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Halifax asked to chip in $5,000 for uranium effort

SoVaNow.com / September 12, 2013
Halifax Town Council will consider a request to provide $5,000 to the Virginia Coalition to help the business group advance the fight against uranium mining in the upcoming General Assembly session.

“If the existing moratorium on mining is lifted, the Town of Halifax would suffer per capita the worst effects as your town boundaries are contiguous to the Banister River. Property values would decrease and the recreational use of the Banister would be non-existent,” John Cannon, president of the Coalition told Council members.

Cannon explained that the Coalition has set a modest goal of raising $150,000. Of that sum, $85,000 will go to support its 16 lobbyists in Richmond, $35,000 will be spent to educate the public about the dangers of uranium mining, and another $5,000 will cover administrative needs and travel expenses.

Cannon pointed to the fact that Virginia Uranium has spent in excess of $570,000 in 2013 alone for its team of over 20 lobbyists. VUI has vowed to return in 2014 to seek legislation to start the regulatory process to allow mining and milling.

“Our goal is to make strategic and wise use of the funds raised so that we can remain efficient in protecting your community and your neighbors from the substantial risks associated with uranium mining and milling,” Cannon said.

Council took no action on the request, but noted it would be considered during their October meeting.

Council members also heard a second guest presentation, this from the Executive Director of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority Matt Leonard.

Leonard explained that the county’s Enterprise Zone is being expanded to include the Town of Halifax, as well as the Huber plant. The expansion includes Sunshine Mills, the former Burlington property and the Krueger Dam in the town and makes those businesses as well as others in the town who expand and offer new jobs eligible for special tax incentives.

Mayor Dick Moore also announced new council committee assignments, naming Dennis Witt to chair the Financial/Personnel Committee with Jack Dunavant assisting.

Councilwoman Kristy Johnson was named to head the Business Development Committee with Ronnie Duffey also serving.

Councilman Bill Confroy will continue to head the Current Affairs/Issues Committee with Councilwoman Janice Powell helping.

Confroy and Johnson were named to lead the Library project with Confroy and Powell working on the Gateway project. Councilmen Dunavant and Witt were named to head the Uranium Keep the Ban project.

During Council’s work session, which was held prior to the regular meeting, Assistant Town Manager Denise Barksdale reported that the town has had one of its most successful Farmers Market programs averaging 100 customers each Saturday as 23 vendors offer goods each day.

Barksdale also advised that the Town will for the first time host an indoor holiday market for Christmas shoppers on the first three Saturdays in December on 7, 14 and 21. “The Holiday Market,” she pointed out, “will be open for local farmers, as well as for any local crafters and product/home based businesses who have products to showcase during the Holiday Season.”

Town Manager Carl Espy advised that he expects the “Watch for Children” signs to be delivered next week and he hopes to see those installed by the last week of the month or early in October.

Council members were advised that the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors is requesting the General Assembly to extend the Scenic River designation to that part of the Banister River which flows through its county. If that request is approved 63.33 miles of the river (up from the current 38.4 miles) will qualify for the special designation.

Police Chief Kevin Lands advised Council that now that crosswalks have been newly painted and signage put up alerting drivers and the public to them, his department will strictly enforce the law. He noted that several complaints about motorists not stopping for the crosswalks have been filed and his officers will be carefully watching for offenders.

Council also approved a resolution presented to them by Nancy Chandler, regent of the local chapter of the DAR, recognizing September 17-23 as Constitution Week.

Members also heard a request from several citizens asking that Gatha’s Trail, which leads to the historic African-American cemetery, be improved. Council members said they will look into the matter to see what can be done to help resolve the problem.

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Comments

Newly painted crosswalks, signs, and strict enforcement. Come on Chief that's only part of the solution. Here's an idea, give the concerned citizens an opportunity to do some volunteer work. Hand them a traffic vest and a whistle. Just please don't give them a ticket book.

Comments

I think Halifax should chip in at least $100,000 to the uranium cause. Congressman Jack turn up the heat on your buddies on council. If you TRULY believe that the cause is just and worthy. Get your new chief of police to turn Halifax into a speed trap and you can use the fines to fight uranium:-) hey, raise taxes, your constituents can stand it, kinda share the wealth for the cause!!!!


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