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South Boston Town Council gives $5,000 in uranium fight

South Boston Town Council voted Monday night to donate $5,000 to The Virginia Coalition in its ongoing battle to prevent the ban on uranium mining in Virginia from being lifted.

Council had briefly discussed the issue at its April 30 work session, with finance committee chair Coleman Speece saying at that time council needed to resolve what it would do in support of the coalition.

South Boston business owner and former Councilman Tom Raab had urged council at an earlier meeting to consider financial support of The Virginia Coalition of which he is a member.

That organization’s efforts are aimed at keeping Virginia’s current ban on uranium mining in place and preventing proposed uranium mining at the Coles Hill site in Pittsylvania County.

South Boston Town Council voted to follow a recommendation from its finance committee and donate $5,000 to the cause.

Finance committee members Speece, Ed Owens and Bill Snead agreed at that time they would have a recommendation ready for Monday’s meeting.

“Mr. Owens and I discussed it, and I think we’re of a common mind if the county is going to give $10,000, we should do something significant, so we were going to propose $5,000,” said Speece.

Speece said he was unsuccessful in contacting Snead before Monday’s meeting to ask his opinion, but Snead said Monday he agreed with the recommended amount.

“I probably would agree to even more but certainly agree to $5,000,” said Snead.

Town Manager Ted Daniel told council the funds are available in the town’s contingency fund.


Budget passes on first reading with no comment

Town council passed the proposed 2012-2013 budget and its accompanying 2012-2013 fee and tax list Monday on its first reading Monday night, with no public comment either for or against the $9,906,802 general fund budget.

There are no tax increases or fee increases in the proposed budget, which carries over $379,000 in prior year income for one time capital expenditures.

Those expenditures include $150,000 in carry-over funds for the Washington-Coleman Community Center project; $174,000 for priority storm water repairs and upgrades; $35,000 for a fire department EMS rapid response vehicle; and $20,000 for fire department building renovations.


Amendment for landfill gas project approved

Council approved an appropriation resolution Monday night amending the 2011-2012 budget for $356,000 to be used for the Landfill Gas to Energy Project, following a public hearing.

The funds will be transferred to the landfill closure maintenance fund for professional services.

On a recommendation from town staff and Town Finance Officer Erle Scott, council took no action on a resolution providing for the refunding of general obligation public improvement bonds (Series 2001).

Daniel told council town staff had taken a new position after noting recent issues affecting the bond market.

Scott said he has been following the proposal closely.

“The benefits to the town were getting very narrow compared to what our costs would be to do this,” Scott told council.

“I made a couple of phone calls to some banking friends who are experts along these lines, and they looked at specific issues.”

Scott advised council the best thing to do “was to step aside in this current situation, especially with what’s happening with J.P. Morgan.”

“I think the bond market is going to have some problems,” Scott added.

“So, I would recommend we not do this at this time.  We’ll see by the time this bond is floated that the benefit to us will probably erode away. I have cold feet and am backing out.”

“Erle and I discussed it, and I feel it would be best not to pursue this at this point,” said Daniel.


Resolutions and proclamations

Council approved a resolution recognizing the week of May 13-19 as National Nursing Home Week.

Member nursing homes of the American Health Care Association and the Virginia Healthcare Association are holding events in observance of Nursing Home Week guided by this year’s national theme of “Celebrating the Journey.”

Council also approved a proclamation designating the period of May 21 through June 3 as the Click it or Ticket mobilization in South Boston.

The proclamation urges all citizens to always wear seat belts when driving or riding on the roadways.