Progress

Progress continues at the site of the future SOVA Innovation Hub in South Boston, with South Boston town manager Tom Raab reporting at Monday’s work session that the town had entered into an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) to purchase the real estate, fund the design and construction and convey the Haislip property to the town’s IDA as part of a MOU.

Progress continues at the site of the future SOVA Innovation Hub in South Boston, with South Boston town manager Tom Raab reporting at Monday’s work session that the town had entered into an memorandum of understanding with Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC).

The building once housing the Haislip dental lab has been razed, Raab told council on Monday, and MBC will purchase the real estate, fund the design and construction and convey the Haislip property to the town’s IDA as part of the MOU.

MBC will fund the engineering and demolition of the structures on the Haislip property, and the town will remove asbestos and underground storage tanks, provide hauling of building debris, and provide greenscaping and storm water connections.

The town has received a $50,000 grant to assist with asbestos removal and removal of the underground storage tanks, Raab told council.

The MOU also calls for the town to provide street lighting, sidewalks and landscaping along Wilborn Avenue to mirror the existing Main Street theme and provide a sidewalk on Johnson Street; to work with Dominion Energy to remove guy wires and a power pole; and to divert the existing storm drain that runs through the property.

MBC will provide a drainage pipe underneath the Wilborn Avenue sidewalk under terms of the MOU.

Council studies proposed spring milling/paving list

Retiring public works superintendent Danny McCormick presented the town’s proposed spring milling and paving list on Monday.

The milling and paving list includes 11 projects, including:

• Edmunds Street, from Penick Avenue to North Main Street;

• Chamberlain Street, from Riley Avenue to Marshall Avenue;

• Watkins Avenue, from Edmonds Street to Seymour Drive;

• College Street, from North Main Street to Hamilton Boulevard;

• Spears Avenue, from Chamberlain Street to Vaughan Street;

• Washington-Coleman Community Center parking lot;

• Wilkerson Street, from North Main Street to Friend Avenue;

• Wilkerson Street, from Friend Avenue to South Avenue;

• Wilkerson Street, from South Avenue to Peach Avenue;

• Grove Avenue, from Vaughan Street to Fenton Street; and

• South Peach Orchard, from the entrance to the curve.

McCormick estimates the cost of asphalt at $100 per ton, with the projects going out to bid along with the one to pave a large portion of North Main Street.

“We’re hoping there’s enough money to take care of the streets on the list, it may be less, it may be more if additional base repair is needed,” said McCormick.

McCormick, who announced his last working day as Dec. 2, has worked with the town for 19 years.

Town withdraws grant request

Raab informed council on Monday that the town has officially withdrawn a grant application for funding to extend the Tobacco Heritage Trail.

The town had adopted a resolution in September requesting Virginia Department of Transportation provide alternative funds to assist with construction of approximately 700 linear feet of new trail from the existing Tobacco Heritage Trail system to sidewalks along Seymour Drive.

The cost of the project was initially set to cost an estimated $221,279.78, and a resolution initially adopted by council committed the town to providing a minimum 20% matching contribution to the project and any additional funds needed for completion.

“Our match was $44,000,” said Raab on Monday, but the town manager said within the last month VDOT informed him it wanted to access federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding to do all the engineering and administration, with the total cost of the project increasing to approximately $616,000.

That would increase the town’s share of the cost to $120,000, according to Raab, who told council he decided to “take a step back.”

Council agreed with Raab’s suggestion to try and provide funding next spring to extend the trail 500 linear feet.