Supervisors ask for traffic rerouting

Published 5:53 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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Board also OKs changes in fines, filings


At its most recent meeting — all done electronically owing to health considerations — the Southampton County Board of Supervisors quickly went through four public hearings beginning with unanimous approval of resolution asking the state to reroute truck traffic.

Specifically, the Commonwealth Transportation Board is being asked formally to authorize restriction of through-truck traffic on Shady Brook Trail (State Route 650) from Southampton Parkway (U.S. Route 58) to General Thomas Highway (State Route 671).

People living in that area have been reporting an increase in truck traffic through what is predominately a residential zone.

The resolution also asks that such a restriction is to apply to any truck, or truck and trailer/semitrailer combination except pickups, panel trucks, farm tractors or farm utility vehicles, with a registered gross weight in excess of 7,500 pounds.

Only one person called in to comment that she’s been seeing more truck traffic on Shady Brook Trail.

Following this, the supervisors then approved the motion to increase the assessment against a convicted defendant from $10 to $20. The money goes toward the costs of courthouse security personnel. This increase becomes effective on Jan. 1. No one commented publicly on that measure or the next two proposals.

Section 15-79 of the county code has been amended by the supervisors to allow people to file their personal property with the Commissioner of Revenue by exception. That is, eliminating the need for the annual filing of personal property tax forms by individuals.

In Commissioner of Revenue Amy Carr’s letter to County Administrator Mike Johnson on Oct. 18, she stated, “… Due to the COVID restrictions and the possibility of the building remaining closed to the public, I think it would be beneficial to the citizens and the employees to eliminate the mailing of the personal property forms each January. This would keep the citizens from having to physically come into the office to return the form. Returning the form by mail is still available of course, but so many people want to hand deliver it to assure that they do not receive a penalty for not returning the form by the deadline.

“Filing by exception means that we would keep the personal property record as is unless we receive a change from DMV or the taxpayer notifies us of a change. Since we prorate, this is basically what we do now. Forms would still be mailed to businesses and farmers, because those groups have property that would not be maintained by DMV or prorated. The filing penalty would still apply to those forms that were mailed.”

Carr had also brought up in that letter what became the fourth issue: an ordinance to amend section 15-94 of the Southampton County Code extending the three-year filing cycle for elderly and handicapped exemptions by only one year. The full filing requirement would resume in January 2022 and each three years thereafter.

As she stated, “We are currently on a three-year cycle and 2021 is the year that everyone would have to file the entire application from beginning to end. Affidavits are filed in between years, stating that their financial situation has not changed from the previous year and they automatically qualify for the same amount of relief as they received the year before.

“Again, due to the COVID restrictions, I believe it would be beneficial to allow the elderly citizens to file the affidavit one more year. When the complete application has to be filed, the applicant usually likes to come in the office with all of their documents and let us help them fill it out. This usually takes at least 30 minutes, sometimes up to an hour, with each applicant.”

That too was agreed on unanimously.