The Nelson County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of property in Lovingston, which is home to the Nelson County Planning and Zoning and the Nelson County Building Inspections offices, and was previously owned by the late Bernard Lewis “Bernie” McGinnis, a prominent Democrat in Nelson County for many years.

On Aug. 13, the board voted unanimously in favor of passing a motion to allow the county to purchase 80 Front Street in Lovingston for $125,000 from Mary Schultz, executor of McGinnis’ estate. According to Nelson County’s geographic information system, the property in the downtown was valued at $198,800.

In an email Aug. 15, County Administrator Steve Carter said the decision to purchase of the McGinnis property, 2,520 square feet total according to Nelson County’s GIS, is mult-faceted.

“The County has leased this property for 21+ years. The two County departments currently located in the office building on the property work closely with each other and the property’s location provides good access and parking for the public and staff,” Carter said in an email.

Carter went on to say that keeping county offices in Lovingston was deemed important and had the property been sold to another party, it may have been difficult to move both occupancies in a timely manner.

Carter said there are no current plans for further use of the property at this time.

McGinnis died April 23. McGinnis was a Nelson County resident, businessman and former chair of the Nelson County Democratic Party and was once honored by the business community as “Mr. Nelson County.” McGinnis, a Navy Veteran and Virginia Tech graduate, was 91.

In other news:

Supervisors approved funding to help the Nelson County High School Future Farmers of America.

On Aug. 13, the board approved a funding request of $2,000 to help get students to a national FFA contest coming up in October as well as $628 for new jackets for members that competed in May and June.

“I appreciate the board of supervisors and their support for [agricultural] education program and the wonderful students we have,” Cole Ramsey, FFA director, said.

Ramsey said the national contest will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana at the end of October and is an all expenses paid trip for the students as a reward for doing so well at the state level of competition. In total, it will cost $20,000 for travel, lodging, meals, and other expenses for the week. The group has about $17,500 left to raise.

Ramsey said they are currently having an apple butter fundraiser and will hold a Bluegrass benefit on Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. complete with silent and live auctions, raffles, concession sales and music. Ramsey said they are welcoming donations from businesses and companies for the Bluegrass benefit.

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Erin Conway covers Nelson County for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5524.

Erin Conway covers Nelson County. Reach her at (434) 385-5524 or

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