Lancaster supervisors give Greentown-Gaskins Road project the green light

Lancaster County’s board of supervisors approved the release of funds for the Greentown-Gaskins Road Community Improvement Project located in District 4. But one member withheld his support based on documents the supervisors were given regarding the project.

District 1 Supervisor F.W. “Butch” Jenkins dissented when County Administrator Pleva didn’t provide the notice detailing the appropriations for Lancaster County.

“We don’t have the document in front of us to vote on,” Jenkins objected.

Instead, Pleva presented a similar document to the board composed by Northumberland County and explained why the local document had not yet been crafted.

“We just didn’t have time to type it up and wanted to get it out to you before the holiday,” Pleva said in reference to the Lancaster notice of released funds. “You don’t have one that says Lancaster but what we gave you was a sample that we will use to approve the establishments of the accounts.”

“It’s the same form that the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development requires,” Pleva added.

But the assurance failed to satisfy Jenkins.

“I won’t touch this with a ten-foot pole,” Jenkins replied, before casting the lone vote against the board’s 4-1 decision to approve the grant funds.

The project involves low-to-moderate-income residents on Greentown Road and Gaskins Road and includes both home rehabilitation and building a sewer treatment plant in the vicinity. Although the project has been ongoing for several years, certain grant funds needed for development were not available until last summer.

Funds that required the board’s approval on Nov. 29 consisted of Lancaster’s Community Development Block Grant and Scattered Site grant funds.

County Administrator Frank Pleva requested that the board establish new and separate accounts for the funds and appropriate $100,000 of reimbursable local funds to each account from the reserves.

“The county must establish two separate accounts for the CDBG and Scattered Site projects,” Pleva dictated. “A lot of grant projects are based on reimbursement: you spend the money, you submit the invoices documenting payment and then the feds reimburse you a lot of money directly to the account.”

In addition, the board unanimously approved of a resolution for a local business and employment plan related to the Greentown-Gaskins Road Project, as well as a program income plan that Pleva said was a necessary supplementation to the Community Development Block Grant.

“The CDBG further requires the adoption of a program that handles money generated to the [CDBG], not county money,” Pleva explained. “Let’s say if somebody has the ability to pay back part of the mortgage or the repair of a house based on income, that’s income generated by the program that the county has to account for and keep track of.”

The board also passed a wastewater collection and treatment system connection fee resolution for the project that will allow households outside the project area or beyond the low-to-moderate-income range to connect to the treatment system through reduced hookup fees.

In related news, District 4 Supervisor requested that the board appoint Katie Chewning to the Greentown-Gaskins Road Project’s Rehabilitation Board. Lee said that Chewning was a resident of the Greentown-Gaskins area and had been part of the project since its initiation.

Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 10:37 am