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Valley council briefed on industry

VALLEY — The Valley City Council had an hour-long work session Thursday evening to discuss a number of topics including third quarter financials, the upcoming 2018-19 budget and a review of the recently completed Senior Center project. Mayor Leonard Riley also briefed members of the council on plans for developing the city’s new industrial park and what’s been going on with the John Soules Foods project.

The city has had a very busy year in FY 2017-18. In addition to completing the $2.3 million Senior Center project, the city also had around $1.7 million in road paving, had some significant land purchases and sold two prime sites in the industrial park.

“This has been a good year, a really good year,” Mayor Riley told the council. “We have gotten a lot done. We were within budget on the senior center and ahead of budget on our road paving projects.”

City Treasurer Kathy Snowden said that the city’s financials had been holding up well. “We just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” she told the department heads.

Police Chief Tommy Weldon reported on the needed purchases of some video equipment for police cars and body cameras for the officers. Chief Weldon said that Valley Police Department needed 18 body cameras for the officers and eight in-car cameras for the patrol vehicles. The council will likely act on that request at the next regular meeting.

Valley Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Blount talked with the council members about the need to replace the Community Center’s pool pack. This will be a major purchase in the coming fiscal year. This is a heavy piece of equipment that sits on top of the Community Center. It weighs around eight tons and is large enough for a man to stand up inside it. A new pool pack costs around $250,000. It regulates the temperature and correct chemical composition of a large indoor pool.

Riley said that lots of concrete trucks have been going into the industrial park lately. A tremendous amount of concrete has gone down as part of the project to build a distribution center for WestRock. “We’ll have to work on the road when they’re through,” Riley said.

The mayor said that a new road that will need to be built in the industrial park should cost somewhere between $260,000 and $400,000. It will lead off of Industrial Drive to a 10.3-acre site where Four Star Freightliner will be building a new truck sales, repair and service center that can be seen from I-85.

Riley said he felt good about some grants being approved that are being sought for the John Soules Foods project. One is a Community Development Block Grant for $500,000 and the other an Appalachian Regional Commission grant in the amount of $250,000.

Riley also talked about the current work being done to bring down River View Gym.