Halloween is just one week away, and Town Manager Kayla Cox shared details with Town Council at its last meeting about trick-or-treating procedures. Cox said she had discussed logistics with Floyd County Sheriff Brian Craig and the volunteer Fire and Rescue squad, as well as secured the necessary permits from the Virginia Department of Transportation to shut down the street from 5:30-7 p.m. This is the second year the town will sponsor trick-or-treating.
Cox also shared with the council that the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development had been in touch about grant funds for which the Town of Floyd may be eligible. According to Cox, $50,000 in funding was available for “improvement of public works,” and monies needed in excess of $50,000 may be lent at low interest.
The funds are available “first come, first served,” and Cox asked for the council’s input on whether the Town of Floyd should apply, as well as what projects it could accomplish with the money. The council came to a relative consensus that the funds should be pursued and used for a new garbage truck. The one truck owned by the Town of Floyd currently is 18 years old. However, a new truck will cost approximately $160,000, meaning the Town would have to take out a significant loan to complete the purchase.
Both Councilman Mike Patton and Bruce Turner weighed in on other potential uses for the grant funding, or funding the Town could apply for in the future. “It’s a shame we couldn’t put some of it towards our public works, in terms of the sewer,” Patton said. Mayor Will Griffin agreed that additional funding for the Public Service Authority’s “meterization” project would be “huge.”
Turner said while the garbage truck was an appropriate “short term” use of grant funding, long term, the town should consider investing in renovations of the Town Hall, in order to accommodate more citizen attendance at council meetings. Cox pointed out that an RFP (request for proposals) for an architect to survey the building is already included in this year’s budget.
Turner also mentioned a recent project funded by the Community Foundation of Western Virginia, which will provide wayfinding signage in Roanoke and surrounding areas. Installing more signage throughout downtown Floyd has long been a topic of discussion for the council, and Turner wondered whether any funds were available to help defray the cost. Cox said she would look into the initiatives and grants of the community foundation, as well as grant funds available through Virginia Main Street. The foundation’s next funding cycle will begin in March 2020, Cox explained.
Finally, Councilman Patton raised the issue of the skunk population in town, saying several constituents had approached him about the problem. “(The skunks) are making themselves known,” Patton said.
In the past, the town has contracted with a company that could capture and euthanize troublesome skunks by paying a flat monthly rate. Cox pointed out that the town could also pay “per skunk,” and Mayor Griffin suggested altering the contract to try this new approach. The council approved the funding. Residents who would like to report a skunk can call the town office at (540) 745-2565.