August 8, 2017
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. on August 8, 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, Assistant Police Chief, John Stith, Town Clerk, Wanda Johnson, Barbara Jarrett Harris, Dr. Charlette Woolridge, Robin Tuck, citizens and the press.
Planning Commission Members Present: Joyce Bland, John Miller, Cynthia Pecht, and Cherrill Robertson.
Absent: Planning Commission Member Michael Redman.
JOINT PUBLIC HEARING – DRAFT 2017 – 2037 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Ms. Pecht opened the Lawrenceville Planning Commission and Lawrenceville Town Council joint public hearing. This time had been advertised for a joint public hearing on the updated draft of the 2017-2037 Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Dean provided an overview of the draft plan that was previously presented to council members for review. He advised that the Lawrenceville Planning Commission worked with the Southside Planning District Commission over the past twelve months and held several focus group meetings as part of the update. Robin Tuck and Andy Wells of SPDC assisted the Town with the plan. Mr. Dean introduced Ms. Tuck. Ms. Tuck advised that when the SPDC writes grants, it uses the comprehensive plan to achieve the goals of the town. The new update breaks down the goals and objectives in an easy to follow plan. Ms. Tuck advised that the Transportation section still needs to be updated. She said there is a grant available through the Federal Department of Transportation Office of Intermodal Planning & Investment. The Town can apply for up to $25,000 for technical assistance on the Transportation section. This should cover the cost at no additional expense to the Town. The plan may be adopted as it is tonight. Following the grant for technical assistance and update of the Transportation section, the comprehensive plan would be amended. There was discussion concerning the Food Lion section of Highway 58. Ms. Tuck advised that this section is identified in the SPDC long term plan for the region and could be included in the Town’s Transportation section also.
Ms. Pecht asked for citizen comment. Mayor Herrington questioned the twenty year period. Ms. Pecht advised that twenty years is the standard. The Code of Virginia requires a review every five years and it can be done more frequently. It has been seven years since the last revision. Ms. Pecht closed the citizen comment period. Ms. Pecht thanked the LPC and the SPDC for all the hard work on the plan. A great deal of thought went into it.
Ms. Pecht advised that it is the recommendation of the Lawrenceville Planning Commission that Town Council adopt the 2017-2037 Comprehensive Plan knowing that revisions will be made in the next thirty days. Ms. Pecht closed the public hearing.
A motion was made by Mr. Brockwell that Town Council adopt the Lawrenceville, Virginia 2017-2037 Comprehensive Plan with the stated revisions being made in the next thirty days. The motion was seconded by Mr. Martin and carried by all ayes. Mr. Dean advised that the grant application for the revisions will be made in the next thirty days. It will take up to a year to actually insert the language to amend the plan. Mayor Herrington thanked everyone for the time, energy and effort in pulling this together.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made by Mr. Pecht to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on July 11, 2017, 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.
Mr. Martin reported that the LEDA met earlier tonight. The LEDA will meet with the Tobacco Heritage Trail Park Committee to get more information on its plans for the park. Mr. Martin will continue to meet with HVAC and electricians to correct the air conditioning on the second and third floors of the Bloom Building. Efforts continue to market the Peebles building and meet grant requirements before the December deadline. The LEDA also continues to try to sell other buildings that it owns. The next meeting will be held in October.
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT
Mayor Herrington thanked everyone that participated in the National Night Out and the movie. All went well and everyone had a good time.
SOUTHERN VIRGINIA GO REGION 3
Information is in the packet on meetings that will be held in South Boston and Keysville on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. Mayor Herrington said he plans to attend at least one of the meetings. This is an opportunity to find out what is going on in our region. He asked council members to put it on their calendars.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
Mayor Herrington wrote a letter to the School Board, as council requested, regarding possibly moving the School Board Office back downtown to the vacant Bank of America building. Moving the School Board Office there would bring desperately needed activity back downtown.
Mayor Herrington announced that schools are opening, please be careful of the children out on school buses and around town. We hope for a good school year.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
There was no report.
REPORT OF TOWN MANAGER
OLD SOUTHERN STATES BUILDING
Mr. Dean reported that the IDA is seeking additional funding in order to complete the buildout. Bids came in higher than anticipated and $400,000 more is needed. The IDA meeting scheduled for tonight was postponed until next Tuesday night.
The grant termination date has been extended to December 30, 2017. Efforts to market the building continue. DHCD indicated it is more concerned that the end user generate foot trafficdowntown and provide LMI benefits. There are plans to work on one more downtown façade.
SIDEWALK PROJECT RESOLUTION ADOPTION
Mr. Dean asked council to approve and adopt the resolution for the Lawrenceville Downtown Sidewalk Project, UPC#108633. The sidewalk will adjoin the Tobacco Heritage Trail Park from E. E. Vaughan to the bridge on 46 South, and then connect to the existing sidewalk on New Street. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to approve and adopt the Sidewalk Project Resolution UPC# 108633 as presented.
I AM GIS PROPOSAL
Mr. Dean presented a proposal from I AM GIS for GIS mapping software. This would help with water/sewer maps, zoning and public parking maps. It is web based with an unlimited amount of storage. The software license is $2,500 per year for up to five users and there is a $2,400 set-up fee. The total for the first year is $4,900. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Ms. Hardy and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to approve the proposal and purchase the I AM GIS mapping software at a total cost of $4,900 for the first year.
Mr. Dean advised that VDOT will offer grant funds for transportation enhancement projects every other year. The next application due date is November 1, 2017. A 20% match is required if the grant is awarded. Council referred the matter to the Town Development committee to recommend project options to consider.
LETTER OF SUPPORT TO COUNTY OF BRUNSWICK
Mr. Dean asked Town Council to write a letter to the County of Brunswick in support of the County’s plan to demolish the structures on the old Lawrenceville Primary School property. This would be in keeping with objectives of the Town of Lawrenceville Comprehensive Plan. Dr. Woolridge commented that two bids were received that will be considered by the Board at its next meeting. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mrs. Bland and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to submit a letter of support to the County of Brunswick for the demolition of buildings on the old Lawrenceville Primary School property.
Mr. Pecht reported that the first financial statement of the fiscal year shows a huge deficit because over half of the debt service for the year was paid in July. We are where we thought we would be. The main concern continues to be Dominion’s water usage. They are well below the same month for last year. We do not know how often they will fill the ten million gallon tank. Mrs. Williams of Creedle, Jones & Alga will be working on the audit and we are getting information together.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
The fire department responded to 40 calls in July. Of the 40, 0 were in the town limits and 40were outside the town limits. Also, 21 were in the LVFD First Due area, with 19 being mutual aid to other agencies. Approximately 221.43 man hours were expended. Mr. Martin reported that they are beginning to look toward the need to price out a new engine in the future.
Mr. Brockwell reported that the summer help has been extremely vital. They have been working on fire hydrants. Also, the GIS program will help identify and record line locations.
Ms. Hardy stated the report is in the packet. The department has been very busy and they are down two men. We hope to have interviews next week. Ms. Hardy thanked the community for donations and for the success of National Night Out.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
Mr. Brockwell stressed that our departments need to keep our equipment properly maintained. We also need to begin preparing for the winter.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
Mrs. Bland reported that the cemetery has been cleaned up. Also, a street sweeper will arrive this Thursday morning. After staff training, it will be put into service on the streets.
TOWN OWNED PROPERTY – APPRAISALS AND ASBESTOS
Mr. Brockwell reported there is a list of Town owned properties, and assessed property values, in the packet. The committee had an open discussion concerning these properties. The Butler and Brick & Tile properties are not good marketable locations. Our town shop might be the most marketable property in the area and he would like to get an appraisal on the current town shop property on Hwy. 46. Mr. Dean is soliciting bids for the appraisal. It will be under $1,000. This does not mean we will move the shop; this is just in the discussion and planning phase now. This could be a way to obtain additional funds for the wastewater project and debt service. There are also several buildings on the Butler property that need to be demolished. State code requires asbestos testing before the buildings can be demolished.
Mr. Brockwell commented that we still have the lowest rates in the region and maybe the lowest in the state. There will be a committee meeting following the council meeting tonight.
The reports are in the package. Mr. Brockwell asked that all the departments continue to hold safety meetings.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT
There was no report.
Mrs. Talbert reported that the repairs on the columns at Peebles Park have been finished. Theyhave a more open and welcoming look.
Mrs. Myers thanked Council for supporting LVA ROCKS. The rock painting at NNO was an excellent success. She also thanked Mr. Dean for getting the supplies for the project. Be on the lookout for painted rocks in the town square.
FY17 LAWRENCEVILLE-BRUNSWICK AIRPORT BILLING
Mr. Pecht reported the Airport Bill is in the add packet. There were no capital expenses this year and it is well under budget. The Town’s share is $8,202.36. It is included in the add bills list.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
The Comprehensive Plan was adopted earlier tonight.
A Southside RAM Thank You Newsletter was included in the packet.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented, in the amount of $77,346.15 and charge to the proper accounts. This was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes.
WATER/WASTEWATER SLIDE PRESENTATION
Mr. Brockwell asked Mr. Dean to update a slide presentation on the water and wastewater systems, needs and funding as a forecast for the future. Mr. Dean hopes to have this next month.
DELLA WOOD REQUEST FOR COMMEMORATIVE EVENT
Mayor Herrington reported on Ms. Wood’s request for use of the Dixie Youth League Ball Field for a September 11th Commemorative Event. The Town does not own the ballpark and cannot grant this permission. It was agreed that Ms. Wood will be advised that the Town supports the event but cannot give permission for use of the ballpark.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS INVITES TOWN MAYORS TO MEET
Mayor Herrington reported that the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors has invited the Mayors of Alberta, Brodnax and Lawrenceville to meet with them on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. Mayor Herrington said this is not the meeting that the Mayors have been asking for during the last eighteen months; the Mayors wanted a different format. Mayor Herrington asked Council for direction. There was discussion concerning the meeting. Dr. Woolridge was asked to address Council. She advised that the letter stated the purpose of the meeting is to enhance communication between the county and towns, to provide an overview of priorities and to identify potential projects for the county and towns to work on collectively. The ultimate goal is to enhance the quality of life in our County. It was the consensus of Town Council that Mayor Herrington should attend and represent the Town at the meeting.
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