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South Hill VFD wins support for truck purchase

SoVaNow.com / August 14, 2019
South Hill Fire Chief Rosser Wells came before South Hill Town Council on Monday night to seek the town’s support for a fixed rate 10-year note in the amount of $700,000 to pay for a new fire truck for the department.

The town was not asked to provide any funds, and according to Wells, the last 10-year note the fire department purchased was paid off in less than seven years, thanks to the generosity of the community members who support the SHVFD.

Wells said the new pumper tanker will cost around $711,000 and another $39,500 is needed to outfit the truck. The $50,000 amount above the loan amount will come from funds the department received from selling one of their older trucks to the Lake Gaston Volunteer Fire Department.

Wells also announced that the fire department recently received a $25,000 grant from Altria and that money will be used to purchase a 24-foot hazmat trailer.

In other business, Business Development Manager Brent Morris said he is working with Betty Arnold, Angie Kellett and Tina Morgan to create an innovative marketing plan to promote South Hill and Mecklenburg County as a destination to locate a brewery or distillery. The tag line for the campaign, Morris said, is “Tap Mecklenburg, 55,000 acres of fresh water and we are still thirsty.”

The team also has a website, visitmeckva.com/tap-mecklenburg/.

Shep Moss, who heads The Shops of South Hill, thanked town officials for their support of the first-ever “Fun in the Summertime” car show and concert held Friday and Saturday, August 9-10. “Everything was perfect, and we appreciate the town’s support,” said Moss.

Organizers had anticipated 85-90 vehicles participating in their show. As it turned out, 127 asked to be judged and another 73 came to the show for fun.

Gavin Honeycutt, owner of Gavin’s House of Flowers and a member of the merchants group, estimated the size of the crowd at around 1,000 people.

Moss read two of the many testimonials he said he has received in the aftermath of the cruise-in and concert. He promised to host a second annual Fun in the Summertime event over the weekend of August 7-8, 2020.

Council agreed to donate $5,000 to the Walkway of Honor initiative at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond. Callis said the money will be used to help pay for the stone markers and monuments upon which the names of southern Virginia veterans will be engraved.

Council also adopted a resolution approving the Highway 58 Arterial Preservation Plan recommendations for inclusion in the South Hill Comprehensive Plan.

Callis said in July 2019, Town Council was presented with the results of a study conducted by VDOT consultant Michael Baker outlining changes needed to the Highway 58 corridor to accommodate increasing traffic demands.

The study proposed changes to include a roundabout, and a traffic pattern known as a diverging diamond interchange. These will be located at three locations: near the gateway to town, at the I-85 interchange and near the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and 58 Bypass in front of Cracker Barrel, according to Callis

The proposed designs were shared with the public at a special meeting on July 31, but Callis said there is nothing etched in stone as far as which if any of these designs will be incorporated into Highway 58 near South Hill. He was simply asking Ccouncil to incorporate the suggested designs into the town’s comprehensive plan as a first step toward working with VDOT, and because an endorsement of these recommendations is needed to seek funding from VDOT’s Smart Scale program to pay for the improvements.

Changes to the traffic patterns on Highway 58 are not slated to begin for at least five years.

Council member Mike Moody asked for and received assurances from Callis that the public would be given at least one more opportunity to review and offer input on the proposals.

Finally, Bill Wilson, South Hill Public Works Director, said repairs to the culvert on Pleasant Street have been completed and the sink hole in Centennial Park has been repaired and eliminated.



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