Friday, August 11, 2023

York County District 5 & Crime Watch Update August 2023 Alexander, Robert (

Thomas "Tom"  G. Shepperd, Jr.

York County Supervisor, District 5

Hm:  (757) 858-8591

Mb:  (757) 903-1875

Email address:

Email address:

         District 5 Report & Crime Watch Update

August 2023

Subscribe for District 5 Report and Crime Watch Updates

Dear Neighbors,

It has been a while since my last report. My only excuse is that as Chairman of the York County Board of Supervisors during an election year I’ve been busier than ever. At the end of 2023, I will have completed 22 years as the Supervisor for District 5. It is an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of York County. I look forward to four more years of helping citizens address the issues we will face as the County grows and prospers. York County is wonderful place to live, play, raise a family, and do business. I want to ensure we keep it that way.

Residents and homeowner associations are encouraged to share the Report with others in their communities.  Comments and questions are always welcome*

Road Projects

Victory Blvd. and Route 17 across from Walmart 

Most of the street construction in and around the intersection is due to the agreement the developer Harper's Station made with the County in order to build a 157 unit assisted living and memory care facility. At this point, all the turn lanes into and out of the facility and the Walmart shopping center are complete. The additional left turn lane at the traffic light on Victory Blvd. and Rt. 17 heading westbound will soon be finished. VDOT will complete the modifications to the traffic light very soon, which will end the road construction for now.  However, the addition of a westerly lane to Victory Blvd. between Hwy. 17 and Hampton Hwy. will start in a year or two.

Yorktown Road

Harrison Lear, the developer of Smith Farms, has yet to provide the County Staff with plans for the sidewalk that will connect Tabb High School to Mount Vernon Elementary School.  The off-site plans also include the addition of a right turn lane at the intersections of Victory Boulevard in front of Fire Station #2 and a right turn lane at the intersection of Yorktown Road and Hampton Highway.  The next phase of Smith Farms (Phase 2B, the 75thhouse) will not be approved until the offsite construction is approved by the County.  Recently, the developer has been working on the path that runs in front of the subdivision.  There is no set date for completion of the offsite work.

Wythe Creek Road Widening

Construction of this $61 million project was supposed to begin back in early 2020. However, funding and supply chain issues caused multiple delays.  I’m now glad to report that VDOT is hoping to get the project rolling in the next couple of months.  The project includes the building of a new elevated causeway over Brick Kiln Creek that flows between the City of Hampton and the City of Poquoson.  The engineering and right of way acquisitions are complete.  All VDOT needs to do now is identify the project contractor.  When the project is finished, there will be a new traffic light at the intersection of Wythe Creek Road and Carys Chapel Road.  The light will have signalized turning that will make it much easier to get to and from NASA, Langley AFB and the City of Hampton. 

Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) 

The HRBT is the largest and most expensive civil construction project in Virginia’s history.  The $70 million tunnel boring machine is named Betty.  Betty is now at work and has dug approximately 1,000 feet of tunnel heading westbound.  The tunnel length one way is approximately 7,500 feet and Betty digs on average about 50 feet per day. Once Betty completes the current tunnel, it will be turned around to start the second tunnel. When finished, Betty will have dug 2.8 miles of tunnel to a depth of 150 feet under the Roads. The Roads is the body of water between the cities of Norfolk and Hampton. The total distance from shore to shore across the Roads including the trestles, is approximately 3.5 miles. The taxpayers of Hampton Roads are paying 92% of the total cost of the project through sales and gas taxes. The planned completion date for the tunnel is 2026.

Hampton Road I-64 Expansion Segment 4C

Road construction along I-64 in the City of Hampton is making it tough to cross the water to the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach and back again. The construction is one of many parts of the Hampton Roads Express Lane project that extends all the way to Bowers Hill in Chesapeake. Segment 4C of the project runs from LaSalle Avenue to Settlers Landing. The project will include the construction of one Express Lane and the conversion of one general purpose lane into an Express Lane. It will also include replacing two bridges, the widening of three bridges, and the building of noise walls, tolling gantries, and overhead signage. This $408 million project will be completed and opened for traffic in 2026.

Development Projects

HRSD Tabb Pressure Reducing Station (PRS)& Offline Storage Facility

The contractor for this project will receive an order to proceed in December 2023. Construction should start between February and March of 2024. HRSD and the County are working on a letter of agreement to stipulate commitments for building the facility.

HRSD is still committed to building only one storage tank. The original estimated cost of the facility was around $18 million for 2 tanks. The estimated cost is now around $33 million for one tank. The site for the facility is opposite the power lines from Tabb High School and Fire Station #2.

The PRS & storage facility will consist of a 2,500 square foot building and a 2.3-million-gallon storage tank that is 130 feet wide by 35 feet tall. The facility will be nearly 500 feet from the nearest home in the Holly Meade neighborhood. HRSD will use approximately 5 acres of the 26-acre site and make the remaining property available to the County for use as a park. HSRD will create trails throughout the park per the County’s design. Also, HSRD will build a concrete parking pad near Fire Station #2 per the requirements of the Virginia Department of Transportation Smart Scale program that will eventually be part of Victory Boulevard highway improvements. The Smart Scale program will be part of the funding source for a multi-use trail that runs along Victory Boulevard to the City of Poquoson.

Celestial Way Subdivision

This is a proposed 43 detached home neighborhood planned for the wooded area between Lotz Acre Estate 2 subdivision off Victory Boulevard and the Running Man neighborhood. Planning for Celestial Way continues to run into significant engineering and environmental issues, as the County expected it might. Currently, the plan is stuck in limbo until the issues with VDOT and the Army Corps of Engineers are resolved. There is no projected date for approval of the site plan.

County Budget

Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Budget

The current fiscal year began July 1, 2023, and will end on June 30, 2024. At any given time, the County Staff is working with three fiscal year budgets: last year’s budget, the current budget, and planning for the next budget.

The Board of Supervisors approved the Fiscal Year 2024 General Fund Budget of approximately $175 million back in May 2023. General Property Taxes and Local Taxes make up 85.5% of the total revenue. The Real Estate tax rate was reduced one cent from $0.78 to $0.77 and the Personal Property Tax rate was reduced by ten cents to $3.90. These taxes are the lowest for any full-service government on the Peninsula.

The County’s single largest expense is $73.5 million. This pays for our Education and Educational Services i.e., schools and public libraries. Public Safety at $48 million is the second largest budget expense. The big-ticket items in Public Safety are Fire and Life Safety (fire trucks, ambulances, fire fighters, etc.), law enforcement (our Sheriff’s Department) and our Emergency Communication 911 Center that now includes the cities of Poquoson, Williamsburg and the counties of James City County and York County.

The General Fund Expenditures are $8.8 million or 5.3% higher than the previous budget. The Supervisors approved a $2.35 million increase to the School Division’s operating budget. Also, the Supervisors increased County employee compensation by 5% plus an additional $750 for all full-time employees. This equates to an increase of approximately 5.4% to 7.5%.


Cruise Line Coming to Yorktown

Princess Cruises is planning to visit Yorktown next year. In December of last year, I received an overview briefing from the cruise line concerning their plans for ship visits. Since then, I have received lots of comments, letters, and emails about the pros and cons of the visit. In July of this year, I was invited by the President of Princess Cruises to tour one of their mid-size ships docked at the City of Norfolk pier. The purpose of the tour was to develop a better understanding of ship operations from top to bottom and a better understanding of how a large cruise ship might impact Historic Yorktown and the County in general. 

Here are some of the things I’ve learned about the Princes Cruise Line visit:

  • There will be three cruise visits in 2024. The ships, which carry up to 2,200 passengers, will anchor about 1.5 miles off Yorktown beach east of the Gloucester Yacht Club. The anchorage was approved by the Coast Guard.

  • When a Princess Cruise ship enters a port area, i.e., Hampton Roads, all flow ports are sealed to prevent accidental spillage and the ship’s stacks are monitored and recorded for pollution control. The company has an extensive material recycling and food digester system that tracks and records all waste produced by the ship.

  • The ships will not pass through the bridge. Passengers who wish to visit Historic Yorktown, Jamestown, or Colonial Williamsburg will be ferried to and from one of the piers in Historic Yorktown. The tenders can carry approximately 100 passengers each. The tender to ship operations will be done at a measured pace so that only one tender will dock at a time.

  • The cruise line estimates that about 1,000 passengers will come ashore. Of that number, two thirds will take bus tours and one third will remain in Historic Yorktown to see the town and visit the national park.

  • Visits by the cruise line will not take place during significant events in Yorktown such as the 4th of July or Yorktown Day Celebration (October 19th), nor will they occur on weekends. Considering that between 3,000 to 4,000 visitors recently parked their cars and attended a Thursday evening concert event on the waterfront, the area should easily accommodate the ship visitors.

  • On the day of the visit, the cruise liner will arrive early in the morning and depart the area around 5 or 6 p.m. The passengers will learn about American history, spend money in our shops and restaurants, and then depart.

It is important to understand that York County has no regulatory authority over the ship’s visit. The County does have a say in who can and can’t dock at the piers. However, prohibiting docking operations of one type of vehicle may result in a prohibition against all docking operations.

Public Safety Updates: Crime & Punishment

Krystyn Reid, Commonwealth Attorney


One case of particular interest involved a homicide of a juvenile in the Upper end of York County in December 2020. The offender was also a juvenile at the time of the crime. The matter was set for a jury trial but, prior to the jury being seated, the defendant pled guilty to First Degree Murder and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. A Pre-Sentence Investigative Report was filed, and the Court sentenced the defendant on the Murder charge to 99 years of incarceration with 77 years suspended and to 3 years of incarceration on the firearm charge. The defendant, who is now an adult, will serve 25 years in prison and be on supervised probation after his release.


Another case recently concluded involved a double family homicide in the Edgehill neighborhood in the Spring of 2020. There was a delayed report of the deaths after concerned neighbors alerted law enforcement that the decedents were in the family swimming pool. The defendant pled guilty to two counts of First-Degree Murder and was sentenced to two life terms with all but 20 five years suspended on each charge for an active sentence of 50yearsincarceration followed by supervised probation. 


York County is a wonderfully safe neighborhood thanks to our Sheriff’s Office and vigilant citizens. We continue to ask all citizens to lock their cars, be wary of phone scams and if you see something - say something. It is those behaviors that make us safe and will keep us safe!


Sheriff Ron Montgomery, York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office


Shots fired in Kiln Creek! Three young adults, two males and one female, are charged with committing multiple crimes in the shooting incident near the basketball court in Kiln Creek. The incident is expected to be gang related. Approximately 25 shots were fired from a car at people playing on the court. Thankfully no one was hit. Using the Flock camera system, the license plate of the car was recorded and eventually traced to a nearby city. Two of the three people in the car are under arrest and charged with: (1) Committing a felony, (2) Shooting from a vehicle, (3) Shooting across a road, (4) Reckless handling of a gun, and (4) Shooting in a public space. They are being held in the County jail. The third suspect, an 18-year-old male, is still on the loose. 


Several hundred Flock cameras are placed throughout many of the municipalities in Hampton Roads. When a vehicle is associated with a crime, law enforcement annotates the situation, and the Flock systems will notify law enforcement of the vehicle’s presence and continue tracking the vehicle as it travels around the area. Importantly, the Flock system will notify the originating law enforcement agency of the vehicle sighting.


Village Tobacco. The store was hit by shoplifters multiple times. However, this last time the Sheriff’s Office was able to arrest the shoplifter. This is considered an isolated incident.


Gang Murder. Earlier this year a woman’s body was found by a jogger along the Old Williamsburg Road near the Colonial Parkway. The Sheriff’s Department responded and found multiple bullet casings near the body. The victim was identified through finger printing. Through video, witness statements, the Flock camera system, cell phone technology and expert in-house investigation capability, four people in Richmond were arrested and charged with murder. This crime was a gang related revenge killing.  It is important to note that neither the victim nor the criminals where from York County.

This case highlights the outstanding talent within the Sheriff’s Department. Our citizens want top notch law enforcement, and they are getting it. The funds we spend on training, leading-edge technology, and personnel is well worth the cost. 


Larceny from Vehicles. Surprisingly, larceny from vehicles has declined over the past few months. There have been no house break-ins to report. The waterproof membrane that covers the upper deck of the parking garage in Historic Yorktown was damaged by drivers spinning car tires around the center light poles. The membrane helps to protect the structural integrity of the garage and the vehicles park on the ground floor. The County will be shutting down the upper deck for repairs.


Human Trafficking. The York County Sheriff’s Office is the first local law enforcement agency to successfully initiate, investigate, and participate in a human trafficking case in Hampton case. A concerned citizen reported to the Sheriff’s Office seeing young children and women apparently living on the site of the Magnolia Cleaning Services business on Penniman Road in the upper part of York County. A federal task force, in which personnel from the Sheriff’s Office participated, took over the case. The investigation found that as many as 125 women and young girls between the ages of 14 and 25 were provide with false documents and mismatched social security numbers. The four defendants associated with the crime were arrested and pled guilty to human trafficking. They received sentences ranging between 30 to 57 months. They also had to pay restitution to the victims and a forfeiture of $3.9 million.

School Stuff from Dr. Shandor, York County School Superintendent

School Security Officers


This year, we are adding staff to our middle school and high school teams to support overall campus security. This new role, the school security officer (SSO), supplement the School Resource Officers (SROs) provided by the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office. High schools will have two security officers, while middle schools will have one. The school security officers will be responsible for ensuring the safety and security of all students, faculty, staff, and visitors within their assigned schools. Specifically, their responsibilities include preventing incidents, investigating student violations of school board policies, and intervening in cases where students violate the law or school policies on school premises or during school-related events.


Care Solace


The York County School Division prioritizes proving safe, welcoming, and caring environments in which all students and staff have a sense of belonging and purpose. To support that commitment, the division has partnered with Care Solace to provide an additional layer of support for our community.


With Care Solace, families and staff gain access to a dedicated Care Companion 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Care companions identify local providers and find the right fit and availability of care for our families. Care Solace is now available for use for you and your family at no cost. To learn more about how you can connect with Care Solace, speak with your school’s counseling office, or school nurse.


Two-Way Messaging for Families and Students.


YCSD is working to make communication between school and home even easier with the new Reach two-way messaging system. Blackboard Reach works within the YCSD Mobile App and lets you have a two-way conversation with teachers, coaches, and club sponsors in a secure, protected environment. Teachers can create conversations to provide upcoming due dates, share assignment instructions, and provide feedback on classwork. Students and families can reply directly to the teacher with only the teacher seeing the reply. To learn more, visit our Stay Connected page.


Bus Transportation


Returning students will not need to complete a new form for the 2023-24 school year if the student rode the bus last year. These students will be rolled over based on last year’s information. The only families who need to register for bus transportation are:

  • Students new to the division who will ride the bus (completed during registration)
  • Returning students who did NOT ride a bus last year


To register a child who has not previously used YCSD bus transportation, please contact your school’s main office. Bus route information will be published the week of August 21. If your family has moved and your child rides the bus, please make sure your school has your new address to ensure you receive the correct bus information.

Subscribe for District 5 Report and Crime Watch Updates

* Comments and opinions expressed in the District 5 Report are authorized and approved by me and do not necessarily represent the position of other elected representatives. All email correspondence to and from this address is subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and to the Virginia Public Records Act, which may result in monitoring and disclosure to third parties, including law enforcement.

No comments:

Post a Comment