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Service Authority talks reappointment, state mandates; takes tour of wastewater facility

Thomas Walton has been nominated for reappointment to the Halifax County Service Authority, and now his nomination will go to the Halifax County Board of Supervisors and both Halifax and South Boston town councils for approval.

The executive board of the Halifax County Service Authority nominated Walton for reappointment to the board during their monthly meeting held Thursday afternoon in the engineer’s conference trailer at the Maple Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Also at Thursday afternoon’s meeting, the board adopted two resolutions pertaining to state mandated Virginia Retirement System changes.

As part of the resolutions, the authority elected to pay a 13.16 percent contribution rate effective July 1, and authority employees who are Virginia Retirement System members must begin paying the 5 percent member contribution rate effective July.

All employees hired on or after July 1 must pay the full 5 percent with no phase in allowed. 

The state permits governing bodies to phase in the member contribution over each of the next five years or until current employees are paying the full 5 percent contribution, according to Executive Director Willie Jones.

In a related budget matter, Jones outlined the authority’s proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2012-2013.

The proposed budget projects total debt service at $1,024,117 and total funds available for capital repair at $493,668.

Jones also updated members on authority project activity. 

According to Jones, testing on the direct drafting of accounts has been completed, and the bank is still making other modifications to the system for group drafting. 

Jones said the authority is still waiting for an answer from rural development on their next loan approval to convert the Halifax wastewater treatment plant to a pump station, and 14 responses have been received to the advertisement the authority placed for engineering term services back in January.

 Interviews are scheduled for today and Tuesday, Jones said. 

The bond the authority agreed to sell in order to finance the Leigh Street Water Treatment Plant is scheduled to be sold this week, Jones said. 

Authority Financial Services Director Arnetta Roberts is working through the list writing off uncollectible accounts from prior to June 2010, the authority executive director said. 

Also Thursday afternoon the board took a tour of the Maple Avenue Waste Water Treatment Plant led by Resident Inspector Matt Leonard.

According to Jones, the water undergoes a biological process at the plant going through a number of stages including pre-treatment and screening, grit removal, aeration basin, clarification, sludge digestion and sludge dewatering. 

Oxygen is introduced to waste water combined with organisms to develop a biological floc, which reduces the organic content of the wastewater.