No vaccination needed

Published 8:00 am Friday, January 28, 2022

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In August, former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced state workers would be required to show proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 or be tested once a week.

The policy impacted approximately 122,000 state employees.

That mandate diminished on day one of Gov. Glenn Youngkin taking office on Jan. 16 when he issued an executive directive that prohibits state agencies — including colleges and universities — from requiring coronavirus vaccines as a condition of employment.

“We will continue to ensure that every Virginian has access to the information necessary to make an informed decision about the COVID-19 vaccination and ensure all who desire a vaccination can obtain one,” Youngkin said. “However, the requirement of state employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and disclose their vaccination status or engage in mandatory testing is harmful to their individual freedoms and personal privacy.”

Since Gov. Youngkin’s directive, near the courthouse and about four miles southwest of Victoria.

“In short, through no fault of anyone, we had learned of extensive Duke affected transmission system upgrade costs,” said Red Brick Project Developer Jeff Hammond. Those costs adversely affect project development.

County officials had taken the project off the table back in the fall.

At the Sept. 21 BOS meeting, the Board voted to remove from the table any further consideration of the Red Brick solar application to allow further discussion of a siting agreement with Red Brick solar.

In late October, Public Engagement Manager Patrick Chilton said developers of Red Brick have been negotiating with the county for 14 months over additional financial benefits the county would like and was hoping to hear a decision by at least the November BOS meeting.

That decision never came.

The siting agreement may include terms and conditions including mitigation of any impacts of such solar facility; financial compensation to address the locality’s capital needs as set out in the locality’s capital improvement plan, its current fiscal budget or its fiscal funds balance policy; or assistance with deploying broadband in the locality.

In an October interview, Chilton said the company wanted to do its best to meet the county’s request.

“Lunenburg County understandably wants to maximize the financial benefit they will see from this, and we are doing our best to meet their requests while ensuring that this project is still economically viable,” Chilton said.

According to Chilton, Red Brick Solar was offering to pay Lunenburg County an additional $1.7 million in local real estate taxes and $12 million in revenue share and cost savings over the project’s anticipated 40-year life.

During the Thursday, Nov. 11, BOS meeting, SolUnesco CEO Francis Hodsoll addressed members, reminding them how long the Red Brick project has been in the works and all the requirements that have been met.

Hodsoll said talks of the solar project began in the fall of 2017.

“With that funding, those two buckets of money, money upfront that you’re requesting and money for the community, we’re more than meeting the requests that you all have made for upfront money,” Hodsoll said during the Nov BOS meeting. “So we hope that that will kind of push us in the right place and allow us to move forward.”

Despite offering the county millions of dollars and addressing the BOS numerous times, the Board has remained silent on the issue.

“We are working closely with all parties involved to resolve and better understand this issue,” Hammond said. “Our efforts, as they have always been, are to successfully develop Red Brick solar so that it can provide clean, renewable, low-cost electricity to Virginia.”