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County Administrator's BLOG

Stay up-to-date with King William County news and happenings from the County Administrator, Percy C. Ashcraft.

Jan 24

Hard to Imagine Jeff Walton Not Being Sheriff

Posted on January 24, 2023 at 5:16 PM by Percy Ashcraft

Hard to Imagine Jeff Walton Not Being Sheriff

There are just some things in King William County that you figure will somehow escape the test of time.  Hard to imagine the Historic Courthouse will not continue to have trials in it; Gene Campbell will always be taking photos and writing articles; the King William High School football team will always make the playoffs; and……………Jeff Walton will always be sheriff.

Well, Jeff upset the chemistry for things that seemed irreplaceable when he spoke at the Board of Supervisors meeting on January 23 and announced he would not be running for re-election this fall.

Jeff had told his employees and others a few days earlier he was going to step away from the profession that he loves, and it loves him right back.  The good news he will continue to serve until his final day of office on December 31 of this year.

Jeff has worked his way into the top 10 of sheriffs throughout the Commonwealth in years of service.  He is a stable leader in a climate of instability in law enforcement that stems from active attacks to stealing catalytic converters. Jeff has seen steady growth call for a need for additional personnel and has partnered with state police and local officials in West Point to build confidence in public safety throughout the entire County.

Jeff is and has been a perfect fit for this County.  He appreciates its rural character, but he has transitioned knowing that in order to survive you have to keep up with the times.  He has built a department of men and women that are as sincere to the profession as he is.  He has steadily convinced Boards of Supervisors both past and present the need for   modern equipment, reliable vehicles and technology.  He has done that with always one eye on managing the department budget.

Jeff is a bit of a throwback to the past in a way that can only make us want to rewind the clock.  It has been comforting to have the sheriff know most people by their first name.  To have the sheriff be part of the local civic club and be part of fundraising and cleanup events like other members are.   And when disputes break out between neighbors, it is nice to sit both parties down and see how they can work the matter out without violence or pending grudges.  Jeff did all that, and is still doing it today.  He is an excellent mentor for any young officer wanting to learn the right way to be a peace officer.

It is too early to miss Jeff because he is still here.  But in the days, weeks and months until he takes that badge off for the final time, let’s pause to appreciate just how fortunate this great County has been to have a great public servant help guide our quality of life for almost three decades.

 

 

PUD Approval Brings High Expectations for Housing, Services

The Board of Supervisors followed the Planning Commission’s recommendation and approved King William County’s first Planned Unit Development (PUD) on January 23.  It will carry the name the Orchards at Central Garage.

The rezoning is on property known as the Simons tract and is located at the intersection of 360/30. 

Primary uses for the property will be 219 Single Family Dwellings; 201 Town Homes; 200 Apartments; and almost 45 Commercial Parcels.  

The developer is MHF Properties, LLC, with principal parties John and Jay Narparlo heading up the commercial side and developer Don Balzer leading the residential end.  The Narparlo family is very familiar with the King William County, having owned and operated the Burger King at Central Garage for many years.

The developers have proffered $1 million to assist with improvements at the King William Recreation Park, which would include new access points in and out of the park, as well as extending water lines to assist with concessions, restrooms and irrigation of the fields.

In concert with the project will be the construction of a WaWa’s Convenience Store at the corner of 360/30.  The site was originally intended for the Burger King to move over there, but that did not work out years ago.

There is much expectation surrounding this project.  It has the potential to bring needed services to the community and provide even more housing opportunities.  Developers want to begin as soon as  possible once the site plan is approved by all who are involved.

 

Rappahannock Community College to Offer Patient Care Technician Certification

Rappahannock Community College (RCC) and Germanna Community College (GCC) are working together to create a refined program combining the Nurse Aide and Medical Assisting curriculum into one Patient Care Technician (PCT) program. The 10-week course includes online lectures and in-person labs and clinicals through RCC and GCC to train providers in an advanced level of patient care. 

 

The program will prepare students to perform tasks such as foley catheter insertion and care, phlebotomy, EKGs, vital signs, nutritional mechanical feeding, history taking, assist patients with activities of daily living, and more. The PCT program will lead to two certifications, the Certified Nurse Aide license and Certified Medical Assistant. These credentials meet the hiring requirements of the region’s hospitals and allow the PCT to work in a wide variety of clinical and healthcare settings.

 

Tuition and fees, books, scrubs, supplies, background check, credentials and testing fees are all covered by a grant from GO Virginia and matching funds from RCC and GCC. Sessions begin in February, April, and September. 

 

“Our region, like others around the country, is experiencing a shortage of nurses. This program will produce about 120 PCTs this year and will help fill vacancies at area hospitals,” said Ellen Koehler, Interim Dean of Health Sciences at RCC.

 

For more information on this program, contact RCC at (804)333-6730 or email advisor@rappahannock.edu.

 

Otto Williams Re-Appointed to Regional Planning Commission

Longtime community advocate Otto Williams continues to expand his legacy by being re-appointed by the Board of Supervisors to the Middle Peninsula District Planning Commission.

The appointment came on January 23 and will be for one year.

Williams has vast history of public service.  He is a former member of the Board of Supervisors and is also currently a Citizens Member on the CPMT for Social Services issues.  He has also been active in the Mangohick Volunteer Fire Department.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 17

Active Attack Training Important to Everyone

Posted on January 17, 2023 at 4:48 PM by Percy Ashcraft

Active Attack Training Important to Everyone

Various members of King William County Government Staff, and representatives from private businesses, were in attendance January 13 for an ‘Active Attack’ training session.

The four-hour event was hosted by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services at the Parks & Recreation offices in Aylett.  It was offered as a public service by DCJS.

Apologetically, the instructor opened the session saying he wish this training was not necessary.  He referred to better days when disputes were handled in more civil ways by people, but now it is about using weapons to settle a score and gain notoriety at the same time.

The training included modules on Civilian Response to Active Attacks; Casualty Care; Basic Medical lntervention; and Practical Application.

Those in attendance came away with a greater understanding of what to do in the event of being in an environment where an attack is underway.

DCJS will come to any group and lead the training at no charge.  Visit the website at www.dcjs.virginia.gov.

 

Former Lt. Governor Bill Bolling Weighs In on Assessment of Real Property

District 5 Supervisor Ed Moren steered me toward this Facebook posting written by former Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. It is an excellent piece on the reassessment of real property process, which King William County is currently experiencing:

“DID YOU KNOW THAT ASSESSMENTS CAN’T RAISE YOUR REAL ESTATE TAXES.....BUT YOUR BOARD OF SUPERVISORS CAN?

 

I received my annual real estate assessment notice this week. You may have received one as well.

 

My personal assessment increased 8.34% this year, after going up 8.98% last year. Over the past four years, my assessment has gone up 28.25%! That's a big hit!

 

Most people mistakenly assume that an increase in their real estate assessment will automatically result in an increase in their real estate taxes, but did you know that’s not how it works in Virginia?

In Virginia, an increase in real estate assessments cannot, by state law, result in an increase in a local governments total real estate tax collections that exceeds 1%. If it does, state law requires that the existing real estate tax rate be “rolled back” to offset the impact of the assessment. This is called the "equalized tax rate."

 

Here's an example.

If your localities real estate tax rate last year was .81/$100 of assessed value, as is the case in Hanover County where I live; and your localities assessments go up by an average of 10%, your statutorily required "equalized tax rate" would "roll back" to .73/$100 of assessed value. 

 

This is just a generic example, but do you see how it works? The real estate reassessment did not result in higher real estate taxes. If the Board of Supervisors wants to increase the equalized tax rate it must vote to do so.

 

Now here's what many localities will do. They will vote to retain their current tax rate (.81/$100 in assessed value in the example I gave above), and then celebrate the fact that they did not raise the tax rate. While that is technically true, the reality is that they raised your taxes because they voted to reset the tax rate at .81/$100 of assessed value, rather than adopt the equalized tax rate of .73/$100 that was provided for in law.

 

Hanover County has done this for several years now, and your locality may have done the same. Our real estate tax rate has not increased in several years, but my overall tax bill has gone up by 28.5% in the past four years because the Board of Supervisors voted each year to increase the actual tax rate above the statutorily required equalized rate. Make no mistake, that is a tax increase, and big one!

 

Now, as a former local government official, let me acknowledge that this may be entirely appropriate if done transparently. Your locality may need more money to fund local programs. Since the real estate tax is the primary source of local tax revenue, your Board of Supervisors may feel they have no choice but to reset the tax rate at its prior level to increase local funding. But if that is the case, be aware that they are voting to raise your taxes and hold them accountable.

 

Here’s the bottom line, the only way your real estate tax bill will increase is if your local Board of Supervisors votes to raise them.”


Earned Income Tax Credit (ETC) Awareness Day January 27

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) invites you to an exciting, virtual event on Friday, January 27, 2023, at 1:00pm, EST: 

 

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day 2023

Identify and Resolve Issues during the EITC Claim Lifecycle

 

The EITC is a complex tax provision. Even when a complete and accurate tax return is filed, issues may still arise. Have you ever wondered how the most influential tax practitioners identify and resolve EITC issues? Join us for this special roundtable conversation moderated by Nina Olson, executive director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights, as she leads a conversation with Susan Morgenstern, adjunct professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law; Omeed Firouzi, staff attorney with Philadelphia Legal Assistance Taxpayer Support Clinic; Nancy Rossner, executive director at the Community Tax Law Project; and Leslie McLean, member of J. Leslie McLean PLLC. This conversation will empower you with the knowledge to identify and resolve issues that arise when claiming EITC. Special emphasis will be placed on assisting veterans; domestic violence survivors; refugees; and American Indians and Alaska Natives.   

You can register for this exciting, virtual event at the following link: Click Here to Register. This event is limited to the first 950 registered participants. After you register, you will receive an email from Microsoft Teams with a link to the event (don’t forget to save to your calendar!). The event is open to anyone who wants to learn about identifying and resolving EITC issues, but it will be particularly relevant to organizations, government agencies, and others who assist taxpayers or provide taxpayers with resources on where to obtain assistance when issues arise.

 

If you have an interest in hearing about a specific topic during the roundtable conversation, please let us know! You can email us prior to the event at wi.eitc.event@irs.gov. Also, if you have an issue with registering, please email us at wi.eitc.event@irs.gov. We look forward to you joining us on January 27, 2023!

 

New Numbers Unveiled for Climbing US Population

As our nation rang in a new year, the U.S. Census Bureau projects the United States population will be 334,233,854 entering 2023.

This represents an increase of 1,571,393, or 0.47%, from New Year’s Day 2022, and 2,784,573, or 0.84% since Census Day (April 1) 2020.

In January 2023, the nation is expected to experience 1 birth every 9 seconds and 1 death every 10 seconds. Meanwhile, net international migration is expected to add 1 person to the U.S. population every 32 seconds.

The combination of births, deaths and net international migration increases the U.S. population by 1 person every 27 seconds.

The projected world population on Jan. 1, 2023, is 7,942,645,086, an increase of 73,772,634, or 0.94%, from New Year’s Day 2022. During January 2023, 4.3 births and 2.0 deaths are expected worldwide every 1 second.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 09

King William County Stretching Out $3.4 Million in Federal Relief Funds

Posted on January 9, 2023 at 3:17 PM by Percy Ashcraft

King William County Stretching Out $3.4 Million in Federal Relief Funds

According to researchers at Government Technology Magazine, a resource for local and state governments, the US Government has passed four laws that approved spending $7.6 trillion in pandemic relief, infrastructure investment, and economic stimulus.

All this began in 2020. Funds have trickled down to the localities from federal and state approvals, or sometimes directly from the feds themselves.

According to GT Magazine, the $7.6 trillion package has been divided this way: $2.2 trillion for the CARES Act; $2.3 trillion for economic stimulus; $1,.9 trillion for ARPA; and $1.2 trillion for ILJA Cyber funding.

With these funds heading to all localities in the United States, it is good to check on how King William County fared.

The Finance Department of King William County breaks the funding down into three categories: CARES, ARPA, and Municipal Utility Assistance for the Town of West Point. The County has received $2,992,194 in CARES funds; $3,330,798 for ARPA; and $98,790 for Municipal Utility Assistance for the Town of West Point.

On the expenditure side, the CARES funds are broken down this way:

$1,015,115 – King William Public Schools

$571,509 – Town of West Point

$211,098 – Building additions to safeguard against COVID

$173,770 – Mobile laptops for public safety.

$150,000 – Broadband study

$134,031 – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

$107,917 – Information Technology

$88,600 – Vehicles

$66,288 – Body cameras

$60,000 – Economic Development Authority (EDA)

$51,994 – Turnout Gear

$41,090 – King William County aid to businesses

$39,492 – Payroll expenses related to employee COVID leave

$22,607 – Hazard Pay

The ARPA funds are broken down this way:

$2 million – Broadband extension

$956,600 – Salaries & benefits for seven full-time medic firefighters

$110,000 – vehicles

$70,000 - Building additions to safeguard against COVID 

$54,000 – NANO Shields

$44,851 – Payroll expenses related to COVID-19 leave for employees

$32,500 – Personal Protection Equipment

$25,906 – Information Technology.

The Municipal Utility Assistance is broken down this way:

$98,790 – Municipal Utility Assistance for Town of West Point.

The CARES funds have been closed out, but there are still a small amount of funds remaining for approval by the Board of Supervisors. Just as in distribution of CARES funding, there are guidelines and restrictions as to how the funds can be spent. The Board of Supervisors will be discussing this as part of the upcoming budget discussions.

 

Bay Consortium Workforce Development Accepting Public Comment

The Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board, which serves Accomack, Caroline, Essex, Fredericksburg City, King George, King & Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Westmoreland, is accepting public comment on their modification to the four-year local plan required by The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014.

WIOA is designed to help youth, job seekers, and businesses. The comprehensive four-year local plan, in partnership with Chief Elected Officials, serves as a plan to develop, align, and integrate local area service delivery strategies with those that support the State’s strategic and operational goals.

The local plan can be found online at the Virginia Career Works Bay Consortium Region website at the following link https://vcwbay.com/strategic-planning/.

 

Online Survey Collecting Data for Animal Services Operations

The general public is requested to participate in an online survey regarding Animal Services operations in King William County.

The data compiled will assist Animal Services Staff and the Board of Supervisors in their long-range planning.

The Animal Shelter facility, located along Route 30 near the new King William County Courthouse Complex, is a partnership with King & Queen County. County Administration is seeking a rewrite of the agreement with King & Queen that was first approved in 2007.

The survey can be found at: https://cutt.ly/RASSurvey.

 

Atlantic Union Bankshares Corp. Transferring Listing of Common Stock

Virginia Business Magazine is reporting that Atlantic Union Bankshares Corp., the Richmond-based holding company for Atlantic Union Bank, announced January 6 it is transferring the listing of its common stock and depositary shares from Nasdaq to the New York Stock Exchange. The bank’s first day of trading on the NYSE is January 18.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, Atlantic Union stock was trading at $36.41 per share, a 2.68% increase from the start of trading at 9 a.m. Atlantic Union has 114 branches in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina, and as of the third quarter in 2022, the bank had $19.95 billion in assets, $16.546 billion in deposits, and was the largest bank headquartered in Virginia. Its fourth quarter and full year 2022 earnings report is scheduled for release on January 24.

Atlantic Union has a location in King William County along Route 360 in Central Garage.