By Pauline Hovey, Greene County Field Officer
Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) may soon occupy office space that has sat vacant atop the Greene County library for the past several years. Tuesday night (3/8) supervisors unanimously approved leasing the county property to PVCC for use as a satellite campus. Fried Companies, Inc., drew up the term sheet for the proposed lease and is working with PVCC to build out the space for the college. Ken Lawson, representing Fried Companies, said they expect once they build out the space to use it for the full 25-year lease.
“We have been wanting to do this for a number of years and are very excited about providing convenient educational opportunities for the residents of Greene County,” said PVCC President Frank Friedman, who attended the meeting.
photo credit PVCC
Supervisor Mike Skeens (Monroe district) welcomed the decision as it will assist the numerous William Monroe High School students taking PVCC courses. Compared with surrounding counties, Greene has one of the highest percentages of high school students taking dual enrollment courses at PVCC. Opening this campus will enable these students as well as adult residents enrolled at PVCC to remain in Greene and avoid traveling south of the City of Charlottesville where the main campus is located. Residents will also benefit from onsite distance learning, especially those now using dial-up Internet service.
The only resident speaking at the public hearing on the issue was Roy Dye, representing the Stanardsville Area Revitalization Project (STAR). “This gives us a real shot in the arm in terms of our efforts to revitalize the area,” Dye said. He anticipates the presence of college students along Main Street will encourage new business, including coffee shops and other such businesses students frequent.
PVCC will pay for maintenance related to the interior of the space while Greene County will handle the exterior of the building and the site. Particulars of the lease will be worked out at a future date in terms mutually agreeable to all parties.
The Board also unanimously approved moving the Stanardsville voting precinct location from the Fire House (on Celt Road) to the American Legion Hall on Route 230, mainly because of parking and pedestrian issues along Celt Road during large turnouts for elections. County code will be amended to reflect this change.
Region Ten representatives Steven Stern and Morgan Lanier gave a presentation of services the organization provides in Greene County and discussed possible effects of proposed legislation. Expecting challenges and reductions in funding, given the state’s fiscal situation and pending federal health care legislation, the gentlemen wanted to make the county aware of the significance of the services they currently provide, including services for mental health support, substance abuse and addiction, outpatient therapy, crisis intervention, and a wounded warrior program for veterans.
In other matters from the public, resident Patsy Morris asked the board to consider changing the combined income figures and percentages of real estate tax relief for the elderly and disabled. Those currently eligible for real estate tax relief must have a combined annual income of no more than $20,000.
The Board also approved the following nominations to the Economic Development Authority’s board of directors: Don Pamenter, Chad Kelley, and Bill Losiego.
Budget workshops begin Wednesday morning, March 9, and will resume on Friday, March 11, with all departments presenting their budgets to the supervisors. Chairman Steve Catalano (at-large) said he wants to have the budget settled by March 21st. Supervisors expect to be conservative in their budget decisions.
Pauline Hovey is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization. If you find this report helpful, please consider supporting the Free Enterprise Forum. To learn more visit www.freeenterpriseforum.org