Supervisors Angry About Peterson Comments

By: Jarrod Aldom
By: Jarrod Aldom

Things got a little heated at Wednesday night’s Rockingham County Supervisor's meeting. And it was all due to the proposed communications system for emergency response that the county and the city of Harrisonburg would share.

County Supervisors were upset at councilman Dorn Peterson for apparently accusing the county of trying to make the city pay for an unfair portion of the new system. Research by the emergency services placed a higher percentage of the need on the city side. Many Supervisors saw little reason to discuss the issue with the city again.

"We need to take our action based on the information that we have, based on the knowledge that we have from the folks we consider to have the expertise," says Pablo Cuevas. "And then it's up to them to take their action."

"We're putting in harm's way people who need to have better emergency communications," says William Kyger. "I just hope that another person doesn't expire or die because we have failed to move forward in our duty."

The proposed system carries a price tag of $40 to $50 million. The Supervisors postponed any further discussion until June 11.

In other Supervisor news:

A total of $51 million in bonds was given out this evening at the board's meeting. The board members approved bonds for both Sunnyside Methodist Retirement home and Bridgewater College. About $33 million in bonds were approved for Sunnyside to refinance existing debt and for renovations on their original building. Another $18 million in bonds would be for Bridgewater College for structural improvements to facilities on campus. Bonds through the county's Industrial Development Authority are tax exempt for investors. They also have a much lower interest rate, which brings in more investors.

The proposed Big Boy 4X4 park on Route 11 was supposed to get a vote tonight from Rockingham County's Board of Supervisors, but it was tabled … again.

Participants on both sides were present, but walked out after the news. The Supervisors explained that proper public notice hadn't been given about the meeting. Kelly Straughen Jr. said he was disappointed about the move, but would be back when it came up again.

The Supervisors gave no date for when the issue would be discussed further. Supervisor Charles Ahrend, whose district the park would be in, said he was still of mixed minds about it.


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