, 2015

Change of watch, grant activity
necessitate audit for White Stone

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

WHITE STONE—With a new mayor taking office next month and the town receiving several development grants, council took care of some overdue house-cleaning matters last Thursday.

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Mayor-elect Randy Reeves, who will vacate his council seat to sit at the head of the table at the September meeting, made a motion to advertise for bids to have a town audit completed.

“With the changes happening, I think it needs to be done,” said Reeves. “We put money in the budget every year for one” and don’t do it, he added.

Reeves will replace Mayor Lloyd B. Hubbard, who has served as White Stone’s mayor for 16 years.

With the town recently being offered two grants for revitalization, an audit is a “good idea,” added town manager Patrick Frere.

Town attorney Matson Terry said the audit will likely be required by the state because of the grants. White Stone has been offered two grants totaling $40,000, including up to $30,000 for planning and development from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and one for $10,000 from the Virginia Housing Development Authority(VHDA). Plans are under way for a residential housing upgrade as the first phase of the project.

Reeves’ motion to solicit bids for the audit was seconded by Jennifer Hodges and approved 5-0 by Reeves, Hodges, David Jones, Joe Sliakis and William Hubbard. Councilmen Blair Kenyon and Joe Sliakis were absent.

Meeting rescheduled

Council also decided to move its September meeting date from September 4 to September 9 to accommodate previous plans by both Reeves and Mayor Hubbard.

Reeves will be sworn in as mayor prior to the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the town hall at 433 Rappahannock Drive.

Flood plain ordinance

In other business, council voted 5-0, following a public hearing, to adopt a new flood plain ordinance for the town’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

The amendments were basically state mandated, according to Frere, and the surrounding localities also are amending their ordinances.

Infrastructure engineering

Frere also reported to council on the progress of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) planning grant and reviewed the minutes of a management team meeting that was held on July 29. The town will begin its search for an engineering firm to conduct a preliminary engineering review. The review will help determine the most cost-effective way to upgrade sewer and drainage systems within the town.

“We’re going to do a really good study,” said Frere. “Possibly have as much as $25,000 available for the study.”

Frere said the town has already received $5,000 of a $10,000 VHDA Mixed Use Mixed Income grant.

Some of that money can be used, along with VDHC money, to “get as thorough a sewer study” as possible, said Frere.

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