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T he POSTAL CUSTOMER Colonial Beach • Westmoreland Volume 38, Number 5 Wednesday, January 29, 2014 50 Cents helping you relate to your community Short-term rentals and cottages subject to “Cottage” Tax Renovations will extend Riverwood’s low-income housing restrictions At the request of Colonial Beach Councilman Jim Chiarello, Town Attorney Andrea Erard addressed the council at the Jan. 23 work session to discuss the current ordinance surrounding the collection of the Transient Occupancy Tax. The council refers to this tax as the “Cottage Tax”. Erard informed the council that under the current ordinance, the way it is written, cottage owners who rent to individuals for 29 days or less should be collecting tax from their renters and should also obtain a business license. The council discussed the issue at length and even allowed citizen and cottage owner Glenda Chiarello to share the podium with Erard to give a presentation on research she said she had conducted on the practices of other localities and how they handled the cottage tax and licensing. Erard stated that the town council could choose not to enforce the requirement of a business license for cottage owners but warned that carving out a particular group of people to be exempt from obtaining a business license must come with a reason for treating them differently. Erard also told the council she could prepare a draft for such a purpose but needed a consensus on whether the council wanted to enforce the need for business licenses, or not. After about an hour of back and forth interpretations of the laws (by some council members) concerning the requirement for a business license and what taxes out of town businesses are obligated to pay the town, the council finally indicated to Erard that the town should enforce Related Apartment Preservation (RAP) is back in Colonial Beach asking for the town council’s approval for their project to upgrade Riverwood Apartments (“Riverwood”). The complex is located between McKinney Blvd. (Route 205) & Euclid Ave. and between Fourth & Sixth Streets. For the second time within a year, Richard L. Hurlbert Jr., Attorney for RAP, approached the council during the Jan. 23 work session to gain approval to move forward with RAP’s proposal to acquire and rehabilitate Riverwood. Currently, Riverwood is under a restricted covenant to remain a housing complex for low-income residents for 20 more years, ending in 2033. However, if the deal goes through, the restrictions on the property will be extended for 10 more years, meaning the property will have to remain a low-income housing complex until 2043. Related Apartment Preservation is proposing to spend $25,000 per unit to make repairs, replace appliances and fixtures, and other general renovations to upgrade each apartment. In return, RAP’s investors would gain tax credits for the next 15 years. RAP first made this proposal five years ago. At that time, the sitting council brought up issues of security, a subject Hurlbert stated at last week’s meeting, was “unusual and bizarre”. He did add, however, “The whole process was so illuminating that the security issue was something that management onsite had to focus on and address. I think they did. I think there was a tremendous See Tax, page 3 Leonard Banks Pulling together! Colonial Beach Elementary School Supply Drive volunteers spent two hours in the freezing temperatures at the Ferry Farm Walmart helping Baltimore Ravens wide receiver, Torrey Smith collect supply donations for the school. Out of the ashes there is hope for CB Elementary Leonard Banks Sports editor On Jan. 5, over 100 years of memories suddenly became a distant memory for the Colonial Beach community, as well as 40 teachers, staff members and 280 displaced students. Most notably, lost in the tragedy were school supplies necessary for the students’ academic enrichment. The community of Colonial Beach has risen from the charred embers and rubble that was once Colonial Beach Elementary School (CBES) and bounced back to take the necessary fundraising steps needed for the future generations of Drifter kids. Touched by the loss of his elementary school alma mater, Superbowl XLVII champion and Baltimore Raven wide receiver, Torrey Smith, and his foundation stepped up and recently partnered with Walmart to organize a school supply drive. On Thursday, Smith’s vision became a reality. From 6 to 8 p.m., at the Walmart at Ferry Farm, Smith arrived to greet fans, well-wishers, and members of the Fredericksburg community with the hope of accepting donations in the form of bundled items in $5, $10, $15 and $20 plastic container packages. The packages contained crayons, pencils, stickers, notes, glue and modeling clay. “We’re here tonight to gather as many donations for CBES, which lost all of their supplies in the tragic fire,” Walmart’s Ferry Farm location manager, Stephen Nelson, said. “We’ve partnered with the Torrey Smith Foundation, who is very active in the community. The community has given him the foundation to get him where he is today.” After witnessing a long line of devoted fans standing in line along a roped-off garden section of Walmart, in freezing 21 degree temperatures, Smith said, “I think it’s awesome to see all these people willing to help the kids of Colonial Beach. My folks and the Torrey Smith Foundation did a great job putting this all together and teaming up with Walmart. Although it was short notice, their entire input has been amazing. We are thankful for their monetary donations; it will certainly help the Colonial Beach school system.” For two hours, Smith and a team of Colonial Beach Schools and community volunteers See Smith, page 3 Westmoreland Republican mass meeting set for Feb. The Westmoreland County Republican Party, at a meeting Saturday at American Legion Post 252 in Montross, voted to hold a mass meeting on Feb. 28 to elect new officers and elect delegates to the district and state Republican conventions. The Westmoreland County Republican Mass Meeting will be held in the General District Courtroom of the George D. English Building at 111 Polk St. In Montross.   Registration will begin at 6 p.m. and the mass meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Westmoreland County GOP Chairman Doc Dugan said all legal and qualified voters of Westmoreland County “who are in accord with the principles of the Republican Party and who intend to support all of the Republican nominees for public office in the ensuing election” may participate in the mass meeting. Those attending the Westmoreland County Republican mass meeting will elect delegates and alternates to the First District Republican Convention to be held at James Monroe High School, 2300 Washington Ave. in Fredericksburg on Saturday, April 5 at 1 p.m. with registration beginning at 11 a.m. Additionally, delegates and alternates will be elected to the State Convention of the Republican Party of Virginia to be held on Saturday, June 7 at the Roanoke Civic Center, 710 Williamson Road in Roanoke beginning at 10 a.m.    This year’s GOP State Convention will nominate a candidate to challenge U.S. Sen. Mark Warner in the 2013 general election. At the Westmoreland County mass meeting, the Westmoreland GOP will also elect a new chairman as well as a vice-chairman, secretary, treasurer and precinct captains for the five Westmoreland County voting precincts. See Riverwood, page 3 Colonial Beach Council gives unofficial approval for October Bikefest The Colonial Beach Town Council received an update at last week’s work session on the planning for the first-ever bikefest to be held in town, tentatively scheduled for the second weekend in October of this year. The event’s planning group was seeking to obtain a definitive answer concerning the council’s approval of the event before proceeding with promotional activities. President of the Colonial Beach Chamber of Commerce, Carey Geddes, along with Bryan and Vickie Coffman, owners of the town’s High Tides on the Potomac restaurant, are heading up efforts with General Manager Steven “Smurf ” Keene and Marketing Director Tammy Saberan of All American Harley-Davidson of Hughesville, Maryland, to create the first, and hopefully annual, Colonial Beach BikeFest. The group met with the Colonial Beach Town Council in October 2013. At that meeting, Keene presented the council with information on activities that would take place and to dispel rumors surrounding the type of people who would be attending the event. Keene told the council that a lot of people have misconceptions about bikers. The old stereotypical profile of a biker is far from the truth. Today’s bikers, he said, are on average between the ages of 25 and 54 years of age. He advised that they are men and women of Caucasian, AfricanAmerican, Hispanic, Asian, etc. rac- es. “A lot of women are coming on board with the motorcycle industry,” Keene said, adding, “The average household income is between $75 to $100 thousand, and most of them own their own homes.” Keene went on to tell the council, “Harley-Davidsons are the ‘Cadillacs’ of motorcycles, so we invest a lot in them. While bikers may be interested in tattoos and chrome, some of us also share interests in art.” He said that he buys not only local art, but also that of artists from places he’s visited. “So, we do shop at the events we attend,” Keene said, adding that bikers also love the environment. “We love See bikefest, page 3 No. Neck Historical Society to honor Mason Brent Home swans on ice Richard Leggitt In Monroe Bay, swans struggle to keep warm. Left to right: Carey Geddes, Bryan and Vicki Coffman, Steven “Smurf” Keene and Tammy Saberan Roanoke, the home of the Brent family near Heathsville, will join the Inn at Montross as a recipient of the John Paul Hanbury Award for outstanding restoration of a historic property. The Northern Neck Historical Society will present the award Saturday in a ceremony at the 250-yearold home of Mason Brent and his family. The award ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the home located at 6108 Northumberland Road.   The Inn at Montross was last year’s recipient of the John Paul Hanbury Award, which is named for a renowned architect from Irvington who led the efforts to restore a number of historic landmarks on the Northern Neck. Roanoke is a brick home that was originally built in 1760 as a story and a half house and then received a fourstory frame addition around 1850. Mason Brent and his family have overseen a painstaking restoration of the home, which has resulted in its being honored by the Historical Society. Following Saturday’s ceremony, the Brents will host a reception and give house tours of the historic dwelling. A similar ceremony was held last year for the building that houses the Inn at Montross, which was originally built in the 1600s and changed hands a number of times before being restored and turned into one of the area’s top bed and breakfasts. The John Paul Hanbury Award recognizes outstanding restoration or renovation, completed within the last five years, of a property of architectural or historical interest in Virginia’s historic Northern Neck.    Hanbury was widely known for his restoration efforts.  His most celebrated work was the award-winning restoration of the 1813 Virginia Executive Mansion, which is the oldest continuously occupied Governor’s mansion in the U.S. —Richard Leggitt Now you can follow local breaking news daily on our website at

01-29-2014 Colonial Beach/Westmoreland County Va Journal

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