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Halifax chips in $5,000 for uranium fight
SoVaNow.com / October 10, 2013
Halifax Town Council, by a 6-0 vote Tuesday night, approved a $5,000 contribution to the Virginia Coalition to oppose the mining of uranium in Virginia.
“Contingencies require prioritizing,” wrote Finance Committee members Dennis Witt and Jack Dunavant. “Keeping the ban on uranium mining in our locality is a priority of the first order.
“We as a people, both individually and collectively, i.e. local government, civic groups, should vigorously defend our way of life and the future of our community.”
Finance members said the money will come from a combination of revenue sources which are either one-time, as in the sale of assets, or revenue lines that may exceed projections, or expense lines that may not be fully expended.
They also added that not all the monies would go to the Roanoke River Basin Association at the same time. Rather, Council will evaluate the most effective use of the money. “We want to put the money in the right place where it will do the most good,” Witt said.
“We believe the Town of Halifax should be a leader in this opposition. If not us, who? We append millions of dollars each year on education, economic development, infrastructure for water, sewer and highways, public safety and the list goes on. And now we find ourselves faced with a threat of immense proportions, a threat that could alter our way of life and put us in the path of a pending catastrophe we can’t even describe. And yet we debate whether to spend public monies to oppose this.
“This recommendation is intended to be a rational approach to an issue not of our choosing. The time and place of this battle was chosen by the proponents of uranium mining. The battle is now, the issue hot.
“To relegate this fight to others seems irresponsible. We could wake up one day to the knowledge of a uranium mine 30 miles upstream. Even with a fight there is no guarantee of the ban. Without a fight we most certainly can expect the mine to become a reality.
“To those who support mining uranium, we respect your right to do that. We believe the citizens of the Town of Halifax and Halifax County overwhelmingly oppose such a mine,” Witt and Dunavant wrote in their recommendation.
Councilman Ronnie Duffey said he supports the effort to keep the ban on uranium mining, but asked where the Town would get the money to make the contribution. Witt reiterated his earlier comments about funds coming from a one time sale of assets or from unused budgeted expenses. He also stressed that not all the money would be allocated at the same time.
Councilman Confroy added that he feels support for the Coalition is in the best interest of the town and Dunavant added that the Town is lucky to have the many volunteers who are working so hard to defeat uranium mining. “If we had to pay these people just minimum wage for their work, it would reach six figures. We’re getting a real deal and should applaud all who are fighting for us.”
Council member Kristy Johnson, who supports keeping the ban, offered a suggestion — that next year the Coalition make its request for funds in time to be included in the coming year’s budget.
In other business Tuesday night, Events Coordinator Susi Robbins said plans for the second annual October Halifest are moving along well with vendors excited about the October 26 event.
“It is our goal to showcase the town during our annual Earth Day, Halifax Jams and Halifest events,” she said, noting that the Farmers Market events have increased in attendance this year over those of years past.
It was also reported that a budget for the Village Association’s Community Clock Project and plans for its installation will be available during Council’s November meeting.
Police Chief Kevin Lands reported to Council on his work in making the public aware of the crosswalks in the town, both pedestrians and motorists. He also said his department has received a grant which will pay one-half of the cost of bulletproof vests for Town police officers.
CommentsCome on Halifax Town you can do better than 5k, with the Banister River at your doorstep. Wimps!!!!!
- By Only $5000 on 10 / 10 / 13
CommentsWhy are we fighting over this?
- By Freeman Family on 10 / 18 / 13
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