It may have been a quiet meeting for the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, but one item that stood out was a monument coming to the Rockingham Park at the Crossroads to honor veterans and first responders.

Kirby Dean, director of parks and recreation for the county, told the board that the Cross Keys/Mill Creek Ruritans and the Keezletown Ruritans want to put a monument in the center of the traffic circle entering the park.

The monument would be fully funded by the clubs, Dean said.

Will Snuffin, a member of the Cross Keys/Mill Creek Ruritans, said Thursday that one of the key aspects of Ruritan is community service.

“It is our responsibility to say thank you [to veterans],” Snuffin said. “It seemed like a pretty small effort to say thank you.”

Snuffin said he hopes to have the monumental stone in place in May, with Dean saying he would move as quickly as the clubs have everything together.

Dean said he hopes to connect a walking trail to the traffic circle to allow people to walk past the monument honoring veterans and first responders.

Other items on Wednesday’s agenda included election of a new chairman and vice chair.

Supervisors elect a chair on a rotational basis, according to County Administrator Stephen King, making last year’s vice chair, Supervisor Billy Kyger, chairman for 2020.

Kyger, the District 4 representative who has been on the board since 1988, is the longest-serving supervisor. Kyger replaces Mike Breeden, who represents District 5, as chairman.

As chairman, Kyger is in charge of running meetings and often represents the board in the county’s dealing with other agencies or governmental bodies.

Kyger, who was last appointed chairman in 2016, is a member of several county committees, including automobile, city and county liaison, Augusta–Rockingham liaison and the Virginia Association of Counties liaison. District 4 includes Bridgewater and Mount Crawford, the North River area, and the communities of Briery Branch, Montezuma, Pleasant Valley, Ottobine and a portion of Hinton.

Supervisor Rick Chandler, who has been on the board since 2014, will be responsible for filling in for the chairman’s duties in his absence as the vice chairman. He represents District 3, which includes Grottoes and the communities of Keezletown, Port Republic, Melrose, Massanetta Springs, Cross Keys and a portion of Penn Laird.

The committees he serves on include buildings and grounds, automobile, Augusta-Rockingham liaison, Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission, technology and the Community Criminal Justice Board.

Following board appointments, the Lake Shenandoah Stormwater Control Authority convened to approve the reimbursement of funding for expenditures related to projects. The authority approved the resolution unanimously.

The board reconvened to consider other resolutions related to supporting equal taxing authority for counties and consenting to continued initial resettlement of refugees in Rockingham County.

“[The resolution] is a new requirement the federal government has to have localities acknowledge their awareness of these programs,” King said.

Rockingham County has welcomed refugees facing persecution for many years, according to the resolution, and has become a home for resettled refugees who may be joined by family members from whom they have been separated.

With it passing unanimously, the board consents to the initial resettlement of refugees and directs King to expressly confirm so in writing to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration with a copy of the resolution to be transmitted.

The board also unanimously voted to support and desire for the Virginia General Assembly to enact legislation to authorize counties to exercise additional taxing authority equal to that of cities and towns, according to the resolution.

Following the first half of the meeting, supervisors kicked off the second half of the meeting with nine public hearings dealing with ordinance amendments, rezoning requests, special-use permits and a budget amendment.

Bradford Dyjak, director of planning for the county, said Thursday that the board approved a proposal to make the size of accessory dwellings to not exceed 1,500 square feet instead of the existing 1,200 square feet, along with two supplemental standards that were requested for convenience stores to make buildings limited to 4,000 square feet and making customer seating no more than 20% of the square footage.

The board tabled a request for semitrailers to be used as storage in three zoning areas, on the condition that the wheels and axles be removed, until more information is received.

Supervisors approved the Whitesel Brothers Inc. request to rezone 12 acres on the west side of Garbers Church Road and south of Erickson Avenue for the expansion of James River Equipment.

The property is zoned A-2, or general agriculture, and the request is to make it B-1C, or general business with conditions.

Since 1990, the applicant has been in business selling and servicing agricultural machinery on an adjoined parcel zoned for general business. Since then, the applicant has added sales and servicing of construction equipment, which are not permitted in A-2.

The only use on the property up for rezoning was for an expansion of the existing sales and services located on the adjoining parcel.

Two of four special-use permits were approved unanimously, with the board granting permits to William Horst for a storage area and Beacon Towers for a 195-foot telecommunications pole.

Several people spoke during the public hearing for the Holtzman Properties LLC and Soil Health Technologies LLC special-use permit request, according to Dyjak.

The board tabled both requests to get concerns addressed.

The budget amendment to authorize the expenditure of $6.03 million of proceeds from bonds issues by the Virginia Resources Authority for the construction and renovation of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community Services Board Administration and Medical Offices was approved, 5-0.

Contact Jessica Wetzler at 574-6279 or jwetzler@dnronline.com. Follow Jessica on Twitter @wetzler_jessica

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