Town seeks grant
By Nancy Lindsey
The Stuart Town Council voted unanimously Aug. 19 to apply for a $10,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) that could lead to mapping the town's waterworks.
Mayor Ray Weiland said the project would be funded by the Small Project Engineering Services (SPES) of the health department.
Weiland said the town needs to put together a map indicating where all the lines and valves are located.
"It would be a great thing for the town," Weiland said.
According to a letter from Anthony Hess of the VDH Office of Drinking Water to Weiland and other VDH personnel, the first step should be applying for an Asset Management Plan and then applying for a Waterworks Business Operation Plan a year later.
"The Asset Management Plan is one of the building blocks needed for a good WBOP," Hess wrote.
Contracts for the funding program are written with annual renewable options for up to four renewals, Hess wrote.
The applications are due Sept. 1.
The council also agreed to send a letter of intent to the Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to apply for $1.4 million in funding to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant.
Town Manager Terry Tilley said the town can expect to get 45% of the cost in grant funding and the rest will have to be a loan.
The town could only receive 75% grant funding if there was a hazard associated with the plant operation, Weiland said. If the money comes from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), it would be 100% loan with no grant.
In other matters at the Aug. 19 meeting:
*Town Attorney Chris Corbett presented updated drawings of the planned new facility for the Stuart Volunteer Fire Department, to be located on Commerce Street in downtown Stuart.
"This is basically a somewhat revised plan designed to deal with what every elected and appointed representative in Virginia is having to deal with: stormwater management," Corbett said.
Corbett said more details are expected to be available in about five weeks.
*Weiland asked if there had been any "takers" on the flower bed adoption program.
Tilley said one business had expressed interest but had not followed up with an application, so no beds have been officially adopted.
Weiland said he had received a letter from Wanda Ayers-Slate of Wanda's Estate and Custom Jewelry, along with a petition signed by 75 people, requesting that photos of the flower bed in front of her office be placed on the town's website to welcome visitors to the town of Stuart.
Corbett said the business owner is "doing a great job" with the garden plot. "It would be nice to have a picture," he said.
Weiland said there was a need to update the website, but did not say whether photos of Wanda's Jewelry's flowers would be placed on the site.
As of Monday, those photos had not been added.