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The Westmoreland Journal
King George, Virginia
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May 4, 2016     The Westmoreland Journal
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May 4, 2016
 

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STORIES ARE KEY PART OF HUMANEXPERIENCE PAGE 2 MARATHON MEMORIES ABOUND FOR LOCAL ' RUNNERS PAGE 5 FISHING BY SIGHT AN ENTERTAINING WAY TO CATCH DINNER PAGE3 VOLUME 40, NUMBER 18 m'AED ADC 2O7 000009 TOW 217 W COTA ST SHELTON 98584-2263 lIM lu,.lllll,l.,.dill,.,.,dl,,..llll,,l,i,,l|h,ihll HELPING YOU RELATE TO YOUR COMMUNITY WEDNESDAY! MAY412016 50 CENTS Supervisors say declining property values, school costs rise caused increase RICHARD LEGGITT Faced with declining property values and increased school costs, ' the Westmoreland Board of Super- 'i.~I--''-~" -'- - J "'':~'''~'nCTe~Se~TrzonC)l visors voted Friday to hike taxes " ' ~(- ' ', :i )) by 5 cents per 100. Basically, 3.3jur schools, cents of the increase was because of ...... ~ decreased property values and 1.7 -: cents was for increased money for Westmoreia l Coun schools, said Board Vice-Chair- B0a :MSUlN isors ce man Woody Hynson. ChalrmanWoody Hynson "I think we are as lean and con .......... servative a group of people as you : are going to find;' Hynson said. ' ~':i .... "We work hard to find ways to keep costs down and to protect the tax- payers, but this year decreases in for health insurance increases. revenue and increases in costs gave "Health insurance costs went up us no choice" for every county employee and ev- "The decline in property values cry county teacher;' said Hynson. resulted in an increase in the tax "Effectively, the increased health rate to maintain the current rev- costs would have amounted to a 2 enue level" said Westmoreland percent decrease in pay for employ- County Administrator Norm Risa- ees if we had not acted:' vi. "The large increase in state rev- The new $1.3 million in county enue for the school system resulted money funding funding for the in about a $1.3 million increase in school system will be matched by required local funds." state funding and includes funds '~nother significant impact was for hiring new teachers, planning the additional of 14 new employ- for the new W&L high school and ees for the county's Department of funds to offset $116,000 in declin- Emergency Services EMS person- ing federal funding. The overall nel and two ambulances. The ad- county budget for the Westmore- ditional increase was necessary to land school system 2016-2017 is cover these expenses;' Risavi said. $8.7 million. The Westmoreland budget for The new overall county 5 cent 2016-2017 includes increases of tax increase will come from a slight $1.1 million for emergency ser- increases in real estate taxes, pub- vices including the construction lic utility taxes and taxes on mobile of a fourth rescue squad station homes. The new taxes will help in Oak Grove, $337,000 for new fund an overall county budget of county ambulances, and $105,000 $26.5 million for 2016-2017. rove At last year's First Friday Art Walk, residents sat on hay bales and lawn chairs to watch musicians perform and enjoyed sampling Montross' hospitality. Market Days moves for This year the Combined First Friday and Market by and County Line is a huge win for us. They are Days will be held beginning at noon and ending at a hot band all across the great state of Virginia and bigger, more fun event 8 p.m. on Friday, May.6 For more information on we're proud to have them play in their home area RICHARD LEGGIT]" ............. the weekend's events or Montross ~nd the Greater again this year." Montross Partnership for Revitalization, go to "We have the award winning Hague Winery Montross First Fridays are back this weekend, www.visitmontross.com, joining us and that's another great local business and the Westmoreland County village is combin- "Folks are encouraged to come early and dine that is investing in the revitalization of Montross," ing its traditional First Fridays art walk and music in one of the local eateries, or grab a bite from a Cosgrove said. "We have new vendors such as series with the Montross Market Days, normally vendor as they listen to music and sample local Revolutionary Root Farm from Kinsale joining held on the Saturday after the First Friday, for a wine, shop the market and roam the village," Nel- our vendor list so shoppers should keep a cooler larger, more energetic event, son said. in their car to keep local meats, poultry and eggs." "Our new format has combined our Friday art "We always welcome new vendors, and hope Cosgrove said he had sampled local strawber- walks with our previously Saturday market day that this evening convinces people that Montross ries and asparagus available from vendors "and into one bigger and better event," said Montross is ready for new small business. The Greater Mon- they are fantastic so that's another good reason to Vice Mayor Terry Cosgrove. tross Partnership for Revitalization is anxious to come out and shop local." "We have moved the Saturday market to Friday, help foster anyone with dreams of operating a "Our list of artist vendors is growing to join in in an attempt to accommodate vendors, locals, small business in Montross," Nelson said. and bolster our arts presence with our brick and and visitors," said Becky Nelson, one of the coor- "Our list of vendors is still growing and we mortar businesses. Our fantastic local restaurants dinators of the event "This event is people-packed couldn't be happier about that," said Cosgrove. are all open late for dining before, during and after and will include food vendors this year." "Of course kicking the season off with Josh Grigs- the first Friday event," Cosgrove said. Dealer gets 15 years RICHARD LEGGITT King George prosecutors sent a message to drug dealers last week by getting a local man sentenced to 15 years in prison for a single drug deal. Thomas Renaldo Johnson, who was convicted by a jury in February, was sentenced Thursday in King George Circuit Court to prison time that has been recommended by the jury. "Any and all drug dealers in King George County are on notice that sell- hag poison for profit could result in decades in prison," said King George Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Charles Clark. "The jury recommended that Mr. Johnson spend 15 year in prison for a single drug deal," Clark said. "There was no question about where the com- munity stands on the issue and we were pleased that the court upheld the jury's recommendation." Johnson, 32, of King George was given the stiff sentence by Circuit Court Judge William Ledbetter after he was convicted of selling the drugs See DEALER, page 8 RICHARD LEGGITT Volunteers in Kinsale are manning the ovens this week, baking pound cakes for the Sixth Annual Kinsale Strawberry Festival to be held Satur- day in the historic port town. The fes- tival this year ~ also be a Mother's Day celebration. Lots of luscious strawberries will be on available at the Cople District Volunteer Firehouse from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on May 7, so plenty of, pound cakes -- made with the secret Kinsale recipe -- are needed to dol- lop whipped cream and strawberries over. Also, any spare cakes will be sold to help raise money for the fire department. This year the delightful communi- ty event will also be a salute to Moth- er's Day. Residents are urged to treat Morn to a day of family fun. There will be music from the talented band Muddy Boots, horse and pony rides, a petting zoo and story telling by the library. Vendors and artisans will also be available selling their creations. The event, which raises funds for the Cople District VFD, will also feature a bake-off with pies, cookies, cakes and other treats using straw- berries, In addition to the bake-off and music, there will be rides, games and lots and lots of strawberries. Young Kinsale resident Aubree Sitton with flowers in a strawberry designed vase at last year's Kinsale Strawberry Festival.. RICHARD LEGGITT The Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, acting on a request from the Placid Bay Civic Associa- tion, is considering an increase in road improvement user fees for Plac- id Bay residents in an effort to speed up road improvements in the area. Friday during budget discussions, the supervisors voted to table a pro- posal to increase the road improve- ment user fee in Placid Bay from $40 per year per lot to $120 per year per lot until county officials can meet with the residents of the area at the Placid Bay Civic Association Com- munity Center on May 21. "After three years of available funds for local road repairs, we have only been able to execute road repairs on 57 percent of the unpaved roads and still have portions of seven roads that are impassible," said Christina Gruszecki, the president of the civic association, in a letter to supervisors. "At this rate, it will be six more years before we are able to do a solid first pass on local repairs on the re- maining roads and 60 plus years be- fore we are able to transition these roads," Gruszecki said. "The PBCA recommends increasing the road user fee to $120 per lot to accelerate our ability to make all lots accessible and transition as many roads as pos- sible to VDOT. This equates to $10 a month per lot." The current road user fees generat- ed only about $62,000 in revenue last year. When the cost of maintaining the roads is subtracted, only $50,000 a year is left for possible revenue sharing construction funds with the Virginia Department of Transporta- tion. "Roads play a big impact in deter- mining the value of property," said Board Chairman Darryl Fisher. "The May 21 meeting will be our oppor- tunity to get the word out to citizens about the proposed increase increase in the road user fee."