February 10, 2015
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:35 p.m. on February 10, 2015.
Roll was called; Present: Mayor William Herrington; Council Members: Joyce Bland, H. B. Brockwell, Jr., Dora Hardy, Scott E. Martin, Robert F. Pecht, III, and Alice B. Talbert. Also present: Town Attorney, W. C. Outten, Jr., Town Manager, C. J. Dean, Police Chief, Everette Gibson, Town Clerk, Wanda Johnson, participants in the seventh grade essay contest, Burt Whisman, Bernard Jones, Dora Wynn, Brenda Herrington, Justin Thomas, citizens and the press.
Absent: Council Member Esther B. Sanderson.
RECOGNITION OF ESSAY CONTEST PARTICIPANTS
Mayor Herrington recognized the seventh grade essay contest participants. VML sponsored the “If I
Were Mayor” contest and 52 students from the middle school participated. A pizza party was held prior to the council meeting and each student was presented with a certificate signed by the Mayors of Alberta, Brodnax and Lawrenceville.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made by Mr. Pecht to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on January 13, 2015, as received, suspend the reading and file. This was seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
There were no additions to the agenda. Mayor Herrington changed the order and moved Recognition of Citizens ahead of Lawrenceville EDA.
RECOGNITION OF CITIZENS
Willie “Burt” Whisman, III, a representative from People, Inc., addressed council regarding a proposal by People, Inc. to purchase and rehabilitate Brunswick Manor Apartments located on Union Street. People, Inc. is a non-profit organization located in Abingdon, VA, interested in preserving affordable housing stock. They plan to purchase the property and seek tax credits to upgrade the property to modern code. The rent structure would not change. Currently all forty units are occupied and there is a waiting list. People, Inc. will apply to the VHDA 2015 competitive round. VHDA will send a letter asking the Town to verify the need of the project. The 2015 deadline to apply is March 6. If they are not successful in 2015, they would try again next year. A resolution has been drafted to designate the Brunswick Manor Apartments, located at 300 Union Street, Lawrenceville, VA, as a revitalization area. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell, and carried by all ayes, Council voted to adopt the resolution designating Brunswick Manor Apartments as a Revitalization Area and authorized the Mayor to sign the resolution.
Mr. Martin reported that the minutes of the February 3, 2015, were included in the packet. Mr. Martin also reported that he was reappointed to the EDA, extending his term four years. The EDA is interested in the Town transferring the Peebles building to the EDA to be marketed. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell, and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to transfer the Peebles building property to the Lawrenceville EDA. The EDA will try to utilize the VirginiaScan forms to market vacant buildings.
Mayor Herrington provided a Mayor’s report in the additional packet. Mayor Herrington thanked Congressman Hurt for inviting him to be his guest at the State of the Union Address.
February is heart month. Mayor Herrington distributed red ribbons to council members to be worn as support for heart month.
The VCU Massey Cancer Center and the Brunswick Health Ambassadors will sponsor a health summit on March 28, 2015, at Brunswick High School. A flyer is in the packet. Also in the packet, there is a report, the 2014 “County Health Rankings & Roadmaps”.
The Viper Running Club of the United Kingdom and the Tobacco Heritage Trail have partnered to schedule a ½ marathon to be run on the Tobacco Heritage Trail from Brodnax to Lawrenceville on April 25, 2015. The organizers would like to have a festival at the end of the run. Plans are still being developed. This is a week after the Brunswick Spring Festival.
The Town, Chamber of Commerce, local Cooperative Extension Office and several residents are working together to organize a Farmer’s Market to be located in downtown Lawrenceville.
The Town is in discussions to with the Brunswick Garden Club to beautify the gateway signs entering town and possibly other projects.
Mayor Herrington requested that the Parks and Recreation Committee meet to develop a set of rules and regulations regarding the use of the parking lot behind the stores on Main and Hicks Streets for events and activities.
The Mayor provided a copy of the 2008 Downtown Revitalization Plan in the package for Council to review. He suggested that Council start thinking about new projects and ideas as we approach the development of the 2015-16 budget.
Mayor Herrington asked that the Town Development Committee review the new business incentive program for possible updates and clarification and make a recommendation to Council.
Mayor Herrington received a response to his letter to HUD asking HUD to confirm a newspaper story that indicated that the complaint filed with HUD against the Town of Lawrenceville had been dismissed. The response coming from HUD clearly states that the matter had been dismissed and that no further action would be taken on the matter. A copy of the letter is in the packet.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
Mr. Outten advised that he had no report. Mr. Outten asked if a dedication ceremony had been held for the Bloom building. The plaque is on the building and a ceremony needs to be planned.
REPORT OF TOWN MANAGER
DOMINION VIRGINIA POWER UPDATE
Mr. Dean stated that there is a monthly update report in the packet. An Industrial User Wastewater Discharge Permit will be required in order for Dominion to discharge into the sewer system. The first page of the draft permit is in the packet.
PRISON PUMP STATION
The new generator is in. The new power service is underground and a new pump is being installed. Some water use could possibly begin in May.
DOWNTOWN PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. Dean reported that façade work will not begin until March due to the weather. Five or six more buildings might be rehabbed.
ALBERTA REGIONAL UTILITY PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. Dean reported that he attended the monthly Alberta project meeting. The Alberta water meters are not compatible with the Lawrenceville system. This causes extra work and time each month. The cost to replace the meters would be $87,000 to $90,000 not including installation. The town does not have the funds in hand and no grant is available to replace the meters.
SOUTHERN STATES BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS UPDATE
The Southern States Building inspection is scheduled for Friday.
BUDGET REQUESTS FOR 2015-2016
Mr. Dean asked that everyone get their requests in for the 2015-2016 budget.
BRUNSWICK MANOR APARTMENT COMPLEX
The resolution was approved earlier in the meeting. Mr. Dean commented that the work would be mostly shingles and interior work. There may not be much of a tax increase.
The police cars have been placed on the surplus website. An ad will also be placed in the paper that the vehicles are for sale on the website. The deadline for bids is February 24, 2015.
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH-HAA5 LETTER
Mr. Dean reported that the Alberta water system tests exceeded the limits for Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) and failed to meet a reporting requirement. A draft letter is in the packet. It will be finalized and mailed out. This only affects people served by the tank in Alberta. B & B is assisting with efforts to correct the issue.
Mr. Pecht requested that any budget needs be submitted. He also commented that we are running a bit ahead of this time last year. The increased sales tax levels are due to the Dominion project and we cannot count on those funds going forward.
FIRE DEPARTMENT CREDIT CARD
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Council voted to approve a credit card for the fire department. A credit card with a $2,000 credit limit is approved to be added under the current town master credit card account with First Citizens Bank. Cards may be issued to the Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire Department Chief, Kevin Pair and President, Everette Gibson. The bill for the credit card is to be reviewed by the Town Manager.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
Mr. Martin reported that the fire department responded to 27 calls in January. Mr. Martin also reported that he attended the fire meeting last night and gathered data on the budget needs of the fire department. These include the need to update an older fleet, door maintenance, paint, kitchen improvements, air packs and radios. Everette Gibson and Justin Thomas will work on a grant package and fund raisers are also planned to help with these needs.
There was no additional report.
Ms. Hardy stated that the report is in the packet. Chief Gibson would like to meet with the committee on budget needs. Chief Gibson also reported that the department is in baby steps of becoming accredited. A software program was purchased to assist in this process.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
Mr. Brockwell suggested that the property insurance list be used to identify property that might be in need of replacement.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
TEA-21 GRANT PHASE 2
Mrs. Bland reported that the committee met regarding the TEA-21 funds. Questions that came up will be forwarded to the proper officials for more information.
There was no report.
There will not be a committee meeting following the council meeting.
The report is in the packet.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT
There was no report.
There was no report. The committee will meet to develop rules and regulations for use of the parking lot.
Mr. Pecht did not have a report. Mayor Herrington reported that he and Pete Stith, President of Saint Paul’s College, were in attendance at a meeting this past Saturday. During that meeting, Mr. Stith reported that the college would run out of money by March 1st. He did not indicate any decision to sell or not to sell to interested parties.
Mr. Pecht state that he was pleased to report that the obstructions are down and that the VA Dept. of Aviation said the permit is in the mail. Mr. Pecht thanked Bernard Jones for cutting down some of the last obstructions. Mr. Pecht also commented that it might be possible to reopen the grass strip and that Dominion is renting a hangar.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
There was no report.
There were no announcements.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented in the amount of $67,854.21and charge to the proper accounts. This was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes.
There being no further business to come before Council, a motion was made by Mr. Martin, seconded by Ms. Hardy and carried by all ayes to adjourn the meeting.
William Herrington, Mayor
Wanda Johnson, Clerk
- Tags: 2015