June 12, 2018
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. on June 12, 2018.
Roll was called; Present: Mayor William Herrington; Council Members: Joyce Bland, H. B. Brockwell, Jr., Dora Hardy, Scott Martin, Martha Myers, Robert F. Pecht, III and Alice Talbert. Also present: Town Attorney, W. C. Outten, Jr., Town Manager, C. J. Dean, Police Chief, Everette Gibson, Town Clerk, Wanda Johnson, Police Officer, Cedric Macklin, Kimberly Martin, Jane Adams, Phil Gilson, Shirley Penn, Leorie Mallory and the press.
PUBLIC HEARING – WATER AND SEWER RATES
As this time had been advertised for a public hearing on the proposed water and sewer rates adjustment, Mayor Herrington opened the public hearing. Mr. Dean reviewed the proposed 5% water and sewer rate adjustment. There is no garbage rate increase. The minimum monthly In Town Water Rate will increase from $10.00 to $10.50. The minimum monthly In Town Sewer Rate will increase from $10.00 to $10.50. Each additional 1000 gallons of water will be $3.94 In Town. Each additional 1000 gallons of sewer will be $3.94 In Town. The minimum monthly Out of Town Water Rate will increase from $17.50 to $18.38. The minimum monthly Out of Town Sewer Rate will increase from $17.50 to $18.38. Each additional 1000 gallons of water will be $6.88 Out of Town. Each additional 1000 gallons of sewer will be $6.88 Out of Town. The new bulk water rate will be $6.88 per 1000 gallons. The new bulk septage rate will be $75.08 per 1000 gallons.
There was no public comment.
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Myers and carried by all ayes, the public hearing on the water and sewer rates was closed.
PUBLIC HEARING – REAL ESTATE TAX RATE
As this time had been advertised for a public hearing on the proposed real estate tax rate increase, Mayor Herrington opened the public hearing. There is a proposed real estate tax rate increase from $0.30 per $100 to $0.34 per $100. The tax rate increase is needed to offset the lower assessments due to the six year property re-assessment.
There was no public comment.
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, the public hearing on the real estate tax rate was closed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made by Mr. Martin to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on May 8, 2018, as received, suspend the reading and file. This was seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
The agenda was approved as presented.
RECOGNITION OF CITIZENS
There were no citizens desiring to speak.
RESOLUTION IN HONOR OF MAYOR WILLIAM HERRINGTON
On behalf of Town Council, Mr. Pecht presented a resolution to Mayor Herrington in honor and recognition of his service, commitment and dedication to the Town of Lawrenceville and surrounding communities. Mayor Herrington expressed appreciation for the resolution and said he has enjoyed serving as Mayor.
Mr. Martin reported that the LEDA met on June 5, 2018. Air conditioning problems in the Bloom Building are being corrected. The 5 year lease with VCU will be up May 2019. Discussions will begin to continue the lease. A contract extension with Long & Foster was signed to continue to market the Peebles building. Creedle, Jones & Alga will be contracted for the annual audit. Mr. Martin will resign from the LEDA due to his recent election as Mayor. Mr. Martin asked for a volunteer from Council to fill the position as Council needs to be represented on the LEDA. The next meeting will be held on August 14, 2018, at 5:30 p.m.
Mayor Herrington reported that the GO Virginia Region 3 Partners Summit will be held on June 21, 2018, at Hampden Sydney College. He has attended GO Virginia meetings in the past. He suggested that someone from Town Council should attend this meeting. It was reported that Carthan Currin, County Economic Development Coordinator, will be attending the meeting.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
There was no report.
REPORT OF TOWN MANAGER
OLD SOUTHERN STATES BUILDING
Mr. Dean reported that a press release was sent out to announce that KASS Foods will establish an operation in Lawrenceville. A late summer start up is possible.
Mr. Dean reported that the LEDA recently signed an agreement with Long & Foster to continue to market the Peebles building. We have continued to update the DHCD on the building. The food bank is still a possibility for the building.
The N. Main Street project is almost ready for construction. VDOT has to give final approval before the project goes out to bid. The project from E. E. Vaughan to the bridge has been surveyed and we expect to have 30% plans by the end of the month. The other Lawrenceville applications were not funded this year. We were told that the ramp application for the gazebo park was strong but we need to strengthen it for the next round. In SPDC 13, Alberta and Brodnax were funded for continuation of projects. Most of the money this year went to the Richmond area.
US 58 ARTERIAL PRESERVATION PLAN
Mr. Dean reported on an email from SPDC regarding the plan that will look at US 58 from the Brunswick/Greensville line to the Mecklenburg/Halifax line. Part of this plan will conduct traffic counts and possible improvements. The Cattail Drive and Food Lion area were not included. Current counts will be used to study that area. The main area for a traffic count in Brunswick County is the Bright Leaf Rd. area. Based on discussions with Mr. Brockwell, we will ask that they look at considering a 58 western access to the industrial area at the old Brick & Tile and Butler Lumber area plus tourism for the Tobacco Heritage Trail. He asked Council to review this as the Town will be asked to sign off on the study.
2045 REGIONAL LONG RANGE TRANSPORTATION PLAN
Mr. Dean presented the Brunswick County information for Council to review. The study looks at how to advance and move traffic safely. This is the beginning of a study for the future.
MID-ATLANTIC BROADBAND AGREEMENT
Mr. Dean reported on a copy of an email from the County’s attorney and a copy of the letter that the Town is being asked to sign regarding the Town’s radio tower. The Town is asked to waive compensation in the amount of $300 per month for the tower location of the County Sheriff Department’s new public safety communications radio system. In return, the Town will receive free dispatch services and free use of the new communications system. The current system is old and needs to be upgraded. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mr. Martin and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to authorize the Mayor to sign the letter to Mr. Keller and Mid-Atlantic Broadband agreeing to waive the right to compensation in the amount of $300 per month related to the sublease of the tower property for use by Brunswick County in operating the new communications system.
VDOT AND TOWN FORCES WORK ON ROAD
Mr. Dean said he wanted to personally thank VDOT for working with the town forces on the road to the ballpark. The road is a lot better than it was and looks good. Mr. Brockwell commented that a lot of things came together to get it done including letters from Town Council and the County and support from the community.
FORMER SAINT PAUL’S COLLEGE PROPERTY
Mr. Dean reported that the Commissioner of the Revenue has declared the former Saint Paul’s College property a taxable property.
NEW BUSINESSES IN TOWN
Mr. Dean suggested that the Town send a letter of welcome to new businesses when they locate in town thanking them for investing in the town. He asked the Town Development committee to draft a letter. Ms. Hardy suggested that the Town also use social media to welcome and highlight new businesses in town. They will look back to January 1, 2017, as a starting point for the letters.
FORMAL ADOPTION OF WATER/SEWER RATES, TOWN ORDINANCE SECTION 78-65
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to adopt the water/sewer rates as presented at the public hearing tonight to be effective July 1, 2018. The rates will be in effect for the July usage to be billed on August 1, 2018. The new rates reflect a 5% increase in rates.
FORMAL ADOPTION OF REAL ESTATE TAX RATE
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to adopt the real estate tax rate increase from $0.30 per $100 to $0.34 per $100 as presented at the public hearing tonight. The new tax rate will be in effect this year on the 2018 real estate tax bills.
ADOPTION OF FY 2018-2019 BUDGET
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Myers and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to formally adopt the FY 2018-2019 Budget as advertised and presented. A roll call vote was taken: Mrs. Bland, aye; Mr. Brockwell, aye; Ms. Hardy, aye; Mr. Martin, aye; Mrs. Myers, aye; Mr. Pecht, aye; Mrs. Talbert, aye.
AUTO LICENSE DECALS
Mr. Dean and Mr. Outten will work on the ordinances to eliminate the sale of Town decals and add the $25 per vehicle decal fee to personal property tax bills. We will also check on changes needed to the County and Town software in order to add the fee to tax bills.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
The May fire report is in the add packet. The fire department responded to 24 calls in May. Of the 24, 4 were in the town limits and 20 were outside the town limits. Also, 18 were in the LVFD First Due area, with 6 being mutual aid to other agencies. Approximately 247.42 man hours were expended. The 5th Annual Cornhole Tournament was a success. There were 26 teams competing.
Mr. Brockwell asked the Town Manager to include a report to identify positions that come available. It is concerning that the people that apply are not meeting the requirements that we have for employment. We do have drug testing. We are competitive with other businesses. The Town is not getting the applicants we need from the labor force to fill these positions and it is becoming a problem.
Ms. Hardy advised the police report is in the packet. Chief Gibson reported that a letter was received on June 11, 2018, in reference to one of our police officers responding to a call at Food Lion. A citizen had observed Officer Macklin assisting a man, a veteran, who was locked out of his car on a very hot day. Officer Macklin was not able to unlock the car so he offered for the man to sit in his air conditioned car and waited with him for his wife to bring another key. The letter thanked Officer Macklin for doing an outstanding job, going above and beyond to assist the citizen. Chief Gibson presented a Community Policing Certificate of Assistance to Officer C. L. Macklin for faithful service to the citizens of the Town of Lawrenceville.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
There was no report.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
Mrs. Bland stated that council members had received an email regarding the cemetery. She asked Mr. Dean to respond to it. Mr. Dean said we want to thank those who have volunteered at the cemetery to include the members of the Brunswick Garden Club who have done a lot of work there. We also want to thank Lynn Rucker, Donnie Rucker, Judy Barnes and Bladen Finch for their work in the cemetery. Mr. Dean said it takes a whole team to get this work done, including volunteers, town forces and our contractor, Mr. Lett. Mrs. Talbert named the members of the Brunswick Garden Club volunteering in the cemetery: Kaye Outten, Diane Wagner and Beverly Hudson. Mr. Martin said a local business had donated mulch to the cemetery and we appreciate that. The email did not identify the business.
Mr. Brockwell commented that as you can see from the agenda this particular month, there is a lot of town development covered every month. Something related to town development may be reported under another committee and not under town development. Mr. Brockwell said High Street looks much better since the demolitions have been completed. Mr. Brockwell thanked the owner who demolished his property on his own. Mr. Brockwell stated that regarding two previous reports tonight, the US 58 Arterial and 2045 Regional plan, the proposed access road fits both of these plans and we need to let the County and SPDC know this is a major issue. The area is in the County but it affects two major properties owned by the Town and a tourism area. An access road is needed fulfill the potential of this area.
FORT PICKETT FOREIGN AMBASSADOR SPECIAL TRAINING CENTER
Mayor Herrington asked Mr. Dean for a report on the project at Fort Pickett. Mr. Dean said they are looking to move about 360 families or positions to this area. They will not be living on Fort Pickett. They are being encouraged to get out in the surrounding communities. Mr. Dean and a Long & Foster representative met with a representative of the US Department of State to show her around town and local businesses. She was given information on schools and the lake area. She will be meeting with families that might locate in this area. Mayor Herrington reported that they don’t think there is sufficient housing in the Blackstone area.
Mr. Brockwell reported that we have already covered the water and sewer rates increases with the budget. There will not be a committee meeting following the council meeting tonight. The committee has been working on a position statement. This is an executive summary related to our water and wastewater utilities and infrastructure. Mr. Dean has been encouraged to set up a meeting with the County Economic Development Coordinator and the IDA to review the position statement with them. Mr. Brockwell asked Council to contact Mr. Dean if they have any questions.
Mayor Herrington said he would like to go back to an issue dealing with Town Development. He stated that he is of the opinion that of the $4 million that comes into the county annually, a portion of that money should go to the Town of Lawrenceville. It is predicated on the number of residents in the county and a portion of those residents reside in the town. He thinks we are due a portion of that money merely by being here. This has come before the ad hoc committee between the county and the town and no action has been taken on it. He thinks it should be brought up again.
The information is in the packet. All of the safety reports are documentation that helps with our VML insurance coverage.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT
Mrs. Bland reported that a demolition on High Street was owner initiated. Mr. Dean will update us on tall grass notices and abandoned vehicles. Mr. Dean reported that the grass notices are going out. This does take time as the notices are sent certified mail and the owners have ten days after they have signed for the mail to take action. Abandoned vehicles are those that do not have valid license tags and inspection stickers. They are being targeted and letters will go out on those as well. Mrs. Bland asked about the property and the corner of High St. and Second Ave. Mr. Dean said a letter will also be going out about that property. It has other issues in addition to the tall grass.
Mr. Brockwell reported on the University Flag project. There are flags on display here tonight. The project will begin on June 18, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at Peebles Park. The University of North Carolina flag will be the first to be displayed in honor of the Peebles family. A different higher institution flag will be raised on the first and third Monday of each month. It is anticipated that the program will end when daylight saving time ends in 2018. We hope to continue the program next year during daylight saving time. Mr. Brockwell commented that the ballpark road is so much nicer and it looks great. Mayor Herrington asked Mr. Dean to write a letter to VDOT thanking them.
There was no report.
There was no report.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
There was no report.
There is a letter in the packet from the Student Government Association of Brunswick High School thanking Town Council for its support throughout the year.
Lawrenceville Farmer’s Market, Opening Day, June 15, 2018, 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Community Day, June 23, 2018, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Free RAM of Virginia Medical Clinic, June 23-24, 2018
Brunswick Byways Visitor Center Ribbon Cutting, June 28, 2018, 6:00 p.m.
Retirement Celebration Honoring Dora G. Wynn, June 29, 2018
A list of the FY 2018 – 2019 Town Council Meeting Dates is in the packet.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented, in the amount of $127,116.40 and charge to the proper accounts. This was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Myers and carried by all ayes.
Mayor Herrington asked if there has been any progress on the problem reported by Rev. Angel at her church property. Mr. Dean reported that the committee met with VDOT at the property and the Town is waiting for a letter from VDOT to forward to Rev. Angel. Mr. Brockwell commented that VDOT confirmed what the Town was told before. The Town will respond to Rev. Angel after a letter is received from VDOT and attach a copy of the VDOT letter.
IMPROVEMENTS TO SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM ON PARK ST.
Mr. Brockwell reported that the Town advertised for bids for a sanitary sewer system project on Park Street that is related to the KASS project and will also benefit the entire project area. The Town received one bid from Biggs Construction Co. in the amount of $97,770. The bid includes a rock clause as there is a big rock on Park Street that causes concern to anyone bidding. Several companies picked up packages, but only one submitted a bid. If the project is re-bid, it will delay the project at least thirty days and the project will take about sixty days to complete after that. If rock is hit, it could add $10,000 to the cost. There was discussion concerning the project. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Ms. Hardy and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to accept the bid from Biggs Construction Co., including the rock clause, in the amount of $97,770 for the Park Street Sanitary Sewer project from Sixth Avenue to Park Street to Fifth Avenue.
APPOINTMENT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to appoint W. Curtis Outten, Jr. as Town Attorney for the term July 1, 2018– June 30, 2019.
APPOINTMENT OF TOWN MANAGER
On motion by Mrs. Talbert, seconded by Mrs. Bland and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to appoint C. J. Dean as Town Manager for the term July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019.
CLOSED SESSION-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 the acquisition or disposal of real estate.” Motion: Mr. Pecht. Second: Mr. Martin. Roll call vote: Mrs. Bland, aye; Mr. Brockwell, aye; Ms. Hardy, aye; Mr. Martin, aye; Mrs. Myers, aye; Mr. Pecht, aye; 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 Mr. Martin 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; Mrs. Myers, aye; Mr. Pecht, aye; Mrs. Talbert, aye.
There being no further business to come before Council, a motion was made by Mrs. Bland, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes to adjourn the meeting.
William Herrington, Mayor
Wanda Johnson, Clerk
- Tags: 2018