Summer arrived this year with a flurry of activity at town hall: Business Appreciation Week, storm damage recovery, budgeting for the new fiscal year, IT, commissioning of new police vehicles, emergency planning, and another important step toward economic development.
Before going into further detail, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly express my appreciation to the Town of Altavista for assistance with debris removal after the severe thunderstorm on May 31. To employees Jeff Arthur, David Garrett, Waverly Coggsdale, and anyone else who was instrumental in helping us clean up the damage… a hearty thank-you.
Though that storm brought a rough start to June, the remainder of the month was marked by continued forward motion. For the first time, Hurt joined Pittsylvania County and its other two towns (Chatham and Gretna) by actively participating in Business Appreciation Week. It was a pleasure to share a meet-and-greet session with local business leaders, along with county and state officials, as we discussed our hopes for a brighter future. Involvement in these functions improves Hurt’s connectivity to business, educational, and governmental entities region wide. This was entirely planned and facilitated by our staff, and we sincerely appreciate all they do.
In the aftermath of the storm, town and county officials sat down with our staff to “debrief,” gaining insights into which aspects of our response went well while identifying those that need improvement. Following that conversation, we intend to develop an official crisis management plan for our town over the coming months in order to be better prepared for future adverse events.
Speaking of public safety, we continue to appreciate and recognize all of our first responders (police, firefighters, and EMS) for their excellent service to our community. Being properly equipped is a prerequisite for providing such service. Our new police cars are now in full use for protection of area citizens.
Another step forward around midmonth was the installation of our new government-domain email platform, which brings Hurt into compliance with FOIA requirements while adding security features against inappropriate access, malware/spyware, popups, and spam email.
In regard to the aforementioned change in email service, we ask that everyone who uses email for correspondence with the town please update their contact lists to reflect the new addresses, which end in “.gov” instead of the “.org” suffix previously used. Email addresses for council and staff members are listed on the town website at: townofhurtva.gov
For more on this story, see this week's Altavista Journal.