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Government

  • Proposed county budget balanced with no tax increase

    INDEPENDENCE — Moving into the final stretch of this year’s budget planning, Interim County Administrator Mitch Smith recently reported that the county has a balanced budget in the works, at no additional cost to the taxpayers for the ninth year in a row.
    Revenues and expenditures for the 2017-18 budget according to the most current draft, stand at $20,882,496. Revenue streams include $15,789,686 from local sources; $5,076,810 from state sources, and $16,000 from federal sources, according to the draft.  

  • County board approves discontinuance of vehicle decals

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to discontinue the county’s vehicle decals, following a public hearing during their April meeting.
    Though no one signed up to speak during the hearing, Treasurer Kelly Haga shared that he’d heard many positive reports from citizens who have visited the treasurer’s office.
    “As we’ve gone through this year’s decal season, [citizens] seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of doing away with it,” Haga told the board.

  • County hires new Planning, Community Development Director

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County staff recently welcomed Will Crawford to their staff, who will serve as the county’s new Planning and Community Development Director.
    Crawford fills the empty seat left last December by Elaine Holeton, who served as the director for five years before accepting a new position with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

  • New deadline approved for real estate taxes

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County Treasurer Kelly Haga returned to the Board of Supervisors this month to finalize discussions on the county’s policy of putting real estate up for auction with the Code of Virginia.
    Following a discussion between Haga and the board, the board approved shortening the time frame from five years of delinquency to three years — two years after properties become delinquent, plus an additional year after a lien has been placed.

  • A new hope for the Training Center

    RICHMOND — Another General Assembly session has passed without a definitive answer about the fate of Virginia’s training centers for the disabled, but one final hope remains, thanks to a budget amendment.
    In developing a final budget, members of the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates included a new amendment that would direct the state to look at operating a full-time, albeit smaller, training center. The Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Hillsville and the Central Virginia Training Center in Madison Heights are set to close.

  • General Assembly 2017 wraps up

    RICHMOND — Nearly 1,800 laws were passed during the 2017 General Assembly that wrapped up on Feb. 25.
    Many deal with industry minutiae (the number of menhaden fish allowed to be caught in a year) or super-narrow provisions (allowing retired conservation officers to carry concealed handguns without permits).
    But others could affect many of us in our daily lives when they take effect July 1. Here are a dozen.

    Left lane fines

  • Auditor praises county for financial health

    By SHANNON WATKINS
    Staff

    A clean financial bill of health was presented to the Grayson County Board of Supervisors at its meeting last Thursday, in the form of an audit by firm Robinson, Farmer and Cox Associates.
    On Feb. 9, auditor Scott Wickham said the firm gave Grayson County’s finances “an unqualified opinion, which is pretty much the best opinion you can get. We felt comfortable with the numbers that are in here.”

  • Amendment could assist Training Center residents

    RICHMOND — The Virginia House of Delegates has passed an amendment to its budget proposal that would prohibit the discharge of residents at the Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Carroll County if they or their legally authorized representatives choose to remain there.

  • Legislators introduce bills in General Assembly

    Local legislators have been busy this past month in their support of numerous bills as they make their way through the Virginia General Assembly.
    Bills introduced this year by representatives of the Twin Counties cover a wide range of topics, from local issues such as the impending closure of the Southwest Virginia Training Center to statewide issues involving animal rights, guns and traffic laws.

  • Citizens appeal on behalf of Training Center

    By SARA BLANKENSHIP
    Staff

    HILLSVILLE – A public hearing was held Oct. 27 regarding the fate of the Southwestern Virginia Training Center. A special joint subcommittee of the Virginia Senate Finance Committee came to Hillsville to tour the facility and host a public hearing to hear comments from citizens and local officials.