozingo.

Mozingo thanked the board, county administrator and other staff members for their support these past 10 months through this transition. 

Cumberland schools celebrate the Christmas season

Cumberland Superintendent Dr. Chip Jones reported that the students were in the Christmas spirit this year with some notable accomplishments. The Cumberland Middle School TAG (Talented and Gifted) students placed first in their light display at Lights on the Lake at Bear Creek State Park. The schools also adopted over 60 Angel Trees for Cumberland County Christmas Mother. The chorus participated in the Cumberland County tree lighting and the band participated in the Farmville Christmas parade and the Downtown Farmville tree lighting. 

The band department held its winter concert for 2023 earlier in December. The chorus, jazz ensemble, fifth-grade band, middle school band and high school band all performed. 

“It was standing room only,” said Jones. “It’s probably the biggest performance I’ve seen in the Cumberland cafetorium.”   

For the Betty Scales Day of Service, students and staff collected canned food, helped with a pajama drive, did numerous service projects, collected food for the animal shelter and made cards for those in nursing homes. 

A look at road construction

Brian Locker from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) gave an update on what residents can expect to see in the coming year. 

Route 701 is scheduled to get worked on this fiscal year, meaning before the end of June. This is one of the projects on the list for work. 

Cumberland will be able to receive funding through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). This is a funding source localities have to tap into for improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists. Once the county spends the money VDOT will reimburse them. One of the criteria is to use the money within four years. 

“There’s a pre-application where the department evaluates to determine if the locality meets the criteria for the second phase of the funding application,” said Locker.  “Then the next step is the full application.”

The county is taking an extra step as Derek Stamey and other administrative staff are currently working with VDOT to get assistance with the application program. The county put in an application for sidewalk improvements along Route 60 by the courthouse. Project selections will be announced in the spring.