Thursday, May 5, 2016
May Board of Supervisors' meeting highlights
Goochland’s Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday, May 3 to attend to routine business, going into closed session in the afternoon to discuss an economic development matter.
The Board adjourned at the end of the evening until May 4 for another closed session to be held at the Kinloch Golf Club for the purpose of discussion, interviewing, and consideration of candidates for the position of county administrator. Finding the right person to be Goochland’s chief administrative officer is a momentous task. The positive benefits of having a county administrator who is part of and engaged with the community cannot be overstated; the board is wise to take its time.
Speaking of engaged with the community, Wayne Dementi, who has his finger in many worthwhile pies in the county, presented an update on the Courthouse Green project. The Goochland Historical Society is partnering with the county to renovate the old stone jail; create a visitor’s center and interpretive trail on the venerable lawn in front of our historic courthouse. The estimated cost of the project is $400,000, 87 percent of which has been raised to date by a capital campaign orchestrated by the GHS.
The County agreed to chip in $100,000. The GHS is selling two sizes of commemorative bricks. Go to Goochlandhistory.org and click on Courthouse Green project for additional information. Dementi said that a ribbon cutting for the restored jail is anticipated on September 11, Patriot’s Day.
The intrepid Jonathan Lyle, who in addition to being a Director of the Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District, is a Director for Virginia Highway Media. He announced that May 16 is the start of National Travel and Tourism Week. Goochland, said Lyle, offers opportunities including soccer at West Creek; breweries; agritourism; and wineries to attract visitors. Every dollar spent on tourism-related promotion, generates five dollars in revenues for localities and generates jobs. Visitors enjoy what a place has to offer, spend their money and educate their children and grow old elsewhere. Whatever you want to do on vacation, Lyle contended, you can do in Virginia.
The awards keep piling up.
Once again, the county received the Government Finance Officers Association award for the Certified Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for FY 2015. This is the third consecutive year that the county earned this recognition. According to John Wack, Deputy County Administrator for Finance, this was truly a team effort thanks to the hard work of Myrtis Quarles and Barbara Horlacher of the Finance Department and Debbie White Director of Finance for Goochland Schools. This report is available on the county website.
Tucker Park at Maidens Crossing received a Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for its efforts in improving access to the James River and establishment of an outdoor classroom. The classroom was funded entirely by grants from Dominion Resources and the CarMax Cares Foundation. Volunteers, staff, and members of the Friends of Goochland Parks collaborated to make these improvements possible.
The Board authorized advertisement for public hearings to be held at its June 7 meeting. One will address the addition of two parcels of land north of Board Street Road and east of Rt. 288 to the Tuckahoe Creek Service District. The value of this property is approximately $1.5 million. The other hearing will correct what Interim County Administrator Norman Sales described as a “software glitch” that inadvertently omitted the adoption of commercial water rates during last month’s budget adoption. These rates, which become effective July 1, are reflected in the adopted budget.
Environmental Planner Leigh Dunn presented an update on the Centerville streetscape plan. Last year, the supervisors appropriated $100,000 in the capital improvement plan for improvements to the Broad Street Road corridor with the goal of harmonizing development and providing an identity that sets the Centerville Village apart from Short Pump. Retained by the county last year, the landscape architecture firm of LDPA from Charlottesville prepared some streetscape options. Following two meetings with stakeholders, the plan was refined to include cobblestone “nose” accents for the medians; landscaped signage reflecting community rather than “big box” scale, and improvements at the St. Mathews Lane/Hockett Road intersection. Installation of these elements would use up the remainder of the allocated funds and is expected to be completed in the fall.
Paul Drumwright discussed legislative activity in the 2016 session of the Virginia General Assembly.
A request that the state fund an independent study of the effects of long term land application of biosolids and industrial residuals will be initially addressed by a JLARC study over two-year period. Lee Ware, 65th District delegate, who represents western Goochland worked closely with the county on this and co-sponsored the successful bill HJ120.
Measures to increase oversight of application; buffers; nutrient management plans; and mandated disclosure of application went nowhere.
A bit more money was made available to assist private sector construction of broadband infrastructure in areas presently unserved.
Once again efforts to reimburse localities for the expense of partisan primaries and the expenses of the general registrar and electoral board died aborning.
Efforts to add drive in theaters to the list of acceptable sites for tourist oriented directional signs is ongoing. The Goochland Drive In, one of the county’s unique establishments, would benefit from this.
Last fall, the county supported the elimination or significant restructuring of the Certificate of Public Need (COPN) process, which determines the size and location of certain medical facilities. Several bills addressing the matter in both chambers of the General Assembly were continued to the 2017 session.
Perhaps the legislation of most immediate concern to the supervisors was SB549, which was signed into law by the governor. It hobbles the ability of localities to use proffers to mitigate the impact of land rezoning. This applies to rezoning applications filed after July 1, 2016. Staff is evaluating how this will change existing policies.
Goochland has had a cash proffer policy in place for some time. Revenues generated from this policy has been used to complete modest capital improvements in lieu of incurring additional debt.