The Town Council and staff continue to be concerned by residents’ needs related to water, which were discussed at the Town Council Work Session on August 27. According to separate correspondence with Town Manager Waverly Coggsdale III, “Council has directed staff to pursue the creation of a program” that will allow the Town to administer a discount to those in need.

The Town Manager continued, “The Town cannot provide direct discounts at this time because local governments are only allowed to do what is dictated by State Code. There is a provision in the State Code that allows local governments to seek permission to allow such discounts, thus we are seeking action by the General Assembly. This would allow Town Council the option to allow discounts to select groups based on to be determined criteria.” At the work session, Town Attorney John Eller indicated action by the General Assembly would allow the Town of Altavista to set the criteria itself.

The Town Council and staff also continue to be recognized for their efforts related to water. Both Director of Utilities Tom Fore and the Town Council were recognized by Virginia Tech recently. The Council was recognized for allowing Fore to travel to the university to teach ethics at the annual Wastewater Operators Short School. Fore taught a half-day course on ethics to over 100 people, some of whom participated for continuing education and some of whom participated for their first licensure as utility operators.

Fore was asked to consider returning to teach next year and was recognized for “the significant contribution made to improve wastewater treatment plant operations within the Commonwealth of Virginia through his participation as an instructor at the annual Virginia Tech Wastewater Operators Short School.”

At the work session, Anthony Bacigaludo of CHA Consulting, Inc., an engineering firm contracted by the Virginia Department of Health, presented an overview of current measures to update the source water protection plan for Altavista’s drinking water sources. These sources include two intakes, one from the Staunton River and one from Reed Creek, and two springs, McMinnis and Reynolds.

In an interview, Director of Utilities Fore explained that all costs are covered under grant funding “to assist small localities with implementing a source water protection plan.” The specific plan for Altavista is being drafted by the engineering firm and will, said Fore, work together with the Town’s current plan “to keep Staunton River clean as well as other tributaries.”