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Janice Powell appointed to Ward A seat on Halifax council

Halifax Town Council appointed Janice Powell to fill the vacant Ward A seat on council during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night in Halifax Town Hall.

The seat was left vacant after former Councilman Tom Brown resigned effective June 30 due to family health issues. Powell will fill the Ward A seat until a special election is held in November.

A resident of Hedderly Street, Powell has worked in the Halifax County School System for over 40 years.  Powell will be sworn in at a special called meeting on Tuesday, July 30.

In other action taken Tuesday night, council scheduled a special called meeting and public hearing for July 30 to act on the Halifax Planning Commission’s recommendation to allow special use permits for Larry Elam’s Ollie’s mobile hot dog cart and Ronnie Duffey’s home-based business.

Both of the men had a chance to speak during the planning commission meeting held prior to the work session.

Elam told commissioners the cart will be located in the parking lot of the Exxon beside town hall. Hours of operation for the cart will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and if there is demand, Elam said he might stay longer.  

The restaurant owner said the cart will offer two types of hotdogs, bologna burgers, barbecue, chip, soft drink and few minor snacks.  While he has some equipment to cook the food on sight, he said the food will primarily be cooked at his restaurant and warmed to the proper 165 degree temperature onsite. The griddle on the cart is too small to make bologna burgers for the masses, Elam said. 

Concerning his home-based business, Duffey informed commissioners he has a vinyl machine in his home and sometimes is asked to make logos for go carts, signs for politicians and print designs on T-shirts. 

He said it’s not really a business but more of a hobby, and he wants to have the proper permits just in case he decides to sell something.

Also Tuesday night, council authorized Town Manager Carl Espy to call VRS to inform them council needs more time to decide whether or not they plan to opt out of the Virginia Local Disability Program.

The mayor appointed Councilwoman Kristy Johnson to fill Brown’s place on the Halifax Library System Joint Library Advisory Board during the meeting Tuesday night.

In other business Tuesday night, during the committees meeting and work session Espy updated council on the Burlington property demolition.

The owner of the property, D. H. Griffin, has stopped working on the site to work on other paying jobs and will return in September to finish the demolition, Espy said.

Also Espy said he forwarded the request to the Virginia Department of Transportation to move the stop bar in the northbound lane on Main Street.

Tuesday night Duffey informed council four locations had been approved for the “Watch For Children signs.” Locations include signs on Brook Run, Mountain Road, Maple Avenue and Church Street. 

Councilman Bill Confroy updated council on the Joint Library Advisory Committee meeting he attended with the town manager and former council member Tom Brown.

The local library board voted Tuesday to reopen the Halifax branch library on Fridays, Confroy said. (See related story)

Also Tuesday night, Espy gave an update on derelict properties and maintenance code enforcement informing council lien holders and property owners for three properties have been notified repairs need to be made. 

Espy said if no response is received, the town will proceed with making repairs on those properties or demolishing the properties.

Councilman Jack Dunavant invited members of council to attend the  “Hot Water” film presentation on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Halifax County High School auditorium. 

According to Dunavant, Producer Liz Rogers will introduce her dramatic documentary on uranium mining at the presentation, and she plans to bring her filming crew to add a segment on the fight against uranium mining in Virginia.

Denise Barksdale updated council on Halifax Farmers Market activities, while Espy updated council on the Halifax Village Association Community Clock project.

According to Barksdale, the fifth annual Farmers Market grand opening was a success with a traffic count of over 300 people. This year Barksdale said the market has three new vendors and 16 vendors in all.

Espy said the Halifax Village Association Community Clock Committee has seen an initial concept for the clock provided by the consultants, and the committee has given them feed back on what they would like to see done. They anticipate having something to present to council and the public in the next two to three weeks.