The Chatham Town Council held their monthly meeting in the Chatham Fire Department building Monday evening.

On the agenda this meeting was a vote on the expansion of Chatham's contract with Inframark to encompass all public works duties including water collection and distribution.

The national company has been providing wastewater and water purification services for Chatham since 2016.

Jerry Shupe, Inframark Regional Vice President, said that the contract expansion would also include the implementation of a Supervisory Control and Data Aquisition (SCADA) system, which would allow them to remotely monitor water systems and view data trends.

It would also lead to Inframark having a total of 40 full-time maintenance jobs in the Danville/Chatham/Yanceyville area, Shupe said.

The council held a public hearing for citizens to give comments, for which no one appeared. The council then entered a closed session to discuss the new contract.

After over an hour of deliberation, they did not reach a conclusion.

Chatham Town Attorney, Timothy Fisk, said after the meeting that there was still "more work to be done."

"The council is now in their due-diligence period," Fisk said. "They have to do their homework."

Fisk confirmed that the vote for Inframark's contract expansion will be added to the agenda for the next council meeting Feb. 10.

The current Director of Public Works, Rodney Bryant, said that he plans to retire soon regardless of the decision of the council.

In other matters, Police Chief Marvin Wright reported at the meeting that Chatham saw no major crimes last year.

"Any time you can go for 12 months in a town with no major crimes is a big deal," Wright said. "I don't take it for granted."

The police department defines "major crimes" as murders, rapes, robberies of businesses and other things.

Wright thinks that police visibility plays a large role in preventing crime, but also credits the people of Chatham.

"It says a lot about the people that live in this town," Wright said.

Mayor Will Pace, who's current job is as a legislative assistant for the General Assembly, directed the council's attention to House Bill 1032, which if passed will rename the Route 29 Business bridge which passes over Route 29 the "Roy P. Byrd, jr., Memorial Bridge."

"I hope the General Assembly passes this bill, and I think they will," Pace said.

Del. Les Addams of Chatham is sponsoring the bill in the House.

Roy Byrd, jr., in addition to serving once as chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, spent nine years on the State of Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board.

"We felt naming the bridge after him was a good gesture," Pace said.

Treasurer Tim Hammell reported that finances were as expected. He also praised the Chatham Sartomer 5K, which raised $3,140 for the Chatham Volunteer Fire Department with their 2019 race. 

Chatham Fire Chief Donald Motley reported that there were no structure fires in the month of December and that the department only responded to 16 calls, which were mostly traffic accidents and brush fires. 

The meeting adjourned around 8:30 p.m. 

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