The Pamplin City town council gathered at their work session and meeting to discuss several issues, including the possibility of charging late fees for late utility payments. The council voted to move forward with late fee billing.

The late fee would be a 10 percent increase of the utility bill balance.

“I feel that the late fees are necessary,” said Vice Mayor Sarah Hamlett. “Because you will have the same individuals that are constantly putting off paying it and then finally pay it, and it’s kinda like an interest-free loan to a certain degree. So I feel … it would be better for us to charge the late fee —”

“If you’re late with a credit card, you’re gonna pay a fee; if you’re late with your mortgage, you’re gonna pay a fee …” Councilman Patrick Murray interrupted, agreeing with Sarah Hamlett.

Elizabeth Mitchel, the town treasurer and clerk, suggested that the late fees be instated with the upcoming new fiscal year. The current fiscal year ends June 30 and the new one begins July 1. 

It would give the town and community time to set up and become acquainted with the new policy.

On the topic of utilities, Mayor William Horton said he hoped the town would be “back on full tower,” sometime next week. The tower is painted, the mayor announced. All that remains is for the empty and full lines to be painted on. Sometime between Monday and Wednesday, the electrical controls are expected to be installed. The pressure tanks will be removed afterward.

The Blight Ordinance, as it’s currently written in the Code of Virginia, was acknowledged as the council motioned to comply with the changes.

Council members said this ordinance will help promote a safer community. Letters will be sent out to the community with news of the ordinance update.

Earlier in the meeting, Mitchel provided a town financial update.

As of Tuesday, the general fund was at $4,275.58; the utility fund was at $6,550.

From those funds, the town’s electrical bill with Dominion will be paid for the month, along with other utility bills for the month of March.

“The good news is that after this check goes out this month to Dominion … we will be completely current with them,” said Mitchel.

The council expressed their excitement at this news.

Sarah Hamlett reported that the town dance on March 2 was a success. Around 70 people turned up for the dance, she reported.

Museum exhibit plans for the community room at the depot are still underway, said Hamlett.

She also shared that Finding Josephine — a film that was partially shot in Pamplin — is set to be shown on March 23 at 7 p.m. in the Pamplin Train Depot. Throughout the summer, PALS is hoping to have several movie showings for families to attend.

The Pamplin farmer’s market is set to start on May 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sarah Hamlett also shared that Dancing Ape, the film company that is creating a documentary about Pamplin and PALS’ efforts, intends to film the next PALS meeting. The meeting will take place at 4 p.m. Monday (the group meets every fourth Monday of the month).

In other news, talks are underway to get the High Bridge Trail connected to the Pamplin Depot area. The property that would bring the trail in the depot’s direction is owned by Nothern Southern. High Bridge Trail is hoping to acquire the property.

The town has a bit of property that could be used for parking. Horton believes the trail will play a helpful role in bringing more people to Pamplin.

Councilmen Ronald Franklin and Marvin Hamlett were absent from the meeting. The next Town of Pamplin City meeting is slotted for April 9 at 5:30 p.m.

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