VDOT’s representative Kevin Smith reported at February’s board meeting that they are undergoing typical winter maintenance on most of the roads including shoulder work, dirt road maintenance, and filling potholes. 

Route 92’s bridge traffic was switched over last month so they can complete the other side of the bridge.They expect the bridge to completed by June of this year.

Route 712 Paschall Road—which goes over top of the lake—has a bridge that will need to be closed for repairs. Their plan for Route 712 is to close the bridge on April 4 and complete the repair work by July 5. They’ve sent out an email to EMS in both Mecklenburg and Warren County so they can make plans for responding to calls. EMS will use the same detour they used before in 2018 when the bridge was closed.

MCPS has scheduled auctions at each one of the older secondary schools to sell off any remaining items. The auction dates are: February 25th Park View Middle School, March 18th Bluestone Middle School, April 22nd Bluestone High School, and May 20th Park View High School. The dates have also been posted on the mcpsweb.org website. More information will be provided soon, and will also be posted on their website.

Brian Dalton stated that MCPS plans to ask the School Board to relinquish the properties back to the Board of Supervisors. Park View and Bluestone Middle School will likely be included on March’s agenda.

Dalton also asked the board to reallocate $100,000 from the capital fund—money planned to have gone towards a centralized warehouse or transportation office—

Dalton also asked that $100,000 be reallocated from the capital fund to the Bluestone High School Renovation Project to cover repairs that need to be completed before the elementary school students can be moved to BHS. The money in the capital fund was intended to go towards purchasing a centralized warehouse or towards a transportation office, but that project has been put on the back burner for now.

Board member Andy Hargrove motioned that the board reallocate the funds; the motion carried.

Mecklenburg County’s Sheriff’s Office has received two checks to cover vehicle damage one of their Dodge Chargers totaling $4,968.90. They ask that the total amount of funds be appropriated to their office. The county has also received a check for $3,114.42 from VACorp to cover damages to the tourism vehicle after hitting a deer.

Social Services has requested that the board allocate approximately $70,000 or more of the County’s remaining ARPA funds to support the local food banks; they suggested moving the amount from the rent/utilities line item to the food line item. They stated that need for the local food banks will increase come March as families who currently receive SNAP Emergency Allotments will cease to receive them.

Board Member Jim Jennings made a motion to approve all of the appropriations. The motion carried.



County Administrator Wayne Carter reported that the county is continuing to move forward with EMPOWER Broadband. Right now Mecklenburg has 3,975 passings, of which EMPOWER has almost 1,850 active accounts. There are still several pending applications. 

EMPOWER hoped to finish up everything in the Tanglewood Americamp River Ridge section by the end of last month, but people kept signing up left and right. They currently have 3.6 miles approved for permitting in Mecklenburg and have submitted another 9.1 miles. 

Alex Gottschalk, Deputy County Administrator, reported on the goings on in Virginia’s General Assembly. He stated that over the last ten days there, “has been a series of policy wins for Mecklenburg County which is encouraging.” 

On Friday, February 3rd the House Appropriations Committee declined to hear the grocery tax bill for this session; this bill would have removed localities’ option to asses on food for human consumption. Gottschalk shared that unless the Governor brings it back up—which is highly unlikely as this bill is quite low on the priorities list—then the issue is resolved for the year in favor of local governments. 

The second bit of good news from the session is that both the House’s and Senate's budgets include a provision to change the definition of eligibility and eligible uses for the School Construction Assistance Program. 

As it was written and implemented by the Virginia Department of Education, it was very likely that Clarksville Elementary would either be completely ineligible for assistance or eligible for only a minor amount of assistance. The proposed provision would make Clarksville Elementary eligible for state assistance.

Gottschalk also shared, “On the Emergency Services front—one of my favorite bills of this session which is a very low priority bill in terms of the Commonwealth’s perspective, but for us I think it’s going to be very important—is there was a bill that would create a study and it would look at the funding from the Commonwealth Assistance to not only local governments but also any fire service and any EMS Squad volunteer…and a lot of those issues have not been looked at in a long time.”

In other news, the board reappointed Mrs. Polly Powell on the Local Board of Social Services.