Fluvanna BOS Defers Action on Poplar Ridge

By. Bryan Rothamel

The packed house at last week’s Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors cleared out rather quickly with just one action.

Poplar Ridge, previously known Walker’s Ridge and The Point at the Rivanna Resort, was deferred until the Aug. 6 meeting. The issue was a missing document that was discovered the morning of the supervisors meeting and proposed changes to the motions.

“I’m certainly disappointed no action will occur (tonight),” said Don Weaver (Cunningham District) to the packed courthouse.

The supervisors still had two other public hearings that went without a hitch.

The first was for a commercial dog kennel located in Palmyra on Route 15. The kennel will hold no more than 60 dogs and would be an accessory building to a house.

Applicants, Jeff and Gayle Stoneman, operate PawsCienda Pet Resort in Montplier. The Stonemans will live in the house with the kennel located behind it.

It was approved unanimously with small restrictions such as how many dogs can stay at once (60) and also how many can dogs can be outside at once (eight).

The second public hearing was for a school to operate in the Lake Centre shopping center. The location is the old Montague, Miller & Co office, adjacent to Dogwood Restaurant.

The educational facility is for 50 students between kindergarten and eighth grade and a homeschool co-operative for all ages.

The supervisors were presented with conditions to restrict the time of operation but struck it so the school could have weekend hours and night adult classes.

The Light Academy was approved unanimously.

In presentations, the board heard what an additional school resource officer would mean for the school system and the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Eric Hess explained how the one current SRO is used amongst the five schools. The officer is housed at the high school but shared between the schools.

The second SRO would be housed at the middle school and service the elementary schools too. The officers could do more proactive things like educational courses instead of more reactionary tasks.

“Unfortunately, in today’s world this is necessary,” said Bob Ullenburch (Palmyra District).

Fluvanna Supervisor Bob Ullenbruch

Fluvanna Supervisor Bob Ullenbruch

The estimated cost for an additional officer is over $60,000 but the Sheriff’s Office is expected to be under budget this year with staffing changes because of military deployments. The grant mentioned previously this year to fund another SRO was denied.

Hess said if he received funding for another SRO he would use a current officer and hire a new officer for patrol. He wants to make sure to get a good fit for the schools instead of a new face to the department.

The FY15 budget did include an additional officer for patrol. The Sheriff’s Office, then under the direction of Ryant Washington, requested three new officers.

Several years ago there were two SROs but because an external audit showed the department was understaffed. A round of budget cuts forced the second SRO to be pulled back to patrol.

Supervisors instructed staff and Hess to come back with a proposal to be approved at a future meeting.

In the consent agenda, supervisors voted to release second half voluntary contributions. Fluvanna collected $1,608.92 with $748.92 going to the school system.

Per board tradition, the supervisors will have just one meeting date in August, the first meeting on August 6. It will include a 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. session. There will be no other work meetings scheduled for August.

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bryan-rothamelThe Free Enterprise Forum’s coverage of Fluvanna County is provided by a grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® and by the support of readers like you.

Bryan Rothamel covers Fluvanna County for the Free Enterprise Forum

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