County Administrator reports on county’s successes during 2022
County Administrator Jonathan Sweet presented his End of the Year Report for 2022 during Monday night’s meeting of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors.
Sweet touched on dozens of achievements by the county and its staff, as well as by county administration and the Board of Supervisors.
Board of Supervisors and Administration
- Walters was nominated and voted in as the first female in Pulaski County’s history to serve as Chair of the Board of Supervisors; and, re-elected again for 2023
- Adopted, pursuant to Section 24.2-304.1(B) of the Code of Virginia, 1950, (as amended) an amended 2021 Redistricting Ordinance (the Boundaries for Pulaski County Election Districts and Precincts, effective May 15, 2022)
- Declared the week of April 10-16, 2022, to be National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in Pulaski County
- Recognized May 2 – May 6, 2022, as Teacher Appreciation Week
- Held Second Annual Adopt A Spot Campaign
- Acknowledged National Safe Boating Week (May 21 – May 27, 2022)
- Adopted Resolution for the Naming of Route 625, “Morgan Farm Road”, from the entrance off of “Highland Road” to the intersection of “Hickman Cemetery Road” in Pulaski County as the “Captain John “Greg” Gregory Blankenship Memorial Roadway”
- Adopted the Ordinance of the Board of Supervisors of Pulaski County, Virginia, Amending the Animal Control Ordinance
- Adopted the Ordinance of the Board of Supervisors of Pulaski County, Virginia, Amending the Noise Ordinance
- Approved by resolution the additions of Pulaski County Public Schools’ roads within the Secondary System (Route 9001 Beth Nelson Drive at Riverlawn Elementary, and Route 9201 Medal of Honor Way at Pulaski County Middle School)
- The Board approved a County Employee Mental Health Gesture to be observed on July 1, 2022
- Approved a Moral Obligation Support Agreement for the Economic Development Authority for Acquisition of the Pulaski County Innovation Center
- Approved request regarding thirty-first annual Wilderness Road Ride held on May 28, 2022
- Recognized and congratulated Miss Gwendolyn Puckett – our 2022 Lead Through Service Scholarship Recipient
- Approved the lease between Peppers Ferry Regional Wastewater Treatment Authority, The Pulaski County Public Service Authority and the County of Pulaski (RE: FAIRLAWN CONVENIENCE CENTER)
- Supported the Seventh Annual GO Pulaski County, held on September 24, 2022
- Absolved the original Industrial Development Authority loan appropriation
- Recognized and congratulated by Resolution the Pulaski County High School 2022 Cougars Boys Outdoor Track Team for their State Championship achievements
- Adopted the Resolution Concurring with Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue in Application of an Assessment Ration to the Values of Certain Automobiles and Trucks for the Calendar Year Beginning January 1, 2022 for the purpose of reducing the tax burden to citizen during unprecedented times of inflation
- Approved a request for a ‘Watch for Children’ sign at 5400 Highland Road
- Adopted Resolution Authorizing the Execution of a Support Agreement Providing for Pulaski County’s Moral Obligation to Make Certain Appropriations with Respect to A Water, Sewer and Solid Waste Revenue Bond of the Pulaski County Public Service Authority to extend and improve public utilities
- Approved request for the Newbern Festival to be held on October 8, 2022
- Supported Calfee Community & Cultural Center’s request for a $100,000 appropriation to leverage more than $1,000,000 in federal EDA funding for renovations and construction
- Strategically transferred former jail property at 86 East Main Street to the Economic Development Authority
- Adopted 2022 Amended Transient Occupancy Tax Ordinance
- Consented to the New River Resource Authority Entering into Temporary Disposal Agreements with Patrick and Smyth Counties
- Warmly welcomed Dr. Bret Danilowicz, as Radford University new President
- Approved Emergency Medical Technician Education Services Agreement
- Adopted Resolution for the Support of the Virginia America 250 Commission, designated local contacts and appointed local committee members
|In conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce and many other community partners, the County attend and/or participated in 24 Ribbon Cuttings in CY-2022|
|Roma Greek and Italian|
|Tinsley Kenpo and Karate|
|Town’s new Bike Park|
|Town’s new Playground|
|Robertson Cox Real estate|
|Humane Society of the NRV|
|2nd Hand Lines|
|Sheffey Riverside Park|
|The Mason Jar|
|PCHS CTE Welding Lab|
- Last year we processed an astronomical and record breaking 927 total permits with an aggregate Valuation of $485,548,442 and collected $117,827 in Permit Fees. This year we processed a new record-breaking number of 987 total permits (60 more than last year) with an aggregate Valuation of $85,807,320.00 and collected $192,204.97 in Permit Fees.
- Last year we had 53 New Single-Family Residential Units; 1 New Commercial Unit; and, 28 New Manufactured Units. This year we had 58 New Single-Family Residential Units; 4 New Commercial Unit; and, 32 New Manufactured Units, exceeding all of last year’s numbers.
Scott Macdonald obtained his: Residential Energy Inspector, Accessibility Inspector/Plans Examiner, Plumbing Plans Examiner, Plumbing Code Specialist, Commercial Energy Inspector, Fire Plans Examiner, and Master Code Professional. (Note: The Master Code Professional certification is only obtained by the top 1% of all certified individuals. Currently, there is just over nine hundred (900) in the world.) Total certifications: 26
Geremy Carr obtained his: Residential Plans Examiner – Total certifications: 11
Tonya Crigger obtained her: Permit Technician certification
- Tekni-Plex/Phoenix added $20 million in equipment invested in 2022
- Xaloy reached their target of 35 new FT jobs and invested in new equipment totaling more than $4 million in cap-ex
- Pulaski County was recognized by the International Trade Council as the top Workforce Development Program
- Trova has graduated out of the Pulaski County Innovation Center and has transitioned into their new research and development facility within the recently renovated former Newbern Elementary School
- Our Economic Development Department has engaged over 25 BRE visits with existing companies
- Watsontown Trucking began construction on their $25 million trucking terminal project within the Commerce Park
- The NRV Commerce Park received a $300,000 grant for site development and improvements to increase the site readiness and marketability of the park
- The EDA sold 7 acres next to the former Riverlawn Elementary; the developer plans to expediently build (eighteen) 18 new homes
- In partnership with Pulaski County Small Business Solutions and the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, the Pulaski Industrial Council was formed
- In 2022, the number of complaints increased to 65 over last year’s total of 51. I am pleased to report that all 65 have been successfully addressed. Please note that there were numerous phone calls and citizen visits for potential violations that were timely and professionally handled at the administrative level and are not reflected on the enforcement report.
- In 2022 the Board contracted with Gannon Emergency Solutions to conduct a private third-party comprehensive Fire & EMS study of the County to gauge and ultimately address the challenges and opportunities related to fire and EMS response
- The Board also initiated a comprehensive Fire & EMS study through the VA Department of Fire Programs’ Fire Board, to parallel the private analysis and ensure a thorough review and analysis has been achieved. To be completed in February 2023
- Hosted an eight (8) person AmeriCorps Team for a month to conduct wildfire mitigation work
- Secured grant funding to employee a 6-person wildfire mitigation crew during the spring burn season
- Partnered with Feeding Southwest Virginia to conducted 2 food box giveaway events
- Represented the County at the Annual Wildland Urban Interface Conference to showcase our wildfire mitigation program
- Awarded grant funding from the National Fire Protection Agency to conduct a Wildfire Preparedness Day event in May 2022
- Established Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training
- Deployed to Sevier County, TN for 8 days as part of a National Community Mitigation Assistance Team (CMAT) in response to wildfire emergency
- Conducted 2 Draper Mountain Overlook trails workdays
- Deployed to Buchanan County, VA for 3 days in response to flash flooding as Team Leader for the Southwest VA All Hazards Incident Management Team
- Hosted a Virginia Prescribed Fire Council Learn and Burn event at Randolph Park with 30 landowners from across VA
- Hosted a Crisis Management for School Based Incidents course for first responders and school system employees
- Accepted delivery of a large mobile generator purchased with Department of Homeland Security grant funds to be installed in County Administration
- Completed CIP upgrades to Dublin Fire Dept. Rescue Engines light tower and the County air & light truck
- 1,514 wildfire mitigation hours logged with 85 acres treated, protecting 17 structures including homes, E911 Communication sites, park facilities and municipal water facilities
General Services, specifically General Properties, fulfilled 1,453 work order requests for Pulaski County, EDA, and PSA owned buildings in 2022. Garage personnel had 2,770 vehicle work orders, and the Grounds crew mowed 150 acres per week with the addition of the former Middle Schools. During this time, the General Services Department completed or assisted with the following special projects:
- Assisted with the rebuilding of the PSA pre-crusher compactor at Phoenix Packaging
- Conducted a chainsaw safety/tree falling course at Randolph Park
- Cleaned up and removed trash from dump sites on Hazel Hollow Road
- Completed initial phase of Old Riverlawn trail construction
- Started Sheffey Riverside Park construction
- Installed storm water drainage tanks at the Administration Building
- Sealed and repaired foundation leak at the Administration Building
- Repaired and remodeled mold damage at the Extension Office
- Graded and paved the Garage Complex, Draper Fire Department, Station 1 EMS, and Old Riverlawn School
- Re-keyed Stone Courthouse
- Installed new HVAC at Peak’s Knob Radio Building, Pulaski Library, and the PSA Water and Sewer Building
- Installed back-up generators at the Snowville and Hiwassee communication tower sites
- Repaired parking lot at the Dublin Lions Field
- Repaired parking lots across from Brick Courthouse and Dublin Library
- Repaired, sealed, and painted windows at Dublin Library and as the Stone Courthouse
- Pressure washed exterior of both Courthouses
- Graded and installed drainage pipe for Randolph Park baseball fields
- Painted exterior trim at the Administration Building
- Graded and seeded Draper Park
- Removed brush and trees at Odell Park
- Cleaned out old Sheriff’s Office and former Jail to make ready for its sale
- Installed construction fence around old PMS for the redevelopment project
- Processed 50 FMLA Applications (compared to 63 last year)
- Composed and advertised 52 positions (compared to 63 last year)
- Conducted 163 new hire orientations (compared to 151 last year)
- Processed 68 terminations, resignations and retirements (Compared to 72 last year)
- Processed 33 Workers Compensation/Company Nurse claims
- Filled 8 temp positions through Luttrell Services
- Participated in three job fairs
- HR Director – Completed IPMA-HR Senior Certified Professional Course, passed required exam and received certification
- HR Assistant – Completed IMPA-HR Certified Professional Course, passed required exam and received certification
- New for 2022 is the Monthly Employee Newsletter
- Implemented a comprehensive Organizational Renewal Project
- Developed a new hire welcome packet
- We are now offering Legal Shield and Identity Shield to employees through payroll deduction
HR Goals for 2023
- Continue work on a Well-Being initiative (wellness programs, behavioral and mental health, substance abuse assistance, etc.)
- Work with Parks & Recreation Department on Emergency Daycare Program for County employees as well as physical fitness programs
- Continue work Organizational Renewal Initiative by offering trainings and information to promote a more positive and productive work culture
- Host the first ever benefits fair for employees
- Completed 2,121 Helpdesk tickets in the year 2022 (more than one an hour for an entire year)
- Developed and implemented an in-house test environment network to test off production network technologies and to utilize for the training of our IT staff.
- Sheriff’s Office Domain/File server replacement
- Mapping system upgrade for E-911, all of our law enforcement agencies and EMS
- Migrated DNS servers to new County servers
- Installed multiple new Cameras and Servers throughout County
- County Wireless Upgrade
- Voter Registrar elections upgrades
- Assisted with the relocation of REMSI to new building
For the Town of Pulaski
- New infrastructure to gain network and camera access for the Pulaski Train Station
For the Town of Dublin
- New infrastructure to gain network and cameras access to the towns remodeled maintenance building
- New server installation
Joint 9-1- Communications Center
2022 Staff Activities
For the 2022 calendar year, 9-1-1 Center staff entered 78,709 calls for service into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, which was 24% higher than in 2021. Staff answered 20,592 9-1-1 calls and 61,849 administrative line calls, for a total of 82,441 phone calls.
Staff entered 5,189 criminal charges into the Records Management System (RMS) under warrants. Many of the criminal warrants required entry, update, and removal of warrants in the Federal / State Crime Information Network (NCIC/VCIN) as well.
Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) is planned to go live by the end of Q1 2023. 9-1-1 staff currently provide T-CPR instructions for callers reporting a possible cardiac arrest.
Department staff completed 691 hours of course/continuing education during 2022. Continuing education is required for all 9-1-1 staff to maintain their APCO certifications. APCO/DCJS certified instructors within the department provided 104 hours of instruction for in-house APCO certification courses and the annual Entry Level Dispatch course at the New River Criminal Justice Training Academy.
The Radio Service Unit continued installing a new public safety radio system, including installing a new microwave data backhaul between infrastructure sites. 36 new analog/digital repeaters were installed, configured, and tested. Staff performed numerous improvements to 6 facilities, including radio towers and water tanks, to support the new radio system. These improvements included removing and replacing old antennas, cabling, power systems, amplifiers, and other associated equipment.
At the 9-1-1 Center, staff performed improvements to support the new radio system, including upgrades of the radio dispatch consoles, control radio equipment, master audio logger, and mapping system.
In addition, mobile and portable radio equipment was procured and will be provided to all law enforcement, EMS, Fire, and PSA departments and supported by the 9-1-1 Center Radio Service Unit. The new public safety radio system is currently planned to go online by the end of the 2023
Due to a variety of variables, 2022 was a challenging time for the 9-1-1 Center and our staff. It goes without saying that our staff are true professionals who continuously step up to meet those challenges. Day in and day out, twenty-four hours a day, our staff provided exemplary public safety services for the citizens and visitors of Pulaski County and our first responders. We are proud to have such dedicated professionals working in a highly challenging, critical, and often thankless role serving as the first line of first responders for our citizens during their time of need.
Parks and Recreation
- We substantially restructured the P&R Department to now operate under a traditional departmental org-chart (7 Full Time Staff Members, 1 Program & Activities Manager, 2 Recreation Coordinators, 1 Facilities Supervisor, and 2 Field Technician Maintenance)
- Created our first ever Parks & Recreation Instagram page to better communicate with the community and all those coming to Pulaski County for our parks and recreation (We have now begun dual-posting a minimum 2 post per week via both Instagram and Facebook)
- Updated our P&R website
- We hosted once again in Partnership with the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce our 4th Annual Jack-0-Lantern Spectacular (We estimated to have over 3.5k children and parents in attendance)
- Once again hosted in Partnership with Pulaski County Tourism, the 2nd Annual Winterfest at Randolph Park.
- Hosted in Partnership with Emergency Management a Controlled Burn Event @ Randolph Park.
- We once again hosted the DAK Lights – Light Show for 2022
- Initiated a special needs population – work internships at Randolph Park
- Initiated partnership with the County and CTE’s new EMT program to recruit and train lifeguards for the summer staffing of Randolph Park
- Began Club Teasers via Social Media. (We have identified 13 clubs we are looking to launch in 2023)
- We successfully hosted 11 Travel Bat & Ball Tournaments. We conservatively estimate these tournaments to have a $889,701.00 economic impact for Pulaski County
- Hosted the first ever Cal Ripken 12U 60’s State Baseball Tournament at Randolph Park (the winner of this tournament qualified for Nationals)
- Hosted a Feeding SWVA event at Randolph Park Held a qualifying disc golf tournament at Smith Farm Park – Looking to embark on Phase 2 in 2023
- Phase 1 of Smith Farm – Paving of ORES, Tennis/Basketball Courts
- Hosted 2 PCHS High School Region Cross Country Meets
- Held 2 Movie Nights in The Park at Randolph Park
- Hosted (5) PC Elementary Schools back to School Swim Nights
- Received Healthy Cities $30K Grant for outdoor fitness
- Hosted National Night Out @ Randolph Park
- Facilitating partnership with Radford University for Internships within P&R department
- Under Facilities we:
- Installed the new turf batting cage at Randolph Park
- Finished/completed both the home and visitor bleachers at Randolph Park multipurpose field
- Installed foul ball netting throughout Randolph Park Complex
- We broke ground at Riverside Sheffey Park
- We poured the concrete pad for new shelter & restrooms at Draper Park
Planning & Zoning
Planning and Zoning Department
- Continued to work with developers on the Pulaski Lofts project to advance the redevelopment of the former Pulaski Middle School into 100 new rental housing units
- Processed 195 Zoning Permits and reviewed 98 Subdivision Plats
- Processed 1 Special Use Permit for an overnight rental business with cottages at The Cottages at Pine Run
- Processed 1 Special Use Permit for a 100-acre, 11.45MW Solar Farm through Helios Solar
- Processed 1 No Wake Buoy application that was forwarded to the Department of Wildlife Resources for final approval
- Reviewed the Site Plans for the following projects:
- Dollar Tree store
- Chipotle restaurant
- Brillheart subdivision development: 58 Single Family Lots
- Highbridge, LLC subdivision development: 63 Single Family Lots, 43 Home Villa Lots, and 46 Townhome Lots near Heron’s Landing
- The Quarters at Heron’s Landing: 5 Townhouse Lots in Heron’s Landing
- Fazoli’s restaurant
- The Rocks Townhomes: 9 Townhome Lots
- Countryside Landings Phase 2 development: 253 Single Family Homes Lots
- New River Community College Solar Farm
- New River Valley Airport Corporate Hangar
- Patton Logistics Warehouse expansion
- Processed 8 Additional Rezones and 4 Variance Requests
- With the help of the Friends of Claytor Lake, we completed 5-year review and made edits for the Claytor Lake Shoreline Management program that was presented to Appalachian Power. (The department also put together a map of the derelict structures on Claytor Lake for review by AEP.)
- Continued to partner with the Fairview Home Board and the New River Regional Commission, Parks and Rec and General Properties on the project to develop a new neighborhood pocket park
- Ordered signs for the Draper Historic District historic sign project that will be given out during an event planned for 2023
- Drafted and approved text amendments to the Pulaski County Unified Development Ordinance for a fee schedule increase, and changes to Sections 4, 7, and 11
Updated GIS maps for the following departments and projects:
- Registrar/Electoral Board
- Fire Services
- EMS coverage and coordination maps
Community Development Department worked to secure the following grants for various projects:
- VBAF Part 2: $50,000 for the Pulaski Lofts Project
- IRF Part 1: $31,000 for the Pulaski Lofts Project
- IRF Part 2: $54,750 for the Pulaski Lofts Project
- Virginia Housing Community Impact Grant: $19,800 for the Pulaski Lofts Project
- 2023 Healthy Cities Campaign Grant: $30,000 for the Parks and Recreation Department
- Staff responded to over 6,200 emergency calls
- Established EMS medication pharmacy; under the guidance of our Medical Director, this will enable the department to start offering more advanced medical care protocols
- Replaced a 13-year old ambulance; the new ambulance features modern technology to improve patient and employee safety
- Opened a new EMS Station serving the Pulaski area; this station replaced a 50+ year old facility and offers a safe, comfortable and modern work environment for staff
- Various projects to improve working conditions at the Dublin and Fairlawn EMS stations were completed
- Purchased updated protective clothing for staff that significantly improves employees’ safety when operating in hazardous situations
- Established National Association of EMTs (NAEMT) Training Center – department will be the first site in the western part of the state to offer the new community paramedicine educational series
- Established American Heart Association Training site. Note: The department is now offering many educational programs to be taught within Pulaski County for EMS staff.
Small Business Solutions
- Pulaski County Small Business Solutions worked with 82 recurring small business clients and offered 159 one-on-one advising sessions in 2022.
- Small Business Solutions formally established three internal grant programs: The Main Street Small Business Grant, the Pulaski County Agribusiness Grant, and the Pulaski County Small Business Incentive Program. The Main Street Small Business Grant has been a collaborative effort between the EDA and the Town of Pulaski, which has included weekly visits to the Main Street business community during the waterline project.
- Small Business Solutions became a Certified GrowthWheel Partner, with complete access to the GrowthWheel business planning curriculum and online software to support, foster and grow our small businesses.
- Small Business Solutions partnered with the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce to establish the Empower and Engage mentorship program. We subsequently partnered with Pulaski on Main to revamp Pulaski County Young Professionals. These developmental programs will continue in 2023.
- Small Business Solutions supported Bimmerworld Properties LLC through the purchase of the Memorial Square shopping center in the Town of Pulaski and actively assisted (and continues to assist) with the recruitment of tenant businesses. These efforts have help lead to 3 new businesses having opened in Memorial Square over the last 6 months.
Pulaski County Innovation Center
- The Pulaski County Innovation Center remained at 100% occupancy for the duration of 2022. We currently have 40 unique tenants.
- The Pulaski County Innovation Center welcomed the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce into the facility in 2022 as a tenant, and the synergy we have enjoyed has been tremendous in supporting our small businesses housed there.
- The Pulaski County EDA successfully refinanced the Pulaski County Innovation Center at the right time and has designated funds for a complete overhaul of the aged HVAC system and for kitchen renovations.
- All onsite renovations, indoor and outdoor signage, and parking lot repairs were completed.
- The Pulaski County Innovation Center was represented at the International Conference on Business Incubation in Atlanta, GA.
- Trova CV, a three-year tenant of the Innovation Center, completed their incubation phase at the Innovation Center and has now expanded into the recently renovated Newbern School facility.
Building on the strong foundation that was laid in 2021 through brand development, strategized marketing efforts, partnerships and grants, 2022 became a stellar year for Pulaski County Tourism bringing statewide recognition though eight awards. The Tourism website, visitpulaskiva.org, received three awards: SWVA Award for Best Website, Communicator Award, and a Roanoke Addy Award (beating out both Virginia Tech and Carilion!). Tourism also received four more awards from SWVA in the categories of Best Social Media Campaign, Outstanding Tourism Partner – (Draper Mercantile and Trading Company), Excellence in Tourism Leadership’s Shining Star Award – (Jonathan Sweet), Outstanding One Day Event – (Winterfest) and a 2022 Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) award for Communications. These awards cemented Pulaski County as a serious tourism contender and partner in Virginia’s $25.2 billion tourism industry. In 2023, we will continue to build on our successes by establishing unique and original concepts such as “Pulaski County Guiderys” in every sector of the community which allow us to pay homage to our past and embrace our future in this new post-pandemic world.
As you heard throughout the report, 2022 was an extra-ordinarily busy year for our Team, with the fruits of our 2020 and 2021 labors having paid exceptional dividends. The Board of Supervisors, the County Team and our community partners have and continue to be exceptionally strategic in our efforts to advance our 40-by-30 goal of 40,000 people calling Pulaski County their home by 2030. Our County Team has worked tirelessly on the Board’s agenda to advance numerous projects, programs and initiatives that will further position us to achieve the goals set forth in our Comprehensive Plan, in turn making us more competitive today and ready to better compete tomorrow in the highly competitive marketplace and everchanging post-COVID world.
I want to commend the exceptional men and women who do the hard work day-in and day-out and make the successes of the County possible. They have unselfishly chosen to employ their talents, skills and passions to better Pulaski County and to willingly take the bad that often comes with the good in their service to the community. Many of these folks are true community heroes and I will forever appreciate and admire their dedication and commitment to public service.
Lastly, I would like to share my sincere appreciation for the leadership, direction and support from the Board of Supervisors. Your commitment to Pulaski County, your vision for the future and the priority you have placed on serving our citizens will inevitably be the key ingredients in our community’s recipe for success. The impressive list of accomplishments I shared tonight is not exclusively the results of the hard work of the County Team, but it is also a direct reflection of the Board of Supervisors’ – vision, excellence and pride.
I want to again thank you for the continued honor to serve this Board, to serve alongside our dedicated County staff, and to proudly serve the fine citizens of Pulaski County.
Thank you and may God continue to bless Pulaski County in 2023 and beyond.”