DAYTON — Dayton Town Council tabled a motion to approve funding to purchase a plot of land owned by BB&T Bank between Dingledine Lane and John Wayland Highway during Monday’s meeting, marking a pause in a deal which began during March.

The cost of the purchase was set at $58,200, said Jason Ham, the town attorney. However, he recommended council to approve $60,000 for the project, to include title insurance and other fees to protect the deal.

However, the purchase was not budgeted for this year. The purchase would have negated the surplus of over $38,000 in the current budget, had council voted to authorize the purchase, said Councilman Jeff Daly.

Other concerns council voiced about the deal included clarity of what the exact property the town was purchasing would be.

Also during the meeting, council formally recognized Justin Trout as the new Dayton police chief, but rescheduled the ceremony to the next meeting.

Trout presented several points to council, including an update on speed signs and the patrol of Wilbur S. Pence Middle School as the students return.

Dayton had bought three electronic street signs, but the Virginia Department of Transportation only authorized the use of one such device.

The surplus signs will be sold to the town of Broadway.

Trout told council that police would attend drop-off and pickup at Pence, as well as regularly visit the school daily during their patrol.

Previously, the school resource officer, Donnie “Dinky” Conley, patrolled the school three days a week.

In May, council voted to remove funding for the position in the budget. Dayton was the only locality to fund a school resource officer at a middle school in the county.

Dayton police also hired Larry Papotnik, a retired Bridgewater officer, who will work a maximum of three 10-hour shifts to help fill personnel gaps, Trout said.

Trout and Angela Lawrence, the town superintendent, have been working on the process for hiring a lieutenant to round out the town’s five-man police force. The position is slated to be advertised starting later this month, and trout said he expects to fill the position by the end of September.

Councilman Cary Jackson spoke about the need to invest in the town’s water and sewer systems to attract larger economic development to the town.

“In order for us to go out and bring true economic development, we’re going to have to improve our water plant,” he said.

In July, Dayton began an improvement on its water and sewer system with a deal to buy an automated supervisory control and data acquisition system from SLM Enterprises in Weyers Cave.

The system combines communication tools into a centralized system to ease monitoring challenges to personnel at the facility.

The price tag for the system is $36,500, of which the town has paid $6,250, said Lawrence.

Town staff are waiting to hear from the company on a start date for installation.

In other news, the cardboard boat races at Silver Lake on Saturday have been canceled due to a lack in registrations. Council members agreed more could be done to advertise for the event to increase participation next year.

Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or Follow Ian on Twitter @IanMunroDNR

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