$450,000 loan would provide Smithfield VA Events with offices and storage
By Ryan Kushner
Smithfield VA Events is proposing the town of Smithfield take out a $450,000 loan to renovate the interior of the caretaker’s house and construct two new barns at Windsor Castle, buildings the organization then plans to lease from the town as office and storage space.
After leasing the buildings, SVAE would use its lease payments to pay back the debt service on the loan, according to a proposal letter signed by Smithfield VA Events President Randy Pack, who is also on the Town Council.
A sublease agreement with SVAE to lease the property from the town would require a public hearing by the Town Council, according to Town Attorney Bill Riddick. However, should that lease be approved, a loan from the town would not necessarily require an additional hearing, Riddick said, noting that nothing had yet been discussed.
No, maybe, yes
By Diana McFarland
A neighboring Windsor Castle property owner’s questions about transparency surrounding plans for the manor house led to an email exchange involving the project manager and Town Council member Milton Cook.
Former Town Council member and Windsor Castle neighbor John Graham had raised questions about the need for a special use permit if the manor house was to be used for events and overnight guests — as had been stated recently at a Historic Windsor Castle Restoration LLC meeting.
Graham had read in The Smithfield Times that the manor house, after it was restored, was to be used as a revenue-producing facility with overnight guests.
“It was my understanding that there would be a public process and a rezoning before the manor house would be converted into a B&B,” wrote Graham in the initial email to Cook.
By Ryan Kushner
SURRY—The town of Surry wants annual payments of $200,000 from the county in exchange for transferring its sewer systems to the Hampton Roads Sanitation District.
In a letter sent to the Surry County Board of Supervisors Thursday, March 23, Surry Mayor Will Gwaltney lists the town’s “conditions of agreement,” provisions that were first alluded to publically by the Surry Town Council when it unanimously agreed to approve the transfer to HRSD, provided the then-undisclosed agreements were met by the county.
There is no indication in Gwaltney’s letter as to why the town expects an annual $200,000 from the county, or what it will do with it.
Council member Robert Berryman said he had no comments “for whatever you’re asking” when called Monday by The Smithfield Times.
The Smithfield Times met up with Gwaltney in his yard on Monday afternoon. He said the Town Council wrote the letter and it was done “several weeks ago."
By Ryan Kushner
After five years at the helm of the Smithfield Police Department, Police Chief Steve Bowman announced that he will retire effective July 1.
Bowman, 57, said during a Town Council police committee meeting that the decision to retire was made primarily in order to spend more time with his family.
“In this line of work the family sacrifices so much,” said Bowman to the council. “The time has come for me to give back.”
Bowman said July 1 will mark his 36th year in law enforcement. He was first sworn in as a deputy in the Surry County Sheriff’s Office in 1981.
“That’s a long time to be in police work,” Bowman said.