County government really likes meetings, they have LOTS of meetings. But who can attend them all? BTW spends hours a week at meetings so you can spend minutes getting only the important details. We want to make it easy for the public to stay abreast of what is happening in our county.
Board of Supervisors Meeting 5/2
All Supervisors were in attendance.
-Presentation by Superintendent Dr. Benson:
-There will be an update to the mobile app platform coming soon. This update will allow parents to
check on student attendance, courses, lunch money and bus routes.
-SCPS provided 18 grants to teachers across all schools through the Stafford Education Foundation.
$2,000 scholarships were also given to one senior from each high school who intends to pursue career
- The last of the SCPS listening tours will be held on May 15th at Conway Elementary at 6PM. There will
be time for questions from the community at the end of the tour.
- High School Graduations will be held on June 17th.
- Update on Embrey MIll Road opening: During public comments, Gary Scola from Newland Communities gave an update regarding the progress of Embrey Mill Road. Both Embrey Mill Road and Mine road are fully paved and topped, with all striping and signage completed. Meetings with VDOT to approve the roads will happen shortly.
-Report from County Administrator: Mr. Foley discussed his desire for redevelopment advisement services he believes will be needed to assist in the redevelopment of the courthouse area that is in the county CIP. He believes that this sort of advising is necessary to accelerate economic development in the area to help bring the vision for the area to fruition. (see image below.)
BTW is glad the county is taking the initiative to develop a downtown Stafford area, it is sorely needed.
-Integrated Corporate and Technology Park (ICTP) Overlay: From the agenda item document, "The ICTP district would promote the integration of uses—such as Class A office space, hotel space for corporate clientele, supporting retail services, data centers, child care, and multi-family housing—to facilitate the growth and development of large scale corporate office and technology parks." There are two areas in the county that currently qualify for this type of zoning overlay, Quantico Corporate Center and Riverside Business Park.
- The big issue that has delayed the approval of this overlay is the incorporation of multi-family dwellings. By adding the potential for apartments, the county could overwhelm schools with little ability to acquire money from developers. Here are the numbers the county presented to represent what the affect would be on area schools if Quantico Corparate Center built apartments:
According to these numbers, the only school that might go over capacity by including apartments is Widewater Elementary. This means that the way proffers now work, we could only get money from developers for the few students the county estimates would put them out of capacity due to county projections. So if the county projects WES will be over by 15 students due to apartments at QCC, the developers would only be on the hook to provide money to compensate for the few students that exceeded it's capacity, potentially 15 students.
There was a lot of back and forth on this issue and some suspicion from some supervisors that by approving the overlay, apartments would automatically be allowed to be built, mainly Supervisor Snellings. However, Chairman Milde disputed this assertion, he said that the overlay would not create a by-right situation regarding apartments. He and Supervisor Maurer described the approval of the overlay as "adding a tool to the toolbox." According to Chairman Milde, in order to build apartments both a reclassification and a Conditional Use Permit would need to be approved by the Board, meaning the Board would still have the ability to control the growth.
Supervisor Thomas expressed his concern about allowing the overlay becasue he indicated that there was already an applicant waiting for the overlay to be approved in order to apply to build apartments at QCC. He accused Chairman Milde of being "disingenuous" by implying that a vote for the overlay did not equate to a vote for apartments. The overlay did pass, with Supervisors Snellings, Thomas and Bohmke voting against.
-"No Shooting Zone" Discussion: Due to some complaints from citizens, the Board has been asked to review it's "No Shooting Zone" policies. Supervisor Snellings requested the BoS to move the issue to public safety committee, include recognized subdivisions and would give them the opportunity to come to the board. The motion passed unanimously.
School Board Meeting 5/4
All members present, Irene Egan participated by phone
-Budget Discussion: Approval of the amended budget was the reason this special meeting was called . However, there was no public comment allowed at the meeting which did not give teachers any time to speak against the give their thoughts on the budget, which would eliminate their 1% COLA. Both Chairwoman Hazard and Mr. Hirons expressed concern about this which resulted in a motion to delay the vote on the budget to the May 9th meeting. The motion was passed unanimously
While most SB members chose not to hold their comments regarding the budget to the next meeting, Mr. McOskar was willing to share his thoughts. He said that while he thought the kids of the county are well taken care of, the teachers have been neglected. He called the senior teachers the "backbone" of the schools as they are the ones who help teach and guide the younger teachers. Since there is no pay increase for teachers with 10 -29 years of experience, he said he could not support the budget.
If you have an opinion about the teacher raises, please come to the School Board meeting on May 9th at 7PM. There will be a time for public comments from the community.
-Grandfathering of Redistricted Elementary School 5th Graders: This matter was pushed back from the meeting that determined the school to be redistricted so that the number of 5th graders affected could be produced. The number was so small that the School Board decided to allow 5th graders who were districted out of MBES to be allowed to stay as long as they provided their own transportation. The only vote against was from Irene Egan, who does not object to the concept but thinks it should be allowed for all schools, rather than on a case by case basis.
Sorry for getting this out late, have a great week!