CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. on September 12, 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 Manager, C. J. Dean, Police Chief, Everette Gibson, Town Clerk, Wanda Johnson, Justin Thomas, Vanessa Broadnax, Roxanne Thompson, citizens and the press.
Absent: 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 August 8, 2017, and the special called meeting on September 5, 2017, as received, suspend the reading and file. This was seconded by Mr. Pecht and carried by all ayes.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
The agenda was approved as presented.
RECOGNITION OF CITIZENS
Vanessa Broadnax, of 1008 First Avenue, stated that she is a student at Virginia State University and is attending tonight to see how the Lawrenceville Town Council meeting is conducted.
ROXANNE G. THOMPSON
Roxanne G. Thompson, of 312 Park Street, presented a letter to Council and expressed her concerns about blogging. She feels she is being harassed by bloggers. Mayor Herrington thanked her for bringing this to Council and advised that we will work with the Police Chief. Chief Gibson stated that he had advised Ms. Thompson that the first thing to do is to cut off her internet so it cannot be used.
Mr. Martin reported that the LEDA minutes for August 8, 2017, are in the packet. Mr. Martin continues to work on the air conditioning in the Bloom Building. Mr. Dotti might have a possible lead for the Peebles building. The original grant wording has not been discussed with VML. It has been discussed with DHCD and they refer to the code of federal regulations.
2017 FALL TRANSPORTATION MEETINGS
The Commonwealth Transportation Board will conduct fall meetings. A schedule of meeting dates and locations is in the packet.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND TOWN MAYORS MEETING
Mayor Herrington prepared a written report on the meeting with the Board of Supervisors and Town Mayors. A copy of the report will be emailed to Council Members. The purpose of the meeting was 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. Another meeting will be scheduled.
SOUTHERN VIRGINIA GO REGION 3
Mayor Herrington and Mr. Pecht attended a Go Virginia Region 3 meeting. A plan for our region has been approved by the Region 3 Council. The amount of money available for Region 3 for a two year period is $400,000. Three areas suggested to be pursued are: 1. Workforce talent development and recruitment. 2. Development in four target sectors, including business services and IT data centers, advanced manufacturing and materials, high-value natural resource products and health care. 3. Cyber infrastructure to provide middle mile and last mile network completion.
A new business opened in town today. Lamall’s Bakery and Café is located at 143 W. Hicks St. It is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
VETERAN’S DAY CELEBRATION
The Veteran’s Day Celebration will be associated with the World War II Commemoration Commission this year. It will be held on Friday, November 10, 2017. There will be more information to come.
COUNTY WIDE SCHOOL BOARD AND RESIDENTS MEETING
Recently there was an opportunity for residents to meet with the School Board. There will be a focus on reading and improving reading scores.
TASTE OF BRUNSWICK FESTIVAL
The Taste of Brunswick Festival will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2017.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
There was no report.
REPORT OF TOWN MANAGER
OLD SOUTHERN STATES BUILDING
Mr. Dean reported that the bids came in higher than anticipated and the IDA has been working with the architect, contractors and Kass to get the costs down. The project will be bid out again and it looks like it will come back within budget.
There is a letter in the packet from B & B Consultants regarding the bid for façade improvements at the Farm Bureau office at 214 Court Street. Mr. Dean recommended that Town Council approve the bid pending the owner’s approval. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mrs. Myers and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to approve the bid from R. F. Howerton, Inc. for 214 Court Street, pending the owner’s approval, in the amount of $19,988.
Mr. Dean advised we will continue to work on the Peebles Building with DHCD, VML, the LEDA and Mike Dotti.
The Property and Equipment Committee met and ranked possible sidewalk projects. A list is in the packet. Mr. Dean advised that he received a cost estimate from B & B on the Trailhead Park to Tobacco Heritage Trail Ramp. The estimated cost is $375,000. The Town’s part would be $75,000. The application due date is November 1, 2017. The grant would be submitted to VDOT, not to exceed $375,000. A 20% match is required if the grant is awarded. This is a long process. The application will be ready for action at the next meeting. There was discussion concerning some of the other projects for the future. The sidewalk planning does fall in line with the comprehensive plan adopted last month.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Mayor Herrington advised that the County’s Draft Comprehensive Plan is due to be presented at the September Board meeting. A copy of the County’s executive summary is available from the Mayor.
Mr. Pecht reported that the financial statement shows we are doing a little better than last year for August. We are holding with the budget. We paid over half of our debt service in the first month.
ADOPTION OF 2017 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. Brockwell, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, Town Council adopted the tax relief resolution at 86% for tax year 2017 as presented.
Mr. Martin reported that the Farmers Market has been extended for six more weeks. The Temple family has generously offered to continue the use of their location for six more weeks. It is from 3:00 to 6:00 on Fridays.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
The fire department responded to 27 calls in August. Of the 27, 2 were in the town limits and 25 were outside the town limits. Also, 20 were in the LVFD First Due area, with 7 being mutual aid to other agencies. Approximately 111.11 man hours were expended. Mr. Martin reported that the committee met with Chief Thomas and discussed the aging fire engines and fleet. We will continue to work on a plan to update our fleet. Mr. Brockwell commented that the fire department does an excellent job.
Mr. Brockwell reported there are positions open with the Town. There are three in public works, one in the wastewater department and two in the police department. Mr. Brockwell thinks a lot has to do with our salaries. We do not offer quite enough to attract people to move.
Ms. Hardy stated the report is in the packet. We need two new officers. The openings have been publicized all the way to Richmond through VML and on social media. We have had very few applicants. Chief Gibson commented that some other departments offer a LEO supplement and more overtime. Mayor Herrington suggested that the personnel, police and finance committees meet together as a task force to work on this. Mrs. Bland complimented Justin Thomas on the work he is doing. She has had an opportunity to work with him and he does a wonderful job. Mr. Brockwell also complimented him on coaching kids in baseball.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
Mr. Brockwell reported on the website GovDeals.com. It provides a site for government agencies to sell public surplus equipment.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
Mr. Dean will solicit bids this fall for cemetery upkeep. Mr. Martin has reached out to the Boy Scouts to possibly work on community projects. Mr. Brockwell suggested that the ROTC and Brunswick Academy also have community service programs.
TOWN OWNED PROPERTY – APPRAISALS AND ASBESTOS
Mr. Dean reported on the appraisal proposals in the packet. Virginia-Carolina bid $750 to furnish an appraisal on the Town Shop. The bid for an appraisal on the Brick & Tile property is $1500. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to accept the appraisal proposals from Virginia-Carolina Appraisal Co. for two properties. The fee will be $750. for TM 62 Lots 51B & 51I and $1,500. for TM 52 Lots 19, 20, 20A & 26.
Mr. Dean reported on the proposal for an asbestos inspection for three buildings on the north side of the old Butler Lumber property. There are five buildings on the site. Three need to come down and an asbestos environmental inspection is required. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mrs. Myers and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to accept the proposal from Rugby Environmental Inc. for an asbestos inspection of three buildings on the north side of the Butler Lumber property for $800.
FLAGS IN PARK IN OBSERVANCE OF 9/11
Mr. Brockwell commended the display of flags in the park in observance of 9/11. Mayor Herrington will extend a thank you to Della Wood for coordinating the display. Chief Gibson said the ROTC had a great program on September 11, 2017, at the high school.
Mr. Brockwell recommended that everyone review the handout in the packet that Mr. Dean has prepared. Mr. Dean did an excellent job on the explanation and outline on the Town water rates, capacities and agreements. There will be a committee meeting following the council meeting tonight.
Mr. Brockwell commented that the departments do an excellent job covering safety topics.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT
There was no report.
Mr. Brockwell advised that a disc golf target is displayed tonight. The unit costs $79. It can be set up and taken down in five minutes. He said we might be able to incorporate disc golf in with a walking program. A presentation was made to Council previously on disc golf.
Mrs. Talbert asked that anyone that participated in the walking program turn in their sheets to Vivian Taylor at the Cancer Resource Center before the end of September.
Mrs. Myers reported that the YMCA has made arrangements to hold two classes a week upstairs at the Library. A cardio fit class will be on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. A silver sneakers class will be on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. Participants will purchase a punch card that will be good for a certain number of classes.
There was no report.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
There was no report.
LETTER OF SUPPORT TO COUNTY OF BRUNSWICK
A copy of the letter sent to the County of Brunswick in support of the County’s plan to demolish the structures on the old Lawrenceville Primary School property is in the packet.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented, in the amount of $115,229.02 and charge to the proper accounts. This was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes.
Mrs. Bland advised Town Council that she has been asked to write a congratulatory letter to the James Solomon Russell Class of 1967.
Mr. Brockwell asked if a Survey Monkey could be attached to our outgoing phone dialer messages. That feature is not available.
Mrs. Myers asked when the property next door might go to auction. We do not know a date yet.
Mrs. Talbert asked that the sewer plant have the employees sign an attendance sheet for the safety classes in the same manner as the water plant.
Mr. Pecht asked that everyone consider attending the ArtBank programs. He encouraged everyone to attend when they can. Mayor Herrington advised that the Town has two tickets available for each performance to anyone on Council on a first come, first served basis.
CLOSED SESSION-MOTION TO ENTER THE CLOSED MEETING
“Mr. Mayor, I move the Lawrenceville Town Council enter into a closed meeting pursuant to the provisions of Section 2.2-3711 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended for the purpose of discussing property acquisition.” Motion: Mr. Pecht. Second: Ms. Hardy. Roll call vote: Mrs. Bland, aye; Mr. Brockwell, aye; Ms. Hardy, aye; Mr. Martin, aye; Mrs. Myers, aye; Mr. Pecht, aye; Mrs. Talbert, aye.
MOTION TO EXIT A CLOSED MEETING AND RECONVENE IN OPEN SESSION
“Mr. Mayor, I move the closed meeting be adjourned and the Lawrenceville Town Council convene again in open session.” The motion was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Ms. Hardy and carried by all ayes.
“Be it resolved to the best of my knowledge (i) only public business matters exempted from open meeting requirements, under Section 2.2-3711 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, and (ii) only such public business matters as were identified in the motion by which the closed meeting was convened were heard, discussed or considered in the meeting.” Motion: Mr. Pecht. Second: Ms. Hardy. Roll call vote: Mrs. Bland, aye; Mr. Brockwell, aye; Ms. Hardy, aye; Mr. Martin, aye; Mrs. Myers, aye; Mr. Pecht, aye; Mrs. Talbert, aye.
There being no further business to come before Council, a motion was made by Mrs. Talbert, seconded by Ms. Hardy and carried by all ayes to adjourn the meeting.
William Herrington, Mayor
Wanda Johnson, Clerk