EDINBURG – Town Council members met briefly Tuesday evening to discuss improving water issues around town, vote on a new leash law ordinance and review a contract with the town attorney.
Water mains, lines and tests have been wreaking havoc on Edinburg for months. Last year, following a wet summer, the Virginia Department of Health found traces of E. coli in the town’s water, forcing Mayor Dan Harshman to put new testing in place for other bacteria strains. The town’s water has come back negative for cryptosporidium, though traces of E. coli were found in the town’s wastewater treatment plant in November and December.
The town also missed a deadline on filing a sample report in December while it was busy chasing down a leak. Harshman said the missed deadline would be filed in the town’s consumer confidence report in June. The town has until Feb. 1, 2020, to notify residents.
Town officials did track down the water leak that cropped up in December, identifying an 8-foot copper pipe that was punctured and leaking near Edinburg Manor. Harshman said it was fortunate the home that would have been most affected by the leak is vacant.
Coupled with finding the leaky pipe, Harshman said the booster pumps were working harder — and better — than expected.
“Last month, we talked about the fact that we thought our new booster pump was pumping more water than our old booster pump,” Harshman said. “We discovered the old pump was pumping around 235 gallons a minute and the new pump was pumping anywhere from 285 to 295 gallons a minute.”
Both pumps are rated to pump 200 gallons a minute, Harshman said. The additional performance helped explain why reports of water going out of the plant were so much higher than the town expected, Harshman said.
Also at the meeting, Councilman and Planning Commission Chairman Stephen Van Stee said he is taking bids to hire a building inspector to move forward on enforcing the demolition by neglect portion of the town code. He said he plans on holding a Planning Commission meeting next month.
Council members voted unanimously to approve the leash law ordinance they have discussed in previous meetings. The amended ordinance clarifies what constitutes “control” of a dog within town limits. It also allows for the town to designate particular areas of town as an area that is exempt — such as a dog park — if town officials desire to do so.
Harshman told council members he has been attending meetings with other town leaders who are planning on taking part in a retail study, but he doesn’t think it will be beneficial for the town, he said.
County officials are working with all of the towns to determine whether the retail study will move forward.
Council members agreed with Harshman the study would not likely be worth the cost. They said he should continue attending meetings but did not offer a price point where they would like to join with the other towns on the project.
When considering the size and location of Edinburg, Harshman said, it isn’t realistic to expect a big box store such as Walmart or Target to come to town.
What the town does have going for it, he said, is the number of restaurants downtown. He said he asked other towns whether they could name four restaurants in their downtown areas, and said they couldn’t. Restaurants are key tourism drivers, Harshman said, and the town should bank on what it has rather than spending nearly $20,000 for another study.
Council members entered into a closed section at the end of the evening to discuss a contract with town attorney Jay Neal. There was no discussion of what was discussed in the session after the regular session resumed.
All council members were present for Tuesday’s meeting.