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Promo video stirs Council complaints

SoVaNow.com / February 13, 2020
At their regular monthly meeting on Monday, South Boston Town Council addressed drainage and street improvements, fire station expansion costs and a recent cable channel program that some members criticized for providing an incomplete picture of the town.

Town Manager Tom Raab updated council members on two upcoming drainage projects, at Irish Street and Eastwood Court, Greenway Drive.Sealed bid for both of these projects are being received by the Town of South Boston at the office of engineering firm B&B Consultants, located at 706 Hamilton Boulevard. Both projects are expected to start on March 30, with the Irish Street work due to for completion on June 28, and a completion date of May 29 for the Greenway Drive improvements.

Various streets need resurfacing throughout the Town of South Boston. A non-mandatory pre-bid conference will be held Feb. 18 at 1:30 p.m. at the offices of Summit Design and Engineering Service, PLLC, located at 606 Broad Street, Suite C in South Boston.

Utility poles on Fenton Street have thrown an unexpected glitch into plans for the South Boston Fire Department addition. Relocating two utility poles and rerouting the computer cable underground, which come from GCR Communications, is estimated to cost the town an additional $15,000.

“Who runs underground fiber work locally?” asked Mayor Ed Owens.

Raab said he could think of two companies, Better Cable Service and another firm out of Richmond. Owens suggested that Raab should check with Pittsylvania County for companies that offer underground cable installation.

During the citizen comment segment of the meeting, Councilman Michael Byrd addressed a recent HGTV video, “Hometown Makeover” found circulating on YouTube and Facebook. Byrd and Councilwoman Tina Wyatt-Younger said they have received complaints about the video due to its lack of diversity in how South Boston is presented. This video was not produced or endorsed by The Town of South Boston or Destination Downtown South Boston. However, the end of the video includes the South Boston seal.

The preface of the HGTV video, created by Jeremy Holt with Long & Foster Real Estate in South Boston, is meant to entice support for a makeover for downtown South Boston. Anyone in the community could create their own video.

“I love this town, I love our community,” said Byrd, adding while Council can’t do anything about this video, it should set some guidelines before South Boston’s name is lent to future such productions.

“We don’t want someone to put anything negative out [with our seal],” said Councilwoman Sharon Harris.

“I just saw the video today,” said Owens. Owens noted that Springfield Distillery, which is featured in the video, is 12 miles outside of South Boston and really did not fit into a publicity video for the town.

The HGTV Hometown Makeover video was not brought to the attention of the Town Council or Destination Downtown prior to being aired.

If Council had known about this opportunity, “we could have had several hundred videos,” said Harris.

For those who called Byrd and Wyatt-Younger expressing complaints about the video, they were invited to come and voice their opinions at the council meeting.

“We are an open board, open council, we care about each other,” said Byrd

In the HGTV Hometown Makeover video, Raab is shown standing inside the Randolph Motel. Raab said he was asked to say a few words for the promo video, but did not have a script to work off of.

“I’ve never seen HGTV and I’m not of Facebook, I will be more careful next time,” he said.

The YouTube video has since been marked private and is no longer available for viewing. Contacted about the matter this week, Holt declined comment.

Ending the meeting with a sweet note, Ronnie Pate passed heart-shape candy boxes to council members as a show of thanks from the Dixie Youth program. The next Town Council meeting will be held on March 9 in Council Chambers on Yancey Street.



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Comments

Great job with the video!

Comments

Once again, a Halifax/South Boston group is doing something to try and improve the area and because individuals feel slighted or left out in the smallest way, it is torn apart. Get over it people, never will something be 100% acceptable to ALL people. NEVER! And now, because a few scorn the video, it is no longer viewable and the chances of South Boston being selected are extremely diminished. If a group was upset about the lack of diversity in the video, well they have/had the freedom to do their own video and submit it as well. If they do, they better make sure to have a lot of diversity. I have watched other videos that have been submitted for this chance at a makeover and a lot of those videos lacked diversity as well. The difference between those areas and Sobo...their communities are supporting the video in hopes of better their community, not trying to stop it.

Comments

Dem 2020 diversity and inclusion checklist- blacks-asians-indians-hispanics-aztecs-slave owning racist white men- transgenders-pedophiles-unicorns and fairy dust. all better.


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