CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. on April 11, 2017.
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 B. Talbert. Also present: Town Attorney, W. C. Outten, Jr., Town Manager, C. J. Dean, Police Chief, Everette Gibson, Town Clerk, Wanda Johnson, Assistant Chief, John Stith, Justin Thomas, Wendy Wright, Barbara Jarrett Harris, Kathy Anglin, David Anglin, Griffin Alexanders, citizens and the press.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made by Mr. Martin to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on March 14, 2017, as received, suspend the reading and file. This was seconded by Mr. Pecht and carried by all ayes.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
The agenda was approved as presented.
RESOLUTION HUBERT L. “RED” ANGLIN
On behalf of Town Council, Mayor Herrington and Mr. Pecht presented a resolution honoring the late Hubert L. “Red” Anglin to his family. Mr. Anglin served as Chairman of the Lawrenceville-Brunswick Airport Commission from May 15, 1996 until June 30, 2013.
RECOGNITION OF CITIZENS
AJAY AND KAREENA SUJANANI – KASS USA
Mr. Dean introduced Ajay and Kareena Sujanani. They own KASS, USA, the business planning to locate in the old Southern States building. They plan to produce and distribute healthy snack products. They are concerned about nutritional snacks for children. The equipment for the facility will be imported from Europe. The Town and Brunswick County IDA are working together to upgrade the building for the project. The IDA was awarded a grant from the Tobacco Commission to assist with the building project.
Vanessa Lashley of 1001 First Avenue, Lawrenceville, Virginia, addressed Council concerning a certified letter she received from the Town for an abandoned vehicle. Ms. Lashley said she does not own a vehicle as described in the letter and was disappointed to receive a certified letter that was not meant for her. She wants her name stricken from any list that it might be on. Mayor Herrington stated that there will be a proper investigation and a written response in no later than thirty days.
WENDY WRIGHT – RAM
Wendy Wright provided information on the upcoming Southside Remote Area Medical event that will be held at the Greensville High School on June 24 & 25, 2017. Volunteers are needed to provide services and also to set up on June 23 and break down on June 25, 2017. The event will provide medical, dental and vision services at no charge to participants. The services are provided first come, first served and vouchers are given out beginning at 3:00 a.m.
BAIN AND PHYLLIS CAMERON – PROJECT RESTORATION, INC.
Bain and Phyllis Cameron provided information on Project Restoration, Inc. Project Restoration offers food pantry services in Ebony and Bracey. They are seeking donated space in a building in Lawrenceville in order to expand their services and offer a client-choice food pantry. They have been shown the old fire department building and the old Brick and Tile office building. They indicated that the Brick and Tile building would provide more space and be better suited to the client-choice food pantry. A service proposal was provided for review by Council.
Mr. Martin reported that the EDA met on April 4, 2017. A copy of the minutes is in the packet. The status of the Bloom building lease remains the same. Attempts to market the Peebles building continue. The Virginia Agritourism Conference will be held April 18-20. The next EDA meeting will be June 6, 2017, at 5:30 p.m.
There was no report.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
There was no report.
PROPOSED FY 2017-2018 BUDGET PRESENTATION
Mr. Dean reviewed the budget process. A draft budget is presented in April for a public hearing in May and adoption in June. The budget can be changed until it is formally adopted by Council. Mr. Dean presented the proposed budget and assumptions for FY 2017-2018. A copy is in the packet. There is no proposed water and sewer rate adjustment. There is no proposed tax rate increase. It is proposed that a $25 late fee will be implemented on vehicle decals purchased after February 28, 2018. The proposed budget needs to be approved to be advertised for a public hearing at the May council meeting.
ADVERTISE FY 2017-2018 BUDGET FOR PUBLIC HEARING
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to advertise the proposed FY 2017–2018 Budget as presented for a public hearing at the Town Council meeting on the second Tuesday in May.
OLD SOUTHERN STATES BUILDING
Mr. Dean reported that we are glad to have KASS and will work to make them comfortable in the building. We hope to have the plans ready by the end of April in order for bid requests to go out.
Marketing efforts continue on the Peebles building as the June 30, 2017, deadline is approaching.
SPRING CLEAN UP WEEK
Spring Clean Up Week is in progress this week. Springfest and the Brickyard 5 Miler will be held this Saturday. This municipal building has been pressure washed. Mrs. Talbert requested that the street be cleaned on Windsor Avenue. Mrs. Talbert also asked about a sinkhole at the back of the parking lot at the ballpark. Mr. Dean advised that the sinkhole has been looked at with the town’s sewer camera and by VDOT. There appears to be a broken pipe there and we are determining the best way to repair it.
Mr. Pecht reported we are running a little ahead of last year on this month’s financial statement. Most of the debt service for this fiscal year has already been paid.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
The fire department responded to 26 calls in March. Of the 26, 7 were in the town limits and 19 were outside the town limits. Also, 20 were in the LVFD First Due area, with 6 being mutual aid to other agencies. Approximately 209.10 man hours were expended.
Chief Gibson reported that the annual cornhole tournament will be held in June. A formal request for use of the airport will be presented next month.
A personnel matter will be brought up under the police committee. The update of the employee handbook is moving slowly.
A report is in the packet. Ms. Hardy reported that the Police and Personnel Committees met and they recommend the hiring of Justin Thomas. He is certified and currently employed by the Emporia Police Department. On motion by Mr. Martin, seconded by Mr. Pecht and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to hire Justin Thomas for the Police Officer position as recommended.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
There was no report.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
Mrs. Talbert reported that the Trustees of the cemetery have approved for the Wreaths Across America program to place balsam wreaths on the graves of veterans on December 16, 2017. There will be no cost to the town. Individuals may sponsor a wreath for $15.
Mr. Brockwell asked that Mr. Dean and the streets department keep the green areas looking better and avoid complaints this year. The grass is growing.
There will be a committee meeting following the council meeting tonight.
Mr. Brockwell stated he thinks that the cost of health insurance not rising is in part because of the dedication of our departments looking into health concerns.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT – POTENTIAL NUISANCE PROPERTIES.
Mr. Dean has worked with the Town Attorney on two properties. One is residential and one is commercial. The power has been removed from both properties. The commercial property required an asbestos study at a cost of $600. A proposal, in the amount of $3,600, has been received from a certified company for the removal of asbestos only. There will be an additional bill for the actual demolition. There was discussion that other estimates should be obtained for the asbestos removal, but the property really needs to be addressed. Mr. Dean will attempt to obtain additional estimates. A motion was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, to approve the removal of asbestos at 418 N. Main St. at a cost not to exceed $3,600.
Mr. Dean asked Council to look at the list of properties in the packet. The properties will be addressed in stages and the demolition process will continue into the next fiscal year. Another issue that will be addressed is junkyards and/or junk piles. The properties highlighted in yellow are being considered for possible tax sale. The properties highlighted in blue are being demolished.
Mr. Pecht reported that the Housing Code Committee met and discussed the list of potential nuisance properties that also have taxes owed. The committee recommends that the following steps be taken: initiate participation in the DMV Stop process, participate in the Tax Debt Set-Off program, take some properties to a tax sale if it would be worth the cost and publish the names for delinquent real estate taxes for taxes not paid by the end of May. Mr. Outten advised that either all delinquent real estate taxes must be published or none. A motion was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by a majority vote, to publish a list of delinquent real estate taxes in the newspaper for all real estate taxes delinquent on May 31, 2017. Ms. Hardy voted no.
Mrs. Talbert reported that the auxiliary will have a movie in town in mid-July. More information will be provided later.
WELLNESS – WALKING COMMUNITY
Mrs. Myers reported that the walking community will begin meeting again on May 1st at 6:00 p.m. outside the Town Office. They will walk a one mile loop each evening Monday through Thursday. Plans with the YMCA are moving along.
The Lawrenceville Lions Club will hold its 35th Annual Seafood Feast on May 3, 2017, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The commission is making sure the airport is in nice shape for that event.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
There was no report.
A letter is in the packet from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation as a thank you and acknowledgement of a donation in memory of former employee Johnnie H. Coltrane.
Mrs. Talbert asked everyone to keep former Treasurer and Clerk Mabel Brewer in their prayers. She will have hip replacement surgery Wednesday morning at St. Mary’s Hospital.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented, in the amount of $87,263.71 and charge to the proper accounts. This was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes.
THE REIGNING CHRIST CHURH & MINISTRIES
Mr. Dean reported that he is waiting for VDOT staff to schedule a meeting date to look at the church property.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK EVENT
Chief Gibson announced a DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Event will be held on April 29, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
There being no further business to come before Council, a motion was made by Ms. Hardy, seconded by Mr. Martin and carried by all ayes to adjourn the meeting.
William Herrington, Mayor
Wanda Johnson, Clerk