May 10, 2016
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. on May 10, 2016.
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, Barbara Jarrett-Harris, Anne Williams, Abbe Thomas, Cherrill Robertson, Bobby Robertson, Sydney Robertson, Kimberly Martin, citizens and the press.
PUBLIC HEARING- FY 2016-2017 BUDGET
As this time had been advertised for a public hearing on the proposed FY2016-2017 Budget, Mayor Herrington opened the public hearing. Mr. Dean reviewed the budget assumptions as presented with the proposed budget. Revenue: 1. Water and sewer rate adjustment of approximately 10%. 2. No garbage rate increase and decreases the expected income from services. 3. Garbage service reduced to once a week. 4. No tax rate increase. 5. DVP begins to use water for operation, first full year. 6. Downward adjustment of the projected revenue for real estate tax, sales tax and meals tax. Expense: 1. Three percent raise for employees. 2. A seven percent increase in health insurance premiums. 3. Town continues to pay the eligible employees’ entire health insurance premium. 4. Does not include the refurbishing of the Town parking lot behind the Town Office. 5. Includes a clothing allowance program for the fire department. 6. Includes a trailer for the police department. 7. Includes a combination street sweeper and trail maintenance equipment for the street department. 8. Increased costs for water tank maintenance. 9. Increased costs for generator maintenance. 10. DMV Select funded at $5,000.00.
The sales tax revenue was estimated higher last year due to sales tax paid by Dominion. This was adjusted back down this year.
The last water/sewer rate increase was July 1, 2010. There is no increase proposed for garbage rates. There was discussion concerning the proposal to reduce residential garbage service to once per week. There needs to be a cut in garbage service or an increase in the cost. Surrounding areas and privatized services pick up once per week. A customer could pay for an additional town cart if needed. There is no change proposed for commercial service, bulk pickup or leaf collection.
There was a question concerning the proposed raise for employees. Mr. Pecht stated that the Town needs to stay competitive to attract and keep good employees. The employees that work on garbage services will be assigned other duties in town when garbage service is reduced.
Mr. Pecht reported that the finance committee met regarding the request from the County of Brunswick that the Town contribute $20,000.00 toward keeping the DMV Select. It is the recommendation of the committee that the Town budget $5,000.00. The committee considered that $5,000.00 would be proportionate based on the Town’s population. The committee is very interested in keeping the DMV Select services open in town. Mr. Brockwell commented that the committee did an excellent job to consider the issue and find an amount that the Town could handle.
There being no further comments from the public or council members, Mayor Herrington declared the public hearing closed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made by Mr. Martin to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on April 12, 2016, and the minutes of the called meeting on April 26, 2016, as received, suspend the reading and file. This was seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
The agenda was approved as presented.
Mr. Martin reported that letters were sent out to 60 plus developers regarding the Peebles building. Several interested parties have met and looked at the building. No one has shown interest in a contract at this time. The DHCD wants a developer for the building by June 1, 2016. Mayor Herrington suggested that we need to look at having to pay back $125,000.00. Mr. Pecht reported that Mr. Dean is working on a strategy regarding the $125,000.00. Mayor Herrington asked that a copy of the DHCD contract regarding the Peebles building be provided to council members. The structural report is due back to the town tomorrow.
RECOGNITION OF CITIZENS
Ms. Williams commented on several topics. 1. She stated that only four people showed up to vote at the Town election. She said the Town needs to be proactive and advertise the election on a board and/or sign. 2. She is concerned about the noise on Windsor Avenue and stated the town should adhere to the noise ordinance. 3. She thinks the town should encourage young people to not ride bikes on Belt Road and Windsor Avenue. She stated that they should use the Tobacco Heritage Trail. 4. She feels there is divisiveness and the town needs to be brought together. 5. Ms. Williams also expressed concern that the Town and the County acquired the Saint Paul’s Student Center while the old school on Park Street has been allowed to deteriorate. There were no funds spent on the old school. She would like to see plans for the use of the student center. Mayor Herrington clarified that the Town does not have an interest in and did not spend any money on the student center.
Mr. Robertson recently opened Rob’s Corner Deli. He thanked everyone for their support. He said the support from the Town, County and the community has been unbelievable. Everyone was invited to the Grand Opening on May 24, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. Rob’s Corner Deli is located at the former Uppy’s site.
Supervisor Barbara Jarrett-Harris spoke on behalf of the Board of Supervisors regarding the DMV Select. The County is trying to make sure we do not lose this service. County representatives have met with DMV Select Program Manager, Charles Browning and DMV Facilities Director, Justin Thomas. The County proposes to locate the DMV Select on the first floor of the Old Bank/School Board building on Main Street. The DMV representatives have toured the building and indicated it would work with some enhancements.
DMV would purchase the credit card machine, forms, plates, and provide staff training.
The County would purchase the computer, printer and telephones. The estimated annual cost for the DMV Select office is $60,000 which includes the salary for two employees, benefits, annual operation expenses and set up cost of the office. DMV requires at least two employees.
The proposal calls for the following income streams to fund the project: $20,000 return from the state for the DMV Select services, $20,000 investment from the County and $20,000 investment from the Town
The revenue from DMV services would go to operating expenses. The town would not receive any revenue from the DMV Select. The revenue generated in 2014 was $24,500.00 with 8,800 transactions. The revenue generated in 2015 was $22,400.00 with 8,700 transactions. Currently the DMV revenue funds are utilized in the Commissioner of the Revenue and County Treasurer departments. The option of adding staff to these offices has been discussed. The Commissioner of the Revenue has advised the Board that the current contract with DMV, which expires June 30, 2016, will not be renewed.
Mrs. Jarrett-Harris stated that C. J. Dean, Town Manager, would represent the Town regarding the DMV Select. Mrs. Jarrett-Harris thanked Town Council for considering this DMV Select partnership and understands that this is a tight budget time.
Ms. Thomas commented on several topics. 1. She stated that when people purchase a cemetery lot, they need to be informed that the town does not clean off old flowers and grass from the lot. 2. The LVFD will hold its annual cornhole tournament on June 18, 2016. 3. Elm Acres will hold its annual rib cook-off on June 25, 2016. 4. The town did a great job cutting the cemetery grass. 5. The town needs to remember to cut the grass around fire hydrants.
Mayor Herrington reported that he met with the Farmers Market vendors and they are very excited to participate in the market again this year. Opening day will be Friday, June 10, 2016. The Farmers Market will be open each Friday from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. It is proposed that there will not be a fee for vendors this year. They would like to consistently have at least ten vendors before charging a fee. Mayor Herrington also advised that we will need a market manager this year.
Mayor Herrington reported that VCU Massey Cancer Center has secured a grant for residents who receive services from Social Services to receive a matching dollar for every dollar that they spend at the Farmers Market. The details still have to be worked out.
Mayor Herrington reported that Kimberly Martin, Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent, FCS, SNAP-Ed, will be working with the town this year on the Farmers Market and the HEAL program.
Mayor Herrington announced that he is creating a Town Council Wellness Committee. Martha Myers has agreed to chair the committee. He asked that any council member interested in serving on the committee to let him or Mr. Dean know.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
There was no report.
REPORT OF TOWN MANAGER
DOWNTOWN PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. Dean asked council members to go to the meeting room next door at the end of the council meeting to view options for the new website. He would like for council to provide direction on the available options. Work continues on the facades. There is still one canopy to be installed. The Peebles building issues still have to be resolved.
BUILDING INSPECTION LETTERS
Mr. Dean included copies of two letters in the packet that were written to the County Building Inspector. One letter identified the properties that Town Council requested to be inspected by the Building Inspector’s office. The second letter was requested by the Building Inspector and it outlines the ordinance adopted by the Town of Lawrenceville in September 2000, to have the Brunswick County Building Inspector serve as the Building Code Maintenance Enforcement official for the Town of Lawrenceville.
Mr. Dean advised that grass notices have started going out and vehicle notices will go out soon. Mr. Pecht asked about the tall grass at the Newman property. Mr. Dean advised that the Newman property is now in the hands of HUD. A certified mail letter has been sent to HUD regarding the tall grass.
WATER RATE ADJUSTMENT
A water rate adjustment is proposed as a part of the 2016-2017 proposed budget. A draft update to the water/sewer rates Town Ordinance Section 78-65, is in the packet. It is proposed to bring the in town minimum sewer rate equal to the minimum water rate of $10.00. The per thousand water rate is proposed to be adjusted from $3.40 to $3.75 for in town users. The per thousand water rate is proposed to be adjusted from $5.95 to $6.55 for out of town users. It is proposed to bring the out of town minimum sewer rate equal to the minimum water rate of $17.50. The per thousand sewer rate is proposed to be adjusted from $3.40 to $3.75 for in town users. The per thousand sewer rate is proposed to be adjusted from $5.95 to $6.55 for out of town users. Bulk water rates will increase from $5.95 per thousand to $6.55 per thousand. Bulk septic tank rates will increase from $65.00 per thousand to $71.50 per thousand. The proposed rates will need to be advertised for a public hearing at the June council meeting. The rates can be adopted by council the same night as the public hearing.
Mr. Dean reported that the most recent Lead and Copper water sampling for Alberta is in compliance. We are still testing for HAA5 and TTHM for Lawrenceville. There will be a meeting later in the month with Hurt & Proffitt and the Health Department regarding the water testing.
Dominion is taking a lot of water once again to fill its ten million gallon tank. The town was notified on Friday that Dominion would start pumping water that same day at 1:00 p.m. It will take about two weeks to fill the tank at a little under one million gallons per day. The water plant has gone from one shift to two shifts per day to accommodate the Dominion water needs. A part time employee has been hired to supplement the staff at the plant while there are employees out on medical leave.
TENTATIVE ADOPTION OF THE 2016-2017 BUDGET
The public hearing was held earlier in the meeting. A copy of the proposed budget is in the packet. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to tentatively adopt the FY 2016-2017 Budget as presented. It is anticipated that the budget will be formally adopted at the June meeting.
ADVERTISE PROPOSED WATER/SEWER RATES
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to advertise the proposed water/sewer rates as presented for a public hearing at the June 2016, Town Council meeting.
Mr. Pecht reported that the finance committee discussed looking into the possibility of moving the Town Election from May to the November General Election. This could potentially save the town money and increase voter participation. The town has to pay all the costs of a May election and this year there was a very light turnout as the candidates were running unopposed. The County Registrar has indicated to Mr. Dean that moving the election would save the town money. Mr. Outten advised that this would be a long process and require a change in the charter. Mr. Pecht requested that the Town Attorney and Town Manager research the election change process and report back to Town Council.
Mayor Herrington asked if there are funds in the budget if the town has to pay back DHCD for the Peebles building. Mr. Pecht advised it is not directly included in the budget. However, there is a surplus and some items could be cut if necessary. The DMV Select is included in the budget at $5,000.00. Mr. Pecht commented that he has been on council thirty years or so and this is the most challenging budget year he has ever seen. There are concerns regarding the unknown of Dominion revenues and operations and the five year bond schedule.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
Mr. Martin reported that the fire department responded to 44 calls in April. Of the 44, 8 were in the town limits and 36 were outside the town limits. The third annual cornhole tournament will be held on June 18, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There was no report.
Ms. Hardy stated that there is a report in the packet. Ms. Hardy asked that the Chief and his officers work with citizens to address noise concerns. Ms. Hardy also commented that we cannot ask anyone not to ride bikes on the streets. Chief Gibson advised that bikes do need to ride with car traffic and not against traffic as you do when walking.
Chief Gibson reported that 25.6 pounds of prescription medicines were taken in during the drug take back event held on April 30, 2016. This is part of a partnership with the DEA and Health Department to keep medications from being disposed of in the water/sewer system. The next event will be held in September.
The Lawrenceville Police Department will participate in National Night Out in August.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
Mr. Brockwell reported that vehicle and building maintenance is ongoing.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
Mrs. Bland reported that Mr. Dean advised her that the town will work on Church St. going down to Elm Acres.
Mr. Martin reported that the committee has met on parking. He asked that the two handicapped parking signs that have already been purchased be installed at VCU Massey Cancer and the library.
A motion was made by Mr. Martin and seconded by Mr. Brockwell as follows: 1. Purchase new 2 hour parking limit signs to replace current signs. 2. Install new/better signage for municipal parking to encourage parking in the new lot. 3. Grandfather in and continue the reserved parking for the Clerk of the Circuit Court and the Commonwealth’s Attorney. 4. Add two new handicapped parking spaces.
Mr. Outten commented that there is court on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with no clear direction for court parking. Mr. Outten is reluctant to hand out two hour parking tickets and do anything to discourage visitors to town. Chief Gibson agreed with Mr. Outten that parking is overwhelmed on court days and signage is needed for our brand new lot. Additional discussion followed regarding more detailed planning for the parking. Mr. Brockwell called for the question.
Mayor Herrington called for a show of hands. Voting in favor of the motion: Ms. Hardy, Mr. Martin, Mr. Brockwell, Mrs. Myers. Voting against the motion: Mrs. Bland, Mrs. Talbert. Mr. Pecht abstained. The motion carried. The Town Manager and Police Chief will carry out the placement of the signage.
Mayor Herrington requested a report on town business incentives for the next council meeting.
There will be a committee meeting following the council meeting tonight.
The reports are in the packet.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT
Mrs. Bland reported that Mr. Dean covered this in his letters and the matter is in the hands of the Building Inspector now.
There was no report.
There was no additional report.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
There was no report.
There is a letter in the packet regarding the VML annual conference in Virginia Beach, October 9-11, 2016.
Council members are invited to the ribbon cutting at Dominion’s Brunswick County Power Station on June 2, 2016, at 10:30 a.m.
Mrs. Talbert reminded everyone that Relay for Life will be held on May 20, 2016, from 4:00 – 10:00 p.m. at Brunswick High School. She also thanked Mr. Outten and Mr. Pecht for continuing to be sponsors of Relay for Life.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented, in the amount of $65,747.56, and charge to the proper accounts. This was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes.
Mayor Herrington stated that elections were held in the Town of Lawrenceville last week and Mr. Pecht, Mrs. Bland, Ms. Hardy and Mr. Martin were re-elected. They were reminded to go to the Clerk of the Circuit Court to be sworn in for their new terms before July 1, 2016.
A copy of a letter to the Mayor from Sheriff Brian Roberts was included in the additional packet tonight. Sheriff Roberts expressed concern regarding the proposal to cut garbage service from two days a week to one day a week.
The meeting was adjourned to the meeting room next door to view options for the new website.
Council reconvened in the meeting room. Mr. Dean had the computer set up to show council members different options proposed for the new website. Discussion followed and council indicated that they preferred: the Lawrenceville logo from layout 2, links to the left of the page, color scheme from the home option, a slide show of pictures, new council pictures, an event calendar and a link to Facebook.
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
- Tags: 2016