May 12, 2015
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. on May 12, 2015.
Roll was called; Present: Mayor William Herrington; Council Members: Joyce Bland, H. B. Brockwell, Jr., 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, Jimmy Johnson, Wendy Nash, citizens and the press.
Absent: Council Members Dora Hardy and Esther B. Sanderson.
PUBLIC HEARING- FY 2015-2016 BUDGET
As this time had been advertised for a public hearing on the proposed FY2015-2016 Budget, Mayor Herrington opened the public hearing. There was no public comment on the budget. A motion was made by Mr. Brockwell to close the public hearing. This was seconded by Mr. Martin and carried by all ayes.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made by Mr. Brockwell to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on April 14, 2015, as received, suspend the reading and file. This was seconded by Mr. Pecht and carried by all ayes.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
There were no additions to the agenda.
Mr. Martin reported that the minutes of the April 7, 2015, meeting are in the packet. Work continues on the web site development. The next EDA meeting will be held on June 2, 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 stated the radio station is currently operating at a deficit. He is not able to pay the $250 monthly rent at this time and would like to work out a new lease agreement plan. He would possibly be interested in buying the tower at a minimum rate. Mr. Johnson said he needs the Town’s help for the station to survive. The matter was referred to the property and equipment committee for a report back at the June 9, 2015, council meeting.
Mayor Herrington reported that the Viper Half Marathon was held in April. There were about 75 runners and the overall impression was that it was a great, successful event. The planners enjoyed the strong support from the towns of Lawrenceville and Brodnax. They are already planning for next year.
SOL testing is this week at the elementary and middle schools and we wish the students good luck. Testing at the high school will be later.
The Mayor reported that he and Mr. Dean attended the Southern Virginia New Economy Summit held in South Hill last week. Secretary of Commerce Maurice Jones was the featured speaker. On the second day, Brunswick’s Chef Angie and her baking class prepared and presented dessert. Mayor Herrington and Mr. Dean will work together on a list to promote this region as a tourist region. We need to think more regional in planning and identify and use all assets in economic planning.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
Mr. Outten reported that the printout of delinquent real estate tax properties does not contain all of the information he needs such as property type and assessed value. The Clerk will gather the necessary information and he hopes to have a recommendation at the next meeting.
REPORT OF TOWN MANAGER
DOMINION VIRGINIA POWER UPDATE
Mr. Dean stated that the monthly update reports are in the packet and work at Dominion is about 60% complete. The water plant is about 85% complete. Thursday is the go/no go day of the week to decide when the new equipment will be put in use. There is still electric and SCADA work to be done. There will be a planned boil water notice for three days during the disinfection period. The boil water notice will be issued by radio, newspaper, Facebook and the automatic dialer.
DOWNTOWN PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. Dean reported that the work on facades is ongoing at Prince’s Barber Shop and Shirley Penn’s office building. They are preparing for work on Pino’s, Bea’s Boutique and Percy Bunch’s building.
ALBERTA REGIONAL UTILITY PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. Dean reported that all of the major work is complete for Alberta. Some new fire hydrants were installed. They are working on asphalt, clean up and the punch list now. We have already seen a great savings in the reduction of ground water.
SOUTHERN STATES BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS UPDATE
There is paperwork to be completed now and the project will be done shortly.
The Lawrenceville McDonald’s is closing on May 15, 2015. Mr. Dean will try to identify a local contact to inquire about plans for the building.
VDOT ASPHALT REGULATION
Mr. Pecht expressed concern about VDOT regulations regarding the repair/replacement of asphalt following utility work in town. This has an impact on private citizens and increases the repair costs when the customer lines go into the street. He would like for the town to have a talk with VDOT about this. Mr. Brockwell suggested that VDOT representatives be asked to come to a council meeting and explain the process.
FINANCE - TENTATIVE ADOPTION OF THE 2015-2016 BUDGET
The public hearing was held earlier in the meeting. A copy of the proposed budget is in the packet. Mr. Pecht reviewed the budget assumptions for the proposed FY 2015-2016 Budget. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to tentatively adopt the FY 2015-2016 Budget as presented. It is anticipated that the budget will be formally adopted at the June meeting.
Mr. Pecht reported that our current budget is about on target.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
Mr. Martin reported that the fire department responded to 26 calls in April. Of the 26, 4 were in the town limits and 22 were outside of the town limits. Mr. Martin also reported that the new ATV is available if needed for rescue use on or off the trail. Chief Gibson reported that the fire department participated with the rapid response unit training deployment conducted by the Marines recently.
There was no report.
REPORT ON DOWNTOWN PARKING
Mr. Martin reported that the police committee and streets committee met with the Chief and worked out a recommendation for downtown parking. The recommendation is: 1. Two thirty minute parking spaces to be located in front of Sally & Sonny’s and the Perry’s building. 2. Two handicapped spaces, one to be located in front of the VCU Massey Cancer Center and one in the area of Pino’s and the library. 3. The Chief to be authorized to write a letter to the owners of properties to inform them of the newly renovated parking lot and ask them to have business owners and employees use the new parking lot behind the businesses and leave the on street parking spaces for customers. Council was advised that the state code requires one handicapped space for every twenty-five parking spaces under the amended 2008 ADA code. A motion was made by Mr. Martin to approve the parking plan as recommended by the committees and authorize two thirty minutes spaces, two handicapped spaces and letters to business owners. This was seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes. The Mayor thanked the committees and business owners for working together.
The regular monthly report is in the packet.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
There was no report.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
There was no report.
INCENTIVES FOR BUSINESSES
Mr. Brockwell reported that a copy of the current business incentives was sent out only to committee members. He asked that it be sent to all council members for review. Mayor Herrington commented that in light of McDonald’s closing, Council needs to step back and take a look at incentives. Mr. Dean was asked to e-mail information on the enterprise zone and business incentives to all council members. Mr. Dean commented that the current incentives were adopted by Town Council in November 2009. The investments required for incentives need to be clarified. Please forward any comments and suggestions to Mr. Dean.
Mayor Herrington and Mr. Dean have been invited by the County and IDA to attend a meeting on Friday to review maps and discuss the enterprise zone. They are looking at a regional approach.
2013 WATER FLUORIDATION QUALITY AWARD
The Town of Lawrenceville Water Treatment Plant received the 2013 Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It recognizes communities that maintained a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water quality throughout 2013.
BRONZE 2014 WATER TREATMENT PLANT PERFORMANCE AWARD
The Town of Lawrenceville Water Treatment Plant received a Bronze 2014 Water Treatment Plant Performance Award for Excellence in Clarification, Filtration and Backwash.
Mr. Dean reported that the water plant continues to meet and exceed expectations. Mayor Herrington thanked Mr. Dean and commended the water plant operators. Mayor Herrington commented there should be some award or incentives for the operators.
There will be a committee meeting following the council meeting.
The report is in the packet. Mr. Brockwell commended the continued safety efforts of the departments.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT
There was no report.
DRAFT PARK RESERVATION FORM
Mrs. Talbert reported that there is a park use policy in the packet to be passed tonight if no changes are presented. Several items were discussed that need to be clarified such as fees, deposits, religious services and weddings. This form is being developed for the Peebles Park and Heritage Trail Park. A different form is needed for events to be held in the new parking lot. It is a good working document but not ready for adoption. The committee will meet again.
Mayor Herrington reported that The Improvement Association held a very nice reception in preparation for the re-opening of the Child Development Center. They are waiting for completion of the government review. It will honor Saint Paul’s College with the name of the center to be Saint Paul’s College Child Development Center.
Mayor Herrington reported that he is aware through conversations with someone at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which holds liens against the property known as Saint Paul’s College that they intend to assume control of the college property no later than May 30th of this year. PBGC has provided funds for the college to keep the property in repair and provide security through the month of May.
Mr. Pecht reported that there was a very nice turnout for the annual seafood feast. It is a very nice showcase for the community and a good event.
Scraping and painting of the hangar is underway.
Mr. Zubrod has not been able to meet regarding the airports due to a death in the family. He does want to meet to discuss the airports further.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
Mrs. Bland reported that the commission met on the comprehensive plan. The date on the plan needs to be changed and they will meet again on other updates.
Mr. Dean announced a Think Bigger Business Empowerment program that will begin on June 2, 2015, on how to create a social media marketing plan for businesses. The workshop will be held at SVCC in Alberta.
There is a letter in the packet from Liz Povar with the VEDP advising that Governor McAuliffe will designate May as Business Appreciation Month.
There is also information in the packet regarding the Virginia State Parks Mobile App that you can get on your phone. There is an opportunity to purchase a banner/advertisement that can be displayed in the cell phone app. This is for information only to let council know the opportunity is out there.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented in the amount of $99,654.14 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.
PARTICIPATION IN VIRGINIA’S HEAL (HEALTHY EATING ACTIVE LIVING)
Mayor Herrington presented information on Virginia’s HEAL program. It is available to support cities and towns to create opportunities to improve the health of citizens. It requires the Town to pass a resolution that identifies at least one specific plan to increase opportunities for residents to eat healthy and have active lives. 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.
There was discussion about the program. Mr. Pecht said the Lion’s Club has mentioned a biking program. He also commented that we have a start with health improvement with VCU-Massey in the community.
Mayor Herrington shared health rankings for Brunswick County from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Brunswick is 103 out of 133 for length of life health outcome and 128 out of 133 for health factors prediction of future health.
A motion was made by Mr. Pecht for the Town to join and participate in the Commonwealth’s HEAL Campaign. This was seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes.
Mayor Herrington advised that the Brunswick Health Ambassadors have agreed to work with the Town to pursue a grant for HEAL.
There was no need for a closed session.
There being no further business to come before Council, a motion was made by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes to adjourn the meeting.
William Herrington, Mayor
Wanda Johnson, Clerk