News

‘BOOST’ FOR VUMAC

‘BOOST’ FOR VUMAC

Once one of Blackstone’s biggest community assets, the former Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center has sat idle since 2016. The 1922 building originally was home of Blackstone College for Girls, which closed in 1950.

More Apartments Planned Here
More Apartments Planned Here

More Apartments Planned Here

Petersburg developer Dave McCormack appeared Monday night (Nov. 16th) before Blackstone Town Council to propose buying the Town’s lot on Second Street, on the west side of College Avenue, where the Town’s million-gallon concrete water basin is located. McCormack said he’d like to build approximately 35 apartments -- similar to his new “Nottoway House” beside Lunenburg Avenue Lofts -- to serve FASTC trainees at Fort Pickett. Two public hearings will be held Monday, December 21st on his proposal.

COUNCIL MOVING FORWARD

Blackstone officials Monday night authorized Town Manager Philip Vannoorbeeck to prepare a grant application to the state Dept. of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) and to search for other funds to begin renovations to the Harris Memorial Armory.

YES 773, NO 669

YES 773, NO 669

The Town of Blackstone has owned the 1936 National Guard armory building at High & Tavern Streets since 1988. What to do with the landmark has been the focus of considerable, often-intense debate over the past two decades. Voters in last Tuesday’s non-binding referendum expressed support for the Town to renovate it -- for a multi-use community center -- by a 54-46% margin. In a competing advisory question, voters opposed the Town erecting a new community center buiding on South Harris Street by a margin of 745-684, or 52-48%. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of the Town’s 2,143 registered voters responded to the referendum questions.

AROUND TOWN

They talk about it every year, but the Nottoway Board of Supervisors and School Board are finally going to hold a joint meeting -- for the first time in more than six years. I hope they set aside ample time for introductions, because some officials may have forgotten one another. “Oh my gosh, you look great! Haven’t seen you since 2014!”

TRUMP COUNTRY

President Donald Trump beat Democrat Joe Biden by 1,056 votes in Nottoway County on Tuesday, but the race nationwide was too close to call at Courier-Record presstime at 11:00 p.m.

Dueling Displays

Dueling Displays

At its regular meeting last Monday night (Oct. 19th), Blackstone Town Council agreed to allow on Town property -- including the Armory and Schwartz Tavern grounds -- campaign signs either for or against renovating the armory -- as well as signs for or against building a proposed new community center. But officials agreed that Town Manager Philip Vannoorbeeck is to remove from Town property any and all signs promoting a particular candidate(s). The Town Code prohibits advertising on Town property. Next Tuesday’s referendum is advisory (non-binding). Mayor Billy Coleburn has called a Special Council Meeting for Monday, Nov. 9th at 7:00 p.m. for Council to discuss results and to chart a course of action to implement wishes of voters, who also may vote NO on both questions.

Early Birds
Early Birds

Early Birds

Kristin Gallagher (left) and Sarah Dunn, both of Blackstone, were among those voting early last week in the Nov. 3rd elections. The number of residents voting ‘in-person absentee’ has increased dramatically this year due to COVID-19 concerns and new laws that don’t require a reason for voting early. These photos were taken Friday at Blackstone Police station, which will be open to all Nottoway registered voters again today (Wednesday) and Friday (9-4), and Saturday (9-5). Polls open next Tuesday at Nottoway County’s nine polling places at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. Photos by Scott Matthew

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Blackstone Courier Record

111 Maple St.

Blackstone, VA 23824

(434) 292-3019