Sigler seeks re-elec­tion

Record Observer - - FRONT PAGE - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — For the past six years, Ge­orge “Smokey” Sigler has been a mem­ber of the Centreville Town Coun­cil. He is seek­ing re-elec­tion to the three-mem­ber board.

As a coun­cil­man, Sigler said he has fought for Centreville res­i­dents in low­er­ing their county tax bill dur­ing tax dif­fer­en­tial talks with the county. Though the town has not re­ceived the

full 17.2 cents the town feels it is due, the amount res­i­dents have re­ceived has in­creased each year, he said.

In fis­cal 2017, Centreville re­ceived $429,888 in tax dif­fer­en­tial money for du­plica­tive ser vices with the county “that went di­rectly back to the cit­i­zens.”

“Be­fore I came on the coun­cil there was no tax re­bate,” Sigler said. “Now there’s an ac­tual line on the county tax bill ... that shows what the re­bate is.”

Sigler said work at the one-megawatt so­lar ar­ray at the town’s spray ir­ri­ga­tion field on Hope Road has been a ma­jor ac­com­plish­ment in his eyes. Used to spray the town’s treated ef­flu­ent on the farm to “put the bare min­i­mum back into the Bay,” Sigler said the eight mil­lion gal­lon hold­ing la­goon needs to be con­tin­u­ally looked at as the town in­fras­truc­ture and commercial struc­ture grows.

With the help of for­mer county Com­mis­sioner Paul Gun­ther, Sigler said the coun­cil be­gan look­ing at new farm­ing prac­tices and treat­ing the prop­erty as an ac­tual farm. Sigler said he pushed to have the so­lar ar­ray placed there be­cause a lot of en­ergy is needed to pump the ef­flu­ent from the sewer plant to the prop­erty, into the la­goon and even­tu­ally over the field.

Through­out the 20-year life­cy­cle of the ar­ray, Sigler said the town will save about $300,000 in elec­tri­cal costs. “That’s hard dol­lars that the res­i­dents are sav­ing be­cause I pushed to have this so­lar ar­ray in,” he said.

If re-elected, Sigler said, work will be con­tin­ued at the spray ir­ri­ga­tion field. By do­ing “right things right,” he said, plant­ing re­new­able re­sources, such as cedar and pine trees that re­pro­duce over years, around the farm’s buf­fer is im­por­tant, as well as what is planted.

With water go­ing to the prop­erty, the land is worth more to farm­ers com­mis­sioned to work there. “If you have a read­ily ac­ces­si­ble source of water, then you’re still go­ing to main­tain that $400 an acre cost” when a dry spell comes, he said.

Look­ing 10 years down the line, Sigler said the town should be­gin po­si­tion­ing it­self to ac­quire an­other farm, which he said he has been in ne­go­ti­a­tions for.

To help Centreville con­tinue moving for­ward, Sigler said, the town has fo­cused on in­fras­truc­ture re­pairs and has be­gun cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment that at­tracts in­vest­ments and com­pa­nies. A new ex­tended care fa­cil­ity will be built on Comet Drive and con­tin­ued talks with busi­nesses look­ing to set up shop in town have been pri­or­i­ties, he said.

Con­ti­nu­ity is key to con­tinue that work, he said.

Sigler has served on the county’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment board since first com­ing to of­fice and said he con­tin­u­ally makes plugs to at­tract new busi­nesses. The Centreville Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Author­ity, made up of busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als, is one en­tity Sigler is proud to have helped form.

Sigler sees the cor­ri­dor go­ing out past the high school as the next growth pat­tern and said the town needs to be pre­pared for that ex­pan­sion through smart growth plan­ning.

“Max­i­miz­ing our re­turn on in­vest­ments for the prop­er­ties we have now and en­sure that what­ever new devel­op­ment comes to Centreville is done the right way,” he said.

With the mantra, “en­deavor to per­se­vere,” Sigler said con­tin­u­ing a course of ac­tion in the face of dif­fi­culty is some­thing he has ac­com­plished dur­ing his time serv­ing and hopes to con­tinue do­ing if re-elected.

O’Shuck’s Ir­ish Pub own­ers Mike and Jen­nifer Brown are host­ing a meet and greet with Sigler from 2 to 4 p.m. Sun­day, March 26. Mu­si­cian Harry Trayn­ham will per­form from 2 to 3 p.m.

GE­ORGE “SMOKEY” SIGLER

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