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New Halifax County administrator to be introduced at meeting

Halifax County Supervisors plan to introduce a new county administrator when the board meets tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Mary Bethune office complex in Halifax.

Supervisors are expected to approve the new administrator’s contract as the first order of business.

 A total of 27 candidates applied for the top county position of administrator, and earlier supervisors narrowed the search for a new county administrator to the top six candidates.

Supervisors interviewed their top six picks in closed meetings over a 15-day period but were unable to select a new administrator from the group of applicants.

They then turned to Springsted Municipal Consulting of Richmond to see if that firm could refer any candidates for the county administrator position.

Springsted, a large consulting firm that performs chief executive searches for local governments, provided one candidate, outgoing County Administrator George Nester said, and Virginia Tech Center for Public Service referred the other potential candidate.

The new administrator will replace Nester who announced in December he would retire at the end of March after serving the county since April 2009 when he replaced former County Administrator Brian Foster.

After the process took longer than expected, Nester agreed to stay on until the end of June.

Tonight he is expected to attend his last supervisor’s meeting in the capacity of county administrator.

After introducing the new county administrator, supervisors are expected to hold four public hearings tonight.

The first, a hearing to determine approval of articles of incorporation for Halifax County Solid Waste Disposal Authority, is required before the operation can proceed on July 1 toward charging a user fee for waste disposal.

The creation of a solid waste disposal authority will provide the county with a means of recovering part of the cost of disposing of solid waste by assessing a fee on residential property owners for disposal.

The proposal calls for charging an annual household fee of $48, or $4 per month, to support disposal of solid waste.

County officials said the most practical means of collecting the fee is to bill it on residential users’ personal property taxes.

The other three hearings involve one rezoning application and two conditional use permits involving property all located in ED-6.

The first hearing is on a rezoning application from David Barksdale who is seeking to rezone 1.31 acres from B-1 to B-2 to locate an ATV sales and service center at 4226 Philpott Road on the north side of Philpott Road, approximately .53 of a mile east of its intersection with Humps Trail (State Route 929.)

The second hearing is on a conditional use permit application from Anthony Welch who wants to build an automotive garage on a site adjacent to 9218 Philpott Road, approximately .10 of a mile east of its intersection with Solomon Trail (State Route 747).

The final hearing is on a conditional use application from Dr. Lucy E. Williams to operate a bed and breakfast at 1202 Williamson Road approximately 1.5 miles east of its intersection with Calvary Road (State Route 119).

In other county business tonight, supervisors are expected to take the following actions:

w Present a resolution of commendation to the Halifax County Heritage Foundation recognizing contributions the foundation has made to educating and building sustained support for agriculture that has been the basic building block in the development of Halifax County since 1752;

w Hear a monthly status report from Kenneth Martin of the Virginia Department of Transportation;

w Listen to a request from Mid-Atlantic Broadband to support a wireless test-bed pilot project in the Town of Halifax to test the effectiveness of new technology that will expand rural wireless broadband in the region;

w Consider approving a joint resolution between the county and Town of South Boston to contribute $312,686 for a higher education grant for the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center to be divided over three years to match the $625,372 offered by the tobacco commission;

w Receive an update on increasing the size of the Williams Natural Gas Pipeline from the Chatham Natural Gas Compressor Station eastward to Brunswick County; and

w Hear reports from Planning/Zoning Administrator Robbie Love and Finance Director Stephanie Jackson and committee reports from board members.

w In unfinished business, supervisors are scheduled to make appointments to the Board of Zoning Appeals, Halifax County Improvement Council, Southside Regional Group Home Commission, Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, Transportation Safety Commission, Southside Virginia Community College, Library Board and Social Services Board and committees on which George Nester served as a member.

At the conclusion of tonight’s meeting, supervisors are expected to go behind closed doors in an executive session to discuss specific personnel matters, the acquisition or disposition of property; the protection of the privacy of individuals in personal matters not related to public business; a prospective business or industry or expansion of an existing business; consult with legal counsel and discuss award of a public contract involving public funds.