vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Raven Road Redux…and More!

A few items from last night’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting:

1) Surplus Bonuses

You may recall that in December, supervisors allocated $1.4 million in bonus money for teachers and Sheriff’s deputies. The money came from the $6.2 million 2007 accounting error surplus. $344,000 went to 162 deputies for an average bonus of about $2,000. Well, Sheriff Charlie Jett asked the supervisors for a little more flexibility in using the money. He explained that the department has trouble retaining deputies and call center dispatchers (911 folks). He said the money is best used as a bonus to retain those folks. He explained that since new deputies sign a two-year contract with the county, there is no need to give them incentives to stay. Jett’s changes will now make bonuses available to: deputies or dispatchers; who have worked for the county at least one year; and who sign an agreement to stay with the county for a full year or forfeit their bonus. The bonus pool now includes 166 employees, but no new deputies currently under contract. It passed 6–1, with Milde voting against. He felt it was unfair to take those new deputies out of the pool.

2) Raven Road

Raven Road, a gravel road in the Brooke area, will undergo a study to see if VDOT will accept it entirely into the state system. The road is somewhat unique in that VDOT maintains all but the easternmost part of the road, which traverses private property. There was an issue last year when the bridge at the western end of the road was deemed unfit for school buses to cross, which led to parents having to drive or walk their kids to the western end, as buses won’t drive on private roads. A temporary bridge now allows the buses to cross to pick up kids, but putting the whole thing under state maintenance could shorten those bus trips.

3) Redevelopment

The county’s redevelopment plan is done. Check here for info. It’s an impressive vision, and the result of 3-4 year’s work (and money).

4) At-Large Chairman

Paul Milde proposed an at-large chairman for the board of supervisors. Again. Check tomorrow’s paper to read what happened.