Greene County Field Officer
Motion to Appoint Christian Herring to the Parks and Recreation Board – Approved
SUP #08-006 Request from Robert Akers/Stacy and Christina Roach for a Special Use Permit for a Church on 3.53 acre tract – Approved
Contract for the Park Road – Awarded to E.C. Pace Co. Inc.
In its last meeting of 2008, the Greene County Board of Supervisors moved quickly through its relatively short agenda. First, the Board considered a motion made by C. Schmitt to appoint Christian Herring as the youth representative to the Parks and Recreation Board. The motion was approved by a unanimous vote.
In the only Public Hearing of the evening the Board of Supervisors approved a church on a lot located behind the Rescue Squad building on Business 33. A building permit had been issued to permit the construction of a 792 sq. ft. metal building to be used as a shed. Since its construct a small group of worshipers began holding services in the building. The congregation sought the special use permit to bring themselves in compliance with local zoning rules.
Staff reported that the church is located in an area designated for office or industrial use. The Comprehensive Plan does not address churches. However, both staff and the Planning Commission recommended approval with conditions. Applicant made a few brief comments. There were no comments from the public.
C. Schmitt moved to approve the special use permit with the following conditions: 1) building and zoning codes shall be met 2) applicant shall apply for a change of use permit designating the building as a church rather than a shed 3) a site plan shall be submitted and approved for the application 4) the capacity of the building shall be determined by the square footage of the building 5) the applicant shall provide for sanitation as stated by the Building Official 6) this special use permit is valid for four years. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.
J. Howard, Director of Social Services, Bishop Jackson and Karen Wood provided the Board with an overview of the Impact Mentoring Program. The program aims to serve children age 10-17 and to enable to the children to reach their full potential. The program is currently recruiting mentors from the community.
The Board awarded the contract for the Community Park Road. S. Catalano noted that the road is entirely grant funded and no matching funds were required from the county. The low bidder for the project was E. C. Pace Company for the amount of $150,276.00. J. Allen moved to award the contract to E. C. Pace Company. C. Schmitt provided a second to the motion. It was passed by a unanimous vote.
In matters from the public, one citizen addressed the Board regarding concerns over a water impoundment and an article he had read somewhere. He was concerned about quotes from these articles and whether or not they were true. He demanded that S. Catalano and other Board members comment on their truthfulness. However, it was never clear what the quotes were about or what news article he was referring to. S. Catalano said he was not going to try to answer such questions. C. Schmitt followed that they did not have the news article he was referring to and therefore could not be expected to adequately respond.
P. Morris addressed the Board regarding the increase in Real Estate Assessments for 2009. She requested that the Board lower next year’s tax rate to keep the amount of taxes paid by citizens equal. She also requested that relief for seniors be adopted that would exempt them from property tax. She asked about the percentage of taxes being collected this year compared to previous years.
S. Catalano responded that they did not have all the numbers for this year since; the taxes were due on the 5th of December. However, the responsibility for collection lies with the County Treasurer which is a Constitutional Officer. He thanked P. Morris for acknowledging that the Board of Supervisors has no power over the value of the assessments unlike what was previously stated in a letter to the editor. The County will continue to make cuts wherever possible, however; given the continued cuts from the State is going to be another tough budget year.
In Matters from the Board, B. Peyton discussed the new assessments that will be used to calculate 2009. First, he noted that State guidelines required assessments to be 100% of fair market value. As of March 31, 2008 the ratio between assessments in Greene County and sale price of homes was 78.6 %. The new assessments are intended to bring the County to 100%. He also reported that assessments county-wide increased approximately 21%. Given the projected increase in revenue of an additional $2.29 million in tax revenue for 2009, B. Peyton would like to see the tax rate reduced once all budget obligations are met.
B. Peyton also reported on the meeting with VDOT. VDOT plans to reduce its workforce by 30%. There are currently about 1000 job vacancies within VDOT that will remain unfilled.
C. Schmitt reported that the energy efficiency audit had begun. Three firms would be provided reports by January 9, 2008.
J. Allen reported that the RSA Board rate increases had been approved. They are 10% the first year and 5% for the three following years. She also reported on the last planning commission meeting.