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Johnson tapped Halifax vice mayor

Kristy Johnson was elected vice mayor of the Town of Halifax Tuesday night during the regular monthly Halifax Town Council meeting held in town hall.

The vote was unanimous with Johnson abstaining.

Following the election of the new mayor, the public was a no show for a public hearing held on proposed parking changes.

Council approved the new amendments to town code that included proposed fines for parking violations.

Fines for being overparked in a two or one-hour zone, parking in a restricted or permitted area, parking in a crosswalk, blocking a driveway, parking at a fire hydrant, parking in a reserved space, double parking, parking on the wrong side of the street or parking in a handicapped space were raised from $10 to $25, and fines for parking in a handicapped zone were raised from $100 to $200.

In other action Tuesday, council adopted a resolution asking the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to add Gatha’s Trail to its secondary system, and the town guarantees VDOT an unrestricted right of way 30-feet in width over the entire length of the road.

Also during the meeting, council adopted a new paid time off policy for its employees along with corresponding changes in the town’s personnel policy manual.

 The new plan is effective for all new full-time employees hired as of July 1 and will go into effect for existing employees on Jan. 1, 2015 with any accrued sick leave at that time frozen up to 720 hours as allowed in the current policy which can be used in the event an employee qualifies for under short-term or long term disability coverage.

The new policy includes accrual of vacation and sick leave days for those who have served between one to three years and allotment of vacation and sick leave days for those who have served four plus years. 

 The policy allows employees to accrue a certain number of paid time off hours a month based on years of service while accruing eight hours of sick leave per month.

An employee can accrue a maximum of 240 hours of annual leave and 720 hours of sick leave, according to the policy.

 Also during Tuesday’s meeting, council awarded a $9,950 contract to Carr’s Enterprises for the removal of four derelict properties.

 According to Halifax Town Manager Carl Espy, the contractor will be responsible for contacting Miss Utility prior to demolition work in addition to coordinating with Dominion Virginia Power and the Halifax County Service Authority as needed to secure and cap off any service lines.

Council also adopted a resolution approving the amended charter agreement of the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy proposed by the Academy Board of Directors. 

According to Academy Executive Director Ronald Stanton, the recommended amendments are designed to more accurately define the policy’s rules and procedures in keeping with present and future needs of the academy. 

The charter agreement is a document required by the code of Virginia setting forth the aims, policies, rules and procedures agreed upon by the participating localities and criminal justice agencies joining to create a regional training academy. The current agreement dates from the creation of the academy in 1975 and as amended in 1990, and the board’s opinion is that it not longer adequately addresses the operational and management needs of the academy.

 In other business Tuesday, Espy informed council the town has requested sealed bids for the construction of Phase One of the Halifax Community Clock Plaza.  The contract bid covers the base and installation of the new clock and new sidewalk seat walls and planting.

Improvements include demolition of existing asphalt, new asphalt and sidewalk, three seat walls with lighting, clock base and electrical, donor pavers, painting and relocation of one water line.

Sealed bids will be opened at 2 p.m. on Aug. 5 in the town office. 

 A project orientation meeting will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the town office to discuss the scope of the project and an optional walk-through of the project area, Espy said.