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Supes to consider giving $250k to schools

Halifax County Supervisors are expected to consider paying the county school board $250,000 for conducting an efficiency review and curriculum audit of the school system when they meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. during the board’s regular monthly meeting in Halifax.

At last month’s meeting, supervisors tabled a request from the school system to release the $250,000 designated for the school efficiency review and curriculum audit.

Without comment, supervisors acted on a motion by ED-7 Supervisor Lottie Nunn to table any action on the request until the board’s Aug. 6 meeting.

In a letter requesting the funds, former Superintendent Paul Stapleton reported the two studies have been completed for the school division, with the efficiency review being conducted by Prismatic Services in March and the curriculum audit being conducted by Southeast Center for Effective Schools in April.

In May, supervisors appropriated $12,656,000 in county funds for the school budget and advised it would consider increasing the appropriation by $250,000 bringing the total school budget’s local funding to $12,906,000.

However, the $250,000 cannot be released without approval by the board, according to County Attorney Jeremy Carroll.

Also Monday night, supervisors are scheduled to hold a public hearing on a request from the Revs. Mattie and Frank Carr to declare a building on the grounds of Halifax Elementary School formerly used as a temporary classroom declared surplus and donated to the Living Word of Christ Fellowship.

According to County Manager Jim Halasz, the county has not used the building in many years and would benefit from having this item declared surplus and removed from the site.

Since the Carr’s made their request, a concern has been raised regarding The County Head Start Program using this building.

The Head Start Program has moved from Mary Bethune and is now located at a local church.

However, this facility will not be sufficient for the future space needs of the program, and next year additional space will be required, Halasz said.

In that event, he said the program would like to be considered for use of a building on the grounds of the Halifax Elementary School and is requesting the county make a building available for them.

The building sought by the Carrs will not suit Head Start’s needs, according to Tri County Community Action Agency Director William Coleman, and Head Start is seeking one of the older, larger buildings.

No conflict exists in the uses of the two buildings requested by the Carrs and Head Start, Halasz explained.

Halasz cautioned the board on donating the building to the Carrs noting the building has value.

“This building represents an asset for which the taxpayers of the county could expect to recover some funds from if a sale of the building were to occur. Therefore, in the best interest of the taxpayers of Halifax County, I would ask the board not donate the building to the Carrs and instead declare the building surplus and authorize a sale to the highest bidder,” the county administrator said.

Supervisors are expected to make a decision on what to do with the building following tonight’s public hearing.

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

Receive a status report from Kenneth Martin of the Virginia Department of Transportation;

 Hear a presentation from Community Services Board Executive Director Donald A. Burge and consider accepting the performance contract between the Southside Community Services Board and the State Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services that specifies the responsibilities of the state and local Community Services Board in providing services to the mentally ill, mentally challenged and substance abuse clients in Halifax County and other localities served by the Community Services Board;

 Receive an update from the county administrator on a proposed agreement with the Halifax County Solid Waste Disposal Authority that will be considered for approval Sept. 4 outlining the specific terms for disposing of the county’s solid waste;

The Board of Supervisors has created a separate agency under State Code to provide for the disposal of solid waste within the county, and that authority contracts with the county for the actual day to day operations of disposal services including pickup from the convenience sites and green boxes, operation and maintenance of the transfer station and transport of waste to the regional landfill, the county administrator explained.

Establishing the separate agency for the purpose of disposing of the county’s solid waste is required before fees can be charged for the service, he added.

The county has implemented a $4 per month solid waste disposal fee this year which requires the establishment of the agency.

The new Halifax County Solid Waste Authority is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. prior to the supervisors meeting.

 Consider accepting a $39,808 grant award from the Rescue Squad Assistance Fund to implement an Emergency Medical Dispatch Program for the county and provide $4,992 in county funds as a capital match and $4,752 for system maintenance during 2012-13;

 Receive an update on Halifax County’s Erosion and Sediment Control Program Review;

 Hear an update regarding the annual facility inspection of the county animal shelter that passed in June with a perfect record of no insufficiencies;

 Set a public hearing for the Sept. 4 board meeting on proposed amendments to the county code that would permit the county to recover costs associated with methamphetamine lab cleanups;

 Consider relocating the Republican Grove precinct polling place from the North Halifax Volunteer Fire Station to the fellowship hall at First Baptist Church of Republican Grove.

 Set a public hearing on a request from Douglas D. and Melissa E. Bowen for a conditional use permit to locate a country store and creamery at a location at 3070 Howard P. Anderson Road in ED #4;

 Hear a financial report from Finance Director Stephanie Jackson along with any committee reports; and 

 Fill vacancies on the Board of Zoning Appeals, Halifax County Improvement Council, Southside Regional Group Home Commission, Transportation Safety Commission, Lake Country Area Agency on Aging, Board of Equalization, Community Criminal Justice Board and committees on which former County Administrator 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.