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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.

Nov 03

Four King William County Bridges Need Repairs to Accommodate Vehicle Passage

Posted on November 3, 2022 at 5:12 PM by Christine Branch

Four King William County Bridges Need Repairs to Accommodate Vehicle Passage

Some excellent research by the Staff of the Middle Peninsula Planning District (MPPD) unveils there are numerous bridges throughout the district that are in dire need of repair, many with no funding dedicated for that purpose in the near future.

VDOT is responsible for the repair and upkeep of bridges in the Commonwealth. The list discussed at the most recent meeting of the MPPD by its members revealed 21 bridges have posted weight restrictions looking to be put on a schedule for upgrade.

King William County has four bridges on the list, Route 600, Route 629, Route 701, and Route 618. The other bridges were shared by four other Middle Peninsula localities, with Essex having seven and King & Queen having eight.

MPPD Staff presented a future funding schedule for repairs to some of the bridges as identified by VDOT. None of the four King William bridges are on the list for funding in the near future. Only Route 618 is currently at risk for some vehicles to cross which includes fire trucks, garbage trucks, plow trucks, cement trucks, dump trucks, and 40-ton tractor trailers.

The information will be shared with Delegate Brian Hodges, who represents the Northern District localities. The King William County Board of Supervisors will lobby the State Legislature for additional funding to include Route 618 and the other bridges in an updated funding plan.

 

Board of Social Work Speeds Up Licensure Process

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced October 26 the Virginia Board of Social Work has enacted regulations that will speed up the process by which a social worker from another state can receive a license in Virginia.

Caitlyn Frolo of WSET-TV penned an article that highlighted the significance of the Governor’s announcement, which will now allow a licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Licensed Master’s Social Worker, or a Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker licensed in another state to obtain a license in Virginia. This can be done by providing verification they have a license in good standing in another state and by providing verification of passing the exam at the same level they are seeking licensure for in Virginia.

This is great news for all localities in Virginia who are having trouble attracting licensed social services employees. The new regulations, according to Frolo’s article, reach out further by simplifying the process for social workers with an expired or inactive Virginia license to regain their license and re-enter the workforce.

A 2021 report by the Virginia Health Care Foundation noted that Virginia ranks 39th among states for access to mental health care and 93 of Virginia’s 133 localities are federally-designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas.

 

Success of State Septic & Well Program Causes Funds to be Depleted Ahead of Schedule

A program set up to help Virginia residents with septic tank issues is running out of money, according to state officials.

Mallory Noe-Payne of Radio IQ has penned an article reporting the Septic and Well Assistance Program (SWAP) has had to stop accepting applications because the response has been “incredible.” 

The program has already finished almost 40 projects, with another 73 under construction according to Noe-Payne’s article. There are still 140 projects waiting.

SWAP Director Nicole Sandberg is quoted as saying the $11 million for the program that was part of COVID-19 relief funds will be spent 2.5 years ahead of schedule, with over 600 people being assisted.

Nearly a million Virginia families have septic systems at home, with a large number in King William County.

 

Many Bird Populations Reaching ‘Tipping Point’ for Existence

Part of the beauty of rural counties such as King William is the presence of wildlife and a rustic landscape.

Everett Eaton of the Virginia-Pilot has researched that many bird populations are reaching their “tipping point,” with many of the species coming as a surprise.

Eaton reports more than half of bird populations are sharply declining across the United States, and dozens have been added as tipping point species, which are close to being threatened or endangered because they have lost half or more of their populations in the past 50 years.

One of the birds on the list is the Heermann’s gull, as well as the black-footed and Laysan albatross, petrels, and the red-faced cormorant, according to Eaton. The report also lists many wetland birds and Eastern forest birds.

The beauty of a cardinal or blue jay seems to be protected for now, but with a greater focus than before on the environment, preserving fowl and wildlife needs to be a greater priority for future generations to enjoy.

 

Fuel Assistance Applications Being Accepted at King William DSS

Fuel assistance applications ae being accepted at King William County Social Services offices.

Fuel assistance includes home heating costs as well as furnace re-starts, late charges, delivery charges, installation charges, and connection or re-connection fees.

Details and applications can be found on the Virginia Department of Social Services website. Income guidelines do apply.

Oct 25

Public Reacts Favorably to Opening of Route 30 Dollar General Store

Posted on October 25, 2022 at 12:09 PM by Christine Branch

Public Reacts Favorably to Opening of Route 30 Dollar General Store

The new Dollar General store on Route 30 opened the weekend of October 14 and seems to be getting a good reception by those who have stopped by.

The store is the second one in King William County, with the other being along Route 360 in Central Garage.

The opening of a new retail store is always a win for our community. In the case of the new Dollar General, it is located in an area that will more easily serve residents who live and travel further up Route 30 on the road to West Point.

The store has plenty of parking and has easy access onto Route 30 in both directions. It also holds great economic value to the community.

For instance, the store will add business property to the real estate tax rolls, as well as personal property. It also collects state sales taxes that are returned in part to King William to assist with public education.

Another important component is the creation of jobs. Recent reports show that up to 85 percent of King William workers leave the county every day for their employment. Folks drawing a paycheck from Dollar General won’t have to do that, and it helps keep the unemployment rate at a modest level. Dollar General is currently hiring sales associates and managers at both County locations. You can learn more on their website.

So don’t be misled by the critics who say we don’t need another Dollar General because we already have one. The truth behind basic economics is any investment that provides more goods and services to our community and creates jobs is good each and every time.

 

Public Health Emergency Still in Effect for State Social Services Agencies

The State Department of Social Services has kept its Public Health Emergency (PHE) in effect to assist residents who need valuable services.

King William Social Services Director Amanda Tevis explained the PHE does not allow clients receiving Medicaid to be cut off from receiving benefits. A reduction in coverage cannot occur either, according to Tevis, no matter if the income levels increase for any client.

Tevis says she and other directors from the around the state are waiting on more permanent direction regarding client renewals. For now, King William recipients can rely on the benefits they were eligible for from earlier this year.

 

Kings Dominion Moving Toward Year-Round Opening

For those who enjoy the sights and sounds at Kings Dominion, get ready to have 12 months of opportunity.

Colleen Curran of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported on October 18 the mega theme park will operate year-round.

Weekend openings are planned in January, February, and early March, with regular hours throughout the rest of the year. According to Curran, KD will add 18 additional days, or nine weekends, to its schedule which includes special events like Winter Fest and Halloween Haunt.

Spokesman Mark Riddell of KD is quoted by Curran as saying: “This will increase value for our season pass holders and offer additional days for people to enjoy the park.”

Kings Dominion is a popular destination for King William residents, and it will put more pressure on Busch Gardens and the Meadow Event Park to offer more events in their normally off seasons.

 

La Nina Weather Pattern Predicts Warmer-Than-Average Winter

Everyone has their own weather source when it comes to speculating on how hard the upcoming winter might be.

USA Today likes to use La Nina as one of the main drivers of weather in the US and around the world.

La Nina is the climate pattern that shows a natural cycle marked by cooler-than-average ocean water in the central Pacific Ocean. It’s the opposite to the more well-known El Nino, which occurs when water in the Pacific Ocean is warmer than average.

La Nina is expected to persist through the winter. That means generally warmer-than-average temperatures are expected for much of the southern United States, as well as the Eastern Seaboard. Drought-like conditions are also expected in many parts of the south.

That doesn’t mean King William students won’t have a snow day or two. It just means riding their bicycles will be more regular than pulling their sleds.

Oct 17

Citizen Boards & Commissions in Need of Interested Residents

Posted on October 17, 2022 at 5:48 PM by Percy Ashcraft

Citizen Boards & Commissions in Need of Interested Residents

The Board of Supervisors is looking for interested residents to fill vacancies on various Boards and Commissions.

Key vacancies currently include:

  1. Board of Equalization. This is a very important Board which will address appeals to the upcoming real property reassessment. The Board of Supervisors recommends appointments to the Circuit Court. These appointments need to be made by November 28. Please note, there is a separate application form for this Board.

 

  1. Social Services Advisory Board. When the Board of Supervisors changed the governance model for Social Services earlier this year, it replaced a governing board for Social Services to an Advisory Board.

 

  1. Farmers Market. The King William Economic Development Authority (EDA) is looking for a citizens’ board to organize and operate the Farmers Market for the future. EDA members voted unanimously to turn the operation over to interested citizens and provide advice and guidance as necessary. If you are interested in helping to keep the Farmers Market active in the central region of the County, please email deputyclerk@kingwilliamcounty.us. No application is necessary.

 

Williamsburg Recognized Again on List of Best Historical Cities

Everyone who has visited the City of Williamsburg knows it is a fantastic tourist destination. Now, USA Wanders has placed the city among the 11 “Best Historical Cities to visit in the US.”

According to an article penned by Wilford Kale of the Virginia Gazette, “the travel website is designed to offer travelers a number of destination topics from which to choose and also an avenue to express their own views on a variety of travel-related subjects.”

Earlier this year, according to Kale, Williamsburg ranked in the list of the nation’s top “Best Places to Visit” compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

The city’s best attraction is listed as Colonial Williamsburg, with the Governor’s Palace, Raleigh Tavern, and the Capitol building the most popular sites.

 

Recreation Survey Results Will Be Tabulated After November 1

Almost 500 people have responded to the Recreation Survey on the King William County website regarding recreation and future opportunities.

This information will be important to the Board of Supervisors in making decisions regarding the future of recreation.

The results will be officially tabulated after November 1. If you haven’t had the chance to share your thoughts on existing and potential recreational opportunities in King William County, please complete the survey before midnight on November 1.

The Hill Group has been retained to develop a comprehensive plan for recreation.

 

Early Voting Active for November General Election

Just over 680 King William County voters have participated in early voting for the November 8 General Election, according to Registrar Alison Fox.

Fox confirmed on October 17 that 292 have voted in-person at the Administration Building and 389 have voted by mail after receiving an absentee ballot.

For more information, please visit the Election News page of the County website. Early voting ends on Saturday, November 5.

 

Health Department Officials Expect Flu Season to be Worse in 2022-23

Officials at the Three Rivers Health Department announced in a briefing October 17 that “flu in 2022-23 is expected to be worse than the last several years.”

The Health District strongly recommends individuals protect themselves with a flu vaccination. For more information, visit the Virginia Department of Health website. Find vaccines available near you by visiting vaccines.gov.