Augusta County Board of Supervisors to consider legislative agenda

The document outlines the county’s priorities for the General Assembly, explaining its position on many issues.
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 1:40 PM EST
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VERONA, Va. (WHSV) - The Augusta County Board of Supervisors are expected to vote on their legislative agenda Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The document outlines the county’s priorities for the General Assembly, explaining its position on many issues, like behavioral health programs and funding for local schools.

“It sets the stage and lets our general assembly know our Board’s position on multiple things throughout the county,” said Augusta County Administrator, Tim Fitzgerald. “We encourage support of certain things; we encourage things to stay the same.”

One priority for the board is interstate improvements.

“The Board did a resolution along with Rockbridge County recently to encourage a third lane be added from exit 221 all the way from where 64 goes off in Rockbridge county, and certainly 81 improvements are still a priority for the board,” Fitzgerald said.

They also hope to see animal control officers and emergency telecommunicators receive LEOS Benefits, which are hazardous duty benefits.

“Currently, our animal control officers and our 911 dispatchers are not eligible for that, and we’ve been trying for many years to try to get the general assembly to add those as a benefit to these employees,” Fitzgerald said.

He said they also want to see the county get a crisis stabilization center for people in a mental health emergency, which would reduce the strain on resources.

“Our law enforcement personnel essentially have to stay with that person until there is a bed made available at the state, and as you know the bed availability in the state system is pretty limited,” he said.

They’re also looking at how schools are funded. Right now, the state doesn’t let the county use land use value, which Fitzgerald said makes the area look richer than it is.

“If your school composite index changes, your school funding from the state goes up or down, depending on how that composite index changes. If we were allowed to use our land use value, our composite index would change, and we would receive more funding,” he said.

Finally, they want to see some wording changed in the Virginia State fire zone code.

“The current code of Virginia allows for fire zones except for in Augusta County, if you zoned agricultre and have land use. We’re asking for simply Augusta County to be removed for not allowing that to happen.”

Fitzgerald said the Board doesn’t have plans to use a fire zone, but they’d like the possibility to be there, should they decide to.

The full legislative agenda includes much more. For a full look, click here.