One Bag Challenge ends successfully

Pulaski County logoBy MIKE WILLIAMS

The Patriot

The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors on Monday night celebrated a successful One Bag Challenge county cleanup effort.

Supervisors also honored the late Howard Sadler, approved the county and school budgets and turned the old Dublin Middle School property over to the county’s Economic Development Authority to manage and market for future use.

One Bag Challenge was a cleanup project spearheaded by Board Chairman Laura Walters in which residents were urged to pickup trash along a specific roadway of their choosing within the county.

Those who participated were invited to send a photo of their filled bags to Walters, with each participant who did so being eligible to win a $100 gift card. Five of the cards were presented at each monthly board meeting from February to June.

County Administrator Jonathan Sweet lauded Walters and the board for the success of the cleanup campaign, saying it had exceeded Walters’ goal of 1,000 bags of trash being collected.

During the cleanup campaign, 849 bags of trash were collected by 237 participants. They also collected 275 tires and a host of other items including furniture, mowers and appliances. Oh, and at least one toilet!

“This has been one of the most successful and creative campaigns we’ve seen in a long time,” Sweet stated.

Walters noted that Krista Lindsey had picked up the most bags of trash, followed by Kevin and Maren Meredith and Amanda Dishon.

Dublin Middle School Transfer

On the Dublin Middle School property issue, the board approved the transfer of the property to the Economic Development Authority to manage and market the property for the best interest of the county.

Prior to the transfer, a public hearing was held.

One citizen, Sally McCarthy, representing the Pulaski County Christmas Store said the ability to use the DMS facility for the Christmas Store the past few years had been a blessing.

“I just want to let the citizens of this county know how much we have appreciated the use of that building,” McCarthy said.

She said the Christmas Store is in its 18th year and provides Christmas gifts to between 800 and 1,000 kids each year.

Following the public hearing the board approved the transfer of the DMS property to the EDA.

Howard Sadler Remembered

The supervisors approved a resolution in honor and memory of Howard Sadler, who passed away unexpectedly on May 5.

Sadler, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in the Vietnam War, had served the county for several years on the Board of Zoning Appeals, as foreman for several local grand juries and more.

Following a career in various corporate leadership positions, Sadler helped launch several software development and business consulting enterprises.

Sadler was also an associate broker for Coldwell Banker Townside in Blacksburg. He was a 2020 recipient of the New River Valley Association of Realtors Ethics in Action Award. He was also the 2022 recipient of the Cornerstone Award created to honor him for his support of all realtors.

Sadler had a unique family connection to the 1912 Hillsville Courthouse Tragedy, of which he conducted extensive research that contributed to the discovery of court documents central to the incident and presented the program, “The Last Witness – A Story of Friendship and Trust” to thousands in the region.

Budget Resolutions

The supervisors approved two resolutions formally adopting both the county’s budget and school budget for Fiscal Year 2024.

The county budget, including all funding sources, totals $157,484,896. The budget is balanced with no tax increases. Tax rates remain at 74 cents per $100 of assessed value of real estate and improvements; $2.35 per $100 on assessed value of tangible personal property; $1.50 per $100 of assessed value on machinery and tools; a sliding scale BPOL (Business and Professional Operators License) based on gross receipts with no change in rates, and a motor vehicle decal fee of $25 per assessed motor vehicle.

The total school budget, including all revenue sources, is $66,038,025 with local funding set at $22,473,741.

Sweet noted that revenue figures in both budgets could still change, since the General Assembly still has not completed work on its budget amendments.

Each board members expressed appreciation to county staff, especially Finance Director Diane Newby and her department for the work they put in on preparing the budget.

Sweet commended the board for its work in consideration of the budgets – noting the board had met eight times on the spending plans and put in many hours of study.

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