Liz Palmer is the Samuel Miller representative on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. Liz was elected to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors in November 2013, and she was sworn into office in January 2014. Thank you for your support in the November 2013 election.
Dr. Palmer is a veterinarian and small business owner with a long history of public and community service. After practicing veterinary medicine for nearly 30 years, she opened Charlottesville End of Life Pet Care, a veterinary practice that specializes in hospice care for companion animals.
Liz moved to Albemarle County in 1996, and her parents have lived here since 1975. She lives in Ivy with her husband, Herb Stewart, and their dog Alice. Their children Clay, Ben, Matt, and Bailey all attended Albemarle County Public Schools. Their last child graduated from high school in 2008.
As always, please let me know your thoughts.
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Samuel Miller District Newsletter, 10/21/14
This is the second in a series of occasional newsletters that I plan to send to keep everyone up to date on recent and upcoming actions of the Board of Supervisors. I hope you’ll find them useful. If you know someone whom you think may wish to receive these emails please forward this on to them.
First, here are some ways to keep in touch with me and the rest of the Board of Supervisors:
– My email is lpalmer@Albemarle.org. I welcome your comments and questions.
– To send a message to all the Board of Supervisor members, please use BOS@Albemarle.org
– To get regular notices of meetings and events, sign up for A-Mail, the electronic newsletter from the County. You can listen to a live stream or podcasts of BOS meetings at www.albemarle.org.
-If you have an Albemarle County question, you can also e-mail AskAlb@albemarle.org and your question will be answered promptly.
-The county and several departments, and the schools, are on Facebook and Twitter. My FB page is https://www.facebook.com/lizpalmerforsupervisor.
Upcoming community events:
Vintage Virginia Apples and the Cove Garden Ruritan Club will host the 14th annual Apple Harvest Festival on November 1, 2014 – 10am to 5pm, at Albemarle CiderWorks in North Garden. Enjoy apple butter and Brunswick stew, hayrides, music, crafts, and local artisanal food:https://www.albemarleciderworks.com/news/harvest-festival
Upcoming Town Hall meetings:
As the media have reported, the Board has been very busy with a myriad of issues including the 29 North improvements, the courts renovations, solid waste management and recycling, rural internet service, and efforts to enhance our working relationship with the School Board in preparation for the 2015 budget discussions. We are also holding additional meetings each month to complete the Comprehensive Plan revision.
I will be holding 4 Town Hall Meetings for Samuel Miller Residents this fall. At each meeting I will be joined by representatives from the Albemarle County Police and Fire & Rescue departments.
– Thursday, October 23rd at Yancey Elementary School. I will speak at 6:30 pm following a program celebrating the 21st Century Grant received by Club Yancey.
– Monday, November 17th 7:00 – 8:30 pm at Red Hill Elementary School.
– Tuesday, November 18th 7:00 – 8:30 pm at Henley Middle School with Ann Mallek, White Hall Supervisor.
– Monday, December 1st 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Monticello High School with Jane Dittmar, Scottsville Supervisor.
County priorities and financial planning for the next five years will be a topic of discussion for the November and December meetings. For more info on the Comp Plan, see http://bit.ly/1zjW3KE Please plan to attend!
On the road: I have been visiting various interest groups and organizations. Each meeting has been valuable to me. Please let me know if you’d like me to attend your group’s meeting.
Below is a snapshot of a few of the many subjects that the Board of Supervisors has been discussing and will continue to work on over the coming months.
Route 29 Solutions Package:
VDOT is moving ahead quickly with the Route 29 Solutions Package, which includes a compact grade-separated interchange at Rio and 29, widening of the 29/250 (Best Buy) ramp, Hillsdale Drive extension, Berkmar Drive extension over the South Fork Rivanna River, widening of 29 North from Polo Grounds Road north to Towncenter Drive, and the adaptive traffic signals. The Board of Supervisors has been involved in the planning and preparation process each step of the way. Construction on much of the package should begin in 2015 and be completed in 2017. Much planning has taken place to reduce the impact on area businesses.·
– See an overview here: http://www.albemarle.org/navpages.asp?info=rt29.·
– Visit VDOT’s Route 29 Solutions website for complete project information, including this summary:http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/29/Route_29_Solutions_project_one-pagers.pdf
– and these Frequently Asked Questions:http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/Culpeper/Rt_29_Project_Delivery_Panel_Docs/Rt29_FAQs_2014-Aug-26.pdf
Trash collection, AKA Solid Waste Disposal and Resource Recovery:
This has been an area that has garnered a significant amount of my time. For this newsletter, I will skip the discussion of illegal dumping and trash burning but suffice it to say we are considering these as we develop our solutions package. The topic can be divided into disposal services provided to residents, and recycling as an environmental imperative.
Services: The county government must make sure that citizens have do-it-yourself options for trash disposal (AKA convenience centers). We also must ensure that residents have options for doorstep pickup if their driveways are inaccessible to large garbage trucks and, due to mobility restrictions, they cannot get their garbage containers to the end of their driveway.
All this is best accomplished by maintaining a transfer station in the county. A transfer station is a facility that holds a state permit to take trash from commercial haulers. Commercial hauling success is highly dependent on time and volume of trash. Smaller trucks cannot efficiently contain enough trash and transport it miles from the hauling route to make the business viable. A local transfer station helps maintain a competitive environment for haulers who run smaller trucks and offer more personalized service.
Currently the only option in the county for commercial haulers is the Ivy MUC (Material Utilization Center, AKA the Ivy Landfill). Unfortunately the equipment at the Ivy MUC is antiquated, inefficient, and not user-friendly for commercial haulers. If Ivy is downgraded to a convenience center, by definition and state requirement commercial haulers cannot use it. Bringing the facility up to date is expensive but I believe necessary to maintain services for county residents. Because trash collection is a core government service necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of county residents, I strongly believe we must maintain control over our options. I like to think of maintaining a county transfer station as public-private cooperation to keep Albemarle clean.
Recycling: Albemarle county residents lack good recycling options. Currently, if you get your trash picked up by a hauler in the county, most of you are told that your trash will be sorted at a transfer station. Some call it single-stream but it can more accurately be called commingled. If you put the spaghetti sauce in with the paper and the rest of the trash and it is then compacted in the back of a garbage truck, the rates of salvage and quality of salvaged materials go down. We have been looking at UVA, whose employees and students sort all campus recyclables by material, as well as our peer communities and neighbors such as the city of Charlottesville whose residents collect recyclables in a separate container. We hope to have a comprehensive solid waste management plan available for the board to consider next summer. The plan should include both expanded opportunities for do-it-yourself recycling and curbside pick-up as well as more comprehensive services such as electronic waste recycling.
If you would like to get involved in our solid waste planning please email me.
The courts and your tax rate:
Our courts are undersized for our population and do not meet modern security needs. There is currently a court renovation project underway to correct these deficits. It will involve the investment of approximately $43 million over a 7- year period and is based on a Downtown Renovation/Expansion option. This is the largest capital investment the County is anticipating during this period. This estimate does not include any additional costs for parking, which could be as high as $3 million if building structured parking is included. This is particularly important given that projections indicate that a tax increase of at least 2 cents on the real estate rate dedicated to this required project will be necessary over the next three years.
This is but a small sample of what the Board is working on. I hope to see some of you at the town hall meetings. Please join us with questions and concerns.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve our county!
Samuel Miller District Representative
Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
Paid for and authorized by Liz Palmer for Supervisor. Not sent at public expense.