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Board Faces Four Public Hearings

Four public hearings will take place tonight when the Halifax County Board of Supervisors meets at 6:30 p.m. in the public meeting room of the Mary Bethune Administrative Complex in Halifax.

The first public hearing will be on 20 applications for agricultural and forestal districts (AFDs), representing the last of this year’s applications being considered, according to County Administrator George Nester.

The public will have an opportunity to comment on the following applications Monday evening during the hearings:

• West Branch, 847.52 acres
• Liberty, 713.46 acres
• Wildflower, 380 acres
• Maverick, 384.18 acres
• Whitesville, 574.51 acres
• Springwood, 1,404.57 acres
• Long Branch, 673.11 acres
• Difficult Range, 386.82 acres
• Hodges Land and Timber, 1,197.64 acres
• East Alton, 1,133.96 acres
• Chappells Bottom, 514.04 acres
• Younger Farms, 626.88 acres
• Banister, 362.22 acres
• Staunton Meadows, 413.89 acres
• Jones Ferry, 372.71 acres with following contingency: removal of PRN #28373
• Birch Creek/Edmunds, 3,092.09 acres
• Birch Creek/Easley, 462.41 acres
• Love Shop, 847.93 acres
• Pole Cat Creek, 312.50 acres
• Anderson, 254.28 acres

Following the hearings on the AFD applications, supervisors are expected to receive comments from the public on a conditional use permit for an RV campground in ED-7.

H. Reed Edwards and his wife, Leigh, have submitted an application to locate an RV campground with three additional camper hookups on the north side of Ramble Road (State Route 730) at 3132 Ramble Road in Virgilina.

The third public hearing of the evening is slated on a proposal by the Southern Virginia Botanical Gardens (SVBG) and Environmental Education Center to develop a series of public educational demonstration gardens on approximately 15 acres in Edmunds Park.

The SVBG, a not for profit organization, plans to furnish services to beautify and maintain the community by developing a botanical garden at Edmunds Park that will benefit the county and all guests visiting the park, according to the license agreement.

The term of the license agreement between the county and SVBG will be for 15 years beginning May 1 and continuing through April 30, 2025 with annual license fee of $1 being paid to the county treasurer.

According to the agreement, SVBG will develop and maintain the botanical garden at its own cost and expense and will feature different aspects of gardening and horticulture.

The garden will be open to the public at no charge at all times when Edmunds Park is open, and SVBG will provide for ongoing maintenance and operation of the garden, the agreement states.

SVBG will be allowed to construct an information center on the property and will provide a collection of resources for visitors to use in planning agricultural projects.

At the close of the project, all improvements within the park will become the property of the county, the agreement states.

Also tonight, supervisors are expected to hold a fourth public hearing on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Six Year Plan that has allocations totaling $596,481.

Projects listed in the Six Year plan include new construction and reconstruction of Meadville Road (SR 642) in 2011-2012 and resurfacing of Lilborn Trail (SR 838).

In other action tonight, supervisors are expected to hear a monthly status report from VDOT Residency Administrator J. D. Barkley II and a report on the 100th anniversary of the Halifax County Fair from Fair Coordinator Donnell Corelle.

The county administrator is slated to update board members on courthouse security and a request from the Town of Halifax on relocating the Dixie Youth baseball program.

Supervisors are expected to consider a resolution approving the issuance of debt in an amount not to exceed $4,000,000 by the Southside Regional Public Service Authority for the purpose of financing the design and construction of capital improvements to the regional solid waste disposal facility and sanitary landfill.

Also tonight supervisors are expected to receive an update on the AFD ordinances and set a public hearing date on a conditional use permit application from Lemuel Anthony Powell of Powell’s Guns and Ammo to locate a gun and ammunition retail store in ED#6 at the end of State Route 686 at 3102 Mercy Seat Road in Sutherlin.

Under unfinished business, board members are expected to make appointments to fill vacancies on the following boards and commissions:

•  Improvement Council: Fill four vacancies in ED#1, ED#4, ED#5 and ED#6 for terms that expire Jan. 31, 2011.

•  Transportation Safety commissioN: Fill four-year term vacancy in ED#5 that expires Dec. 31, 2011;

• Southside Regional Juvenile Group Home Commission: two vacancies with one at-large appointment that became effective Jan. 1 of this year with the resignation of Maurice Riddle; and one vacancy for a seat held by the late R. E. “Dickie” Abbott;

•  Southside Community Services Board: an at-large unexpired term ending June 30, 2013;

•  Southside Planning District Commission: Fill the three-year term that expired March 31 held by Gerald Lovelace; and

•  Economic Development Council: Make eight at-large appointments to two year terms that expired Nov. 30 of last year currently held by Lowell Ferguson, ED#1; Jeff Francisco ED#2; Donald Muse ED#3; Ted Bennett ED#4; Hill Felton Jr., ED#5; Ed Talbott ED#6; Weldon Shelton ED#7; and Aubrey Houghton, ED#8.

At the conclusion of tonight’s meeting, supervisors are scheduled to go behind closed doors in an executive session to discuss the acquisition or disposition of property; a prospective business or industry or expansion of an existing business; consult with legal council; and discuss award of a public contract involving public funds.