At its September 13 meeting, the Gretna town council heard from a pair of individuals who plan to run for the board of supervisors, and discussed how the town will use over $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

Sgt. John Hewitt provided an update from the Gretna Police Department. Council discussed speeding in town, which, it was pointed out, has become an issue throughout surrounding counties, and noise complaints from a party hosted just outside of town over the weekend.

Next, council heard from a pair of Gretna natives who plan for the Gretna-Callands seat on the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors.

Ryland Brumfield addressed the council first. Brumfield, a longtime Abbott employee who is now retired, described himself as a conservative. He said he has been campaigning door-to-door for the last 10 weeks. He named keeping spending and taxes low, encouraging local industrial development and bringing reliable internet service to every part of the county as among his top priorities as a candidate.

Donald Dalton spoke next. Dalton worked for Pittsylvania County for over 31 years. Dalton said he feels his experience with the county gives him an advantage as a candidate. He pointed out his experience helping the Army Corps of Engineers build a dam in the Gretna area, building wells and installing signs in town, helping the local historical society and more. If elected, he said his goal would be to do more to help the Gretna area and help the town grow.

Brumfield and Dalton were followed by Willie Jones, a senior program officer with the Danville Regional Foundation (DRF). Jones offered his organization’s services to the town, and passed out a quality of life survey to council members to assess the town’s needs and hopefully  give DRF better information on how to help meet those needs through grants or other means.

Gretna will be receiving $1,163,131 in ARPA funds. All such funds must be used or returned before December 2024. Roughly half of the money has already been disbursed to the town. The second half will be disbursed next year. Town staff presented a preliminary spending plan for the money, which included a water system upgrade, which would entail upgrading water meters, upgrading the SCADA system at the town’s water treatment plant, a new pump for the plant, a CAD system to store data on underground utilities and possibly a tractor.

Other proposed items include three police cars, landscaping and aesthetic improvements for local parks, additional funds for the fire department, a potential “good will gesture” of $50 off all town customers’ water bills, an LED sign for the town to announce upcoming events, boil water advisories or other information on and upgrades to town buildings, such as new HVAC equipment.

No set plans were adopted for the money, but overall council members appeared pleased with preliminary plans for the town’s ARPA funds.

Lastly before the end of the meeting it was announced that a grand opening will be hosted for the new Olive Branch Home at 207 Henry Street at 11 a.m. on Saturday.