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County Administrator's Bi-weekly Update
May 20 - June 7, 2019

Departmental Project Highlights

County Administration:
We have been working on a multi-faceted response to the Virginia Beach shootings and tragic death of former Powhatan County Public Works Director Chris Rapp.

I have notified employees of the funeral which will be Sunday, June 9th, in Virginia Beach.

We will display a picture of Chris on an easel at one or both of the June Board meetings, depending on when we can get it produced.  Chairman Cabell will ask for a moment of silence on June 13th in remembrance of Chris and the other City employees.  A memorial resolution for Chris will be on the June 24th agenda. 

Later in the summer, we will install a bench at the play area of Fighting Creek Park.  We are looking into naming the playground after Chris as well, through the established protocol with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.  When we do that, we will have a brief ceremony.

We sent flowers to the community memorial event held Thursday, June 6th and to the funeral on Sunday.  One or more employees plan to attend the funeral.

 Chris Rapp

At the June 13th Board workshop on the budget and CIP, I will introduce a new CIP item for a Facility Security Study that will be a multi-year phased effort.  Initial funding will be something like $100k for architectural review.  Facility stakeholders at each location will be involved. 
Active Shooter training has been on our to-do list for over a year.  We will now move to schedule this, likely in September.

The Flywheel Team, our cross-departmental organizational development team, was nominated for a VACo Award in the Organizational Development category for their work to develop "organizational values," conducting an "employee engagement survey," developing "enterprise-wide training," and sponsoring "morale booster events."

Community Development:
Community Development continues to update the Comprehensive Plan. Informational meetings have been scheduled.

We are conducting initial research to begin updating the Sign Ordinance (Sec. 83-488).

Economic Development:
The latest quarterly jobs stats came out today. Powhatan finished 2018 ahead of 2017.

2018 (Fourth Quarter): +112 Jobs (7,069 Total Jobs)
2018 (Third Quarter): -252 Jobs (6,957 Total Jobs)
2018 (Second Quarter):  +260 Jobs (7,209 Total Jobs)
2018 (First Quarter):  +141 Jobs (6,949 Total Jobs)

2017 (Fourth Quarter):  -1 Job (6,808 Total Jobs)
2017 (Third Quarter):  -85 Jobs (6,809 Total Jobs)
2017 (Second Quarter):  -20 Jobs (6,894 Total Jobs)
2017 (First Quarter) :  (6,914 Total Jobs)

Extension Office:
  • Extension’s equine group traveled to Max Timberlake’s farm to learn about the hay making process in May. This is a monthly educational group for area equine enthusiasts which recently started its second year of activity.
  • Extension’s demonstration garden is now planted and two additional raised beds added. Master Gardener volunteers are working with staff to get the garden space ready for the monthly Groove in the Garden programs.
  • More than 75 chicks hatched in mid-May through the 4-H Embryology program in partnership with the 3rd-grade science classes. Staff also supported Blessed Sacrament Huguenot with agriculture education in support of an Ag in the Classroom grant.
  • 2019 Celebration of the Horse & AG Expo: Extension staff facilitated a post-event meeting with Farm Bureau; sponsorship plaques and thank you notes prepped for distribution; volunteer recognition planned.
Human Resources:
HR is continuing to set up annual and probationary evaluations in the Perform section of NEOGOV.  This year’s evaluations will be done, as in the past, through an Excel workbook.  Next year, once Perform is set up, a much more streamlined process will be in place that focuses on our organizational values.

IT Department:
The IT Department coordinated with neighboring Counties to establish NG911 boundaries. 
We attended the Central Virginia Regional Broadband Summit.  Attendees included representatives from the USDA, Governor’s Office and Center for Innovative Technology as well as Ashland, Charles City, Hanover, Louisa, Goochland, Fluvanna, and Chesterfield counties.

The 2019 Summer Reading Season Kickoff event was held at Powhatan County Public Library on June 4th.  Over 200 community members gathered to register and learn about library-sponsored, family-friendly events and prizes happening all summer long.  In keeping with this year’s theme, “It’s Showtime at Your Library”, the event included a performance by Powhatan High School’s Show Choir as well as an original skit written and performed by Powhatan High School theater students.  Dr. Tracie Omohundro, Assistant Superintendent of Student Instruction at Powhatan County Public schools, read “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” by Ryan T. Higgins as part of the festivities.  The Library’s reading therapy pup, Graham, was also on hand to greet library patrons.  Pizza and a free book giveaway rounded out the celebration.

Public Safety Communications:
The below links are short videos that demonstrate how 911 Communications Officers are part of the Public Safety team. They make critical, time-sensitive, lifesaving decisions. Powhatan PSC Communications Officers are extremely proficient and well trained to handle every type of emergency call.

The videos were released on FaceBook two weeks ago, and more recently, YouTube. The short testimonial videos have been viewed and shared by thousands of people. We received hundreds of compliments online for creating and sharing these videos.
Check out the 911 Videos here:

Public Works:
Facilities is almost complete with the masonry work on the County Attorney's office.  The County Attorney's office is the oldest building on the Courthouse property.  The mortar used between the bricks during the original construction is not compatible with modern mortar mixes.  Modern mixes expand in the joints causing the bricks to crack and fall out. Virginia Masonry performed a laboratory analysis of the existing mortar and designed a mix that would be compatible with the existing conditions.  It is a time-consuming process to grind out and re-point all the degrading joints.

Parks and Recreation:  The Special Olympics were held at Fighting Creek Park on May 25th.  This event is one of our favorites...everyone has fun and enjoys outdoor recreation.

Grounds:  Musco Sports Lighting projects will begin in the next few weeks. The project covers Turner Sports Complex and Ace's Field.  Old lights will be replaced with more energy efficient LED and controllers that will enable the County to remotely activate and deactivate lights.
Utilities:  Staff continues to work on the acquisition of Founders Bridge Utility Company.  We hope that approval from the State Corporation Commission will happen in the next month or two.

Office of Elections & Voter Registration:
The staff in the Powhatan County Office of Elections & Voter Registration are up to their eyeballs in candidate petitions.  Candidates hoping to run for local office in November must have all of the required paperwork (which includes 125 valid petition signatures) submitted no later than 7 PM on June 11, 2019

Social Services:

Powhatan County Department of Social Services toured the Chesterfield Child Advocacy Center and will be utilizing their services.  A Children's Advocacy Center, or CAC, is a child-focused, facility-based program where representatives from many disciplines meet to discuss and make decisions about investigation, treatment, intervention, and prosecution of child-abuse cases. They also work together to prevent further victimization of children.

The multidisciplinary team approach brings together under one umbrella all the professionals and agencies needed to offer comprehensive services, including law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy.

Treasurer’s Office:
The Treasurer’s office has just finished an extremely busy two weeks collecting the June Personal Property tax by mail, online, drop-box, and in person.

 Staff Spotlight
Getting to Know Powhatan County Staff 

This issue's spotlight shines on Susan Weeks, RN Public Health Nurse Senior with the Virginia Department of Health - Powhatan County Health Department. We asked:
What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
Every day is different. I love teaching the knowledge and skills necessary for a healthy lifestyle to individuals and groups. It feels great to give people hope that they can live a good life even with chronic health issues.
What do you do for Powhatan County?
I connect Powhatan Citizens with resources and referrals to protect their health and promote their well-being. We partner with state agencies such as Virginia Department of Health, Department of Social Services, Fire, Police, Community Service, Early Intervention and more with the goal of making Powhatan the healthiest county in the state. We also provide vaccines, women's health wellness visits, education, and communicable disease outbreak surveillance.
What has been your favorite project so far?
I enjoy pulling together long-term services and supports for individuals with medical needs. We do in-home visits and help connect them with resources. These resources enable these residents to stay safely in their own homes with support, go to daycare, or take part in InnovAge Virginia PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly), an alternative to nursing facilities. It provides customized healthcare and social engagement to older adults to help them stay independent. 
What do you do for fun?
I like kayaking, camping, walking, and hiking. I used to ride motorcycles cross-country. Now that we are older, we go in a convertible!
Thank you, Susan, for doing so much to keep Powhatan County healthy.

Upcoming Events

June 11 6:30 PM Comp Plan Informational Meeting
at Huguenot Volunteer Fire Department
June 13th 6 PM Workshop on Broadband and Budget

June 24th 6 PM: BOS Regular Meeting
See The Powhatan County Website Calendar for countywide information:
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Powhatan County · 3834 Old Buckingham Rd Ste A · Powhatan, VA 23139-7051 · USA

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