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Sheriff’s Office to cover Toms Brook

WOODSTOCK – The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office now officially covers Toms Brook, even though the agency has already been serving the town for years.

The Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to approve law enforcement services agreements between the Sheriff’s Office and the county’s two smallest towns.

The Sheriff’s Office took over coverage of Edinburg when the town dissolved its small police department several years ago. The officers shifted from working for the town to the county agency. Edinburg agreed to pay the county to help cover the cost of the coverage. The first iteration of the agreement did not require approval by the board but state code required the governing body to bless such a deal.

The agreement between the Sheriff’s Office and Toms Brook calls for the agency to provide dedicated staff coverage throughout the week. In turn, the town agrees to compensate the county for the cost of the coverage.

District 3 Supervisor Richard Walker said he supported the law enforcement agreement and the fact that the towns will reimburse the county for the coverage.

District 5 Supervisor Dennis Morris said he had heard “positive buzz” about the Sheriff’s Office covering Toms Brook and the surrounding neighborhoods. The Sheriff’s Office covered Toms Brook for years without a formal agreement.

Also at the meeting, the board voted to:

• Approve a resolution adopting the Virginia Department of Transportation Secondary Six Year Plan for fiscal 2019-2024 and the related construction budget for fiscal 2019

• Approve an ordinance adopting by reference a chapter on vehicles and traffic as enacted by the Virginia General Assembly. Chairman Conrad Helsley said the board action merely serves to “rubber stamp” the state code changes because the county doesn’t have a say in the way the laws change. Morris called it a formality. Walker added that “it’s law, whether we pass it or not.”

• Adopt a resolution concerning a plan to borrow up to $420,000 at 3.25 percent to finance the purchase of equipment used by the Department of Solid Waste at the landfill. Stephen Curtis spoke at the public hearing held earlier in the meeting. Curtis said he opposed action by the board to increase the county’s debt and put the burden on the taxpayers. Curtis questioned why, if the county collected more tax revenue than expected, the board couldn’t find enough money in the budget to buy the equipment without increasing the debt. Walker voted against the action, saying he would have supported the financing option earlier in the fiscal year when the interest rate was lower than 3.25 percent.

• Approve a request to buy 1.7 acres of land on Powhatan Road for $40,000 for a trash and recycling collection center in the Strasburg area. The county will use money from the budget contingency funds. Walker, who voted against the action, expressed concern about the cost to turn the property into a collection site. Walker said the county has not replaced the collection site that closed in St. Luke. The county also created a problem when officials misinterpreted lease agreements it had with property owners for two collection sites.

• Appoint Christina M. Sherman as deputy clerk of the board.

The board met in closed session to discuss with County Attorney Jason Ham about legal issues concerning the acceptance of real property by the county and actual litigation between the county and Paul Brice. The board also met in closed session to discuss the appointment of public officials to the Planning Commission and the Citizens Advisory Committee on the Comprehensive Plan and the Tourism Council.

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