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HCSA bids farewell to Gilliam, Stewart

SoVaNow.com / June 25, 2018
The Halifax County Service Authority board of directors Thursday approved a resolution of appreciation recognizing outgoing HCSA chairman Dexter Gilliam and finance chairman Stewart Nelson for their service. Members presented Gilliam with a framed resolution; Nelson was not in attendance, but hopefully will be present for the July meeting at which time a framed resolution honoring his service will be presented to him.

Also in attendance were newly named HCSA directors George Leonard and Kelly Phillips, who will take over the seats of both Gilliam and Nelson. Neither was eligible for another term.

Gilliam explained ongoing projects for the new directors — including the Sutphin Road connector line, which will move wastewater from the Town of Halifax’s old sewer system at Cowford Road to the wastewater treatment plant on Maple Avenue in South Boston.

The Sutphin project is ongoing and nearly half-finished. The 320-day contract period calls for laying 5,500 feet of 18-inch gravity sewer pipe and 12 manholes.

The companion Cowford Road project is also on-going and includes laying 5,600 feet of 10-inch gravity pipe. It is a 730-day project which, together with the Sutphin Road connector, will link the wastewater treatment facilities in South Boston and Halifax, resulting in improved service for customers in Halifax.

Gilliam also advised that the HCSA is continuing to work with Virginia International Raceway to complete an agreement with the Pittsylvania County Service Authority to interconnect with its water system. Gilliam said the HCSA has only two working wells to supply VIR with water, and track president Connie Nyholm says VIR has no additional capacity to provide water service to any new clients. HCSA is going to the Tobacco Commission with a grant request of $3.78 million to pay for a permanent solution to VIR’s water shortage problem, by connecting it with the Pittsylvania County Service Authority’s system.

With only four directors in attendance Thursday, the board agreed to move forward with a planning grant request for a sludge evaluation project. Currently, USDA offers grants of up to $25,000 for projects that will lower the cost of transporting and disposing of products that could be beneficial to local farmers. Estes noted that the HCSA spends about $180,000 annually to transport sludge to the regional landfill in Boydton.

In other business, directors Bill Snead and Gray Ramsey had a lot of questions about the proposed HCSA ServLine Program, a leak protection program offered in partnership with third party insurer ServLine. The program is touted as affordable and convenient protection for property owners who may incur steep costs for leaky pipes after water passes through the customer’s meter.

The program replaces the current HCSA leak adjustment policy. Residential customers will pay an additional $2.55 per month to participate in the water leak protection, and an additional $1.25 to participate in the sewer leak protection program.

The program would offer up to $2,500 for each leak loss. However, in order for customers to be eligible, their bills would have to be three times higher than their average monthly bill.

Snead and Ramsey each expressed concern about customers being automatically enrolled in the program unless they opt out of it.

Snead moved to table action on the Servline Program, until more directors are present to discuss the pros and cons of the program. No further action was taken on the matter.



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