Wednesday, August 1, 2012

York County District 5 Report August 2012

Dear Neighbors,


The District 5 Report for August 2012 is designed to keep you informed of local and state government actions that impact our homes and communities.*  Crime Watch information is included as a supplement to your local Crime Watch Program.  York County residents are added to the distribution list for the District 5 Report upon request by email to either or  Comments and questions are always welcome.  You can reach me at the phone numbers and email addresses listed below my name.  I greatly appreciate your help in disseminating the report to other residents of our communities.




Tom Shepperd

Chairman and District 5 Representative

York County Board of Supervisors


Home (757) 868-8591

Cell (757) 604-3079


------District 5 Report August 2012*------


1.  Crime Watch Notices


a.  Door-to-Door Solicitation.  At the request of the Board of Supervisors, the staff is in the process of drafting a County solicitation ordinance for the Board’s review during the work session in August.  Permitting requirements, information required for an application to solicit, hours of operations, and penalties for violations are some of the subjects to be considered.  We want to give the Sheriff’s Office some teeth to put a bite in door-to-door scams.  I expect the solicitation ordinance will be ready for a public hearing and Board action in either September or October 2012.  


b.  Sheriff’s Office Website/Facebook Page.  You can find a detailed listing of crime and arrest reports by visiting the York/Poquoson Sheriff’s Office website.  The website can be found by going to the York County website at and under “County Government” selecting “York-Poquoson Sheriff.”  The Sheriff’s webpage provides information on such topics as Virginia State Code, Virginia Sex Offender Registry, Sheriff’s Citizen Academy, Statistics & Agency Activity, Upcoming Sheriff Office Events, Women’s Self Defense Classes, Wanted Persons, and much more.


The Sheriff’s Office also has a Facebook page, which you can access by clicking on the Facebook icon “F” located in the lower right side of the webpage.  The Facebook page contains the latest new releases, pictures of individuals wanted or charged with various crimes, and it provides you with an opportunity to comment.


2.   VDOT Street Treatment in District 5


VDOT representatives will meet with District 5 residents to discuss the state’s street treatment plan for our neighborhoods.  The meeting will be held in the Tabb High School Auditorium on August 6th at 6 p.m. 


The state’s funding for road maintenance is terrible.  It is now so bad that VDOT can no long afford to buy asphalt to repave neighborhood streets.  Asphalt will now only be applied to main thoroughfares such as Hampton Highway (Route 134), Victory Boulevard (Route 171), etc.  Coventry Boulevard and possibly Running Man Trail are the closest VDOT will come to repaving a neighborhood street.


The new VDOT standard for preserving neighborhood streets is to apply treatments often referred to as either a Slurry Seal or a Surface Treatment.  One of the main factors used in determining the type of treatment is whether or not the streets have curbs and gutters.  Generally speaking, streets with curbs and gutters will receive the Slurry Seal.   Streets without curbs and gutters will receive the Surface Treatment.  So what is the difference between a Slurry Seal and a Surface Treatment?


According to VDOT’s notice, Slurry Seal provides a new wearing layer to the roadway that seals pavement cracks to prevent potholes from forming.  To me, applying Slurry Seal is like painting a street with tar.  As for a Surface Treatment, VDOT describes it pretty much the same as the Slurry Seal but adds that ”it is a bituminous (coal extract) binder covered with clean graded aggregate (small pebbles) and sealed with manufactured sand, applied to an existing asphalt surface.”  According to VDOT this is what can be expected during, after and in the months following the Surface Treatment:

  • Small loose stones (gravel) on the roadway and the gutter, small imperfections “nooks & crannies”, possible tire tread marks, etc. 
  • Possible appearance of over-lapping joints along the roadway (making the roadway appear uneven).
  • It takes approximately 2 weeks for the surface treatment to be firmly set. Small loose stones may still exist along gutter and edges of roadway.
  • The sun and vehicular traffic will create a desirable surface over time. 
  • A vacuum truck may come through, usually within a few weeks of the surface treatment application, to pick up most of the remaining stone.


You can expect to receive a flyer announcing details of the VDOT meeting if you live in District 5 and reside in neighborhoods scheduled to receive the Surface Treatment.  Of course, residents from throughout the County are welcome to attend the meeting.


3.  Route 17 Traffic Signal Timing Improvement


VDOT has installed new technology to control 10 traffic signals along a 7.5 mile stretch of the George Washington Memorial Highway (Route 17) in York County between Ella Taylor Road and Freedom Boulevard (Route 634).  The new technology, known as InSync, changes the signal indications based on real-time vehicle demand.  The traffic signals were changed over to the InSync adaptive traffic control technology on July 13.  VDOT will conduct before and after studies and continue to evaluate and adjust the adaptive control signal system.  Let me know if you feel the traffic flow has improved.


4.  Board of Supervisors Actions


a.   County Recycling Program.  The Board of Supervisors cancelled the fee-for-service recycling plan that was slated to go into effect on 1 July 2012 because only 4,000 residents of the required 11,000 needed for the plan to work signed up to participate.  As a result, the Supervisors authorized the one time use of $808,000 from the County’s $16 million contingency fund to extend the recycling program for one year or until another plan could be implemented.   So as it stands now, the recycling program is good for one more year.  What do we do next?


I can tell you without a doubt that we will have a recycling program.  Your many emails and phone calls made it very clear that a recycling program is highly desired in York County.  Your comments also indicated a great deal of misunderstanding about the County’s recycling program.  Hopefully, the following information will clear up the misunderstanding and help you see where we are trying to go with a new program.


There are three aspect to recycling:  cost, process, and results.  As to cost, curbside recycling is not a free service and the County receives no revenue from the service or the material you recycle.  The County pays over $800,000 a year for the curbside service.  The Supervisors removed the curbside service from the County’s operating fund in an effort to minimize a projected huge increase in the real estate tax rate necessary to make up for losses in revenue for the 2012-2013 budget.  Also, using tax revenue to pay for curbside service is seen as unnecessary because there are other options for the service.  For example, residents are not required to use the County’s recycling program.  Residents can select their own private vendor or simply take their recyclable material to the VPPSA site on Goodwin Neck Road free of charge. 


The Board gave the County Administrator instructions to look at combining the cost of curbside recycling and trash service. This mean is that if you use the County’s trash collection service you will automatically be enrolled in the recycling service.  Combining the two services will increase residential participation and drive down the cost for recycling. 


Residents are critical to the recycling process.  We collect, sort, store, and haul the recyclable material at no charge because we feel we are doing something good for our environment.  While this may be true, the fact remains that we are providing free labor and material to the recycling company.  Not only that, we are also paying the company to collect the material.  This is called urban mining and what a deal it is for the recycling industry.  The Supervisors feel that the recycling process can be more efficient, easier to use and provide greater incentive for participation.  Tidewater Fiber Inc., a leader in the recycling industry on contract with the County, is proposing that the small green containers used today be replaced with a 96 gallon wheeled containers.  The company also recommends the use of a rewards system where residents earn points based on recycling.  The way the point systems works is that a computer in the collection truck records the actual lifting of any container associated with a specific residence.  Points are awarded each time the container is emptied and the points are redeemed for local business coupons.  Representatives from Tidewater Fiber state that the coupon redemption rate is around $25 per household per month.


The results of our recycling effort are interesting.  The company collects and processes about 400 tons of material each month from York County.  Overall, the company process about 20,000 tons a month from Hampton Roads.  The processing facility is state of the art and includes a mixture of manpower (50 people per shift) and technology to sort and disperse the material.   The technology is pretty amazing.  The material collected from your bins is simply dumped onto a concrete platform where a bulldozer pushes it against a wall with a conveyer belt.  The belt then transfers all the material through a sorting process that includes flappers, rare earth magnets, and real time photography, which identifies the material and directs 150 vents to blow the material into the proper bins.  In the end, the aluminum is put into 1,600 pound bales and the paper into 2,200 pound bales.  Steel, glass, plastics, and aluminum are sold domestically and approximately 50% of the paper is shipped overseas.  None of the residue (stuff that can’t be recycled)  goes to a landfill.  It is shipped to a plant in Portsmouth where it is burned to produce steam for the Navy.


b.  Moores Creek Project 2C.    Phase 2C is generally contained in the Woodlake Crossing, Edgewood and the Homestead subdivisions.   Flooding in the Homestead and Woodlake Crossing subdivisions occurs more often than expected.  During storm events, the water level in the Homestead BMP rises until the water overflows the banks of the pond.  The water then flows through the rear yards of the homes on Dawn Place, which results in street and structure flooding.  In addition, water backs up in the ditches of Woodlake Crossing as part of the lake storage causing road flooding.  During Phase 2C, the County will obtain the services of an engineer that will analyze the entire drainage system within the study area, evaluate the adequacy of each drainage system and propose at least three recommended solutions.  The County will select a design firm on August 2012 and expects construction to begin in October 2012.  Phase 2C expected to be complete by July 2014


c.  Construction at Tabb Elementary School.  The construction you currently see taking place at the school will add six classrooms, expand the parking lot and add a bike path.   The project was included in the Capital Improvement Plan. 


d.  Late Fee Penalties.   Back in February, the Board of Supervisors agreed to review late fees charged to residents who fail to pay utility bills and taxes on time.  Evidently, the late fee can be a significant portion the original fee.  This seems a bit much.  The staff will present the issue to the Board in August for review and direction.


e.  Change in Budget Cycle.  After the last budget cycle, the Board directed the County Administrator to develop a timeline and process for converting the County’s budget cycle from a fiscal year to a calendar year.  Year after year the Board is rushed to judgment on a final decision before state revenues are fully identified.  This is a particular problem in providing school funding.  Changing to a calendar year cycle should eliminate this problem and put the County in line with other municipalities on the Peninsula.


f.  Senior Call Program.  The York-Poquoson Triad has initiated a new Senior Call Program, utilizing trained volunteers to place well-check calls to seniors age 55 and over.  The program is intended for seniors who may live alone, have little or no contact with others on a daily basis, or may have a medical condition that makes them vulnerable.  Calls are made Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon.  If the call recipient does not answer the phone, volunteers are trained to take necessary steps, which may include contacting a list of emergency contacts or dispatching emergency personnel. Program participants must be a Poquoson or York County resident and complete an application.  Participants may be referred by family, friends, social workers, discharge planners, clergy, and other organizations serving the needs of the elderly.  Target participants include those who may not have friends or family, who may not be able to get out of the house easily, or those who could benefit from knowing that someone in the community cares about their well-being. In addition to program participants, volunteers are needed to place calls.  For more information or to obtain an application call the York County Division of Special Programs at 890-3883 or visit and click on Special Programs.


g.  Route 171 Multi-Use Trail Project.  The Board approved Resolution 12-91 that authorized the expenditure of up to $574,000 in matching funds for the placement of a walkway/bikeway along Victory Boulevard.  The funds represent the 20% in matching funds necessary to obtain $2.3 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds.  The maximum total cost for the project will be approximately $2.9 million and result in a 10-foot wide by 8,700 foot long trail that runs parallel to Victory Boulevard from North Bowman Terrace to East Yorktown Road.  Approximately $900,000 of the estimated cost will result from EPA wetlands mitigation requirements.  Each year the County sets aside revenue for the County’s unassigned funds Revenue Sharing Program.  The fund builds up over the years and provides the County with an opportunity to leverage its revenue for state and federal funds.  In this case, the 20% match provides the County with $2.296 million in federal funds.  The walkway/bikeway trail is part of an ongoing effort to enhance quality of life in our area as is reflected in the Williamsburg/James City/York Regional Bikeway Plan.


* Comments and opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the position of other members of the York County Board of Supervisors.  If you wish to obtain comments from members of the Board of Supervisors, please visit the York County website at  Supervisor contact information is located on the website under the title "County Government."  Homeowner Associations are encouraged to use portions of this report in preparing their association newsletters.

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