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A TIME OF LAUGHTER AND FUN

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Halifax supervisors were on the receiving end of a spirited debate as citizens spoke out for and against removing the county's Confederate soldier statue.

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Contract awarded for upgrade

SoVaNow.com / July 19, 2010
Directors of the Halifax County Service Authority on Thursday afternoon approved an engineering contract with Dewberry in the amount of $1.4 million to carry out the engineering work for the Maple Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant. That was just one of many requirements placed on the Authority by USDA, which is lending HCSA $5 million, plus awarding it a grant of $10.4 million from federal stimulus funds to make improvements to the Maple Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Directors discussed the requirements placed upon the Authority in the 15 page letter setting forth the conditions which must be met in order to finalize the funding.

The entire project is estimated to cost $16,525,000 with money other than USDA funds coming from a $550,000 STAG grant and $575,000 from the Tobacco Commission.

The $5 million loan carries an interest rate of 2.375 percent with monthly payments running $16,700 over a 40 year period. However for the first two years, HCSA will only pay interest on the $5 million loan. Also USDA requires that the Authority have reserve funds to cover working capital and maintenance, replacement costs and debt service payments.

The Authority also has to provide evidence that it has at least 3,664 actual users on the sewer system who are connected to and using the existing system and paying their monthly bills.

Once the project is completed, the upgraded facility will increase treatment capacity at the plant from two million gallons daily to four million gallons. It also will eliminate overflow situations which have resulted in notices of violation from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) over the past three years and bring the operation up to DEQ standards.

Jones told Authority members on Thursday that he expects to close on the grant/loan by the end of the year with the design being completed by March of 2011 and advertisement for bids coming out by the end of June 2011. Construction should begin in July of 2011 with completion slated for January of 2013.

Earlier in their meeting directors approved a $5,962,865 budget for the coming year which shows a shortfall of $240,891 in expected revenues. Jones said the biggest shortfall comes in sewer revenues for the urban planning district ($327,108) as well as a $6,258 shortfall in the VIR system. He explained that rates for the coming year will have to address these shortfalls in order to satisfy USDA requirements. Directors said they will soon begin to address the rate increases which should take effect in January of 2011.

In earlier business Thursday HCSA directors recognized Mark Wilkerson, who heads the South Boston Leigh Street Water Treatment Plant, congratulating him on the plant’s recent gold award — their third such award. “You and all the employees there are doing a bang up job!” said Jones.

The director also reported that work on the Canterbury water lines has been completed and preliminary engineering work and surveying for the Banister Shores Project is set to begin soon. Jones said there has been some interest in hooking onto the new water line from residents along 501 who are not included in the original project.

Directors also elected Chairman Doug Bowman to a second two year term with Dexter Gilliam being elected vice chairman and Jones, secretary-treasurer.



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