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Town Hall Video Link, Additional Rescue Coverage, New Format For Public Hearings, Updated COVID-19 Information, Continuity of Learning For Our Students

Here is a link to our first town hall meeting which was held on Tuesday, just in case you missed it: https://www.facebook.com/MilesforMaysville/videos/561328897823149/. Our first town hall was loaded with lots of information! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Increasing Rescue Coverage In Response to COVID-19

Buckingham County Administration’s Office of Emergency Management will be placing into service an additional staffed ambulance for the duration of the COVID-19 growth and peak pandemic phases. This ambulance will be staffed by basic life support personnel, stationed at the Glenmore Rescue Squad station, beginning Monday, April 6, 2020.  

While this additional staffing is being put into service in anticipation of an excessive call volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge Buckingham citizens to only call 911 for true emergencies.

Remember that the most effective means of protecting yourself and those around you are;

• Hand and surface hygiene to include washing your hands

• Social distancing (6 feet or more)

• Avoiding close contact with groups of ten or more

• Avoiding touching your face,

• Avoiding others who are sick

• Respecting Virginia’s STAY HOME ORDER

We also encourage you to remain up to date on COVID-19 information by visiting the following websites:

• VDH COVID-19 website: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus

• CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

• Contact the VDH Call Center at 1-877 ASK VDH3.

New Format For Public Hearings

The Board of Supervisors’ will hold four public hearings on Monday, April 13, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. They will regard the values of the reassessment of real property, the proposed tax rates, the proposed $57 million fiscal year 2020-2021 budget, and a USDA grant for equipment for the new library.

Additional Updates

Here are some articles from The Farmville Herald covering some of our actions.

— As you know, I am opposed to the effective tax rate increase. You can read more about my stance and full statement on the proposed tax rates and budget here: https://milesformaysville.com/2020/03/29/my-thoughts-on-the-proposed-effective-real-estate-tax-increase-and-school-funding-proposal/. *https://farmvilleherald.com/2020/04/10-effective-tax-rate-increase-proposed-for-buckingham/

— Please note that I voted against the motion to suspend all public comment during regularly-held Board meetings as the county has the means and technology to allow you to submit public comment during meetings. It is important to me that your voice be heard and part of the record of our meetings. This does not mean that public hearings are suspended. *https://farmvilleherald.com/2020/04/ordinance-passed-public-comments-suspended/

— This week, Cody Davis, our Emergency Manager for the county, offered this information during our Special Board Meeting. Please practice social distancing, stay home as much as possible, and keep your hands clean and don’t touch your face! *https://farmvilleherald.com/2020/04/buckingham-warned-of-rapid-community-spread-of-virus-within-72-hours/

Continuity of Learning For Our Students

In response to a constituent’s inquiry, please see the following from Division Superintendent Dr. Daisy Hicks regarding continuity of learning for Buckingham County Public Schools. Let me know if you have any questions.

I hope you are well. In response to your email, we are mailing distance learning packets to the students for continuity of learning during this early school closure.

We mailed out the first learning packet on Monday, March 30, and we will plan to do a second mailing around mid-April. Teachers are making contact with students/families periodically to answer any questions they may have relating to the learning packets and to just check in with their students.

Unfortunately, like many other rural area school divisions, we were unable to provide online distance learning opportunities for our students since we have limited broadband/internet access. Even though there are some families who may have access to the internet, we had to continue to consider equity during this time.

We are continuing to provide weekly meals for students by distributing meals to students at three locations throughout the county (Centenary United Methodist Church, Gold Hill Elementary School, and Buckingham Middle School) twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays from 12noon-2pm.

For those who need to register for PreSchool, PreSchool applications can be printed from our website or parents may contact us at 434-969-6100 and we will mail them an application. We are asking that the completed application and a copy of the required documents are mailed back to us. We will use this same process for Kindergarten registration.

Employees are encouraged to work from home and many of us are coming to the office at least two days a week to take care of the business that we can not do from home.

We are continuing to follow all the guidelines that we are receiving by the State Superintendent, Dr. James Lane, CDC, and the Governor. 

‘Connected in the Challenge’ by Angela Patterson-Jones

Here is a poem regarding what we all are going through by Angela Patterson-Jones, who lives in the Maysville District and is a school principal. I hope it brings you as much peace as it has brought me.

———————————————————-

Who knew that COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, could make its presence known throughout the world and nation,

And, Oh! How it has caused great disruption and devastation!

Our normal schedules basically went away,

And all we could do was adjust and pray.

Businesses closed and as a result, some peoples’ jobs were gone and people could work no more,

What a shocking thing for everyone, especially for the low income and the extremely poor!

It is hard to believe that schools have closed for the rest of the academic year,

For parents, students, teachers, and administrators, this definitely created some anxiety and fear.

Divisions worked diligently to create a plan for students while they are out of school,

So they can still get meals, learn, and do creative things that are cool.

Sometimes in life, we are met with challenges that we may not understand,

It is during these times that we can come together and unite across this great land.

For if we already had a plan, would the result be the best?

There is tremendous growth and amazing results through each of life’s most difficult tests.

During this time, we are made to really reflect on our lives and the blessings we are given each day.

We should ask ourselves, “How will I be better from this crisis, when it all goes away?”

If we really are still, listen, and observe what is happening all around us each day,

Then, we would realize that, if we stay positive, we know that everything will be okay.

There is a repositioning that is taking place before our eyes,

Things are working out more than we can realize.

The family structure is being reconnected in an amazing pace,

And, we are being given such wonderful grace.

The nation is able to see just how much work teaching is all about,

Educators are to be appreciated frequently and they deserve a big shout out!

For our children, they are able to experience some interest-based projects like never before,

For those that don’t perform well on standardized testing, this may enable their learning to soar!

Everyone is learning to look at things differently, wherever they may be,

A great plan is at work in our nation, just wait and see!

Through it all, we must remember this:

Our love and compassion for one another must continue when the devastation has ended,

We will be a much better community, state, nation, and world that is truly blended.

Join us during our upcoming Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 28 @ 6 p.m.

Please join us for our upcoming Town Hall for the Maysville District, hosted by Supervisor Jordan Miles. District Four School Board Member Joii West Goodman will join us!

We’ll discuss many issues and county updates important to you and your family, including the proposed core drilling for commercial purposes topic, our new library and community center, the formerly proposed Noise Ordinance, COVID-19 updates and how we have responded to the pandemic, our finances, VDOT road matters, and much more.

If you have a topic you’d like to discuss or hear more about, contact us. Join on Facebook at Miles for Maysville (https://www.facebook.com/events/3305875179495770) or call in here: Dial-in number (602) 580-9572, Access code 5317332.

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 jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov, 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.

Join us during our upcoming Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 28 @ 6 p.m.

Please join us for our upcoming Town Hall for the Maysville District, hosted by Supervisor Jordan Miles. District Four School Board Member Joii West Goodman will join us!

We’ll discuss many issues and county updates important to you and your family, including the proposed core drilling for commercial purposes topic, our new library and community center, the formerly proposed Noise Ordinance, COVID-19 updates and how we have responded to the pandemic, our finances, VDOT road matters, and much more.

If you have a topic you’d like to discuss or hear more about, contact us. Join on Facebook at Miles for Maysville (https://www.facebook.com/events/3305875179495770) or call in here: Dial-in number (602) 580-9572, Access code 5317332.

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 jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov, 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.

This Month: Eight Public Hearings, Zoning Cases, Core Sampling ZTA, Proposed Revised Noise Ordinance, Selling Gold Hill School, Amending Budget For CARES Act Funds, and More

We’ve got a busy meeting coming up on NOT MONDAY, BUT ON Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020 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 in person (though there are restrictions on the number of people who can attend), via phone, or via YouTube. Here is a link to the full Board Packet: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Board%20Packets/2020/oct%2013%202020%20bos%20pckt.pdf.

You can click here to watch our meeting live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmbZ8SPVBk0, you can email publiccomments@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov to submit public comment, or call 434-969-5039 to offer verbal, recorded public comment.

Public Hearings Regarding Zoning Changes

In terms of business we have before us, we have eight public hearings, ranging from zoning (special use permit, etc.) cases, a proposed zoning text amendment that will allow core sampling after a special use permit is issued, and amending our FY20-21 budget to allow for the approximately $3 million in CARES Act Funding, the sale of the former Gold Hill School to a new business enterprise, and the proposed noise ordinance revisions.

Regarding the Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) that would allow core sampling for commercial use in Agricultural Zoned District with a special use permit, this comes as a result of an existing, non-compliant use in that specific area and on two specific parcels on Warminster Church Road where some core sampling has already taken place. Activity has ceased as this is not a permitted use in an Agricultural District.

I have spoken to the landowners, community members in that area, Aston Bay Holdings, and others, and I am continuing to gather information on this topic.

If the ZTA is approved, it would be a use with a special use permit (which comes with hearings and recommendations from the Planning Commission). I want to be clear that this hearing on Tuesday is not one that will allow Aston Bay Holdings to core sample as they still have to apply for a Special Use Permit if we approved the ZTA. So, voting for the ZTA does not mean Aston Bay has a Special Use Permit to core sample. They are two different processes.

County Assuming EMS Duties and Services

We are also going to consider several actions to continue the progress in fully assuming the roles and responsibilities of providing emergency medical services to county residents, including contracting with Delta Response Team (DRT) to provide EMS services through June 2022, along with hiring our own Basic Life Support staff to run calls in the county, which would be a county-manned 12-hour crew. Much of the funding for this new venture has come from good budgeting and CARES Act Funding.

CARES Act Funding For Small Businesses Hurt By COVID-19

We also have great news regarding our CARES Act-funded grant awards to several small businesses in the county, which were recommended by the Buckingham Small Business Assistance Committee, which I proudly served on. The IDA agreed to allocate our recommendation of $60,000 in CARES Act Funding to nine small businesses that demonstrated a qualified need for assistance.

I am proud of all of our small businesses for continuing to weather the storm that COVID-19 has created.

Proposed Noise Ordinance

Here is a copy of the proposed revised Noise Ordinance that we are holding a public hearing on: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Docs/County%20Admin/Noise_Ordinance.pdf. As I have said in the past, I appreciate the many comments I have received regarding the changes, which have been almost unanimously opposed to the measure. I voted against holding a public hearing on the ordinance because of concerns over the restriction on gun shooting and other unenforceable and unnecessary conditions, and I will vote against the ordinance as it currently reads. While I believe in the necessity of a noise ordinance to protect residents’ rights and peace, these revisions are unnecessary and unreasonable.

If you want to register your opinion on this ordinance, you can attend our meeting (following social distancing guidelines), e-mail publiccomments@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov to submit public comment, or call 434-969-5039 to offer verbal public comment.

The news of the closure of Sentara’s Buckingham Family Medicine has caused profound disappointment in our community.  We’ve met with leaders of Sentara and are making little headway. We are scheduled to meet with them again next week. Not only is it disheartening to lose a health care provider during a worldwide pandemic, and when our community is suffering from a shortage of healthcare providers, but it’s also upsetting that eight jobs will be lost or relocated to another county.  I would implore those who want to see this facility kept open to sign our petition at https://forms.gle/4effNAkFVTzXBnfD8.

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 jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov, 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.

Upcoming Monday, Sept. 14 BOS Meeting: Help Save Buckingham Family Medicine, Four Zoning Introductions, Welcoming Dennis Davis to Board, Draft Noise Ordinance, Drug Dropbox at Sheriff’s Office

We’ve got a busy meeting coming up on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020 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 in person (though there are restrictions on the number of people who can attend), via phone, or via Youtube. Here is a link to the full Board Packet:  http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Board%20Packets/2020/sept%2014%202020%20bos.pdf

You can click here to watch our meeting live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmbZ8SPVBk0 you can email publiccomments@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov to submit public comment, or call 434-969-5039 to offer verbal public comment.

Help Save Buckingham Family Medicine

The news of the closure of Sentara’s Buckingham Family Medicine has caused profound disappointment in our community.  On Friday, I, along with Chamber of Commerce Representative Sandra F. Moss, spoke with NBC 29 and News Radio WINA of Charlottesville regarding our efforts.

We met with leaders of Sentara on Friday and are making some headway, hopefully. I will have an update on this sometime this coming week.

Not only is it disheartening to lose a health care provider during a worldwide pandemic, and when our community is suffering from a shortage of healthcare providers, but it’s also upsetting that eight jobs will be lost or relocated to another county. 

Hundreds of people in Buckingham rely on the services of this doctor’s office for their overall health, and their families for many generations.  This is evidenced by the more than 1,300 signatures petitioning to keep the practice open since just late Thursday night. This figure is current as of tonight. 

I would implore those who want to see this facility kept open to sign our petition at https://forms.gle/4effNAkFVTzXBnfD8, and to join the Buckingham Chamber of Commerce on Sunday, Sept. 20 from 3-4 p.m. Petitions can be signed at Moss Motor Co. in Dillwyn as well.

Zoning Introductions

We have four zoning-related introductions that we will consider setting public hearings for during our October meeting. Please take a look at these here: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Board%20Packets/2020/sept%2014%202020%20bos.pdf.

Welcoming Supervisor Dennis Davis

We are pleased to welcome District One Supervisor Dennis Davis during our September meeting. Mr. Davis will serve in the interim in the position that has been vacated by the late R.C. “Bobby” Jones, whom we will honor in a resolution in memoriam during our September meeting. I was very honored to serve with Supervisor Jones and am honored to serve with Supervisor Davis!

Draft Noise Ordinance

I hope you will take a look and let me know your thoughts about the draft noise ordinance that’s being proposed to us on Monday. While there is a set decibel level for measure of noise, there are also several exemptions. I want to hear your opinions on this matter. See page 263 of this document: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Board%20Packets/2020/sept%2014%202020%20bos.pdf.

Drug Drop Off Box at Sheriff’s Office

We’ve been working with the Buckingham County Sheriff’s Office in attempting to secure by way of a grant a drop box for unwanted prescription drugs to better help combat the opioid epidemic our nation and region faces. We will be voting to support this measure in an effort with law enforcement and CVS, and I am hopeful we can secure this drop box.

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 jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov, 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.

Join More than 800 in Signing Petition — Save Sentara Buckingham Family Medicine

The news of the pending closure of Sentara’s Buckingham Family Medicine has caused nothing short of profound disappointment in our community.  Not only is it disheartening to lose a health care provider during a worldwide pandemic, and when our community is suffering from a shortage of healthcare providers, but it’s also upsetting that eight jobs will be lost or relocated to another county. 

Hundreds of people in Buckingham rely on the services of this doctor’s office for their overall health, and their families for many generations.  This is evidenced by the more than 800 signatures petitioning to keep the practice open since just late Thursday night. This figure is current as of tonight. 

I have also communicated with Sen. Mark Peake and Del. Matt Fariss about this matter and they are going to help.

I ask members of our community not to lose hope as we have meetings scheduled for this upcoming week with health care providers, including Sentara, to work through this issue and to identify avenues we can take to keep quality healthcare in Buckingham.

I would implore those who want to see this facility kept open to sign our petition at https://forms.gle/4effNAkFVTzXBnfD8, and to join the Buckingham Chamber of Commerce on Sunday, Sept. 20 from 3-4 p.m. for its March for Medical Care at the Pocket Park on Main Street in Dillwyn.  The March will conclude at Buckingham Family Medicine.

Update on expanding broadband access via Firefly and Kinex, addressing CenturyLink concerns

Please see the below update from Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) regarding Firefly broadband internet in Buckingham. I am very pleased with the progress that this great partnership is resulting in.

An update on Firefly from CVEC.
An update on Firefly from CVEC.

Buckingham County has approximately 8,200 homes and businesses. Almost 4,600 are served by Central Virginia Electric Cooperative and will have internet options from their system wide fiber build which will be completed by 2023. In addition, Firefly has applied for a ReConnect grant for some non-CVEC territory which will cover almost 300 additional homes and businesses.

With 783 being passed with this project and if the ReConnect grant is awarded this fall, Firefly will have fiber optic service passing almost 5,800, or 71% of the county homes and businesses. There are a few areas with CenturyLink DSL that exceeds 25/3, and another local fiber based internet company provides service to the school system and a small portion of the residences and businesses; with these two providers plus Firefly, more than 80% of all county buildings will have access to broadband after this project.

This project will be an important step towards Buckingham County completing its goal of 100 percent connectivity for its citizens. If this grant is successful, it will open the northern Rt. 15 corridor to further expansion of broadband access.

Earlier this month, 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 area for this project is adjacent to the northern border of the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (“CVEC”) fiber build and the retail internet access service area of Firefly Fiber Broadband (“Firefly”), a wholly owned subsidiary of CVEC. The project will connect to that network and extend north along Rt. 15 through Dillwyn and further north to Bell Road. The project area then continues east along Bell Road and then down Scotts Bottom Road back to Rt. 60. From there the project area map goes back west to Sprouse’s Corner. There is also a small area along Rt. 60 west of Sprouse’s Corner that provides service to the Va. State Police office, U.S.D.A. office and several other businesses and homes.

The total number of serviceable units, or passings, for this area has be estimated to be 783, including 74 businesses. The services offered by Firefly Fiber Broadband will include 100 mbps for $49.99 and 1gbps for $79.99. All services include unlimited data and speeds are symmetrical for upload and download. If citizens register for service while construction is taking place in the area, the $100 installation fee will be waived. Voice over IP telephone service is also offered for $34.99 with a $5.00 per month bundling discount if paired with internet service.

The Firefly connection grant would include about 700 homes and more than 20 miles of fiber for access to high speed internet.

With 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.

Follow-Up To Century Link Comments

I spoke with a CenturyLink representative at length this week about your comments regarding connections, equipment, and reliability. The spokesman said this summer has been the worst for summer storms in Virginia in years, and lightening does a great deal of damage to lines.

He said technicians are working overtime to work and repair lines, as are other staff. He emphasized the importance of reporting these issues to CenturyLink (see website and number below).

When new broadband is installed, that should increase reliability for phone connectivity, he said, because of the proximity of the equipment to the residence. But the further away the equipment from the residence, the more likely a storm (mainly lightening) could damage the telephone line or broadband connection.

Regarding CenturyLink’s DSL project (see this link for previous history), the spokesman noted that by the end of this year the homes in questions should be connected in the county. Homes without traditional CenturyLink telephone connections may see an additional connection charge, he said, but this would not be applicable to those with phone service with CenturyLink. Again, with broadband there is less chance for damaged lines because of the proximity of the equipment.

They’re aiming to have all of these areas turned up by the end of the year, but it could take longer if we run into issues with construction. 

Here are the areas across Buckingham that CenturyLink is working in to improve internet access:

  1. Int. Hwy 20 & 679 (Paynes Pond Rd)
  2. Near 2810 Hundley Branch Rd.
  3. Warren’s Ferry Rd. & Rock Island Rd.
  4. Enonville (near intersection of Oak Hill and Andersonville),
  5. Dixie Hill Rd. just north of Andersonville Rd – we have some very slow speeds (~1.5 Mbps) to this area now and they will be able to get much faster speeds.
  6. Andersonville Rd. just north of Perkins Mill Rd.

He noted that with CenturyLink’s DSL, the highest speed (with homes closest to the equipment) would be 100 megabytes per second (homes in first 1,000 feet of equipment), and then the further the homes from the equipment, the less internet speed, going as low as 10 megabytes per second. He did note this access closes the “homework gap.”

Helping Students Learn Remotely

We are receiving great feedback on the Board’s decision to purchase 500 Verizon internet hot spots for school students in Buckingham without access to internet. We are working with the school division on this, and also looking into purchasing more hot spots via T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular. We are 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.

Should you need to contact me, please call, visit, email or text me.

Thomas Jordan Miles III

District Four Supervisor (Maysville)
Note change in my email: jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov
434-390-7023

13170 West James Anderson Highway

PO Box 188

Buckingham, Virginia 23921

www.MilesforMaysville.com


Expanding broadband internet to students and residents, CARES Act funding update & Rescue Squad, Tobacco Commission Opportunity, Small Business Relief Program, And More

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 jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov, 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.

Upcoming August 2020 Board of Supervisors’ Meeting

We’ve got a loaded agenda for our Board of Supervisors’ Meeting during our Monday, August 10, 2020 Session! I hope you’ll consider joining virtually or in person.

We’ll be discussing many items, including using CARES Act funding for this year’s phase of transition of the county assuming operations of the rescue squad (you can read the funding options and recommendations on page 151 of this document), using CARES Act funding for enabling students to access internet with Verizon hot spots, a request for extension for a solar farm permit, discussion of expansion of broadband, further CARES Act disbursements, and an update regarding the Buckingham County Small Business Support Program.

Here is a link to the Agenda and Board Packet for our August meeting: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Board%20Packets/2020/august%2010%202020%20bos%20pckt.pdf. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about any topic.

You can view our meeting live here via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diQIjZMb-uM, you can email publiccomments@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov to submit public comment, or call 434-969-5039 to offer verbal public comment.

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 jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov, 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.

CenturyLink bringing faster, more reliable internet to the Maysville District

There’s been a lot of directional boring recently in certain parts of Buckingham County, along roadways and under driveways, resulting in orange conduit popping up. This is CenturyLink installing new fiber in our community — meaning faster internet — and most of it is being installed the Maysville District.

CenturyLink is burying fiber from Sprouses Corner down U.S. Route 15 and Andersonville Road and placing three new pieces of equipment to provide more access to broadband and faster internet.

Here are the new areas they’re in the process launching, hopefully by the end of September (could take longer as it is too early to tell an exact date):

  • Enonville (near intersection of Oak Hill and Andersonville),
  • Dixie Hill Rd just north of Andersonville Rd – we have some very slow speeds (~1.5 Mbps) to this area now and they will be able to get much faster speeds.
  • Andersonville Rd just north of Perkins Mill Rd.

I have been in discussion with CenturyLink about this project and I am very excited they are working to increase internet speeds in our district and county.

In late February, Central Virginia Electric Cooperative announced its expansion of broadband internet in Buckingham and many other counties with using a $28 million USDA ReConnect Grant. Buckingham has already and will see the first signs of expansion under this program.

This is great news for all of us here in Buckingham County and for CVEC’s customers and I am proud to support this great effort in getting high speed fiber optic broadband, not only to the Maysville District, but across Buckingham. This infrastructure will surely lead to more businesses locating here, more students able to complete research and do their homework more efficiently, more teleworking, and more growth overall in our county.

We are so grateful to CVEC, the USDA, our county staff, and everyone else who has worked so long and hard for this great milestone!

Read more here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/central-virginia-electric-cooperative/central-virginia-electric-cooperative-receives-28-million-reconnect-award-from-u/10158108115633899/.

Busy July BOS Meeting: Rescue Squad Transition and Proposed Tax Increase, Public Hearing on Solid Waste Ordinance, Small Business Funding Opportunity, Upcoming Town Hall, Public School Reopening, and Statement on ACP Cancellation

We’ve got a packed meeting coming up on Monday, July 13, 2020 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 in person (though there are restrictions on the number of people who can attend), via phone, or via Youtube. Here is a link to the full Board Packet: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Board%20Packets/2020/july%2013%202020%20bos%20pckt.pdf.

You can click here to watch our meeting live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPW1-53WLHg&feature=youtu.be, you can email publiccomments@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov to submit public comment, or call 434-969-5039 to offer verbal public comment.

Transition of the Rescue Squad to the County

For several years now, the Buckingham County Volunteer Rescue Squad has struggled to a maintain volunteer-based response to the county’s EMS calls, which resulted in the county becoming involved in the squad’s operations and contracted services with Delta Response Team (DRT), which has cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now that the BCVRS leadership has voted to relinquish its assets and, in theory, turn the squad’s operations over to the county, we (county government) are in the process of transitioning to operate the rescue squad countywide.

Please keep in mind that, during this transition and once complete, volunteers are more than welcome to join the rescue squad.

There are several agenda items pertaining to this that I implore you to read up on, including a public hearing on a 5-cent real estate tax increase to fund and operate the rescue squad.

The proposal from the Rescue Squad Committee, which will undergo a public hearing in August, would result in real estate tax rates going from $.52 cents to $.57 cents per $100 of assessed value. Again this money (which would result in just over $1 million in new revenue for the county annually) would be used solely for rescue squad operations. The increase, if approved, would be effective December 2020. In order to operate the rescue squad, the county would still need about $880,000 more in revenue annually to operate to sufficiently cover the county’s EMS needs. The committee has taken into consideration the anticipated and hopeful revenue recovery the county should receive.

The long and short of this is it is estimated that operating the squad will cost about $1.8 million annually to operate the squad and keep up with capital improvements (new equipment), hence the need for new money/revenue to operate.

The overall transition is a three-phased approach. Phase One is immediate transitioning (assumptions of assets), Phase Two includes

•Beginning January 01, 2021- January 01, 2022 OR 2023

•Generating funding during this time

•Towards later part of this time, we are hiring staffing

•Including staffing necessary to handle additional HR/Payroll burden

•Beginning capital improvements once funding is available

Phase Three is county employees fully staffing the squad:

•Beginning January 01, 2022 OR 2023

•Buckingham County is completely staffed by our own employees, giving us a lot of flexibility and control. This is the end goal that remains fluid depending on transition process.

Also, on Monday we will be voting on recommendations from the Rescue Squad Committee:

  • Releasing $50,000 of budgeted money to the rescue squad
  • Releasing of $53,000 of budgeted money to the rescue squad as a match for a new rescue squad vehicle
  • Approval of a Memorandum of Transition between the Board of Supervisors and the BCVRS
  • A motion to request the assets from the BCVRS to the Buckingham Emergency Services Department
  • Adoption of a resolution that will transition emergency services to the county from the squad and declaring Buckingham Emergency Services Department as the designated Emergency Medical Service Agency

Last month, the Board decided:

  • For the Board’s EMS Committee to assume the provision of emergency services currently provided by the Buckingham Rescue Squad.
  • For the committee to make a recommendation as to the funding of the assumption of services should the county assume provision of these emergency services.
  • To allow county staff to make application, on behalf of the county, for an an EMS services operational license through the state.

It is important to understand that leadership of the current rescue squad voted unanimously to allow this process to take place in an effort for the county to begin planning to undertake the role of providing emergency services and EMS response to the residents of Buckingham.

I seek your thoughts and opinions on this as (notably the proposed real estate tax increase) the county begins to fulfill this paramount role of providing essential EMS services to our county residents. We must to have a means to pay for this service as public infrastructure to serve and protect you.

Public Hearing on Solid Waste Management Ordinance

Last month, presented the Board with a new Solid Waste Management Ordinance in draft form that we will hold a public hearing on during our meeting. I hope you will read it and consider its impacts as it addressed the access to the solid waste sites that many of you have expressed, notably the farming community.

The premise of the changes in the ordinance is that we are seeking to separate the county vehicle decal and develop a household waste permit, which we need approval from the Virginia General Assembly to do (in creating the new permit). This is an effort to allow those who are traditional and non-traditional county residents without county decals to dump household waste in the solid waste facilities.

I support the ordinance the the equity it offers to residents, farmers, and non-resident landowners.

The draft, proposed ordinance addresses absentee landowners, farm use vehicles, residents, non-residents, etc. Below is a link to the the draft ordinance. I encourage you to review this and get back to me with your thoughts.

Here is a link to the draft ordinance: rewrite-of-solid-ordinance.06-05-2020

Spending of CARES Act Money

We are planning to discuss spending of the $1.5 million of CARES Act funds allocated by the Congress recently. The county has spent money so far on matters (notably personal protective equipment) related to COVID-19. Spent so far is $554,430 with about $941,666 remaining. We will be discussing the following proposals to use this fund:

  • $30,000 to create opportunities for small business relief from COVID-19 revenue losses in creating the Buckingham County Business Support Program
  • $10,000 for the Buckingham Youth League
  • $10,000 for the Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center
  • $38,392 for the Town of Dillwyn (this is mandatory per CARES Act)
  • $300,000 for a new rescue squad

If these projects are funded, this will leave about $591,000 remaining for COVID-19 matters.

Town Hall Meeting

You’re invited to our second Maysville District/District Four Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 6 p.m. You can use Zoom to call or video in (see information below), or logon to Facebook.com/MilesForMaysville to stream live. 
Please come with questions, ideas, concerns, compliments, and any topic you’d like to discuss. Please send me any questions to jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov or call or text me at 434-390-7023.

We will be discussing many updates, including actions from our July Board Meeting, updated information on the new library/community center, VDOT road matters, our new Economic Development Committee, the newly created Anti Litter Task Force, the Rescue Squad, taxes, and much more. 

Zoom Information

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88268547096

Meeting ID: 882 6854 7096

Call in: Dial 1-301-715-8592, Meeting ID: 88268547096#

Also, click here for information on the 2020 Virtual Buckingham County Education Town Hall, which will include Division Superintendent Dr. Daisy Hicks, State Sen. Mark Peake, and Del. Matt Fariss. The event will be held Tuesday, July 14, 2020, 6:00 PM.

Public School Reopening

The Buckingham County Public School Division has created a great frequently asked question sheet to help answer questions about the schools’ reopening. You can find that here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aIQBNTW7PbYho4vTQdOx1TxIvcEvvkwTxiHwhPgYA6U/edit. More information on the upcoming public school year can be found here: https://www.bcpschools.org/school_board.

Statement on Cancellation of the ACP

Though I criticized Dominion Energy’s level of transparency at the outset of constructing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and compressor station in Buckingham County, I am disappointed in the firm’s decision to cancel the project, one that would have resulted in domestically-used natural gas up and down the East Coast.

The project would have also resulted in a decreased dependence on fossil fuels and a stronger energy infrastructure for businesses and homes. The decision is going to result in a loss of million of dollars in tax revenue for Buckingham that would have offset increased expenditures expected by the county and our taxpayers.

The proposed natural gas tap off of U.S. Route 15 south of Sprouse’s Corner that the Board of Supervisors and County negotiated with Dominion and Kyanite would have truly been a game changer for the economy of Buckingham and this region, and I’m sorry to see that disappear, and with that goes lots of anticipated jobs for those in the region and county. Dominion has a strong presence in our community and I hope they will continue to strongly support community building efforts discussed during the ACP construction process.

I feel strongly that Dominion, in working with state and federal agencies, worked hard to mitigate any environmental and social issues the construction and operation of the project would have caused.

2019 Annual Drinking Water Report

Here is a link to the 2019 Annual Buckingham County Drinking Water Report from the Virginia Department of Health: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Docs/County%20Admin/2019%20Annual%20Drinking%20Water%20Quality%20Report.pdf.

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 jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov, 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.