Orange County Insight May 2021

VIBRANT ECONOMY l EFFECTIVE REFLECTIVE GOVERNMENT l SUSTAINABLE LAND USE

INSIGHT

GWAP Mixed Use Proposal Page 3

Summer Fun Page 11 OC Tourism In - Depth Page 5

MAY 2021

Ted Talk

Eating Frogs

It has been attributed to Mark Twain that he once said, “ Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. ” While there is no documentation that he ever said this, it certainly sounds like the kind of folksy logic and practical advice that he was famous for giving. Point being, if you have a difficult task ahead, don ’ t delay, or “ do the worst things first ” and you ’ ll feel better about everything else. It has been a year since I accepted the position as Orange County Administrator. Assuming a new organizational leadership role is always a challenge, but layer in the many limitations imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, and I had my work cut out. Was this past year my version of “ eating a live frog? ” While I really didn ’ t have any choice in the matter, pandemic operations certainly weren ’ t optimal, and I am looking forward to working on other challenges with the Board, community and staff as we move ahead together.

I ’ m pleased to report that last week we had our first “ in person ” Senior Leadership Team meeting in over a year. Soon I will begin inviting employees to “ Breakfast with the Administrator ” on a monthly basis, and we will share with you what we have been doing to respond to what we learned in last fall ’ s employee survey. We won ’ t serve live frogs.

-- Ted Voorhees, Orange County Administrator

P.S. Look closely in this issue for the opportunity to win a $20 gas card.

Photo credit: Orange County Tourism - Seigen Forest Trail

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Page | May, 2021

Important Upcoming Changes to Payroll Processing

Courtesy of the Finance Department

The County will be shifting to a 24 - pay deduction cycle for employee benefits from the current 26 - pay deduction cycle. This change pertains to benefits

only. Employees will continue to receive a paycheck every other Friday. Months with three paydays will no longer have deductions withheld from the third paycheck of the month. This change will align the County with the “ industry norm ” on how deductions are processed. Most employers only take deductions from the first two payrolls of each month to match the provider invoices. By deducting from all 26 payrolls, an administrative burden is placed on staff to manually reconcile each employee every payroll.

What does this mean for you?

If your current benefits have an employee deduction totaling $3,000 a year, you currently pay $3,000 / 26 = $115.38 a paycheck for these benefits. With this change, you will pay $3,000 / 24 = $125.00 a paycheck for 24 pays and receive 2 pays a year without any deductions taken from them in months that have three payrolls instead of two. The next month with three payrolls is October 2021. For the pay on October 29, you will not see a deduction for your employee benefits.

When does this begin?

These changes will happen in stages. Beginning July 9, 2021, VRS Retirement (including Hybrid voluntary contributions) and Deferred compensation plan contributions, will convert to the 24 - pay deduction cycle. On October 1, 2021, Medical, Dental, Vision, Optional Life, Voluntary Insurances, legal services, HSA, and FSA contributions will all covert. Items not impacted by this change that will remain on a 26 - pay deduction cycle include Federal and state withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes, garnishments, child support orders, tax liens, and imputed group life.

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Wilderness Crossing: First Planned Development – Mixed Use Proposed in Germanna - Wilderness Area Plan

By: Stephanie Straub, Assistant to the County Administrator and Public Information Officer

In March of 2021, the Planning & Development Services Department received an application for a 2,600 acre mixed use project called Wilderness Crossing in the Locust Grove area. The development concept consists of over 5,000 single and multi - family dwelling units, a commercial town center with ample retail space, assisted living accommodations, potential parks, industrial and commercial areas, and new roadways. “ This project follows the overall development framework in the adopted Germanna - Wilderness Area Plan (GWAP) for the designated growth area for Orange County. This is the first application filed for Planned Development – Mixed Use in the Germanna - Wilderness area, ” stated Josh Gillespie, AICP, Director of Planning and Development Services. Since the application was submitted, Planning and Development Services staff reviewed the application and initiated the Application Review Committee (ARC) process as outlined in the GWAP. The ARC process results in comments and suggestions from a variety of community service providers including: Planning and Development Services staff, Orange County Public Schools, the Sheriff ’ s Office, Rapidan Service Authority, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District, Orange County Fire & EMS, Board of Supervisors members (Crozier and Frame), and members of the Planning Commission (Yancey and Hutchison).

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Town Center Concept

“ This project has a thirty year plus horizon for development and covering everything from plan review, building permits, building inspections, school construction, parks and recreation resources, and extensive transportation components. Our entire department is ready to work on this groundbreaking endeavor in Orange County, ” said Gillespie. The initial ARC review should be completed by mid - May 2021. After the initial review, feedback will be presented to the applicant to begin discussions regarding potential proffers, revisions, concerns, etc. Following the ARC technical review process, the community will have a chance to voice opinions regarding the project. After the community engagement process, staff prepares a report, and the case is presented for public hearings and consideration by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. The Planning and Development Services Department launched a new Case Status Page to help keep the public promptly informed of applications. The page is accessible on the Orange County website here: http://orangecountyva.gov/901/Pending - Zoning - Cases. *Zoning Case Status Process

Additional information regarding the Planning and Development Services Department and open cases may be found at http://orangecountyva.gov/784/Planning - Services or by calling (540) 672 - 4574.

For more information on the Germanna Area Wilderness Plan, please visit: http://www.orangecountyva.gov/703/Germanna - Wilderness - Area - Plan - GWAP

For information on the developer and Wilderness Crossing, visit: www.wildernesscrossingva.com.

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Wilderness Crossing Master Plan Concept

Departments In - Depth:

This month, OC Insight takes an in - depth look at Orange County Tourism through an interview with Lori Landes - Carter, Orange County Tourism Manager.

OC Insight: What is the Orange County Tourism Department, and when did it begin?

Lori: The Orange County Tourism department functions as the destination marketing organization for Orange County, promoting Orange County as a leading travel destination in Central Virginia. Twenty - six years ago, in 1994, Orange County added a part - time tourism director. Today we have two staff members. I am the Tourism Manager, and Susan Turner is the Economic Development & Tourism Assistant. Our office is located at 109 West Main Street, in the Historic Clerk ’ s Office.

OC Insight: What are the goals of the Tourism Department?

Lori: Through collaboration and enhanced messaging, Orange County Tourism Department ‘ s goals are to promote a sought - after quality of life for residents and a memorable destination for visitors. Building partnerships with tourism industry businesses and organizations is crucial to the success of the department and our destination. Successful collaborations with businesses and community organizations consistently result in increased visitor spending and contribute to the economic health of Orange County. Orange County Tourism also manages a state - certified Visitor ’ s Center, fully supported by volunteer staff, located in the historic Train Depot in Downtown Orange (pictured above). The Visitor Center welcomes visitors to the County, promotes businesses and attractions, and provides community - related information to residents.

OC Insight: How do you promote Orange County and encourage visitors?

Lori: The Department promotes Orange County as a visitor destination in a variety of ways, including print, digital & television advertising; social media - creating content for YouTube, Facebook & Instagram; our website (www.visitorangecounty.com) covering events, business, and attraction listings, suggested itineraries/blogs, visitor services, and links to regional partners; print publications (Visitor Guide, Attraction Map, Tracks Through Time - OCVA Train history, All Four Years Civil War Driving Tour, and the Downtown Orange Commercial District Walking Tour) distributed at visitor centers, businesses, special events and to visitors; and public relations – working with local, regional and national media to promote OCVA as a premier destination in central Virginia including arrangements for media, images, video and fact - checking. The main markets we currently focus on are the Richmond, VA, Washington, DC/Northern VA, Norfolk, VA, Raleigh, NC, triangle, and Baltimore, MD areas.

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: Orange County Tourism

Photo credit this page from upper left, clockwise: Liberty Mills, Barboursville, Montpelier, Chateau MerrillAnne, Montpelier Steeplechase Foundation

OCI Insight: What are some of the leading trade organizations in which you participate?

Lori: We participate in VADMO - Virginia Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, MATPRA - Mid Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance, Civil War Trails, and Virginia Tourism Corporation.

OCI Insight : How does tourism affect the local economy?

Lori: The Orange County tourism industry is a vital component of economic growth and job creation which are achieved through tourism visitation and spending. The National Travel Association reports to Virginia Tourism Corporation each year including all localities in the state. Our last data received was from 2019: Tourism revenue for Orange County reached $52,922,809.00, a 3% percent increase over 2018. Local tourism - supported jobs totaled 624, while local tourism - related taxes were $1,529,611.00.

OC Insight: How do you see Orange County tourism rebounding from COVID?

Lori: Small towns and open spaces are our substantial assets in the current travel climate, as they are what today ’ s travelers desire. Virginia Tourism ’ s research shows that current travelers are taking road trips within a 2 - 3 hour ’ s drive. Orange is within easy driving distance of at least five major cities. Our proximity to major highways on the east coast such as I95, Rt. 29, I81, and I64 make it very easy to get here. Orange County is a very attractive destination for visitors who are looking for a simpler way of life, heritage, and authentic experiences.

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CIC LAUNCHES SECOND ROUND OF BUSINESS RECOVERY FUND LOANS

Loans provide capital to businesses as they bounce back from impacts of COVID - 19

The Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) announced today that they are launching a second round of lending through the Business Recovery Fund created in April 2020 at the onset of the pandemic. The fund will provide flexible and affordable loan capital of up to $15,000 to microbusinesses impacted by the COVID - 19 pandemic as they work to recover and rebuild. It ’ s designed to help those businesses that delayed investments or need to recapitalize to take advantage of the economic recovery.

A partnership of Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville, and CIC, the Business Recovery Fund made nearly $600,000 in loans in May and June 2020, to help businesses with emergency working capital as the community locked down at the onset of the pandemic. Those funds had six months of no payments and then began repaying in January 2021. To date, all of the initial loans are current on loan payments. “ Last year, we worked with Charlottesville and Albemarle to provide much - needed working capital in an incredibly uncertain time, helping businesses keep essential bills paid while navigating the constant changes to their business model, ” said Stephen Davis, President of CIC. “ We had thought the loans would provide capital to help weather the summer until the health conditions improved. While many businesses adapted, the pandemic lasted much longer than any of us wanted. Now, a year later, we ’ re looking to put the money that ’ s been repaid back out to help businesses who need to recapitalize or who have delayed on essential purchases to help their businesses. ”

Due to other loan fund opportunities available at the state and national levels, this Business Recovery Fund is targeting microbusinesses with annual revenue under $250,000.

Loan capital is available for businesses in the CIC service region (City of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Orange, Nelson, Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock Counties) and is allocated based on funding source. Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville provided half of loan funds, and funds from those communities will only be used for businesses in their respective communities.

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At least $150,000 is available for loans through the program, with more possible pending future loan repayments.

The fund will open to applications on Monday, May 8, 2021, and the priority deadline for completed applications will be Friday, May 28, 2021. If there is still funding available after the initial deadline, applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

Businesses seeking to apply or for more information, please visit https://cicville.org/business - recovery - fund/

A Note from Economic Development

Are you a local business owner? Be sure to visit www.buyorangeva.com to create your FREE profile to ensure consumers can find and connect with you. Once subscribed, businesses can showcase their offerings by listing services offered, menu items, hours of operation, website, social media links, promotions, photo galleries, and more.

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Community COVID - 19 Clinic Accepting Walk - Ins Ages 12 and Up The community COVID - 19 vaccination clinic scheduled for Friday May 21, 2021 will accept walk - ins for ages 12 and up for the Pfizer vaccine. The clinic will be held at Prospect Heights Middle School located at 202 Dailey Drive, Orange, Virginia from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The clinic is provided through the partnership of Orange County, Orange County of Fire and EMS, Orange Family Physicians, Orange County Public Schools, the Orange County Sheriff ’ s Office, and the Virginia Department of Health. For more information please call (540) 672 - 3010.

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Fun Family Activities for Summer 2021

By Lori Landes –Carter Tourism Manager, and Susan M. Turner, Economic Development & Tourism Assistant

Looking for a family - friendly adventure? With the weather getting warmer, now is the perfect time to plan your family - friendly adventure in Orange County.  Hike the Seigen Forest Trail at Fort Germanna Visitor Center  Visit James Madison ’ s Montpelier Visitors Center or walk the trails  Explore the trails at Mine Run Battlefield, Wilderness Crossing, or Wilderness Battlefield and soak up the history

 Pick your own strawberries or flowers at Liberty Mills Farm  Take a guided trail ride or see a rodeo at Oakland Heights Farm  Let the kids enjoy nature at a Summer Day Camp at Rounton Farm  Play a game of paintball or lasertag at War Play

 Visit and have lunch at one of our many local parks: Booster Park, Barboursville Community Park, Belleview Avenue Park, Hazel Sedwick Park, Taylor Park, or Cooke Park  Splash in Robertson Fountain, located near the Visitor Center  Rent a boat, go fishing, and picnic at Lake Orange (permit required)  Get out of the heat and visit a museum: The Exchange Hotel Civil War Museum or James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage

Grelen

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photo credit: tdroneworks.com

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Spring Fling Showcases New Turf Tee Pad

By Jayson Woods, Programs & Facilities Supervisor, Orange County Parks & Recreation

Following two successful Turkey Toss disc golf tournaments held in the fall in recent years, Parks & Recreation staff decided to increase its offerings with a new spring disc golf tournament. Unlike the Turkey Toss ’ team - based formats, this tournament was planned as an individual competition. The inaugural “ Spring Fling ” was held the morning of Saturday, April 10, 2021, with 15 participants, many of which were repeat contenders from prior events. Thomas Forrester (pictured right) was one of these familiar faces. After two strong rounds of play, he finished at ten under par to take home the overall champion position in Flight 1, winning a BP1 - V3 disc golf backpack valued at $120 (courtesy of our sponsor Prodigy Disc) as his grand prize! Other top finishers included Jeremy Butterfield in Flight 2 and Jeffery Donnell in Flight 3.

There was more on display than these player ’ s skills that foggy Saturday morning. Staff chose this event to unveil the first of the new artificial turf tee pads to be installed at the course. Players have requested this feature since shortly after the course opened in 2019. Turf tee pads improve safety and course maintenance as frequent play can wear natural tees down to slippery mud in short order. Participant Ricci Deloriea prepares to throw his first drive from the new tee pad at hole #1.

Installation of the 12’ x 6’ tee pads is more complex than the final result would suggest. Parks and Recreation staff challenged themselves to have the first of these in place prior to the Spring Fling, with the hopes of getting some feedback from players before committing to the plan for the whole course. Installation begins with a wooden 2” x 6” frame placed in a rectangular hole. With the help of the CVRJ Workforce, the location was prepared through digging and the placement of millings, courtesy of the Town of Orange. Road millings and crusher run comprised the base, over which a Prodigy Disc turf pad was affixed. A final wooden border of 1’ x 2’ locks it into place, followed by fill dirt, grass seed, and straw to complete the installation. Tournament participants had only positive comments about the new sample tee pad. OCPR anticipates installing 17 additional tee pads over the next year or two. This will enable Orange County to offer an even higher quality recreational disc golf experience to its citizens.

Tee box installation steps.

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Michael ’ s Mile Color Powder Run Offers Full Spectrum of Fun

By Jayson Woods, Programs & Facilities Supervisor Orange County Parks & Recreation

It ’ s time to get out those running shoes and shake the dust off to make room for color powder! Parks & Recreation, the Office on Youth, and the Orange Healthy Community Action Team are pleased to announce the return of the Michael ’ s Mile Fun Run. This event will take place at Booster Park, and is scheduled for Saturday, June 5, 2021 beginning at 9:30 a.m. (check - in at 9:15 a.m.). Registration is available for all ages with a fee of $10 per person, which includes a

white Michael ’ s Mile t - shirt (if registered no later than May 21). This t - shirt is the perfect canvas for the main attraction of this run, COLOR POWDER. That ’ s right, throughout the fun run participants will be immersed in a kaleidoscope of color thanks to volunteers stationed along the route. The run will not be timed and is intended to promote healthy and fun family activity. Interested participants may register online at www.orangecountyva.gov/ funrun. A separate payment options email will follow from staff after receipt of the registration, which will detail how to submit the $10/person fee. The Michael ’ s Mile Fun Run is named in honor of Michael Ridgeway, a young boy who tragically died at age six. He was a "smiler" and a giver who would often show up to his kindergarten class with homemade presents for everyone. Michael's family and friends thought the best way to keep his memory alive would be to create a program that would reflect his caring attitude toward others; and thus, the Michael ’ s Gift Youth Activities Scholarship was born. This program helps families offset the cost of enrolling their children in enrichment activities such as youth sports, art classes, music lessons, and more. Funds raised from Michael ’ s Mile registration fees are allocated to support this scholarship opportunity. More information about Michael ’ s Gift may be found at www.orangecountyva.gov/285/Michaels - Gift. The Michael ’ s Mile Fun Run has been around in one form or another since 2014, with some missed years and several restructures. The color powder element began in 2017 thanks to a suggestion from the LGMS Leo Club. This year, the Orange Healthy Community Action Team is onboard to provide additional support and make the event brighter and more colorful than ever. Don ’ t delay, sign up today!

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May 3 - 7 was National Teacher Appreciation Week. The County of Orange wishes to express its appreciation to all the teachers in Orange County for all their hard work in an exceptionally challenging school year.

4 - H Embryology Program

4 - H Educator, Kelly Carr, organized the 4 - H Embryology program in 14 classrooms around the County. Students are observing the hatching process of a variety of breeds of chickens, and teachers are incorporating the chicks into various lesson plans: science, math, reading, and writing. The Extension office provides the eggs, incubators, lessons and resources for teachers.

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Seasonal Spring Vegetables

Courtesy of The Virginia Cooperative Extension Orange Office

Spring is here! The new buds on trees, flowers, and vegetable gardens are a hint that winter is behind us. It is exciting to see the colors of spring, not only in the yard but on your table! Fresh seasonal vegetables can provide the needed ingredients for nutrient - rich recipes such as sensational salads and flavorful roasted side dishes. Cabbage, broccoli, and lettuce are just a few of the available options to make tasty dishes to share with your family. Below is a quick and easy recipe. This salad using red and white cabbage with broccoli and tomatoes is the perfect crispy salad to enjoy with your fresh vegetables. Cabbage does not get soggy quickly, and when combined in this recipe it offers an outstanding balance of flavors and crispness. It ’ s time to experiment with the bountiful harvest of seasonal spring vegetables. Your taste buds will thank you!

Broccoli Cabbage Salad

Author: Valentina's Corner INGREDIENTS

2 cups green cabbage, shredded 2 cups red cabbage, shredded 1 cup broccoli, small florets 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced 1 cucumber, cubed

Dressing 1/2 cup oil 2 Tbsp vinegar salt & pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS Finely shred red and white cabbage Cut the broccoli into small florets. Dice the cherry tomatoes. Cube the cucumber into small cubes. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Combine ingredients for dressing. Season salad with salt and pepper, to taste. Add dressing to the salad. Mix salad. Enjoy!

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Summer Vegetable Gardening Considerations By Ashley Appling Virginia Cooperative Extension – Culpeper County Horticulture Extension Agent

There is always a lot of excitement in late spring surrounding the prospect of vegetable gardening. The Extension Office receives phone calls and emails about what to plant, when to plant, how to take care of the vegetable plant, and harvesting on a regular basis in the spring time. I share the enthusiasm of these gardeners, and I hope to answer some of your questions in this article. As we head towards late April and into May, vegetable planting season starts in earnest. Our last average spring frost date is around April 15 to April 25. The transplanting of warm - season vegetables can now commence in relative safety. Plants such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, and summer squash should be started from seed indoors in mid - March to early April. If you missed that window, you can still buy plants from the local garden centers and place them in your garden. Other vegetables such as sweet corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, winter squash, and pumpkins should be directly sown in the vegetable garden starting in mid - May to early July. Pumpkins for Halloween should generally be planted in early July. Make sure to read the seed packets and plant tags to determine timing. A Virginia Tech soil testing report will help you determine how much fertilizer and lime you should add to the vegetable garden. You can find more information on how to take a soil test in this article: https://digitalpubs.ext.vt.edu/vcedigitalpubs/1198948978743472/ MobilePagedReplica.action?pm=2&folio=1#pg1. After adding the needed nutrients, it is a good idea to mulch the garden with materials such as straw, hardwood chips, or leaves. A depth of 2 to 3 inches is a good rule of thumb to follow. Consider how you are going to water the vegetable garden. Your vegetable plants should receive about 1 inch of water per week either through rain fall, or irrigation. A rain gauge will help you determine how much water your plants are receiving. Sprinklers, soaker hoses, and drip irrigation can be used to supply the needed water. If you use sprinklers, water in the morning to allow the water to dry quickly on the leaves. Your plants will be less likely to suffer from diseases. For more information and to obtain a soil sampling box, contact the Orange Extension Office by phone (540) 672 - 1361 or by email ashappling@vt.edu.

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Adult Protective Services Month

By: Stephanie Straub, Assistant to the County Administrator and Public Information Officer During the month of May, the Orange County Department of Social Services is highlighting ways to detect and prevent adult abuse in all its forms. The adult population served through Adult Protective Services (APS) and Adult Services (AS) are aged 60 and over, as well as incapacitated persons ages 18 to 59 who have been abused, neglected, exploited, or are at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, without regard to income or resources. Common signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation vary but can include: • Lacks needed aids in good repair such as dentures, glasses, hearing aids, or medications • Is restrained • Has fracture(s), discoloration(s), or sprain(s)

• Has burns, welts, bruises, cuts, scratches, or bedsores • Has an untreated medical condition or injury • Malnourished • No heat, running water, or electricity • Accumulation of debris • Inappropriate or inadequate clothing • Hazardous living conditions • Sudden change in will or power of attorney • Property or savings are mismanaged • Personal belongings missing • Unpaid bills • Severe anxiety, fearfulness, or depression • Unsanitary or unsafe housing • Individual is prohibited from being alone with visitors • Mistrust of others

Reports of self - neglect comprise a large portion of total reporting figures as outlined in the FY2020 statistics. If you notice someone who exhibits any of the above indicators, please contact the Orange County Department of Social Services Monday - Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at (540) 672 - 1155. Concerns can also be reported to the 24 - hour state hotline at (888) 832 - 3858. Reporters can remain anonymous and should not wait to know for certain if someone is experiencing abuse or neglect. If there are any indicators or suspicions of abuse or neglect, please call and allow our team of experts to assist.

For more information, please visit our website at http://orangecountyva.gov/391/Social - Services.

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Foster Care Awareness – Caring Community, Positive Impact

By: Stephanie Straub, Assistant to the County Administrator and Public Information Officer

The Orange County Department of Social Services is educating the community on Foster Care throughout the month of May. The Department is in need of residents to foster local children. The Department offers local training and works diligently to educate all prospective foster parents about the process. Vicky Tidman, Family Services Specialist, is the primary point of contact for anyone interested in becoming a foster parent. Vicky is an expert on all things foster care and is excited to share information and answer any questions. While foster care is a big commitment, it can also be immensely fulfilling. If you have questions about foster care, please contact Vicky at (540) 672 - 1155, or reach out to

Vicky Tidman

the Virginia Department of Social Services Foster Care Hotline at (888) 2FOSTER. Through Foster Care, we can work together to help our children and strengthen our community. Call today or visit us online at http://orangecountyva.gov/391/Social - Services or the Virginia Department of Social Services at https:// www.dss.virginia.gov/fosterVA/index.html.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON FOSTER CARE

1. How many children are currently in foster care?

As of February 2021, there are 5,240 children in foster care in Virginia with 2,964 (57%) children in non - relative foster homes. The children range in age from birth to 17 years

2. Is a single person able to be a foster parent?

Yes, foster parents can be single, married, divorced, or widowed. The Commonwealth of Virginia does not preclude a person from being a foster parent based solely on their culture, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or marital/civil union or domestic partnership status.

3. Is a foster parent able to hold a job?

Yes, foster parents can be employed outside the home. In fact, your local Department of Social Services will provide market rate funding for childcare while you are at work.

4. How many children in foster care will be placed in my home?

This is determined for each family during the approval process. Capacity of the home is based on multiple factors. However, the number of children in foster care placed in the provider's home will not exceed six (6):

• To allow the child of a parenting youth in foster care to remain with the parenting youth.

• To allow siblings to remain together.

• To allow a child with an established meaningful relationship with the family to remain with the family.

• To allow a family with special training or skills to provide care to a child who has a severe disability.

5. Once children are placed with me, how long will they stay?

Foster care is considered temporary and short term. Every situation is unique and a child ’ s time in foster care depends on the family ’ s circumstances. However, reuniting the child with their parents is consistently

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the goal.

6. If I become a foster parent, will I have to meet/interact with the child's birth parents?

Yes, foster parents must work collaboratively with the child ’ s family members.

7. What happens when the child is unable to return home?

For some children, their parents are not able to regain custody and, if relative placement is not an option, the child may become available for adoption.

8. Will I have other supports?

A worker will be assigned to support you throughout the children's stay in your home. As you foster, there will be opportunities to attend in - service training throughout the year. Children in foster care are covered by Medicaid, which covers all necessary care and treatment. Childcare services and funding for other activities for children may be available. Joining a foster parent support group or the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA), is a good way to get advice and assistance from experienced foster parents.

9. Will a past conviction affect my eligibility to foster?

It depends on the nature, severity of the offense and length of time that has passed since the conviction. Applicants with barrier crimes cannot be approved as a foster parent. All adult household members must have background checks free of barrier crimes.

10. Is it possible to adopt a child who has been in foster care?

Children in foster care with a goal changed to adoption must be placed in the adoptive home for a minimum of six months prior to signing an Adoptive Home Agreement. In Virginia, over 70% of our foster care youth who are adopted are adopted by their foster parent.

Source: VDSS - https://www.dss.virginia.gov/fosterVA/faqs.html

FOSTER CARE BY THE NUMBERS

In February 2021:

• Virginia had 5,240 children in foster care with a total of 1,930 new children entering foster care.

• Virginia had 2,964 (57%) children placed in non - relative foster homes.

• There were a total of 1,877 (36%) of children between the ages of 13 and 18 in foster care.

• The average age of children in care in February 2021 was 10.66 years old.

In 2020:

858 children were adopted from foster care.

Virginia had 406 (16%) children exit to emancipation.

Sources: VDSS Office of Research and Planning Foster Care Children Demographic Report

SafeMeasures Active Foster Care Length of Stay (from Last Removal: 03/15/21 extract)

SafeMeasures Scorecard – Discharges to Permanency (03/15/21 extract)

Active

Foster

Care

Children (03 - 01 -

Report 2021) Office

VDSS

of

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The Office on Youth Provides Critical Services to At - Risk Youth

The Office on Youth (OOY) is a function of our local government that focuses on juvenile delinquency prevention in Orange County. Additionally, the office works with youth who are at - risk to provide the necessary services they need with the main goal of keeping them in their community and helping them become productive members of their community as they continue to grow older. The office serves all ages of youth in Orange County, as well as their parents.

The programs offered serve a number of purposes, specifically, prevention and intervention. The Office operates four (4) state licensed school - age childcare programs. These programs provide numerous activities each day including a snack (with two USDA approved components), homework help/time, arts & crafts, large motor activities, and field trips.

Additional programs include:

• Annual Father - Daughter and Mother - Son dances

• After - Prom for Orange County High School Juniors, Seniors, and their dates

• Michael ’ s Gift (a charitable fund to assist parents with paying for extracurricular activities),

• The Garvis Huff Outstanding Youth and Youth Advocate Awards which recognize the positive things our youth and advocates are doing in their community. • Two mentoring programs (that operate during a normal school year) to mentor youth, as well as help with math and reading skills.

• Tobacco and obesity prevention work

• School supply drives and donations for students in need

• Parent training programs throughout the year to help parents with parenting skills among other things such as preparing for college (annual college tours as partners with the Extension office and the career coach at the high school).

The largest program the OOY manages is the Children ’ s Services Act (CSA) program. It is a partnership with the State ’ s Office of Children ’ s Services (OCS). This program was enacted in 1993 by the Virginia General Assembly to establish a state pool of funds to purchase services for at - risk youth and their families who meet certain mandates. This collaborative approach is child - centered, family - focused, and community based when addressing the needs of the youth and families. The goal is to provide the least restrictive environment possible for the youth. The decisions are made by two state - mandated teams. The Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT) meet with the youth/families to decide on a plan of action and what services are needed. The Community policy and Management Team (CPMT), the governing team of the program, review the cases and approve funding where appropriate. The OCS oversees the program from the state side and annual audits are conducted to ensure compliance with state and local regulations.

Virginia Juvenile Community Crime Control Act (VJCCCA) is another program that is a state and local partnership. The OOY Director works with the local Court Services Unit to provide services to at - risk youth who have interactions with the Juvenile Court Services Unit. Programs include community service placements, specialized counseling arrangements, GPS monitoring, and more.

The Youth Council is a program that consists of students in grades 8 – 12 who act as liaisons between the

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Office on Youth, County Administrator, Board of Supervisors, and the youth of Orange County. They provide feedback on needs of the youth and issues they face. Over the past two years, this group has been working with a local task force on the opioid issue and many were trained on how to give Narcan. The Council meets annually with their state representatives and discusses issues important to them. They decide at the beginning of each school year what their activities will be and what their focus will be. They raised money for Michael ’ s Gift, the Orange County Animal Shelter, hosted several blood drives, adopted a section of highway, and completed many more community service projects.

The Office on Youth is always open to new ideas and programs. Funding is always the biggest hurdle as most of their programs are funded by fundraisers, sponsorships, and or grants. Program information can be found on the Office on Youth webpage: http://orangecountyva.gov/276/Office - on - Youth or please contact the office at (540) 672 - 5484.

Workshop at Lock - In

2020 Youth Council Day

2019 Father - Daughter Dance

2020 Youth Council Retreat

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Cleanup and Recycling Events Help Keep Orange Green!

By Jayson Woods, Programs & Facilities Supervisor, Orange County Parks & Recreation

Spring is always regarded as a time for renewal and cleaning. As cold weather fades, we take a fresh look at our homes and surroundings, often finding that our winter dens have become a bit cluttered. This is perhaps even more true as many are emerging from much more than just a winter hibernation. It is in that spirit that Orange County Litter Control, along with many great partners, hosted some cleanup and recycling events over the past month.

The first of these events was a pair of litter pickups along Main Street in the Town of Orange held in partnership with the Office on Youth ’ s Youth Council and Girl Scout Troop 1024, with support from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth Tobacco Prevention grant programming. These cleanups accepted the extra challenge of separately collecting tobacco litter. Due to their small size, they often escape notice, but cigarette butts are the most littered item on the planet. These cleanups supported that statistic, as participants collected nearly 6,500 cigarette butts, along with several bags of general litter.

A few weeks later, on May 8, the Orange County Landfill teamed up with Litter Control, Rappahannock Goodwill Industries, Office on Youth volunteers, and Orange County Public Works to reenergize the E - Recycling event that was missed last year due to COVID - 19. This event allows responsible disposal of most items that plug - in or accept batteries. The event served 80 vehicles over 4 hours and collected 17 pallet loads of electronics.

A big thank you goes out to everyone that helped make these events possible. Stay tuned for future information about potential tire - recycling and hazardous waste disposal events.

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Citizens Ask...

By Michelle Williams

Q: How does a DMV Stop work? A: DMV Stops can be placed on anyone who has taxes that are over 30 days delinquent. All parties that are listed on the title of the vehicle must be free and clear of delinquent taxes. If the tax bill that is delinquent has two names listed all back taxes on both names must be paid in full before the stop is released. Q: What is a Treasurer ’ s tax lien? A: Code section 58.1 - 3952 allows the Treasurer to issue a tax lien against the wages of taxpayers who owe taxes that are over 30 days delinquent. A Treasurer ’ s tax lien issued to an employer is not a garnishment. Treasurer ’ s tax liens request 100% of taxes owed to be taken from the employee ’ s paycheck. If the lien is for more than what the paycheck is, the employer is to take 100% of paycheck until the lien is satisfied.

A Prize Drawing for Our Readers!

Read the newsletter carefully each month, and look for a special message appearing somewhere in the newsletter to find out how to enter our monthly raffle. This month, any employee who sends their name before May 20th to newsletter@orangecountyva.gov and includes the last word in this month ’ s Ted Talk in the SUBJECT line will be entered into a drawing to win One of 5 $20 gas cards!

A Special Message from Your Newsletter Staff

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TAX INFORMATION

2021 FIRST HALF REAL ESTATE TAX Due on Monday, June 7, 2021, this year. (June 5 th falls on a weekend so the payment due date automatically defaults to the next business day.)

Billing statements will be mailed directly to citizens the first part of May and amounts due will be available here.

The Orange County Treasurer ’ s Office accepts payments through the following methods: · Via drop box, located at 112. W. Main Street, Orange · Online: Payment Options page on the Orange County website · By mail to the Orange County Treasurer, P.O. Box 469, Orange, VA 22960

For more information visit www.orangecountyva.gov/396/Treasurer Dawn Herndon, Treasurer | (540) 672 - 2656 |dherndon@orangecountyva.gov

The beauty of a recent ice storm

Sinead Turner Part - time Library Aide Employment Start: 2012

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

Sinead Turner has worked as a part - time Library Aide for the Orange County Public Library at the Gordonsville Branch since the fall of 2012. Sinead is reliable, helpful, energetic, lovely with the patrons, and eager for new projects. Her organization skills are unparalleled! She has tamed the supply closet, cleaned and reorganized the actual closet. She saved the day last year when the Library was required to remove many items from public use due to COVID - 19 health regulations. She found a way to wedge it all into the meeting room. Sinead loves to come up with new display ideas and has made crafty props for some of them as well. She has pitched in to cover preschool story time when our Youth Services Librarian needed time off.

Sinead is currently enrolled in a Master ’ s Degree program for library and information science and she hopes to work with children. School takes up much of her time, but she loves reading and spending time with her family—especially her new nephew Wyatt.

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Orange County Communications Department 112 W. Main Street P.O. Box 111 Orange, VA 22960

POSTAL CUSTOMER

Meet Carlo

This amazing boy has graduated from the Coffeewood Canine program and is heading back to the Shelter to find a forever home. Carlo is a 5 - year - old hound that was brought in as a stray, along with his partner in adventure, Blake. These two boys were having a grand time running the woods and playing in fields. No one ever came looking for the duo and so we are now on the hunt for the perfect family or families for them. Carlo is a bit shy and is totally unsure of what a leash is or how to walk on a leash so a slow and steady routine is a must. Carlo is a sweet boy that just needs a chance to experience all the fantastic fun being a part of a family can be!

Charming, handsome, shy, and sweet, that sums up Carlo!

Carlo is neutered, microchipped, and is up to date on all necessary vaccines. He has been dewormed, heartworm tested (negative), and has been put on monthly heartworm preventative as well as Flea/Tick preventative.

Visit us on Facebook See Adoptable Pets Here (540) 672 - 1124 Directions: 11362 Porter Road Orange VA 22960

Come find a friend at The Orange County Animal Shelter

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