Revenue office presented with two awards

By Heather Michon

The Fluvanna Board of Supervisors kicked off its Oct. 2 regular meeting with the presentation of two awards for the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office.

Commissioner of the Revenue Andrew (Mel) Sheridan and Supervisor Tony O’Brien recognized Shaneeka T. Brown for attaining her Master Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue certification from the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia. The certification is awarded to deputy commissioners who have completed substantial coursework and participated in state and district meetings and professional development events.

Sheridan added that it was the first time a mother and daughter had won certification in the same year: Ms. Brown’s mother, Carolyn Tinsley, works with the Albemarle County Finance Department.

“This is also kind of a first,” Sheridan said as his staff joined him at the podium. His office had met the requirements for the Commissioner of the Revenue Association’s new Office Accreditation Program, an acknowledgment that he and his staff were meeting high standards of professionalism and customer service.

“I’m proud to say that we were one of 23 counties out of over 93 that received this accreditation for the first year,” he said. “And that is absolutely due in large part to the work of these four ladies. I just get to kind of ride along on their coat-tails.”

Zion Water Project

Supervisors voted 5-0 to carry over $6,072,136 in unexpended funds from the Zion Crossroads Water and Sewer Project Capital Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) into the same fund FY20. Finance Director Mary Anna Twisdale explained that while capital improvement project (CIP) funding carries over from one fiscal year to the next, “Zion Crossroads is in a separate fund, so we actually have to come to the Board and ask to roll these funds forward.”

In a general discussion on the status of the project, Supervisor Don Weaver asked why the cost of land acquisition had gone almost $300,000 over the proposed budget.

The county had originally estimated that it would cost about $150,000 to acquire land along the right-of-way needed to lay new water and sewer lines. To date, it has cost about $450,000. County Administrator Eric Dahl explained that both the cost of land and legal fees had simply been higher than anticipated, but added that the $1 million contingency fund more than covered the overage.

Later in the meeting, Dalh revisited the color and design of the tower, saying that they needed to choose a base color no later than their October 16 meeting and a logo no later than November 6.

The base color is likely going to be light blue, although he noted there are countless variations on light blue to choose from. Meanwhile, he said the schools “were pretty gung-ho” about letting their art students come up with some potential logo designs.

Pleasant Grove

Parks and Rec Director Aaron Spitzer gave a presentation on improvements made at Pleasant Grove since the 2011 Master Plan.

Among other improvements over the last eight years, they’ve added a stage, scoreboards, a disc golf course, outdoor bathrooms, a butterfly garden, and an access road. The welcome center has been refurbished, and the Farm Museum is now open.

However, Spitzer said revenue was flat at about $100,000 per year.

“Lights would help bring up the revenue,” he said. While the park has three soccer fields, a softball field, and a baseball field, the lack of lighting means all play has to stop at sundown. This limits the potential to rent the fields to adult leagues or other groups. Right now, the Master Plan doesn’t call for lights to be added until 2023.

Asked by Supervisor Mozell Booker about his top three priorities, Spitzer said he would like to see the development of an inclusive playground, lighting for the ball fields, and perhaps fencing for the soccer fields.

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