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Halifax Council continues ongoing projects / May 14, 2020

Halifax Town Council continue its work to improve traffic flow and beautify the town.

Dollar General and Edward Jones Investments are two businesses recognized with certificates for the landscaping around their businesses. A letter of congratulations to White Oak Primary Care, a new doctor’s office led by Dr. Shannon Scearce, will be delivered with flowers.

In reference to White Oak Primary care, “We are still working to schedule the date to celebrate their grand opening,” said Town Manager Carl Espy.

Developing more business in the Town of Halifax is the charge of the Here’s Halifax committee. There about 20 committee members who have been unable to meet due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the “binders are ready for pick up at the town office,” announced Espy, adding that having the binder of plans will help get the group moving.

The drive-through business at the Halifax Farmer’s Market is successful: $2,563 has been received at the market from 251 drive-through consumers.

“I have spent more money at the market than in the past,” said Council member Mike Trent. “It’s really easy to stop and shop with each vendor to purchase fresh produce with my kid in the car.”

Council also discussed business. A prospective location for a new business is the old Burlington plant. “We are hoping the owner of the building will redevelop and or rent the property,” said Espy.

“The town’s finances are tight,” said Bill Covington, chairman of the finance committee, who added this is not the time to increase tax rates, although they may increase in the future.

With low interest rates, Mayor Dexter Gilliam said, “It’s an attractive time to give thought to other capital development projects.”

Regarding two derelict properties on Mountain Road, Council is ready to take harder action after certified letters have been returned to the town office. The county building inspector or possibly the town itself will need to hire someone to get the specifics in order to condemn the properties.

“We need to outline every detail in violation of the town code on the property with photo evidence,” said Gilliam.

“It is shameful, and doesn’t speak well of the town,” added Councilman Jack Dunavant.

Canoe and kayakers may be able to enjoy the scenic Banister River from a new access point in the Meadville area.

“The exact location is to be determined based on analysis from Department of Game and Inland Fisheries,” said Espy.

Town Council members endorsed the efforts by the Dan River Basin Association along with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries with the new public launch boat ramp. Funding will be dependent upon successful grant applications to the Virginia Outdoor Foundation Preservation Trust Fund Public Access Program.

Council members also approved the Virginia Department of Transportation [VDOT] Administration for Halifax Downtown Streetscape/ Halifax County War Memorial Enhancement Project Construction Base bid award. This will allow completion of the sidewalks, crosswalks, decorative lighting and landscape completion without any contingencies based on bids, including demolition, repair, and modification of sidewalk sections to install conduit and decorative light post anchors within the VDOT right-of-way.

In the past few months, the railroad crossing, when driving into the town, has been a consistent issue of concern. Gilliam is continuing the conversation with Chris Winstead, VDOT Lynchburg District Administrator-Engineer.

Gilliam added, “We have received numerous complaints — it is rough and will throw out the alignment of your vehicle.”

The next Halifax Council meeting will be held at Town Hall on Tuesday, June 9 at 6:30 p.m.

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