Hello, Middleburg! This column summarizes recent Town Council and Utility Committee activities I have been involved with recently.

Council took a short sabbatical by canceling its second meeting this month. This second meeting is typically a working meeting to discuss issues or an upcoming ordinance. In September, we will resume both meetings, the business meeting (more scheduled votes and an agenda item for public comments) and our working meeting (few votes scheduled, no public comment item). We schedule these meetings on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, starting at 6:00 PM. All meeting are open to the public, and you are welcome to attend.

In our last council meeting on August 10 Council witnessed Officer Jason Davis take his oath of Honor, and we welcomed him to the Middleburg Police department. We approved small changes to job/rank definitions in the department. We tabled a discussion of new chairs for the council to provide time for further discussion. The chairs we are using are thirty or forty years old, but the council does not see this as a priority. Finally, council discussed progress towards two more of the goals we set in our recent visioning retreat: Economic development strategy and establishing a partnership with Loudoun on nearby land use issues.

The utility committee met August 16 at 4:00 PM. We continued discussing the project to replace the west end pump-station, water line replacements in Ridgeview, documenting standard operating procedures (by our operations vendor, IES) and issues we see at the well-4 water treatment plant.

The well-4 water treatment plant’s design is over twenty years old. We have a similar plant on Stonewall Avenue, in that both use similar treatment processes to remove manganese and iron from the raw well water. However, the Stonewall plant has a much superior service record. IES needed to take the well-4 plant off-line recently to work with the vendor to resolve a clogging issue with the filter. While IES works through these issues our engineer, Bob Krallinger, will begin a process to compare the designs for both plants and suggest potential improvements to the plant at well-4. The committee will review his suggestions along with expected costs in a future meeting. The goal is to improve reliability and reduce costs, so they are more in line with those of the newer Stonewall plant.

Finally, the committee discussed updates to the items in the Capital improvement plan for the 2019 fiscal year utility budget discussions. This process includes updating the life cycles for items recently completed and getting cost and schedule details for items requiring attention in the upcoming five years.

That is my opinion – what do you think? I welcome all comments, suggestions, and questions!