Improvements could be coming to the town of Halifax thanks to a FEMA public assistance grant for damages related to Hurricane and Tropical Storm Michael.

When they met Tuesday night for their monthly meeting, Halifax Town Council members agreed to submit the grant application to help repair damages from the storm that hit the area in October.

Included in the grant application is an emergency back-up generator electrical hook-up and installation and start-up bank test, roof repair in the administration location at Halifax Town Hall and Halifax Police Department and telecommunications room and replacement of interior tiles, all due to flood damage.

Repairs to the roof, repairs to moisture damage and installation of a separate shed roof on restrooms ceiling and repairs to damaged gutters at the Halifax Farmers Market also are included in the grant application.

The Halifax Police Department also is looking for reimbursement of “force amount” for emergency overtime pay of $587.74 and a chainsaw to be used by first responders.

At King’s Bridge Landing, debris has been removed at the boat landing including logs and dead trees, removing river silt from the path to launch, restoring washout and eroded areas at the path and plaza, replacing materials washed out by flood and making repairs to parking and walkway as well as replacing landscaping damaged by flood.

Also the landing signs were damaged, and other damages include those caused by emergency utility vehicles.

Damages at the Banister Lake Boat Landing include repairing a ladder at the boat landing dock, clearing debris, repairing a ditch line washed out by flood waters, repairing a damaged parking pad and areas where flood washed gravel material and compact stone, digging and repairing washed out areas at the edge of parking and installing geotextile, rip rap and stabilizing the shoreline damaged by flooding.

Halifax Town Manager Carl Espy said a site inspection will be held on March 1.

In other action, council heard the police report from Halifax Police Chief Stuart Comer who said there were two felony arrests, nine misdemeanor arrests, one protective order issued, 497 calls for service, 39 traffic summons issued, three traffic accidents worked and 54 warnings issued during the month of January.

Council also took the following actions Tuesday night:

w Appointed Paul Butler to serve on the Halifax Planning Commission after hearing a request from council member Gail Bosiger to have a commission member from her district;

w Signed a resolution proclaiming March 16 as “Halifax County Community Clean-up Day;”

w Ratified a 2019 Earth Day Proclamation and heard updates regarding Earth Day event plans for April 27;

w Authorized a grant application to apply to Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for a Virginia Main Street Commercial Affiliate Grant that can be used for non-profit organization development, design projects, branding, entrepreneur support programs and more;

w Approved adjustments to entries to the budget to reflect the VRS rate of 3.86 percent for each employee to include the enhanced hazard duty pay for law enforcement officials;

What originally had been a single line item in the police department will now be split into five line items but will not cause any changes to the budget, town officials said.

w Tabled any action on the proposed amendments to the Halifax Town Code Chapter “Health and Sanitation” as council members wait to here from their attorney to see if the recommended changes can be made as worded;

w Heard concerns from councilman Jack Dunavant about the grading needed near the railroad tracks in the town of Halifax saying he has complained before but has gotten nowhere;

Councilman Bill Confroy suggested contacting Rick Harrell, who is currently on the Virginia Economic Board, for assistance with this matter.

w Council also heard the finance report and updates on Smart Scale and Halifax downtown streetscape extension projects, audit and demolition of derelict properties.

Confroy said the Smart Scale and Halifax downtown streetscape extension project grants had not been awarded yet, and that demolition of derelict properties would be happening soon.

He said permits have been obtained and would be taken care of as soon as the weather cooperates.

Ashley Hodge reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com

Ashley Hodge is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com