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Resolution honors Summerlin’s work
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Del. Don Merricks (right) presents General Assembly resolutions honoring the late Henry County administrator Benny Summerlin to supervisors Chairman Jim Adams (left) and Summerlin’s widow, Robin Summerlin. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Henry County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday received a General Assembly resolution commemorating the life of late Henry County administrator Benny Summerlin.

Del. Don Merricks, R-Pittsylvania County, presented the resolution to the board and to Robin Summerlin, wife of the county administrator, who died in August 2012. Del. Danny Marshall, R-Danville, had been scheduled to present the resolution but was unable to do so due to a family emergency.

Merricks read the resolution aloud to the board. It recognized Summerlin’s years of work in the county and referred to him as “a consummate public servant.”

“All of us have fond memories of what’s not said in a resolution, which is the friendship,” said supervisors Chairman Jim Adams of the Blackberry District. “Certainly, that legacy is a lesson to each and every one of us.”

Also at the board’s afternoon meeting at the Henry County Administration Building, the supervisors:

• Decided to hold the 2014 organizational meeting at 2 p.m. Jan. 2. The supervisors will chose a chairman and vice chairman for the coming year.

• Adopted a fiscal 2014-15 budget calendar. It calls for a joint meeting with the school board at 5 p.m. Jan. 13; distribution of budget documents Jan. 24; budget requests due in the county administrator’s office Feb. 14; joint budget work session with the school board at 5 p.m. Feb. 25; school budget request due April 1; presentation of the total county budget to board of supervisors at 5 p.m. April 2; work session on school budget and total county budget at 5 p.m. April 3; advertise public hearing April 6; public hearings on school and county budget April 22; and appropriation of school budget and total county budget May 27.

Other work sessions will be held as needed.

County Administrator Tim Hall pointed out to the board that a date has not been chosen for a planning session retreat.

“We’ve had one of those each of the past several years,” Hall said. “Certainly, it’s good business and we would be open to doing that, but we did not include that on the budget calendar.”

Dates for a retreat may be discussed at the Jan. 2 organizational meeting, he said.

• Received the monthly report from County Treasurer Scott Grindstaff on delinquent tax collections. Also, a report from Taxing Authority Consulting Services (TACS) was presented.

Additionally, Grindstaff said, since Jan. 1, 2013, TACS has collected $551,000.

• Heard a monthly report from Mark Heath, president/CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.

Heath said that in the past month, the EDC distributed a wage and benefit survey report to participating area companies, and 29 of the firms indicated they anticipate growth over the next two years.

The EDC has scheduled three workshops for 2014. They include Technology in Business, Jan. 16, led by Sandy Ratliff of the Virginia Department of Business, which will explore the use of mobile “smart devices” in conducting business; The Law and Small Business, Feb. 6, led by Pat Sharpe of Gardner, Barrow, Sharpe and Pearson, covering legal topics pertaining to small business; and Affordable Space for Entrepreneurs, March 13, an informational session for entrepreneurs in need of more work/retail space.

According to Heath, the EDC is working with 13 active projects, according to Heath. He added that the EDC is working with two national restaurant companies, two franchise fast food companies, two national retail stores and two independent fast food restaurants.

Heath also said the former Kroger building on U.S. 220 South was purchased by Dr. Pat Favero, who plans to move his medical practice into the rental store space.

In a social media update, Heath said that some elements of the EDC’s social media marketing — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram — were up between 2.5 and 16 percent from October to November. YouTube video views and page views at, meanwhile, were down 30 and 35 percent, respectively. Heath attributed the November decrease to extremely high traffic in October corresponding with the race at Martinsville Speedway.

Overall, he said, with one month left in 2013, the EDC has exceeded 2012’s web traffic by 12 percent.

• Adopted a resolution to institute a first-day filing requirement for legislation with local fiscal impacts to give enough time for the Commission on Local Government to analyze the bills fully before passing them on to the General Assembly.

The Governor’s Task Force for Local Government Mandate Review, which is asking local governments to adopt the resolution, believes there are not enough resources for bills to be properly reviewed for fiscal impact within the time constraints of the General Assembly’s schedule, Hall said.

“If this is enacted,” Hall said, “any bill that has a direct fiscal impact on the locality must be introduced by the first day of the General Assembly in order to give the folks in Richmond time to vet it and see what the true fiscal impact would be on localities. Sometimes bills are introduced in session, and there’s really not enough time to figure out what they’re going to do.”

• Approved a request from Public Safety Director Rodney Howell to allow the transfer of $4,183 from the grant match fund to the equipment line in the EMS supplemental staff fund.

Howell wants to use the unspent funds to buy personal protective equipment for use by the supplemental EMS staff. The original budgeted funds were allocated to match a grant for five defibrillators. After a competitive bid, the prices were lower than anticipated and the required match was less.

• Approved a resolution submitted by Sheriff Lane Perry to update the signature authorization for access to the jail inmate fund. The fund is comprised of cash on jail inmates at the time of their arrest and contributions to them from family members.

Adams said that the signature authorization update was necessary because some officers were retiring and the officers replacing them needed authorization to access the fund.

• Heard from Susan Reynolds, human resources manager and public information officer for the county. Reynolds said that over the weekend, county employees visited area seniors to give them food and presents for the holidays.

Hall added that the county employee United Way campaign set a record this year.

• After a closed session, the board reappointed James McInerny to the Public Service Authority (PSA) through Jan. 5, 2018, and appointed Gary Gibson to the Patriot Centre Advisory Board through Dec. 31, 2015.


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