Henry County officials approve voluntary settlement agreement on Martinsville reversion

Southside Virginia News

HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — During Tuesday night’s meeting, the Henry County Board of Supervisors approved a voluntary settlement agreement with regard to the City of Martinsville’s reversion to a town.

According to a statement released by Henry County officials on Wednesday, Aug. 25, approval of the agreement is the next step in the reversion process before the matter is taken up by the Commission on Local Government (CLG).

The vote was passed 4-2 during open session on Tuesday, Aug. 24, with Vice-Chairman Debra Buchanan of the Horsepasture District, and Joe Bryant of the Collinsville District voting against it.

However, officials say the vote is contingent upon the Martinsville City Council’s approval of the agreement, which is described as “a more fleshed out version of the memorandum of understanding” that Henry County and the City of Martinsville agreed to earlier in the year.

With the approval of the agreements, the CLG will now preside over the next steps in the process, including public hearings scheduled for Sept. 7-9 at New College Institute.

The City is slated to present before the CLG on Tuesday, Sept. 7 from 9-5 p.m. On the following day, the County will also present before the CLG from 9-5 p.m. Public input will be taken on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. All meetings will be open to the public.

You can also read the voluntary settlement agreement between the City of Martinsville and Henry County, as well as the resolution issued Tuesday by the Henry County Board of Supervisors below:

With regard to other matters, officials say the Henry County Board of Supervisors accomplished the following:

*Endorsed the County’s participation in the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative Grant Program in collaboration with Carroll, Patrick and Franklin counties. The West Piedmont Planning District Commission will serve as the lead agency for the grant application. As part of the application, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) will be executed with American Electric Power and RiverStreet Networks to serve as potential vendors for the installation of infrastructure and deployment of services. The MOU does not create any legal or equitable obligations or rights to any of the parties involved.

*Held a public hearing and approved the transfer of the former John Redd Smith Elementary School to the Cherney Development Company to facilitate the development of apartments at the property.

*Held public hearings and approved amendments to the fiscal year 2021-2022 school budget and total County budget. The schools received $18,051,093.61 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), $462,698.24 from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and $171,431.52 from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA). The total budget amendment of $18,685,223.37 will cover costs for the essential instruction program, supplies, furniture, personnel costs, personal protective equipment, upgrades to transportation and upgrades to school HVAC and facilities. The County expects to receive $9,820,105 in ARPA funds. The intended use of the funds will be finalized once additional guidance is received from the U.S. Treasury Department.

*Approved an additional appropriation of $185,306 in funds from the General Fund and awarded a contract to Paul R. Shively, Inc., in the amount of $199,985 for the demolition and removal of 13 duplex structures in the Villa Heights community that have been declared as drug blight. There was already $14,679 in funds allocated to the Collinsville District for the purpose.

*Established a 30-day comment period to receive input on the allocation of $16,743 in funds received by the Sheriff’s Department through the 2021 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. Sheriff Lane Perry said the funds will be used to pay for overtime for increased enforcement. The comment period is set to end on Sept. 27, 2021.

*Awarded a contract to Bassett Office Supply in the amount of $238,285 for various furniture and fixtures for the new Adult Detention Center (ADC). Funding for the items is included in the overall budget for the construction of the ADC.

*Approved an additional appropriation of $8,000 in state asset forfeiture funds to cover travel expenses for the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

*Held a public hearing and approved a rezoning request for property located at 295 Bryant’s Lake Road in the Blackberry District. The applicant wishes to rezone approximately 25-acres from rural residential district to agricultural district to convert the property into a farm winery and for other agricultural uses.

*Held a public hearing and approved a rezoning request for property located at 5081 Kings Mountain Road in the Collinsville District. The applicant wishes to rezone approximately 0.3-acres from commercial district to suburban residential district for it to be sold as a single-family dwelling.

*Adopted a resolution thanking Steve Isom for his 42-years of service to the County in the Information Services Department and congratulating him on his upcoming retirement on Sept. 1, 2021.

*Adopted a resolution celebrating the 50th year of operations for the Patrick Henry Volunteer Fire Department.

*Adopted a resolution recognizing September 11 as First Responder Appreciation Day in Henry County.

*Heard an update on the Henry County Fair from Roger Adams, Director of Parks and Recreation.

*Received a report from County Treasurer Scott Grindstaff concerning delinquent tax collection efforts. There was $78,756.13 collected during the month in 2020 personal property taxes and $98,255.46 collected in real estate taxes.

*Heard an update on General Highway Matters from Lisa Hughes, Resident Engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

*Approved an early day for County employees on the Friday before Labor Day.

*Heard from Eric Phillips, of the Iriswood District, during the public comment section regarding the availability of correspondence relating to reversion.

Brandon Martin, Public Relations and Community Liaison for Henry County Administration

If you want to check out the documents and correspondence from Henry County with regard to reversion, click here.

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