IDA board is down to three

Published 1:44 pm Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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The Town of Victoria is considering reducing the number of members on the town’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) from seven to five.

The proposed change comes after three members resigned from the board after the General Assembly passed new rules requiring members of IDA to submit Statements of Economic Interest annually and participate in conflict of interest training every two years. Town Manager Rodney Newton said the process involves completing a 25-page disclosure document.

According to the Victoria Town Council minutes from the Tuesday. Aug. 11 meeting, Freddy Anderson, Hardy Jones and Gail Berkley resigned from the IDA board. Another member has not made contact with the town office as of Aug. 7. The board currently consists of Chairman Greg Elam, Mike Walker and Jay Dayton, leaving the town two people short of even a five-person board.

Newton said Goochland and Coeburn counties have recently been allowed to reduce IDA boards to five members. The move would need to have action taken by the General Assembly to make the change. Council members will consider the move at its Tuesday, Sept. 8 meeting.

In other town business of the Tuesday, Aug. 11 meeting  –

  • The board approved a parade/event ordinance which sets standards for gatherings and activities planned on town property.
  • Newton requested a public hearing for the sale of property at 1700 Needham Drive once the house is removed and the lot cleared. The public hearing will be held Tuesday, Sept. 8 so the sale of the property can be finalized.
  • Council member James Elam discussed parking on Main and 8th He said business owners and tenants of the apartment building are parking on the street in front of the town office and ATM machine instead of utilizing off street parking in the area. Elam requested that one- or two-hour parking be placed in front of the town office and the Victoria Restaurant just like it is in front of Victoria Drug Co. The motion passed.
  • Council member Sandra Jones presented a citizen’s complaint of large trucks on Mecklenburg Avenue. The citizen expressed concern about the safety of children in the area as Jones relayed the trucks are allegedly traveling at high rates of speed. Newton said trucks could not be banned from traveling in residential areas. Jones passed along the information to Police Chief Keith Phillips to investigate any potential speeding violations.
  • Newton provided the council with a COVID-19 and Infectious Disease Prevention Plan that is required by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
  • Newton said Southern Dominion Health Services closed on the sale of the medical building on 6th Street July 27. The building was owned by the town. Southern Dominion Health Services plans to renovate the building for use as a dentist office. The Town of Victoria gained a net of $69,500 on the sale.
  • Newton complimented the town office employees as they continue to service a higher-than-average volume of DMV business at the town’s DMV Select office. Despite being closed for a time during the pandemic, the office increased revenue over 2019 by 18%. Recently, the office conducting transactions totaling $53,713 in six days.
  • Newton advised the council he is working on a grant to replace the roof at the STEPS building, which is owned by the town.
  • The board will hold a work session to discuss its options on the waste water treatment plant Monday, Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m.