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Halifax Town Council updated on police chief, Dollar General

Eight applications have been submitted for the position of Halifax Police Chief, Town Manager Carl Espy told Halifax Town Council during its combined committee meeting and work session Wednesday night in Halifax Town Hall.


According to Espy, of the eight applications, one seemed like “a possible candidate.”

Deadline for accepting applications is Thursday, April 26.

The town manager also updated council Wednesday on the new Dollar General Store slated to be built in the town.

Par 5 Development, LLC and Redson Properties continue negotiations to acquire the property located at the southwest corner of Highway 501 and Virginia Scenic Byway 360.

Late last year, council approved 
Par 5’s request to rezone the property from residential to commercial for 
construction of a Dollar General Store.

Par 5 has signed an extension agreement with current property owner Frank Carr and anticipates closing May 30 or May 31, Espy said.

The builders are looking at 90 to 120 days of construction, he added. The early fourth quarter of the year is when the store is most likely to open.

Espy shared an architect’s rendering of the store with council members Wedneday evening.

In other town business, Espy said the Virginia Beach uranium study is on the agenda for the April 16 joint meeting of the county board of supervisors and the Halifax and South Boston town councils.

Councilman Jack Dunavant said he also has asked Andrew Lester of the Roanoke River Basin Association to attend the joint meeting and give a presentation.

In a related discussion, council members discussed renewing the lease for the “Keep the Ban” uranium billboards leased from J & L Leasing.

No decision was reached Wednesday evening.

Council officially welcomed newly hired Events Coordinator Susi Robbins during their Wednesday night meeting, and she updated them on the upcoming Earth Day event schedule slated for April 21 in downtown Halifax as well as other events planned throughout the year.

Robbins said she and Assistant Town Manager Denise Barksdale are working on coordinating a sponsor database, and they have planned five events for the year beginning with the Earth Day Celebration later this month.

Snakes once again will be a big hit with the youngsters at this year’s Earth Day event, she anticpated.

The Virginia Department of Forestry along with Master Gardeners will have trees for sale at the daylong event also, Robbins said.

The events coordinator said all sponsors should be confirmed by today and will have been sent vendor sheets via email.

The dates for three Friday night jams are also being considered. Robbins said she plans for the first and last jams to showcase local talent and last from 6 to 9 p.m., with the second event scheduled to showcase visiting talent and blues music.

Council discussed the Halifax Marketplace and Farmers Market Wednesday night after the assistant town manager updated them on the market’s progress.

According to Barksdale, the market will open on April 28 with at least 15 vendors, mostly produce vendors.

A grand opening will be held in June, but an exact date hasn’t been decided yet.

Barksdale said she is waiting on the Town of South Boston to confirm their date before moving forward.

Many local and non-local businesses have agreed to sponsor the market, and one of the businesses has agreed to make a monthly donation.

A Master Gardeners plant sale will be held May 5 from 7:30 a.m. until noon, Barksdale said.

Council also went into closed session to discuss an update on proposals from real estate marketing and builder-developer firms.

No action was taken, but council authorized Espy to put the issue on the agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting.

Espy gave council an update on the progress of the Halifax Downtown Revitalization project currently under way.

If everything goes as plan, crews should wrap up the underground conduit installation portion next Thursday, and then Dominion is expected to begin its aerial work.

“It will take Dominion and Comcast two months to get their stuff off of the poles,” Espy said.

In other town business Wednesday evening, council discussed the planning commission’s terms of office.

Currently, the seat held by Commissioner Tim Moore is vacant. Council agreed that Thomas Majors, Mike Sexton and Neville Kidd are possible candidates for the seat.

Also reviewed Wednesday evening was the March 2012 finance report.

According to the report, the town’s total income was at 71.5 percent for the month.

The police department income was at 102.6 percent, administrative expenses are at 72 percent, police department expenses are at 55.9 percent, fire department expenses are at 73.5 percent, street expenses are a 30.6 percent, sanitation expenses are at 60.7 percent, and general expenses are at 64.3 percent.

Council voted to discuss at Tuesday night’s meeting the removal of town files from the Halifax County Service Authority’s books.

Espy also provided council with a revised finance committee budget work session schedule. The first budget work session is set for April 18 at Halifax Town Hall.

Council also received an update on derelict properties with the town manager explaining the town has a total of 14 properties in question, and he has scheduled a meeting with the inspector on 10 of these properties that have been deemed unsafe.

Letters are to be sent to owners soon, Espy said, adding he has contacted George Nestor about an agreement needed to work with the county building inspector.

In other business, Mayor Dick Moore recommended council consider writing a letter to the General Assembly expressing the town’s opposition to a law being passed requiring all traffic fines go to the state transportation department.

Dunavant also urged co-chairs for the Banister River Festival Tom Brown and Terrie Lantor to consider a date earlier than October.

Brown and Lantor are expected to meet with the events coordinator about setting a date.