H. Fuller Cridlin Update on Phase 1 Re-opening

The following guidelines were announced and are scheduled to begin tomorrow on Friday May 15th;
All non-essential retail may open with 50% capacity.
Restaurants and beverage services remain takeout and delivery, with outdoor seating at 50% capacity if permitted.
Entertainment and amusement facilities remain closed.
Places of worship may operate at 50% indoor capacity.
Fitness and exercise facilities remain closed and are limited to outdoor fitness only.
Personal grooming by appointment only with face coverings required.
Private campgrounds may open.
State parks open for day use, with overnight available in places.
Childcare facilities open for working families.
Beaches open for exercise and fishing only.
Overnight summer camps remain closed.
Social gatherings are still limited to ten people or less. Phase 1 will last a minimum of two weeks once begun.

Public Hearing for Payment of Bonuses

On Tuesday afternoon, May 19th at 4:30 pm, the Lee County Board of Supervisors will conduct a Public Hearing for the purpose of public input on a proposed ordinance to authorize the Lee County Board of Supervisors to provide bonuses to its employees and officers by resolution. Interested persons can find a copy of the full ordinance in the County Administration Office, Room 111 of the Lee County Courthouse. Additional information is available by contacting County Administrator, Dane Poe by phone at 276-346-7714.

Woodway Water & Wise County Public Service Authority Receive Funding

In Lee County, Woodway Water Authority will be making water system improvements after receiving a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant. Woodway Water Authority is expect to receive $259,000 from the USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program for replacement of roughly 103,000 linear feet of ¾” to 8” water line. Nearby, the Wise County Public Service Authority will also receive $22,500 from the program.
The plan of the Woodway Water Authority includes installation of 96 gate valves and 64 fire hydrants, including necessary associated equipment. Along with abandoning an older existing water storage tank. They intend to reconfigure the water system so that the two water tanks at the federal prison will supply water to the Woodway community.
Another added bonus is that the intended project will also eliminate the current high risk of cross-contamination with groundwater in the neighboring area and will meet the Virginia Department of Health’s 10 State Regulations. These regulations are used as the standard for the minimum number of valves which should be available on water mains in order to minimize inconvenience and potential sanitary hazards during system repairs.
Director for Woodway Water Authority, Jeff Kilgore stated, “We will be replacing about 65% of our distribution system with this grant/loan. We’ll be upsizing line for future growth and better fire protection. We’ll also be installing working valves which will allow us to contain service interruptions to a smaller area while making repairs related to leaks.”
In addition the Woodway Water Authority will also build a water treatment plant that should be up and running at some point later in this year. Kilgore went on to add that they will continue to buy water from both Jonesville and Pennington Gap but their new system would help to supplement. Construction is slated to begin this June, with one contractor on the Pennington Gap side and the other on the Jonesville side.

Lee County Board of Supervisors Meeting 02

Among topics covered at the last Lee County Board of Supervisor’s Meeting, Poe and members discussed a request from the Lee County Department of Social Services regarding a one-time wage supplement that would require a public hearing, to which the members agreed to a hearing in May for that purpose.
Poe explained that a county wide rabies clinic that had been scheduled for this month be postponed because of the COVID19 restrictions imposed, with approval from the board members. Members voted for and approved a pay request from Hamilton Construction Company for new renovations to the Lee County Courthouse.
Commonwealth Attorney for Lee County, H. Fuller Cridlin submitted a request for the Commonwealth’s Office, concerning a proposed pay increase of the salaries of his staff members, which are required to watch law enforcement video footage from the body cameras worn by Sheriff’s Department Officers. This request is similar to the one he made last year while pointing out that while the cameras aid in law enforcement, they require quite a bit of time to review the aforementioned videos.
Included in the same proposal was an allocation of funds for the Sheriff’s Office to be able to improve some technical issues concerning the cameras, and especially in the uploading and downloading system.
Fuller went on to request that all funds recovered from delinquent fines/costs revenue collected by his office be allocated to their office for in-office use.
County Attorney Stacy Munsey disclosed that she and Pennington Gap Town Attorney Greg Edwards are working on the absorption of the St Charles Volunteer Fire Department by the Pennington Gap Volunteer Fire Department. Specifically, all details regarding the PGVFD assuming all assets and none of their debts or liabilities.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, May 19th at 4:30 pm in the General District Courtroom.

Lee County Board of Supervisors Meeting 01

At the last Lee County Board of Supervisor’s Meeting, District 2 Supervisor Sidney Kolb proposed a motion to reopen the Lee County Court House to public traffic. It was seconded by District 5 representative DD Leonard, and District 4 represented by Commonwealth Attorney Chuck Slemp also voting in favor of the proposal. The motion passed 3-2 with District 3 Supervisor Larry Mosley and District 1 member Robert Smith both opposed to the proposal citing their preference to delay the proposed reopening.
Courthouse security was discussed with Dane Poe, County Administrator providing information regarding the public entry doors which have metal detectors and a deputy screening everyone who wants to enter the Courthouse building. Kolb also suggested an emergency loitering ordinance as part of his proposal that would include anyone not actually conducting business at the courthouse.
The Supervisor’s members also approved an amendment to an ordinance that concerns the county’s Airport Authority, This new amendment would allow board members to be appointed “at-large” as opposed to the current “member from each district” being required.
Additionally the supervisors, along with public input, discussed potential ways of increasing traffic and in turn revenue for the airport, which would in essence improve the airport’s operation in general. The supervisors delayed any funding proposal action during the public portion of the meeting, choosing to wait until closed session to award $1600 for it.
The remaining matters covered were the usual business matters, like the approval of minutes from their March meeting. Also approved were the minutes from their Recessed Meetings, which took place on March 10th and February 27th.
Also receiving approval were two refunds to two disabled veterans for real estate taxes, after the Commissioner’s Office supplied documentation.

Lee County Sheriff’s Dept. April 2020 Stats

According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office during the month of April their activity was as follows;
Total calls received by Dispatch: 4,128
Total calls received that Deputies responded to: 614
There were 362 calls dispatched to other agencies.
There were 163 Rescue Squad calls and 2 Ambulance calls.
There were 31 Fire Department calls dispatched.
11 funerals escorted.
27 vehicles were unlocked for citizens.
Deputies served 55 warrants and processed 27 people on 55 charges.
Deputies served 113 subpoenas, 17 show cause summons and 453 other various civil papers including 35 Protective Orders.
2 search warrants were executed.
Deputies traveled a total of 53,746 miles with 721 miles being on transports.
Deputies transported 3.
Lee County Reserve Officers volunteered 60 hours to the community last month.

Lee County Garden Voucher Program

Ordinarily low income Lee County participants would have been required to attend an informational meeting to receive their garden seed packages, along with a voucher for seeds, plants, and fertilizer which they could redeem at any farm supply store. This year however, their previously scheduled meetings have all been cancelled and the meeting requirement for this year has been waived.
This year’s qualifying low income participants can fill out an application online at https://virginiatech.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_01Z13n4Gb21usd or by verbally by phone at 276-546-2057. If no answer, please leave your name and phone number and they will get back to you.
Anyone unable to fill out the online application can simply answer the appropriate application questions over the telephone. Vouchers are limited to one per household and the application completion is required to qualify. Vouchers will then be mailed to each applicant, and will be sent out on a first come first serve basis so with a limited number of supplies available for possible participants they encourage you to apply today.
The Lee County Garden Voucher Program for low income individuals is open to Lee County residents only. If you are interested and are a person with a disability that requires assistive service in any manner, but would like to participate in this please contact Amy Byington at 276-546-2057 between the hours of 8am-5pm a minimum of five days prior any event. The TDD number is 800-828-1120.

Lee County Garden Voucher Program

Previously, low income resident participants would have been required to attend an informational meeting to receive their garden seeds, along with a voucher for seeds, plants, and fertilizer which they could redeem at any farm supply store. This year however, their previously scheduled meetings have all been cancelled and the meeting requirement for this year has been waived. This year’s low income participants can fill out an application online at https://virginiatech.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_01Z13n4Gb21usd or by phone at 276-546-2057.

Lee County Garden Club Meeting Cancelled

The Lee County Garden Club will not hold annual flower sale this year at the Pennington Gap Food City because of the COVID-19 restrictions. The May Monthly meeting has also been cancelled because of the pandemic.

Pennington Gap Town Council Meeting May 18th, 2020

The Pennington Gap Town Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 18th at the Town Hall and begins at 6pm. The meeting will take place, with the Pennington Gap Town Council observing all state restrictions as applicable.