During our meeting on Monday, we took many actions and made many decisions, which I believe will enhance the well-being of our county’s residents. These include:
- Purchasing 500 Verizon internet hotspots for school students in Buckingham without access to internet. We are working with the school division on this, and also looking into purchasing more hotspots via T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular. I am very proud of our decision to help empower more students and families to access internet as they begin their courses in this new and uncharted school year of virtual learning.
- The Board agreed to making grant applications with Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (Firefly) and Kinex Telecom Inc. with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for grant funding from the 2020 Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI). The Firefly connection grant would include about 700 homes and more than 20 miles of fiber for access to high speed internet. With right many of these new connections being in the Maysville District, I am very proud of the work we are doing and have done to help better connect our community, resulting in more jobs and opportunity for everyone.
- The Board voted to agree to use CARES Act (federal relief aid from Congress) funding to use to operate the rescue squad and our transition through the remainder of the fiscal year (which operates until June 30, 2021) in lieu of having to increase taxes to fund this change as the county begins to assume control of Emergency Medical Services in the county. I thank County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter and Emergency Services Manager Cody Davis for their hard work in demonstrating options for the Board to consider amid this pandemic. The Board will continue to consider the impact of additional revenue sources (such as new taxes, fees, and use of service fees) to fund the $800,000-$1 million annual operation of the county-operated rescue squad. I welcome and urge your comments on this matter as we grapple with how to fund this essential piece of county infrastructure.
- Additionally, we allotted another $10,000 to the Holiday Lake 4-H Center and $10,000 to the Buckingham Youth League to help these entities recoup their losses as a result of COVID-19. This is all from CARES Act funding.
- I am very blessed to have the opportunity to potentially serve on the Virginia Tobacco Commission. I was approached by the Tobacco Commission several weeks ago to consider applying for this opening, and I am being nominated by State Sen. John Edwards, whom I have a great deal of respect for. I have been endorsed by our Board of Supervisors and the Commonwealth Regional Council, which represents seven counties in the Tobacco Commission Region. I am excited to potentially represent this region on the Commission.
- The deadline for small businesses to apply for relief and aid from revenue loss or personal protective equipment purchases from the COVID-19 pandemic is Friday! We have only received a few applications and I know there are more businesses in the county that have struggled. County staff are more then willing to help you complete this short application and I’ll help as well. Please consider applying: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Docs/County%20Admin/NOTICE%20OF%20CARES%20GRANT%20OPPORTUNITY%20FOR%20BUCKINGHAM%20COUNTY%20SMALL%20BUSINESS%20OWNERS.pdf.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to keep our staff and visitors safe, along with the need to clean our county offices thoroughly while remaining open to the public, the county office will be closed daily between 12 noon and 1 p.m.
- We will hold a joint meeting with the Planning Commission on Monday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. to discuss a pending case for a proposed 250-foot cell tower to be located 12994 Howardsville Road (602). The application is being submitted on behalf of Verizon Wireless.
You can watch our meeting here via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diQIjZMb-uM.
PLEASE always feel more than welcome to call, email, text or visit me (using social distancing for the time being). If you have any comments, ideas, criticisms, compliments, or anything to say regarding my representing you on the Buckingham Board of Supervisors, please get in touch with me. You can call/text me at 434-390-7023, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or come see me at 13170 W. James Anderson Highway in the court house village. I would be pleased and happy to hear from you anytime.