- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 18:08
- Published on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 18:08
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Due to overwhelming citizen response and confusion about the issue of whether a separate permit is needed for use of town electricity, this reporter sat down with Town Manager Val Foulds Monday, Aug. 23. Foulds reported that she has received many e-mails and phone calls from groups and individuals who have been issued permits or plan to apply for permits for special events at the beach, all concerned with the availability of electricity.
According to a memo issued by Foulds on Aug. 3, 2009, to “All Patrons of Town of Colonial Beach Public Sites and Facilities” several new policies regarding the use of public sites and facilities were instituted as of that date. In particular, the memo notes that “Only a master electrician approved by the Town or a qualified Town employee
has the right or the authority to access any circuitry for the Town of Colonial Beach sites and facilities. Cost of electricity is the responsibility of the Patron.” The memo also addresses issues such as uses allowed on Town Hill, port-a-john responsibility, cleanup and repair, security deposits, liability insurance and fee waivers. The memo is attached to each permit issued by the town.
Prior to the Aug. 3 memo, the town allowed groups and individuals to plug into town electricity, and the bill was then paid for by the town. However, due to ever-tightening budgets, the town now meters and bills groups and individuals who use town electricity. Access to an electrical power source must be made ahead of time in order to have an authorized town representative available to unlock and meter the power source.
During the recent APBA jet ski races, Foulds noted that no arrangement had been made ahead of time to plug in and pay for electricity on the boardwalk. The town would not allow the Chamber of Commerce to plug into a town power source, citing potential liability and safety issues. Police Chief “Butch” Wells offered and provided a generator for use during the two-day event. According to Foulds “there was a smooth transfer of power between events and none of the spectators noticed” the changeover from town electricity to generator power.
As to the issue of whether a permit for electricity is available in the town, according to Foulds there is currently no permit in place and the use of town electricity by groups and individuals is looked at on a case-by-case basis. Foulds stated that she, Wells and Robert Murphy, Director of Public Works, are in the process of researching a special events policy for the town to bring before council for approval.
Foulds was appointed town manager in September 2008 and said: “I love what I do. Before I leave here, Colonial Beach is going to better for all people, for all citizens.”