June 9, 2015
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. on June 9, 2015.
Roll was called; Present: Mayor William Herrington; Council Members: Joyce Bland, Scott E. Martin, Robert F. Pecht, III, Esther B. Sanderson 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, Jimmy Johnson, Phil Gilson, Lisa Lambert, Bill Hudson, citizens and the press.
Absent: Council Members H. B. Brockwell, Jr. and Dora Hardy.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made by Mr. Pecht to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on May 12, 2015, as received, suspend the reading and file. This was seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
There were no additions to the agenda.
Mr. Martin reported that the minutes of the June 2, 2015, meeting are in the packet. The Boy Scouts landscaped around the flag pole at the Tobacco Heritage Trail Park. Howerton Construction has begun phase 2 for the renovations at 221 N. Main St. Work is continuing with the insurance company for repairs to the Peebles building due to water damage. Planning continues for a website development and EDA email account. A grand opening for the VCU Massey Cancer Center is tentatively set for July 10, 2015. The next EDA meeting will be held on August 11, 2015.
RECOGNITION OF CITIZENS
Jimmy Johnson, owner of Lawrenceville radio station WHLQ, 105.5, addressed Council concerning the rental of the radio tower on Fifth Avenue. Mr. Johnson was present at the May meeting to request a reduction in the monthly rent or to possibly purchase the tower. Mr. Dean reported that research continues to determine ownership of the tower and locate a copy of the lease agreement. It is said that the Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire Department owns the tower. Mr. Pecht stated that a decision would have to come from the fire department if they own the property. Chief Gibson is also president of the LVFD. He said he will call a fire meeting to meet with Mr. Johnson and discuss the tower.
RESOLUTION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE HEAL CITIES & TOWNS CAMPAIGN
Mayor Herrington presented a resolution to be adopted in order for the Town to participate in Virginia’s HEAL program. On a motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to adopt the Healthy Eating Active Living Resolution setting forth the commitment of the Town of Lawrenceville to promote a healthy community. The Mayor and Clerk were authorized to sign the resolution. There are two types of grants available. One is a $500 planning grant to start a program. The other is an implementation grant in the amount of $5,000-$9,000 for a specific investment and project. The deadline for submissions is June 25, 2015.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
DELINQUENT REAL ESTATE TAX LIST
Mr. Outten reported that the Town staff did a good job of putting together the list of delinquent real estate tax properties. He reviewed the process for selling property for taxes due. It is a drawn out and expensive procedure involving notices to the mailing address, physical address, a printed notice of publication and, for values above $50,000, a title search. Mr. Outten also met with the county treasurer regarding this as there are often county taxes owed on the properties as well as the town taxes. Mrs. Maitland advised that on about half the properties sold the county comes out on the plus side, but half don’t break even after expenses. Mr. Outten reported that it will be a couple months before a decision can be made whether or not to proceed with sales.
BUTLER LUMBER PROPERTY
Mr. Outten reported that a Level 1 Environmental Study has been completed on the Butler property and it is clean. It is the Butler office and plant site of 12 acres +/- and it is adjacent to the water plant. The Town is in a position to proceed with a decision on whether to accept the Butler family gift of this property or not. Mr. Pecht asked if there are any related expenses. Mr. Outten advised that the Town might want a survey of the property at some point. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Sanderson and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to accept the gift of the Butler office and plant property, 12 acres +/-. Mr. Outten will notify the Butler family that Town Council will accept the property and prepare a deed of gift.
REPORT OF TOWN MANAGER
DOMINION VIRGINIA POWER UPDATE
Mr. Dean stated that the monthly progress reports are in the packet and work at Dominion is really coming together. There was a meeting with Dominion representatives today and they toured the water plant, water booster station and the wastewater treatment plant. As of today, the estimated start date for using water is August 1st. The new generator was tested and it will run the water plant. The new filter is supplying half the water and the old filter is supplying half.
DOWNTOWN PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. Dean reported that the work on facades is ongoing at Pino’s. The architect is working with businesses for Phase III. If you know of any possible businesses, let them know to apply. It is a matching grant program. Forms have been given to Mr. Samford for the old Perry’s building.
ALBERTA REGIONAL UTILITY PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. Dean reported that the Alberta project is wrapping up. The engineer went over the punch list today. The project has been a great success, solving I & I problems and reducing water treatment needs.
ENTERPRISE ZONE RESOLUTION
Mr. Dean reviewed information for the proposed joint enterprise zone application by the counties of Brunswick and Mecklenburg. A draft copy of the incentives and a draft resolution are in the packet. The DHCD encourages a joint zone. Mr. Dean stated that we need a strong application and asked Town Council to support the application. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to adopt the Enterprise Zone Resolution and incentives as presented. The resolution represents a firm commitment by the Town of Lawrenceville to support the application and incentives. The Mayor, Manager and Clerk were authorized to sign the resolution. Mr. Pecht suggested that there be public education so that everyone knows of the availability and benefits of the program.
ROXANNE THOMPSON RAILROAD STREET
Mr. Dean reported that he and the Mayor met with Mrs. Thompson yesterday regarding her property on Railroad Street. They provided her with a copy of a letter written to her in February 2014, which explained the zoning application procedure needed to process her request. A copy of that letter is also in the packet.
EXPLORE MAGAZINE AD
Mr. Dean presented a refreshed color copy of a proposed ad for the Explore Magazine. Mayor Herrington will be writing a letter for the magazine. Mrs. Sanderson commented that the bottom picture looks vacant and needs more people. We will look for a picture with more people for the ad.
TASTE OF BRUNSWICK FESTIVAL AD
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Sanderson and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to purchase a full page ad in the Taste of Brunswick Festival program at the cost of $300.
EXECUTIVE MANSION HOLIDAY ORNAMENT REQUEST
Information is in the packet regarding the request from the Executive Mansion for holiday tree ornaments representing Virginia towns, cities and counties. This will be discussed further at the July meeting.
BOIL WATER FOLLOW-UP
Mr. Dean reported that it was not necessary to boil water for the full 72 hours. We learned from the experience and found some things that we could do better next time.
Mayor Herrington reported that the school system was concerned about providing water for students. Food Lion donated two pallets of drinking water for the schools. Mayor Herrington will write a letter of appreciation to Food Lion.
SOUTHERN STATES BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS UPDATE
Mr. Dean reported that the state has not closed out all the paperwork yet, but it will be done soon. Once the project is closed out, the two year clock starts on requirements that the town must meet to fulfill grant obligations.
FINANCE-FORMAL ADOPTION OF FY 2015-2016 BUDGET
Mr. Pecht stated that the FY 2015-2016 Budget must be adopted. It was first presented in April, advertised and then a public hearing was held in May with no public comment. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Sanderson and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to adopt the FY 2015-2016 Budget as advertised. A roll call vote was taken: Mrs. Bland, aye; Mr. Brockwell, absent; Ms. Hardy, absent; Mr. Martin, aye; Mr. Pecht, aye; Mrs. Sanderson, aye; Mrs. Talbert, aye.
CREEDLE, JONES & ALGA AUDITOR LETTER
Mr. Pecht reviewed the audit engagement letter from Creedle, Jones & Alga that was in the packet. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Martin, and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to engage Creedle, Jones & Alga for the audit for FY 2014-2015. The Mayor and Manager were authorized to sign the engagement letter.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
Mr. Martin reported that the fire department responded to 19 calls in May. Of the 19, 2 were in the town limits and 17 were outside of the town limits. The fire department participated in the first back feed to the Dominion power plant. The LVFD will sponsor the Second Annual Cornhole Tournament at the airport on Saturday. Mr. Martin was congratulated on his recent marriage.
Mrs. Sanderson reported that Mr. Dean will be hiring a few folks over the next thirty days or so.
Mayor Herrington asked the personnel committee to recommend a way to recognize the water plant operators for the awards they received last month.
The regular monthly report is in the packet.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
There was no report.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
There was no report.
Mrs. Sanderson reported that she spoke to a business owner who might be moving to a new location in town but will not close.
The reports are in the packet. There will not be a committee meeting following the council meeting.
The report is in the packet.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT
There was no report.
DRAFT PARK RESERVATION FORM
Mrs. Talbert reported that there is a new draft of a park use policy in the packet. Please review it and let Mr. Dean know of any suggestions before the next meeting.
Mayor Herrington reported that he heard last month that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) would assume control of the college property on June 1st. Now they are not in a position to do that. They will let us know when that changes. The property has not been sold or changed hands as far as he knows. Mayor Herrington said there has been a mention of the Town and County purchasing the student center. He said it is just talk right now. Mr. Outten commented that there is a $2 million dollar lien against the college property.
Mr. Pecht asked everyone to support the LVFD at the cornhole tournament on Saturday. You can still sign up to play or just come out and watch. It is a lot of fun.
Mr. Pecht reported that the Sheriff’s Department and Regional Jail did a beautiful job painting the hangar. It looks really good. They hope to get the lettering back in a couple of months.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
There was no report.
The FY 2015-2016 notice of Town Council meeting dates is in the packet.
Mrs. Talbert provided information on a photo shoot celebrating cancer survivors. It is sponsored by the Brunswick Relay for Life and the Cancer Research and Resource Center of Southern Virginia, Lawrenceville. Photos of survivor participants will be posted in the windows of downtown Lawrenceville businesses.
The Brunswick Relay for Life will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2015.
A tournament will be held June19-23 at the ballpark in Lawrenceville.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented in the amount of $99,913.08 and charge to the proper accounts. This was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes.
There was no unfinished business.
APPOINTMENT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
On motion by Mrs. Talbert, seconded by Mr. Pecht and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to appoint W. Curtis Outten, Jr. as Town Attorney for the term July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016.
APPOINTMENT OF TOWN MANAGER
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Martin and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to appoint C. J. Dean as Town Manager for the term July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016.
APPOINTMENT OF TOWN SERGEANT
On motion by Mr. Martin, seconded by Mr. Pecht and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to appoint Everette Gibson as Town Sergeant for the term July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2017.
APPOINTMENT OF TOWN CLERK/TREASURER
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to appoint Wanda Johnson as Town Clerk/Treasurer for the term July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2017.
There was no need for a closed session.
There being no further business to come before Council, a motion was made by Mr. Martin, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes to adjourn the meeting.
William Herrington, Mayor
Wanda Johnson, Clerk