T he LATE-BREAKING NEWS: King George County files complaint in Circuit Court to get land back from Project Faith. Visit journalpress.com for the story. Volume 37, Number 41 King George Wednesday, October 9, 2013 50 Cents helping you relate to your community The KG YMCA is ‘part of the fabric of the community’ Phyllis Cook POSTAL CUSTOMER praising their “leadership and foresight” on bringing the YMCA to the county. “Everyone says that Disney has the corner on magic, but I would disagree with that statement,” Clark said. “I have seen real magic happen when lives are changed right here in King George County.” Clark defined that magic, saying it included the following examples: “When a special needs student who was afraid of the water now swim laps; when a dad who just lost his wife and gets help with the cost of membership and after-school care; the smile of a senior who can move better after the water arthritis class; or the smile of a child when a mentor spends one-onone time with that child.” She added, “I dare say this is a magic that Disney will never create, but you all have by bringing the YMCA to King George County.” The King George Board of Supervisors was provided a substantial report on the King George Family YMCA that opened in the county five years ago. The report to the community was provided at the Oct. 1 meeting of the Board of Supervisors by Elizabeth Clark, executive director of the King George Family YMCA since it opened, with help from a couple of her board members, David Clare and Jim Howard, giving details about YMCA programs. “I asked you to give this report and it is hard to believe that the Y has been up and operational for five years already,” Chairman Dale Sisson said. “It’s part of the fabric of our community.” Supervisors were clearly impressed by the report. Shiloh Supervisor Cedell Brooks spoke first following the YMCA report. “One comment that I have is a very STRENGTH IN COMMUNITY Clark introduced the chairman of positive comment,” Brooks said. “From the onset of the YMCA, one of my the King George Family YMCA board, main concerns was that nobody would David Clare, who is also senior vice be turned away and everybody didn’t president of Union First Market Bank. Clark noted that Clare was also a have money to become a member. But I hear that you’re working very hard to founding member of the King George make sure everybody is a part of the YMCA, adding he would talk about YMCA if they want to be there. And the numbers of people who have been impacted by the I’m very impressed King George YMCA with that. And I apduring the last five preciate that.” years. Supervisor “The Y believes Joe Grzeika said, that everyone de“When this board serves a chance to made the decision succeed, no matter on the Y, it was what their backdone somewhat on ground, what their a prayer that everyincome,” Clare said. thing was going to “We have learned work out. I’ve got to that can happen tell you, you’ve far only when we unite exceeded the expecto nurture the best tations. I had a viin all of us. That is sion that I thought why our cause is it would become a strengthening comcommunity center. munity through But it is the King youth development, George center. You healthy living and go there any day, social responsibiliany night, and peoty. The King George ple are there and Family YMCA has taking advantage of been an exciting it. It’s a place where — Elizabeth Clark and safe place for people meet, they people to build selfsocialize, they exeresteem, learn a new cise and they grow.” Supervisor Ruby Brabo spoke about skill and develop friendships.” Clare provided some statistics of one of the Y programs, saying, “I did participate in the Bright Beginnings what has happened at the Y over the at the beginning of the school year last five years: All 7th grade county and it was a wonderful experience.” students receive a free student memShe added, “Seeing the joy on all those bership to use during the school year; 35 elementary school children children’s faces was truly rewarding.” James Monroe Supervisor John were readied for school through the LoBuglio said, “We get a lot of com- YMCA Bright Beginnings Program; ments that it’s a real community center four Regional Rappahannock Summer League Meets; 15 High School for the entire county.” Sisson added a note about the num- swim meets held at the King George ber of people that have used the King Y; 100 adults have learned how to George YMCA, saying, “10,200 citi- swim; 200 home-school youth have zens have used the Y in one way, shape used the Y for physical education; 350 or form out of 24,000 citizens.” He youth have gone to summer camp; added, “That’s a pretty amazing mar- 400 youth have attended the beforeket saturation. And I think that speaks and after-school program; 700 adults a lot to the Y staff. It’s an amazingly ca- and families have been given assispable staff. One of the things that most tance be a part of the Y; 800 children people probably don’t realize is how have learned to swim; 1,500 families much the staff gives of their own time have attended special events at the Y; and their money, as do the Y board 10,200 King George County residents have been members of the Y. members.” Next Jim Howard, former longSisson thanked Clark for putting together the detailed report, which fol- time member of the Board of Supervisors and former member of the lows bellow. School Board, provided the following details. REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY Clark began by thanking superviSee YMCA, page 6 sors, along with county residents, and “Everyone says that Disney has the corner on magic, but I would disagree with that statement. I have seen real magic happen when lives are changed right here in King George County.” Joint meeting: Hunter Field lease details among topics Operation INASMUCH Phyllis Cook Luke Miller At the Masonic Lodge #314, Inasmuch volunteers constructed a covered entrance to the building as part of a county-wide day of service and compassion Saturday, Oct. 5. More than 300 people volunteered to work on projects at Historyland Trailer Park, Heritage Hall, the Village of Emmaus and others. They trimmed shrubs, did housework, created thank you cards for wounded servicemen, provided drama and music entertainment and much more in the 13 projects they tackled this year. BOS updated on Nice Bridge project Phyllis Cook The King George Board of Supervisors was provided an update on the next phases of the Harry W. Nice Bridge rebuilding project planned to go replace the existing bridge over the Potomac River. This will be the next step toward eventual construction of a planned new bridge slated to replace the bridge across the Potomac River on U.S. 301, which connects Maryland and Virginia, from Charles County, Md., to King George. The existing bridge opened in December 1940. The most recent available traffic count, in fiscal year 2011, put the volume at 6.8 million vehicles annually. Supervisors also got news about some maintenance activity that will take place on the existing 73-year-old, two-lane bridge funded for next fiscal year. The report was provided by Glen Smith, planning manager for the Maryland Transit Authority’s (MDTA) capital planning, and MDTA engineer Will Pines, bridge and tunnel manager. The pair noted that the Harry W. Nice Bridge Improvement Project is entering its second phase, with the recent allocation by the MDTA of $6.1 million in fund- ing for preliminary engineering of the major bridge construction project. NEPA STUDY Smith’s part of the presentation included the history of the planning study and the November 2012 approval of a final environmental assessment document by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), saying it was a major milestone. That was the culmination of the planning phase which had begun in 2006 and took six years to complete. Once that happened, Smith said, “The project then became a candidate for funding of additional phases, such as engineering, right-of-way acquisition, as well as construction.” Funding of $6.1 million toward preliminary engineering being made available now is one of the many steps to take place before a new replacement bridge is built. Funding will be needed for final engineering and design, right-of-way acquisition, and then, finally construction of a new bridge. The project had come to a halt for about a year at See Bridge, page 6 Get energy-efficient appliances tax free Tax holiday this weekend, Oct. 11-14 Phyllis Cook Virginia’s seventh annual Energy Star and WaterSense Sales Tax Holiday returns this Friday, Oct. 11, and lasts through Monday, Oct. 14 for the entire Columbus Day Holiday weekend. In the market for a new kitchen appliance? Want a new clothes washer or ceiling fan? How about replacing showerheads? Considering updating your bathroom with new faucet fixtures or low water-flow toilet? Or are you just thinking about buying some compact fluorescent light bulbs to replace the conventional bulbs throughout your house to save on electricity? All those products and more are eligible to be sold sales-tax-free in Virginia during the Columbus Day holiday weekend of Oct. 11-14. Each qualifying product must cost $2,500 or less, have either an Energy Star or WaterSense label affixed, and be purchased for personal or noncommercial use. Qualifying Energy Star products include air conditioners, ceiling fans, washing machines, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, refrigerators and compact fluorescent light bulbs. WaterSense labeled sink faucets, faucet accessories, toilets, shower heads, urinals and landscape irrigation controllers will also be tax-exempt. MCDONNELL TOUTS BENEFITS OF SAVINGS Governor Bob McDonnell is urging Virginians to benefit from this sales tax holiday. “If there’s one thing most of us can relate to this time of year, it’s a desire to lower our energy bills,” McDonnell said last week, adding it was also good for the environment. McDonnell added, “Even if you’re not in the market for new appliances, everyone needs light bulbs, and CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) are included in the holiday. I urge everyone who needs these products to go out and take advantage of this long money-saving weekend.” The Energy Star and WaterSense Sales Tax Holiday is scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 and to end at midnight on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. GUIDELINES AND COMPLETE LIST POSTED ONLINE The Virginia Department of Taxation has posted guidelines, frequently asked questions, and a list of approved items on its website at tax. virginia.gov. Purchases made online for qualifying Energy Star and WaterSense products will also be exempt from the sales tax, as long as the orders are placed during the Oct. 11-14 exemption period and the sellers have the items available for immediate shipment. However, not every Energy Star product will qualify for the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday. Only those Energy Star dishwashers, clothes washers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, compact fluorescent light bulbs, dehumidifiers, programmable thermostats, and refrigerators, with a selling price of $2,500 or less per item, and that are purchased for noncommercial or personal use will be eligible for exemption during the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday. Those with a specific purchase in mind are urged to check the list at the state website noted above to ensure that purchase is sales tax-exempt. A proposed lease for Hunter Field and the gym at old King George Elementary School could be one of the topics at an upcoming joint meeting proposed to take place between the King George Board of Supervisors and the county School Board. No date has been set yet. Supervisor Chairman Dale Sisson said last week at the Oct. 1 meeting during his board report, that he’d had a recent lunch with Chairman John Davis of the School Board. He said they had discussed the possibility of their two boards getting together sometime in the next several weeks. Sisson received the board’s concurrence to request that county administrator Travis Quesenberry coordinate with school division superintendent Rob Benson to come up with some potential dates that might work for a meeting 6-8 weeks out. The topic of a joint meeting had likewise been broached at the last meeting of the School Board on Sept. 23, when that group was reviewing a previous revised draft document for leasing Hunter Field to the county. HUNTER FIELD LEASE The two boards have been passing drafts of a proposed lease for Hunter Field and the gym back and forth through county attorney Eric Gregory over the summer. School Board members could not come to agreement on a revised draft on Sept. 23, with Rick Randall and Mike Rose basically in favor of the latest version, but with questions remaining from Kristin Tolliver and Ken Novell. Davis had suggested at the time, as at previous meetings, that the two boards may have to meet to hash out terms. Sisson told his board last week that he and Davis had discussed the lease. “There were a couple of minor items that he asked me to check on,” he added. “So I’ll pass those along to the county attorney, and Eric can scrub that and get it back to all of us.” The various drafts of the lease had become more and more specific, with attempts requested to insert language that might address any future eventuality that could occur over a 50-year lease term. As more specific language was suggested, the more complex the document appeared to get. Supervisors had suggested at a meeting on Sept. 17 that wording be more general. “It was looking to me like it was one government entity dealing with a nongovernment entity,” Supervisor John LoBuglio said. A similar sentiment had been leveled by School Board member Ken Novell at a meeting on Sept. 9, saying, “We are two organizations working for the ends, the benefit of the county. And this doesn’t sound like it.” Supervisor Joe Grzeika said, “The last iteration I saw, looked like we were trying to anticipate future problems and solve them today.” Gregory agreed and the most recent public version had been more general, with Gregory saying, “You can’t always deal with everything in the future,” and adding, “Some of these things have to be open-ended.” He also said of the last See Meeting, page 6 Now you can follow local breaking news daily on our website at www.journalpress.com Mobile Banking You now have the FREEDOM to access your accounts ANYTIME you want. Download your FREE app for iPhones, iPads, & Androids, or go to nswcfcu.org on your internet ready device. NSWC Federal Credit Union Visit nswcfcu.org for details.