Friday, May 8, 2015

Cinco de Mayo

A meeting of the Goochland County audit committee, which includes members of: county staff; the Board of Supervisors; School Division Staff; the School Board; and Treasurer’s Office was held before the May 5 supervisors’ meeting.

In addition to recommending extension of the contract for the annual audit to the firm of PBMares, the committee discussed credit card reporting policies.

Five firms submitted bids to handle the annual auditing chore, which has been performed by PBMares for the past three years. According to Deputy County Administrator for Finance John Wack, PBMares has the best skills for the task. The cost of the extension was also negotiated to remain at the 2014 price.

District 5 Supervisor Ken Peterson said renewal of the contract for one year with options for two additional years does not lock the county into a long term commitment, but provides the opportunity to look at the matter each year.

County Administrator Rebecca Dickson said that by the time PBMares might have been performing county audits for six years, it will be time to change firms. She recognized the need for fresh eyes on the county’s books. PBMares has the capacity to have different people working with the county in coming years to ensure “fresh eyes” handle the task.

The contract is included in the Board packet for May 5 found on the supervisors’ tab of the county website
The group then focused on the count policy regarding purchasing cards.

Board Chair Susan Lascolette District 1 asked for greater reporting detail about the use of county cards. Comptroller Barbara Horlacher said the cards make things more convenient for employees by facilitating small purchases. Employees who use the cards must prepare a detailed reconciliation every month, including receipts.

District 5 School Board member John Wright said that the schools require those detailed reconciliations to be part of public record. He said the details refuted allegations of misuse of funds and add another layer of transparency.

Lascolette requested that similar detail be available for county spending. Dickson said that the information is already collected and will be added to finance reports.

Highlights of the Afternoon session:

Lt. Black, after serving 35(dog years)in the K9 unit of the Goochland Sheriff’s Office was officially retired and sold to his partner and constant companion Sgt. Greg Bock for one dollar. Black, who will be succeeded as Goochland K9 officer by Chase, plans to spend time with the family and take it easy.

For the second consecutive year, Goochland County Administration has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the 2014 certified annual financial report (CAFR). According to Deputy County Administrator for Finance, John Wack, this award “represents the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental and financial reporting issued by this national organization.” He said that the award was the result of a true team effort and mentioned Myrtis Quarles, Barbara Horlacher, and Debbie White of the School Division for their fine work.

Mills Jones, Goochland Comprehensive Services Act Coordinator, was recognized as 2015 Outstanding Service Coordinator in the State. The ward was made by the Office of Comprehensive Services “to acknowledge and celebrate our unsung heroes for their countless efforts and commitment to serving troubled and at-risk youth in the Commonwealth.” Jones was nominated for the award by School Superintendent Dr. James Lane.

In his monthly report, Marshall Wynn, VDOT representative said that work on the River Road Bridge over Tuckahoe Creek is expected to begin on May 27. He was hopeful that work would be completed in about six months, finger crossed and weather permitting.

County ordinances under review include mixed use zoning; rewrite of the subdivision ordinance; elimination of the conditional use requirement for drive through restaurants; and conditional use requirement for to family dwelling. The planning commission held a public hearing on proposed mixed use ordinances on May 7 and recommended approval.

The Supervisors authorized Dickson to execute a contract with PBMares for the FY2015 audit. The proposed contract (included in the board packet) lists the cost for the County CAFR as $66,400 and the Goochland-Powhatan Community Services Board financial audit as $13,500.

Following expressions of concern by citizens during public comment period and discussion among the supervisors, the Board voted to postpone action on a proposed ordinance addressing road stands for uses on shared private roads in A-1 and A-2 zoning districts. As written, the proposed ordinance would require uses described as places of public assembly to have direct access to a state maintained road. It also has very broad grandfathering provisions to protect existing uses.

As an ordinance dealing with “places of public assembly” is in the works, the Board seemed to believe that both matters should be addressed together. The supervisors were wise to take their time on this issue. However, they also need to be careful to provide a fair and equitable standard going forward in a way that offers the maximum protection to all property owners. Goochland needs to move away from the “favors for friends” zoning of old, where “by right” uses were codified to lessen public scrutiny.

Evening Session:

A 20 year extension for a conditional use permit was granted to Glenn Nuckols for this towing business on Ashland Road.

Dorothy and Robert Rich were granted a rezoning to add an additional parcel to the Windy Run subdivision located off Rockford Road, just south of Interstate 64 and west of Manakin Road.

A rezoning of 127.94 acres on the south side of Fairground Road next to the Breeze Hill subdivision from Agricultural Limited (A-2) to rural preservation (RP) was granted to applicant Earl Thompson. He intends to build no more than 29 homes in a subdivision called “Lane’s End”.
Proffers include payment of the full cash proffer of $14,250 per residential lot; construction of left and right turn lanes onto Fairground Road; no trails or stables to be built on boundaries with Oakland and Parker’s Hill subdivisions; and supplemental plantings between Lane’s Edna and Parker’s Hill.

Although residents of Parker’s Hill requested a minimum square footage for the homes in Lane’s End, Steve Thompson, speaking on behalf of the applicant, contended that the size of the homes will be market driven and that a larger home does not necessarily mean a more expensive home. He expects the house prices in Lane’s End to start at $450,000. “If you are trying to meet a price point and have a minimum square footage requirement, you’re going to have to take things out and not necessary have a nicer house,” he said.

District 2 Supervisor Manuel Alvarez, Jr. concurred observing that the people moving to Goochland tend to be older and want nice, but not necessarily big, houses.

The enforcement policy for infractions of conditional use permits was approved.

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