New county website unveiled DINWIDDIE — Dinwiddie County recently unveiled its new website with the aim of cracking the window on county operations. The $55,680 project was two years in the making and replaces a decade-old website. The Board of Supervisors was proactive in getting the new website off the ground in order to increase communication with citizens on frequently used channels, Norman Cohen, director of information technology, said. “We wanted to bring that technology piece back. We had utilized it before, but not on the grand scale that we are doing it now,” Cohen said. “Granted, it [the old website] wasn’t pretty, but the content was all there. The Board was very proactive on how the website got created.” By using each department’s web page, residents will be able to put a magnifying glass to the county’s budget, Supervisor meeting minutes and agendas, circuit court cases, and calendar, among other things. News from each department will also come faster. Department updates will now be relayed in real-time instead of each update going through the IT department, a process which had previously overburdened the three-member IT staff, Cohen said. “It gives a lot of flexibility to them [department heads] to make sure their website is updated,” Cohen said. Citizens can opt to receive email and text alerts from their chosen area of interest or look under the “How Do I?” tab that will lead them through the process of common county functions from getting a business license to looking at tourist sites. “More and more, our citizens are looking to conduct business online. We wanted to put as much online as we could. Our old site served the
need for a time, but we needed to update it,” said Marie Grant, grant and community information officer in the county. The county contracted with CivicPlus, a web consultant that specializes in government websites, to complete the website’s design. The debut had been halted at least once due to county staff concerns about the content, Cohen said. One thing that county staff knew they wanted in a new website was a local touch. That is why all of the photos on the website include local people and scenes. A photographer also took professional photographs of county staff, which accounted for about $780 of the total $55,680 cost. So far, Cohen and Grant said that public feedback has been positive, with only a few questioning the blue background color choice. But the new website is just part of the effort to bring the county up to speed with ever-changing technology. Dinwiddie has jumped on the social media bandwagon with its regularly updated Twitter and Facebook profiles. The presence on social media was a priority for Grant when she came to work for the county last year. “We know for a fact that a lot of our citizens use social media,” Grant said. “It’s been very well received, more so on Facebook than on Twitter.” The county’s Facebook page currently has 1,758 Likes while the Twitter page currently has 72 followers. Grant says that she puts out at least two Twitter or Facebook updates a day that seek to give citizens event reminders but also snapshots of what organizations and citizens are doing around the county. “It’s good information. Not just news-type stuff,” Grant said.
Civil War Driving Tour Our nation is in the midst of the 150th anniversary (Sesquicentennial) of the Civil War. Dinwiddie County is home to more battles and skirmishes (43 total), than any other locality in the country. In an effort to highlight Dinwiddie County’s significant role in this war that shaped the future of our nation, the Dinwiddie Civil War Sesquicentennial Planning Committee, organized a driving tour around the twelve most prominent battle sites. The self-guided tour can be easily followed using the published tour guide and maps. This guide is available free of charge at several locations throughout Dinwiddie County including the Historic Dinwiddie Courthouse, Pamplin Park, Five Forks Battlefield, Pamplin Administration Building, Eastside Enhancemetn Center, Dinwiddie Sports Complex and all Dinwiddie County branches of the Appomattox Regional Library.
Bulls ready to run in Dinwiddie “We wanted to create a version of the festival that didn’t involve killing the bulls or abusing them in any way. That’s why we take every precaution to ensure that our bulls are safe and healthy before, during and after each run,” Dickens said. Professional bull handlers and animal veterinarians will be on site during the run to assist both runner and bull. “The Great Bull Run was founded in March of 2013 with the goal of bringing this fantastic experience to the hundreds of thousands of people here in the US who have always wanted to participate, but couldn’t afford the time and money required for a trip to Spain,” Dickens said.
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out the day. “Simply put, running with live bulls can be dangerous. Now, if everybody would sign the waiver, acknowledge that the event involves serious risks, and swear a sacred unbreakable oath to never sue us if they get hurt during the event, we could do away with this contribution fee. Unfortunately, we live in a very litigious society, so we’re forced to do things this way,” Dickens said. So far about 1,000 people have signed up for the bull race. Other runners less desirous of dodging the bulls can run on the side of the track. Event officials will walk runners through the various routes before the bulls are released. “Our track fencing will allow runners to slide under it, climb over it, or hide in nooks along the way to avoid the bulls and other run-
ners as necessary,” Dickens said. No matter the course chosen, all runners will have to pay the $13 insurance fee. There have been 15 deaths in the Pamplona bull run in the past 102 years, according to Dickens. According to CNN, there have been 15 deaths since recordkeeping began in 1924. The company says that, unlike the Spanish tradition, their bulls are not killed or abused as part of the run. It also states that the bulls they use are not as aggressive as those used in Spain.
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bursts. The fix will come at a cost. Each runner is required to sign a waiver and pay an insurance fee of $13. For $6, individuals not running can also participate in massive tomato fights that will take place through-
There have been countless races at Virginia Motorsports Park. But nothing quite like this. On Aug. 24, the spot known for motorsports will feature races between man and animal. Or more specifically, a race against bulls. The time-honored tradition from Pamplona, Spain is coming to the Virginia Motorsports Park and it will be the first time that the Spanish tradition has come to Virginia or any of the nine other locations The Great Bull Run company will visit, according to Rob Dickens, chief operating officer of The Great Bull Run. Virginia is the first stop on the company’s national tour, making the park the site of the company’s first bull run. After the company’s founding, Dickens reached out to Virginia Motorsports Park. “We chose Virginia for our inaugural festival because it’s full of active people who love unique and exciting experiences like The Great Bull Run. There are many successful events in the region, including RiverRock, Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Race and countless 5k runs that draw thousands of participants each year. We think our festival will be bigger than all of them,” Dickens said. Adrenaline junkies could find a fix by choosing the riskier of multiple routes to be offered on the track. That route involves starting closer to the release gate and running down the center of the track, directly in the path of 12 1,000-pound bulls capable of running a four-minute mile. During each run, six bulls will be released in two 15-second
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County launches two Parks & Recreation emphasized at town hall websites on tourism & recreation Residents and county leaders, at the final of a series of town hall meetings for the northern portions of Dinwiddie county, focused on ways to engage the youth and seniors, as well as safety for all residents. It is a cause that District 5 Board of Supervisor Brenda Ebron-Bonner said she has advocated since she was elected. A main obstacle, she said, is making citizens aware of the programs available in the county. “Some of them pass by and go to Petersburg, not knowing that there are programs here,” Ebron-Bonner said. Brian Mancini, director of Parks and Recreation, told residents during the June meeing that money is not an obstacle when it comes to enrolling a child in a recreation program.
“I have been here six years and we have never turned a kid away. We can assist you in getting to a good event,” Mancini said. One of the main hubs for programs, he said, is in the same building that citizens were sitting the night of the town hall, Eastside Community Enhancement Center. He also fielded suggestions from citizens as to how to build awareness about recreational activities in the area and reminded them about the tourism department’s new website, discoverdinwiddie.com. Parks and Recreation activities can be found at playdinwiddie.com The message was music to the ears of those in attendance from the West Petersburg area, who said that their neighborhood was mostly seniors and in need of greater senior programs.
“LOVE” Dinwiddie County, Virginia Sponsored by the “Virginia Tourism Commission” the LOVE sign will be on display during the Dinwiddie County Fair! This sign has been all over Virginia promoting the “Virginia is for Lover’s” campaign. Families and friends will be able to see the sign up close and personal and even pose for a picture to commemorate the appearance. This attraction is FREE and open to any and everyone who travels by!
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Civil War Driving Tour that tell stories of different parts of the county and region’s history. Another “outdoor” tab lists the special attractions found in the county, from digging deep at the Lucky Lake Gem Mine to flying high while skydiving at the Dinwiddie County Airport. A bit of history is also featured on the new economic development website. Highlighting interviews and videos from business owners who have resided in the county from years to decades, the website seeks to answer the question: Why Dinwiddie? The page includes information about Dinwiddie’s growing industries, available sites and buildings, labor market statistics, and amenities unique to the county. The page redirects visitors to discoverdinwiddie. com under the “resource center” tab. Economic Development Director Tammie Collins said that the county garners attention on both a domestic and international scale, and that this website will give prospective developers more information about what i i is here. c f w 9 REPAIRS & REPLACEMENTS w t Gordon Ford S 804-691-1951 a o Jeremy Ford D
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Days after unveiling the new county website, Dinwiddie County rolled out two other websites tailored to the business community as well as sports and history buffs. Discoverdinwiddie.com is geared toward the tourist or sports lover, while accessdinwiddie.com provides information for a current or prospective business owner. Patrons to discoverdinwiddie. com, the recreation website, will have access to sports events occurring in different sports venues across the county. Activities at Dinwiddie Sports Complex and Virginia Motorsports Park, local tournament schedules as well as special events such as the August 2013 bull run are all highlighted on the webpage. An entire tab has been given to the county fair that is expected to draw thousands and is scheduled from September 4 through 8. The recreation website also spotlights historical parts of the county where tourists are likely to congregate. The historic Dinwiddie tab takes visitors through venues such as Pamplin Historical Park and the
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Tractor Supply store coming to Dinwiddie A Tractor Supply store is cropping up in Dinwiddie County, filling what some consider a retail shortage that has existed for both farmers and citizens. The new will employ 12 to 17 full and part-time employees. “As a growth minded company, Tractor Supply Company is always looking for potential new store locations that are a good fit as far as the target market is concerned . . . due to the part-time and hobby farmers, and horse owners in the area,” TSC’s Rob Hoskins said. The approximately 19,700 square-foot Dinwiddie store will be located at 13118 Boydton Plank Road and will open in late October.
The Dinwiddie store will include a sales floor, support service area and a fenced exterior space for storage and displaying fencing, sprayers and livestock equipment. The company’s website showcases products geared toward the full-time rancher with tractor repair needs all the way to the pet owner out of pet food. Customers can also purchase hunting and fencing equipment, power tools, welding supplies, and general lawn care equipment. “The beauty of Tractor Supply is that they cater to both the northern end of the county with a half-acre lot to those that have acres and acres of land,” said Tammie Collins, Din-
widdie’s division chief of planning and community development. In Dinwiddie, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Collins. Some family-owned businesses have been providing similar goods to the community for many years, but Collins said that the county has received numerous complaints from residents who still have traveled to other localities in search of farming supplies. “There are huge retail gap shortages in Dinwiddie, so they [Tractor Supply] certainly recognize that there is opportunity for additional retail sales in the area,” Collins said. The Tractor Supply Company has
been operating in Virginia since 1996. Since its beginning as a mail order tractor parts business in 1938, the company has grown to include 1,175 stores in 45 states. It is the largest retail farm and ranch supply store in the nation with an approximate revenue of $4.7 billion. “Tractor Supply Company stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers. The company also serves the maintenance needs of those who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small business,” company officials said in a statement. More information about the company can be found at www. TractorSupply.com.
Dinwiddie Promotes Local Shopping For a second year, Dinwiddie County celebrated its local business community with a “Shop Local” initiative. In a county wide marketing push, Dinwiddie prompted local citizens to commit to buying fare from local businesses throughout the weekend of June 7th through June 9th. The county branded the effort with a squared off white emblem that bears a “Discover Dinwiddie Shop Local” tagline. The emblems are designed to grab the attention of local shoppers and to highlight Dinwiddie’s rich local marketplace. The special weekend effort was part of Virginia Business Appreciation Week, the state’s annual
send up to business owners and operators, in honor of the jobs they provide to Virginians and the huge part they play in the state’s economic well-being. Dinwiddie’s local version of the week was one of many external efforts the county is employing to get the word out about Dinwiddie’s presence and business acumen. In addition to the “Shop Local” initiative, the county sponsored a public agritourism workshop, a launch event to unveil the county’s revamped online marketing tool, accessdinwiddie.com, and a social media awareness campaign via the county’s Economic Development page on Facebook. Dinwiddie county leaders encourage everyone to continue to support county businesses, and thank citizens for their support thus far.
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New government complex may be cure for ‘sick’ county buildings Five years from now, the county government complex may be a memory of what Dinwiddie once looked like. A preliminary study by architectural firm Baxter Bailey and Associates laid out what options the county has to remedy the conditions of aging and cramped buildings. The result is a possible $11.5 million government complex with the cost and size subject to change as the Board of Supervisors reviews the study. Under the proposal, the Pamplin Administration Building would no longer be the home for the majority of county departments. Instead, a $4.6 million flagship building housing 11 departments would stand where the Social Services and Health Department buildings once heralded the government campus. If supervisors take the firm’s recommendations, both the Social Services and Health Department buildings would be demolished as early as next year. County Administration, Commissioner of the Revenue, Treasurer, Planning and Zoning, Finance, Economic Development, Building Inspections, Registrar, Geographical Information Systems and the county attorney would call the main building home. The architects suggested constructing another $3.2 million Human Services building adjacent to the main building. Social Services, the Health Department and Comprehensive Services would be in this building. The proposal also stipulates that not far from this central site would be a newly constructed $2.8 million public safety building where the Sheriff’s Department and Fire and EMS would operate. Sitting next to the courthouse and off of Boydton Plank Road, this new public safety building would enhance security at the government complex, the study said. “The advantage of the location near
the Courthouse, and easy accessibility to other facilities would prove to be a significant aid to the overall campus security program,” the study reads. The plan also calls for the old jail, “a financial drain on the county,” to be demolished while the existing Sheriff’s Office would be renovated and repurposed. The architects did not recommend demolishing all of the existing government buildings. They suggested retaining the Pamplin Building, deemed in “good shape,” and moving the School Board offices to the first floor. The lower level of the building could then be potentially used for storage, the architects suggested. The building where Social Services employees provided foster care, child and adult services, food and monetary assistance programs was recommended to be demolished around December 2014. The current Social Services building, which was ranked the worst building of its kind by a state study, is plagued with what the architectural firm called “building sickness.” Water infiltration from a sagging roof, cracks running across the building, general mechanical and electrical issues, lack of space, and bathroom facilities out of compliance with American Disability Act codes were just some of the facility’s issues. The building topped the firm’s list of those departments most in need of more space. “We couldn’t be happier,” Ray Spicer, director of Social Services, said of the proposal. Water infiltration and mold became so bad for the Health Department that it temporarily relocated to trailers last year. Described as a victim of deferred maintenance, the architectural firm also recommended that it be demolished in 2014 to make room for the central
government campus. According to the study’s proposed timeline, much of 2013 and 2014 would be taken up by creating a more concrete design. Bids would be approved by late 2014, followed by a two-year construction period. Departments could be taking occupancy of new buildings by mid-2017. The architects told supervisors that they could net about $500,000 in savings — bringing the project cost from $12 million to $11.5 million — if they released bids for the construction of the three new buildings simultaneously. County Administrator Kevin Massengill has been tasked to fund the project without raising taxes. Massengill’s preliminary plans to accomplish this rely on what he has dubbed “the magic year.” Between 2018 and 2019, about $2.3 million comes off county debt, freeing space for the county to issue debt for this project. “The goal would not be to use all of this debt savings in one building,” Massengill said. Massengill said that supervisors realize that they couldn’t afford to do the project all at once, and that payments would have to be structured so that the county could pay for it over time. He added that additional review of the debt structure is needed before plans become concrete.
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The conditions of the Social Service and Health Department buildings convinced the county to hire Baxter, Bailey and Associates last year to do an expansive review of almost all the county buildings. “When we were elected ... none of us thought that we would have to deal with building issues. And none of us are guaranteed to be here at the end of this project either. This is a forwardthinking project,” Dr. Mark E. Moore, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said. The firm, originally set to present their findings earlier this year, had to ask for an extension. J. Baxter Bailey said that the process became more involved than they originally planned. “This is a very preliminary step. This is just putting your toe in the water,” Chase Cothran with Baxter Bailey and Associates said. Supervisors will have until their Aug. 13 work session to roll up their sleeves and decide if they would like to move forward on the project and what changes they would make. “I think we are in this situation we are in now from 30 years worth of ignoring some things. I think this is a good first step,” Supervisor Daniel D. Lee said after the presentation. The entire facilities study can be found on the county’s website at dinwiddieva. us.
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Reader’s Corner Dinwiddie County Fair Friends of the Library Dinwiddie
What’s Happening At Your Local Library?
Rainbow Puppets: Our puppet friends will be back to sing and play! Thursday, July 25, 2013 • 4:00 p.m. Historic Dinwiddie Courthouse 14101 Boydton Plank Rd. Dinwiddie, VA 23841 Details:www.arls.org
Tots ‘n Tea: A perfect way for new children and parents to meet each other and develop a love for reading and books! Parents and their children up to two years of age, are welcome to join us for stories, songs, and circle time. Light refreshments will be served.
Summer Story time Series: Story time programs aim to instill a love of reading by encouraging parents and other special adults to read aloud to children. Activities in story time promote brain and language development for children from birth to age five. At story time, children and caregivers are introduced to six early literacy skills that are essential for learning to read including print motivation, narrative skills, phonological awareness, vocabulary, letter knowledge, and print awareness.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ Rohoic Library • 11:30am Thursday, August 1, 2013 @ Dinwiddie Library • 10:30 a.m. Dinwiddie Library 14103 Boydton Plank Rd. Dinwiddie, VA 23841 Rohoic Library 7301 Boydton Plank Rd. North Dinwiddie, VA 23803 Details: www.arls.org
June 17 – August 2, 2013 (Wednesdays) • 11:30 a.m. Dinwiddie Library 14103 Boydton Plank Rd. Dinwiddie, VA 23841 Tots ‘n Tunes: A fun-filled half-hour of interactive songs. Children will get to play simple percussion instruments and groove along to the beat. Tuesday, July 16, 2013 10:30 a.m. Dinwiddie Library 14103 Boydton Plank Rd. Dinwiddie, VA 23841 Details: www.arls.org
Dinwiddie Book Group Book groups are informal and friendly events. Our philosophy is that a cooperative book group has the benefit of encouraging members to read things that they might not read on their own.
The Dinwiddie County Fair will enter its fourth year in operation in 2013. The event is a proud member of the Virginia Association of Fairs. Last year’s event saw close to 12,000 attendees. Patrons can expect a midway with: 4-H and Extension exhibits • Camel rides • Over 20 amusement rides • Petting zoo • Dock-diving dogs Pig racing • Fireworks (Friday & Saturday) • RC racing Multiple food vendors • MUCH MORE!!! Compare our fair to any other in Virginia and it’ll be clear that ours is the best bang for your buck! Admission is just $10 per carload and this fee will be waived on opening night (Wednesday, September 4, 2013). Come once and we’re sure that you’ll make this an annual event for your family. The fair will be held September 4 – 8, 2013 (Wednesday – Sunday) Virginia Motorsports Park, 8018 Boydton Plank Rd.. North Dinwiddie, Virginia 23803. www.discoverdinwiddie.com
3rd Thursday of each month June 20 – “An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff July 18 – Major Pettigrew’s Last Eric Bowen, Area Specialized Food Stand by Helen Simonson August 15 – Wild: from Lost to Found and Safety Agent with Cooperative Extension will facilitate a series of on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl workshops this summer entitled Strayed “Food Preservation Made Easy”. 7:00 p.m. Canning Tomatoes - 6/20/13 Dinwiddie Library Canning Pickles - 7/18/13 14103 Boydton Plank Rd. Canning Peaches - 8/1/13 Dinwiddie, VA 23841 Canning Apple Butter 8/15/13 Details: www.arls.org Canning Jelly - 9/19/13
Canning Workshops All workshops will be held at the DeWitt-Rocky Run Ruritan Club, located at: 14929 Glebe Rd., DeWitt, VA 23840. Each workshop will require a $15 registration fee (to cover supplies) and will take place from 6 pm - 9 pm. Registration is required and space is limited. To register, contact Dinwiddie Cooperative Extension at: (804) 469-4514.
Sometimes the biggest decisions in life are the easiest to make.
Just ask Bobby Perkins. obby Perkins is your typical proud family man. There is simply nothing more important than his son, Taylor, and daughter, Sydney. While Sydney was growing up, she spent her time cultivating a love for horses, while Taylor was practically born with a baseball in his hand. America’s pastime was Taylor’s passion from a young age, and when he started playing Dixie Youth Baseball and quickly emerged as a standout player. There was just one problem. As a farmer, the demands of Bobby’s farm often prevented him from being there to see his son play the game he loved.
At the Crossroads
A family man at heart, nothing is more important to Bobby than his wife, Jennie, and his kids, Taylor and Sydney. One of his favorite things to do is ride his black mule, Becky Sue, along the many surrounding trails with Sydney. Those fatherdaughter moments are some of his most treasured times in life.
“Home is the center of a family, and being able to impact such an important aspect of people’s lives inspires me each and every day.” – Bobby Perkins
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When you genuinely care about what you do, it shows. Bobby Perkins is living proof. As a leading Dinwiddie County real estate expert, Bobby’s care and devotion have ranked him among the area’s most productive professionals since 2003. But sales numbers aren’t how Bobby truly measures his success. To him, it’s about making sure his clients are completely satisfied with his service and that they plan to return to him again in the future. Because with something as important as your home, you can’t settle for anything less than the best. Call Bobby today to make the most of your next move. Because You Matter Most.
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Bobby’s decision to entirely change the course of his professional life was, without a doubt, monumental. But it wasn’t as difficult of a decision as you might think. “I was confident that the skills required to successfully run the farm all those years would serve me well in any business,” Bobby says. “And when it gave me an opportunity to be more involved with my family, it was a no brainer.” Professionally, Bobby combined his strong work ethic, his business sense built over decades of running the farm and his lifetime of local knowledge to establish himself as one of Dinwiddie County’s leading real estate professionals. The lessons about hard work and determination that Bobby learned from his grandfather still echo in his head today, resulting in an uncommon devotion to helping his clients achieve their real estate goals.
To understand the enormity of the decision Bobby was about to make, you must first understand that farming was the only thing he’d ever known. He grew up right here in Dinwiddie County and worked side-by-side with his grandfather on the family farm from the time he was a very young boy. Rising before dawn and working well into nightfall was the norm for Bobby. But when Taylor earned a spot on that traveling team, Bobby knew he had to make a drastic change in order to be more involved in Taylor’s life. It was then that Bobby decided to give up farming. Everyone who knew him was shocked by his decision, but when Bobby found himself sitting in the bleachers at Taylor’s next game, he knew he’d made the right choice. He ended up traveling with the team frequently and was able to watch Taylor play in 11 different states, all before he went on to play college ball at VCU.
What Matters Most
On the farm, whenever challenges arose, Bobby always found a way to “make it work.” He does much the same in real estate. He’s a man who will keep your transaction moving forward despite the inevitable minor bumps in the road along the way. When he has a goal in mind, Bobby simply won’t quit giving everything he’s got until he accomplishes it. It’s a nice feeling to have on your side when your most important investment is at stake. If you’re considering the sale or purchase of a home or land in Dinwiddie County or the surrounding areas, make sure you work with a real estate professional who will put your needs ahead of his own and who will never give up in pursuit of helping make the most of your transaction. That’s exactly Bobby Perkins’ approach, Because You Matter Most. Call him today to schedule a private consultation.
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