NEW MARKET — Town Council members unanimously passed a series of resolutions Monday evening before convening a nearly two-hour closed session to discuss purchasing land for a water tower.
In order to help pay for public projects — such as the water tower — New Market has relied on a $2.14 million bond it received in 2009. The first order of business Monday was a chance to reissue that bond at current interest rates.
Jason Ham, the town attorney, explained the reissuance is set to save the town roughly $150,000 over the next 10 years. That figure might change by August when the actual rate is set, but, Ham said, it is expected the town will have savings from reissuance.
The second resolution was the annual practice of passing an ordinance to adopt state traffic laws into the town code. On July 1, new state traffic laws that were passed during the last legislative session go into effect, and if the town is not compliant with those laws, revenue from traffic fines won’t make it back to the town.
Ham said there isn’t a clear cut way to show council members all the changes to state traffic laws but assured them that passing the blanket ordinance was necessary — and that the ordinance will only affect the town code when it comes to traffic laws specifically.
New Market Police Chief Chris Rinker said the change he remembers standing out was a new law increasing the age for facing forward in a car seat to 2 years old.
Council members invited William Johnson, an engineering consultant who has been working with the town on plans for the water tower project, into Monday’s closed session. The purpose of the closed session, according to council members, was to discuss purchasing land for the water tower.
Council members held a closed session during last month’s meeting to discuss the same issue.
In December, Town Manager Todd Walters said the town had two potential locations in mind for the water tower — land the town owns at Rebel Park and a location on Ship Street. The preferred location, Walters said at the time, was Ship Street. The town has renewed a $180,000 option on the location.
It is unclear whether the Ship Street location is the site council members have discussed purchasing.
In December, Johnson told council members the initial geotechnical surveys for both sites looked positive.
Cost estimates for the water tower rose to around $3 million during the town’s budget process — up from an original estimate of $2 million. Though the town is in the process of preparing an application for funding for the project, the first payment will not be made until fiscal year 2021.