PittCo Happenings

PittCo Happenings

Learn more about what Pittsylvania County leaders are up to, stay up to date on county developments, and hear about decisions that are being made and why they are made, all in just 15 minutes a week.

Episodes

January 10, 2022 30 min

Newly appointed Chairman Vic Ingram joins the show to talk about his experience on the Board of Supervisors, the recent termination of County Administrator David Smitherman, and what the goals of the current Board of Supervisors are after the swearing in of three new members. Ingram shares that some of the Board's biggest priorities are fire and rescue, economic development, and solving issues with reassessment. 

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Pittsylvania County Administrator David Smitherman joins the show to discuss some of the biggest successes and developments in the County during 2021. He talks about the impact of the County's partnership with RiverStreet Networks, contextualizes the importance of the County's economic development efforts, shares about the County's effective use of federal funds, highlights continued budget improvements, and a variety o...

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December 20, 2021 15 min

Pittsylvania County Economic Development Director Matt Rowe joins the show to discuss the highlights of 2021 for Pittsylvania County's Economic Development efforts. During 2021, there were three announcements of new companies locating in Pittsylvania County (or an industrial park that is jointly-owned with the City of Danville), two companies announced the expansions, and Governor Northam came on three separate occasion for gro...

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December 13, 2021 15 min

Pittsylvania County Public Safety Director Chris Slemp joins the show to talk about the progress and improvements made in the County's Public Safety and volunteer fire and rescue agencies during 2021. Some of the topics include improved response rates, increased call volume, Fire and Rescue Commission changes, pay for volunteers, the success of the Pittsylvania County Public Safety EMS staff, and progress at the 911 Dispatch Ce...

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November 29, 2021 15 min

Assistant county Administrator Dave Arnold joins the show to discuss Pittsylvania County's 2022 reassessment. Pittsylvania County hired Brightminds, LLC, a proven and locally-based appraisal company, in 2020 to complete the reassessment process, which is required to done every four years for localities with more than 50,000 residents. Updated valuations were recently mailed out to property owners, who have the opportunity to sc...

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November 15, 2021 14 min

Carolyn Jarrett, Chief of Brosville Volunteer Fire and Rescue, joins the show to discuss the agency's history, some of the challenges facing volunteer departments across the County, and how Brosville has maintained consistent service. Some of the steps the agency has taken to keep response rates high and response times low is issuing per-call stipends and paying people to man the station from 8-5. Carolyn also shares about the ...

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In part one of a two-part series, Pittsylvania County Administrator David Smitherman joins the show to discuss the events leading up to the Blue Ridge Rock Festival and what really happened during the four-day event. Below is a summary: 

  • The plans for the Blue Ridge Rock Festival were good, but they were not administered correctly. There were serious public safety risks Wednesday and Thursday due to failures in traffic management, t...
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    October 17, 2021 14 min

    911 Manager Ronnie Fowler, who oversees the Pittsylvania County Dispatch Center, talks about the role of dispatchers and his experience over the past 30 years in the Dispatch Center. With many regional hospitals and emergency rooms frequently going on diversion due to short-staffing, the dispatch center is constantly adjusting where they direct transport agencies to take patients, which can have a negative impact on the whole publi...

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    October 10, 2021 15 min

    Pittsylvania County and Pittsylvania County Schools recently announced a partnership with RiverStreet Networks to expand internet access across the county. RiverStreet President & CEO Eric Cramer joins the show to discuss the company's unique business model and success leveraging outside funds to expand in rural areas like Pittsylvania County. He also highlights some of the history of electrification, the government-aided e...

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    October 4, 2021 15 min

    Assistant County Administrator Dave Arnold talks about the recent announcement that Pittsylvania County, Pittsylvania County Schools, and RiverStreet Networks are partnering together to bring reliable internet to county residents. To start, this will feature a $75 million fiber-to-the-home network to reach 12,000 unserved locations. Dave talks about why so many county residents don't already have reliable internet access, the s...

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    September 20, 2021 14 min

    Pittsylvania County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Jones talks about the 1% sales tax increase that is on the ballot for all Pittsylvania County voters in this election. If approved, the proceeds from that 1% sales tax increase, which would generate approximately $3.3 annually, would be used exclusively to fund school capital projects and renovations. In this episode, Dr. Jones speaks more about the background of the sales tax and...

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    September 6, 2021 14 min

    Chief of Callands Volunteer Fire and Rescue Damian Maurakis talks about the difficulties facing the agency, particularly when responding to EMS calls. After responding to just 30% of EMS calls in FY 2020, they were able to increase that number to 50% in FY 21, and 67% so far in FY 22. The key has been paying part-time staff to man the station during the busiest hours of the day, and his goal is to bring that response rate up to 100...

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    August 30, 2021 15 min

    Pittsylvania Pet Center Brent Weinkauf joins PittCo Happenings again to discuss several upcoming fundraisers in September and October and highlight how the Pet Center is adopting out and transferring many animals to reduce the animal population. Brent also talks about the importance of fundraising to bolster the emergency medical fund and explains the need for more people to foster and adopt animals and volunteer. 

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    August 23, 2021 15 min

    Jonathan Slye, CEO of Purpose Driven Events, joins PittCo Happenings to discuss three upcoming music festivals in Pittsylvania County at the Blue Ridge Ampitheater. Worship at the Mountain will take place September 3-5, the Blue Ridge Rock Festival will happen September 9-12, and the Blue Ridge Country Festival will happen October 1-3. Jonathan talks about Purpose Driven Events as a company, explains why Pittsylvania County was cho...

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    August 15, 2021 14 min

    John Harris, Executive Director of the Olde Dominion Agricultural Foundation, talks about tourism and agrotourism in Pittsylvania County. John discusses what agrotourism is and how it's evolving in Pittsylvania County. He talks about the role of the Agricultural Complex in furthering tourism in the county, and he highlights how the County is becoming more of a tourist destination. 

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    August 8, 2021 15 min

    Eric Clark, Chief of Cascade Volunteer Fire and Rescue, joins PittCo Happenings today to discuss the department's history and dramatic turnaround in the past few years. Cascade Volunteer Fire Department had reached a point a few years ago where volunteers weren't responding to calls, and it seemed as if the department would shut down. New leadership and focus as well as focused recruitment and training allowed a swift turna...

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    August 1, 2021 14 min

    Pittsylvania County Human Resources Manager Holly Stanfield discusses some of the open positions in Pittsylvania County government, as well as the creative means that are being taken to fill them. The Board of Supervisors recently created a $1,000 sign on bonus and a $1,000 referral bonus in an effort to attract qualified employees. Additionally, Pittsylvania County is looking to find talented, passionate people that are interested...

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    July 25, 2021 15 min

    Hear from Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Warren about a whole variety of different topics, including: 

  • The rationale behind increasing the meals tax from 4% to 6% and enacting a new transient occupancy tax: to reduce the burden on property owners
  • Some of the biggest accomplishments this Board of Supervisors has made in the past few years: economic development success, increasing education and fire and rescue fu...
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    July 18, 2021 15 min

    Pittsylvania County Treasurer Vincent Shorter shares some insights about what his office does and his office's role in the taxation process - the collections arm. Additionally, he explains why Pittsylvania County is a non-pro-rating jurisdiction and shares about the factors that, when combined together, caused citizens' car tax bills to increase between 2020 and 2021. 

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    July 11, 2021 14 min

    Hear from Noah Robbins, a Volunteer with Chatham Rescue Squad, about how the agency managed to rebound from answering only 25% of its call in FY 2020 to 82% in FY 21. Noah, who served as the captain during these years until a few months ago, when he took a position with Pittsylvania County Public Safety, oversaw the agency's shift from being run exclusively by volunteers to having paid staff. With a general decline in both the ...

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