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County seeks more data about red light cameras

COURTLAND

Action was taken on a little bit of this and a little bit of that as six of the eight Southampton County Board members were able to go through their agenda within 58 minutes on Monday.

For example, when it came to the topic of putting a red light camera on U.S. Highway 58 and Storys Station Road, county administrator Michael Johnson said he forwarded data compiled by the Virginia Department of Transportation to the Redflex Traffic Systems. That information is about the number of cars and other vehicles that run the red light at the aforementioned location. Johnson added that he’s awaiting a proposal and cost, including what revenues could be generated by such a device.

“There is no commitment on our behalf,” the administrator told the board.

In regard to appointments for other boards, the call went out to find people for the county’s Litter Control Council as vacancies open effective on Monday, July 1. For the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Southampton, candidate David Joyner’s name was forwarded by Supervisor Ronald West, and that was approved. Other names are needed for the Blackwater Regional Library Board. For the Community Policy and Management Team, Bonnie Casper and Sandra McNeely were also approved.

The semiannual appropriation of $33.33M was approved, which is about 53 percent of the money budgeted for fiscal year 2020; the other half will be done this December. Speaking of appropriations, the board also OK’d $230,137.80 for the county school division, with $225.636.70 for the general fund, and $4,501.10 going to the building fund.

There was no controversy for the single public hearing, which was a zoning map amendment requested by Jordan Investments LLC and Birdsong Peanut Company: Beth Lewis, secretary to Planning Commission, said the panel had already supported the matter earlier in June. The request is 18.57 acres to go from A-1 Agricultural District to CM-2 Conditional General Industrial. This would be used for office space, warehouses and production of peanuts on behalf of Birdsong. Both West and fellow supervisor Barry Porter voiced their support to the issue.

“It’s the right business and location,” said West. “Thank you for coming along.”

“It fits the land,” said Porter. “I”m glad to see Birdsong expanding in the county.”

Per a request for an additional courthouse security position, Johnson pointed out that there are currently part-time screeners at the foyer of the building’s main entrance. Sheriff’s Jack Stutts asked for one armed officer at all times. The cost can range from $48,5000 to $69,700, depending on health car plans. The cost would be shared with the city, 68/32 respectively. The board said OK for its part.

There was the initial reading of increasing ambulance transport in the county. The administrator said it’s been a decade since the board last adjusted those fees. If they get the OK following a hearing, etc., any new fees would become effective this Aug. 1.