Board OK’s solar site plans

Published 10:11 am Monday, March 6, 2017

Earlier this week, the Southampton Board of Supervisors got its turn to review the final site plans for the Southampton Solar LLC, which is a solar-generating plant approved this past fall. When the county Planning Commission examined the plans earlier in February, those members unanimously recommended approval to the supervisors, which the board also OK’d.

As was noted the other night, the recommendation came from the plan meeting all requirements of the local zoning ordinance, the land disturbing, erosion and sediment control ordinances. Even the Virginia Department of Transportation’s local land use engineer gave it the plan an OK.

Beth Lewis, secretary to the Planning Commission, made the presentation, and added that pods A and B north of Route 671 would be viewed later in March.


Breaking the rules, if caught, will cost you an extra $5 per ticket. Following a public hearing at which nobody spoke, the supervisors also approved an ordinance amendment that puts the added assessment of $5 in each criminal and traffic case where a defendant is convicted of a violation of any state law or county ordinance filed in court.

If it’s any consolation, that extra fiver goes to pay for software, hardware and related equipment costs used to implement or maintain an electronic summons system.


County administrator Mike Johnson was authorized to enter a contract with the firm of MFSG, which will be subject to a final negotiation and not to exceed the budgeted amount of $100,000.

In late 2015, a Shared Utility Services Study was done by the Timmons Group and worked with Davenport and Company as well as McGuireWoods Consulting; the latter proposed a formal asset estimation and development of a financial framework for a fair consolidation as the next steps to evaluate creating a joint service authority with Franklin.

Both localities budgeted $50,000 each in Fiscal Year 2017. Only one response for a Request for Proposals was made and that came from MFSG.

Area committee members that review the firm included Supervisor Bruce Phillips, Capron Mayor Nick Kitchen, Councilman Benny Burgess, Tom Jones, FSEDI CEO Amanda Jarratt, City Manager Randy Martin and Johnson himself.

The firm, which comes highly recommended, will divide the work into three tasks: Evaluating city and county utility assets; developing a financial framework for equitable consolidation of assets; and developing a plan to equalize rates for customer bases in both the city and county.

An early draft is expected to take 10 to 12 weeks.