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Raising the roof: Community center upgrades continue

A new roof on a portion of the building housing the Washington-Coleman Community Center is part of ongoing construction South Boston Town Council learned at Monday’s work session.

Updates on the Washington-Coleman Cottage project along with ongoing construction at the Washington-Coleman Community Center were among the items discussed during the hour-long work session.

The town plans to apply for up to $1 million through a Community Development Block Grant in March for the Washington-Coleman Housing Rehabilitation Project, with a public hearing set on that issue for the March 11 council meeting.

The purpose of the block grant is to improve housing conditions for homes occupied by low and moderate-income persons.

The proposed project area includes 27 structures (20 occupied households) located on portions of Jeffress Boulevard, College Street and Jefferson Avenue.

Project activities will include housing rehabilitation, substantial reconstruction, demolition of dilapidated structures and clean up of debris and trash throughout the neighborhood.

Notice of block grant awards should be in July, according to Daniel.

Construction on the Washington-Coleman Community Center is ongoing with construction crews recently replacing the roof over the former auditorium.

Rot had been discovered in several cross-timbers necessitating removal of the original roof over that section of the building at the advice of architects and engineers associated with the project, Daniel explained to council.

The costs associated with the project are still in line with original estimates, Daniel added.

In relation to the Washington-Coleman Community Center Project and right-of-way closures, council set a public hearing for its March 11 meeting to close portions of Grove Street and Prospect Street that intersect the Washington-Coleman property.


Council recommends Owens for mayor

Council discussed the procedure for filling the mayoral vacancy created by the recent death of Carroll Thackston before recommending current Vice-Mayor Ed Owens fill that position.

The issue was advanced to the March 11 council meeting.

“We have a candidate if he’s willing,” said Councilman Coleman Speece.

“He’s capable, and I feel we should appoint our vice-mayor.”


Amendment follow-up

In response to council’s recent passage of an amendment to town code insuring residences and businesses have potable water and sanitary hook-ups in place, Speece asked town staff if there was a system in place to identify violators and respond to unsanitary situations in a timely manner.

Speece, who also serves on the board of the Halifax County Service Authority, said at council’s February meeting it would be “no small task” to enforce the ordinance.

Speece said Monday he had met with Halifax County Service Authority Executive Director Willie Jones to coordinate a system whereby the town would be notified of any and all code violations.

Daniel responded he would follow up with Jones.


Board of appeals recommendation

Council discussed a recommendation for an upcoming vacancy on the board of zoning appeals at Monday’s work session.

Council recommended William “Bill” McCaleb be appointed to fill that position.

The Halifax County Circuit Court Judge appoints members of the zoning appeals board upon the recommendation of council.

The issue was advanced to council’s March 11 meeting.