Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
On the road again…
…and again and again. Roads were the main topic of conversation at tonight’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisors heard updates from county employees and VDOT officials. They covered a variety of road issues–from the number of unpaved roads in the county to a hoped-for new I-95 interchange (sorry to all of you commuters trying to get on I-95 in Massaponax daily, that project is still a long way off). Most of the discussion centered around U.S. 1 and Harrison Road–ironically, I was almost late for the meeting because I was stuck at that very intersection forever. Basically, supervisors need to decide whether to use $2 million in federal money to start the project. Want to know how that discussion turned out? You’ll have to read tomorrow’s paper.
There was also talk about the State Route 3 widening project and alternatives for that 90-degree turn at Old Plank Road and Cherry Road.
In non-road news, the supervisors approved buying new cars for the Sheriff’s Department. The department requests some new vehicles each year–because of mileage and maintenance. And Sheriff Howard Smith asked the supervisors to spend next year’s money now. By snagging the cars now, the county can save $208,518, he said. Ford will stop making the department’s preferred Crown Vic models this year. So the county would have to buy a new model, which would cost more and might not be compatible with the equipment the county already owns, Smith said. Some of the money would be recouped when the department auctions off its retiring cars.
Also, the supervisors talked some more about their wish list for state legislation.
Supervisors oppose a bill proposed by Del. Mark Cole, which would change the way BPOL taxes are determined. This could cost the county as much as 75% of its BPOL revenue. They also added a section discussing the state’s burden of unfunded mandates, which cost the county 40 cents on each dollar of property taxes. And they complained that the state doesn’t give localities enough freedom in determining taxes. These were all added to a resolution opposing the bill. Discussing the resolution, Supervisor Hap Connors called the state’s tax structure “antiquated and too dependent of property taxes.”
For some of the legislative priorities, supervisors wanted more time to study the bills. County administrator Doug Barnes suggested they peruse quickly.
“They’re moving fast and furious down there,” he said.