The Amherst County Board of Supervisors increased the minimum fine for littering in the county during its April 20 meeting.
The fine now is increased to a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $2,500 and 12 months in jail, or both. Litter includes any garbage, trash, refuse, rubbish, offal, newspaper, magazine, glass, metal, plastic, plastic or paper container, construction waste or any discarded object that could injure any person, create a traffic hazard or degrade the environment, according to the county.
Residents also are required to keep their property free of litter and secure loads when moving trash.
Also during the meeting, the board approved renewing a lease with the James River Association to use a county building at Riveredge Park in Madison Heights. Since the summer of 2017, JRA has leased the structure near the James River and asked to increase the lease term to 10 years with a renewal period of an additional 10 years, which the board agreed to.
The monthly lease amount covers costs to maintain the building and county staff sees significant benefits to the community to have JRA continue its operations and use the site for float trips, educational classes and kayak/innertube rentals, according to a report to supervisors. The county also is partnering with JRA to build a floating landing location just above the rapids adjacent to the building.
“We’ve been extremely pleased with our location at Riveredge Park,” Bill Street, the association’s CEO, told supervisors. “It’s a very useful building.”
Street said JRA in recent years has educated more than 4,000 students. The association aims to raise money through fundraising to improve the building, including making it more of an interactive classroom and showcasing species in the river through an aquarium, Street said.
An outdoor pavilion on the property also is planned to open up more opportunities, Street said.
In other newsThe board approved an ordinance change for its site plan review process for development and projects, which eliminates the requirement of by-right plans going before the Amherst County Planning Commission for review. By-right refers to a property owner’s use of property and structures in away that already is permitted as a use in the county’s zoning ordinance. The review process is more streamlined for applicants with the new change, according to the county. “This is another example of Amherst County’s initiative to make itself ever more business friendly,” the county said in a news release following the meeting.
Supervisors approved a measure to use in the county’s general fund $295,592 in money from bond proceeds when the county borrowed money in 2017 for opening a new cell and the county’s landfill in Madison Heights. The board has decided to close the landfill construct a new transfer station on the same property to process waste and haul it elsewhere.