T he King George Volume 38, Number 12 Two King George men sentenced after guilty pleas in Circuit Court POSTAL CUSTOMER Wednesday, March 19, 2014 50 Cents helping you relate to your community Team DEca Richard Leggitt A King George man, Joseph McCarthy, entered a plea of guilty to unlawful entry and petit larceny in King George County Circuit Court on Thursday, while James Wellborn of King George plead guilty to eight counts of conspiracy, grand larceny and tampering with a vehicle. King George Commonwealth’s Attorney Keri Gusmann said, “In both cases, the defendants were stealing items, then pawning them and using the money to buy drugs.” “Drug addiction is a tremendous problem,” Gusmann said. “And it does not discriminate; young, old, poor or rich, it does not make a difference.” McCarthy received a sentence of 12 months in jail, with nine months suspended on each charge. Judge Joseph Ellis ordered McCarthy to pay restitution and be on good behavior for five years. Since his new convictions violated the terms and conditions for a suspended sentence McCarthy received for an earlier charge in 2005, Judge Ellis revoked his 2005 suspended sentence and resuspended all except three months. After Wellborn entered his guilty pleas, Judge Ellis sentenced him to a total of 18 years, with 16 years suspended on his six felony convictions. Wellborn also faces 24 months, with 18 months suspended, for two misdemeanor convictions, so his total active prison time will total two years and six months, according to Gusmann. Shopping in KG to be improved by addition of new stores Realtors developing the King George Gateway shopping area in Dahlgren have announced that six new retailers have signed leases to occupy space in a 72,000-squarefoot building that will be constructed next to Walmart. Dimitri Georgelakos of KLNB Retail, who is handling leasing in the development off U.S. 301, said Peebles, Petco, Dollar Tree, Famous Footwear, Hibbett Sports and Rappahannock Goodwill Industries will be opening stores in the shopping area. Georgelakos said only 9,600 square feet of space in the new building is still available. Construction on the new building is expected to start April 1, and the space should be ready for retailers by January 2015. Realty Development Services LLC, The Engineering Group Inc., Ruhf and Associates, Mullen Inc. and Benchmark Construction are all playing a role in the construction of the new building. —Richard Leggitt For the 13th year DECA at KGHS competed at the Virginia DECA State Leadership Conference, bringing its largest delegation of 56 competitors. Read more on page 6. Equalized real estate tax rate will be increased by three cents King George narrowing estimated budget gap Phyllis Cook The King George Board of Supervisors will continue its budgeting this week on Wednesday, March 19, with an additional work session scheduled next week on Thursday, March 27. One thing is clear; the county’s real estate tax rate will go up beginning with the tax bills due in June 2014, when the first half-year payment is due. If it only goes up to 56 cents per $100 valuation from the current 53 cents, it will not be a tax increase. That’s because 56 cents is the ‘equalized’ tax rate calculated to reflect the new real estate assessments that went into effect on Jan. 1. The 56 cents is revenue-neutral for the county, meaning that rate would bring in the same amount of real estate tax revenue as the 53cent rate did last year on the higher real estate values. EQUALIZED TAX RATE King George is on a four-year reassessment schedule. The real estate assessment performed last year by Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal indicated the total value of all taxable parcels is 4.1 percent lower than the previous assessment that went into effect four years ago, in 2010. That 4.1 percent drop in real estate values in King George is an average, with some property owners receiving higher assessments and some receiving lower, even much lower valuations on their property. An ‘equalized’ tax rate figure was calculated at 56 cents as a new real estate tax rate that would provide the ability for the county to collect the same amount of taxes as last year, but based on the new, lower real estate assessments. Blue Ridge reported the total value of all taxable parcels in the county dropped by $1.15 million. That calculated to an equalized tax rate of 3 cents higher than the current rate of 53 cents per $100 valuation for real estate property taxes. The equalized tax rate amount is dependent on the result of the calculation of what each penny on the tax rate would generate in tax revenue to the county. In recent years, the calculation of what a penny on the tax rate would produce has fluctuated around $260,000 of county revenue per penny. BUDGETING Travis Quesenberry, county administrator, distributed figures on March 11, based on a round of cuts he made from the departmental requests provided over the previous budget sessions. That working draft reduced the gap between estimated revenues and estimated expenditures from the previous $3,700,000 down to $973,504. The proposed expenditures had been See budget, page 3 School Board considering $15,000,000 in capital requests Phyllis Cook The King George School Board discussed a proposed capital projects listasrecommendedbySuperintendent Rob Benson at last week’s meeting on March 10 that contains eight projects and totals more than $15 million over the next five years, with three of the projects totaling $1,482,835 requested in 2014-15. Currently, county administrator Travis Quesenberry is proposing about $600,000 for cash-funding projects in the upcoming fiscal year, with no plans to incur additional debt for large-scale projects. In addition to the School Board, county department heads, agencies and constitutional officers have been invited to submit capital requests. Discussion by School Board members last week included suggestions for some changes and additions to go forward to the county’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for 2014/15 – 2018/19. A revised project list is expected to be brought back for proposed action by the School Board at next week’s meeting on Monday, March 24. More discussion may be needed at that time. In the meantime, Benson is developing cost estimates for some of the potential projects that could be added to the division’s requested list. PROJECTS PROPOSED BY BENSON The eight projects recommended by Benson are listed below, with changes and additions as suggested by School Board members. ~ Roof repairs for KGMS – $1,179,500, with $594,500 requested in 2014 and $585,000 in 2015-16. Household hazardous waste special disposal day set for on Saturday, April 5 Phyllis Cook The first of three ‘household hazardous waste days’ during 2014 for King George residents is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., at the county’s main landfill site, 10376 Bullock Drive, (off Route 665, north of Route 3). Residents should have their yellow permanent county sticker affixed to their vehicle or ready to display to landfill staff. The event is strictly for households in King George. County businesses and other commercial entities are not permitted to participate. WHAT’S HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE? Household hazardous waste includes old, used or leftover products that should not be discarded as regular waste into the landfill, including liquids that should not be poured down the sink or flushed in the toilet. The numerous items classified as “household hazardous waste” include common items such as all types of batteries, household cleaners, paint, turpentine, paint stripper, rust remover, paint thinner, varnish, automotive fluids, pesticides and other stuff that requires special disposal. Acceptable items also include fluorescent light bulbs and other light tubes, old motor oil and used motor oil, antifreeze, swimming pool chemicals and other chemicals, aerosol cans, kerosene, insecticides, fertilizers and leftover household cleaning chemicals and other solvents. Other items are mercury thermometers, photographic chemicals, lighter fluid, shoe polish, fiberglass epoxy, mothballs and glue. See Waste, page 3 This newly-revamped roof repair project was suggested earlier this year to replace an earlier roof repair project requested last year estimated at $90,485 and approved by Board of Supervisors for the current fiscal year. The project keeps changing. The higher cost estimate came from a proposal from a roof consultant made near the end of January. But at last week’s meeting, Benson provided a March 7 letter with a new estimate of $562,975 along with professional services of $11,250 for the consultant for a scaled-back fix. School Board member TC Collins disagreed with the proposed fix, saying he had been up on the roof the day before. He said the roof has a couple of leaks, but added that the larger problem is a drain, which backs up, causing leaking. Collins said he wanted to meet with the county building inspector and another engineering firm, and noted that a watertight warranty was proposed at only two years, along with a 20-year warranty on parts. Chairman Mike Rose agreed a second opinion might be a good See CIP, page 3 Business Appreciation event will be May 21 Small business focus at breakfast next week on March 25 County businesses will again be celebrated this spring at an appreciation night sponsored by the Board of Supervisors and the county Economic Development Authority (EDA). The EDA’s selected date for the event is Wednesday, May 21, 6 -8 p.m. at the Citizens’ Center. The EDA agreed to continue to hold the event on the third Wednesday in May, as it has for the last several years. Supervisors decided a couple of years ago to stick with the county’s traditional timeframe for its annual ‘Business Appreciation’ event. The date was formally set by the EDA at its monthly meeting last week on March 13. That’s when Linwood Thomas, county Economic See EDA, page 3 Now you can follow local breaking news daily on our website at www.journalpress.com NSWC Federal Credit Union Partners in Community Supporting our local community. NSWC Federal Credit Union Visit nswcfcu.org for details.