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2012-05-30 / News Briefs

NEWS BRIEFS

Generator company co-owner charged with fraud
Michael Buettner


Mills Mills The co-owner of a company accused of improperly and dangerously installing gas-fired generators in dozens of homes in Chesterfield and nearby localities was indicted last week on felony charges of construction fraud.

The Chesterfield County Police Department said Stephen P. Mills was arrested on Wednesday, May 23, after a grand jury issued an indictment accusing him of accepting thousands of dollars in payments for work that was not performed.

Police said the charges stemmed from two transactions late last year, when Mills allegedly accepted “a deposit of several thousand dollars” to install a generator at a home in the 3400 block of Musket Drive and another deposit “of more than $10,000” to install a generator at a home in the 3600 block of Salles Ridge Court. According to the indictment, neither generator was installed.

Mills and his wife, Angela Mills, pleaded guilty in Chesterfield Circuit Court in April to criminal charges of contempt of court for failing to abide by the terms of an injunction issued in January ordering their company – known at different times as Virginia Air Duct, Virginia Air Mechanical and Superior Mechanical Services – to stop installing generators in the county until all of their work was inspected by building inspectors.

The legal cases against the Millses and their companies – which also include a lawsuit filed against them by the county – resulted from the discovery by the county Building Inspectors Office that they had not obtained the required building permits before performing work. Inspections revealed that the companies had installed numerous generators improperly, creating a risk of explosion and fire.

Stephen Mills was released last week on a $1,000 unsecured bond and was scheduled to appear in Circuit Court yesterday, May 29.

Supervisors approve tight road budget

The Board of Supervisors last week gave its OK to a plan for improvements to the county’s secondary roads that was severely limited by cutbacks in funding from the state.

Supervisors approved the annual Secondary Six-Year Plan as proposed by the county Transportation Department, including about $1.1 million in the coming fiscal year for two improvement projects on Newby’s Bridge Road, one between Sussex Drive and the Falling Creek bridge and the other from just south of Cogbill Road to just south of Celestial Lane.

The money will go to design work, with actual construction not expected to start until 2016 on the first project and 2017 on the second.

Transportation Director R.J. McCracken told the board that the Virginia Department of Transportation is likely to provide only about $1 million a year in secondary road improvement funds for the foreseeable future, down sharply from the $9 million the county received in 2000.

“From a funding standpoint, we are right back where we were when I first came to work here in the early ’80s,” he said.

The change in VDOT funding means the county will have to look at different avenues for secondary road projects in the future, McCracken said. One promising approach is a revenue-sharing program the state agency offers, which could provide up to $10 million a year, but it would require the county to put up a matching amount, he said.

Chesterfield man dies in Amelia crash

A Chesterfield County man was killed recently in a single-vehicle crash in Amelia County.

Virginia State Police said a trooper responded around 8 p.m. on May 15 to a crash on Namozine Road about three miles west of Military Road. A 1992 Honda Accord traveling east on Namozine Road had run off the left side of the road and overturned several times.

Police said Kenneth T. Brown, 41, of the 7000 block of Andersons Forge Court, died at the scene. He was not wearing a safety belt. Police said preliminary investigation indicated that speed was a factor in the crash.

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