Rockingham County Board of Supervisors show support for Valley Interfaith Action and address tax rates

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 11:40 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - There were few empty seats at Rockingham County’s Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday. There was one item that drew the crowd.

Valley Interfaith Action (VIA) is a large organization made up of multiple faith-based organizations that partner with community organizations to fill needs in Rockingham County. Right now, they are working to get a transportation service up and running, eliminating the burden for those without reliable transportation.

On Wednesday, VIA approached the Board asking for a letter of support to complete their application for a one-year feasibility study.

”The scope of that study would look at coverage area needs, preemptive service costs, interest, and as Mr. Kyger said so well if its a need or not,” Katie Cohen with VIA said.

Supervisors agreed that the service was a good idea citing a similar transportation service the County had in the past but wasn’t able to maintain.

Supporters of VIA said they see the need for this daily.

”One morning a young woman walked into work completely exhausted; I asked Annie if she was okay. She quite reluctantly informed me that the chain in her bike had broken, and she decided to start walking at 5 a.m. to get to work on time. She walked the 5.3 miles to Dayton- down Route 42,” a local business owner and supporter of VIA said.

Another shared the story of her son who has Downs Syndrome. She said he works at Costco but relies on friends, family, and neighbors to get to work since she also works.

“We literally live two miles from Costco but for him, it might as well be 100,” she said.

She said there are many adults in similar situations that would benefit from the freedom this service would give.

The presumed need and the fact that the County would not have to pay anything for a simple letter led the Board to approve the item unanimously.

Cohen said with the approval on Wednesday, VIA hopes to submit the feasibility test application by May and start the test in July.

The BOS also took action on tax rates for FY 2023-2024.

Assistant County Administrator Patricia Davidson said she and County Administrator Stephen King have worked through the budget and don’t see a need for an increase.

It was clarified that even after the adoption some rates could be modified due to the fact that the entire budget has not been approved. Davidson said that cannot happen until the state approves its budget, which has not happened yet despite the General Assembly’s legislative session ending.

“I understand its complicated on their part and all that but its somewhat disappointing as well because we are by statue required to have our budget done by a certain day whether theirs is or isn’t and I think they should have to stay in session until they get their budget done,” Supervisor William Kyger said.

Modifications would only impact taxes due in December like personal property taxes.