Retirees recognized by supervisors
By WILLIAM PAINE
The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors met Monday night for the final time in 2023 with a relatively light agenda.
The meeting began with a presentation of tokens of appreciation given to Terri Nicewander-Hager, who is retiring from her position as Master Chief Deputy Clerk of the Pulaski County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. Nicewander-Hager, who lost her bid for the position of Clerk of the Circuit Court in November’s election, will retire after having served in the Clerk of Court’s office from March 14, 2002, till the end of this year.
Following this, the board honored Maetta Crewe, the current Clerk of the Pulaski County Circuit Court, with a presentation of tokens and a resolution of appreciation. Crewe grew up in Pulaski and was hired as Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court in 1984. She eventually worked her way up to Chief Deputy Clerk and was later appointed Circuit Court Clerk on April 1, 2006. Crewe won a special election held in 2006 to serve the remaining one-year term of the prior clerk and then won the regular election held in 2007. At the end of her eight-year term, Crewe won another term in the 2015 election. Crewe’s retirement marks the end of her 17-year tenure as Pulaski’s Circuit Court Clerk and nearly 40 years serving in the Clerk of Court’s office.
A public hearing involving an application for rezoning followed the photo ops.
The planning commission had earlier approved Robert Sean Phillips’ request to rezone his property on Craig Loop from Residential to Commercial. Pulaski County Planning and Zoning Administrator Markie Saunders stated that the rezoning of this property met the requirements of the county’s Comprehensive Plan and that it would be difficult to meet the setbacks required for a residence at the site.
Craig Loop intersects Count Pulaski Drive (Rt. 99) near Exit 92 on I-81. Phillips plans to build a storage unit facility on the site and intends to erect an LED sign on the property to advertise his business.
Phillips’ request for rezoning elicited several responses at the public hearing, with two residents and one former resident of Craig Loop expressing opposition to the project.
Stuart Mitchell, whose land adjoins the property, expressed his concerns about the brightness of an LED sign and the increased traffic that would result from a storge unit facility.
Next, Lorri Gallimore, who lives directly across from Phillips’ property on Craig Loop, spoke in opposition to the rezoning, claiming that both she and her mother who lives next to her, are within “spitting distance” of the proposed project. Gallimore also expressed her concerns about the LED sign and the increased traffic on Craig Loop resulting from the business.
Kimberly Russell, a former resident of Craig Loop, also spoke in opposition to the rezoning stating that, “Pulaski is covered with storage units. Why do we want more?”
After hearing opposition to the rezoning, Philips came to the mic and said, “They’re not here for the betterment of Pulaski, I am. I’m pro-Pulaski. Everything we do, we do the best we can.”
Upon completion of the public hearing, the board voted to approve the rezoning application, which will likely result in the construction of a new storage facility at the site.
Dirk Compton, who represents the Draper District, was the only supervisor to vote in opposition to the rezoning from Residential to Commercial.
Next Zoning Administrator Saunders asked the board to do an update of the county’s land use map so as to match all rezoning done in the past two years. This was approved unanimously.
The Treasure’s report was brief, with much of the yearend sales revenues yet to be tallied. What the Treasurer did reveal was the county’s sales tax totals, which have increased steadily year after year. The 1 percent local sales tax for October alone brought nearly half a million dollars to the county’s coffers, though these funds were also distributed to the towns of Pulaski, Dublin and the City of Radford.
“It’s going up every year, so somebody’s buying something,” said Pulaski County Treasurer Melinda Worrell. “The other thing is, when people buy online, that sales tax is coming to us, too.”
As far as Action Items, the board voted to allow a public hearing at the Jan. 22 meeting of the board concerning the restriction of Through Truck Traffic on Route 746 (Old Giles Road) in Dublin.
Additionally, the board approved a Resolution of Support agreement to back a $1.7 million loan made by the county’s Economic Development Authority to repair the roofs of the Bob White Building (4100 Bob White Boulevard), the Maple Shade (89 Commerce Street) and the Hill Plant (27 Valley Street). The EDA owns these buildings and plans to recoup the $1,705,240 loan through rental fees, as all are currently occupied and paying rent. The Resolution of Support gives the county a “moral obligation” to financially back the loan, if the EDA is unable to pay the note in 10 years’ time.
The resolution of support passed unanimously.
Lastly, County Administrator Jonathan Sweet noted that another Action Item had been added to the agenda regarding holidays. The court system added two additional holidays to their calendar, adding Tuesday, Dec. 26 and Tuesday, Jan. 2 to their schedule of days off.
The board agreed to add Tuesday, December 26 as an additional day off for county employees, but decided that all should return to work the following Tuesday, Jan. 2.