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Halifax County Budget Battle Comes To End

The Halifax County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a budget appropriation resolution tonight officially adopting the $89,971,290 county budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Supervisors are slated to use $1,174,757 from the county’s reserve fund in order to balance the budget that calls for no increase in taxes and proposes a real estate tax rate of 43 cents per $100 value, personal property tax rate of $3.60 per $100 value and machinery and tools tax rate of $1.26 per $100 value.

Once the $1.7 million is drawn down from reserve funds to balance the 2011 budget, the county’s reserve fund will contain an approximate balance of $5.8 to $5.9 million, according to Finance Director Stephanie Jackson.

In other action Monday night, supervisors are scheduled to hold a public hearing on a conditional use permit by Charlie H. Hightower to rezone a tobacco farm to establish a water bottling and distribution business on a 6.5 acre parcel on Dixon Trail in ED#3.

Halifax Planning Commission members last week approved the conditional use permit for the “green energy” facility to be located approximately .20 of a mile beyond the end of state maintenance of Dixon Trail (Route 882).

“The water has been certified by the federal government. This water has a high manganese quality,” Hightower told county planners last week. “Manganese is a ‘brain mineral’ and is important in mental facility/functions and aids memory and other nerve faculties. It aids in natural immune restoration functions like iron, aids in oxygen transfer from lungs to cells. Manganese strengthens tissues, ligaments and tendons, and lining in and outside of organs. If the human body is well supplied with it, various tissues, cells and nerves become ductile, tensile and elastic.”

In other action tonight, supervisors are expected to hear a status report from Virginia Department of Transportation Highway Resident Administrator J. D. Barkley II.

County Administrator George Nester also is expected to update supervisors on the following items:

• Recommendation for Four Forks recycling collection site;

• Repairs to septic tank drain field at fairgrounds;

• Report on BTI broadband initiative, high-speed wireless Internet service by Mecklenburg-based BIT (a.k.a. Buggs Island Telephone, the rural telephone cooperative); and

• Virgilina Elementary School property.

Supervisors also are expected to set public hearings for Aug. 2 on four conditional use permit applications from Clear Signal Towers, LLC.
Clear Signal Towers is seeking to locate four 300’ telecommunications tower sites, one on the north side of Childrey Church Road on State Route 636 approximately .50 of a mile east of its intersection with L. P. Bailey Memorial Highway (Hwy. 501) and one on the south side of Volens Road (State Route 603) approximately .20 of a mile east of its intersection with L. P. Bailey Memorial Highway (Route 501).

The other two are proposed for a location east of Millstone Church Road (Route 843), approximately .40 of a mile north of its intersection with L. P. Bailey Memorial Highway (501), and the other on the south side of Bessie Marion Trail (Route 842), approximately .20 of a mile west of its intersection with Murphy Grove Road (Route 610).

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

• Improvement Council – Fill vacancy in ED#5 for a term that expires Jan. 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 Planning District Commission – an at large vacancy for an unexpired term of Rev. Roger Ford that expires Jan. 31, 2012.

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