Ryder gains Special Use Permit for fuel tank; supervisors recognize WWII vet

Ryder Systems, which recently purchased the former BIR Transport Facility on Kirby Road in Draper, was granted approval Monday night by the Board of Supervisors for a Special Use Permit to install a 12,000 gallon diesel fuel storage tank at the facility.

The county’s Unified Development Ordinance requires a Special Use Permit for above ground storage tanks over 10,000 gallons in a Commercial District.

Ryder is planning to re-locate a vehicle and trailer rental / leasing business at the location. The site will only be used by the Ryder fleet.

In other news, supervisors Monday voted unanimously to declare the former Claremont Elementary School property as surplus, and conveyed it to the county’s Economic Development Authority.

Claremont operated until 2004. Since that time, the New River Valley Community Services has leased the property on a month-to-month basis.

A School Board resolution in July conveyed the property back to the Board of Supervisors.

The supervisors’ resolution approved Monday requests that should the EDA sell the property, net proceeds of the sale shall be returned to the Board of Supervisors and deposited into the School Capital Fund to be specifically used for the construction of new school properties or for the capital repair or renovation of existing active school properties.

Akers’ Recognized by Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors on Monday night approved a Resolution of Appreciation for Frank Willard Akers for his service during World War II.

Akers joined the U.S. Navy in September 1945 and was initially sent to Bainbridge, Maryland and then to Quarters K Naval Barracks where he assisted with the release and return of World War II soldiers. He was discharged in July 1946.

Akers re-enlisted in 1950 and served on the USS Latimer for four years, traveling through Europe and the Caribbean.

Akers’ name has been added to the county’s continuing resolution honoring veterans of World War II. The resolution now includes the names of 28 WWII veterans.

Supervisors Briefed on State Finances

As budget preparation nears for both the Board of Supervisors and School Board, Supervisors Chairman Andy McCready reported on information gained on the state’s finances during the recent annual meeting of the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo).

McCready said previously the Governor and General Assembly forecasters predicted Medicaid costs would grow this year by only about 2 percent. Way below the usual 7 to 8 percent rise seen annually over the past 20 years.

“We were told the reason for the lower cost increase was going to be due to implementation of managed care and that would save money,” McCready recalled, noting the cost increase is not due to the often-discussed expansion of Medicaid.

During the recent VACo meeting, the state’s Secretary of Finance announced a $453.5 million hole in the state’s budget caused by an incorrect forecast of Medicaid costs – which he said will likely rise by 7 to 8 percent as usual.

McCready said Hurricanes Florence and Michael would each cause $10 to $12 million holes in the state budget.

A cancellation fee north of $200 million is also projected due to the state’s cancellation of a contract with Northrup Grumman to maintain the state’s computer systems.

McCready said the state is also expecting to have to pay the Federal government some $150 million for past Medicaid charges.

Plus, he said the state has mandated giving state employees, constitutional office employees and teachers 3 percent raises in July of 2019.

“That translates into the state giving 1.5 percent and the localities giving 1.5 percent, but the state will try to take all the credit,” McCready said, noting local support of education in Pulaski County has grown every year over the past 10 years.