Thursday, October 3, 2013

No shut down here

As the national news reported details of the federal government shut down, Goochland County’s Board of Supervisors held its regular monthly meeting on October first conducting business as usual.
The afternoon agenda was routine.

Following the annual employee recognition luncheon to honor staff with service anniversaries in five year multiples, the supervisors took a few minutes to present them with plaques. According to county administrator Rebecca Dickson, the honorees represent about 300 collective years of service and associated institutional knowledge.

Up next was recognition of the 265th anniversary of Byrd Presbyterian Church. Located on Dogtown Road, Byrd has provided spiritual sustenance to its congregants in addition to service and compassion for the community that continues to this day with its home repair, feeding the homeless and Habitat for Humanity outreach.

 Board chair Ken Peterson, District 5 (center) reads a letter recognizing Byrd   Presbyterian Church to members Lee Turner (left) and Knight Bowles.

Mike Cade Ashland Residency Administrator for VDOT—the state agency whose motto is Oops!—reported on maintenance completed and underway. Widening of I 64 from Short Pump to west of the Manakin-Rockville exit will begin soon.

Representatives from Dominion Virginia Power presented details of electric utility’s emergency preparedness and response strategy. This is available in Part A of the October 1 board packet, which can be found on the supervisors’ tab on the county website Even though it may seem like the power company is indifferent to power outages, it makes no money unless the wheels on your meter are spinning.

The board voted unanimously to opt out of the Virginia Retirement System disability plan in favor of seeking the same level of coverage for county employees at more competitive prices.

Dickson was given authorization to execute a memorandum of understanding among Goochland, Powhatan and the Virginia Department of Corrections for a water allocation sharing plan. This will provide Courthouse Village and Powhatan, as well as DOC facilities in both counties, with enough water to meet expected demand in the coming years.

People who live near the James River in western Goochland should take note of this development, as it replaces the dreadful concrete water intake bunker that Powhatan was planning to build that would have defaced the wild view shed of the James River. The late John Lewis, who worked hard to protect the James River and strenuously objected to the Powhatan plan, must be pleased with this outcome.

Thanks to regional cooperation, all parties involved will obtain water to encourage economic development while protecting a precious resource.

The board adopted it annual legislative agenda for transmittal to the county’s delegation in the Virginia General Assembly. The county is represented by Delegates Lee Ware, 65th District; Peter Farrell, 56th District and 22nd District State Senator Tom Garrett. (Details of the September meeting between Goochland officials and the delegation where these items were discussed are in an earlier GOMM post.)
Paul Springman was appointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

A Rural Economic Development Committee was created to identify opportunities to facilitate and promote enterprises in rural enhancement areas that reflect the county’s overall business plan.
Like the group that investigated the broadband issue, this committee will be temporary in nature and is expected to disband around the middle of 2014 after making a report to the board. It is comprised of supervisors, county staff, and those currently engaged in facets of operating ventures that focus on the agrarian and recreational aspects of Goochland.

The last item on the afternoon agenda was a closed session for the purpose of discussing the performance and duties of the County Administrator and County Attorney. The proper motions were made and voted upon before entering closed session and at its end, which occurred just before the start of the evening session at 7 p.m.

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