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Chase City council introduced to interim manager / July 10, 2019

Chase City Mayor Eddie Bratton introduced Interim Town Manager William J. “Jay” Hall to members of Town Council and the public at Monday night’s monthly Council meeting.

Bratton said Hall has been hired on an interim basis while town hall works through state-mandated hiring requirements. Chase City is required to publicly advertise the job and then hold it open for sufficient time for applicants to respond to the job posting.

Hall has also been named Chase City’s interim zoning administrator.

Bratton told Council members Monday night that “we are striving to get to full staffing as quickly as we can. The three police officers we hired last fall have completed their formal classes and are now on ride-along duty with the local training officers. Another officer was hired recently bringing our patrol officers more relief. I know the other officers look forward to getting back to more realistic working hours.”

In other business discussed at Monday’s meeting, the town will offer a new service to water customers. For some time, Chase City has offered to assist customers with sewer clean-out services using the town’s jetter machine at a cost of $90. That fee is refunded if the sewer problem is found on town, not customer property.

Recently, Chase City acquired a sewer camera that enables workers to perform a visual inspection of sewer lines without having to dig them up. Council agreed to offer water and sewer customers an inspection service at a fee of $90 per exam. Customers will not be entitled to a refund for using this service, regardless whether a problem is detected in the line.

“The expectation is this fee will help defray the $4,000 spent to acquire the camera equipment,” said Bratton.

Also, Larry West has withdrawn his request for a conditional use permit to operate an auto body shop in his buildings at 503 and 509 N. Main Street, the former home of Muddy’s Wing House.

Bratton told Council members that West has found a business wishing to use his building for a different purpose, and the town’s planning commission has agreed to defer further action on the permit request.

Council approved a request for a conditional use permit from Tri-County Community Action Agency to operate a daycare at 508 N. Main Street between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Children will be dropped off and picked up at the rear entrance to the building, and Main Street traffic will not be impeded.

Council conditioned their approval on Tri-County limiting the number of children at the facility to 20 or less, and the agency must obtain appropriate licensing, inspections, and approvals from the state.

Chase City will be seeking a grant from the USDA to purchase a new police vehicle at a cost of $36,000. The USDA grant is for $25,000 and Council agreed to cover the $11,000 remaining cost. Assuming the town’s grant application is approved, Council recommended that Hall seek a low-interest loan from the USDA to purchase a second vehicle.

Hall was also encouraged to reach out to the Town of South Hill and the Southside Drug Task Force, both of which have offered to donate used vehicles to Chase City. Bratton wanted to know about the condition of the vehicle being offered and if South Hill and the Task Force were offering separate cars or the same car.

Chase City Fire Chief Charles McGann asked to clarify a comment made during last week’s public meeting with Mac Bailey to discuss uses for Bailey’s $500,000 donation for the benefit of town residents. McGann said the statement made by one citizen suggesting that the town purchase a $500,000 fire truck for the department was not accurate. The Chase City Volunteer Fire Department pays for the truck with money raised through fundraisers. The town’s sole involvement is to co-sign on the ten-year note.

McGann added that the new engine replaces a 30-year-old vehicle.

Two residents raised concerns about the size and number of potholes found on roads around town.

Hall announced that there would be a new trash pickup schedule in town, but he did not have any details about the new schedule. He promised to mail a letter to residents explaining the new program before it takes effect in two weeks.

South Hill resident Shane Johnson shared his concern that town officials are not sufficiently involved in the decision-making process for spending the Bailey donation. He said he was opposed to spending the money on a “pet project,” though he did not define what that might be.

Johnson also said he would prefer to see the money put toward demolishing the town’s blighted buildings, bringing in new industry such as a bottling company that would bottle and sell the town’s unused well water, and he wants recreation facilities — but only if the sites are monitored with video security cameras.

Bratton explained to Johnson that Bailey and a committee he is assembling will be the ones deciding when and how the $500,000 will be spent.

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