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Government

  • Action affects short-term rentals

        Nobody spoke at a public hearing on zoning ordinance text amendments proposed by the Bedford County Planning Commission, but some supervisors had plenty to say.
        One item is a text amendment that requires owners of short term rental properties that are within 500 feet of the 795-foot elevation contour, and have private septic tanks, to have their septic tanks pumped out, or inspected, at least once every five years. This is a provision that was deleted two years ago.

  • A nose for electronics

        Sheriff Mike Brown introduced a new deputy, last week, who will be working for the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force.

        He won’t be going on the Internet looking for pedophiles as he really has no computer skills. He does, however, have a nose for electronic storage devices.

  • Council votes for electric fund cash reserve

        Town Council voted 6-0, with Councilman Beckham Stanley absent, to establish a written policy calling for a $5.2 million cash reserve for the electric department.

        Town Manager Charles Kolakowski introduced the measure for discussion during the 5:30 p.m. work session that precedes the last regular meeting of each month. Kolakowski said this fund balances out the ups and downs of an electric utility and is sound fiscal policy.

  • Board adopts revised school budget

        School budget issues were a major feature of Monday night’s board of supervisors meeting.

        School Board Chairman Gary Hostutler came before the supervisors to ask for $2 million in one time funding. His request covered eight items.
        Hostutler asked for money to fund a new central office phone system at a cost of $17,000.  He also asked for $50,000 for school security. He said this would finish the job of providing a controlled entrance at all schools, requiring visitors to be buzzed in.

  • Town meals tax going up

        Bedford Town Council adopted a budget last week that contains a hike in the meals tax rate. However, the transient occupancy tax rate will stay where it is.

  • County budget passes

        Bedford County now has a budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
        The budget, which calls for $94 million in general fund expenditures, passed on a 4-3 vote with District 1 Supervisor Bill Thomasson, District 4 Supervisor John Sharp, District 5 Supervisor Tommy Scott and Board Chairman Steve Wilkerson voting in favor. District 2 Supervisor Curry Martin, District 6 Supervisor Andy Dooley and District 7 Supervisor Kevin Willis cast the dissenting votes.

  • Farmer’s Market season begins

        The Bedford Farmer’s Market is alive and growing.

  • Town to increase base electric charge

        Although electric usage rates will stay the same for town electric customers, the monthly base rates they pay are going up, effective July 1.
        The monthly customer charge will rise from the current $13.28 to $20. The electric department has 5,680 customers and this increase will generate $458,000 in additional revenue.

  • Bedford FD members take course to use UAS

        A year ago the Bedford Fire Department made national headlines when it used an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)—more commonly known as a drone—to help locate a lost hiker on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Chamber members briefed on General Assembly session

        A portion of the Bedford area’s General Assembly delegation, Senator Steve Newman, Delegate Scott Garrett and Delegate Terry Austin, addressed a Chamber of Commerce breakfast gathering Thursday morning.

        “We’re all still missing Lacey Putney,” commented Newman.