Boyce, Fulcher tapped to lead county

Lock Boyce

Lock Boyce, of the Mayo River District, will serve as chairman of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors in 2018.

Rickie Fulcher, of the Peters Creek District, will serve as vice-chairman.

Board members alternate serving in the positions. Both votes were 3 to 1, with Boyce and Fulcher abstaining during their respective votes.

Crystal Harris, of the Smith River District, did not attend the Monday meeting.

In other matters, the board also:

*Approved a joint resolution to support House Bill (HB) 222. Sponsored by Del. James “Will” Morefield, R-North Tazewell, the bill will provide state income tax incentives to companies locating in distressed localities named in the bill.

Patrick County was not originally included in the list of localities.

However, Assistant County Administrator Geri Hazelwood said she was told that did not mean Patrick was excluded.

County Attorney Alan Black said the resolution should state that Patrick is included in the proposal.

Hazelwood said Carroll County approved a resolution similar to the one presented Monday, and that county now is included among those in the proposal.

Localities named in the proposal include Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Wise, Henry, Grayson, Pittsylvania, and Halifax counties and the cities of Bristol, Norton, Danville, Galax, Martinsville and Petersburg.

Hazelwood said the resolution would be forwarded to legislators before she left the office Monday night.

* Learned the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a Warning Letter following a Nov. 17 inspection of the Patrick County Transfer Station.

County Administrator Tom Rose said the cement floor is cracked in some areas of the unloading bays at the transfer station. Concerns about seepage and pollution/contamination of ground water prompted the warning.

DEQ officials “did test the streams and they were okay,” Boyce said, adding it will be expensive to repair the cracks, some of which are a foot deep.

Boyce and Karl Weiss, of the Blue Ridge District, also said they were concerned the new cement used to fill the cracks would be damaged as well.

Boyce said the cement floor in the Patrick County Jail was newer, but already damaged with cracks.

“We have really bad temperature variations,” he said. “If we’re not lucky, the new cement might crack faster than the old.”

Weiss suggested contacting DEQ to determine whether a sealant could be used or if the agency had other recommendations to help keep repair costs down.

The county must respond to the DEQ within 20 days of the Jan. 18 notice and provide the agency with a written plan detailing steps for corrective action, the letter stated.

Rose said the project will be sent to bid, but he did not yet know when.

*Approved a resolution recognizing Jan. 21 – 27 as Patrick County School Choice Week, to raise awareness of the need for educational options and the availability of public and nonpublic schools in the county.

*Approved a limit of $25 per person/per day for meals when county employees must travel outside the county. The board discussed setting a limit on lodging expenses. Rose said the amount the state allows its employees varies, depending on the location. Reasonable lodging fees will be paid, according to Boyce.

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