Martinsville City Council has decided to cancel Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting in Council Chambers and postpone upcoming budget reviews, too.
But the Henry County Board of Supervisors is going forward with both of its scheduled meetings at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m Tuesday — with extra rules and a reduced agenda.
Martinsville City Manager Leon Towarnicki said the budget presentation set for 7:30 p.m. would be rescheduled for May 26, with a public hearing on June 9 and final adoption on June 23. The fiscal year begins on July 1.
The council also had scheduled three 3-hour budget work sessions to start on Wednesday and continue next week. Those sessions have not been rescheduled.
“After discussions with the mayor [Kathy Lawson] and vice-mayor [Chad Martin] today, we’ve decided to cancel tomorrow’s [Tuesday’s] council meeting,” Towarnicki said late Monday afternoon. “We had three items on the agenda: One is a proclamation that the mayor has handled. We have a resolution confirming the recent declaration of local emergency, and we can handle that electronically, and we’ve decided to push our budget presentation off for two months.”
Towarnicki said the change will allow the city to gain important information on the impact of COVID-19 and will eliminate the need for meetings related to the budget for “at least two months.”
“Hopefully by then all the virus problems are in the rear-view mirror,” Towarnicki said.
The Henry County Board of Supervisors have shortened the agenda for their meetings on Tuesday. Discussion on the proposed franchise agreement with Comcast has been pushed, and the 6-Year Secondary Road Plan by VDOT will be rescheduled.
VDOT also had canceled a public meeting scheduled for Thursday in Ridgeway to gather input on the preferred route for the U.S. 220 Southern Connector from the North Carolina state line to the U.S. 220/U.S. 58 bypass.
A public hearing by supervisors remains for 6 p.m. Tuesday regarding proposed changes to the county zoning ordinance as it pertains to solar energy facilities.
County officials are asking residents to make comments electronically in advance of the meeting or by calling the Department of Planning, Zoning and Inspections at 276-634-4620.
The changes being considered concern classifications that allow for solar, development size, setbacks, vegetative buffering, visual impacts, fencing, lighting, overall density and decommissioning plans.
“The only thing to emphasize is that the 10-person rule is in effect, and we will have side rooms with audio available should we reach that 10-person limit, and we still have folks who want to attend.” County Administrator Tim Hall said.
Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 236. Follow him @billdwyatt