CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. on February 14, 2017.
Roll was called; Present: Mayor William Herrington; Council Members: H. B. Brockwell, Jr., Dora Hardy, Scott Martin, Martha Myers, Robert F. Pecht, III, and Alice B. Talbert. Also present: Cub Scouts, Nathan Talbert, Dawson Clary and Conner Malone; Town Manager, C. J. Dean, Police Chief, Everette Gibson, Town Clerk, Wanda Johnson, Kimberly Martin, citizens and the press.
Absent: Council Member, Joyce Bland, Town Attorney, W. C. Outten, Jr.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made by Mr. Martin to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on January 10, 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
Mayor Herrington recognized Cub Scouts Nathan Talbert, Dawson Clary and Conner Malone. They are members of Troop 221at Lawrenceville United Methodist Church. The Cub Scouts attended the council meeting as part of a requirement to earn a badge.
Mr. Martin reported on the February EDA meeting. The Cancer Research and Resource Center has obtained bridge funding from the Tobacco Commission to go through September. They will be able to remain open while applying for the next round of grants in June. There are still no prospects for the Peebles Building. They will meet with a representative from Long and Foster to develop a marketing plan. There is a tentative date for a loan closing on the Saint Paul’s College property. There is a potential tenant for the Southern States Building. The next EDA meeting will be April 4, 2017, at 5:30 p.m.
APPOINTMENTS TO EDA
The Lawrenceville Economic Development Board recommended that Katharine Samford and Caren Brown-Peterson each be reappointed to the EDA for a new four year term beginning April 2017. A motion was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes to appoint Katharine Samford and Caren Brown-Peterson to the EDA for a four year term beginning April 2017 and ending March 2021, as recommended by the EDA.
Mayor Herrington reported that two individuals in Brunswick County have recently distinguished themselves. Trey Mitchell, a seventh grade student at Brunswick Academy, was the statewide winner of the VML “If I Were Mayor” essay contest. Alease Cleaton, a fifth grader at Totaro Elementary School, won the Brunswick County Public Schools 2017 Divisional Spelling Bee. Alease will go to the Richmond Times-Dispatch Regional Bee March 11, 2017, in Richmond. Mayor Herrington asked Council to allocate funds to hold a pizza party for the participants in the essay contest and the spelling bee. On a motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to allocate $350.00 to hold a pizza party and invite both the essay contest and spelling bee participants.
Mayor Herrington wants to pull together a meeting of business owners and property owners in the Town of Lawrenceville to discuss any ideas on getting more businesses in downtown Lawrenceville. Mr. Brockwell suggested working with the press to run a suggestion form in the paper that could be filled out and mailed to the Town. Mr. Pecht agreed that it would be worth the effort to hold a meeting. A meeting will be scheduled to be held at the library in April; business and property owners will be invited.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
There was no report.
REPORT OF TOWN MANAGER
OLD SOUTHERN STATES BUILDING
Mr. Dean reported that a draft lease was sent out to council members for review. A copy of the lease needs to be sent to the business, KASS, Inc. It is a food product business. The business will create 8-10 jobs in the first year.
Mr. Dean asked council members to review the information in the EDA minutes regarding the Peebles Building. Funds will have to be reimbursed if no one is in the building by June 30, 2017. Efforts are still being made to market the building. Mr. Pecht is concerned that there was nothing in the original agreement that required the town to pay back funds and he is not in favor of repayment. He suggested it may be time to request that congressional staff members come to the town to discuss the issue. There may be two more facades in the project, Farm Bureau and one other.
Mr. Dean reported that Representative Tom Garrett is hosting a Facebook Live on Thursday. Elected officials can submit questions for the event.
VIRGINIA COMMISSION FOR THE ARTS GRANT
The application for the Virginia Commission for the Arts Local Government Challenge Grant is due before April 1, 2017, for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. In the past, the Town has applied for a $500 grant. The grant provides $500 and the Town provides a matching $500. The funding benefits the local ArtBank program. On a motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mr. Pecht and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to continue the support for the ArtBank at the same level of $500 from the grant and $500 from the Town.
The railroad attorneys are working on the deed for the Tobacco Heritage Trail railroad right-of-way purchase. It should close in March.
The Finance Committee met and discussed the final audit report for the year ended June 30, 2016. On motion by Mr. Martin, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to receive the annual FY2016 financial audit report for the year ended June 30, 2016, as presented. Mr. Pecht stated that the Town received a clean audit and thanked Mr. Dean, Mrs. Johnson and staff for outstanding work on the audit. He also stated that Mr. Dean did an excellent job on the Management’s Discussion and Analysis and asked everyone to take time to read it.
Mr. Brockwell asked about signing an audit engagement letter for FY2017. Mr. Brockwell made a motion to sign an audit engagement letter for FY2017 when it comes about. Mr. Pecht seconded the motion. Mrs. Talbert suggested that the cost could go up and we should wait for a letter before voting on it. Mr. Pecht stated that it took longer this year because GASB changes have been made that make the audits more complicated than before. Mr. Brockwell withdrew the motion.
Mr. Pecht reported that the committee discussed the County’s invoice and request for DMV Select funds in the amount of $5,000. The committee is not prepared to make a payment recommendation at this time. The original request was for funds for a DMV Select location downtown in the old bank/school board building. The Town was interested in keeping DMV Select services on the street downtown and allocated $5,000 in the budget for that purpose. The County changed plans and located the DMV Select in the Brunswick County Conference Center. Council members discussed the matter. A motion was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, that the Town not pay the invoice in the amount of $5,000 to the County for the DMV Select.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
There was no report in the packet for the month of January.
There was no report.
Ms. Hardy stated that the report is in the packet. Chief Gibson reported that quite a few bicycles have taken a missing in the last few weeks. Bicycles were recovered and charges against juveniles are pending.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
There was no report.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
There was no report.
Mr. Brockwell stated this was covered in earlier reports.
There will be a committee meeting following the council meeting tonight.
Mr. Brockwell asked that the departments be prepared for safely using equipment this spring.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT
Mr. Dean reported that he has a folder on the houses and he will follow up with Mr. Outten on the properties in violation including the house on the corner at Fifth Avenue and South Main. The County’s engineer contacted Mr. Dean regarding the old primary school. They are conducting a study of the hazards at the site and the needs for demolition.
There was no report.
Mrs. Myers reported that the committee is still working with the Emporia YMCA. They hope to have a building and times by the next meeting.
Mr. Brockwell reported that the Annual Brickyard 5-Miler, 2.5 Mile Fun Run-Walk and a weight lifting event will be held on April 15, 2017. This is the same day as the Annual Spring Festival. The First Annual Tobacco Heritage Trail 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk will be held on April 29, 2017, to benefit the Athletic Booster Fund.
Mr. Pecht reported that he will obtain information and assist in writing a resolution to honor Mr. Red Anglin for his service to the town and county. He served as Chairman of the Lawrenceville-Brunswick Airport Commission for many years.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
Mr. Dean reported that work continues on the Comprehensive Plan update. He hopes to get a final draft out in a week or so. The Planning Commission and Town Council will hold a joint public hearing later in the summer.
There is a letter in the packet from the Rev. Joelle Joy Angel, Pastor of The Reigning Christ Church & Ministries, regarding drainage ditches that adjoin the church property. She requests a written response. Mr. Pecht asked that arrangements be made for Town staff and VDOT staff to meet at the church site.
The VML Institute for Local Officials will be held March 3-4, 2017, in Richmond.
The VML Regional Suppers Schedule is in the packet.
There is a thank you note in the packet from the Pecht Family for the donation made to the Lawrenceville Rotary Scholarship Fund in memory of Mr. Bobby Pecht.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented, in the amount of $106,071.14 and charge to the proper accounts. This was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Martin and carried by all ayes.
Mr. Brockwell thanked the young scouts for coming to the meeting tonight and invited them to come back.
There being no further business to come before Council, a motion was made by Ms. Hardy, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes to adjourn the meeting.
William Herrington, Mayor
Wanda Johnson, Clerk