During its meeting on September 14, the Altavista town council welcomed the town’s interim town manager, heard updates on upcoming events and gave town staff approval to pursue several equipment upgrades.

Clarence Monday, the town’s interim town manager, whom Mayor Mattox suggested be called simply the current town manager, formally introduced himself at the meeting. In the past he has worked in law enforcement, and in fire and EMS. He has also served as the county administrator of Pittsylvania County, and has held previous interim assignments in various localities.

“I look forward to helping you find your next town manager, and to get to know your staff and be a part of your community initiatives,” Monday said.

Sheila Williams also approached the town council about providing assistance for a 5k run on October 30 to raise money for a family that lost their home in a fire. Council agreed to waive the $50 fee that normally would have been charged to host an event in Shreve Park, where the group plans to host the run, and APD chief Tommy Merricks said he would like to discuss the logistics of the project with Williams.

Altavista’s main street coordinator George Sandridge provided an update on the upcoming Uncle Billy’s Day BBQ, Bourbon & Beer Festival. As of September 14, he said the event had 16 corporate sponsors and was expecting several hundred attendees. 16 teams are signed up for the barbecue competition, and 4 distilleries and 7 breweries have agreed to provide beverages for the event.

Merricks also received formal approval from town council to apply for funding from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services for a Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) grant to purchase new car cameras for the Altavista Police Department.

Merricks said the cameras currently in use by the department are old, and if they were replaced, it would be with equipment compatible with the department’s newer body cameras. An upgrade would also allow the department to send footage from car cameras to the Commonwealth Attorney’s office by email.

If received, the grant, which Merricks said is due on October 22, would not require any matching funds. Grant applicants are not supposed to apply for greater than $50,000, per application guidelines.

Council approved the purchase of a new garbage truck, and a new pump for the town’s Vactor truck. Pricing provided by Mid Atlantic Waste Systems showed that a new garbage truck would cost $310,331.46. The pump will cost $18,937.78, according to pricing provided by Infrastructure Solutions Group. The town’s Vactor truck is used for hydro excavation, sewer sanitation line cleaning and storm drain cleaning.

Lastly council voted to keep the boat ramp in English Park open during the Uncle Billy’s BBQ, Bourbon & Beer Festival on October 2.