By Staff Reports
The Martinsville City Council unanimously approved amendments to water and sewer revenue bonds which pertain to the financing of a repair project for the Beaver Creek Reservoir Dam.
Originally, the council had approved the issuance of bonds up to $2.5 million, but the damages to the dam have since been evaluated at a higher cost.
City Manager Leon Towarnicki said the financing agreement between the city and the Virginia Resource Authority (VRA) was structured around a maximum principal amount of about $2.2 million, which was based on bids the city received for the project. This left an additional financing capacity of $291,250.
As the project neared completion, it was discovered that additional repairs would increase the cost to approximately $2.7 million.
Towarnicki said that VRA indicated the additional financing of $291,250 could be used to cover the difference. He added that the balance for the repair costs would be $194,000.
There are two potential funding sources for the incurred costs, according to Towarnicki.
The city could potentially use funds received from the American Rescue Plan, which are designated for water and sewer infrastructure. If the guidelines of the bill prohibit the use of funds for the project, Towarnicki said the city would pick up the cost in its water department budget.
Council approved the amendments on an emergency basis, which allowed the changes to be done with only one reading.
“The reason for that is due to the timing of the project and the need for the money, because the work is actually underway now,” Towarnicki said.
He added that the substantial completion date for the project is July 6, with final completion in August.
In other matters, the council:
*Approved the fiscal year 2021-2022 budget on second reading.
*Heard an update from UPtown Partnership from the organization’s new executive director, Kathy Deacon, and the previous interim director, Jeff Sadler.
The non-profit has numerous goals for the close-out of 2021. Sadler said the first is to create a “unified and informed vision” for Uptown that will support the partnership’s transformation strategies centered around organization, design, promotion and economic vitality.
“The Harvest Foundation has generously provided funding” and a consultant will be hired “to help the community to create the vision,” Sadler said. “It’s about a three-month process. The idea is that at the very end, there will be a visual representation of what Uptown could look like.”
Secondly, the group wants to develop partnerships with private and nonprofit organizations. Another key demographic that the partnership will work with is the youth.
The third goal of UPtown Partnership will be to engage the community. This goal will encompass three benchmarks — to recruit and support five businesses in the Uptown area which align with the transformation strategies; begin four updates or rehabbing projects on buildings and start five design projects.
*Received names for consideration of appointment to the city school board. The seats up for consideration this year are currently held by Board Members Yvonne Givens and Dominique Hylton. Four names were read during the meeting: Givens, Jay Dickens, Michael Williamson and LC Jones. Eric Monday, city attorney and assistant city manager, noted that those selected will serve until reversion has gone into effect, which will subsequently eliminate the need for a separate city school board.
*Set a June 22 public hearing on proposed amendments to the city’s Comprehensive Plan. The amendments pertain to the Transportation and Land Use plans.