Proposed New Solid Waste Management Ordinance, Rescue Squad Transition, County re-opening and COVID-19 Updates, County Revenue, and Much More

Our June meeting was filled with lots of important actions and information that I want y’all to know be aware of as it will and does directly impact you. This include setting a public hearing for our revised Solid Waste Management Ordinance, updates regarding COVID-19, details on county reopening, transition of the rescue squad, and much more. You can view our entire meeting here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzO7Grwdqcs.

New Solid Waste Management Ordinance

Staff presented the Board with a new Solid Waste Management Ordinance in draft form that we will hold a Monday, July 13, 2020 public hearing on. 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.

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.

Rescue Squad Transition

While the Board decided to renew its new contract with 24/7 coverage with DRT (Delta Response Team, our contractor) operating out of the Glenmore Squad Building through December 2020 (using FEMA funds to pay for this), we also, and more importantly, voted to seek the following objectives:

  • 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 have confidence that, in Emergency Services Manager Cody Davis, the EMS Committee, and County Staff, that we can find an innovative way to charter through these waters and find a solution for the county that will involve volunteers and result in a product that effectively serves everyone in their time of need in a timely manner.

COVID-19 Stats and Updates

Staff provided the Board the following update in terms of COVID-19 case numbers.

  • There are a total of 481 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Buckingham, 10 of which include people hospitalized and three have died.
  • Buckingham Correctional Facility is at 44 confirmed cases and 9 are staff members.
  • Dillwyn Correctional Facility has 93 confirmed cases and 2 are staff.

Buckingham has seen a second, or a renewed outbreak, of COVID-19 recently. I implore you to please practice social distancing, wear a face covering in public and to be as safe as possible.

Our county government now has a new re-opening date of Monday, June 15 at 8:30 a.m. In county facilities, there will be specific guidelines in place for social distancing, temperature checking, screening, and wearing face covering in place, not only to protect our citizens, but to protect county staff as well.

Appointments to Anti Litter Task Force

The Board appointed David Ogden, Eddie Slagle, Lewis Bryant, and Kenda Hanuman to the the new Anti Litter Task Force, which will work with the county’s recycling committee to create new and innovative ways to allow less trash on the road an in our landfills, resulting in a cleaner environment.

County Revenue Update

As you know, COVID-19 has rocked the nation’s and state’s revenue streams. Buckingham County is very, very blessed and lucky to not have had a large hit in our year to date revenues with regards to real estate, personal property, and other taxes.

Above (at the top of this page) you see a comparison graph of current collections of various taxes to last year’s collections. Though there appears to be a large deficit in our real estate collections, this is because of the large volume of real estate tax billing that has not yet been processed by the Treasurer’s Office. They are fully-staffed now and are in the process of entering in checks and revenue sources, and county staff have assured the Board that we will see an uptick in our actual collections.

Staff will report on our collection rates monthly.

Public Hearings Held, Permit and Zoning Text Amendment Approved

  1. The first public hearing regarded increasing the Courthouse Security Fee from $10 to $20 per criminal or traffic case. This comes at the recommendation from the sheriff. The Board approved this.
  2. The second hearing regarded a request from Elijah Cain to operate a commercial garage and repair shop at the intersection of Tower Hill Road and Route 60. He is proposing a 1,500 square-foot steel building as a commercial garage there. The Board approved this.
  3. The third hearing regarded adding a zoning text amendment for the purpose of operating non-retail office space (a home health staffing agency) and the application of a special use permit for that purpose. Applicant Jamise Vowels is proposing a home health staffing agency on Randolph Creek Road. The Board approved this.

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.

Your Voice Matters! Public Comment Reinstated, Zoning Matters, Comprehensive Plan Meeting, and Recycling Efforts

We’ve got a busy agenda for our Monday, June 8, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting coming up, and I hope you’ll chose to be a part of your local government by watching, participating, or offering comment during public comment or the three public hearings we have docked.

Here is a link to the full agenda and packet. Please let me know if you have any questions about any items: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Board%20Packets/2020/june%208%202020%20bd%20pck.pdf. Here’s a link to watch online: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfIL3rVTUEqgxBwXCQoBDTA.

Reinstated Public Comment and Begins Monday

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, Public Comments and Public Hearing Comments for Buckingham County Board of Supervisors meetings will be received using the following methods:

  1. Written comments may be mailed to the Board of Supervisors at PO Box 252 Buckingham, VA 23921. Please limit word count to 500 words.
  2. Emailed comments may be sent to publiccomments@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov. Please limit word count to 500 words.
  3. Telephone voicemail comments may be left to be played to the board by calling 434-969-5039
  4. To appear virtually to the Board of Supervisors for comments please email publiccomments@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov. 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.

Public Hearings and Zoning Cases

We have three public hearings, two of which regard zoning matters, and one regarding an increase to the Courthouse Security Fee we are taking up:

  1. The first hearing regards increasing the Courthouse Security Fee from $10 to $20 per criminal or traffic case. This comes at the recommendation from the sheriff.
  2. The second hearing regards a request from Elijah Cain to operate a commercial garage and repair shop at the intersection of Tower Hill Road and Route 60. He is proposing a 1,500 square-foot steel building as a commercial garage there.
  3. The third hearing regards adding a zoning text amendment for the purpose of operating non-retail office space (a home health staffing agency) and the application of a special use permit for that purpose. Applicant Jamise Vowels is proposing a home health staffing agency on Randolph Creek Road.

Introduction of Zoning Cases

We have two zoning matters for introduction on the agenda: one proposing a one-room school house on Belle Branch Road and another regarding a 10-acre 1.6 megawatt solar energy facility on Belle Branch Road.

We will also discuss setting a joint meeting with the Planning Commission on Monday, July 20 at 7 p.m. to discuss the Comprehensive Plan.

Bringing More Recycling to Buckingham

The Board is working hard to bring more recycling options to the residents of the county. The Recycling Committee has met twice in the last few weeks to consider options at the Dillwyn Solid Waste and Recycling Center on Route 15 (as this site is the next and final to be renovated under the gated, secure system).

The committee is considering design options, incorporating recycling areas as well. The committee is researching opportunities and cost estimates to provide the following: two compactors for recyclables, recycling containers, a used 53-foot trailer to haul recyclables out, a 63-horsepower skid steer to handle the recyclables, carports to house balers and materials, prices related to tolls for this endeavor, and permission to tour other recycling facilities to consider possibilities. There are other considerations the committee is looking into, such as using a roll off truck to save money with recycling, purchasing roll off containers, etc.

Recycling has been a topic of discussion among many constituents in the Maysville District, so please know I and the board are taking this seriously.

Painting of Water Tanks

Here is information on the water tanks being repainted and how this may affect you: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Docs/County%20Admin/WaterTank.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.

Honoring Our Graduates, Public Comment Reinstated, School Budget, Federal Aid, Appointments Made to Anti-Litter Task Force, and More

First, I’d like to offer our 2020 graduates of Buckingham County High School congratulations on earning their diplomas and other accolades. Please know that, despite your not having a traditional school year or graduation exercise, your community is so proud of what you have done and what you’re going to do, whether you’re headed to a trade school, college, work, or you’re unsure of what’s next. Congratulations again!

Public Comment During Meetings Reinstated

During our meeting Monday, we unanimously voted to allow public comment during all regularly scheduled board meetings. I opposed the previous motion to suspend public comment due to COVID-19 several weeks ago am proud to have offered the motion on Monday night to reinstate public comment during our meetings. What this means is that you will have the opportunity to offer comment via phone, email, and in writing, regarding issues important to you, whether it be tax rates, county government, services, etc. I believe this is a very equitable way to allow your voice to be heard as we continue under the provisions of COVID-19, and I’m proud to have helped lead the way in this effort.

Appointments to Anti Litter Task Force

On Monday, we made several appointments to the Buckingham Anti-Litter Task Force. We appointed Katherine Kenny (District-2), Sherrie Holbrook (D-4), Candice Dowse (D-4), Eddie Slagle, (D-3), Solid Waste and Recycling Supervisor Lyn Hill (D-3), and Mollie Throckmorton (D-4). We continue to seek volunteers to help us clean up Buckingham’s roadways, so if you’re interested, please contact me.

Revisions to FY 19-20 School Budget and Federal Aid

We approved the School Board’s request of transferring roughly $128,000 of categorical line item funds within their Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget. A majority of this money was requested to be moved due to their adjusted ADM, or Average Daily Membership of students (1,972.17). The final ADM adjustment increases the projected state funds by about $92,000. This also includes some federal grant adjustments and an adjustment to insurance revenue. According to The Farmville Herald, the division is set to receive about $580,000 in federal aid due to COVID-19.

Please make sure and keep up with what’s going on in our schools and the changes they’ve made to conform with the virus, visit bcpschools.org.

Federal Aid to County Government

Buckingham County government is set to receive roughly $1.5 million in federal aid via the CARES Act, passed by the U.S. Congress. This money currently has conditions attached that the money can only be spent for costs associated with the pandemic.  Currently, though changes could be made in Congress, this money cannot be used to recover  loss of county revenue due to COVID-19.

Honoring the Late Meade Anderson Garrett

During our meeting, we adopted a resolution in memoriam to honor the late Meade Anderson Garrett, who served as Sheriff’s Deputy for more than 30 years. He served the public well, and was loved by his family. We plan on presenting his family with the resolution at a later date.

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 Board Meeting on Monday, New Zoning Cases, County Decals, COVID-19 Update and More

I hope everyone’s May is starting off well, despite COVID-19, and I hope you and your family are safe and healthy. And an early Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and those who serve in motherly roles!

We have a lot on our upcoming agenda for our Monday, May 11 meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the County Administration Building. Here is a link to the complete agenda packet: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Board%20Packets/2020/may%2011,%202020%20bos%20pckt.pdf.

Remember that due to the virus, we are not allowing the general public attend the meeting out of public health concerns, but you can view the meeting live here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pitZvu4WpI.

During our meeting, we will be discussing many topics, which include two zoning matters being introduced (a proposed commercial garage and a proposed home health staffing agency), a request from the school division to revise their FY19-20 Fiscal Year Budget, a request from the sheriff to increase the Courthouse Security Fees from $10 to $20, and discussions regarding changes to the county’s solid waste management ordinance (regarding the issuance of county decals to vehicles not registered in Buckingham County, such as business or work-issued vehicles, and vehicles with Farm Use tags).

Regarding the county tags, I support allowing farmers to be allowed to have one additional county decal for one Farm Use vehicle. There will be discussion regarding those who drive work or business-issued vehicles in and out of the county having access to the gated solid waste sites. I would love to hear from you regarding both of these matters (and anything else on the agenda).

We also plan on holding discussions regarding the reinstatement of public comment during our regular Board of Supervisors Meetings (which I wholeheartedly support and voted against suspending public comment several weeks ago).

COVID-19 in Buckingham Update

The following is the latest information on COVID-19 from Cody Davis, our County Emergency Management Coordinator:

VDH’s numbers are now at 225. Dillwyn DOC advises of 217 cases and Buckingham DOC advises of 13. The math does not add up due to the fact that VDH is still processing the influx of positive test results from DOC, thus the VDH website is still behind.  Both DOC facilities are taking action to test all individuals at their facilities. With that said, we are likely to receive a large number of positive results. It is important to note that DOC’s large number of cases are due to their large number of testing and that almost all of their positive cases are asymptomatic at this time. Increased testing is directly related to increased positives. The positives are everywhere and most do not realize it, because they remain asymptomatic and do not get tested. The fact that DOC is administering large number of tests indicates nothing more than the fact that they are committed to being pro-active and maintaining a strong understanding of what they are being faced with. As DOC continues to test in large numbers, Buckingham County’s case count will continue to grow. This does not mean that we have large numbers of severely ill people, it just means that we have gained knowledge to something that often goes unknown (a positive person).

VDOT Six Year Improvement Plan

The scheduled public hearing for the VDOT Six Year County Secondary Road Improvement Plan has been cancelled by VDOT due to COVID-19.

PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL ME!

I’d like to think by now that you 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.

Regional Economic Development Plan Approved, COVID-19 Update, Anti-Litter Interest, and Payroll Protection Program Expansion

The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, May 11. This meeting will be available virtually in the following ways: Live Stream on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sVpJ6BFKek0 and Audio Only Telephone call in: 1-877-853-5247 Meeting ID: 4623508430.  Please plan on watching and listening!

Economic Development Strategy Approved

I am pleased to inform you that the Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) Comprehensive Economic District Strategy (CEDS) has been approved by the Economic Development Administration. This is big news for Buckingham and our region!

As Chairman of the CEDS Committee, and now the Buckingham representative on the CRC, I have learned a great deal about the economic potential our region has and the assets we have to offer. The CEDS is a prerequisite for designation by EDA as an Economic Development District (EDD) which allows us access to millions of dollars in money for economic development, infrastructure, small business development, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, etc. 

The CRC will also be seeking an update of the CEDS to include the recently joined County of Cumberland.  According to EDA, Cumberland County however, can still apply for EDA funding utilizing another regional plan resource in the interim.

I am certain that our county will directly benefit from this participation and process, a result of the hardworking staff of the CRC, led by Melody Foster.

The Latest on COVID-19

County staff report that the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website has not changed from yesterday’s count of 55 confirmed cases in Buckingham County.

Notably, the Virginia Department of Corrections update advises of 157 positive cases at Dillwyn Prison and 10 positive cases at Buckingham Prison.

I understand that, with the two correctional facilities being in the top three employers in Buckingham County, there is concern about community spread as so many people in the county work and interact with those who are employed with the prison system. Please continue to follow VDH guidance of practicing social distancing, only going out for essential needs and services, wearing masks and washing your hands frequently.

Great Interest in Anti-Litter and Cleaning Up Our Roads

I am very excited to note that I have heard from many of you from across the county who are interested in playing a part in the process of bringing life back to the Buckingham Anti-Litter Task Force! 

I plan on submitting and nominating the names of those interested during our May 11 meeting in an effort to begin plans for a fall 2020 cleanup of our roadways.

I am in continued discussions with VDOT regarding this and how we can best make this effort work in the county.

For far too long we have seen too much litter along our roads, and it looks bad, simply put. And together, we can solve this problem, and this is the first step toward that. If you are interested in being a member, picking up trash, or helping in any way, please contact me or your Supervisor (find their information here).

Payroll Protection For Small Businesses

Here is more information on the Payroll Protection Program enacted by the Congress recently, which allows for more funds for this program. If you know of a small business that would qualify, please forward this information to them. https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP–Fact-Sheet.pdf

Contact Me

As always, if you have any issues, criticisms, concerns, or comments, please do not hesitate to call or text me at 434-390-7023, email me at jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov, or stop by my house and we can chat outside while practicing social distancing. I would love to hear from you.

Real Estate Tax Rate Lowered from $0.55 cents to $0.52 cents, budget expenditures cut by 1%

Tonight, in light of the increased real estate assessments and businesses being shuttered and job losses stemming from COVID-19, the Board of Supervisors cut your real estate tax rate by three pennies — from 55 cents per $100 to 52 cents per $100 of assessed value, giving landowners and residents relief as we move forward across these uncharted waters. I am proud to have supported and voted for this motion and offer the second to the motion.

We also voted to adopt a $56,898,005 Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Operating Budget, which incorporates a 1 percent decrease in expenditures. This effort was made to curtail our spending and decrease our reliance on the 55 cent tax rate. I also supported this. The proposed budget totaled $57,426, 995.

In a time with 1 in 10 Americans are unemployed, businesses are closed (with some possibly not coming back), people underemployed and having lost their jobs, I am very proud of the actions we took to protect our citizens.

The budget we adopted remains very progressive and fiscally stable, balanced and prudent. This budget also allows us to have a reserve for contingency of more than $215,600.

I feel as if this $0.52 real estate tax rate was a compromise with my fellow supervisors that allows us to move forward in a very fiscally prudent way while preserving crucial county services and projects.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I welcome your comments and thoughts.

Rejuvenating Our Anti-Litter Task Force, Revenue Losses, Public Hearings, Adding More Squad Coverage, Additional School Funding, and COVID-19

I hope this installment of our newsletter finds you well and healthy!

If you didn’t view or listen to our meeting on Monday, you can do so here via YouTube: https://youtu.be/IL6Kz_kzpEM. Our Monday, April 20 meeting will also be live streamed here.

Please remember to pray for those who are on the front lines of battling COVID-19, those who have tested positive, and those who have died. This week we lost the pastor of Oak Hill Baptist Church, the Rev. Jesse Johnson, who lived outside the county. Please pray for his family and the church.

Rejuvenating the Anti Litter Task Force

I am very excited and pleased to announce that we are in the process of bringing life back to the Buckingham Anti-Litter Task Force! I led that effort with a motion to appoint 2-3 people from each Election District to the Task Force to clean up our roadways in Buckingham County. For far too long we have seen too much litter along our roads, and it looks bad, simply put. And together, we can solve this problem, and this is the first step toward that. Myself and District Three Supervisor Don Matthews will serve on that Task Force, along with volunteers like yourself. If you are interested in being a member, picking up trash, or helping in any way, please contact me or your Supervisor.

Projected Revenue Losses From the State

Studies and projections are showing that Buckingham County will lose $431,016 in this current fiscal year (FY19-20) and more than $1 million in the upcoming fiscal year (FY20-21). These are projections as a result of COVID-19 Virus, namely business closings and other severe economic ramifications. We will have to make some hard decisions in the coming months as to balance our budgets. We are very fortunate that our County Administrator has budgeted very conservatively over the years, and we have a healthy reserve and fund balance. That doesn’t mean that we may not have to cut and trim though. These projections and forecasts will surely change as this situation unfolds, and I promise to keep you updated on that and our actions.

Public Hearings on The Budget and Tax Rates

We held public hearings on our proposed $57 million budget, along with a hearing on the proposed, unchanged tax rates. You can read more on my stance on the budget and tax rates here: https://milesformaysville.com/2020/03/29/my-thoughts-on-the-proposed-effective-real-estate-tax-increase-and-school-funding-proposal/.

Here is part of my March statement on reducing the tax burden on our community:

First, I commend the County Administrator and her staff for working hard in putting together a budget that reflects the wants and needs of our county and its citizens.
Due to the reassessment of real property, the proposed budget reflects an effective real estate tax increase. This means that although the tax rate will remain at 55 cents, the increased revenue reflects the overall increase in values of property of about 10 percent. So the property values are driving the increase in what many people will pay in their taxes for their homes and real estate. This percentage may change based on appeals by landowners to the Board of Equalization. I implore and highly stress to any landowner who is unhappy with their reassessment to appeal to them.
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has rocked our reality, our economy, and the livelihoods in our Commonwealth, including Buckingham. People here have lost their  incomes and jobs and their hours have been cut, and more will lose their jobs before this virus has run its course, I predict.
Just like any other business or family, the county has to live within its means, and that essentially means having enough money in the bank to operate. We’re operating in unprecedented times and in uncharted waters and I suspect our collection rate will take a hit. With less revenue coming in, it will likely unbalance our proposed budget, which would mean cutting our budget. 
While I do not support the effective tax increase, forecasting has already shown that the approved state budget over the next two years will have to be cut by at least $2 billion dollars. That cut will trickle down and affect Buckingham County.  State legislators are already considering putting employee increases on the chopping block. Such action will be just one of many financial consequences that we may see down the line. 

Only two people sent comments regarding the proposed tax rates and the proposed budget, which greatly disappoints me when I have heard from many of my constituents who noted they are not in support of paying more taxes because of the assessment.

I am in favor of reducing the real estate tax rate to give our residents some relief as many people in the county have lost their jobs, are underemployed, and more have been directly and indirectly impacted by this situation. And the people deserve some relief, even on the local level.

We are set to meet on Monday, April 20, 2020 at 6 p.m. to adopt tax rates and the fiscal year 2020-2021 operating budget. I hope you will reach out to be before then as to how you feel about this.

Adding More Rescue Squad Coverage

Our volunteer force with the Buckingham Volunteer Rescue Squad are not running calls now because of the potential exposure to COVID-19, which means county staff and the board had to quickly explore alternative ways of keeping our community safe and secure with rescue services.

As a result, the Board of Supervisors has agreed to contract with DRT to provide 24/7 response to our county’s residents, which means adding an additional squad vehicle and a crew.

Because this us happening during COVID-19, the county will receive the cost recovery for any calls this crew responds to. The squad will be housed at the Glenmore Rescue Squad Building on Glenmore Road. The cost of this, again, which will be recovered by Federal Emergency Management Assistance (FEMA) Funds and revenue collection, is about $49,500 per month. Again, this is a temporary contract and we will get reimbursed because of this national, state, and local emergency.

Additional School Funding

I was proud to support motions offered to provide carry over funding from the 2018-2019 School Transportation Fund to the current year’s school board for the purpose of purchasing two special education vans and a special education school bus for $140,000. This is money much needed and I am proud to support our schools and staff, but more importantly, our students. In addition, I supported the motion to carry over funds to the current fiscal year of roughly $292,020 in cafeteria funds. Regarding the remainder of the carry over funds, we voted to hold a joint session with the school board to determine their priorities for capital improvements. I am looking forward to that meeting and discussion.

COVID-19 in Buckingham

Presently, of this writing, we have 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Buckingham. Cody Davis, our Emergency Management Coordinator, reported Monday that the cases are spread across Buckingham, and not only concentrated in one area. Please continue to practice social distancing, wear masks when you’re out and around people, and limit all travel to essential business per the governor’s orders.

PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL ME!

I’d like to think by now that you 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.

Live Stream Video Link, Agenda and Details for Monday night BOS Meeting, COVID-19 and Other Notes

I hope this update finds you and your families healthy and staying safe as we continue to push through this COVID-19 fog we are all in together!

Namely, you can view the meeting from start to finish here on the County’s YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/IL6Kz_kzpEM.

First, here is a link to Monday night’s monthly Board of Supervisors’ meeting agenda: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Board%20Agendas/2020/04132020.pdf. There is a lot on the agenda, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

YOU WILL SEE that the meeting is closed to the public attending in person. Thisis because of health concerns with the pandemic and keeping you and our staff and the board safe and secure.

HOWEVER, there are numerous ways you can participate in the meeting from the comfort of your cell phone, laptop, or other device. Namely, you can view the meeting from start to finish here on the County’s YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/IL6Kz_kzpEM.

Upcoming Public Hearings and How to Participate Them

Though the Board of Supervisors suspended public comment during our upcoming board meetings due to COVID-19, we are taking comment for Public Hearings. There are three Public Hearings on Monday:

  1. Public hearing on the proposed Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget
  2. Public hearing on the proposed tax rates and levies
  3. Public hearing regarding a grant application for IT equipment for the new library.

The public hearing set for the VDOT Six-Year Improvement Plan has been postponed due to state standards dealing with COVID-19.

As you know, I am not in favor of the effective tax rate increase that is being proposed. Here are more details on my stance. I would love to hear from you on this!

HOW To Participate in Public Hearings

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, Public Hearing for Buckingham County Board of Supervisors Hearings will be received using the following methods:

  1. All correspondence must be received only by the methods below, and are due by 12:00 PM the day of the meeting.
  2. Written comments may be mailed to the Board of Supervisors at PO Box 252 Buckingham, VA 23921. Please limit word count to 500 words.
  3. Emailed comments may be sent to publiccomments@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov. Please limit word count to 500 words.
  4. Telephone voicemail comments may be left to be played to the board by calling 434-969-5039
  5. To appear virtually to the Board of Supervisors for comments please email
    publiccomments@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov. 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.
  6. All correspondence must be received only by the methods above, and are due by 12:00 PM the day of the meeting.

More about what’s on our agenda

Following the public hearings, we do have some substantial ground to cover, including the following:

*Request for a Public Hearing for a Proposed Lease/Purchase of the Gold Hill School for a Prospective Business and a Proposed Incentive Package.

*Consider Scheduling a Public Hearing for the Emergency Ordinance to Allow for the Continuity of Government Operations During the Pandemic.

*Request for Reconsideration for School Carry Over of $140,000.00 from the 2018-19
Transportation Fund to the 2019-20 budget for the purpose of purchasing two special education vans
.

*Consider Request for Reconsideration for School Carry Over of $117,020.00 from 2018-19 Cafeteria Fund to the 2019-20 Cafeteria Funds.

*Consider how the Board wishes to proceed with considering the additional School Board Carry Over Request.

*Consider Official Concurrence of Contracting for an Additional DRT 24/7 Crew at the Glenmore Squad Building.

*Consider Dillwyn Fire Departments Request Regarding Putting Electricity to the Property used by the Fire Department for the Tractor Pull

More Details About COVID-19

As of 12 noon on April 9, Buckingham still has eleven (11) confirmed cases of COVID-19. We do not have any other information on these cases other than they have been confirmed positive for COVID-19.

You can find more information on the ongoing pandemic by visiting http://www.buckinghamcountyva.org/COVID19.HTML.

I implore you to practice social distancing, stay at home unless essential travel is essential, wash your hands and don’t touch your face.

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.

COVID-19 Updates and Strength in our Community

Friends and neighbors,


In case you have not heard, we now have a second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Buckingham. As you will see below, our county staff and the Virginia Department of Health are working hard to ensure your health and safety. I am sure the number of cases will grow as it will and has across the Commonwealth.


Our great and hardworking staff have assembled an excellent online great resource in how you can keep up with what and how your local government is continuing to serve you while keeping our county staff and residents safe. Also, there is a link here that will lead you to a YouTube channel where you can live stream our meetings: http://www.buckinghamcountyva.org/COVID19.HTML.
The governor today announced a stay at home order for all Virginians for non essential needs. You can read details here: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2020/march/headline-855702-en.html. I hope you will take this seriously not only for you and your family, but for those whom you could contact inadvertently.

The board will hold a special meeting will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. regarding COVID-19. This meeting will be available virtually in the following ways: Live Stream on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sVpJ6BFKek0 and Audio Only Telephone call in: 1-877-853-5247 Meeting ID: 4623508430. I would advise you to remain home and call in and listen to our meeting or view and listen online. Staying home is important in preventing the spread of COVID. Please practice social distancing, don’t go anywhere that is non-essential, and follow CDC and medical professional’s guidelines and the orders of the governor.


My friends and neighbors, we will get through this together. We will be stronger, not only as a family and community, but as a county. It will take sacrifice and strife, but we will be a better county because of and after this.

Thomas Jordan Miles IIIDistrict Four Supervisor (Maysville)
Note change in my email: jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov
434-390-702313170 West James Anderson HighwayPO Box 188Buckingham, Virginia 23921www.MilesforMaysville.com