Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at email@example.com or at 540/735-1975.
Top 5 Stafford Meeting Memories
Overall, last night’s Board of Supervisors meeting was one of the shortest I’ve attended. There was no afternoon session and there were no public hearings. Still, supervisors managed to talk about a few items for about two and a half hours.
1) Utilities Spending
Supervisor Susan Stimpson pulled an item off the consent agenda that allocated $819,430 for engineering and design of a new water main related to the Rocky Pen Run Reservoir project. Stimpson cringed at the amount, but said she met with Utilities staff earlier in the day and was satisfied by their explanation. Stimpson has done this a few times in her brief tenure on the board, fulfilling her promise to be fiscally conservative. At the very least, she seems to want more information on big-ticket items, which means pretty much anything related to the new reservoir.
2) VDOT Revenue Sharing Funds
This one was pulled off the consent agenda by Supervisor Bob Woodson. The board wanted to apply for matching funds form the state, and the project proposed was improving 1.8 miles of Brooke Rd. south of Eskimo Hill Rd. (the big hill). It is a project included in the road bond list, and was identified as a trouble spot by the Youth Driver Task Force. The $6.5 million project would use $1 million in matching funds from VDOT. The resolution passed 6-1, with Woodson voting against. He felt it was fiscally irresponsible to move forward with the project now (timing is still unclear) and made comments that the improvements would encourage development in the area.
3) Parking Regulations
Two weeks ago, supervisors approved an ordinance that allows the Sheriff’s Office to write parking tickets for things like handicapped parking violations. The second half of that enforcement effort came up yesterday, although no action was taken by the board. The next ordinance would allow neighborhoods to set their own rules regarding the parking of RVs, boats, trailers and the like on public roadways (shoulders and such). Some neighborhoods have issues with this, and if it passes, it would allow the Sheriff’s Office to enforce the rules set by the neighborhood. Supervisors asked staff to come back with an updated version of the ordinance which will then need to be sent to public hearing.
4) Union Church
Everyone’s favorite facade (pardon my lack of accents) is due for some major upkeep, and Supervisor Harry Crisp asked his fellow board members to provide $10,000 for an engineering assessment that would determine the extent and cost of repairs. There seemed to be general support for the historic landmark in Falmouth, but no vote was taken. Yet. Supervisor Paul Milde thought the price was a little steep, and indicated that he would like the county to support similar (potential) endeavors at Aquia and Potomac churches. Interestingly, Supervisor Gary Snellings fully supported Crisp’s proposal, as he has grandparents buried in the cemetery behind the remains of the church. Also, the church was destroyed in 1950 by a hurricane. Good Stafford trivia.
5) School Board Audit
I neglected to mention in my article today that the supervisors discussed the auditor issue in closed session before coming out, discussed it further in open session and took their vote. They ended up voting 6-1 to approve a resolution that requests the school system participate in a joint county/school audit performed by an accountant under contract with the county.