The Patrick County Board of Supervisors enacted an open-air burn ban at their meeting Monday.
Karl Weiss, of the Blue Ridge District, said the dry weather prompted “several calls from people wanting us to enact a fire ban.”
Weiss said he consulted with Patrick County Emergency Management coordinator Steve Allen, who told Weiss that he planned to request the ban at the board’s Oct. 14 meeting. However, Weiss said with the dry conditions and the likelihood that residents may burn leaves called for preemptive action.
“I think we need to go on and enact fire ban, effective immediately,” Weiss said, before making the motion that won unanimous support.
Also at the meeting Monday, County Administrator Tom Rose discussed the county’s share of health costs for its employees.
Rose said expenses typically “trim down” this time of year, but last week’s bill was $112,000. He said he will postpone making any other payments until after the October supervisor meeting, but noted “there is a high possibility we will have to use the RAN” to make those payments.
Rose was referring to a Revenue Anticipation Note the county received earlier this year.
He said it seems there is “no reprieve at all. Our usage is way up. I don’t know what that’s going to mean next year. Typically, (expenses) slow down this time of year, but that hasn’t happened. Our usage is way up.”
Rickie Fulcher, board chairman, asked if the illnesses are ongoing.
“We’ve got some perpetual illnesses, unfortunately,” Rose said, and added he will provide an update the October meeting.
The board also met in closed session to discuss personnel, legal and contract matters. The board voted to offer a position in the Building Inspector’s office to one candidate. That candidate was not named at the meeting.