And Supervisor Don Weaver took issue with pulling the money from the dwindling uncommitted fund balance, which has recently provided for a $285,000 overage on the Pleasant Grove house project and will soon cover a projected $234,000 shortfall for CSA (services for at-risk youth and families) and a possible $413,000 average daily membership shortfall for the school system.

Referring to the actual or anticipated fund balance debits, County Administrator Steve Nichols said, “If you don’t want to see any of these reds on here, Mr. Weaver, then make a higher budget to begin with.”

The $150,000 in question, joined by matching funds appropriated by the Louisa County Board of Supervisors, will go toward expenses associated with the permit process and relocation of the water intake from Bremo Bluff to Columbia.  The capital improvements plan (CIP) contains plans to borrow $2.75 million for JRWA system construction, but Nichols noted that there currently exists no source of funding for the JRWA because neither Fluvanna nor Louisa County has borrowed any money yet.

Supervisor Tony O’Brien spoke in favor of allocating the money.  “The worst thing we could do right now as we’re trying to establish a partnership [with Louisa] is to send a message that we’re concerned about a $150,000 bill… I wouldn’t want to partner with me if I was concerned every time something came up if these guys were going to show up at the table or not.”

“I’m very much disturbed by some of the thinking that’s gone into this,” Weaver said.  “It looks to me like we’re starting to get out of control, and I’m not going to be a part of that… But it’s still my responsibility to pay the debts of this county, so I will support it.”  Ultimately the motion passed unanimously.

As Emergency Services Coordinator Cheryl Wilkins stepped to the microphone, she delivered the news that many residents of Fluvanna had just felt the tremors associated with 3.2-magnitude earthquake 13 kilometers southwest of Powhatan.  Supervisors got a glimpse of emergency management in action as Wilkins paused her presentation to take a call updating her on the situation.

Now that the Fluvanna County Rescue Squad (FCRS) has daytime staffing help out of the University of Virginia, Wilkins said, it is responding about equally with the Lake Monticello Volunteer Rescue Squad, and response times are on their way down.

Radio coverage is still an issue in the county.  According to Wilkins, portable radios and handhelds only have 50 percent coverage; the goal is 95 percent coverage, 95 percent of the time.  Plans are in place to implement a digital system that would make use of existing towers as well as new ones.  “In 18 months we should have our new system up and running,” Wilkins said.

Wilkins has also created a work group to analyze the issue of revenue recovery, which has recently become a hot topic in Fluvanna.  Her goal is to examine the programs implemented in surrounding and similarly-sized counties so as to benefit from any lessons learned, then outline a possible program and implementation plan for Fluvanna.

In other matters:

Planner Jay Lindsey presented an overview on architectural review boards, which regulate and administer architectural guidelines and design standards on development.  County Attorney Fred Payne spoke out against the creation of such a board in Fluvanna.  When asked for his opinion, Lindsey stated that “economic development is one of our big priorities, and this would be putting a much lower priority in its way.”

Lindsey also spoke about possible regulations on dogs in residential zoning districts.  Before taking any action, however, supervisors requested from the sheriff a report on how many noise complaints the office has received regarding houses with four or more dogs.

Supervisors agreed to reestablish a county finance board responsible for directing the county’s investments.  This way, cash reserves can be put to use to earn investment income for the county.

Supervisors presented former sheriff Ryant Washington with a shadowbox in honor of his many years of service to the county.  “We appreciate everything you’ve done for us,” Chairperson Mozell Booker told Washington.

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