York Herald, Gloucester, VA June 2014 7


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York Herald, Gloucester, VA June 2014 7. http://www.gloucestercounty-va.com From Board of Supervisor, Phillip Bazzani. For use in news post.

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York Herald, Gloucester, VA June 2014 7

  1. 1. June  3,  2014                                                  “A  publication  for  the  good  citizens  of  the  York  District”                                                                              Issue  No.  2014-­‐7   The  York  District  Herald   After  all  …  It’s  Your  Tax  Money!     What  went  on  during  our  6/3/14  Meeting  …     Terrapin Cove Project – A Common Sense Approach for the Taxpayer! If you may be aware, the BOS voted to provide funding for the expansion of the sewer system to the Terrapin Cove subdivision in Gloucester Point. For months, one Terrapin Cove resident had been quite vocal about his own problems relating to his sewer system, and relentlessly pursued having the sewer system expanded. In the end, the squeaky wheel got the grease on May 20. I believe the project is fraught with many unanswered questions, which is the reason I voted no to the $700K project on May 20. First, it is still unclear how many households intend to commit and hookup to the system if installed. Second, we do not have a comprehensive cost versus benefit analysis. Third, the Development Fund contained within the Utility Fund does not have sufficient money to pay for this project because the accounting treatment for this fund is confusing. And last, financing for this project is unclear. Last night, common sense prevailed. Given the budget impasse at the State level (see below), we voted to delay the project until we can get our arms around how it will be financed, who will hook-up, how many systems are failing and what the true cost of the project will be. To that end, last night we directed the Utilities Department to send legally binding certified letters to Terrapin Cove homeowners asking whether they will make the financial commitment to hook-up to the system if it were expanded into their subdivision. Once we get those letters and responses back, we will then make a cost/benefit determination on the project. If the May 20 vote had remained valid, I believe that the few would have benefited at the expense of the many. I’ll keep you posted. Oh … and by the way … remember the one individual who was vocal about expanding the sewer to Terrapin Cove? He has since sold his house! Funding for Woodville Park – Costs Could Balloon to $1.0 Million We viewed a presentation on the status of the Woodville Park project by the Director of Parks and Recreation. The construction of Woodville Park is ongoing. Currently five additional athletic fields and a parking lot are under construction. Engineering and cost estimates are being secured to add electricity and ball field lights. The FY 15 Capital Improvement Projects budget included $55,000 for design and construction at the park that will be used towards the construction of a concession/restroom building. The Director also presented information on a grant ($300-500K) that can be used to further the development of the Park including the installation of sewer services at the park and the addition of a well. The grant requires a 50-50 match. In the end, the Director indicated that total cost to finish Park improvements might approach $1.0 million ($500K in grants and a $500K match from the County). We decided last night to allow the County to apply for the grant, but not commit to providing the funding to at least complete the concession stand, restroom, water and sewer given our current budget constraints. Most of the Park is currently being used by private organizations like the Bay Star Soccer and Gloucester Football Youth Leagues. It is unclear how many Gloucester residents use the park for personal recreation, even though the Director indicated that about 18,000 visit the park every year. I suspect a vast majority of those visitors are from the private organizations. If successful, the Park help our local business economy. Nevertheless, many have told me that given we have seven (7) other parks in Gloucester County, including the wonderful park at Beaver Dam, and the Abingdon/Ark Parks also used for soccer; should we commit to spend (match) up to a $500K (that may require a tax increase) to finish the park? Let me know by emailing me at friendsofphilbazzani@gmail.com . I would appreciate your feedback! Joint Meeting with Planning Commission - Review of the Highway Overlay and Size of the Planning Commission We will be meeting with the Planning Commission on Thursday, June 5. We will be discussing the Highway Overlay and the size of the Planning Commission. As you know from my previous newsletters, I support repealing the overlay in its entirety because it imposes over-reaching restrictions on how business can locate into the County and do business along Highway 17. The more businesses we can attract, the less of a tax burden we will have. We lost a high tech company just recently because of it. We have another business threatening to leave because of it. This ordinance has outlived its purpose and usefulness. With regard to the size of the Planning Commission, we will be deciding on an appropriate size for that organization, which currently has 13 members. The BOS and School Board each currently have 7 members. We will see what transpires tomorrow night! The State Budget Impact and its Impact on Gloucester County The Board discussed the impact of the current budget impasses at the State level and its impact on Gloucester County. The State is required to have a budget in effect by July 1. The dire budget news seemed is being caused by our Governor who wants to expand Medicaid/Obamacare in Virginia, while Republican legislators do not because there is no guarantee that the Feds will continue to pay Virginia and therefore leaving the State holding the bag. The central sticking point in the budget impasse is whether to open the health-care program for the poor to an additional 400,000 Virginians (and higher insurance premiums for us). The good news so far is that the County Administrator indicated that if the budget impasse continues, we will have enough financial resources to maintain operations without needing furloughs and other County shutdowns. Once the State adopts the budget, Gloucester will be reimbursed for its expenses. We will be meeting again in July to get a status. Let’s hope the State resolves its impasse. I’ll keep you posted. Next Scheduled Meeting The next scheduled meeting for the Board will be on July 1. Please come out and participate, speak out, hold us accountable, be a part of the decision making process!   PHIL BAZZANI – YORK DISTRICT SUPERVISOR www.philbazz.com Ladies and Gentlemen: My goal with this newsletter is to keep you informed. Therefore, please send me your email address at www.friendsofphilbazzani@gmail.com or my website at www.philbazz.com so you too can get a copy of this Newsletter. And please forward this Newsletter to your friends and family!