Supervisors hear from committees and citizens

The Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors on Monday unanimously approved a request from the Mecklenburg Department of Social Services for a supplemental appropriation in the amount of $117,597 to cover positions that will be needed to administrate the Commonwealth’s Medical Expansion. The Medicaid Expansion was approved by the Virginia General Assembly in May, allocating some $21.5 million. The $117,597 provided by the Commonwealth is Mecklenburg’s share of funding assistance for administration of the expanded program and will go to hiring five additional employees immediately.
The DSS has also asked the County to assist them in finding additional space in the Hudgins Court facility for the expanded program. Staff will work with the Department to find additional space.
County Administrator Wayne Carter told the Supervisors that at the end of each year, the Board approves end of year inter-fund transfers for the General Budget. To make use of these carry over funds, he said, the Board needs to make supplemental appropriations for the coming year. The funds and amounts include $1,035,011.26 for the New High School Capital Fund, $3,877.90 for the Sheriff’s Public Awareness Fund, $41,028.04 for the Economic Development Fund-BIT Grant, $4,061.43 for the Lambert Road Housing Project Fund and $83,512.82 for the Transtech Marketing Fund – VGA.
By unanimous vote on Monday, the Supervisors approved the supplemental appropriations.
Also on Monday, Carter told the members that the county had received an insurance check in the amount of $1,256.48 for damages to a Sheriff’s Office vehicle and that the funds should be a supplemental appropriation in the Sheriff’s Office Replacement of Auto line item.
Supervisor Andy Hargrove reported to the full Board that the Emergency Services Committee had held a meeting before the full meeting to discuss the new radio system to be used within the county. The meeting included members of the committee, Jon Taylor- Emergency Services Coordinator and Ben Duncan – 911 Director.
Hargrove told the members that Mr. Duncan had provided an overview of the new radio operating guidelines and that members of the area fire, rescue and police agencies in the county had been involved in formulating the changes.
During the committee meeting, Supervisor Dan Tanner asked when the new radio system would come online. Taylor replied that the company building one of the towers is running approximately three weeks behind schedule.
On a motion from Supervisor Hargrove, the Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the new guidelines.
It was also announced on Monday that VDOT has confirmed that the Twin Peaks Road Project will be split over two years with slightly over half of the project being scheduled for completion this year with the remaining portion finished next year.
Repairs and upgrades on Rochichi Road are on scheduled and should be completed this season.
VDOT is also working on the “snow plan” for the upcoming winter season. The deadline for the plan is September 7.
Dr. James Hudson was unanimously selected to serve another term on the Welfare Board on Monday and Ricky Harris was returned to his seat on the Industrial Development Authority.
Frank Malone, long time director of the South Hill Chamber of Commerce, appeared before the Supervisors on Monday to tell the group that concerning the new school, “we need to get it right the first time.” Malone told the members that the county had last built a new high school more than 60 years ago and he urged the group to invest the money needed to make sure the school is able to provide the services the students need today and for the next several generations. He added that he and most of the people he knew “didn’t mind a tax increase to get this school built right the first time.
Also appearing before the Supervisors on Monday were a group of concerned citizens from Baskerville, asking for help concerning a dog problem in the community.
Linda Hatchel told the Supervisors that she lives across the street from a gentleman with 15 to 18 dogs in his yard. And, she added, “he has that many in his house.”
Hatchel complained that the neighbor has refused to take any steps to keep the dogs in his own yard. As a result, she said, the dogs run through the neighborhood, tie up traffic by laying in the street, messing up people’s yards and making it impossible for children to play in their own yards.
Her son told the Supervisors that although the Animal Warden has made several trips to talk with the gentleman and tell him he had to keep the dogs on his property, the man either can or will not.
Another neighbor told the Supervisors that the dogs “control” the neighborhood and because the dogs are registered, Animal Control has said they can not do anything about the situation.
“We pay personal property taxes but we can’t even go out on our own property.”
Several other citizens from the neighborhood also appeared, echoing the concerns about the dog problem.
Chairman Glenn Barbour told the group that the Supervisors would look into the matter and do what they could.
County Administrator Wayne Carter pointed out that there were limits to what the county could do. “Basically,” he said, “it all boils down to being a good neighbor and getting along.”
During member comments, Barbour said that while there may be limits on actions the county can take, “it seems to me we can’t just sit back and let neighborhoods be terrorized like this. We need to find some resolution,” said Barbour. “Who wants to living in a community where people can’t have their grandchildren playing in the yard.”
Supervisor Dan Tanner commented on Frank Malone’s comments, agreeing that it was time to move forward with the new middle school-high school complex.
“We need to move ahead,” said Tanner. “We know it’s going to cost us more money but thats alright. It’s past time to move the process on. I know there are a few things slowing it down but we need to move ASAP.”