Mayor Eddie Bratton reported at last week’s meeting of the Chase City Town Council that work has started on the Grasshopper Solar Project adjacent to the Town. The Grasshopper Project is just one of three solar facilities being built around the Chase City area.
During his opening remarks, Mayor Bratton talked about the impact that rise of solar generation facilities within the county has and will bring a lot of changes to the area.
On concluding his remarks, Mayor Bratton introduced Mac and Betty Bailey, former owners of the property on which the Grasshopper Project is being built.
During the sometimes contentious discussions over whether the project met the criteria outlined by Mecklenburg’s comprehensive plan the fate of the project seemed in doubt. As the debates were going on, Mr. Bailey announced that if the project was allowed to move forward, he would donate a half a million dollars to the Town of Chase City.
Last month, Bailey made good on his word, dividing $500,000 between services including the Chase City Volunteer Fire Department, the Chase City Rescue Squad, and the Chase City Police Department along with churches and organizations within the community.
On Tuesday night, Mayor Bratton presented Bailey with a plaque from the Town, commemorating his gifts to the community. He was joined by Chase City Police Chief J.A. Jordan, the Reverend Dr. Ricky Lee on behalf of Bethlehem Baptist Church and representatives from other groups in the area.
Also last week, Mayor Bratton officially introduced Charles “Dusty” Forbes as Chase City’s new Town Manager.
Mayor Bratton thanked members of Council for their willingness to taking part in the lengthy process of finding a new Town Manager.
Turning to new business, Council heard that a citizen had raised questions about the town’s right to evaluate the grass and weed conditions of properties in the town limits.
Mayor Bratton told Council that under the Code of Virginia, towns are empowered to access the conditions of properties with the jurisdiction of the town and to command the owner of the property to correct the issue. Failure to respond, according to the Code, can result in the Public Works Department cutting the grass, weeds etc, with the cost of start at $50 but not to exceed a cost of $200 or to exceed a total of $3000 in a 12 month period. That Code does not address the administrative costs related to a specific property.
Since the Town Code specifies $100 as the initial charge if the town has to cut the grass at a property, the town had to reduce the fine to $50 for the initial fee. That fee will be considered a lien against the property until paid. Council also voted to add an administrative charge of $100.00 for each offense and this will rise by $50 for each subsequent cutting.
Council voted to approve the change. The second reading of the modification to Town Code will be held at the November meeting.