This was a shorter meeting, but even though there was not much to report, it was still a substantive meeting.
David Curry presented the Board of Supervisors with a commemorative flag featuring the names of those who died during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Representatives from the Junior and Senior Beta Clubs came to thank the Board for their financial support, making it possible for the students to attend the National Beta Convention in Orlando, FL.
The Board recognized Bob Fiumara for his service on Caroline’s first County Planning Commission. After years of dedicated service to the county, Fiumara is moving to California to be with his family. Board Chairman Jeff Black presented Fiumara with a resolution honoring his time on the commission, as well as a New York Yankees jersey as a personal token. Fiumara remarked, “We have some of the best department heads […], that’s what made this job great. It has been an honor to serve the county.”
Sheriff Tony Lippa came forward to remind the Board and the attendees about the Sheriff Department’s Safe-Exchange zones at the Bowling Green Sheriff’s office, the county visitor’s center, and the Ladysmith Sheriff’s station. A Safe-Exchange zone allows people to meet in a safe, camera-covered space for a number of reasons. Strangers exchanging goods and money for online yard sales and Craigslist, divorced parents wishing to pass children from one person to the other, etc, can meet in a well-lit area which is constantly being recorded for security.
During the public comments, several Caroline County deputies and office staff spoke out in support of a pay raise for the Sheriff’s Department. A pay study has already been instituted by the Board to investigate the need and possibility of a raise. It has been six years since a pay increase was applied in the Sheriff’s Department, and according to Lieutenant Travis Nutter, surrounding counties often try to recruit Caroline deputies because they can offer better pay. Nutter, Patrol Sergent David Lipscomb, and many others, iterated to the Board that they are not in the field of public defense for the money, but that they have families and other responsibilities that need attending to. As the “last line of defense for the county,” Lipscomb spoke of the emotional drain of such a career. “No one told me there would be a toll on my physical health. But I enjoy it and I would have no other career choice. Sleepless nights, regrets of not being able to help somebody, of children dying in my hands… there is a cost that cannot be accounted for just with money.”
Joseph Schiebel from Public Works gained approval for the replacement of a fence between the county administrative building and a private residence, as well as for some replacement windows in the community services center.
Fire and Rescue Chief Jason Loftus informed the Board of a change in the department’s stipend policy. An additional $1 will be added to overnight shifts, hoping to incentivize volunteer to take on this less-appealing shift. There is a limit to the number of people who can be compensated at one time, totaling 2 fire engines with 3 personnel each, and 2 ambulances with 2 personnel each.
Central Virginia Health Services’ dental clinic is being moved to a new space in the community center. However, the new space is considerably smaller and will require construction to bring it up to snuff. This program provides dental care to area children who receive Medicaid, as well as those who do not have insurance of any kind, for only $15 per visit. A representative from Health Services asked the Board to give the program the space at no cost except utilities. The program no longer makes money, and in fact, several staff regularly donate their own money to keep the program afloat. While it would be preferable not to move at all, if forced to move, the program requests that the Board cover the cost of construction. This issue has been tabled until the September meeting.