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Chase City spends $50,000 on sewer upgrade

SoVaNow.com / June 11, 2014
Chase City Town Council approved an expenditure of $50,000 — $20,000 from the town’s contingency fund and $30,000 from a Rural Development grant — to pay for work on the town’s storm sewer system.

The vote took place Monday night during the June meeting of Council.

Recent heavy rain events uncovered a problem with Chase City’s aging sewer system, which allows storm water to enter the system. The result is that the town is processing more water than it is purchasing, Mayor Eddie Bratton explained.

According to Bratton, the estimated cost to locate and fix the problem is about $50,000. He added that Town Manager Rickey Reese was able to secure a $30,000 Rural Development Search grant to cover part of the costs, and the town would pay the balance of $20,000 using money in its contingency fund.

Bratton said of the problem, “We are finishing up some major repairs to the larger sections of the sewer system but the unexplained water incoming to the system requires further study just to locate the problem, let alone fix it.”

In a separate vote, Council gave its approval to proceed with the study of inflow and Infiltration to the sewer system.

Council formed a new committee, “The Future of Chase City” to explore ways to invigorate and improve the town. The members are Winthy Hatcher, James Bohanan and Lisa Gillispie. Their first meeting is Wednesday, June 18, starting at 5:15 p.m. at Town Hall, and the public is invited.

Vice Mayor Lisa Gillispie announced plans for the town’s July Fourth celebration that will also serve as a fund raiser for the Downtown Revitalization Project, to install a pocket park at the corner of Second and Main Streets.

“Last year Mayor Bratton made the comment we need to do something for the Fourth of July, All of you know me, I like to throw a party. We will be having a Fourth of July Cruise In and Poker Run that will include cars, trucks and motorcycles. Timmy and Trudy Robinette, Connie Bigger of Boswell Bookkeeping, the Chase City Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Chase City are helping sponsor this event.”

Main Street will be closed between the stoplights at either end of town.

The Cruise in begins at 2 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m., with the first Poker Run at 2:30 p.m..

Gillispie said the Chase City event is just one of three planned for that day around the county and she hopes people would attend all three events. The first is the Clarksville Fourth of July parade that starts at 11 a.m. and the last is the 18th annual Picnic in the Park and fireworks at Parker Park in South Hill. The fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

First Citizens Bank is opening up its lot for parking.

In other business, Chase City approved its 2014-15 budget, which was achieved with no increase in real estate, personal property or machinery and tools tax rates, and no increase in the cost of water or garbage collection service. There is what Bratton called, a small increase in the sewer — up $2.35 per month on minimum bills and small increases in the gallons used over the 3,000 gallon minimum. With this increase, an average minimum bill will increase from $53.10 per month to $55.45 per month.

A few of the key components of the bill are a 3% merit step increase for Town employees, funding for the state-mandated Line of Duty act for the police department at $3,000, appropriating $5,000 to design and update the town’s web page, and $10,000 to purchase new fire hoses and ten sets of turnout gear for the fire department.

$6,000 was set aside for MacCallum More Museum and Gardens and $5,000 for the Chase City Chamber.

During the public hearing on the budget, the sole comment came from R.C. Hartley who expressed disappointment at the sparse turnout at the hearing.

Under state law, Council is required to adopt a resolution certifying the rate at which it would make contribution to the Virginia Retirement System. The town chose the fixed rate of 11 percent, instead of the variable rate which starts at 8.8 percent. The budget will increase each biennium through 2020.

Bratton and Reese were reappointed to the Roanoke River Service Authority Board, with Bratton serving as the member and Reese as the alternate.

Council also approved two additional resolutions: the first allows Chase City’s Police Department to enforce any and all pertinent changes to the state code as made by the recent session of the General Assembly. The second involved changes to the Charter Agreement of the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy, the agency which trains and credentials local police officers.

Before closing the meeting Bratton commended Gillispie for her hard work on the town’s 141st Birthday Celebration and the Chase City American Legion Post for their Memorial Day Commemoration.

The Community Watch Meetings are on summer hiatus and will resume after Labor Day.

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