Jones, West remain board leaders; Phillips replaces Edwards on Planning

Published 11:17 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Organizational matters led the Southampton County Board of Supervisors first meeting of the new years. As a result, Dallas Jones and Ronald West were unanimously reappointed by their peers to again serve as chairman and vice chairman, respectively.

Dr. Alan Edwards first proposed that Jones be renamed as board leader, saying, “I have a lot of faith in him.

In reply, Jones said, “I’ll try to do the best I can do another year.”

Speaking of Edwards, he severed his place as the board representative on the county’s Planning Commission. Bruce Phillips was voted on in his place.

In highway matters, work begins on Monday, Feb. 5 to replace the bridge on Route 635 (Tucker Swamp Road.) Detours will be established. The Virginia Department of Transportation awarded Curtis Contracting the $2.7M contract last November. The completion is anticipated on May 1, 2019.

Also, Champs Drive (Franklin Drive) was added to the state’s secondary system of highways as a rural addition. VDOT is preparing to go ahead with improvements and paving, and was awaiting the board’s resolution, which was passed on Monday.

The supervisors also OK’d an ordinance exempting 155.729 acres belonging to the Cheroenhaka ‘Nottoway’ Indian Tribal Heritage Foundation from local real estate taxation. In September 2012, 100 acres had already been granted the exemption.

Chief Walt Brown spoke during the hearing on the matter, stating that the tribe is in favor of the matter. That would enable the continuation of tribal goals, such as establishing walking trails, kayaking and canoeing.

Teresa Preston, a tribe member since 2008, emotionally added that the area should never be developed.

Voluntary Ag and Forestal District applications were made by Hunter Darden Jr., Hunter Darden III, Patricia Falls, Lawrence Brown, Francis Widmeyer and Ernest and Rita Beltrami Jr. Two more similar applications were also made by Darden III and Brown. All three were granted by the supervisors.

Though there were no speakers for those hearings, the public can comment on an ordinance amendment related to direct costs connected with processing such applications. The hearing, which will be scheduled for the February meeting, and will be advertised later in The Tidewater News.