July 14, 2015
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. on July 14, 2015. Mayor Herrington stated that citizens desiring to address council would have an opportunity to speak for three minutes each under Recognition of Citizens.
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, Welton Tyler, Rufus Tyler, Andrew Condlin, Phil Gilson, Lisa Lambert, Chad Whitlow, citizens and the press.
Absent: Council Member Esther B. Sanderson.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made by Mr. Martin to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on June 9, 2015, as received, suspend the reading and file. This was seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Rezoning Application – Welton Tyler was moved from Unfinished Business to follow Recognition of Citizens.
Mr. Martin reported that work is continuing with the insurance claim for water damage to the Peebles building. The air conditioner has to be replaced at the VCU Massey Cancer Center building. A grand opening for the VCU Massey Cancer Center will be held soon. The EDA is holding meetings quarterly.
RECOGNITION OF CITIZENS
CONCERNS ABOUT AGGRESSIVE DOGS
Brenda Stone, a resident at 306 Park Street, addressed council concerning dogs that are allowed to be loose in town. She has observed a kitten being killed by pit bull dogs. Her granddaughter was chased by a pit bull. She has written a letter to the Brunswick Times Gazette editor concerning this. She said there is no reason not to have a leash law. Mrs. Bland stated that she saw the same dogs kill a cat and kitten in her yard and she called animal control. Chief Gibson commented that animal control responds to these types of calls. Mr. Pecht and Mr. Brockwell both discussed that ordinances are already on the books to address aggressive and vicious dogs. It is up to owners of dogs to maintain control of their animals. It becomes a matter of enforcement and there is no Town animal control. The Mayor said he and the Town Manager will make a recommendation at the next meeting.
REZONING APPLICATION #2014-1 – WELTON TYLER
Andrew Condlin addressed council regarding an application previously submitted by Welton Tyler for a rezoning of property located at 125, 129, 133 College View Drive. Mr. Tyler seeks to rezone the property from Public Open Space/Institutional (POS) to Multi-Family (R-3). Council previously granted an extension to allow Mr. Tyler time to respond to concerns about the rezoning request. Mr. Condlin wrote a letter to Mr. Dean addressing the concerns and comments. Proffers have been offered in the event that the property is rezoned as requested. Copies of the letter, application, plat, and proffers are in the council packets. Mr. Tyler has closed on the property and is now the owner. Mr. Condlin stated that the buildings are not classic dorms. Each two bedroom apartment has its own kitchen and bathroom. They are apartments that will be renovated. There will be twelve units and each building will have an individual water meter. They plan for two parking spaces per unit. There will be signage for children at play even though the play area is behind the child development center. The traffic for twelve units will not trigger the requirement for VDOT review. The same Church Street access will be used as it always has been. The existing yards and distance between buildings would be grandfathered as a nonconforming use. It would not be practical to move buildings but they will meet current code where they can. The comprehensive plan and zoning intent could not foresee the closing of the college and did not address the possible re-use of the property. Rezoning approval would allow for improvement of the property and put the property on the tax roll. Mr. Condlin asked that he be contacted if there are any questions or concerns. Mayor Herrington advised that it will take time to review the information and set August as the target date for action by Town Council.
DEAN PACKER FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS
Former council member Woodrow R. Packer, Sr. passed away on July 11, 2015. The funeral arrangements are in the packet.
TOBACCO HERITAGE TRAIL GRASS
Mayor Herrington received an e-mail from trail coordinator, Heather Sussee requesting that the Town of Lawrenceville spray and kill the grass on the trail. There was discussion about this and Mr. Dean said he will ask about it at the upcoming quarterly Rails to Trails meeting.
Mayor Herrington reported that the grand opening of the Farmers Market was last Friday from 1:00 - 6:00 p.m. He has been in touch with more vendors and the hours have been changed to 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. Council needs to formally create the Farmers Market. He got the meeting date mixed up and scheduled the grand opening before the meeting. On motion by Ms. Hardy, seconded by Mr. Martin and carried by all ayes, Town Council approved the creation and development of a Farmers Market. There was discussion about the draft set of rules and regulations. We may need to be flexible on the location and hours. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to adopt the Lawrenceville Farmers Market Rules and Regulations as presented.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
DELINQUENT REAL ESTATE TAX LIST
Mr. Outten reported that he will continue to work on the delinquent tax matter. It will be a couple months yet before a decision is made on sales.
REPORT OF TOWN MANAGER
DOMINION VIRGINIA POWER UPDATE
Mr. Dean stated that the monthly progress reports are in the packet. We have started filling the 10 million gallon storage tank at Dominion, flowing 500 gallons per minute. As of today we have sold Dominion 4.5 million gallons of water. The work at the water plant is 95% complete. The third filter is being rehabbed now.
DOWNTOWN PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. Dean reported that the work on this phase of the facades should be finished tomorrow. We hope to bid soon on the third phase to include five or six buildings.
ALBERTA REGIONAL UTILITY PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. Dean reported that the Alberta project is complete. The summary of the June 11, 2015, final meeting is in the packet.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY INVOICE-POLICE FINES REVERSION
Mr. Dean reported that if local fines are more than 65% of state police fines, then 80% has to be reverted to the state. He met with the county finance director to review the calculations. This is based on FY2014 and Brunswick County has invoiced the Town for Lawrenceville’s share of $230.34. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Ms. Hardy and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to reimburse Brunswick County for fine reversions in the amount of $230.34.
DOMINION VIRGINIA POWER IUP
A copy of the cover page of the Dominion Virginia Power Industrial User Permit is in the packet for information only. The full document is 22 pages long. This document will allow DVP to send wastewater to the town. The Administration Building will be occupied beginning August 1st.
TEA-21 PHASE II
Mr. Dean reported that we have been trying to get state approval for an alternate plan to use the Phase II funds. The state has looked at a proposed project for areas that need sidewalks. There are pictures in the packet. It has been approved in theory, but the town has to provide the state with more information before final approval.
Mr. Pecht commented that the last financial report of the fiscal year, ending June 30, 2015, is in the packet. This report is on a cash basis while the audit is on an accrual basis. Page 9 of the report shows a fairly substantial build-up to be used for debt repayments. We anticipate the debt repayments to be offset by revenue from sales to Dominion. We do have reserves to help until the full Dominion revenue begins to come in. He asked everyone to review the statement. Creedle, Jones & Alga has started gathering information for the audit.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
Mr. Martin reported that the fire department responded to 17 calls in June. Of the 17, 1 was in the town limits and 16 were outside of the town limits. The fire department is requesting that the 1996 Ford Van (formerly Support 7) be listed as salvaged property.
Mayor Herrington has talked to Mrs. Sanderson about a way for the town to recognize the water plant operators for the water awards that the town has received. Mayor Herrington will get three $50 gift cards at a total cost of $150 to be presented to the three water plant operators at the next town council meeting. There was also discussion that the employees in the street department should be recognized for going above and beyond. They have been working short-handed in very hot weather. A Friday lunch was suggested. It was then suggested that the personnel committee meet and address this. They can set everything up and let Town Council know what is planned.
The regular monthly report is in the packet.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
Mr. Brockwell recommended that the 1996 Ford Van be declared salvaged property as requested by the fire department. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mr. Martin and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to declare the 1996 Ford Van salvaged property and that it be offered on public surplus for sale.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
Mr. Brockwell commented that our people have been doing a good job. However, they are short-handed and the weeds are taking over. It was suggested that Roundup be used to help with the weeds. Mr. Dean stated that we do not have enough help right now. He is working on this and plans to hire to get to full staff in 30-60 days. Council members suggested that we hire seasonal employees to help at this time
and proceed with plans to hire regular staff.
Mr. Brockwell reported that he has received calls from citizens concerned about unoccupied buildings and grass that is too tall. Mr. Dean advised that it is a lengthy process to give notice by certified mail and then 10 days must be allowed for a response before we can mow the grass and bill the property owner. Mr. Dean will look at the problem areas and consult with the Town Attorney on possibly declaring some sites a nuisance and public safety issue.
LAWRENCEVILLE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT PHASE I
Mr. Dean reported that he asked B & B Consultants to look at concerns he has regarding solids at the wastewater treatment plant. It was determined that we need to add more digester capacity, increase treatment of bio-solids by adding pumps and piping and put in cloth filters. The estimated project cost came to $2,296,808 which includes contingencies. Dominion gave $2.25 million to connect to the sewer. Mr. Dean asked Town Council for a motion to allow the Mayor and Town Manager to sign the necessary documents to initiate this project. It will take a year for construction and we need to get this project underway to address the solids. Mr. Brockwell commented that this project will provide leverage for any grant funds we might apply for in the future. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to authorize the Mayor and Town Manager to sign the documents to initiate Phase I of the Lawrenceville Wastewater Treatment Plant Project. A roll call vote was taken: Mrs. Bland, aye; Mr. Brockwell, aye; Ms. Hardy, aye; Mr. Martin, aye; Mr. Pecht, aye; Mrs. Sanderson, absent; Mrs. Talbert, aye.
SENSUS WATER METER PURCHASE-ALBERTA
Mr. Dean asked Town Council for authorization to replace the Alberta water meters. The meters on the Alberta system do not work with the Lawrenceville program causing problems and additional time to process the readings and billing. The cost of the meters is $85,000 plus the additional cost for a contractor to install the meters. The project should not exceed $110,000. There are contingency funds left over from other projects that could be used. Also, Lawrenceville did not have to take on debt service for the Alberta system due to the grant that Alberta received. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Ms. Hardy and carried Town Council voted to authorize the purchase and installation of 263 Sensus meters for the Alberta water system.
There will not be a committee meeting following the council meeting.
Mr. Brockwell commented that the departments are doing a great job.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT
GRASS NOTICES/CONDEMNED HOUSES
This was discussed earlier in the meeting.
DRAFT PARK RESERVATION FORM
Mr. Dean reported that he did not receive any comments on the draft park reservation form from Town Council, Lion’s Club or EDA members. He will prepare the final draft and submit it for approval at the next council meeting. Mayor Herrington asked that it be submitted to council for review before the meeting.
PEEBLES PARK-COLLEGE PARK IDEA/MAINTENANCE
Mr. Brockwell discussed concerns about the maintenance of Peebles Park. At one time the town paid a contractor to maintain the park. When the contract ceased, the town took over the maintenance. Mr. Brockwell suggested that if the town staff is not able to maintain it, we should put out a bid for a contractor. Mr. Dean advised that there is not a perpetual care fund for the maintenance of the park. Mr. Brockwell also discussed the possibility of installing flag poles in the park to be offered to college groups in town for the display of college flags. Mr. Brockwell offered to work with Mr. Dean on this if council is interested in the flags. Also, there has been talk about putting a playground in the park. The park on South Main Street was donated by M. W. Peebles, Jr. in memory of his mother and father. Mr. Outten commented that the town has a moral obligation to consult the Peebles family about plans for the park. Mayor Herrington appointed Mr. Brockwell to serve with Mr. Dean and Mrs. Talbert on the Parks/Recreation Committee.
Mayor Herrington reported that there is no new information. Several letters have been written to the president of St. Paul’s College and he has been invited to attend the town council meetings.
Mr. Pecht reported that John Zubrod is now serving on the commission. Bids are being obtained for a new mower for the airport. The signage for Pappy Ellis Field should be installed soon.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
There was no report.
A Shentel channel line-up change notice is in the packet.
National Night Out is Tuesday, August, 4, 2015, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the newly renovated parking lot.
The Brunswick Chamber of Commerce Annual Picnic Dinner is Wednesday, August 12, 2015. Please make your reservation on or before August 3, 2015.
The Executive Mansion has requested that each locality submit one hand-crafted ornament for its holiday tree. VML is assisting with this request. VML must be notified by July 30, 2015, if the town plans to participate. The ornament must be submitted to VML by November 1, 2015. Mr. Dean will discuss this with our local glass blower, Mr. Gilson.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented in the amount of $117,022.43 and charge to the proper accounts. This was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes.
The rezoning application was moved up.
There was no new business.
CLOSED SESSION – LEGAL MATTER
MOTION TO ENTER THE CLOSED MEETING
“Mr. Mayor, I move the Lawrenceville Town Council enter into a closed meeting pursuant to the provisions of Section 2.2-3711 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended for the purpose of discussing legal matters.” Motion: Mr. Pecht. Second: Mrs. Talbert. Roll call vote: Mrs. Bland, aye; Mr. Brockwell, aye; Ms. Hardy, aye; Mr. Martin, aye; Mr. Pecht, aye; Mrs. Sanderson, absent; Mrs. Talbert, aye.
MOTION TO EXIT A CLOSED MEETING AND RECONVENE IN OPEN SESSION
“Mr. Mayor, I move the closed meeting be adjourned and the Lawrenceville Town Council convene again in open session.” The motion was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes.
“Be it resolved to the best of my knowledge (i) only public business matters exempted from open meeting requirements, under Section 2.2-3711 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, and (ii) only such public business matters as were identified in the motion by which the closed meeting was convened were heard, discussed or considered in the meeting.” Motion: Mr. Pecht. Second: Ms. Hardy. Roll call vote: Mrs. Bland, aye; Mr. Brockwell, aye; Ms. Hardy, aye; Mr. Martin, aye; Mr. Pecht, aye; Mrs. Sanderson, absent; Mrs. Talbert, aye.
There being no further business to come before Council, a motion was made by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Ms. Hardy and carried by all ayes to adjourn the meeting.
William Herrington, Mayor
Wanda Johnson, Clerk