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Ministers continue efforts to halt play

Halifax County Little Theatre’s production of “To Kill A Mockingbird” will premiere this Thursday evening, but efforts to halt the play are scheduled to continue tonight.

Two area ministers are on the agenda to express concerns over the upcoming performance to Halifax County Board of Supervisors and South Boston and Halifax town councils during their joint meeting tonight.
The meeting gets under way at 6 p.m. in the second floor conference room of the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax.

NAACP Executive Director the Rev. Kevin Chandler and the Rev. Frank Coleman, pastor of First Baptist Church on Ferry Street, will address supervisors and council members at the end of tonight’s meeting.

Supervisor Chairman William Fitzgerald confirmed Friday afternoon the pair wished to air concerns over the play being performed.

“Our board will not get into a back and forth dialogue about this issue,” Fitzgerald said. “I respect their right to speak, and they will be given three to five minutes, and we will move on.”

Also during tonight’s meeting supervisors and council members will receive an update on the water supply and drought management plan for the county and towns.

According to County Administrator George Nester, under current Virginia law, independent cities and counties were assigned responsibility for identifying and developing a water supply plan.

The plans were written to prepare Virginia’s communities for possible droughts and water shortages that could severely affect lives and property, Nester said.

Halifax County contracted with Anderson and Associates last December to develop the required water supply plan that will affect all county citizens.

“This meeting allows an opportunity to update the governing bodies on the development of the water supply plan and drought management plan,” the county administrator said.

Halifax County Service Authority Executive Director Willie Jones said, as part of the water supply pan that is mandated by State Code, a drought response plan must be developed to guide the actions a locality takes to insure sufficient water supplies for essential uses.

The draft plan provides guidance to a local task force that includes representatives from the communities and agricultural sector.

The plan guides the task force to determine specific steps that could be taken locally, Jones explained.

“Although somewhat cumbersome, having a local task force gives the Halifax region the ability to tailor its responses to its specific conditions without having the state mandate actions during a drought that may not specifically apply to us,” Jones added.

“Others communities have suffered when severe restrictions have been imposed by the state. We need to maintain control over our local needs,” he added.

The plan is acceptable to the Department of Environmental Quality, Jones said, noting that it requires local approval by the board of supervisors.

Also during tonight’s joint meeting, Halifax County Chamber of Commerce President Nancy Pool will request the supervisors confirm 18 appointments of members to serve on the Halifax County Economic Development Council including the following:

• County Administrator George Nester

• Halifax County Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Mike Sexton

• South Boston Industrial Development Authority representative Ted Daniel

• Halifax County Chamber of Commerce President Nancy Pool

• Halifax Town Council representative, Town Manager Carl Espy

• South Boston Town Council representative, Mayor Carroll Thackston

• Halifax County Public Schools Superintendent Paul Stapleton/Larry Clark

• Extension Agent Grace Hite

• Halifax County Agricultural Development Director Linda Wallace

• Halifax County Tourism Director Linda Shepperd

• Southern Virginia Higher Education Center Executive Director Betty Adams

• Agriculture representative Lowell Ferguson

• Ed Talbott of Ed’s Honda Inc.

• Real estate representative Weldon Shelton

• Halifax Regional Health System representative Tom Kluge

• Cliff Somerville of Wedgewood Golf Center, Virginia State

• Ronnie Moore of American National Bank

• Gray Ramsey of Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative

The Economic Development Council is recommending each of the 18 appointees, Pool said.

Also tonight, Doris Chism of the Pathways Group Home is expected to address supervisors and town council representatives, and Dan Goerlich is slated to show a 4-H presentation as well as update the group on the Virginia Extension reorganization.

Virginia Department of Transportation Highway Residency Engineer Joe D. Barkley II is expected to introduce Jorg Huckabee-Mayfield to supervisors and council members.

Mayfield, the director of transportation and land use, will serve as the liaison to the counties of Halifax, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland and Prince Edward as well as the towns of Halifax, South Boston and Farmville.

Huckabee-Mayfield will attend meetings of the boards and councils for the purpose of updating them on the latest developments in transportation and will serve as the primary point of contact for transportation issues that may arise in a locality, Barkley said.

In other business tonight, supervisors and council members are expected to take the following actions:

•  Hear a status report on the town of Halifax’s request for donation of Kings Bridge Road Right of Way for the Banister River Gateway Project from VDOT;

• Be introduced to Gail Moody of the Southside Planning District Commission; and

•  Receive an update from Anne Raab and Douglas Powell concerning a Crossing of the Dan event.