Fluvanna Review

Fluvanna County will probably start billing for the use of its ambulances.
By next July a revenue recovery program should be in place, Emergency Services Coordinator Cheryl Wilkins told the Board of Supervisors Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 1).
Revenue recovery is a way for counties to recoup some of the costs involved in providing ambulance transport to its residents by billing “insurance companies and individuals for the cost of emergency transport services,” Wilkins said.
Last May the county requested that the staff study the issue and develop a plan for implementing revenue recovery in Fluvanna. To this end, Wilkins put together a focus group that included members of Lake Monticello Rescue and Fluvanna Rescue.
By making comparisons with other counties using revenue recovery, the group has estimated that Fluvanna could bring in over half a million dollars per year through such a program. This is based on an average charge of $462 per ambulance transport and a 65 percent collection rate.
Wilkins emphasized three “key points” in her presentation: No one will ever be denied services, even those who can’t pay; those who don’t receive ambulance transport would not receive a bill; and most insurance companies already allow for transport charges.
“By not… billing and collecting that amount, we’re basically leaving a lot of money on the table,” Wilkins told the Board.
Wilkins’ group outlined several possible approaches to billing. The county could bill insurance companies only, and decline to send a bill to those without insurance. Or the county could bill insurance companies but send a balance bill to everyone. This method could involve a “soft” approach to collections and the use of “hardship waivers,” or it could involve a “hard” approach to collections. Another option is to use something called a subscription service, though Wilkins said a nearby county found that approach to be “an abysmal failure.”
Supervisor Bob Ullenbruch asked Wilkins if other counties experienced a drop in fundraising after initiating revenue recovery programs. Wilkins replied that the counties she has talked to have not experienced that problem.
Different counties use the funds generated by revenue recovery in different ways, Wilkins said, though most of the set-ups involved earmarking the money in some way for emergency medical services.
Add a comment

Read more...

Lake Monticello Police Chief Thomas BoisvertLake Monticello Owners Association meetings have taken on a different flair under Valerie Palamountain’s leadership.

Palamountain now has each department head reporting to the Board at the monthly meeting and that includes crime statistics from Lake Police Chief Thomas Boisvert.
“I introduced it – asking police, maintenance, and finance to make the reports,” Palamountain said. “(General Manager) CatherIne  Neelley will give reports on the big things. It makes for a more open board.”

Add a comment

Read more...

Capt. Thomas Brennan.  Capt. Von Hill.The Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office is a more streamlined organization now.
By identifying individual roles of command staff, relieving lieutenants of most administrative duties, and making some key promotions, Sheriff Eric Hess’s reorganization of the department will enable it to “become much more efficient,” he said.
With the creation of two captain positions, Hess centralized command staff into three officers: himself, Capt. Thomas Brennan, and Capt. Von Hill.
Brennan, who has become Hess’s new chief deputy and heads up field operations, brings to the position 36 years of law enforcement experience in the patrol, juvenile, detective, and administrative divisions of the agencies in which he has worked. Since coming to Fluvanna County he has investigated all major county crimes and provided assistance to outside agencies.
Hill, who oversees all administrative and judicial operations, has 20 years of law enforcement experience – 11 of which have been spent in Fluvanna County, first overseeing the school resource officer program and then becoming commanding officer for the judicial affairs, animal control, civil process, and records divisions.
Add a comment

Read more...

Steve Nichols, county administrator, Fred Payne, county attorney, Donald Weaver, Mozell Booker, chairperson, Bob Ullenbruch and Tony O’Brien.  Photo by Tricia JohnsonThe Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors issued a statement today (Oct. 2) admitting its lawsuit against its former financial advisor, Davenport & Company, was without merit. The supervisors also apologized for statements it made against Davenport and its representative, David Rose. The supervisors noted, however, that the suit was brought by a previous Board three years ago.
In exchange for the public statement, Davenport agreed to drop its pursuit of sanctions against the county, which included a demand that the county pay Davenport’s legal fees, which were in excess of $1.5 million.
The supervisors voted Sept. 25 to accept the offer from Davenport to end the lawsuit.
“Based upon the prospect for evidence to be presented at trial,” the statement read, “the Board of Supervisors has elected to accept an offer in compromise proposed by Davenport & Co., LLC whereby all claims by both parties in the pending case will be dismissed with prejudice with both parties bearing their own respective costs of litigation and attorneys’ fees.”
The statement noted that the lawsuit against Davenport was initiated by a prior Board of Supervisors in 2011. “The current Board has re-evaluated the merits of the case, including recent information about the value of the refinancing of the high school debt which has since occurred, and concluded that the financing votes by the Board and advice from Davenport concerning the bond issuance in 2008 have not proven to be unreasonable or cause the County financial harm,” according to the statement. “Therefore the Board does not see the value in continuing to pursue the prior Board’s suit, and is voluntarily dismissing the litigation. The Board further acknowledges that certain statements were made in the lawsuit against Davenport, and Mr. David Rose in particular, which were not accurate, and the Board regrets this mistake.”
Add a comment

Read more...

Sage Garden owners Roberta and John Mann and their golden retriever Tara.The proposal. It’s one of those family stories their now grown children have heard countless times. John and Roberta attended the same high school in New Jersey, but never met until they ran into each other in Colorado several years later. They started dating and discovered how much they had in common. When John felt it was time to pop the big question, Roberta had a question for him.

“Yes, but only if we live on a farm,” she replied. “I’m going back East to be closer to my family, and I’m going to buy a farm. Are you on board?”

Add a comment

Read more...