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Clarksville hears update on repairs / September 08, 2021

Ongoing upgrades to Clarksville infrastructure — water line repairs, improvements to the town dock and sewage treatment plant, and an expansion of the water plant — dominated discussion at the Aug. 31 meeting of Clarksville Town Council.

The meeting, which is typically held on the third Tuesday of the month, was moved due to scheduling conflicts involving Mayor Kevin Allgood and members of Town Council.

Town Operations Director Richard Elliott said work to replace crumbling water lines that run to The Moorings condominiums will begin on Sept. 7. “We will try to be the least intrusive and hopefully the project will not take too long,” Elliott said.

He said he could not provide a more specific date for when the project would be completed. It is dependent on the amount of damage Walker Construction finds once repair crews access the line. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company will install a new line along East Street from the condominiums to the existing water main and then re-asphalt the road for a cost of $70,000.

The town is still waiting for replacement parts to be shipped for the town dock. Once the parts arrive, Mike Denton and the crew at Buggs Island Dock Service will install the dock pieces.

After receiving feedback from the public, Stefan and Ania Stolarz are making modifications to the design of their proposed apartment complex planned for 215 and 217 Eighth Street. In July, the Stolarzes applied for a special use permit and a variance to construct 16 market rate apartments on an empty lot on Eighth Street. Both the Clarksville Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals held off making recommendations on the project, while asking Stefan Stolarz to provide additional information about plans for the apartment complex.

Town Manager Jeff Jones explained, “Stolarz and his architect, after reviewing the feedback from the community, are currently making some changes to the project for review by the Planning Commission and the Town Council. The changes are not complete and as soon as they are provided, the Planning Commission will meet and review and advise the Town Council of their recommendation.”

In other business, Council members agreed to increase the salary of the Mayor from $84 per month to $150 per month and for Council members, from $47 per month to $100 per month. The compensation for the town leaders had not been adjusted in many years and was no longer in line with what is paid to elected officials in surrounding communities.

According to Jones, the average monthly compensation for a mayor serving in Mecklenburg, Brunswick or Halifax counties is $376, and for council members it is $201.

Council also approved a protocol for speakers during public comment periods at town council meetings and at public hearings. Under the new rules, speakers are limited to three minutes. They are asked to sign up in advance and to address all comments to the Town Council. Speakers may not transfer or yield any or all of their time to another speaker and they may only address council once during each meeting.

Speakers are asked to be respectful and to refrain from inappropriate remarks, personal attacks or defamatory statements.

Jones said he would not speculate as to when the project would begin, but assured Council members that Dave McCormack and his Waukeshaw Development Company are still moving forward with plans to develop the site that once housed the Planter’s Warehouse.

The Clarksville Volunteer Fire Department is moving forward with the purchase of a new fire truck. The fire department been approved for a loan and are also seeking a grant to cover the $700,000 it will cost to purchase and outfit the new fire truck.

The loan carries an interest rate of 2.25 percent to be paid back over 10 years. The grant would be for $50,000, and the loan would cover the balance of the cost of the truck $650,000.

Jones said there is still grant money available in the Small Business Recovery Assistance fund for local businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Business owners interested in applying should contact Sangi Cooper at the Southside Planning District Commission, (434) 447-7101 for more information.

Impacted businesses can qualify for a grant up to $15,000 to cover up to six months of utility expenses, and if not previously covered through other COVID-relief funds, rent or mortgage payments.

Clarksville has been awarded a $30,000 rural development grant to cover the cost of a pre-engineering study ahead of the planned expansion of the town’s water treatment plant.

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