By Taylor Boyd
The Stuart Town Council approved a resolution to pursue funds to conduct a feasibility study for The Star Theater.
Town Manager Bryce Simmons said the topic was first brought up at the Jan. 21 meeting when it was discussed in conjunction with the county-led Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) grant for Stuart’s downtown area.
“Since that meeting, I’ve talked to the realtor that’s representing the owners of the property and they are on board to move forward with a feasibility study for that property,” he said on Feb. 16.
Simmons also has talked with officials about applying for a Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission grant to help with the cost of the study.
“Any money that the town would put up for this feasibility study, we could leverage towards the Tobacco Commission for 50 percent” of the total cost of the project, he said.
The resolution would allow Simmons to submit a grant application to the commission on behalf of the town. The resolution does not obligate the town for anything other than allowing Simmons to submit the application.
To help fund the study, which he expects to cost around $15,000 overall, Simmons said he hopes the town would be able to put in around $5,000 as a local match. He also believes there is an opportunity to get investments from local groups like One Family Productions.
“I know that they have a strong interest in that facility, and they have already expressed that they might be willing to put in $2,000 to $2,500,” he said, adding the potential investment figure would be discussed at the organization’s next board meeting.
In other matters, the council:
*Approved the minutes as revised.
*Heard an update on the wastewater treatment plant from Simmons.
*Discussed the results of a surprise Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection at the wastewater plant on Feb. 9. The inspector said there were no significant out of compliance findings.
Simmons said the town will need to develop a hazard communication plan and comply with OSHA injury reporting because it has more than 10 employees.
“It was recommended that we have staff trained on confined space entry due to the nature at our sewer plant and vaults being on site,” he said.
*Discussed a planning grant with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) that would allow for the creation of pressure zones within town limits.
*Approved a resolution allowing for Stuart Volunteer Fire Department to open two or more bank accounts at Surry Bank & Trust, with the Treasurer authorized to make transfers between accounts.
*Discussed a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Pedestrian Safety grant. Vice-Mayor Rebecca Adcock said the grant would mainly target Patrick Avenue.
“Especially around 3:45 p.m., when high school lets out, it becomes a drag strip. Speeding is an issue all the time, but it’s extremely noticeable during that time,” she said.
*Discussed a Geographical Information System (GIS) that could be used to map the town’s utilities.
*Scheduled a budget meeting for Thursday, March 24 at 2 p.m.
*Approved continuing as a member of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce.