Supervisors organize for the year ahead

By Heather Michon

The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors held its first meeting of 2022 on Wednesday (Jan. 12), delayed by a week due to the previous week’s snowstorm. 

This was the first meeting for Chris Fairchild, who was elected in November as supervisor for Cunningham District. He replaces Donald Weaver, who retired in December after 32 years of service on the board. 

The first order of business was administrative: election of a chair and vice-chair, changes to committee assignments, and setting the time, dates, and location for the remainder of the year.

Supervisor Mozell Booker (Fork Union) nominated Tony O’Brien (Rivanna) to serve as chair, but the nomination failed to find a second despite Booker’s forceful argument in his favor.

“This is not against an individual. I’m not talking about Mike [Sheridan],” she said. “I’m talking about the position of chair. Everybody brings their own strengths to the chair, and we need the opportunity to bring more voices to the chair so that they can bring their strengths.” 

After some discussion, Mike Sheridan (Columbia) and O’Brien were re-elected to their current positions as chair and vice-chair, respectively. 

Committee assignments remained mostly unchanged. Fairchild will take over Weaver’s position on the Central Virginia Regional Jail board and will replace O’Brien on the Parks and Rec committee.

Meeting start times will change slightly, with the once-monthly 4 p.m. meeting moving to 5 p.m. 

The location for meetings remains in flux. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, supervisors met in the county courthouse, and it remains their official meeting place. But with access to the courthouse still tightly restricted, and a new county office building still at least two to three years away, the board has struggled to find a long-term temporary home. 

For the time being, it appears they will be staying at the Carysbrook Performing Arts Center, but this could change due to the center’s busy performance calendar.   

Storm recap

County Administrator Eric Dahl praised county personnel, VDOT, and the power companies for their actions during the Jan. 3 storm. 

“It was a huge undertaking,” he said. “We were expecting maybe three to five inches and we got almost a foot of really wet snow, and it caused a lot of havoc.”

All county departments stepped up to help where they could, and Dahl said even local businesses had stepped in with assistance. 

Dahl said there would be an after-action meeting in the coming weeks to discuss what had worked and what hadn’t and perhaps make some changes for the future. 

In other matters:

 The county is now one step closer to allowing residents to pay bills by credit card. Tyler Technologies will be installing credit card terminals at the treasurer’s office, planning and zoning, and the buildings office. Online payment will also be streamlined. The board approved a $1,368 budget transfer for the initial setup of the terminals. 

 Supervisors also approved the advertisement of a public hearing for the next tranche of money from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The county will receive the second and final portion of the $5,297,000 allocation in early June. The county will have until late 2024 to use the funding for expenses and improvements relating to the pandemic. 

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