Orange County Insight August 2022

VIBRANT ECONOMY l EFFECTIVE REFLECTIVE GOVERNMENT l SUSTAINABLE LAND USE

INSIGHT

Planning & Development Services Upgrading Online Capabilities Page 14 Teamwork Shines During Biennial VOPEX Drill Page 17 Fire & EMS “ Whole Blood Project ” Recognized with VACo Award Page 4 Quad County Business Summit and “ QuadTank ” Competition Coming Soon Page 5

Page | August, 2022 AUGUST 2022

Team Orange,

Happy New Year!

Last month I forgot to wish everyone a Happy New (Fiscal) Year, so I ’ m doing it now. Sure, celebrating a new fiscal year may seem like something only a true bureaucrat could love, but it is a great opportunity to take stock of where we ’ ve been and where we are going. I find the rhythm of a new budget cycle to be helpful in segmenting and measuring the progress on new initiatives and completed projects. A new budget means a renewed opportunity to advance our mission of serving our customers and helping our community. So please forgive me for my inner budget nerd coming out at this time of year. For employees, it also means that we are preparing for “ open enrollment ” season for our employee benefits. If you didn ’ t throw confetti when I said “ happy new year ” above, I think you will be pleasantly surprised, and maybe even a little bit celebratory when you see the new health insurance rates. As a follow up to implementing the Classification and Compensation Study recommendations to help us regain competitiveness in our employment market, we are intent on helping to lower the cost of health insurance for employees, especially those with family to support. After comparing our employer contribution rates for health insurance premiums against several neighboring jurisdictions, the Board of Supervisors have decided to move aggressively to improve our competitiveness. Accordingly, you will see meaningful decreases in your monthly insurance contribution for all family plans. For individuals, we haven ’ t raised employee premiums since 2014, so we did need to make an adjustment, but even there we added another high deductible plan option that will allow minimal monthly impact on such plans.

So Happy New Year. Throwing confetti is optional.

- Ted Voorhees, Orange County Administrator

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Cover Photograph Courtesy of Jeff Poole

Page | August, 2022 Page 1 | August, 2022

Orange County ’ s Adopted FY23 Budget Available Online in New User - Friendly Digital Format

By: Orange County Communications Department

Orange County prioritizes the preparation of annual budgets that are effective as policy documents, financial plans, operations guides, and communications devices. Furthermore, the easy accessibility of the budget, to residents, is a key component of operating as an effective and transparent public body. With that in mind, the County ’ s budget has been readily available on the Orange County website for many years in a PDF - based format. In recognition of these efforts, we have consistently received the Government Finance Officers Association ’ s (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, which is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting.

The Fiscal Year 2023 (July 2022 - June 2023) budget was adopted on April 26, 2022. It will continue to be available online, but will now be presented in a new and more user - friendly digital format, hosted by ClearGov, a provider of cloud - based budget and performance management software. The new digital format enhances the adopted budget ’ s accessibility online for public viewing. Advancements over the prior PDF - based budget formats include simplified navigation, improved accessibility, clearer visual representation of data, and better integration of the Capital Improvements Plan. This adopted budget, as well as those of recent years, are easily accessible on the budget page of the County ’ s website. Archived budgets going back to 2010 are also available.

Page 2 | August, 2022

Orange County Now Served by Two (2) Certified Public - Safety Executive Graduates

By: Holly Williams, Training Coordinator, Emergency Communications Center

The Association of Public - Safety Communications Professionals (APCO) International offers a program for executive leadership studies, known as the Certified Public - Safety Executive (CPE) course. This program was established in 2016 with the intent to elevate professionalism, enhance individual performance, and recognize excellence in the public - safety communications industry. The course is extensive, and consists of six (6) months of online learning, with writing assignments regarding policy changes, organizational culture, and leadership studies. The course ends with a two - week, in - person, capstone course at APCO headquarters. There, students dive into lessons focused on management versus leadership, models and theories of

leadership, leadership styles, public safety leadership issues, and executing and managing change. The curriculum combines academic rigor with deep personal self - reflection to enable participants to identify their own unique and authentic leadership style. The course ends with a graduation ceremony attended by the APCO Executive Director, Derek Poarch, and the APCO Executive Board. Most centers are lucky to have one (1) certified CPE, but Orange County Emergency Communications is proud to have two (2) graduates of the prestigious program serving our residents. Chris Cord, Director of the ECC, and Holly Williams, Training Coordinator of the ECC, both graduated this year. For perspective, there are only 189 graduates of this program in the country. The application process is competitive. Most applicants are turned down on their initial application. To be eligible, applicants must hold a supervision, management, or leadership role in 9 - 1 - 1. Scholarship programs are available, and Holly Williams earned one of these for her course, completed in January. This class is held only twice each year; a total of 12 classes have now graduated from the program. Please congratulate Chris and Holly for the hard work required to earn this designation! Their dedication will help continue to move the Orange County Emergency Communications Center forward with strong values and goals for their teams of dispatchers. Orange County appreciates their effort to better their leadership skills and continue to grow our 9 - 1 - 1 center. Congratulations to both!

Page 3 | August, 2022

Whole Blood Project Recognized with VACo “ Best Small County Achievement Award ”

By: Orange County Communications Department

Fresh on the heels of celebrating one year of the project ’ s active status, Orange County Fire & EMS Department ’ s Whole Blood Project gave staff yet another reason to celebrate following the Virginia Association of Counties ’ (VACo) announcement of its 2022 Achievement Award winners. As a result of its positive impacts, its innovative nature, and the significant challenges overcome during implementation, this project was recognized not only with an Achievement Award, but with the prestigious title of “ Best Small County Achievement Award. ” This recognition is available only to counties with a population of 50,000 or less, and its receipt indicates that this project was judged to be one of the top three (3) submissions in Virginia, out of 100 nominations! In a press release earlier this month, County Administrator Theodore Voorhees noted, ““ This is another example of how Orange County's innovative and caring employees are working hard to support our community. I am proud to be a part of this winning team that strives to make a positive impact on people's lives. ” Congratulations are in order for the trailblazing staff of our Fire & EMS Department! The full nomination, and a list of other winners, is available at www.vaco.org/county - profiles/achievement - awards.

Page 4 | August, 2022

Have a Great Business Idea? Love Giant Checks? Enter the QuadTank Pitch Competition at the Quad County Business Summit!

By: Orange County Communications Department

Entering its seventh year, the Quad County Business Summit will return on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, at the Bluegreen Shenandoah Crossing Resort, located at 174 Horseshoe Circle, Gordonsville, VA. This event was originally organized by the economic development offices of Orange County, Fluvanna County, Greene County, and Louisa County (hence the “ Quad ” County name), as well as the Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (CVSBDC). Last year, the event expanded to include a partnership with Madison County. The name remains Quad County Business Summit to reflect the sharing of ideas and camaraderie associated with the central gathering spaces or courtyards on campuses, commonly known as “ quads. ” Businesses within the five (5) host counties can attend the summit for free, and enjoy the full range of networking and education offered. Please visit www.qcbsummit.com to register. Discounted rooms are available during registration for attendees who would like to stay the night at the resort. The summit will feature events from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., including a keynote speaker, local business owner panel discussion with a question and answer session, and the Annual QuadTank, a winner - take - all pitch competition.

Jennifer Bryington of JB Cakes receives a check for $4,750 following the 2019 Quad County Business Summit's QuadTank competition. Photography Credit: BC Photography

The QuadTank is an innovative and entertaining portion of the larger summit event. First introduced in 2019, it provides the opportunity for businesses to compete for a monetary prize of around $5,000 to support their business efforts. The pitch entry requirements and format are as follows. 1. Participants must meet with a CVSBDC advisor before September 16, to apply and describe the project for which funding is being sought. Call (434) 295 - 8918, or email contact@cvsbdc.org, to schedule this meeting. 2. It is recommended that participants attend the one - hour Pitch Preparation program offered via Zoom on September 20, from noon - 1:00 p.m. This program will be recorded for later viewing. 3. Applicants must prepare and submit a written description of the project, business plan, or pitch deck no later than Monday, September 26, at noon, to quadtank@cvsbdc.org. Depending on the number of entries, preliminary qualification rounds may be held virtually on October 4 and 6. A maximum of four (4) qualified entries will become semi - finalists for the in - person QuadTank competition. 4. The semifinalists will attend the QuadTank during the Quad County Business Summit on October 12. Each will receive 10 minutes to make their pitch, followed by a five (5) minute question and answer session with the judges. Electronic visual aids (PowerPoint, GoogleSlides, etc.) are welcome, but should be submitted in advance for backup purposes in the event of technology issues. Physical props may be used, pending approval by CVSBDC staff. For more information, please contact Orange County Economic Development at (540) 672 - 1238, or visit www.qcbsummit.com.

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Page 7 | August, 2022

Time is Running Out! Cap Off this Summer with a Free Commemorative T - Shirt

By: Rose Deal, Director, Economic Development

This summer is a great opportunity to sample the wide variety of craft beverages available in Orange County. With that in mind, the Orange County Economic Development and Tourism Office has organized the Corks & Caps program to showcase our thriving beverage industry. Participants who visit each of the 11 locations and return a completed passport to the Office will receive a limited - edition, high quality, commemorative t - shirt in recognition of the accomplishment (while supplies last). Begin your craft beverage quest by visiting www.corksandcapsva.com to print a passport. Then, stop by each location and receive a sticker to mark that brewery or winery ’ s place on the passport. Passports are already prepared to be returned by mail, simply stamp it and send it in. Last call! The summer fun won ’ t last forever and shirt supplies are limited. This program will run through Monday, September 5, 2022 (Labor Day). Participants may contact the Economic Development and Tourism Office at (540) 672 - 1238 with any questions.

Page 8 | August, 2022

988 Provides a New Avenue to Reach Virginia ’ s Mental Health Resources

By: Orange County Communications Department

Effective July 16, 2022, the new three (3) digit 988 Lifeline phone number became effective in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 988 was developed as an easier - to - remember number for those experiencing a mental health crisis. The previous national number (800) 273 - TALK (8255), is still in use and will remain effective indefinitely alongside 988. Virginia is at the forefront of efforts to reduce suicide and provide help to those in crisis, with significant advancements made recently in preparation for the 988 rollout. A press release from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (VDBHDS), and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) noted, “ Virginia has increased its ability to answer Lifeline calls in - state by 33 percent since January of 2021, in large part due to the enhanced assistance provided to call centers. During this same time, call centers in Virginia saw an increase in calls by 23 percent. ” It is important to note that 988 is distinct from 911; 988 Lifeline callers are connected to alternative resources, usually local or regional centers, with backup support provided by a national network of more than 200 locations. This depth of service ensures that those in - need will be able to reach assistance, regardless of circumstances. Providing alternative forms of aid when appropriate, separate from 911, allows law enforcement and emergency services to be more available for public safety needs, and may decrease an individual ’ s reluctance to place a call during a crisis. In accordance with this intent, Orange County 911 dispatchers were, in fact, early participants in pilot programs to reroute certain mental health - related calls (in which the caller is not an immediate danger to themselves or others) to regional crisis centers for alternate support. Residents should know that in addition to the 988 Lifeline, the direct line for our regional Crisis Call Center is (434) 230 - 9704. While 988 is designed to prioritize a connection with a local or regional center, calling this number will take the caller directly there. Trained volunteers and crisis line workers are available 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week to provide support to those experiencing anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, relationship difficulties, mental health struggles, homelessness, trauma, loneliness, substance abuse, bullying, discrimination, and more. Those who consider calling should be reassured in the knowledge they will be speaking with an empathetic individual who will listen and is able to provide referrals to additional post - call care options.

For additional individualized support, Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services (RRCS) has developed the RRCS Voluntary Database for the counties it serves, including Orange, Madison, Culpeper, Fauquier, and Rappahannock. According to Erika Vesely, the RRCS Community Response Coordinator, “ The RRCS Voluntary Database allows citizens to input important mental, behavioral, and physical health information about themselves that could be useful to first responders during a crisis response. The information in the database is accessed only when a citizen calls 911 for help. ” Residents interested in the RRCS Voluntary Database can learn more, or input their information at share4health.rrcsb.org.

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Page 10 | August, 2022

Harmful Algae Bloom Advisories in Effect at Lake Anna

Adapted from a Virginia Department of Health Press Release

The Virginia Department of Health is advising those interested in recreating at Lake Anna that all portions of Pamunkey Branch, North Anna Branch, Lake Anna State Park Beach, as well as the Main Branch of Lake Anna from the “ Splits ” to the confluence of Pigeon Run above Route 208 in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with specific areas of the lake until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. A status report containing the updated advisory areas may be viewed at Lake Anna HAB Status Report 8.5.22. Swimming advisories have been issued for the following areas of the lake:

A harmful Algal Bloom Map is available through VDH ’ s website.

Pamunkey Branch • Upper – From the upper inundated waters of the Pamunkey arm of the lake downstream to the confluence with Terry ’ s Run • Middle – From the confluence of Terry ’ s Run with Pamunkey Creek downstream to Rt. 612 (Stubbs Bridge) • Terrys Run – from the upper inundated waters of the lake downstream to the confluence with Pamunkey Creek • NEW – Lower from the Rt 612 (Stubbs Bridge) downstream to near the confluence with North Anna (at the “ Splits ”), including the Lake Anna State Park Beach ” North Anna Branch • Upper – From the upper inundated waters of the North Anna arm of the lake downstream to the Rt. 522 Bridge • Middle – From the Rt. 522 Bridge downstream to the Lumsden Flats/Rose Valley Cove • Lower from the Lumsden Flats/Rose Valley cove downstream to just before the confluence with Pamunkey Branch (at the “ Splits ”) Lake Anna (Main Branch) • Upper from the confluence with the North Anna Branch & Pamunkey Branch (at the “ Splits ”) downstream to above the confluence with Pigeon Run (tributary along State Park) Algae blooms can occur when warm water and nutrients combine to make conditions favorable for algae growth. Most algae species are harmless, however, some species may produce irritating compounds or toxins. Avoid discolored water or scums that are green or blueish - green because they are more likely to contain toxins. To prevent illness, people should: • Avoid contact with any area of the lake where water is green or an advisory sign is posted, WHEN IN DOUBT, STAY OUT! • Not allow children or pets to drink from natural bodies of water. • Keep children and pets out of the areas experiencing a harmful algae bloom and quickly wash them off with plenty of fresh, clean water after coming into contact with algae scum or bloom water. • Seek medical/veterinarian care if you or your animals experience symptoms after swimming in or near an algal bloom. • Properly clean fish by removing skin and discarding all internal organs, and cooking fish to the proper temperature to ensure fish fillets are safe to eat. • Contact the Harmful Algal Bloom Hotline at (888) 238 - 6154 if you suspect you ’ ve experienced health - related effects following exposure to a bloom.

For more information, please visit www.swimhealthyva.com. For information about Lake Anna Civic Association ’ s (LACA) efforts to reduce HABs, read the July 2022 issue of the Orange County Insight.

Page 11 | August, 2022

Orange County Residents Eligible for Septic System Repairs with Grant Assistance

By Stephanie DeNicola - Turner, Education/Information Coordinator, Culpeper Soil & Water Conservation District

Residents of Orange County that live in the Upper York River Watershed continue to be eligible for reimbursement of 50 to 80 percent of the expense of pumping and inspecting, repairing or replacing on - lot septic systems. The Upper York Watershed is nearly all of Orange County which is BOTH south of Route 20 AND east of US Route 15, except for very small areas along the County border with Spotsylvania and Louisa Counties. The Culpeper Soil & Water Conservation District grants program continues its funding to help reduce bacteria pollution in local streams. The series of grants is

focused on reducing any existing or potential impacts on local ground and surface water quality. E. coli bacteria in some local streams has long been identified as being higher than expected by state water quality standards, although other pollutants can also be involved, particularly nutrients. An additional benefit to the property owner is the assurance that their system is up to standards and functioning properly. It is a win - win for both water quality and property value. Program participants are eligible for several different payments depending on the actual needs of their system. Reimbursement payments are typically 50 percent although can go as high as 80 percent for tiered low - income status. Maximum payments to property owners at 50% cost share to property owners under average income levels are $2,000 maximum towards a pump out with system inspection; $2,500 maximum towards a repair; $4,000 maximum toward a conventional system or $6,000 if a pump is required to move the liquids to the drain field; and $12,000 maximum toward an alternative engineered system. Maximum payments under low - income situations at the 80% cost share level are $3,200 maximum towards a pump out with system inspection; $4,000 maximum towards a repair; $6,400 maximum toward a conventional system or $9,600 if a pump is required to move the liquids to the drain field; and $19,200 maximum toward an alternative engineered system. Pump outs and inspections are encouraged for everyone; such preventative maintenance extends the life of a system and prevents higher costs later on if the systems fail. If further repairs are indicated by the inspection, the owner is still eligible for the additional repair payments. Applications are required and need to be approved prior to the work being done or funding can be declined. Free assistance with initial assessments of individual system needs is available from the District. Reimbursement payments are made promptly once the work has been completed. The program is entirely voluntary and assistance from the District is free of charge. Further information on the program is available from the District at (540) 825 - 8591 or (540) 948 - 7531. Funding for these projects has been secured by the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Page 12 | August, 2022

Orange County Fire Companies Seek Volunteers

By: Orange County Communications Department

Orange County has a strong tradition of volunteer fire service, and our volunteer companies are seeking to continue that tradition well into the future through their recruitment website, www.joinocvafireems.org.

The website was funded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Staffing For Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant. According to FEMA, the purpose of SAFER grants is to provide support to “ fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, ‘ front line ’ firefighters available in their communities. ” The recruitment website helps explain the importance of volunteer service to prospective recruits, “ People join volunteer fire departments for different reasons. Some volunteer for the excitement and challenges of the job. Others volunteer to give

back to their community. Others also volunteer to find a sense of worth inside themselves, to do something that they believe matters. No matter what a person ’ s reasons may be for joining a fire department, neighbor helping neighbor is a true and constant foundation. ” To help recruits find the best fit for them, the website provides profiles of each of our community ’ s local volunteer fire and rescue organizations. A map is also available with the locations of each firehouse pinned. If a site visitor is unsure which department is closest to them or would like further communication, an online form can connect them to a recruiter for later follow - up.

Page 13 | August, 2022

Planning & Development Services Preparing New Online Service Capabilities

By: Orange County Communications Department

In keeping with Orange County ’ s recent efforts (and successes) in the digital realm, the Planning & Development Services Department is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of new capabilities powered by EnerGov! Using this new online platform, those seeking to submit plan or permit applications (both residential and commercial) will now enjoy a more streamlined experience. For example, an individual needing to submit a new zoning permit (the first step for new constructions such as additions, decks, porches, etc.) would

begin by creating an account in the new portal using their email address. Once created, the user would select “ Zoning Permit ” from a dropdown list of all application options. Following selection of an application type, the system guides the user through the steps of the application process, noting required fields and any necessary attachments. The requirements are adjusted automatically depending on the needs of the user ’ s chosen application. All applications must be connected to a physical location, such as the address of the home at which a new deck will be built. Helpful features are designed to make this easier than ever before; properties can be found by address, parcel number, or even using an interactive map. Continuing in the application, users will provide contact information as appropriate for the applicant, property owner, contractor, etc. For a Zoning Permit, the user would next submit a plat (uploaded as a PDF attachment), as well as any supporting documentation. As mentioned, the system adjusts depending on the application, and a user may be required to submit additional details. For a “ Residential Construction ” application, the list may include square footage, number of bathrooms, and whether the structure will have a generator. For a “ Major Site Plan ” application, the list may include proposed utilities, a vicinity map, proposed signage, etc. Once all information is provided, the applicant simply submits the application. An initial fee estimate for the application will be created for reference, but payment is not processed at this time. Following a staff review of the application, an invoice will be created. Fees can be paid through the same portal, allowing the entire application process to occur online. If the applicant is not ready to submit, their application can be saved as a draft, connected with the account they created, for later submittal. Those who frequently submit applications can create templates for future applications to further streamline the process. Once submitted, the applicant can stay informed about the application ’ s progress. As each step is completed, either by the applicant or by Planning & Development Services staff, the information in the user ’ s account will be updated to reflect the changes. A progress section represents this visually with a completion percentage icon and a progress graph. Additionally, a dashboard conveniently houses all relevant information, including permit and plan applications, open invoices, and inspections. Those preferring to submit applications in - person will still enjoy the benefits of the EnerGov upgrade. Streamlined workflow processes for staff, made possible by the new system, will allow us to serve residents more effectively, regardless of how they submit their material.

Page 14 | August, 2022

Orange County Employees Support Office on Youth School Supply Distribution, Aid Over 170 Students

By: Orange County Communications Department

The Orange County Office on Youth ’ s School Supply Distribution event began on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Though supplies can be requested throughout the school year, the kickoff event is scheduled to take place just before school begins. As a result, the majority of distributed supplies are provided during this time. This year ’ s weeklong distribution event helped 172 students, and the number continues to increase! Without the support of the community, this event would not be possible. Donations of supplies and funds came from across Orange County! Nearly 20 local businesses and organizations hosted supply collection bins in the month of July, and Parks & Recreation partnered with the Office on

Office on Youth staff greeted families seeking supplies with friendly faces! Thanks to generous community support, the school supply closet was able to support more than 170 students.

Youth to host a collection event on July 30 at Unionville Community Park. View the complete list of those hosting bins in last month ’ s issue, and be sure to thank those participating locations for their community support! Going a step further, 2022 saw the return of the “ Golden Scissors ” competition, which pits Orange County government offices against each other in a friendly contest to collect the most school supplies. The winning facility earns bragging rights and the honor of displaying the coveted “ Golden Scissors Award ” until next year ’ s competition. Participating locations included all three (3) library branches, Parks & Recreation and Public Works, the Office on Youth, Social Services, and the Gordon Building (which houses Administration, Finance, the Treasurer ’ s Office, and the Commissioner of the Revenue ’ s Office). In the interest of fairness, the Office on Youth only counts supplies contributed by their staff, not supplies collected through partnerships. At final tally, Orange County employees had collected more than 1,280 school supplies! The total is even more impressive when considering that packs of multiple items (crayons, markers, pencils, etc.) are not separated, but rather counted as a single item. First place was earned by the Gordon Building, with an impressive 494 items. Social Services came in second with 304 items, and third went to the Office on Youth with 227 items. Alisha Vines, Office on Youth Director, expressed gratitude for the support, “ All of these items were definitely put to good use, and we appreciate all of you thinking of our students and donating ”! The Office on Youth would like to remind members of the public that school supplies can still be requested. Proof of need is required, and the student must be a resident of Orange County, or a student at Orange County Public Schools. Supplies are distributed based on the requested supply list for the student ’ s school. Those with questions are encouraged to call (540) 672 - 5484 for additional details.

Page 15 | August, 2022

Orange HCAT Partnership Flourishes, Provides Over 1,200lbs of Produce to Local Food Pantry

By: Ashley Jacobs, Programs Coordinator, Office on Youth

The Orange County Office on Youth is pleased to announce that its partnership with Orange Baptist Church through the Orange Healthy Community Action Team (HCAT) has resulted in more than 1,200 pounds of fresh, locally - grown produce being donated to the Love Outreach Food Pantry since July 1, 2022. This partnership enabled the creation of the Mustard Seed Garden, located on Orange Baptist Church property, maintained by countless volunteers in support of the Church ’ s goal to serve neighbors in need and the HCAT ’ s mission to break barriers to healthy childhoods in Orange County. The HCAT would like to especially recognize Bill Hager and Craig Jacobs, who have spearheaded much of this volunteer effort. Several hundred pounds of fresh zucchini, squash, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, and more has been contributed to the Love Outreach Food Pantry thanks to this garden. The collaborators of the Mustard Seed Garden look forward to expanding its reach in the community and continuing to work with the current community members who have made it possible. A great partnership example can be found in Bonnie Plants, which donated all produce plants used in the summer garden, and most of the plant donations in the fall. Without the substantial support of Bonnie Plants, the garden efforts would be severely limited, and significantly more costly. Other donors have contributed straw and wood clippings for mulch, in addition to quality compost material. Grant sources have provided for water tap fees, fencing and irrigation needs, and general supplies. All donations are appreciated! For more information on the work of the Orange HCAT, please contact Ashley Jacobs, HCAT Coordinator, at (540) 672 - 5484 ext. 1, or via email at ajacobs@orangecountyva.gov. Follow HCAT Facebook and Instagram pages to stay informed about current activities, search @OrangeHCAT in either service to find these pages.

Page 16 | August, 2022

Orange County Participates in Biennial VOPEX Drill, Staff Teamwork Highlighted

By: Orange County Communications Department

On July 19, 2022, Orange County activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to participate in a multiagency radiological emergency preparedness drill known as the Virginia Operations Plan Exercise, or VOPEX. This activity is held every other year, simulating an incident occurring at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County. All localities that have residents within a 10 - mile radius of the station, as well as several state agencies and Dominion Energy, take part in the exercise. Performance is evaluated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This drill was the culmination of several preparedness activities in which Orange County has participated this year.

To ensure all participating agencies are truly prepared for an actual emergency, the exercise was conducted as realistically as possible. For example, conditions changed throughout the drill, with updates issued by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM). The Emergency Operations Manager coordinated and directed the EOC staff to respond appropriately to the updated emergency conditions. Phone calls chimed in regularly with drill personnel simulating “ rumor control ” phone calls, which help prepare staff to provide efficient, accurate information and direction to members of the public. During this year ’ s exercise, a caller asked whether they could bring their pet sloth (yes, sloth) to an Evacuation Assembly Center. While seemingly comical, staff are required to treat each call very seriously, and seek out correct information to promote public safety. Furthermore, the response extended beyond traditional interpretations of emergency personnel. Representatives from Social Services, the public school system, the Extension Office, and more were onsite to handle tasks related to their occupations and provide insights from their unique perspectives.

Despite the flurry of activity in the EOC, the drill went beyond any one location. In the field, Fire & EMS staff and Sheriff ’ s Office personnel actually drove designated routes to perform simulated checks or create detours. Assembly centers were prepared and operated as if an actual emergency were occurring. Team Orange performed admirably; at the conclusion of the event, FEMA evaluators were quick to recognize the teamwork that was demonstrated. Of particular note was the cross - departmental efforts to locate a simulated resident with a disability that would prevent their evacuation from the area. This pretend individual was

not part of the planned exercise, nor an intentional “ inject ” (a deliberate change made with the intent of evaluating the agencies ’ ability to adapt). Rather, it was a fluke occurrence from an offhand remark on the rumor control line. Nevertheless, EOC staff reacted as if it were a real situation. Deputies in the field mobilized to find the resident, while EOC tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were utilized to analyze property records in support of the search. Despite the fictional nature of the resident, staff resolved the incident in a way that exceeded the expectations of the evaluators. At a follow - up debriefing event, it was confirmed that Orange County received no marks against its performance, which is a testament to the preparedness and adaptability of our dedicated employees.

Page 17 | August, 2022

Public Safety Staff Remember 2011 Earthquake, Remind Residents to Be Prepared

By: Orange County Communications Department

Significant moments that fall outside the norm of our daily lives are seemingly able to activate a more permanent file in our memory, which lets us recall details of the experience long after the event ’ s occurrence. Almost everyone living in central Virginia in 2011 can recall where they were, and what they were doing, when the August 23 earthquake took place. For public safety personnel, the memories are even more vivid. Major Michael LaCasse of the Orange County Sheriff ’ s Office recalled the nearly immediate communications void. “ Phone lines were clogged, and our old radio system lacked coverage, ” said LaCasse. Unsurprisingly, emergency calls increased following the earthquake. According to our records, there were more than 10 hours of steady emergency calls, with many requesting wellness checks for family members they could not contact. Furthermore, when the earthquake occurred over 10 years ago, the radio systems used by our public safety agencies were disconnected from each other, and coverage was only about 17%. Thankfully, if a similar emergency took place today, our first responders would now depend on an updated radio system with flexibility built - in and several layers of redundancy in place. The new radio system will greatly assist emergency personnel, but in the event of another earthquake, residents should be prepared for traditional phone lines to experience logjams similar to those after the 2011 quake. To mitigate the impact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests using text messages (which may be more reliable than calls), or resources like the Red Cross ’ “ Safe and Well ” website and apps to check on family and friends. If service allows, use social media and email to make contact. Earthquakes, and other disasters, can strike without warning. “ One of the best actions a resident can take now is to prepare an emergency kit for their household and make an emergency plan with their family members, ” said April Clark, Fire & EMS Emergency Planner. Thankfully, these resources will be useful in almost any type of emergency, including earthquakes, hurricanes, winter weather, and more. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management offers resources for preparing both emergency kits and emergency plans. Don ’ t wait until a disaster strikes, take action now.

Page 18 | August, 2022

Rescued Maggie Recovering at Animal Shelter, Support Requested from Community

By: Orange County Communications Department

Maggie is a pit bull terrier that was found in the Barboursville area at the end of last month. Turned in by a good Samaritan, she has been recovering in the Orange County Animal Shelter. Malnourished, injured, and suffering from mange, Maggie is steadily working towards recovery in the care of our staff and volunteers.

Given the extensive nature of her needs, the Friends of the Orange County Animal Shelter have organized a fundraiser on Facebook to support Maggie ’ s recovery. Please consider donating to this cause.

There are many ways to support the animals in the care of the Orange County Animal Shelter. General donations can be made using the QR code listed at the bottom

of this page. Contributions of time and effort are also greatly appreciated; the Shelter is always looking for new volunteers and foster homes for pets. Of course, the Shelter has many adoptable dogs and cats available. If your home is in need of a pet, please begin your search at the Orange County Animal Shelter.

Page 19 | August, 2022

Orange County Employees ’ Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period Coming Soon

By: Orange County Communications Department

Over the past year, Orange County has made significant strides to improve its competitiveness as an employer among our regional peers, with the goal of attracting new talent and retaining skilled employees. Examples of this effort include the recent employee paid leave benefits improvements, classification & compensation adjustments, and the Orange J.U.I.C.E. workplace culture initiative. Building on the momentum of these successes, Orange County Human Resources undertook extensive research regarding our current healthcare plans in

comparison to those of similar surrounding localities. At the conclusion of this comparative research, it was found that our health care benefits offerings were not competitive. Furthermore, increased claims during the prior fiscal year would have meant significant increases to premiums if the status quo was maintained. With these factors in mind, it became clear that some changes were warranted. To help facilitate these changes, a new benefits consultant was selected, McGriff Insurance Services. With their fresh insight and assistance, Orange County was able to offset some of the impact from the increase in claims, while still pursuing increasingly competitive options for our employees, by considering new plans. Changes were also proposed to ancillary benefits, with a guiding principle of streamlining options and reducing unnecessary, redundant programs for maximum efficiency. For most employees with family members supported on their plans, the results of this effort will mean significantly reduced healthcare rates for all three (3) plan options. Two (2) of the plans, the HealthKeepers Point of Service Open Access plan (commonly known as the traditional plan), and the HealthKeepers Health Savings Account (HSA) plan (commonly known as the high deductible plan) will remain choices during this year ’ s open enrollment. Replacing the KeyCare PPO plan, a high cost plan which was not utilized by many employees, a new increased high - deductible HSA option will be available. Some benefits of this new “ higher ” deductible plan will include further - reduced rates and an increased contribution from the County to the employee ’ s health savings account (up to $1,800). Those employees choosing employee - only options will note an increase in the two (2) plans carrying from last year, but these rates have not been increased since 2014, and the County was still able to cover 95% of the premium expense. Additionally, the option of the higher deductible plan may offset some of those impacts for staff members that choose it. Employees should be aware that complete plan details will come from Orange County Human Resources in the near future. Open enrollment will begin August 29 and continue through September 9. Unlike prior years, in which employees who did not need to make changes could bypass the enrollment process, ALL employees will need to take a few moments to review and select their healthcare options for the upcoming year. Those with questions are encouraged to contact Human Resources for further information.

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Good Times Ahead! Mark Your Calendar for these Upcoming Community Events!

Orange Street Festival: Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Street Festival is an annual community event, with over 200 artisan, craft, and commercial vendors, a variety of food and beverage vendors, live music, a kids ’ zone, and a beer/wine garden.

For additional details, visit: www.orangevachamber.com.

Liberty Mills Corn Maze Opens: Saturday, September 10, 2022

Visit the largest Corn Maze in the country! Spend a half - hour, or all day, exploring 12 miles of maze divided into four (4) distinct trails. The maze will be open September 10 through November 11, 2022.

For additional details, visit: www.libertymillsfarm.store.

Orangetoberfest: Saturday, September 24, 2022

Mark your calendar for this premier Central Virginia Beer and Cider Fest with 15 breweries, four (4) cideries, three (3) bands, food trucks, and more!

For additional details, visit: www.loveorangevirginia.org.

Gordonsville Fried Chicken Festival: Saturday, October 1, 2022

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, local women served platters of fried chicken to train passengers stopping in town, receiving national recognition for the delicacy. Gordonsville celebrates this heritage during its annual festival.

For additional details, visit: www.townofgordonsville.org.

Fall Fiber Festival: Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2, 2022

The Annual Fall Fiber Festival at Montpelier features great workshops for adults and children, sheep dog events, displays, animal exhibits, hands - on demonstrations, crafts, music, and more!

For additional details, visit: www.montpelier.org.

Montpelier Hunt Races: Saturday, November 5, 2022

Enjoy the 87th running of the Montpelier Hunt Races! Activities for the whole family begin with terrier races, and end with seven (7) exciting horse races.

For additional details, visit: www.montpelierraces.org.

Learn more about these and other events at: www.visitorangevirginia.com

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Round 3 of the Orange County Employee Secret Pal Program Begins September 1, Signups Due August 22

By: Michelle Williams, Deputy Clerk / Senior Administrative Assistant, Administration

The Orange County Employee Secret Pal program is ramping up for 2022 T3!* This round will run from September 1 to December 31, 2022. Participants are only required to give a $5 gift per month (but can choose to give more if desired!). Many participants have been known to really get into the giving spirit! County employees who are interested in participating should review the participant information, fill out the Secret Pal Questionnaire, and submit it to Michelle Williams at mlwilliams@orangecountyva.gov. Participant information will be distributed to each department. Questionnaires must be submitted by Monday, August 22. Secret Pals will be drawn on Friday, August 26. Rose Deal, Economic Development Director, says “ It ’ s fun!! And really a good way to get to know others. Not to mention it brightens my day! ” Employees who have not participated in the past are encouraged to give it a try; following the four - month period, there is no commitment to re - enroll. Interested, but not an Orange County government employee? We ’ re hiring for multiple open positions, visit www.orangecountyva.gov/jobs to view the current list and apply!

*Wondering why it was changed from Q3 to T3? “ Tertile ” is defined as any of the parts from an ordered distribution divided into three (3) parts. Since the Secret Pal program operates on three (3), four - month segments, this last segment is the third tertile. Enjoy this article ’ s word of the day: “ Tertile ”!

Page 25 | August, 2022

Open to All Orange County Government Employees!

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Airport Operations Manager Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Deputy Sheriff – Patrol Deputy Sheriff - School Resource Officer Emergency Communications Officer Firefighter / EMT Firefighter / Medic Grounds Maintenance Technician I Planning Services Manager Senior Maintenance Technician Wellness Program Manager

Airport Operations Worker Child Care Lead Teacher – LES Child Care Substitute Teacher – LES / LGPS Child Care Teacher – LGPS Child Care Teacher – OES Child Care Teacher Assistant – LES Collection Site Attendant Custodian Support Staff Technician – Office on Youth

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Page 29 | August, 2022

Orange County Public Schools Calendar 2022 - 2023

Link to Calendar

Page 30 | August, 2022

Let your voice be heard... Orange County Public Hearings

Board of Supervisors

Planning Commission

• Tuesday, August 23, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

No public hearings scheduled at this time.

Board of Supervisors ’ Meeting Room Orange County Public Safety Building 11282 Government Center Drive, Orange

This information is for reference only. Specific information about hearing topics and schedules will be available in that meeting ’ s agenda packet when published. Agendas can be accessed in the online Agenda Center. Please note that due to the monthly publication schedule of this newsletter, it is possible that some upcoming public hearings may not be listed. Pursuant to the applicable section of the Code of Virginia, notices for all public hearings will be posted in our newspaper of circulation (The Orange County Review) at least seven days prior to the hearing date, or as required by code.

Page 31 | August, 2022

Citizens Ask... By Michelle Williams

Q: Where can I get a copy of my plat? A: Citizens who wish to obtain a copy of their plat may visit the Orange County Circuit Court Clerk ’ s Office, located at 110 N. Madison Road, Orange. would contact the Circuit Court Clerk ’ s Office at (540) 672 - 4030. For more information on the Clerk ’ s Office, visit their website: http://orangecountyva.gov/194/Circuit - Court. Q: I requested documents from the County. Why do I have to wait five (5) working days to receive them? A: Under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the County is allowed five (5) working days to process your request and respond. If the request is large in volume of records, the County is permitted to request an additional seven (7) working days to process the request. For more information regarding FOIA laws, visit the Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS) website to view the Code of Virginia.

Brian Keys

Get to know Orange County staff... The Personnel File:

Maintenance Technician II

Brian Keys is a relatively recent addition to the Orange County Public Works team. He started around eight (8) months ago, but has already become known for his cheerful attitude and award - worthy smile when answering facilities requests. Brian says he applied to Orange County because he was interested in getting involved in local government. He enjoys the benefits of the job and the steady work it brings, but really appreciates the friendly atmosphere and getting to know the folks he works with.

Mr. Keys may appreciate the steadiness of employment with Orange County, but he ’ s no stranger to excitement. He ’ s the proud owner of a Suzuki GSXR - 1000 motorcycle. Brian described it with a bit more detail. “ It ’ s stretched... with chrome, ” he said with his trademark smile beginning to shine through. Though he hasn ’ t ridden recently, he ’ s preparing to do so again soon. Riding it from the Orange area to Maryland and back is a favorite route of his, usually visiting his grandmother during the trip, which totals around 300 miles. His motor - related interests don ’ t stop there. Brian frequents antique car shows, and has owned several classics himself.

We look forward to seeing Brian continue to help keep Orange County ’ s wheels turning in the future. Thanks Brian!

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