September 11, 2018
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Scott Martin called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. on September 11, 2018.
Roll was called; Present: Mayor Scott Martin; Council Members: Joyce Bland, H. B. Brockwell, Jr., Phil Gilson, Dora Hardy, Martha Myers, Robert F. Pecht, III and Alice Talbert. Also present: Town Attorney, W. C. Outten, Jr., Town Manager, C. J. Dean, Police Chief, Everette Gibson, Town Clerk, Wanda Johnson, Mike Dotti, Bill Hudson, Jane Adams, citizens and the press.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Chief Gibson led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried, Town Council voted to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on August 14, 2018, as received, suspend the reading and file. Mr. Gilson abstained.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to approve the agenda as presented.
RECOGNITION OF CITIZENS
Mike Dotti, owner of the Long & Foster office in Lawrenceville and Chairman of the Brunswick County IDA, addressed Council. The IDA is working hard to get businesses in town and would like to work with Council to get the town cleaned up. He brought up several issues. He said that the IDA will be coming to Council on a more regular basis and would like to see plants re-planted and maintained and the sidewalks cleaned. The urban blight we are facing needs to be addressed. A job interview fair was recently held in the Bank of America building and will bring at least 100 jobs. The IDA is looking at creating two apartments in an IDA owned building. We need to get citizens involved. There is a second YMCA meeting in Emporia on Thursday. The BBG is giving flags to every business in town. Mr. Dotti thanked Council for their hard work and time.
Mayor Martin reported that the LEDA meeting was held on August 14, 2018. A quorum was not present as only two members attended. The LEDA has recommended that Phil Gilson be appointed to fill the unexpired LEDA term of Scott Martin. That term will expire March 2019. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried, Town Council voted to appoint Phil Gilson to represent Town Council on the LEDA. He will fill the seat vacated by Mr. Martin which ends March 2019. Mr. Gilson abstained.
Mayor Martin commented that August was very busy. A job fair was held in the former Bank of America Building on August 17, 2018. Approximately 50-60 people attended. There was a live radio remote. Mayor Martin thanked Mr. Dean and the town work crew for helping set up for the event. There was a second job fair on August 31, 2018. It was attended by over 100 people.
A YMCA meeting was held at the Brunswick County Conference Center on August 22, 2018. A second meeting will be held in Emporia on September 13, 2018.
Mayor Martin asked Mrs. Myers to report on the LOVE sign. A meeting was held on September 6, 2018. Mrs. Myers reported that there was discussion to have local artists design several different ideas for consideration. One artist provided a cost estimate of $100 per hour, at 5-10 hours, from beginning to end of the project. She asked if Council thought that would be feasible. The grant, if awarded, would be for up to $1,500. Mr. Gilson commented that he would like to see a local artist volunteer to review the ideas. Mrs. Myers asked if he would volunteer. Mr. Gilson agreed to take on the review of the ideas. There will be another meeting in a couple of weeks.
Mayor Martin appointed new committee assignments. The new committee list for 2018-2019 is in the packet.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
MOTOR VEHICLE LICENSE FEE ORDINANCE
Mr. Outten reported that Town Council had previously discussed eliminating the sale of vehicle decals and adopting a vehicle license fee. He has drafted a model ordinance for Town Council to consider for advertisement for a public hearing. A copy of the draft ordinance is in the packet. The fees for the first year are set in the ordinance. Going forward, the fees can be set by Town Council in the budget. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mr. Pecht and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to advertise the Motor Vehicle License Fee Ordinance for a Public Hearing at the October 9, 2018, Town Council meeting.
REPORT OF TOWN MANAGER
OLD SOUTHERN STATES BUILDING
Mr. Dean reported that the gentleman, who is moving in, is in Europe inspecting their equipment so that it can be shipped and the project finished. There is additional exterior work to be done. The building needs five windows, painting outside, parking lot work and security lighting outside. The Town is working with the County and IDA and looking at options for funding these expenses and getting them done as quickly and efficiently as possible. The sewer line upgrade is complete.
The DHCD had requested a new appraisal on the Peebles building. Mr. Dean said he expects to receive the new appraisal before close of business tomorrow.
North Main Street – This is in the hands of VDOT, waiting to go to bid this fall for construction next spring.
Gazebo Sidewalk – There is a meeting in a couple of weeks. The design is about 75% complete and has been sent to VDOT for review and comments.
VIRGINIA TOWN & CITY REPRINT
Mr. Dean handed out copies of a Virginia Town & City excerpt reprint from July 2010. The magazine featured the Town of Floyd’s historic downtown revitalization. This is for Council to review for ideas. Mr. Brockwell asked for a comparison of our water and sewer rates to Floyd’s rates.
STATE OF EMERGENCY – HURRICANE FLORENCE
Mr. Dean asked Town Council to declare a State of Emergency due to the impending approach of Hurricane Florence. The Governor has declared a State of Emergency. A Town declaration would position the town for potential emergency funds and resources. Mr. Dean reported that between the Town and IDA we have eight generators fueled and ready to be put in place. A County meeting will be held Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to declare a State of Emergency for the hurricane event for the Town of Lawrenceville.
ADOPTION OF 2018 TAX RELIEF RESOLUTION
Pursuant to Ordinance #06-01 adopted by Town Council on January 10, 2006, the Town is required by law to set the rate of tax relief at a level that is anticipated to exhaust the PPTRA relief funds provided by the Commonwealth in the amount of $39,560.51. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to adopt the tax relief resolution at 79% for tax year 2018 as presented.
Mr. Pecht reported that we are running a little behind last year. This is the next to last year for the Series C Bond payments. The new committee will get together for a review.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
There was no report in the packet. Chief Gibson reported that there were 30 calls in August. The department is ready for the weather. The firefighters’ competition has been moved to September 29, 2018, due to the impending weather.
Mr. Brockwell reviewed the personnel report included in the packet. We have positions open. We are still advertising and hiring.
Ms. Hardy advised the police report is in the packet. She asked everyone to be safe in the weather. Chief Gibson reported we are where we need to be in preparations. He will be attending the meeting tomorrow for the storm.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
There was no formal report at this time.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
Mrs. Bland reported that water is standing on each end of Park Street from the rain tonight. Will the drains handle the hurricane rain? Mr. Dean said he will report this to VDOT.
REVIEW OF COST STRUCTURE AND ORDINANCE
Mr. Dean asked the committee to review the current cemetery ordinance and meet to bring recommendations back to Town Council next month. Regarding the grass, the town has taken over the mowing and has been working on it. The hurricane preparations had to come first this week. We are doing the best we can right now.
RE-DEVELOPMENT ZONE OPPORTUNITY
Mr. Brockwell and Mr. Dean reported that a re-development zone needs to be determined. Mr. Outten is looking at resolution samples. This is needed to be eligible for VHDA funding. The committee needs to meet and bring back recommendations.
There will be a committee meeting following the council meeting tonight. Mr. Brockwell reported that he and Mr. Pecht and Mr. Dean have been meeting about finances. They will be meeting with a financial advisor for advice on financing wastewater treatment plant improvements. We need someone to look at all of our finances and possible grants also. We have a 3 million gallon water plant capacity and a 1.2 million gallon sewer capacity. That is out of balance and a restricting point. We can handle more water than sewer.
Mr. Brockwell has reached out to our Board of Supervisors representative to ask for a meeting to review the water slide presentation. The dates have not suited yet.
Mr. Brockwell asked Mr. Dean to talk to the wastewater department about holding a safety meeting and providing a safety report.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT
Mrs. Bland commented that the lot at the corner of Park and Second looks a lot better since work was done there.
There was no report.
Mrs. Myers reported that there is a YMCA meeting this Thursday to continue the efforts to bring a full YMCA to Lawrenceville. The YMCA classes continue at the library.
Mayor Martin appointed this as a seasonal committee. He reported this has been a successful season for the Farmer’s Market. He met with Gail Temple today and she said the space could be used for a couple more weeks if there is anything to sell. Mayor Martin thanked the Temple family.
There was no report.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
There was no report.
The Southside Virginia Volunteer Firefighters Association Competition will be hosted by the Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire Department on September 29, 2018. This has been postponed from September 15, 2018, due to the hurricane forecast.
The Taste of Brunswick Festival will be held on October 13, 2018.
The Brunswick Country Club Disc Golf Open will be held on October 14, 2018.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
Mr. Pecht reported that the bills list, in the amount of $175,702.51, includes a debt service payment in the amount of $62,410.63 by mistake. Debt service payments are not usually included on the bills to be paid list.
Mr. Pecht asked Mr. Dean about the Biggs Construction Co. item for $22,116.00. Mr. Dean reported that last month, on council meeting night, the guys were working on a water leak in front of First Citizens Bank. The Top Gun Enterprises charge for $2,045.00 is for the replacement of the sidewalk in front of First Citizens Bank following that leak repair. That same night, about 1:30 a.m., the water line broke on Rose Drive in front of Eddie Bland’s house. The guys had to come in the next morning to finish the First Citizens Bank leak. Biggs was called in to help with the Rose Drive break. Mr. Dean reported that the line had been compromised when a VDOT storm drain failed when we had 4.6” rain on a Thursday afternoon. VDOT came in and put two loads of rock down before the Town could pack rock underneath that pipe. The line lasted about ten days. Mr. Dean is working with Mr. Outten to try to recoup some of the money for the Biggs repair bill.
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented, in the amount of $175,702.51, and posted to the proper accounts. The motion was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes.
Mr. Pecht asked about the VDOT paving policy that was discussed last month. Mr. Dean advised there will be an update next month.
Mayor Martin thanked everyone for coming and reminded everyone to be safe in the upcoming storm.
There was no closed session.
There being no further business to come before Council, a motion was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Gilson and carried by all ayes to adjourn the meeting.
Scott E. Martin, Mayor
Wanda E. Johnson, Clerk