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Halifax supervisors tee up school borrowing of $135 million, employee pay raises

Halifax County is poised to borrow $105 million to build a new high school with an additional $25 million set aside for elementary school upgrades — the recommendation of the…

Tuck Airport gets $790,000 from infrastructure bill

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Stuff you can’t make up / March 10, 2016
Dear Viewpoint:

You just can’t make this stuff up! Monday evening the people of Halifax lost a fight to bring jobs here. The railroad was ready to roll over the people. The railroad included the supervisors, the town of Halifax Administration and the IDA. Almost 10% of the folks who live in the town showed up to show support for local jobs and investment. Our supervisors voted to outsource jobs to a Hanover economic developer, really! Why the county of Hanover allows their director to develop projects in another county is beyond me.

The competing proposal (Houston Place) could not have favored Halifax more. Much of the cost and risk will now fall to Halifax taxpayers. Houston Place developers would take on more of the cost and give jobs to Halifax residents only, but the supervisors were already set. Their resolution was already written before the meeting so the poor little citizens were up against the worst kind of government cronyism. The citizens wasted their breath. You can’t make this stuff up!

I’m so confused. Didn’t we elect these folks to support Halifax? Even Danville got a vote of confidence from JT Davis who feels “local” means Danville really! He is chairman of the finance committee that used criteria (stacked deck) that clearly favored Echelon. It’s incredible to watch Dennis Whitt use every bureaucratic maneuver to guide this board to vote against a local developer and local jobs. What he did was so hurtful to Halifax. You have to wonder who these guys are working for. You wanted to rush home after the meeting and shower. Normally you only find this kind of back stabbing in larger cities.

You can only wonder why they turned their back on Halifax jobs and took on all the risk for the project. I can only speculate that personal issues came into play. Jack Dunavant has clashed with leadership several times and the chickens may have come home. But at what cost? The citizens lost another one because of a vendetta.

Echelon has a one year option to consider additional issues they may be concerned with. That means we will be paying more and more to cover the cost of construction. Echelon refuses to pay for removal and remediation of buried fuel tanks so Halifax will take care of it. Houston Place would install an elevator to attract the elderly and make it more attractive but Echelon will not. Houston Place would only hire Halifax contractors but that’s not important to the board. Echelon says they will employ 50% to 70% local residents but local to them and JT Davis includes counties and cities around Halifax, really! You just can’t make this stuff up.

If you need work, the supervisors think you should move out of Halifax. Depending on this board and IDA to bring jobs to Halifax is like waiting for the tooth fairy. The Town of Halifax administration and the IDA didn’t want more jobs and a new company started in our town, really! You have to wonder why these folks would give away jobs and investment to a Hanover economic developer instead of Halifax. Our tax dollars and valuable property have been given away. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, they say, and we’ll see how the supervisors, the IDA and town administrations’ decision plays out. You just can’t make this stuff up!

Mike Sexton

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