Windsor moving forward on Church Street sidewalks

Published 3:59 pm Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Town of Windsor is moving forward with the construction of sidewalks on Church Street and Shiloh Drive, which is set to begin sometime in early 2018.

On Tuesday, the Town Council voted unanimously to re-appropriate $58,500 in unspent funds from the $63,800 the council had allocated during the previous fiscal year for the sidewalk project. Town Manager Michael Stallings explained that amount would allow engineers to complete their design work. The new sidewalks will pick up where the current ones on Church Street end and extend through where Church Street becomes Shiloh Drive to the Holland Meadows area.

Per a memorandum of understanding with Isle of Wight County, which the Board of Supervisors approved at its September meeting, the town will be responsible for the entirety of the project’s local contribution, but the county is to work with the Virginia Department of Transportation to pursue a cost-sharing agreement. Stallings said the town should know whether the negotiations are successful by sometime next year. Regardless of the outcome, the town’s engineers have been told to proceed.

Even if we don’t get the funding from VDOT, we’re still building sidewalks,” he said.

In other business, the council voted unanimously to grant a 24.7 percent credit to all residents’ car tax bills. Stallings explained that per the General Assembly’s 2005 amendments to Virginia’s Personal Property Tax Relief Act, municipalities receive money from the state every year for the purpose of passing along personal property tax savings to their residents. This sum varies from locality to locality and from year to year.

The state sends us a set amount of money and we have to determine how much credit we can give to use all of the money that the state provides us,” Stallings said. “Both the county and the town of Smithfield do it as well.”

The council also voted unanimously to pass a resolution recognizing Windsor’s Boy Scout Troop 41 for its 50th anniversary and to appropriate an additional $1,000 for Windsor’s Volunteer Fire Department after receiving $10,000 from a Virginia Department of Fire Programs grant instead of the anticipated $9,000. Also passed unanimously was a second budget amendment appropriating $1,351.26 from VML Insurance to cover the cost of repairs to a town police car that recently struck a deer.

During Stalling’s report, he introduced Gary Mitchell, the town’s new planning and zoning administrator, and announced that town staff were recommending Bowman Consulting be the firm to receive the town’s annual engineering services contract. The contract would make the firm the first called in the event the town needed minor civil engineering work. The contract is still pending review by Town Attorney Wallace Brittle and will not be voted on until he gives his approval.

Town Treasurer Christy Jernigan said that the first utility bills using the new Munis software have been mailed and that the town’s real estate and personal property tax bills will be transitioned to the new system by April 2018.

No speakers signed up for citizens’ time. However, the council did hear from Jennifer Hott, Windsor High School’s new student liaison, and discussed concerns that citizens had brought to various council members throughout the past month. Councilman Walter Bernacki and Councilwoman Patty Flemming both brought up the issue of speeding.

Bernacki said he and his family were nearly hit by a speeding car while walking on Church Street, and that he had filed a police report. Flemming said that she and her husband routinely see and hear speeding vehicles on their street at all hours of the day, even at 11 p.m., and that it is very loud when they go by.

Windsor Police Chief Dan Riddle said that he could schedule additional patrols in those areas but cautioned that when citizens complain about speeding, the ones lodging the complaints are most often the first ones to receive tickets.