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County Supervisor Jeff Sili seeks to stop county payments on YMCA

Posted on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 11:49 am

MILFORD— During the Sept. 24 Caroline County Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Jeff Sili made a motion to stop using county government funds to make interest payments on the $5 million loan to build the YMCA because YMCA representatives have not provided descriptions, explanations, and cost of change orders to correct flaws in the structure.

Supervisor Jeff Black seconded the motion.

Floyd Thomas, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, asked the other supervisors to withdraw their motion to not pay the YMCA bills, if they would be willing to give the YMCA two additional weeks to submit the information.

Thomas stated that if the information had not been presented by then, he

would support the motion. Sili agreed to compromise and stay the motion until the Oct. 8 Board of Supervisors meeting.

In 2011, the Board of Supervisors entered into an agreement with the Rappahannock Area YMCA to give the organization $5 million to build a Caroline YMCA. The county accomplished this with a secured loan from SunTrust Bank. The collateral for this debt is the Bowling Green Elementary School, which recently underwent a $10 million expansion and renovation. Apart from this gift and the loan that made it possible to make the gift, there are 10 interest-only payments on the SunTrust loan of $103,100 due twice a year.

The county government recently helped pay part of the interest-only payment.

In other business, supervisors were told Caroline County has until July 1, 2014 to implement state-mandated storm water management regulations.

There have been two bills approved by the assembly, and approved by the governor.

Three programs are required to be in place by July 1. These programs include the old Chesapeake Bay program, the old EMS program, and a new program specific to storm water management.

County planning director Mike Finchum said, “I can sum that up in three words: confusing, duplicative, and expensive.” He told the board that there is a timeline to which the county must adhere. The planning commission has drafted a submission to be presented to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. This draft is to be

presented to the board by the first Board of Supervisors meeting in November.

Supervisor Floyd Thomas aired his frustrations and described this as an unfunded mandate, which means, “the localities will bear the brunt” of something that comes from the state. “Needless to say, I don’t feel happy about that,” he added.

In other business, Supervisor Jeff Black reported that he received a phone call from the Ladysmith Volunteer Fire Department chief concerning the second floor of the fire department. The structure has been inspected, and has been deemed unsafe for occupancy or storage due to hazardous floor conditions.

Black said he believes that fixing this issue should be “a top priority.” The fire chief of the Ladysmith district addressed the board, saying he did not know how much repairs to the structure would cost. He noted that an engineer was coming to look at

the property to make a plan so that repairs can move forward.

An appropriation of funds had been requested for the purchase of a new ambulance, new fleet vehicles, and new uniforms and t-shirts. Jason Loftus, county fire-rescue chief,  said that the uniforms can be put aside, but the vehicles and ambulance are very important. Supervisors had told the station that if they could work their budget in such a way that they were able to save money, then that money would be returned to them for such purchases.

The board will honor this agreement, but asked the chief to delay the other purchases until after all of the costs are prioritized. Supervisors said they were in favor of allowing the proposed purchase of the ambulance. A motion for purchase of the

ambulance was made, and was carried unanimously by the board.

In other business, Mark Giles and his wife, Tammy, owners of Bud’s Towing, were granted their request for rezoning of their property for the proposed use of a tow service operation.

The Caroline County Planning Commission held a public hearing regarding this matter, and afterward submitted a recommendation of denial to the Board of Supervisors.

The business is held in high regard, has had no complaints or citations since opening in 1982. If the business does not comply with county ordinances, they can lawfully be enforced.

In other business, a request for a special exception permit to allow the use of a campground in the Madison district was postponed for 12 months. During the public hearing, residents from the Madison district spoke out against the campground, which is in the middle of what is considered a residential area. The owner of the campground asked for more time to get his water and sewer system updated. The motion to defer the decision was passed unanimously.