Pound Town Manager: Town council to hold emergency meeting Thursday to discuss police firing, river spillage

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POUND, Va. (WJHL) – The Town of Pound’s town council will meet Thursday night to address two key issues facing the community – wastewater pouring into the Pound River and the elimination of its police force.

According to Drew Mullins, the town manager of Pound, the town council is set to meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 20.

Mullins said the council will be discussing the recent vote to terminate its entire police department, including the former chief of police.

Mullins told News Channel 11 there were two law enforcement officers within the department, the former chief and a detective.

A petition filed by Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp stated the town council formally voted on May 18 to remove each officer in the department, including the chief. The council also demanded that the former chief turn over the keys to the department’s evidence storage room.

Slemp filed the petition in Wise County court, claiming that under Virginia law, access to the room could only be given to law enforcement. As of Wednesday, a new chief of police had not been appointed and no recipient of the keys had been specified.

Slemp asked a judge on Wednesday to freeze the order regarding the access to the evidence storage room until a new authorized person is appointed.

A review hearing regarding the evidence room has been set for May 25 at 1 p.m.

The town council will also be discussing the ongoing issue of sewage spilling into the Pound River Thursday night, according to Mullins.

The Virginia Department of Health issued health advisories for people in Dickenson and Wise Counties in early May, saying that a release of sewage from the Town of Pound Wastewater Treatment Plant had been ongoing since March 29.

Mullins previously told News Channel 11 that the town has not been able to locate the source of the problem in order to fix it.

He also said Pound officials have not seemed concerned with infrastructure needs, and the town is two years behind in completing fiscal year audits. Were the town up-to-date on its audits, Pound would be able to receive $4.2 million in loan and grant money from the Virginia Resources Authority. Mullins said that money would allow them to fix “every single issue” regarding the treatment plan.

The Dickenson County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to the mayor of Pound on Tuesday, stating that if the town did not fix the issue with the river, legal action could be taken.

As of Thursday morning, Mullins said only the town council and some citizens of Pound are expected at the meeting.

The meeting will be streamed on the town’s Facebook page.

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