Friends and neighbors,
Happy New Year! I pray you and your family are having a healthy, safe, and blessed 2021.
We’ve got a busy meeting coming up on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 at 6 p.m. in the Peter Francisco Board Room in the County Administration Complex on U.S. Route 60. I hope you will consider attending virtually, calling in, or writing us (there are restrictions on the number of people who can attend), via phone, or via YouTube.
Once uploaded, you can access the full Board Packet by clicking here: www.buckinghamcountyva.org.
You can click here to watch our meeting live: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfIL3rVTUEqgxBwXCQoBDTA you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit public comment, or call 434-969-5039 to offer verbal public comment.
As always, I would love to hear from you on any issue important to you, including any issue in this newsletter. You can call or text me at 434-390-7023, email me at email@example.com, or stop by and visit me at 13170 W. James Anderson Highway (my house is beside Herbert Maxey’s law office on Route 60).
A Look Back at 2020’s Successes for Buckingham
The year 2020 was my first year to have the honor to serve and represent you on the Board of Supervisors. Overall, this has been one of the best experiences I have ever had or will have in my life, and I hope to continue it for many years to come.
Though 2020 was not the best year to remember, your Board of Supervisors was able to complete many projects and tasks for all of our citizens and taxpayers, including, but not limited to the following:
- Reducing the Real Estate Tax Rate by three cents with many large projects going on. In addition, we were and will continue to be fiscally responsible stewards of your tax dollars and conservative in our spending. Much of our budgetary success is because of the work of County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter and her staff.
- Having FireFly (via CVEC) Broadband begin their five-year roll out of high speed internet in Buckingham. Many have already been connected.
- Strengthening and assuming control of our County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operations by investing and creating a better, more professional infrastructure — again without increasing tax rates.
- Selling the former Gold Hill Elementary School to David and Ramona Christian, bringing in several hundred thousand dollars to our county, which will bring jobs to Buckingham through their business innovation.
- Giving bonuses to our public school employees, along with our county staff.
- Creation of the new Anti-Litter Task Force Committee to clean up our roadways.
- Created the Economic Development Committee to bring more jobs into Buckingham.
- Supporting our public schools in many ways, including investing about $100,000 for hundreds of hot spots for school students to use for remote learning.
- Allotting at least $180,000 in CARES Act Funds to small businesses and nonprofits who demonstrated losses due to COVID-19.
- Distributing hundreds of Health Equity Packages to residents, which included masks and hand sanitizer.
- Our appointment to the Virginia Tobacco Commission, giving Buckingham a strong seat at the table.
- And last but not least, the completion of the state-of-the-art, beautiful Library and Community Center which, again came in without increasing taxes rates.
These accomplishments came in large part due to the hard work of Mrs. Carter and her staff, along with the vision of our Board of Supervisors.
BeWellVA, in conjunction with PAPSA, or Piedmont Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse, under the Crossroads Community Services Board, of which I am proud to represent Buckingham on, is promoting a positivity campaign during the struggles of COVID-19, which has been tied to vast increases in substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Please let me know if you’d like a yard sign to encourage positive messages for your neighbors.
If you have any questions about Crossroads CSB, visit our website here: http://www.crossroadscsb.org/.
How to Engage With Your Board of Supervisors During Our Meetings
In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, our meeting will be live streamed on YouTube. Public Hearing Comments for our hearings will be received either in person at the meeting using social distancing guidelines or by using the following methods:
- Written comments may be mailed to the Board of Supervisors at PO Box 252 Buckingham, VA 23921. Please limit word count to 500 words.
- Emailed comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit word count to 500 words.
- Telephone voicemail comments may be left to be played to the board by calling 434-969-5039
- To appear virtually to the Board of Supervisors for comments please email email@example.com. You will receive notice with the link and/or telephone number necessary to connect virtually during the meeting.
Please note: Please state your name, district, address, and which hearing you are commenting on. The three (3) minute rule will apply to public comments. All correspondence must be received only by the methods above, and are due by 12:00 PM the day of the meeting (Monday).
Update on Commercial Prospecting Matter
As I said last month, I maintain that we need to continue to be business-friendly to draw more commerce and private enterprise in Buckingham while protecting the rights of private property owners.
On Monday, we will hold a Joint Public Hearing with the Planning Commission regarding an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to do the following:
- Add “Registered Commercial Prospecting” as a Use by Right to A1, M1, and M2 Zoning Districts.
- Define “Registered Commercial Prospecting” as the exploration for the material, including but not limited to, mineral, stone, gas, or rock for commercial purposes, by drilling, excavating, or other land disturbing activity for commercial purposes by an entity that has provided the following information to the Zoning Administrator: name, contact information, location of prospecting, method of prospecting and length of time for the activity etc.
This proposal would leave mining as a special permitted use in Agricultural District, meaning that several public hearings, ample opportunity for public and other input, and scrutinizing conditions should a permit be recommended by the Planning Commission and ultimately approved by the Board of Supervisors.
I have reservations about the information that is needed (which will be public) regarding this “register” for commercial prospecting as it could very well allow for proprietary information to be disseminated, which could lead to a negative outcome for a business or enterprise seeking to locate in Buckingham. I welcome your thoughts on this. As a note, most every other county in the Commonwealth allows for core sampling as a by-right use, meaning no permit is required of the use.
The Board and Planning Commission have been discussing commercial core sampling/prospecting with regards to the previous commercial core sampling conducted by Aston Bay near Warminster Church Road, along with the potential for a mining operation for gold by Aston Bay.
Last month, we met with the Planning Commission to add “commercial prospecting” as a special use in the A-1 and M-1 districts, and making it by right in M-2; defining “commercial prospecting;” and adding that definition to the Zoning Ordinance; and leaving mining in A-1 as a special use permitted use in A-1 and M-1, hence why we are in the posture we are today with the pending hearing.
GO Virginia in Southern Virginia
I am proud to represent Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties, along with others in Southside Virginia, on the GO Virginia Region 3 Project Review Committee. GO Virginia is a business-led economic development initiative with funding to invest in collaborative projects that bring more business and opportunities to the commonwealth and lead to high-paying jobs in the region. For more information, click here: https://govirginia3.org/.
Please Contact Me!
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.
Thomas “Jordan” Miles III
District Four/Maysville Supervisor
13170 W. James Anderson Hwy.
PO Box 188
Buckingham, VA 23921