Kilmarnock council reorganizes planning commission and BZA; moves forward on current projects

AnnGardner Eubank

by AnnGardner Eubank

KILMARNOCK—The Kilmarnock Town Council on Monday, August 21, appointed a new planning commission and board of zoning appeals (BZA). 

Council heard from all interested candidates for seats on the commission prior to filling the six seats. After hearing brief backgrounds and reasons for seeking the seats, ballots were tallied and council unanimously appointed Barbara Ettner, Tom Jones, Roxanne Fisher, Brandon Frazier, Tara Donahue and Neill Shultz to serve on the commission. 

The vote was 5-0, by Rebecca Nunn, Mike Bedell, Kylie Abbott, Curtis Smith and Les Spivey. Council member Tom Watson was absent. 

Additionally, Donahue, Albert “Spike” Nunn, Geneva Dawson, John Muzak and Bernice McElroy were appointed to serve on the BZA. 

Waste water project

Water/sewer committee chairman Smith presented an update on the Waste Water Treatment Plant 2.0 Project, noting Kilmarnock had been sent a Notice of Award of the $11,913,500 construction bid with Southwood to submit contract documents. Smith moved to authorize town manager Susan Cockrell to sign the notice, submit to Southwood and complete the contract. 

Spivey seconded the motion and it passed, 5-0. 

Smith said all funding for the project is now in place. The project received $7,584,000 in grant funding from USDA-RD towards the $14 million cost. Smith reminded council the balance is a 40-year loan at a 1.375% interest rate. 

As for the second phase of the project, Smith said a separate Department of Environmental Quality Water Revolving Loan Fund application has been submitted for $17 million. Some $12 million would cover construction and the balance would go towards engineering, contract overhead costs and contingency, he said. 

That phase would come at the completion of the first phase of the project, expected for fall 2025. 

“This is the single largest project the town has ever done,” said Cockrell. 

According to Cockrell, a major goal of the first phase of the project is to have more “industry available” components in the treatment plant so the town is not captive to a single supplier and to be readily prepared to assess and replace equipment before any significant failures occur. 

Cockrell said the six major components to be addressed in the first phase of the project include: increasing efficiency in cleaning waste water through tertiary filter replacements with cloth disk filters, UV disinfection system replacement, replacement of sludge feed pumps, improving the ability to remove water from biosolids through dewatering improvements, installation of a new electrical building, and post aeration basin improvements including new blowers and diffusers. 

Moving forward, Smith introduced a motion to continue to work towards extending sewer infrastructure to Wilson Road, Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury and the Greentown areas. Spivey seconded the motion and it passed, 5-0. 

Smith also moved to authorize staff to initiate discussions with Lancaster County regarding potential town boundary adjustments. Spivey seconded the motion and it passed, 5-0. 

According to Cockrell, the town is interested in moving boundaries South, towards Irvington and Weems, in relation to adding more accounts for sewer. 

Other issues

In other news, police/public safety committee chairman Spivey moved to add a raised crosswalk to the existing Town Centre Drive sidewalk project and authorize the town manager to accept a proposal from Bay Design for a change order not to exceed $4,500. 

Smith seconded the motion and it passed, 5-0. 

Streets/sidewalks/parks committee chairman Nunn moved to award the sidewalk extension project from the Cralle Court/Masonic Hall parking lot to Town Centre Drive to Bay Design Group and to authorize the town manager to execute the contract. Abbott seconded the motion and it passed, 5-0. 

Council will next meet at 7 p.m. September 18 at the Town Hall, 1 North Main Street, Kilmarnock.