BOS approves grants, gets update on finances

Culpeper County’s Board of Supervisors approved a pair of grants and received a positive update on their financial situation at the first meeting of 2018.

Prior to new business, new chairman Bill Chase and vice chairman Brad Rosenberger were elected.

Following the seating of the new chairman and vice chairman, the board heard from Courtney Rogers, of Davenport and Company, with an update on the county’s financial review.

Rogers reported that the county is in good shape, even when factoring in expected debt service of loans taken out for a proposed Career and Technical Education School and Community Center. Davenport and Company reported that the debt incurred by those expenses and possible school construction would not exceed the debt policy for Culpeper County.

According to Rogers, under the current budget the county would have to add four pennies to the tax rate in 2020 with 6.3 pennies added by 2023.

Catalpa Supervisor Sue Hansohn asked if the schools took $1 million out of its fund if it would impact the rate, and Rogers answered that amount of money wouldn’t change the numbers.

Culpeper County administrator John Eggerstson said it looked like the county was in good shape financially.

The board then approved two requests to submit grants by by Culpeper County special projects coordinator and county wide grants manager Laura Loveday. Loveday presented a proposal to submit a $250,000 GO Virginia Grant Application to the Region 9 GO Va. Council for projects at the George Washington Carver Building.

Those funds included $100,000 for New Pathways, Inc. to purchase new equipment to train machinists, $96,300 for the American Institutes of Welding to purchase new welders and infrastructure and $23,700 for the GWC Alumni Museum.

“They hope to open the museum formally in October 2018,” Loveday said. “It’s going to be important to have this space to tell the story of Carver, how it’s operated in the past and in the future.”

Cedar Mountain District Supervisor Jack Frazier questioned by the $100,000 for New Pathways was needed, saying that wasn’t specified in the business plan.

Hansohn, who sits on the New Pathways board, explained that the older equipment that was donated is now obsolete and some doesn’t work. That required the training school to request newer equipment to train students.

“In my understanding, in terms of the grant they would like to see it used for infrastructure,” Frazier said. “While all these projects are good, I was under the impression the GO VA. money would go to infrastructure.”

Eggerston explained that the GO Va. money was earmarked for workforce development, which falls under the plans Loveday laid out.

In the end, the board voted 6-0 (with Hansohn abstaining) to approve Loveday submitting an application.

The board also approved Loveday to submit an application for a $2.25 million grant through the Virginia Vibrant Community Initiative for funding improvements at the Carver Center.