Iconic red shop will be rebuilt
The Greene County Board of Supervisors Jan. 26 unanimously approved a rezoning at the intersection of U.S. routes 29 and 33 that will give business owners the chance to save Country Store Antiques. No one spoke during the public hearing. The planning commission unanimously recommended approval at its December meeting.
Rt. 33 Holdings LLC/Milestone Partners requested to rezone 1.08 acres from R-1 residential to B-2 business to allow the Country Store Antiques to relocate further east on Spotswood Trail to accommodate the upcoming expansion of the 29/33 intersection by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) later this year.
“It’s on an area of 33 that is generally commercial and many of the properties (that) surround it are already zoned commercial,” said Jim Frydl, director of planning and zoning administrator for the county. “It fits in the comprehensive growth plan and the pattern of the growth area around it.”
The iconic red building won’t be relocated physically, but a new building will be built on the new lot and will allow those sellers who wish to relocate a place to do so.
“The Country Store will be a casualty of the Route 33 widening project; it will be taken down as a result of the widening and the right-of-way acquisition with VDOT,” said LJ Lopez, a partner in Milestone Partners.
Midway Supervisor Marie Durrer asked if the new building would mimic the look of the current building.
“We don’t have a final design to present to you,” Lopez said. “We have begun, you know, the preliminary schematic design process. The intent is to be representative of the Country Store, but not provide an exact replica of it. And we do intend to carry over the iconic red color. So it will very much mirror what you see, but its shape and structure will be different unique to the site and what the new site affords. “
Ruckersville Supervisor Davis Lamb motioned for approval of the rezoning and Monroe Supervisor Steve Bowman seconded.
Group offers suggestions for Ruckersville area
The Ruckersville Advisory Committee (RAC) offered a presentation to the Greene County Board of Supervisors Jan. 26 with recommendations of what to focus on this year.
The RAC, a group of private citizens, business owners and other stakeholders in the area, began in 2018 after a recommendation from the Ruckersville Area Plan was incorporated into the county’s comprehensive plan. The Ruckersville small area plan, a 10-year plan adopted in 2018, outlined 26 recommendations for the area between the intersection of U.S. Routes 29 and 33 and the intersection of Matthew Mill Road and U.S. 29.
Patrick Moctezuma, chair of the RAC, offered a rundown of the committee’s activity for its second year and what the committee recommends the supervisors tackle.
“With so many others, the committee switched to virtual meetings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Moctezuma said. “The activities of the committee are based on monthly presentations by county staff on development, planning and zoning and current priorities in the county government, as well as discussion and feedback from local stakeholders.”
The committee recommended the county acquire and develop park space in the region, which is recommendation C-8 from the Ruckersville Area Plan. Areas the committee thought should be considered include a pocket park behind the Greene County Visitor Center that could include a walking path, picnic tables, exercise stations, outdoor art pieces and an outdoor performance venue that builds on existing structures there. A second location identified was a lot behind the Food Lion that will soon be accessible from Cedar Grove Road for another pocket park. Finally, the third location the RAC recommended the board consider is an access to Preddy Creek Park from Greene County.
Additional recommendations and updates included:
• Improvements to marketing recreational opportunities (C-2 on the plan).
• The sign audit (C-4) that was recommended last year for the area of U.S. 29 in Ruckersville was completed by VDOT.
Supervisors presented the fiscal year 2020 audit
The Greene County supervisors received the annual audit at their board meeting on Jan. 26.
Matt McLearen, of Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates PLLC, told the board there were no reporting deficiencies detected through the audit process on the financial statements for fiscal year 2020, which ended June 30.
The audit shows the county’s net position increased by $5.4 million over fiscal 2019.
The county’s total obligations decreased by $2 million, ending fiscal 2020 with long-term outstanding debt of $69.9 million.
The general fund balance at the end of the fiscal year was approximately $13.3 million, which includes $843,487 in restricted funds that must be used for the water project, leaving $12.4 million that is unrestricted or committed. Roughly $6.3 million is school board carryover, which is earmarked for capital improvement projects for the system but may be utilized for something else if needed. Unassigned fund balance at the end of fiscal year 2020 was $6.1 million, which is roughly $1 million more than fiscal year 2019.
The general fund is what the county utilizes to pay its bills and where income to the county is placed.
The county received roughly $2.4 million more in revenues in fiscal 2020 than in fiscal 2019 with a $1.6 million increase in property tax collections and $387,775 increase in other local tax collections, bringing that amount to $5.5 million.
The county’s fiscal year 2021 budget decreased year over year by $11.4 million under fiscal year 2020.
As the budget process for fiscal year 2022 begins this month, supervisors were scheduled to hear about the capital improvement plan prior to the Feb. 9 regular meeting, which was after press time.
The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold a budget worksession beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2, including the school board and constitutional officer presentations. A second budget worksession is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9, prior to the board’s regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. A third one is scheduled for Thursday, March 11 at 4:30 p.m.—if needed.
—Compiled by Terry Beigie