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

My thoughts on the proposed effective real estate tax increase and school funding proposal

The Farmville Herald reached out to me Friday regarding a statement in regards to the proposed effective real estate tax rate increase in the proposed Fiscal Year 2020-2021 county operating budget. I am sharing my statement, along with additional comments on proposed school funding, with you in full should you have any questions or concerns.

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. 

With this being said, I encourage constituents of the Maysville District to reach out to me via phone, email,  and social media and let me know what they think, keeping in mind social distancing and minimizing physical contact. I represent them, not my own ideas, and I encourage an open dialogue about this topic.

Proposed School Funding

Regarding proposed school funding for the Fiscal Year 2020-2021, the board, and myself, voted to advertise level funding to the school division. As I said earlier, I want to hear from you on the proposed school funding that is being proposed.

The school board is requesting an additional $80,000 in instruction. I am actively seeking clarification as to the purpose of the additional funding from school board staff so I can make an educated and informed decision on behalf of the taxpayers and voters in the Maysville District. I also have outstanding questions that I would like more information on. I am dedicated to supporting our public schools and our teachers, staff, administrators, and, most importantly, our students, but I am also dedicated to fiscal accountability and responsibility in order to keep our taxes low and fiscal burden on our residents at a minimum.

As always, you can email me at jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov, or call/text me at 434-390-7023. I encourage and hope you will reach out and call or email me.

Board adopts responses, policies to combat COVID-19

First, I’d like to offer my thanks to County Administrator Rebecca Carter, Emergency Management Coordinator Cody Davis, and the entire staff in our County Administration for the hard, around-the-clock work they have been doing in response to COVID-19, protecting our staff and citizens. They truly deserve a big hand and tip of the hat, and please know they and we are working hard to protect our staff and citizens.

Please sign up for emergency alerts from the county here: https://member.everbridge.net/892807736725627/login, or call Cody Davis at 434-969-4242. This is a great resource during these unprecedented times.

Tonight, along with discussing the proposed fiscal year budget (which will be addressed in the coming days), the Board of Supervisors voted to do the following:

  • Confirm a Declaration of Emergency for Buckingham County.
  • Change the deadline to purchase county decals from April 15 to April 30.
  • Enact new protocol and policies to limit face to face and physical interaction with the public and staff, including closing the offices in the County Administration Complex and adding a telephone to the entrance to the county building with department telephone numbers and extensions. Staff will remain in the building and in their respective departments to assist you via phone, mail and email.
  • Encourage use of the drop box for bill payment. This secure box is in front of the County Administration Complex.
  • We are encouraging online activity (i.e. bills) and telephone communication between the public and departments, including county staff mailing documents to citizens if need be.
  • Working to forgive fees for payments on ATM, Debit, and Credit Cards and encouraging online payment of fees and bills until April 30th. You can make online payments here: https://pay.paygov.us/EndUser/LocationCode.aspx.
  • Not cut off water and sewer for non payment from customers for 60 days.
  • Suspend the rules and bylaws of the Board to allow for greater flexibility and access. Please know this is an evolving process in response to an unprecedented public health crisis. This allows us to make some changes to how the board operates, including live-streaming our meetings, and establishing a committed telephone service and email to submit public comment in a manner to urge public not to attend our meetings unless directly involved in a matter before the board. Those submitted communications would be made part of the record.

Note that the Board of Supervisors is planning on holding all scheduled public meetings and meetings remain open to the public, though the board encourages those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has symptoms of the virus to not attend board meetings. Also take heed of any state or federal measures, including the governor’s limit on no more than 10 people in certain public places.

If you have any questions about any of this, or need clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact county staff, or email, call or text me at 434-390-7023 or email me at jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov.

Lastly, my friends, please know that we will get through this together. And we are all in this together. This too shall pass. Believe in your fellow man and woman, our God and Savior, and always have hope. The darkest of night is always right before the dawn breaks.

UPDATED: March BOS Meeting, COVID-19 Updates, Six Year Road Plan, Growing Our Economy, Route 60 Study, and Budget Meetings and Taxes

We had a very productive March 9, 2020 Board of Supervisors’ meeting. Below are some of the highlights. If you need more information about a topic, please contact me.

Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC), and Economic Development Administration (EDA) Representative Lauren Stuldreher, as part of her visit to see Planning District 14 in tandem with our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Review (CEDS), met in Buckingham with County Administrator Rebecca Carter, CRC Executive Director Melody Foster, and Zoning and Planning Director/Community and Economic Developer Nicci Edmondston.
  • Regarding the VDOT Six Year Improvement Plan, we proposed preliminary adding Avon Road, Pembleton Road, Old Fort Road, Hill Top Road and Plantation Road to the plan for surface treatment. Hunters Road and Red Road (the second half, last mile closest to Route 60) are currently on the plan and will remain as these projects have been allocated funding. The Board will meet again next month to sort out which roads from our respective districts we will add. If you have any suggestions as to road improvements and issues in District Four, please contact me.
  • As noted last night, back in February, county staff, myself, representing Buckingham on the Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC), and Economic Development Administration (EDA) Representative Lauren Stuldreher, as part of her visit to see Planning District 14 in tandem with our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Review (CEDS), met in Buckingham. This approval of the CEDS, which I predict will occur in the coming weeks, will be a huge step forward for Buckingham and CRC members. In addition, a CEDS is a prerequisite for designation by EDA as an Economic Development District (EDD), which will allow us access to millions of dollars in money for economic development, infrastructure, small business development, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, etc. 
  • UPDATE: As you are aware, COVID-19 (Corona Virus) is spreading across the state and has been across the U.S. and worldwide. There’s a great deal of concern and alarm about this virus, but I’d offer that the best thing we can do (to avoid this AND the flu and other illnesses) is wash our hands, avoid large crowds, and limit contact with those who are ill or have medical issues. Today county staff put issued a notification email, text and call regarding COVID-19 and resources to empower our citizens to stay well. Please know our county staff are working with numerous agencies, namely the Virginia Department of Health, to ensure our safety and security. You can find more information about the state’s response, including the closure of Virginia’s public schools for two weeks, at www.buckinghamcountyva.org.
  • UPDATE: The Planning Commission Meeting has been canceled for March 16th.
UPDATE: THIS HAS BEEN CANCELLED: VDOT is holding a Citizen Information Meeting on Thursday, March 26 from 5-7 p.m. at the Ag Center on Route 60 regarding draft recommendations for potential corridor improvements along Route 60 through Buckingham and other counties. If you have interest in this, please plan on attending!
  • The Board of Supervisors is entering the budget season for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. As you know, much of what we do hinges on the actions of the General Assembly and their biennial budget, which will be voted on Thursday. I have been following this very closely, and there are many advantages and disadvantages to what the Governor, House of Delegates, and Senate are proposing. I will continue to update you on this. The Board will meet with the School Board on March 18 at 5 p.m. in the county administration complex, which will be followed by our budget work session at 6 p.m. I encourage you to attend if you have interest in how your money (tax dollars) are being spent! As I said during the campaign, I am committed to keeping our tax rates low and growing our tax base with new businesses while keeping an eye on ALL expenditures.
  • We had a handful of speakers during public comment, some of whom spoke about their opposition to the proposed ACP, support for Second Amendment Rights, and their disapproval of actions of the Virginia Legislature. If you ever wish to speak before the Board of Supervisors, please arrive to the meeting at least 5-7 minutes before 6 p.m. to sign up for comment in the lobby. I encourage public comment during our meetings.
  • Ashley Shumaker was appointed to the Planning Commission to Represent District 2.
  • We approved the release (which was already budgeted) of $50,000 to the Buckingham Volunteer Rescue Squad. This allocation was review was recommended by the Rescue Squad Committee, which includes county supervisors.

As always, should you have any questions or concerns or comments, please do not hesitate to call me or text me at 434-390-7023, email me at jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov, or stop by and visit me. I’d love to hear from you.

CVEC Broadband is on the way, upcoming March BOS meeting agenda, and other items

We’re headed out of what seems to be an easy winter and a fast spring in Buckingham, and your Buckingham Board of Supervisors has a busy agenda coming up for our 6 p.m. meeting on Monday, March 9, 2020 in the Peter Francisco Auditorium at the County Administration Complex. I hope you can attend!

Before the 6 p.m. meeting, the Board will meet with VDOT at 5 p.m. to consider amending our Six Year Improvement Plan for state roads. I have many unpaved roads, including Red Road, Avon Road, Hunters Road, Knights View Lane, and others I plan on addressing with VDOT. If you have any road concerns, please contact me.

Here is a link to the full Board Agenda and Packet: http://buckinghamcountyva.org/Board%20Packets/2020/march%209%202020%20bos.pdf. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Items for consideration or action include a presentation to the family of the late Sallie Atkinson Mowbray, a special use permit for a commercial garage and sale of ag-related equipment on Meadow Creek Road, road matters (see above), an update on the fire department’s tractor pull plans for this year, a budget request from Piedmont Senior Resources, consideration of releasing funding for the Buckingham County Rescue Squad, and an update from our Noise Ordinance Committee.

I am happy to speak with you before the meeting about any agenda items.

Talking with and learning about our most important asset…our young people

It was great being with the children at the Buckingham Pre-School on Friday, along with those at other schools across the county.

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to tour the Primary and Elementary School, the Middle School and the Pre-School in Buckingham. Learning about the needs and successes of our public schools is so important, especially as we enter the season of the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.

I am an ardent supporter of our public schools here in rural Virginia, with a focus on being financially prudent and responsible with an emphasis on keeping our taxes low.

Members of the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors, County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter, Zoning and Planning and Community Development Planner Nicci Edmontondston, Assistant County Administrator Karl Carter, and CVEC Director Dr. Brian Bates celebrate the broadband announcement on Friday.

CVEC is expanding rural broadband in Buckingham and Central Virginia

In case you missed the big news, Central Virginia Electric Cooperative is expanding broadband internet in Buckingham and many other counties with using a $28 million USDA ReConnect Grant. Buckingham 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/.

Progress at Sewer Expansion at Sprouse’s Corner at Routes 15 and 60

Work is progressing very well at Sprouse’s Corner with the expansion and installation of sewer capacity for the four corners at that Route 15 and Route 60 intersection.

This will bring more businesses and industry to this vital intersection in our community and Buckingham.

Before sewer was expanded at the intersection of Routes 20 and 15, there was little to no business and industry. Since sewer was installed there, we have seen Food Lion, Lucky’s, Farmer’s Bank, McDonald’s, and many other small and local businesses open up shop. I am confident the same will happen at Sprouse’s Corner once our project is complete!

Contact me!

Should you have any questions, concerns, comments or would like to discuss more, please do not hesitate to contact me at 434-390-7023 (call/text), email me at jmiles@buckinghamcounty.virginia.gov, or stop by my house on Route 60.