Cannon, town talk about taxes, odor
By Mike McClure
The Bridgeville Commission discussed a number of issues during its meeting on Tuesday, October 8. Among the topics was a possible resolution of problems involving Cannon Cold Storage/Pet Poultry.
Commission president Joe Conaway announced that the commission had a “good meeting” with representatives from Cannon Cold Storage/Pet Poultry prior to the commissioners meeting. The meeting addressed steps to eliminate wastewater discharge problems, complaints from residents of an odor emanating from the plant and a legal dispute over whether the company is exempt from paying taxes to the town under an abatement rule.
First, officials from Cannon/Pet Poultry listened to suggestions from the town’s engineer on ways to eliminate wastewater problems that have caused the town to levy surcharges on the company. Cannon Cold Storage owns the facility in question and rents it out to Pet Poultry, which operates the pretreatment facility.
The town agreed to change the allowable rate of sewage from the plant to the town’s system to 3.8 pounds per day. The town will conduct weekly lab tests as well as other steps to monitor the situation.
Cannon/Pet Poultry has also taken a number of steps to eliminate odor problems that have kept residents near the plant from being able to open their windows at times. The company plans to do a number of things to help with the aeration of water, which is believed to be causing the odor.
“I think our odor problem is going to be resolved,” Conaway said. “Hopefully when I smell something, I’ll go to look to somebody else.”
Cannon Cold Storage has also offered a compromise to a “friendly dispute” over whether one of its properties is eligible for a tax abatement program, which provides a 10-year exemption from town taxes to a new industry that comes to town. The issue was to go to court because the town contended that Cannon was not eligible for the exemption and owed back taxes.
Cannon offered to pay 75 percent of the taxes for the final five years of the 10-year period (starting at the end of 2002). The proposal meant that Cannon would pay $6,730 per year over five years rather than $8,973 per year on the property.
The town agreed to the proposal to avoid paying costly attorney fees and the possibility of not receiving any money over the 10-year period (if the court ruled in Cannon’s favor). The town would have received the entire amount of taxes if the court ruled in its favor, but both sides wanted to avoid a costly battle in court. Cannon Cold Storage will have to pay 100 percent of the bill at the end of the 10 years. Company officials pointed out that Cannon’s total tax bill is close to $40,000 per year.
The town plans to take steps to clarify its abatement rule.
Commissioners meet for first time in new chambers
By Mike McClure
The Bridgeville Commission held its inaugural meeting in its new chambers on Tuesday, Oct. 8. Members discussed measures to ensure the protection of the town’s water and wastewater system and set the date and time for trick or treat.
Commission president Joe Conaway asked citizens to report any unusual activity in or around the town’s water system in light of the recent terrorist attacks and the possibility of future attacks. The commission voted to allow ADT security systems to install equipment at the sewage plant and at the well station at an initial cost of $1,679. The system will then cost the town $1,080 per year.
The commission held its first meeting in the new chambers, located on the first floor of town hall.
Construction work was done by Commissioner Bill Jefferson, while other work was done by Jefferson’s wife, Sally, Alma Fleetwood and Joanne Conaway. The new chambers allow easier accessibility for handicapped people.
The commission set trick or treat for Wednesday, Oct. 31. from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for children who are 12 and under. There will also be a party in the park after trick or treat with costume contests and other events.