Windsor gets refund from county

Published 10:11 am Friday, April 14, 2017

Windsor’s Town Council voted unanimously to appropriate $2,626.72 from Isle of Wight County to the town’s operating budget contingency fund during the regular scheduled meeting on Tuesday evening. The funds were refunded following the town’s repayment of overcharged machinery and tools taxes after the county changed its valuation methods.

The council also voted unanimously to transfer $3,000 from its fuel and tire line item to its vehicle maintenance line item within its police department budget to complete repairs on several of the town’s police cars. They also voted to approve a permit to Isle of Wight County’s Department of Parks and Recreation to launch fireworks for the town’s annual July 4 celebration.

The fireworks will be launched from the softball field at Windsor High School. Councilwoman Patty Flemming asked if the town could impose a condition on their permit prohibiting any low-detonating fireworks given that the town received several complaints last year regarding debris from nearby homeowners.

The council then approved a resolution in support of funding the installation of sidewalks on Church Street and Shiloh Drive from where they currently end at the entrance of Holland Meadows. The Virginia Department of Transportation required such a resolution in order for the town to move forward in its efforts to secure VDOT funding for the project.

Engineers with Isle of Wight County and VDOT have estimated the total cost of the project to be around $500,000. With the resolution in place, the town can now pursue a 50-50 cost sharing agreement with VDOT starting this fall. The resolution of support, which did not specify a dollar amount to be contributed by the town, passed unanimously, although Councilman Greg Willis said he was opposed to the town’s plans to use open ditch drainage on the grounds that he felt it would be a tripping hazard.

Following discussion of the sidewalks, the council voted unanimously to appoint 10 people to its newly formed Windsor Town Center advisory board, with five appointed for 4-year terms and another five appointed for 2-year terms. Melvin Evans, Kim and Brooke Garrett, and Mark and Sharon Clayton were appointed to 2-year terms and Brenda and Marie Stevenson, David Smith and Tony and Jessica Slaba were appointed to 4-year terms.

During the council’s discussion of citizens’ concerns, Councilman Walter Bernacki said he visited Holland Drive recently to observe the reported drainage issues on the road, and also made a motion to send the town’s residential chicken-permitting ordinance back to the town’s planning commission to make it align more with the ordinance recently passed by the county Board of Supervisors. Mayor Carita Richardson agreed with Bernacki that the existing storm water solution for Holland Drive was not working properly and suggested bringing it to the attention of the Isle of Wight Intergovernmental Water-Sewer Task Force during their meeting on Wednesday.

“We have this all over town, but that’s a major drainage point,” she said. “It’s [the water is] supposed to run under 460 and into a pond but it’s not doing that.”

She also suggested the town adopt a policy that would allow the town to split the cost of fixing the drainage issues with affected homeowners similar to how the town handled piping in the past.

Regarding the chicken ordinance, Bernacki said that by aligning the town’s ordinance to match the language of the county’s, it would help new area residents who may have only seen the county’s ordinance and want to raise backyard chickens to stay in compliance should they choose to live within the town’s incorporated borders. He also said that given the way the town’s ordinance is currently worded, Windsor High School’s chicken coop, which the school will use for its agriculture career and technical education courses in the coming school years, would technically be in violation of the law because the high school is a public building.

Bernacki’s motion to send the ordinance back to the planning commission passed 6-1 with Willis voting no.

The council concluded by voting unanimously to sign the proposed changes to the town’s municipal code into law, following no citizen comments at a public hearing on the matter held last month.