Hospital auction, overdue water bills discussed

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    By Amanda Collins

    The Stuart Town Council discussed the auction of the former Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick, unpaid water bills and other matters at its Dec. 20 meeting.

    Councilman Terry Dalton asked about the outcome of the hospital. Town Attorney, Chris Corbett, said the note holder, Virginia Capital Corporation (VCC) bought the hospital and expressed a desire to close the $5.7 million sale before the end of the month.

    Town Manager Terry Tilley said there had been another water leak at the hospital. He said the only way to stop the leak was to shut off the water at the road, and noted the leak is within the “footprint of the (hospital) building.”

    Tilley asked if the water service needed to be shut off at the first of the month.

    Corbett said the bill for water service should be sent to the VCC after the next reading is taken.

    In other matters, council members learned:

    Plans for the new fire department are complete, however an older environmental study stated the property is located in a flood plain. An updated version, reflecting that change, needs to be included with the plans, officials said. When the plans are approved, the project can be put out for bids.

    Corbett said the property was listed in a flood plain as a result of “great rains in early September/October 2016,” when Poorhouse Creek and South Mayo River flooded. However, Corbett noted the fire department property “did not come close to flooding.”

    Councilman Terry Dalton asked about unpaid water bills, and noted unpaid bills from residential customers totaled $6,000 in November and $10,631 in December.

    Noting a policy adopted by the town earlier this year, Tilley said that after 75 days of non-payment, water service needs to be shut off.

    Mayor Ray Weiland directed town employees to mail letters alerting customers of overdue balances and their water will be shut off if the bill remains unpaid for 75 days.