Renewanation granted tax exempt status

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By John Barnhart

    Bedford County’s supervisors voted at a regular meeting last week to grant Renewanation real estate tax exempt status for its headquarters in Bedford County.
    The ministry was founded in 2008 and is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit. It is focused on assisting Christian schools and home schoolers.
    The facility the ministry sought tax exempt status for is located on Gravel Hill Road, off Hardy Road. The ministry is 95 percent donor funded. The ministry paid $1,700 in property tax on the facility last year.
    County Attorney Patrick Skelley told the supervisors staff did not recommend granting real estate tax exempt status to the property. He said no public need is being served.
    However, District 3 Supervisor Charla Bansley, who moved to grant the requested real estate tax exempt status, said not all students do well in public schools. She said parents can get a scholarship through the ministry to send their child to a private school.
    Bansley was joined by District 2 Supervisor Edgar Tuck, District 6 Supervisor Andy Dooley and District 5 Supervisor Tommy Scott to vote in favor of the real estate tax exemption. District 7 Supervisor Kevin Willis cast the lone dissenting vote. Board Chairman Bill Thomasson and District 4 Supervisor John Sharp were absent.
    In other business, the supervisors voted 5-0 for category transfers within the school division’s operating fund. These transfers had been requested by the school board. $290,000 was transferred from instruction to maintenance and, $125,000 was transferred from technology to transportation. The supervisors also re-appropriated $421,000 to the school maintenance fund and $421,000 to the health fund. The school division is self-insured and medical claims are paid from this health fund.
    The supervisors also voted, 5-0, to approve a supplemental appropriation to the Bedford County Department of Social Services (DSS)  for $356,000 and a transfer from the contingency fund of $167,000 to DSS to cover anticipated expenditures mandated by the Comprehensive Services Act. According to Paul Baldwin, of DSS, this is for a larger than expected number of foster children who came into the county last fall. Baldwin said the county is required to pay the money up front but will get it reimbursed by the federal government.
    Dr. Reid Wodicka, the county’s deputy county administrator, announced that last week’s meeting would be his last. Dr. Wodicka is leaving to take a job with Lynchburg as deputy city manager. Lynchburg is Dr. Wodicka’s home town.