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Council gives nod to land transfers

South Boston Town Council convened as a whole prior to Monday’s work session committee meetings to approve a land transfer to the Halifax County Service Authority and to approve vacating a portion of an unopened street. 

Council took its action following public hearings during which no one spoke for or against either issue.

Town staff had recommended the transfer of two tax parcels east of Tabernacle Trail to the Halifax County Service Authority for future development of water system infrastructure.

The lots, which total 1.18 acres and are appraised at $37,987, were acquired by the town as a buffer for Memorial Gardens Cemetery but are not needed for cemetery expansion.

Council also voted to vacate a 15-foot by 391-foot portion of an unopened Estes Street, north of Estes Road, and to appoint a board of viewers.

The vacated land is located behind the Dominion Power facility on North Main Street.

Town Manager Ted Daniel explained when all water and sewer property was transferred to the authority, 15 lots north of Estes Street were erroneously transferred, including four lots containing the water tower.

The tax appraised land value for the 0.4278 acres containing the water tower is $7,600, and the tax appraised land value for the remaining 1.238 acres is $20,900, according to town staff.


Council reviews disability program coverage

Council reviewed its decision to opt out of the new VRS Virginia Local Disability Program and opt instead for a comparable employer-paid disability program.

The Virginia Municipal League (VML) insurance program is offering, through the Lincoln Financial Group, an alternative to the Virginia Local Disability Program, a single leave program, according to town staff.

All members must join the newly formed Virginia Local Government Insurance Association (VMLIP) to take advantage of that coverage.

Cost to the town is at $18,500 a year, with the town responsible for paying short-term claims.

Town staff recommended adopting an ordinance at its Dec. 9 meeting joining the Virginia Local Government Insurance Association and contracting with the Lincoln Group for short and long-term disability coverage for all hybrid employees on Jan. 1 and all other eligible employees on July 1.

Town staff suggested at council’s Dec. 9 meeting members authorize staff to work with Lincoln Group to implement a personal time off program combining vacation, sick and personal leave and redesign the current sick leave program.


Financial report

Town Finance Officer Erle Scott reported October as a “tough month” for cash flow.

Activity in the cash operating general fund reflected a total of minus $703,469.

As of Oct. 31, revenues stood at $3,025,416, and expenditures stood at $4,141,840, according to Scott, who added quarterly VDOT lane mileage payments, which are reflected in the categorical aid category, were due soon.

The majority of selected general fund revenues were on-track to make budget, Scott explained, including local sales taxes at a year-to-date total of $132,697.

Year-to-date real estate tax collections stood at $5,331 out of a budget of $860,000, and personal property tax collections are just starting to come in, Scott said.

The budget for that line item is $465,000 for the current fiscal year.

The finance officer estimated almost $100,000 in real estate and personal property tax collections had been received on Monday alone.

Occupancy tax collections stood at $52,679 out of a budget of $115,000; meals tax collections were at $392,762 out of a budget of $1,100,000; and business license tax collections stood at $29,144 out of a budget of $490,000.

Lagging behind were telecom communication tax collections, with year-to-date collections of $197,187, or 32 percent of the budget.

Delinquent tax collections -— personal property relief, real estate, personal property, mobile home, penalties and interest — as of Nov. 15 stood at $157,813.65, or 127 percent of a budget of 124,300.


Planning commission appointments continued

Council continued discussion of appointments to the South Boston Planning Commission to its Dec. 9 meeting.

George Leonard, who serves as chairman for the planning commission, has served three four-year terms and is ineligible for reappointment, according to town staff. 

Another commissioner, Beverly Crowder, is completing her first term and is eligible for another term.