- Published on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 00:41
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Relocating Town Hall
Public Works Committee Chair, Gary Seeber began his meeting with, “We are looking into relocating town hall.”
A memo to the town council and public works committee from Town Manager, Val Foulds, dated August 8, 2012 outlines some of the physical problems that exist in town hall.
An outdated HVAC unit and single pane windows have caused the need for fans and window units to keep the buildings temperatures at a comfortable level. However the noise from units have created a safety concern since the building does not have an alarm system. Employees in areas where fans and window units are in place can not hear what is going on outside of their work space or offices.
Foulds reported that during the record-breaking heat this summer the Treasurer’s Office has been stifling and unbearable.
Puller Heating and Air Conditioning was called to service the HVAC system at town hall. After inspection of the system, Mr. Puller concluded that all components were working at full capacity and that the system did not adequately meet the needs of the building’s office environment.
A staff member purchased several fans with their own money but Foulds reports it has made little difference in the temperature and stagnant air quality.
Foulds also reported in her memo that “several employees in the building have had recurring bouts of respiratory ailments. At least one employee has been tested for allergies and has medical documentation confirming that they are allergic to dust and mold. Other employees have had recurring colds that seem to linger.”
Seeber reported to the public that the owners of the Rankins Shopping Center have approached the town with an offer to purchase the building and allow the Rankins to become tenants. However the absence of an Economic Development Authority may make this option unavailable since local governments are limited in the area of becoming landlords for profit.
Seeber justified supporting this type of proposal by saying that the town is already paying rent on the Police Station and Building and Zoning offices.
The town has entertained thoughts of building a central government complex on one site along Colonial Ave. Seeber stated that a survey of the old public works site located at 700 Colonial Ave revealed that needed upgrades would cost between five and six million dollars.
Foulds plans to pursue inspections as needed starting with the town’s building inspector, Dextor Monroe, asking to perform an inspection of the building in the near future.
Monroe Point’s failure to comply
Director of Finance, Joan Grant reported to Chairman Seeber that the town is having trouble collecting on back payments for water usage from Monroe Point developers.
In November of 2011 it was discovered that Monroe Point, located across from the Food Lion shopping center, had a separate connection for watering the lawns at the town homes.
Monroe point gave the town an estimate for water usage which did not agree with the towns research into the matter.
Monroe Point was given notice to either provide certified documentation proving their usage or change the meter on their sprinkler system.
Since the developers did not comply with either of these requests the town billed the company and charged them for regular usage, charging an average per unit totaling $4,000.
Joan Grant reported that the overage was in debate and that she had not heard from Monroe Point.
The committee members agreed that a letter composed by Seeber and signed by the council members should be sent urging Monroe Point to pay the back water usage bill and warning them that failure to comply would result in disconnection. Seeber ended by saying, “If they don’t pay the bill shut them off.”
Seeber reported that it has come to the attention of the current council that the town has an agreement with the state, not to give any entities supplied by town, a break on their water bills.
The information came to light when a local church recently purchased a piece of property, and has applied under non-profit status to have their water bill abated.
Seeber admitted, “Everybody doesn’t get a water bill. All the churches. So that [agreement] was brought to my attention.”
Seeber also said the agreements where established under previous administrations and this issue has never come up during his administration.
Seeber said nothing will be done right away but that this situation should be corrected. “If we are going to clean up our act we have to clean up everything. We need to talk to [town attorney] Andrea (Erhard) and see if there is a way to do this legally or work around it.” Seeber said. If not corrected the issue could affect State funding, Seeber said.
Seeber also reported that the Meadow Ave paving is slated to be done soon, before any freezing begins.
Public Safety Meeting
At the Public Safety Committee Meeting, Chairman, Burkett Lyburn reminded citizens to attend the Wilkerson Bridge Replacement Meeting being offered by VDOT on October 17 between 5 and 7 pm at the meeting room on Washington Ave in Colonial Beach.
The bridge will be completely removed and replaced leaving Route 205 closed to through traffic.
Anyone who travels over the bridge in either direction is encouraged to attend the meeting to learn alternate routes.
Colonial Beach Volunteer Fire Chief David Robey addressed the committee with concerns about navigating the ladder truck on the alternate routes and some streets within the town of Colonial Beach.
The committee instructed Robey to have a member of the fire department ride along with either Public Works Director, Rob Murphy or Jean Yeagley, of Public Works, to determine what streets are in need of tree trimming.
When Chief Robey was asked to make a list in order of importance, he replied, “How do you make that distinction? Every home is important!”
Town Manager, Val Foulds reported to the council in response to their request that nine new cement replacement lights for the boardwalk would cost $25,426.20 and will cost $72 per month to operate. The new lights will be 18 feet in height and contain 100 watt colonial heads.
Council instructed Foulds to prepare documentation to allocate funds to allow for the purchase of the new lights.