Board will review golf agreement proposal

Published 10:49 am Monday, November 26, 2018

If you’re a resident of Western Tidewater who’s taken advantage of the non-member golf fees at the Cypress Cove Country Club, then now is the time to get prepared for a slightly higher cost to walk the links.

When the Southampton County Board of Supervisors meets on Monday at 7 p.m., the members will review a draft copy of the proposed agreement for golf services with the Cypress Cove Country Club.

Last fiscal year, both the county and City of Franklin City Council agreed to each give $30,000 to the club. In exchange, non-members have been allowed to play golf for $25 per person on weekdays. The proposal would raise the cost to $27.50 for weekdays; $32.50 for weekend rounds.

The second part of the agreement is the localities would decrease the allotment to $25,000.

Whether that will set better with its opponents remains to be seen. Many residents have been vocal from the start about the agreement, calling it a subsidy. They’ve recommended that if any such money is to be be spent, it should be on other local projects.

Several public hearings are also scheduled that night. The first is to approve and adopt amended articles of incorporation for the Southeastern Public Service Authority.

These amendments are considered necessary owing to changes in state code, and affect changes in term limits for board members who are directly appointed by a governing body as the county board of supervisors. Other localities include Franklin, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Norfolk, as well as Isle of Wight County.

A zoning map amendment is also up for consideration to that Belmont Peanuts can proceed with its planned expansion of operations, which was unveiled in October.

The remaining eight hearings all pertain to requests for participation in the Voluntary Ag and Forestal Districts.

Speaking of growing, Severn Peanut Company Inc., which locally does business as the peanut-butter manufacturer Hampton Farms, will have a proposed performance agreement for its own expansion. This matter is not yet a public hearing issue, though.  Severn is willing to invest $5.73 million to put in another bulk peanut butter production line, which is expected to create seven more full-time jobs.

Further, the company would increase its buying of Virginia-grown peanuts by $6M over the next three years. The agreement would also give the company a 50 percent rebate on the machinery and tools taxes for the next five years. That could mean an estimated $188,460 in that time. Concurrently, direct tax revenues are estimated at $377,000. After which, the project is expected to bring in $20K in more tax revenues.

The board will also review a notice from the Electoral Board about staggering terms for supervisors. This is being done in accordance with the ordinance adoption in spring 2016 to establish biennial elections.

Two-terms would begin Jan. 1, 2020, for representatives of the Franklin, Jerusalem and Newsoms districts.

Four-year terms would start on Jan. 1, 2020, for those of the Berlin, Boykins-Branchville, Capron and Drewryville districts.