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New HCSA budget bumps up debt service spending
SoVaNow.com / May 19, 2014Directors of the Halifax County Service Authority on Thursday afternoon unanimously approved a $4,982,825 budget for the coming year — a $77,000 boost over the current year.
The spending increase is mainly due to higher costs for servicing the debt on a Rural Development loan and grant for the upgrade to the Maple Avenue Wastewater plant, and a Virginia Resource Authority loan to fund improvements to the Lasco Pump Station and the Cowford Road project.
While debt service is rising by $60,323, personnel costs will be reduced by $7,470 in the fiscal year 2014 budget, which goes in effect July 1.
In other key features of the budget, operations expenses are set to rise by $3,492 and there is a $70,000 contingency fund that may be needed for licensure exams, ongoing projects and unscheduled maintenance.
HCSA board members also congratulated Clay Samples, supervisor of the Leigh Street Water Treatment Plant and his staff, for their Gold recognition of the plant’s performance over the past year. It was the sixth year the Leigh Street plant has been recognized by the state with the gold plaque.
HSCA Executive Director Mark Estes advised directors that he has billed the Department of Environmental Quality $17,319.45 for costs associated with the filtration of water from the Dan River following the February release of coal ash at Duke Power’s Eden plant.
DEQ in turn will collect the money from Duke Energy. Estes said he will continue to send the invoices to DEQ for expenses related to the coal ash spill on a quarterly basis.
Reviewing projects which HCSA has under way, Estes said he hopes that the Maple Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant project will be completed by the end of June. Completion was originally scheduled for September of 2013, but with 20 change orders, it has been delayed several times.
The Lasco pump station project now awaits the arrival of pipes but Estes expects it to be completed by August 1.
In other business, HCSA members recommended the reappointment of chairman Dexter Gilliam and finance chairman Stewart Nelson. Their recommendations must be passed on for final approval by the Halifax County Supervisors and members of both the South Boston Town Council and Halifax Town Council.
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