Council reappoints Vice Mayor Wood, discusses expenses

EDINBURG – At its monthly meeting Tuesday, Town Council appointed Steven Wood to continue his service as vice mayor. Wood has served Edinburg in that capacity since 2003.

Council also reappointed Richard Pence to the planning commission. Mary Embrey was reappointed town clerk and Michelle Heier town treasurer. Their terms will run from July 1, 2016, to July 2018.

Council also unanimously voted to enact the proposed ordinance that will establish late fees and citations for failing to purchase a town decal. The proposed fees would include a late fee of $10 for any resident who did not purchase a decal before the March 1 deadline. Those who fail to purchase a decal within a 30-day grace period after that deadline will be charged $25 in addition to the $10 late fee. That fine will be given in the form of parking ticket payable at town hall.

Mayor Dan Harshman also provided an update on the town’s wastewater treatment plant. The plant had been having problems maintaining low enough E. coli levels while also keeping the chlorine used to treat it at safe levels. It was recommended that council consider using soda ash in the treatment process.

“The hope is that the soda ash will help with nitrification and help eliminate higher ammonia readings that we’re getting,” Harshman said. “If we can get the ammonia levels down, our chlorine will be more effective. We have ordered soda ash.”

Moreover, the plant’s functioning influent pump failed after it was hit with an electrical surge. Auxiliary pumps were activated, but they also acted up, requiring the town to rent a pump. Council has ordered a new pump, which costs about $6,000.

“We’re hoping that we can put it on our boiler and machinery insurance to recoup some of that cost,” Harshman said. “We’ve got quite a bit of electrician cost there as well too.”

Sheriff Tim Carter presented the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office’s calls to service for the month of June. Officers were called to service 766 times last month. That figure is a good bit higher than is typical, but Carter explained the reason.

“I know the overall number looks higher than normal but as I was looking at the statistics, the vast majority of that is extra patrols and property checks,” he said. “You’re going to see more activity like that as the weather gets better. Officers will be more out on patrols and things like… We have a lot more of that going on.”

Additionally, representatives from Theatre Shenandoah made a case to council for a sizeable loan to update the theater’s heating and air conditioning among other things. Council agreed they would discuss the matter.

Council committees were assigned as well. Committees will remain the same, only with Councilman Steve Van Stee replacing Ed Hite.

The old C.F. Thompson building demolition is underway with construction on the forthcoming Dollar General building set to begin July 25.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or