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Chase City hires new town clerk/bookkeeper / August 14, 2019

Tonya Duffer was introduced during Monday night’s meeting of Chase City Town Council as the new town clerk and bookkeeper. She replaces Cynthia Gordon who is retiring at the end of August after serving the town for 45 years.

Duffer’s appointment was approved by Council members at a special called meeting on Aug. 5.

Mayor Eddie Bratton introduced Duffer, saying she was selected by Council “after interviewing a number of applicants, [because] it was determined that [she] has the necessary skills.” Bratton was also quick to praise Gordon, the outgoing clerk, telling Duffer and the town, “[Duffer] will have to learn a lot in very short order. After all, it will be next to impossible to learn all Cyndi has had to deal with over the last 40-plus years and it will really be odd not having Cyndi on the dais next month to keep us and mostly me following” the rules under which Town Council conducts its business.

In other business, Council members approved a resolution of support for a USDA grant to cover the cost of new police vehicles for the town. The grant application was previously submitted but the resolution was needed, according to Bratton, to assure USDA officials that, if the grant is awarded, the town will abide by all the terms and conditions of the grant.

Council did not name a person who will be taking on some of the duties previously held by the former Operations Manager Jeff Gurley. Gurley left the job two months ago. Bratton confirmed that the post has been modified and filled, but details with the new hire are still in negotiation and therefore not ready to be disclosed publicly. The town is still looking to hire a maintenance crew leader.

With the departure of Jay Hall, the town’s interim manager, Bratton has once again assumed the duties of acting town manager. The mayor will remain in the post until a full-time replacement is found.

Bratton explained the events of the last month saying, “Last month, I was pleased to introduce our interim town manager. We were, however, not able to reach an employment agreement with Mr. Hall and consequently, he has chosen to seek employment elsewhere. So, our search continues.

“We have received many applications — some interesting, and some who missed the very first requirement for the application to be considered and that reduced the applications considerably.”

Bratton also announced that for the first time in many months, the Chase City Police Department will soon be fully staffed. This is welcome news for the officers who have had to pull extra duty to cover the town.

Under a policy change, new employees of Chase City will no longer have to wait 90 days before becoming eligible for health, dental or vision benefits. Their eligibility now begins on the first day of the month following their date of hire. New employees must still wait 90 days before becoming eligible to apply for life insurance or to enroll in the Virginia Retirement System.

Payment in the amount of $2,400 was approved to hire B&B Consultants, a civil engineering firm out of South Boston, to revise the town’s solid waste landfill permit. According to Bratton, the town was notified that “the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is requesting [Chase City] to make a minor revision to the town’s existing Solid Waste Landfill Permit. The change has to do with the revised landfill boundary since we acquired additional land and to update the Groundwater Monitoring Plan to reflect the change.”

B&B has until Oct. 14, to complete the work.

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