Two projects in the town of Halifax are taking a step forward after Tuesday evening’s council meeting: the purchase of new vehicles for the police and sanitation departments and the Halifax Downtown Streetscape Extension Project.
Council approved by a 6-0 vote a revised resolution to apply for a USDA Rural Development community facilities grant for the purchase of the vehicles.
Councilwoman Gail Bosiger made the motion, and Councilman Bill Covington seconded the motion. Councilman Michael Trent was absent from the meeting.
Council first approved a resolution for the grant application in December meeting, following a public hearing.
If approved, the grant would provide 35% of the cost of the vehicles: two 2020 Ford Utility Police Interceptors plus equipment upgrades (cages, radios, consoles, emergency lighs and sirens, and radar) and a 2019 Ford F-250XL 4X4 SD Crew Cab for the sanitation department.
Specifically, the grant would provide $32,000 for the police department vehicles, leaving a remaining balance of $61,000, and $11,300 for the sanitation truck, leaving a balance of $21,100.
A five-year USDA-Rural Development loan with an interest rate of 3% will cover the remaining balances.
“Approval of the resolutions does not obligate the purchase of any vehicles through the grant and loan program,” town manager Carl Espy advised council.
He said USDA Rural Development would provide loan payment calculations for the town’s finance committee and council to review, taking the budget into consideration.
The Halifax Downtown Streetscape Extension Project also advanced a step when council unanimously approved a resolution giving the Virginia Department of Transportation the go ahead to administer the project.
The slated completion date of the project is April 2021.
The capital improvements to the town’s central business district are the culmination of a partnership that Halifax County and the town of Halifax embarked on in 2001, to improve downtown by “providing an attractive, pedestrian-friendly environment,” according to a memo to council.
The memo states the project will extend “decorative street lighting, signage and landscaping around the Halifax County War Memorial, connecting it to the Halifax Courthouse Square through safer pedestrian crosswalks and enhanced ADA sidewalk access, where existing parking/ future parking areas can better be used within the town of Halifax Courthouse Historic District.”
In other business, the town’s chief of police Stuart Comer gave his monthly report for December to council.
Comer reported two felony arrests, breaking and entering and larceny; 14 misdemeanor arrests including capias, trespassing and assault and battery; one protective order for domestic assault, no medical transports, 549 calls for service, 60 traffic summons including speeding, driving with a suspended license, equipment and failure to wear a seatbelt; two traffic accidents with minor injuries, and 48 warnings for miscellaneous violations.
The police report also notes a street light at Green Street/ Virginia State Building that went out on Dec. 1. The streetlight has been repaired.
Council also approved a proposal by Councilman Bill Confroy to honor the late Halifax town councilman Robert Holt Evans at a future meeting.
Council unanimously agreed to pay tribute to the late Evans for his service to the town.
Evans passed away in December.