Tue09022014

Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

Longtime educator takes over at W&L High School

Longtime educator takes over at W&L High School

When Dashan Turner was a boy growing up in a small town in Mississippi, one of his teachers told him...

Montross council productive July meeting

On July 22, Montross Town Council quickly took care of electing officers for the new fiscal year. R....

Westmoreland County’s Parker Farms Supplies Produce to East Coast

Westmoreland County’s Parker Farms Supplies Produce to East Coast

Parker Farms, headquartered near Oak Grove with 2,000 acres of produce growing along the Rappahannoc...

“Bridge Closed” signs up on Rt 205

“Bridge Closed” signs were posted this week on State Route 205 in Westmoreland County as the Virgini...

14-year-old equipment endangering lives

Oak Grove VFD Chief Mike Gutridge recently advised that he is very concerned about the decaying cond...

Westmoreland Sheriff’s report

JUNE 16
Patricia Faye Boone, 39, Colonial Beach arrested for assault on family member.
JUNE 18
Gregory ...

 

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BZA will hear O’Gara questions Monday

At 9 o’clock Monday the Westmoreland County Board of Zoning Appeals will begin its deliberations on the set of questions associated with corporate soldier training establishment O’Gara’s ability to locate a facility in Westmoreland without having to be the subject of any public hearing.
The appeal filed by George J. and Susan Hoge Ripol, Mary Porter Hall and Harry and Bonnie Boyden on Sept. 18 challenges O’Gara’s ability to establish its facility on the Agricultural, A-1 land it purchased from Bryan Chandler on July 28.

Read more: BZA will hear O’Gara questions Monday

County takes action to replace high school roof

The Westmoreland School Board and Board of Supervisors met in joint session this Monday afternoon and took the action necessary to make immediate application for a zero-interest loan that will help support the $2 million project.
On Monday morning the supervisors and county school superintendent Elaine Fogliani took care of other financial business. The student population had increased from the early projection of 1,692 to 1,722 and an additional $148,573 was needed from Westmoreland County.
The agenda item related that the “funds are needed so the locality can meet the required local effort due to an increase in the ADM [average daily membership] figure.”

Read more: County takes action to replace high school roof

Supervisors, residents address the Phase 2 Washington District sewer project

There have been Phase 2 Washington District sewer meetings this time of year for at least the last four years, but the November 2009 Phase 2 sewer meeting is the last of the series of annual events. Work on the project is scheduled to begin in a matter of weeks.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we can now look forward to this project moving forward as expeditiously as it can. We’re almost there,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Darryl Fisher told this Monday night’s audience.

“Although we ran into obstacles, we have been committed to seeing the project through. Nobody gave up,” Fisher said of the project’s unexpected delays.

Read more: Supervisors, residents address the Phase 2 Washington District sewer project

Oops! Error will cost taxpayers $90,000

Action taken by the Westmoreland Supervisors on Oct. 8 to establish the current year’s personal property tax relief rates will be rescinded and new numbers will be approved later this week.
An Oct. 22 special meeting was announced before this Monday’s close of meeting. The session will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the A.T. Johnson auditorium.
“The purpose of the meeting,” the announcement stated, “will be to rescind the resolution previously adopted by the board on Oct. 8, 2009, concerning the personal property tax relief rate for the current year and to adopt a new resolution establishing the personal property tax relief rate for tax year 2009.”

 

Read more: Oops! Error will cost taxpayers $90,000

Special meeting clears the way for county tax bills to go out

The Westmoreland Supervisors met in special session on Oct. 8. Action taken that morning will allow the county’s tax bills to go out.
The supervisors had to set the personal property tax relief rates for the 2009 tax year, but the action could not occur until new sets of numbers were in hand.
The business resulted from Virginia’s Personal Property Tax Relief Act, a measure that is gradually being phased out of existence. The Commonwealth sent Westmoreland a total of $1,139,678 to replace the reduction in taxes charged to the owners of motor vehicles used for private transportation.

Read more: Special meeting clears the way for county tax bills to go out

Supervisors, sheriff to discuss potential terrorist threats

Assistant County Administrator Karen Lewis had no answers last Friday, but the Oct. 14 evening meeting of Westmoreland County’s Board of Supervisors will begin several hours earlier than the evening session’s customary starting time.
The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in order to allocate a 60-minute interval to a closed-door discussion of reports or plans related to the security of any governmental facility.
According to the agenda released on Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. the supervisors will go into “Closed Session with Sheriff C. O. Balderson, et als (by invitation) Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 2.2-3711.A19 RE: Discussion of reports or plans related to the security of any governmental facility.”
A search of Virginia code lends additional insight, but raises multiple questions left open by the agenda item’s language. The referenced Paragraph 19 reads as follows:
“Discussion of plans to protect public safety as it relates to terrorist activity and briefings by staff members, legal counsel, or law-enforcement or emergency service officials concerning actions taken to respond to such activity or a related threat to public safety;
“Or discussion of reports or plans related to the security of any governmental facility, building or structure, or the safety of persons using such facility, building or structure.”
The closed door-discussion comes one month after county government moved its designated meeting place from the G. D. English Building courtrooms to A. T. Johnson auditorium.
The change in location was adopt ed by the Westmoreland supervisors in order to bring the local government into compliance with Virginia Freedom of Information Act requirements.
Residents had been denied video camera access to local government meeting proceedings that were held in facilities it traditionally shared with the Westmoreland courts. The sheriff’s office had determined that the presence of cameras during local government meetings compromised the courts’ security.
When the Supervisors met in the A. T. Johnson auditorium on Sept. 14, Board Chairman Darryl Fisher advised the public that the move would likely hasten Westmoreland’s plans to construct or locate a new building for the local government.
The English Building’s courtrooms had been the supervisors’ preferred local government meeting places due to the convenience provided by their immediate proximity to the local government offices.
As long ago as October 2005, the Westmoreland Supervisors publicly acknowledged local government’s need for additional office space. Construction of either a new county government office complex or a new judicial center already had been listed as a priority in the adopted Capital Improvements Program.
During the same public discussion, officials acknowledged plans to build a new high school. The supervisors reasoned that the existing high school could then be adapted to house county government offices.
In October 2006, the Westmoreland County School Board adopted a resolution stating its intentions to move forward with plans to construct the new high school. The resolution advised that continued maintenance of the old Washington and Lee High School facilities “may be an unwise investment,” that the high school is landlocked and cannot grow and that “plans shall commence” to provide for future needs.
The Public-Private Education Act was cited as the “means to create plans” and get proposals.
After the supervisors’ October 2005 discussion, the board commissioned a space needs assessment whose focus was the judicial center and the county government and local emergency and law enforcement offices.
Wednesday’s 5 p.m. closed session might revisit the space needs assessment, or it might address a new directive from the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Such a directive would result from threats of terrorist attacks.
Another possible consideration would be the supervisors’ security inside the recently designated A. T. Johnson meeting place.
A sheriff’s deputy attended the supervisors’ Sept. 14 meeting, but no metal detectors had been installed on those premises. The supervisors began subjecting their public to metal detectors following the June 29 meeting of the Industrial Development Authority, when residents reportedly became disorderly after raising questions that the authority was unwilling or unable to address.

 

Betsy Ficklin
The Journal
 

Litigation would halt O’Gara site activities

A complaint and motion filed on Sept. 29 in Westmoreland Circuit Court are the most recent in a series of efforts by plaintiffs George and Susan Ripol, Harry and Bonnie Boyden and Mary Porter Hall to compel Westmoreland County’s public officials to follow what they believe is the letter of the law in matters pertaining to establishment of O’Gara Group’s for-profit tactical training base on land it bought from county resident Bryan Chandler.

Read more: Litigation would halt O’Gara site activities

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