Surry BOS holds weighty meeting continuation

~ Howell receives nod for Carsley seat, proposals for federal appropriations approved, Budget steps schedule announced ~

By Terry Harris

On April 8, the continuation of the regular April 1 Surry County Board of Supervisors meeting was held virtually with the announced intent of allowing board members a one-week opportunity to review paperwork from the four candidates who had expressed an interest in filling the seat formerly held by Supervisor Kenneth Blowe and then, at that April 8 meeting, selecting the person from among the four to fill the position.

At the beginning of the 6 p.m. meeting, the board went into closed session and announced to those citizens attending virtually that they expected to be back online at approximately 7 p.m.  At 7:01 board members began returning and Chairman Robert Elliott called for a nomination from the board for the person to fill the Carsley District seat.

Supervisor Judy Lyttle nominated Ronald Howell, Jr.  Supervisor Tim Calhoun nominated Janet Moynahan.  With a three to one vote, Ronald Howell, Jr. was named the fifth member of the board until the November Special Election.

Elliott thanked the four candidates for showing an interest in the county and the seat and said that there would be vacancies on several commissions and the other three could expect to be contacted by the board.

Next, as added New Business agenda item Res 2021.05, County Administrator Melissa Rollins announced that following the staff’s having been contacted by Congressman A. Donald McEachin’s office concerning a potential opportunity to be included in upcoming federal appropriations, economic development director Panayiotis “Yoti” Jabri and Deputy Administrator David Harrison had been working very hard in order to get the required paperwork to apply for the funds in by the deadline. She further announced that the proposal would have to be approved that night in order to be considered for the funds. The three announced potential uses for the funds were listed in priority order as 1) f $1,000,000 for a Route 31 Corridor Improvements Feasibility Study, 2) $8,560,500.00 for Town of Dendron Water System upgrades, 3) $1,833,000 for Fiber-to-the-Home Broadband Connection Costs.  Harrison indicated that the Route 31 improvement study would be to assess if a bridge would be feasible to connect Surry County with James City County. The board voted unanimously to approve the application.

In another New Business item added to the agenda, Crater WIB Vendor Payment, the board packed explained the item as follows:

“The Crater Regional Workforce Development Board is looking for community assistance to cover a disallowed vendor payment under review by the Federal Workforce Development Programs Administrator at the Virginia Community College System. The amount of $3,148 is requested of each of the member communities that comprise the Crater Regional Workforce Development Board. The Chief Local Elected Officials (CLEOs) requested an extension through the date of April 9, 2021 to respond to the state regarding the disallowed funds. As a member of the Crater Regional Workforce Development Board, the localities are ultimately held responsible for all the financial transactions of the Workforce Board. The Crater WIB CLEOs have reached this settlement conclusion and are requesting support from the localities.”

Rollins related that Surry County’s share of the payment would be $824 rather than the listed payment of $3,148. The board unanimously voted to make the payment.

Finally, for the last added agenda item, Presentations 1. FY21-22 County Administrators Recommended Budget, Administrator Rollins announced that rather than making a presentation at that time she was asking the board to reconvene the following week, April 15, for that presentation. On slides presented during the virtual meeting she listed:

April 15, 6 p.m. Budget Work Session #2 where she will present the proposed budget.

May 6 Public Hearing on the FY 21-22 Proposed Budget at the regular May BOS meeting.

Tuesday, May 11 Budget Work Session #3 (if needed).

Mary 13 meeting for the Board to consider action on FY 21-22 Budget on May 13, where the listed intention would be to

                 - Set Tax Rates and Adopt Budget Resolutions.

The meeting was then adjourned/continued to the upcoming April 15 meeting.