Monday, October 21, 2013

Supes fund $5,000 to continue fight against uranium mining

Continuing to lend support to keeping the ban on uranium mining, Halifax County Board of Supervisors voted 5-1, with two abstentions, to give The Virginia Coalition $5,000.
ED-5 Supervisor Barry Bank opposed the contribution to fight lifting the moratorium, while ED-1 Supervisor J. T. Davis and ED-6 Supervisor E. Wayne Conner abstained.
Before the vote was taken, Davis acknowledged he serves as a member of the Coalition’s advisory committee, so he would refrain from discussing or voting on the matter to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
The vote came during the supervisors meeting Monday night in Halifax after Coalition Chairman John Cannon updated supervisors on progress the group has made over the last year.
Cannon had sought a $10,000 donation, the level supervisors funded last year. However, since the money had not been budgeted, supervisors opted to fund $5,000 now and consider placing $5,000 in the budget for a later donation.
At the same time, supervisors were giving the Coalition $5,000, South Boston Council also was unanimously voting to fund $5,000 to the group’s efforts to keep the ban, and Halifax Town Council members said they planned to make a $5,000 contribution Tuesday evening at their monthly meeting.
Cannon described The Virginia Coalition as “the most significant group to alert all of Virginia” to the possibilities of Virginia Uranium Inc. mining a 119-million-pound uranium ore deposit six miles from Chatham if the moratorium is lifted.
The ban on uranium mining has been in place since the early 1980s.
More than two years ago, the Virginia Coalition held a press conference in Richmond “sparking the interest all over Virginia with our mission,” Cannon told supervisors.
Currently, 16 lobbying groups throughout Virginia have joined Virginia Coalition’s cause along with 107 political jurisdictions and businesses that have passed resolutions against lifting the ban.
The Coalition’s education/lobbyists, Eckert & Seamans in Richmond, are working all year long with five people designated to the sole effort of fighting lifting the ban at a cost of $10,000 per month during the session, Cannon continued.