Supervisors review purchase policy, TransAmerica bike route

By Heather Michon

The Board of Supervisors held back-to-back meetings on Wednesday (July 7), their last sessions ahead of their regular midsummer break.

Chair Mike Sheridan (Columbia) was away for the week, so Vice Chair Tony O’Brien (Rivanna) took the gavel for the three-and-a-half-hour session. During that time, supervisors voted on two action matters, listened to two presentations, held two public hearings, and sat in for a one-hour closed session.


Purchasing Officer Cyndi Toler presented a revised schedule for the county’s policy on small purchases.

“Our small purchasing policy now only goes to $50,000,” said Toler.

Under the current county guidelines, anything above the $50,000 threshold requires the county to put out a formal solicitation for competitive bids, while anything below $50,000 requires between 1-4 price quotes depending on the total cost of the purchase.

This is well below the state’s threshold, which requires formal solicitations for goods and non-professional services greater than $200,000, or greater than $80,000 in professional services.

After looking at other counties, including those similar in size to Fluvanna, Toler and her staff recommended raising the threshold for formal solicitations up to $80,000 for professional services and $100,000 plus for goods and nonprofessional services.

They also recommended raising the dollar limits for the number of bids needed within pricing tier below $100,000. For example, under the existing policy, the county only needs to solicit one bid for anything priced under $3,000. Under the revised policy, anything under $5,000 would require only one bid.

“I think it gives an appropriate amount of competition without being overly taxing on the employees, but still giving us the competition intended by the statutes.”

County Administrator Eric Dahl said it might also save the county some money on legal fees, as anything put out for formal bid requires review by the county attorney’s staff.

Dahl is the designated purchasing agent when it comes to signing off on small purchases. His signature authority would increase from $50,000 to $100,000.

Supervisors approved Toler’s revised schedule by a vote of 4-0-1.


Economic Development Coordinator Bryan Rothamel and his intern, Dana Korotovskikh, requested the Board’s approval of a letter of support to change the path of Bike Route 76 through the Village of Palmyra.

BR76 is part of the TransAmerica bike route, established during the Bicentennial in 1976 to form a 4,228-mile-long coast-to-coast bike path from Astoria, Washington to Yorktown, Virginia.

The Fluvanna Leadership Development Program has suggested modifying the route, which currently takes riders down Rt. 53 and for a short distance on Rt. 15 until it reaches Courthouse Road.

Not only is the short traverse on Rt. 15 dangerous for riders, it also misses the historic area of Palmyra.

A proposed change would add only a tenth of a mile to the route, but would have the effect of getting riders off Rt. 15 sooner and take them through the village, past the park, the Old Stone Jail, and the historic courthouse before crossing 15 back onto Courthouse Road.

Rothamel and Korotovskikh said this would provide more resources for riders and allow them to enjoy the historic sites of the village.

The Fluvanna Leadership Development Program will also update the resources listed in the official guides and brochures for riders on the route.

The approval process for changing the route is lengthy, but a letter of support from the Board of Supervisors would help the process move forward.

Supervisors approved the letter by a vote of 4-0-1.


In the second part of the meeting, supervisors also unanimously approved a modification to the county ordinances to allow off-duty deputy sheriffs to work as security and traffic control with the approval of the sheriff.

This is a long-standing practice for deputies, and the sheriff’s office already has a formal process for approving off-duty work. The rate for off-duty work is set at $45 per hour, with the deputy receiving $40 and the sheriff keeping $5 to cover administrative costs. The ordinance change simply clarifies the policy.

They also approved the rezoning of a parcel on Edgecomb Road at Zion Crossroads from B-1 (Business, General) to I-1 (Industrial, Limited). The plans for the site have not yet been finalized.

The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors will take place on Aug. 4 at 4 p.m.

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