Town Meeting Schedule

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February 29, 2016

Posted in 2016 Minutes

CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the special called meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 3:00 p.m. on February 29, 2016. The purpose of the called meeting was to discuss the development of the Peebles building. 

ROLL CALL
Roll was called; Present: Mayor William Herrington; Council Members: Joyce Bland, H. B. Brockwell, Jr., Dora Hardy, Scott Martin, Robert F. Pecht, III, and Alice B. Talbert. Also present: Town Attorney, W. C. Outten, Jr., Town Manager, C. J. Dean and Town Clerk, Wanda Johnson.

Lawrenceville Economic Development Authority Members Present: Tarek Ibrahim, Caren Brown Peterson, Katharine Samford and Wendy Wright. 

Absent: Council Member Martha Myers and LEDA Member Rodney Elmore. 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PEEBLES BUILDING
Mr. Dean provided background information on the downtown grant that the Town applied for in 2008. The project included downtown building facades, the back parking lot and the Peebles building. When the grant was written, it included purchasing the Peebles building with the intention of putting it back into use. It was not understood at the time that it was a grant requirement that someone had to be in the building by the end of the grant period. At the beginning of the grant period there was talk of Saint Paul’s College locating a bookstore and café in the building. A plan of development and feasibility analysis had also been completed in support of a mixed use mixed income development for the Sledge & Barkley and Peebles Buildings. During the grant period there has been a downturn in the economy and Saint Paul’s College closed. 

The Town transferred ownership of the Peebles building to the Lawrenceville Economic Development Authority. The management and marketing of the building became the responsibility of the LEDA. 

A representative from DHCD attended a meeting in Lawrenceville and toured the Peebles building on February 18, 2016. HUD is pressing the DHCD to see that all buildings acquired through a grant have an end user. The DHCD wants a developer for the Peebles building by June 1, 2016. If there is no developer by that date, a letter requesting an extension must be submitted to DHCD by June 1, 2016, with proof of efforts made to meet the building use requirement. At this time, the grant deadline is June 30, 2016. 

The grant was awarded to the Town. The Town would have to pay back the purchase cost of the Peebles building in the amount of $125,000 if the grant requirements are not met.

The DHCD will consider an extension request but expects to see demonstrated efforts such as advertising the property in the Richmond area. The DHCD also considers the status of other projects in the area such as the County’s Silver Trail project and the Town’s Southern States building. These projects have not met their goals at this time.

There were discussions and suggestions concerning the Peebles building. The LEDA owns the building and Town Council wants the LEDA to take the lead on marketing the property. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership data sheets need to be completed.

It was suggested that the Brunswick County School Board, Southside Virginia Community College and Fort Pickett be contacted to inquire if any one of them might be interested in the building. It was also suggested that the developer involved in renovating an old Emporia bank building be contacted.

Mr. Dean will request clarification from DHCD if any of the following actions would satisfy the grant requirements: 
Selling the building.
Establishing apartments upstairs while continuing to market the downstairs.
Use of the building as a craft mall on weekends.

The LEDA will contact developers and run ads in newspapers. There was discussion to possibly run ads in Richmond, Roanoke and Norfolk. 

The LEDA will assemble a portfolio to document the efforts that the LEDA and Town are making to meet the grant requirements regarding the Peebles building.

ADJOURNMENT
There being no further business to come before Council, a motion was made by Mr. Martin, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and unanimously carried to adjourn the called meeting. 

William Herrington, Mayor
Wanda Johnson, Clerk

Contact Info

Phone: 434-848-2414
Fax: 434-848-9356
Address: 400 N. Main Street, Lawrenceville, VA 23868
Hours of Operation: Monday -Friday 8:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

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