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Halifax County supervisors unable to do much with roads
SoVaNow.com / June 27, 2013The Board of Supervisors on Monday heard from two citizens seeking help with their roads, but Halifax County has precious little money to carry out secondary road improvements this year.
During a public hearing on the county’s Six Year Secondary Road Plan, Ida Terry asked that improvements be made to State Route 716 from its intersection with US Route 360 to Route 344 leading to Staunton River State Park. Terry pointed out that her father started asking for the improvements to the road more than 20 years ago, and still nothing had been done to upgrade the stretch of narrow road that bears a lot of traffic.
Also seeking help was Estelle Forest of Lula’s Trail of Nathalie, who asked that something be done with a private road where she and four other families live. Forest said she has been there for five years and the road continues to get worse each year.
Following the hearing, supervisors approved the Six Year Plan, which extends through 2019 and contains three major projects. The first is a 1.1 mile relocation of Meadville Road (Route 642) which is estimated to cost $6.6 million; the second is the resurfacing of three-tenths mile of Buckskin Trail (estimated to cost $70,000), and the third is the bridge replacement on Wolf Trap Road of the Route 716 bridge over the Banister River at an estimated cost of $2.13 million.
Supervisors also approved an amendment to the County Code to authorize payment plans for delinquent real estate taxes prior to the issuance of a business license.
However, the supervisors agreed that back taxes must be paid with an approved payment plan not to exceed one year in length.
They also directed County Administrator James Halasz to request an extension of the opt-out period for participation in the Virginia Retirement System’s disability program. The extension will give county officials time to consider alternative options to the disability program.
Board members voted to approve a reimbursement resolution which will allow the county to segregate the costs associated with the Courthouse Project.
Finally, supervisors authorized the purchase of a new pick-up truck for the Public Works Department. They authorized Public Works Director Ricky Nelson to use $24,000 from the current year’s budget to pay for the truck and asked that he give local dealers the opportunity to match state-contracted prices.
During the public comment period at the conclusion of the meeting, one citizen, Margie Bowers, rose to question supervisors about their decision to lend $60,000 to the Prizery last year. Bowers wanted to know if any of the money had been repaid and if not, when it was expected to be repaid.
She said that while she was not opposed to The Prizery and had, in fact, attended some of the events there, she did not want to see her taxpayer money used for personal entertainment.
Her request drew no response from board members, according to standard practice. The Prizery loan is due to be repaid in the fall.
Comments"Bowers wanted to know if any of the money had been repaid and if not, when it was expected to be repaid.
She said that while she was not opposed to The Prizery and had, in fact, attended some of the events there, she did not want to see her taxpayer money used for personal entertainment."
Ms. Bowers, like too many others here, is missing the entire point of the Prizery. Sure, entertainment is part of the package, but look at the bigger picture. A thriving cultural scene is part of a successful community and affects outsiders' decisions to stop and see what's here or to just blow on thru, forgetting HC/SoBo exists. If they see the area is not completely nihilistic, it may influence them to return or even to invest in it.
If she doesn't want her tax dollars supporting it, suggest she make a donation of her own. $20 here and there adds up. One who can afford a ticket to a Prizery event can certainly afford a 20 buck donation.
- By powerhouse on 06 / 28 / 13
CommentsI would like to comment on the comment made “By powerhouse on 06 / 28 / 13.”
I agree with what Ms.Bowers said and I know there are many other Tax Payers in the Town of South Boston and Halifax County that also wanted to know if any of the money had been repaid and if not, when. Nor do I not want to see my tax dollars being used for personal interest and entertainment.
If I choose to support The Prizery with a donation, the purchase of a ticket, or volunteering my time, I am free to do so. I was born and raised here like generations passed, and this community is not nihilistic. If outsiders want to invest in such activities it is their free will to do so.
With The Prizery desiring to be a business to draw interest they should have taken on a business loan, not a note or ask for a gift from tax money. The point being those tax dollars are greatly needed for major expenses in Halifax County or the town of South Boston.
- By Anne H. Hunt on 06 / 30 / 13
CommentsAnne, my rebuttal to you is that $60k loaned to the Prizery was a hell of a lot better investment overall than what was spent to acquire the Fairgrounds property. The BoS still doesn't have a clue what to do with that and doubtful ever will. You tell me which was the money foolishly spent.
Besides, I at least want some return on my tax $$ since it seems the County thinks any property within ten miles of VIR is a gold mine.
I'm writing a check for a day's support of the Prizery this week. I for one appreciate what it does. I spent far too much of my life here with nothing to look forward to but tobacco fields, now non-existent factory jobs and narrow-minded people who neither understood nor wanted culture- it upset the status quo of tobacco fields and cotton mills, and made people think there was a world outside HC/SB.
- By powerhouse on 06 / 30 / 13
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