Monday’s meeting of the board of supervisors is being moved to the Mary Bethune Gym, due to the anticipated crowd for the Second Amendment sanctuary issue on the agenda.
The meeting will be held at the Mary Bethune Gym at 6:30 p.m.
The gym is part of the Mary Bethune Complex and is the location of the temporary court facilities, therefore no weapons are allowed in the complex, according to county administrator Scott Simpson.
Monday’s move came in conjunction with a decision by board chairman Dennis Witt and Halifax County Sheriff Fred Clark, with the move made to better accommodate security measures and provide the public with a comfortable open setting.
Second Amendment sanctuary refers to resolutions adopted to not expend resources to enforce certain gun control measures perceived to be in violation of the Second Amendment.
The resolution before the board on Monday conveys the board’s intention to oppose unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms through legal means as may be expedient, according to Simpson.
The resolution also states the county opposes any additional operational burdens or the expenditures of public funds necessary to implement the enforcement of any rules, regulations or administrative actions which are in direct conflict with the U.S. Constitution and or the commonwealth of Virginia, Simpson explained.
Officials in a number of Virginia counties have declared their localities “Second Amendment sanctuaries” or are considering resolutions to that effect.
Appomattox, Campbell, Charlotte, Carroll and Pittsylvania counties have passed such resolutions, while Amherst and Franklin counties are among those considering adopting similar measures.
In another agenda item, supervisors will consider passage of sales and use tax ordinances at Monday’s meeting in relation to the 1% sales and use tax passed during a referendum on Nov. 5, by a 7,006-2,860 margin.
The sales and use tax would be solely used for construction or renovation of school facilities in Halifax County, and with the approval of the referendum, the county is now authorized to implement the 1% sales and use tax, which requires adoption of an ordinance for each category.
Prior to adopting an ordinance, a public hearing is required.
The proposed ordinances stipulate the tax at 1% with a beginning date of July 1, 2020 and an expiration date of June 30, 2050,with proceeds from the taxes being used for construction or renovation of school facilities in the county.
Simpson explained that a sales tax is a consumable tax placed on retail sales, leases or rentals of most goods, and any taxable services within Virginia.
Use tax is used in relation to the sales tax and is applied when merchandise is purchased from outside of state lines for use or consumption within Virginia.
Use tax is complimentary to the sales tax and is not applied if the sales tax is charged, according to Simpson.
Supervisors also will consider adoption of a financing resolution effective from 2019-2035 and consider approval to execute the tax certificate and lease purchase contract for the new emergency communications radio system, expected to cost $2,945,910.50.
According to Simpson, Benchmark Bank had the best proposal for the project, with a financing plan for a 10-year loan at 1.99% interest for the first seven years, with the rate indexing in years 8-10.
The county has an option of paying off the outstanding balance at any time with no penalty, and the annual project financing expense is currently accounted for in the 911 department budget, according to Simpson.
Benchmarks’ proposal is subject to final credit approval, legal review and acceptable documentation.
County staff, and Witt, in conjunction with VML/VACO solicited proposals from several financing institutions.
• Two public hearings are scheduled for Monday’s meeting, on conditional use permit applications for the installation of monopole wireless communication towers.
Halifax County planners recommended approval of both conditional use permit applications following separate public hearings last week.
Tower North Development is proposing to build a 195-foot tall monopole telecommunications tower on land owned by Bruce and Malcolm Myers at the intersection of Mountain Road and Oak Level Road in the Vernon Hill community.
Planners had delayed a decision on the conditional use permit application from Tower North for 60 days following a public hearing held Sept. 17 to allow Beacon Towers, which had a tower approved in January in near proximity 890 feet of the proposed tower, to update planners on construction at its site.
Halifax County Board of Supervisors approved a conditional use permit for Beacon Towers to install a 195-foot monopole wireless communication tower on land owned by Forrest and Cynthia Davis at 10013 Mountain Road following a public hearing in January.
The planning commission recommended approval of the conditional use permit after a public hearing on Dec. 18.
Another public hearing last week resulted in another unanimous recommendation by planners to grant a conditional use permit to Cellco Partnership, d/b/a Verizon Wireless, to install a 199-foot monopole wireless telecommunication tower at the intersection of Bowen Road and Red Bank Road. Vance Bailey Bowen is the land owner
No one spoke in opposition to the tower.
Other agenda item set for Monday’s agenda include:
• Monthly VDOT activity report and updates;
• Fiscal Year 2021 budget calendar, with adoption of the FY2021 budget and setting of tax rates set for the April 6 meeting;
• An update on the courthouse renovation and expansion project; and
• Recognition of Karen Garrett, who is retiring in December after 39 years of service to Halifax County.