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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Renovation plans approved at county building
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Bill Overton

Monday, July 22, 2013

By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer

Renovation plans for the basement of the original Franklin County Library on East Court Street took another step forward on Tuesday.

The board of supervisors gave the go-ahead to county buildings and maintenance director Mike Thurman to spend up to $110,000 on the work, which will provide a new home for magistrates' offices.

Offices of county government were located in the building directly in front of the Franklin County Jail until the new government center opened. The basement area was home to the information technology department.

The work had been advertised for bids, with Frith Construction coming in with the lowest bid of $106,800, which includes adding toilets and sinks in holding cells and adding masonry walls and bullet-resistant transaction windows.

Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton had requested use of the basement for the magistrates' offices last year as part of an expansion, security enhancement and space utilization initiative. Almost $90,000 was available in construction funds for the project.

Gills Creek Supervisor Bob Camicia made the motion to proceed, adding more than $20,000 to those construction funds, including about $4,000 that would be available for any cost overruns.

The extra money will come from the board's discretionary fund.

After renovations are complete, the floor will include magistrate offices, booking rooms and two holding rooms, all separate and secure from the public.

A larger, $1.2 million project that will provide more security for the courthouse was approved last year.

County Administrator Rick Huff said the final drawings for the renovations are finished and will be sent to the judges and constitutional officers for their approval.

"We anticipate bids going out in early fall," Huff said.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

•Approved changes in the county ordinance related to requiring a septic tank pump out or inspection every five years if the system is located within 500 feet of Smith Mountain Lake. Some supervisors questioned the need for that on property that is not occupied or seldom used.

The board approved, by a 4-3 vote, a provision in the ordinance that would exempt the requirement if the homeowner can show that electrical use at the property was lower than 100 kilowatt hours per month for 36 consecutive months during a five-year period.

•Gave the okay for Don Smith, the county's director of public works, to further explore cost-saving measures at the new landfill.

One project is to redesign two landfill cells with more vertical volume, a move which could extend the life of the landfill by more than 16 years and potentially raise an additional $35 million in tipping fees.

The other project would avoid transporting leachate (liquid runoff from the landfill) to another jurisdiction for treatment. Phase one would require a small pump station to take the leachate to a new storage tank erected last year. The leachate is currently hauled by county employees with a county tanker.

The second phase would include constructing a treatment facility and injecting the leachate into conventional style drain fields, thereby avoiding any hauling and disposal in other jurisdictions.

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