Having passed the county budget, and set the tax rates last month, the Goochland County Board of Supervisors held a normal monthly meeting on May 6.
Commendations go to the Treasurer’s Office for getting the tax bills out so quickly. They are due June 5.
Board chair Manuel Alvarez, Jr. District 2 announced that the meeting agendas and informational packets were prepared using new software. This will enable online search of past meeting documentation by subject. Alvarez commended IT Director Qiana Foote, Janet Newby, Sara Worley, and “super user” Lisa Beczkiewcz, who prepares the monthly packets, for their hard work on the changes.
County Administrator Rebecca Dickson explained that the new software expedites the workflow of this process, which consumed a great deal of time in the past. The new version packet is much easier to navigate electronically than the old. (See for yourself at www.co.goochland.va.us under “Board of Supervisors” on the top left of the home page.)
Sally Graham, Executive Director of the Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services and Terry Lyn Smith, who oversees the food bank there, reported that over 15,000 pounds of food was donated by the community. Of that, 410 pounds were collected from the administration building alone. Goochlanders are a giving lot!
The Board passed a resolution recognizing May 2014 as Older Citizens Month.
Dan Schardein, Deputy County Administrator for Community Development, said that the Comprehensive Land Use Plan update will be targeted on specific areas where conditions have changed since the 2009 update. He expects that to be ready for Board action around the conclusion of FY 2015, about a year from now, following citizen meetings on the topic.
For those following what seems to have become the “As the Warehouse Turns” Centerville soap opera, a forklift suspending a beam at the approximate height of the proposed structure was deployed on Three Chopt Road, north of Broad Street Road, a hair east of Rt. 288 in the approximate location of the proposed self-store warehouse there. While this illustrates the height of the proposed building, it provides no reference for its nearly 60,000 square foot volume.
The next meeting of the Centerville area arterial management plan steering group, will be held May 21. It would be nice if all VDOT attendees for those sessions arrive via a route that forces them to make a left turn at the intersection of Hockett and Broad, so they can experience that death defying experience first-hand.
Speaking of VDOT—the state agency whose motto is “oops”—the supervisors approved the county’s six year secondary road plan. This is a cumbersome and bizarre mechanism to prioritize—and theoretically fund—transportation projects. All too often, by the time a project works its way to the top of the priority list its price tag has ballooned beyond available funds. Goochland is allocated $477,269 to address all road issues for the next six years. For details, see the SSYP presentation in the meeting packet.
The supervisors decided to remove a planned sidewalk between the high school and administration building from the SSYP because costs had skyrocketed, and construction would not start for at least another year. Instead, staff will seek a faster, simpler, more cost effective alternative funded by the county. District 3 Supervisor Ned Creasey observed that the VDOT estimate for the sidewalk seemed excessive, but said that a sidewalk is needed there.
About $350,000 of VDOT money in the SSYP earmarked for the sidewalk--whose cost estimates had ballooned to as much as $580,000--was reallocated proportionally to studies of the Blair Road/Route 6 interchange, and the extension of Fairground Road to Route 6 west of Sandy Hook Road.
Alvarez pointed out that the sidewalk is perfect for an alternative transportation funded by the Metropolitan Planning Organization. However, most of Goochland is considered too rural for inclusion in the MPO, so the sidewalk is not eligible.
The realignment of Hockett Road, under county oversight, is on track for engineering in the near future and actual completion next year. This project, as is the pave in place for Ange Road, which will begin after July 1, is fully funded.
After nearly a year’s effort, a draft of the county’s strategic plan will soon be available for citizen comment. Back to back meetings on June 25 and 26 will solicit additional community input. The plan draft will be on the county website for those unable to attend sessions in person. The supervisors encourage everyone to read the plan and offer comments and suggestions.
Ken Peterson, District 5, vowed that the strategic plan is just the beginning of county government’s pledge to serve its citizens, and will not “go into the bottom drawer.” He said that the strategic plan should be used to determine return on investment as the supervisors work through the budget process each year to encourage high return decisions.
Dickson said that the supervisors’ agenda in the future will reflect how each item supports a goal and that the strategic plan is never really done.
Board Vice Chair Susan Lascolette, District 1, said that the strategic plan is all about the citizens and that she would like to see some sort of annual report card, and contended that feedback from people served by county government is an important part of the process.
The Supervisors began their evening deliberations by passing a proclamation honoring Maidens resident Kate Sarfaty for her profound community service on the occasion of her induction into the Department of Parks and Recreation Wall of Fame. Sarfaty is, or has been, involved in many local charitable and non-profit organizations.
In addition to having been a Christmas Mother, Sarfaty, who is currently president of Goochland CASA (Court appointed special advocates for children,) has served as a board member for the Elizabeth Kates Foundation; Center for Rural Culture; and volunteered her time and talents with Meals on Wheels, the Goochland YMCA, the Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services, and Master Gardeners.
The Board unanimously authorized the county administrator to execute a lease with the Goochland Historical Society to use the Old Stone Jail on the Courthouse Green for historical tours, interpretations and exhibits.