Dan River

The town of South Boston is looking at building a boat ramp on the south bank of the Dan River just east of the foundation of the former covered bridge. The town has been awarded a $50,00 grant from the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region to assist in the project.

The town of South Boston is looking at a boat launch on the Dan River as a step toward continued development of the historic river as a recreation and economic resource after the town was approved for a RiverBank Fund grant of $50,000 through the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region.

“We asked for 50, and we got 50,” Town Manager Tom Raab told town council on Monday.

The site of the boat ramp is the south bank of the Dan River, east of the foundation for the former covered bridge, on property currently owned by developers John Cannon and Ward Burton.

The pad for the former Victory Warehouse will be used for parking, according to Raab.

The funds will be used to provide a new highly visible access to the Dan River via a canoe/kayak/boat ramp, providing access to the river for fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking and swimming.

It will be promoted as part of the SOVA Wild Blueway Dan River Basin tourism with the access tying into regional tourism initiatives, according to Community Foundation of the Dan River Region Executive Director Debra Dodson.

The ramp also will be handicapped accessible, according to Raab, who noted there was still a lot of work ahead to make the project a reality.

The boat ramp would take up anywhere from two to four acres, Raab said.

Provisions of the grant award stipulate if the project is not completed by June 16, an interim grant report form would be due documenting progress toward construction of the boat ramp, followed by a the final grant report form by Dec. 11.

Any extra funds must be returned to the Community Foundation with the final grant report form, according to a letter from Dodson to Raab notifying him of the grant award.

Town council also approved a number of appointments on Monday, beginning with the appointment of Hope Cole as zoning administrator and subdivision agent for the town.

Cole was serving as assistant zoning administrator and code compliance officer and has successfully completed and passed the VAZO certified zoning administrator course.

Raab recommended Cole be appointed zoning administrator and subdivision agent to replace former Director of Public Works Alan Auld, who was serving in that capacity until his recent retirement.

Council also approved the appointment of Danny McCormick to the position of public works operations supervisor and C.W. Crowder to the position of maintenance operations supervisor.

In other action, council came out of closed session after discussing the town’s manager’s evaluation and voted unanimously to increase Raab’s salary by $5,000, with funds to be moved from council contingency to town manager salary.

With the increase, Raab’s salary will be $105,170 per year.

Council took no formal action on appointments to the Halifax County Improvement Council and the Board of Zoning Appeals at Monday’s meeting.

Finance report

Revenues stood at $4,560,002 as of Nov. 30 or 36 percent of a budget of $12,810,664, while expenditures stood at $5,415,595,\ or 42 percent of budget, according to Deputy Finance Director Mickey Wilkerson.

The cash operating general fund was in the black for November with a balance of $447,775 as of Nov. 30, with a year-to-date balance of $3,324,089, the highest balance in that category in the past four and a half years, Wilkerson pointed out.

Selected general fund revenues as of Nov. 30 include $735,792 for categorical aid out of a budget of $4,614,745 or 16 percent; $643,033 for current real estate out of a budget of $940,000 or 68 percent; $332,745 for current personal property out of a budget of $332,745 or 64 percent; $180,879 for local sales taxes out of a budget of $410,000 or 44 percent; $71,162 in occupancy taxes out of a budget of $150,000 or 47 percent; $776,631 in meals taxes out of a budget of $1,790,000 or 43 percent of budget; and $4,633 in business license taxes out of a budget of $565,000 or 1 percent.

Business license taxes were mailed at the end of December, according to Wilkerson.

As of Nov. 30, $175,971 in consumer utility taxes had been collected or 44 percent of budget, and $235,304 in telecom taxes had been collected or 41 percent of budget.

Wilkerson’s delinquent tax report showed year-to-date collections of $24,200 in delinquent personal property taxes or 134 percent of a budget of $18,000; $26,344 in delinquent real estate taxes or 59, percent of a budget of $45,000; and $312 in delinquent mobile home taxes or 156 percent of a budget of $200.

Penalties for taxes amounted to $6,324 as of Nov. 30 or 42 percent of a budget of $15,000; and penalties for interest on all taxes amounted to $11,753 out of a budget of $15,000 or 78 percent.

A total of $124,629 in delinquent personal property taxes remains due, as does $66,224 in delinquent real estate taxes remains due, according to Wilkerson.

Doug Ford reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.

Doug Ford covers news and sports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.