- Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:52
- Published on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:52
- Hits: 539
King George Service Authority staff has begun a new review of its water and sewer regulations, with formal revision expected later this year, after an advertised public hearing will be scheduled at a future meeting.
In the meantime, board members held a work session meeting on Aug. 22 and talked about what Chris Thomas called “big picture” items in the regulations. Thomas is an engineer who is the Authority’s general manager.
There was a discussion on an existing requirement added last year for all new customers to provide a deposit of $250.
“That’s around the amount of a regular bill for customers with water and sewer service,” Thomas said. “It is stipulated in state code the deposit needs to represent 90 days of utility use.”
Authority board member Chris Werle suggested it be split for water-only or sewer-only customers, providing deposits of $125 each, and $250 for water and sewer customers.
Other board members agreed.
Thomas told them maybe they could lower it for some, saying Fredericksburg waives deposits for new customers depending on the result of a credit check. Credit checks can only be performed if new customers volunteer their Social Security numbers. Board members agreed for staff to examine the issue.
The next topic was pricing for the 67 customers who are unmetered and currently are charged bills for the minimum amount of usage.
Those without water meters are long-time customers whose service was originally supplied by a water service from a third party, bought up by the Service Authority after it was formed in the early 1990s.
Board members agreed for staff to suggest strategies to address the issue, including increasing the set amount those customers pay because they can use an unlimited amount of water for which they are not fully charged.
“Some water line connections are under pavement,” Thomas said.
Werle suggested the Service Authority try to follow the water line from where it branches from the main line, and install a water meter as close to the property line as possible.
Thomas said some customers have agreements recorded with the previous water service filed on the deed addressing the matter. Chairwoman Ruby Brabo suggested ideas for requiring a new meter at the property line in those instances.
“Let’s find out if we can legally require a meter when the property changes hands,” Brabo said. “I think we’ve been more than fair.”
There was also discussion of increasing the existing fee of $100 per occurrence for tampering with a water meter.
Brabo agreed they should look into how high they can go. She also asked if legal charges could also be considered, with Thomas saying tampering could be charged as a misdemeanor if the board agreed.
Thomas talked about new ultrasonic meters the county recently began installing for new customers and to replace some old meters.
The ultrasonic meters are expected to eliminate meter tampering by customers who get them, because they will be caught and fined.
Thomas said the new meters register and send a message anytime the meter is touched.
Brabo got agreement on her suggestion about any customers suspected of tampering should be a priority to get new meters.
Werle brought up a complaint he’d received that new rates for usage should not be charged for ‘the next billing,’ but instead be charged for use after the rate increase is enacted. Other board members agreed the practice be amended.
The conversation turned to potential new connections to come from residents and businesses having access to the new water line slated to be constructed on Mount Rose Drive.
Customers with their own water wells are not expected to be required to connect.
County Administrator Travis Quesenberry noted the authority could offer reduced connection fees for those who do decide to connect during construction, which was met with consensus.
Brabo suggested a date be selected for a second work session at its next meeting on Sept. 6.
She also suggested setting a date for a Service Authority town hall prior to holding a future public hearing later this fall on revisions to the regulations.
“Let’s talk about a date for that and use it as an opportunity for education for customers for anything we feel would be beneficial for people to know,” Brabo said.
By Phyllis Cook
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:51
- Published on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:51
- Hits: 418
American Legion Post 329 Commander James T. Johnson, King George Elementary School Principal Ron Monroe, Assistant Chaplain Edward R. Finks Sr., Finance Officer Aubrey Bland and Post Adjutant Tyrone Pollard attended an event where post officers donated $500 to the school for a fund for purchasing supplies for students without the supplies they need, and to avoid out-of-pocket purchases by instructional staff.
“About a year ago, we decided we wanted to do this and hopefully it will help the teachers and benefit the students,” Commander Johnson said to Principal Monroe.
“We are honored and appreciate your donation. Our scholars work very hard and will benefit from this and we will put it to good use,” Monroe said.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:49
- Published on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:49
- Hits: 512
A meeting to discuss and gather information to continue to map locations for an online Northern Neck African-American Education Trail is set for 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 13 in Montross at the auditorium of A.T. Johnson High School Museum, 18849 Kings Highway.
That’s one of the first high schools in the Northern Neck to educate students of African descent from 1937 to 1969. It has a museum preserving the history and legacy of African-American education featuring historical artifacts and memorabilia, as well as meeting spaces for events.
The upcoming meeting will be the second in the Northern Neck called by Lisa Hull, economic development and tourism coordinator for the Northern Neck Planning District Commission.
The first was on Aug. 18 in King George, with eight attendees, some coming from Maryland, and from Caroline County, in addition to King George.
Schools in the American South remained largely segregated prior to several landmark court cases finally forcing desegregation late in the 1960s.
A number of schools for African-Americans prior to desegregation were aimed at primary education for younger children, with some training sites to teach work skills for older children.
There were a few private schools for African-Americans with high educational standards, some famously established by Julius Rosenwald, a businessman and philanthropist from Illinois.
At last month’s meeting, Hull displayed a first draft of an interactive web-based map showing some African-American schools and training sites. Several locations were approximated because the buildings no longer exist. Hull explained.
“This is a jumping-off point. It’s only the beginning. What I’ve started to do is to approximate the locations of African-American schools, and some sites need to be verified and a lot more need to be added,” Hull said. “This is an unpublished map that will be published as soon as we get confirmation about the location, dates of operation and other facts. The idea is to add the information for each, so when people click on it they would get links to websites and more information for each site.”
Hull had distributed paper copies of the draft map with an alphabetical list of what she had so far, including Avalon School, Hygeia School, Howland Chapel, Kremlin School, Ralph Bunche High School, Holley Graded, Julius Rosenwald High school, Little Ark School and Frog Hall approximate.
The group who met in King George came up with some more and Hull has since added some. She also made a decision to publish the unfinished map on the Northern Neck website to more easily gather information from anyone with knowledge of locations and/or names of educational sites of any type for African-Americans prior to actual desegregation.
The direct link to this map site is: http://www.northernneck.org/african-american-education-in-the-northern-neck/.
The map’s existence on the site will not be promoted until after it gets into a more finished state.
In an email to interested parties after the meeting in King George, Hull explained her reasoning in making the map quietly available online in its unfinished state.
“Seeing it once on a screen at a meeting without the ability to return to the places, descriptions and photos, makes it difficult for you to provide input. This way, you can look at the trail at your leisure - and maybe share with others who were not able to attend the meetings, but who may — have information,” Hull said.
Following the upcoming Montross meeting, future meetings will also be set for Lancaster, Northumberland and Richmond counties.
Those with knowledge of a former training or school site for African-American children are urged to contact Hull to assist in this effort.
By Phyllis Cook
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:48
- Published on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:48
- Hits: 918
The King George Board of Supervisors held an emergency meeting at midday on Aug. 30 to approve a $149,740 contract for purchase and installation of heating-ventilation-and air conditioning equipment at the King George County Courthouse.
The meeting was set following an Aug. 26 email to supervisors and the county administrator, Travis Quesenberry, from Vic Mason, Clerk of the Circuit Court, saying the matter couldn’t wait for action at the next regular meeting on Sept. 6.
Mason’s message detailed ceiling collapses in two of the judge’s chambers and in a judge’s bathroom. He included a photo of the bathroom, saying it had gotten worse since it was snapped.
“There are approximately eight trash cans in the three mentioned rooms that are catching most of the water that continues to drip as a result of the failing air conditioning/dehumidification units,” Mason wrote. “The Judges and staff have shown remarkable patience in dealing with this matter but it needs to be addressed immediately.”
Quesenberry and Supervisors agreed with four attending the short-notice meeting including Chairwoman Ruby Brabo and Supervisors Cedell Brooks, Jr., Jim Howard and Richard Granger.
Funding to pay for the project was previously earmarked in the county’s capital fund.
By Phyllis Cook
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:47
- Published on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:47
- Hits: 723
Project Faith’s grant application for $695,000 for infrastructure costs for its proposed Angelwood Marshall Homes project in King George took a big step forward with an announcement from the state on Sept. 2.
Project Faith, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charity specializing in rental apartments for people with disabilities and seniors with low incomes.
The announcement from Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office said $9.5 million in Community Development Block Grant funding was earmarked for 13 projects from Virginia localities, including one from King George.
King George County sponsored and submitted an application put together by Froncé Wardlaw, Project Faith’s executive director, in the end of March following two public hearings and approval of the Board of Supervisors.
The Project Faith application was one of two projects slated to receive a letter of intent. The state press release explained.
“The letter of intent projects are worthy of funding, but are missing key components necessary for the project to be immediately implemented, and the grant recommends the locality address the missing components accordingly,” the release stated.
The late afternoon announcement on Friday’s start of the long Labor Day weekend resulted in futile attempts for a reporter to reach county officials, but did elicit an enthusiastic response from Wardlaw.
“God gets the glory and King George County gets the growth by serving all of its citizens with affordable first-time homeownership,” Wardlaw said. She also addressed the letter of intent status.
“Something is missing from the application or there needs to be additional clarification. Without seeing the letter or speaking directly to DHCD, I cannot access what additional information is needed,” Wardlaw said.
If the project proceeds, the grant would pay for the extension of roads and utility lines and other site work on 26 acres located behind the existing Angelwood complex on the north side of Route 3 (Kings Highway) through Tinsbloom Mill Lane.
With additional financing to be determined publicly, Project Faith would construct 35 single-family homes to add to the current 31 buildings containing 93 rental apartments.
The houses would be 1,400 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms on one-third acre lots for eligible applicants to purchase affordable single-family homes selling for about $200,000 or less to low-to-moderate income families.
King George has previously been involved in two successful block grant applications for Project Faith in 2005 and 2012.
It was also involved in one unsuccessful and very controversial grant application with a free land deal that went sour and ended up in court with a suit and countersuit. The county-donated land was subsequently returned by Project Faith and the organization’s suit to obtain $300,000 in damages likewise was voluntarily withdrawn earlier this year in the beginning of April.
By Phyllis Cook