Tag Archives: Augusta County Board of Supervisors

Dominion Virginia Power pipeline in Augusta County

David KaraffaBy David Karaffa, Contributor
Supervisor, Beverley Manor District, Augusta County

On August 13th at the Board of Supervisors regular meeting, we had representatives from Dominion Virginia Power come and give a presentation about their proposed underground natural gas pipeline that will transect Augusta County. There were over 350 citizens in attendance at the meeting.

First, I would like to say thank you to Dominion and to all of those that showed up for the meeting. All of the information and input was helpful to better understanding the proposal, answer some very important questions, and allow for our citizens to express their concerns about the project.

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Augusta County residents organize against pipeline

David KaraffaBy David Karaffa, Contributor
Supervisor, Beverley Manor District, Augusta County

PipelineSaturday, September 6th, saw a great number of Augusta County residents at the Verona Government Center. The topic of discussion was the Dominion Virginia Power Natural Gas Pipeline that has been much discussed since letters started appearing in citizens’ mailboxes. The letters have been asking landowners to allow Dominion representatives and their subcontractors to come onto their land and survey for the proposed route. This request has not been welcomed by the majority of landowners in Augusta.

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Panhandling banned in Augusta County

David KaraffaBy David Karaffa
Supervisor, Beverley Manor District, Augusta County

It is now unlawful for someone to stand on the side of the road, hold a sign, and accept money from motorists. At the October 22, 2014, public meeting of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, a new Panhandling Ordinance was passed.

I supported this ordinance for Augusta County. I don’t believe it is a safe practice to have individuals standing on the side of the road disrupting traffic. Far too many times I have witnessed folks walk out in front of vehicles causing delays and sudden stops in traffic that created an opportunity for accidents.

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Riverheads Elementary School

David KaraffaBy David Karaffa
Supervisor, Beverley Manor District, Augusta County

On Wednesday, October 8th, at the Augusta County Board of Supervisors meeting I voted in favor of tabling the vote on the construction of a new Riverheads Elementary School (RES). It was clear from the comments of other board members that there are serious concerns about a new bigger school. I agree that the current construction plan for RES should be reviewed.

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Augusta County to pay $600,000 to Hershey for over-assessment of Stuarts Draft plant

Hershey 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

Remember the tax revolt from 2009 when ordinary citizens in Augusta County protested that the government had over-assessed their properties just as the real estate bubble burst? (See Largest crowd ever … 1,000 residents protest taxes at Augusta BOS meeting and Augusta tax revolt was a huge success.)

It looks as if Augusta County also overestimated the value of the Hershey Manufacturing Plant in Stuarts Draft by valuing it for $30 million when in reality it was closer to $15 million.

Reporter Brad Zinn at the Staunton News Leader is reporting that, four years after the case originally began, the county and Hershey have come to an agreement with the county paying Hershey $600,000, an amount that is due within 10 days (see Augusta Co. to pay Hershey $600,000 in tax settlement.)

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Augusta County: Let’s talk school funding

David KaraffaBy David Karaffa
Supervisor, Beverley Manor District, Augusta County

[Recently the Staunton News Leader had an article written by reporter Megan Williams that had many inaccuracies. I was extremely disturbed by what I read due to the fact that the article painted a false picture of how Augusta County schools are funded. Information has been sent to her with the facts, and a correction was printed in the Thursday, October 2, 2014, edition of the News Leader. This article has been updated since its original post.]

“Facts are Stubborn Things” — John Adams

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Augusta County residents organize against pipeline

David KaraffaBy David Karaffa
Supervisor, Beverley Manor District, Augusta County

PipelineSaturday, September 6th, saw a great number of Augusta County residents at the Verona Government Center. The topic of discussion was the Dominion Virginia Power Natural Gas Pipeline that has been much discussed since letters started appearing in citizens’ mailboxes. The letters have been asking landowners to allow Dominion representatives and their subcontractors to come onto their land and survey for the proposed route. This request has not been welcomed by the majority of landowners in Augusta.

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Augusta County schools 10-year construction and closing plan

David KaraffaBy David Karaffa
Supervisor, Beverley Manor District, Augusta County

On Monday, August 25th, the Augusta County School Board presented the Board of Supervisors with their adopted 10-year capital/ construction/ school closure plan. The plan which was sent out weeks prior to the meeting is about 100 pages long and covers everything from technology, infrastructure, building repair and upgrade, to new construction, redistricting, and school closure.

The plan calls for the construction of a new Riverheads Elementary School (RES) on land next to the current RES to be completed and opened in 2016. Almost at the same time it calls for the construction of a new Cassell Elementary School that would open in 2017. These two construction projects would allow for Beverley Manor Elementary and Verona Elementary to be closed in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Verona Elementary children would be sent to Clymore, Cassell, and Churchville elementary schools while Beverley Manor Elementary children would be sent to the new Riverheads Elementary. Some Clymore students would be sent to North River Elementary to make room for Verona children.

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Opportunities exist for McAuliffe’s struggling Hispanic Board

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel P. Cortez

As the congressional clock ticks with continued inaction, Virginia and the nation seek resolutions regarding immigration reform.  Fleeing illegal Hispanic children housed in Augusta County and Prince William County, Virginia, demand compassionate but firm action as more may arrive.

This was a key topic of discussion for the Governor’s Virginia Latino Advisory Board meeting last week in Northern Virginia. The subject was as unresolvable as the group’s desire to find relevancy.

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Augusta County welcomes Blue Ridge Machine Works to Mill Place Commerce Park

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Another business was announced by the Augusta County Board of Supervisors as they welcomed Blue Ridge Machine Works to the county’s Mill Place Commerce Park. President and CEO Mike Shelton plans to invest $1,350,000 to build a new facility in Mill Place Commerce Park, creating 10 new jobs for the area. Construction will begin in the fall with plans to be open and operational by spring 2015.
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WHSV TV-3 interview with David Karaffa on Verona’s immigrant children

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Augusta County Supervisor David Karaffa was interviewed Monday afternoon on WHSV TV-3 about the immigrant children held in Verona (see  “1 on 1: David Karaffa Discuses Border Crisis”).

Karaffa, whose Beverley Manor District houses 29 children who have been detained after crossing the border from Central America into the United States, wrote an article last week expressing compassion for the latest wave of children attempting to escape violence, poverty, and drugs in their native countries (see Unaccompanied Child Immigrants in Verona, Virginia).

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More information about the Shenandoah Juvenile Center

By David Karaffa
Supervisor, Beverley Manor District, Augusta County

I have received an overwhelming response from citizens both inside and outside the Beverley Manor District supporting these children and it has reinforced my faith in the people of the Valley. Thank you.

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Today on TV-3: Supervisor Karaffa interview at 5:45 on immigrant children

David KaraffaBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Supervisor David Karaffa will be interviewed one-on-one Monday afternoon on WHSV TV-3 in a five-minute segment to air at 5:45.

Karaffa, whose Beverley Manor district houses 29 children who have been detained after crossing the border from Central America into the United States, wrote an article last week expressing compassion for the latest wave of children attempting to escape violence, poverty, and drugs in their native countries (see Unaccompanied Child Immigrants in Verona, Virginia).

Local outrage by some members of the community led to a protest on the Rt. 612 bridge over I-81 (see Immigrant children issue comes to Augusta County). That led to a public hearing by Augusta County supervisors with 130 members of the public showing up, evenly divided between pro and con (see Live blogging immigrant children issue at Augusta County supervisors meeting).

Supervisor Karaffa expressed compassion again at the public hearing. He received over 100 emails and dozens of phone calls about the issue. They were all pro except two were against.

Watch today’s broadcast or catch the interview online after it airs.

Update: Link to David’s interview:  “1 on 1: David Karaffa Discuses Border Crisis.”

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Augusta Supervisor Tracy Pyles and immigrant children: America is Reagan’s Shining City on a Hill

Tracy PylesBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Supervisor Tracy Pyles joined other Augusta County supervisors Wednesday night at a public hearing about the immigrant children who are being housed at the Shenandoah Juvenile Center in Verona , sharing his comments in support of the children (see his comments at Live blogging immigrant children issue at Augusta County supervisors meeting).

Supervisor Pyles spoke about how America’s optimism, going fearlessly into the future, serves us better than living in fear and anger. Then he used Ronald Reagan’s shining city on a hill as an example of that optimism and quoted a portion of President Reagan’s farewell address from January 11, 1989:

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Live blogging Dominion pipeline issue at Augusta County supervisors meeting

By Lynn R. Mitchell

[Wednesday night I live Facebooked Augusta County Board of Supervisor meeting. One issue concerned the proposed Dominion Power gas pipeline.]

7:45 Pipeline issue is first.

Former Supervisor Nancy Sorrells is leading the opposition to the Dominion Virginia Power gas pipeline. “We as a community have your back” to question Dominion about this pipeline. She has brought a petition with almost 500 names. They want a public hearing in Verona to ask questions of Dominion. She asked supporters to stand and it looked like more than half the room stood.

I have to commend Nancy because she obviously knew there were two controversial issues on the agenda so she asked the anti-pipeline folks not to speak individually to save time. If not for that, we would have gone a lot later than 10:40. There were two individuals who spoke against the pipeline and one who spoke for it.

A representative from Dominion Resources will be there for the August 13 public hearing to address the board.

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