A familiar face was appointed to Chatham town council Monday night to serve until the November 6 election is certified.
Jim McDole, who is a former town councilman, was appointed to council Monday night, August 13 to fill an empty seat after Will Pace was appointed interim mayor and will serve on the ordinance, personnel, police and fire, and water and sewer committees.
However, after the appointment, council learned C.B. Cundiff gave notice of his immediate resignation by letter dated August 13 from council citing personal reasons.
Another appointment will be made in September to fill Cundiff’s seat.
In town matters, council and town officials entered closed session Monday night to discuss a lawsuit with Mountain Valley Pipeline.
The purpose of the closed session, according to the agenda, was to consult with their attorney Adams and Fisk who was represented by Les Adams Monday night.
“The town is concerned with what could happen with [the site that Mountain Valley Pipeline is interested in] being a formal dump,” Chatham clerk Tim Hammell said Tuesday.
The six-acre site, which is located off Chalk Level Road, was used as a dump site in the early 1980s according to Hammell.
Mountain Valley Pipeline contacted the town about their desire to use the property for the oncoming pipeline, but the town was not clear on who the property owner was.
After a title search, the town of Chatham discovered it belonged to the town.
Hammell said pipeline officials made an offer to Chatham for the land rights and Chatham countered with a much higher amount. So far, the town has not heard back on their offer.
“I don’t think they’re annoying us, but they’re not giving anyone any preferential treatment to our six acres,” Hammell said.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission assured Chatham officials since multiple government agencies are overseeing the pipeline installation, Chatham ‘has nothing to worry about.’
“We didn’t just sign the right of way over and now the town is named in a lawsuit,” Hammell said.
Mitigations are scheduled for some time in September, Hammell said.
After exiting closed session, it was the decision of council that Hammell and councilman Bill Black, who is over the property, parks, and cemeteries committee, could speak on behalf of council as well as their legal counsel.
“The takeaway here is we are trying to protect the citizen’s interest in all of this,” Hammell said.
In other business, public works director Rodney Bryant said water sales were increasing as the pipeline neared Chatham and could increase even more by Christmas.
A lease for Chatham Youth League is still being worked on by Adams and Fisk, and there were no further business matters to be discussed. Black said the matter remains in the properties, park, and cemeteries committee.
The council voted to donate $500 toward the Chatham Sartomer Arkema 5k Race.
Janet Bishop said before a vote was held on sidewalks being approved for Pruden Street the desire for sidewalks in front of Reid Street Gallery has been a long time coming.
“We would like to get that sidewalk in place as quickly as possible… it should not exceed $5,000,” Bishop said.
Chatham could be designated as a “Tree Town USA” location with a resolution from Mayor Pace.
According to Bryant, the designation would allow the town to get certain grants that go toward costs of tree maintenance and upkeep. Signs noting the designation would be placed at each end of Chatham.
“Chatham has beautiful, tree lined streets,” Black said at the close of the meeting to the approval of other councilmembers.
A resolution for Tree Town USA could be presented to council for their approval as early as September.
Also coming in September, council will consider a resolution in honor of former Mayor Roy Byrd in addition to the Chatham Youth League lease.