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South Boston seeks funding for Landfill to Energy Project / April 29, 2010
South Boston Town Council is seeking a $131,085 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission to support the town’s Landfill to Gas Energy Project.

On Monday afternoon, Council members — except for Councilman Ed Owens, who serves on the Tobacco Commission — voted to authorize Town Manager Ted Daniel to apply for money from the Tobacco Commission’s Reserve Fund to support the project, which has been awarded a $393,252 grant from the state-administered Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBGP).

That program seeks to deploy the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable energy technologies across the country. The EECBGP grant program requires a 25 percent funding match, which the Town is hoping the Tobacco Commission will support.

The resolution, passed by Council on Monday, states that the full development of the Landfill Energy Project will put the Town in a position to capitalize on revenues generated in Phase I and insure the completion of Phase II. The second phase marks the production of electricity, which should mean lower power rates than otherwise might be expected for town customers.

Earlier in their meeting, the Current Issues Committee heard an update on the Washington-Coleman Community Center Project. Daniel said he is hoping the town will receive federal funds of some $900,000 for renovations to the facility. Daniel said he has been talking with staff members of Congressman Tom Perriello about the funds and is optimistic they will be made available.

“They’re enthusiastic and working hard,” Daniel said of the congressional staffers, “but we just have to wait and see how successful they are.”

The town manager said a lot of work could be carried out if the $900,000 grant becomes available The grant would require a matching contribution of $250,000, giving the Town a total of $1,150,000 to work with.

“We’d have to see how far that money will go,” Daniel said, “but our first priority will be to install a new heating and air conditioning system.” That would be followed by the installation of new windows. “The roof is in good condition,” Daniel said.

If the application is successful, Daniel said, “I would try to start work on the project in the spring of 2011.” He also explained that he would like to see a personal computing center established at the center for use by members of the community who do not have access to computers in their homes.

Members of the Finance Committee got a good report from Finance Director Erle Scott, who reported that collection efforts in the current budget year have been very successful — some $99,165 has been collected in delinquent accounts, plus penalties and interest.

A public hearing on the Town’s upcoming FY2010-11 budget will be held at Council’s regular monthly meeting on Monday evening, May 10. The budget is based on a 10 cent-per-$100 real estate tax and includes no tax or fee increases.

Following a closed session, Council members voted to accept a donation of some 26 lots which sit opposite Poplar Creek Street between the Fairmont Apartments and Second Baptist Church.

Jenny Wilkins donated the land to the town, which Daniel said he hopes will be used for single family affordable housing units. The Town Manager said he hopes to be able to obtain a housing grant to construct homes on the lots, similar to those in the Sunnybrooke Subdivision.

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