September 13, 2016
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor William Herrington called the regular meeting of the Lawrenceville Town Council to order at 7:30 p.m. on September 13, 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, Assistant Chief B. N. Newcomb, Tammy Newcomb, Cory Newcomb, Kelly Newcomb, Linda Branson, Tommy Branson, Kyle Branson, Town Clerk, Wanda Johnson, Shaunda Boyd, Della Wood, Camilla Clayton-Bright, Sheriff Brian Roberts, citizens and the press.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made by Mr. Pecht to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on August 9, 2016, as received, suspend the reading and file. This was seconded by Mr. Martin and carried by all ayes.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
The agenda was approved with Steve Mulroy, VML VACO Finance moved ahead of the Lawrenceville EDA report.
RESOLUTION B. N. NEWCOMB 33 YEARS OF SERVICE
Police Chief Everette Gibson presented Assistant Chief B. N. “Red” Newcomb with a resolution honoring his 33 years of service to the Town of Lawrenceville. Assistant Chief Newcomb will retire effective October 1, 2016. On motion by Mr. Brockwell, seconded by Mr. Pecht and carried by all ayes, Town Council formally adopted the resolution honoring Newcomb.
STEVE MULROY, VML VACO FINANCE
Mr. Mulroy was present to present a debt affordability analysis for the wastewater treatment plant improvement project. The estimated cost of the project is $2.7 million. His recommendation is to fund the project with a roughly 50/50 mix of cash and debt; up to $1.35 million in debt and the remaining $1.35 million with cash. Water and sewer system revenue would be pledged as security for the new debt. It will be approximately 60 days before Mr. Mulroy will present information on funding sources, probably at the November meeting. Mr. Pecht reported that the finance committee met with Mr. Mulroy and it is the recommendation of the committee to authorize Mr. Dean to work with Mr. Mulroy. On motion by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mr. Brockwell and carried by all ayes, Town Council voted to authorize Mr. Dean to work with Mr. Mulroy to solicit bids for the wastewater treatment plant project. Information will be presented to Town Council for an actual funding commitment at a later date.
Mr. Martin reported on the August 9, 2016, meeting. The Eagle Scouts completed a sign and flag pole project at the Tobacco Heritage Trail Park. The roof leak at the Bloom Building has been repaired. The grant for the VCU Cancer Research and Resource Center was set to end on September 1, 2016. They have not been notified if funding will be provided to continue operations. Creedle, Jones and Alga is working on the annual LEDA audit. There was a meeting with Kennedy Smith of the Virginia Growth Alliance. Efforts continue to market the Peebles Building.
RECOGNITION OF CITIZENS
Mayor Herrington recognized Camilla Clayton-Bright, Commissioner of the Revenue.
WENDY WRIGHT – REMOTE AREA MEDICAL
Wendy Wright provided information on the RAM Southside Virginia medical event planned for June 23-24, 2017, in Greensville County. The site is centrally located for the target region. RAM provides pop up health clinics that last for 2 ½ days and provide free medical, dental and vision care to residents on a first come, first served basis. RAM relies on volunteers, donations and sponsorships to fund the free clinics. Information will be shared as the planning moves forward.
DELLA WOOD – 9-11 COMMEMORATIVE CEREMONY
Della Wood thanked council for its support, prayers and presence for the 15th Anniversary 9-11 Commemorative Ceremony. The ceremony was held on Sunday, September 11, 2016, at the Sonny Wholey Memorial Park. Mayor Herrington thanked the committee for planning the event.
STAIRWAY TO SUCCESS VML INITIATIVE
Mayor Herrington reported that the resolution adopted by council in support of Pre-K education was forwarded to VML. Following consultation with the Improvement Association and Rebecca Akers, head of the Pre-K Family Consortium, a project was established. The Mayor’s Pre-K Book Club provides each child in the program with a book to take home to be read. The book is then returned and exchanged for another book to read. They have collected 200 books for the program and individual contributions are welcome.
MARKETING BUILDINGS IN DOWNTOWN LAWRENCEVILLE
Efforts are being made by the Town and EDA to have owners of vacant buildings list their properties on the VEDP website. Letters have been sent to owners inviting them to complete a retail building data sheet. Information will be placed on the town website and provided to the IDA.
Mayor Herrington attended a meeting with the Rural Caucus in Danville hosted by Senator Ruff. It is a group of state level representatives from southern Virginia. Their objective is to lobby for funding for Southside Virginia. They would like to identify individuals to serve on a subset of the Regional Caucus.
A LOTTERY FOR LOCALITIES
Mayor Herrington shared information from the Mayor of Crewe proposing that the Virginia General Assembly give localities a 5% refund on local lottery sales. Refunds would go to the general revenue fund for the locality’s unrestricted use. School allocations would remain untouched under the proposal. Council members were asked to review the information and consider it for action at the October meeting.
Mayor Herrington recognized Ben Spence, Town Manager of the Town of Brodnax.
REPORT OF TOWN ATTORNEY
There was no report.
REPORT OF TOWN MANAGER
Mr. Dean had planned to introduce the Town’s newest employee, Shaunda Boyd. She had to leave the meeting before he had the opportunity.
DOWNTOWN PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. Dean reported that the side of the Brunswick Insurance Agency building has been painted as part of the façade project. Mr. Thomas painted the back of his building and challenges other property owners to clean up the backs of their buildings. The new website has the video up and it is mobile ready. Mr. Brockwell commented that the forms need to be completed on the Peebles Building to help with marketing it. Ms. Hardy would like to see community events posted on the Town’s website and Facebook. We have not been trained on posting to the new website at this time. Mr. Pecht commended the Thomas’ for the work they have done on their building. Mr. Pecht also expressed support for Mr. Thomas’ proposal to the IDA that it support a School Board study to consider moving back downtown. Mr. Brockwell reported that he attended the IDA meeting and the IDA made a resolution to be presented to the County for the School Board to come back downtown. It would bring 20-30 people downtown and create a lot of movement.
OLD SOUTHERN STATES BUILDING
Mr. Dean and Mayor Herrington have shown the Southern States Building to two companies in the last month. Hopefully, something will happen soon.
ADOPTION OF TAX RELIEF RESOLUTION
ADOPTION OF 2016 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 approved the tax relief resolution at 88% for tax year 2016 as presented.
WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT
The bids for the wastewater treatment plant improvements were opened July 26, 2016, and presented to Council at the August meeting. A motion was made by Mr. Pecht to accept the low bid submitted by Lisbon Buildings in Rocky Mount, NC for the wastewater plant improvement project. The motion was seconded by Mr. Brockwell. A roll call vote was taken: Mrs. Bland, aye; Mr. Brockwell, aye; Ms. Hardy, aye; Mr. Martin, aye; Mrs. Myers, aye; Mr. Pecht, aye; Mrs. Talbert, aye. The motion carried by all ayes.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
Mr. Martin reported that the fire department responded to 31 calls in August. Of the 31, 2 were in the town limits and 29 were outside the town limits.
Mr. Brockwell reported that a letter of retirement from Eddie Hall is in the packet. His retirement is effective December 1, 2016. Mr. Brockwell commented that it will be difficult to replace Mr. Hall. Mr. Hall and Mr. Newcomb have been with the town many years. Mr. Pecht asked that something be planned for Mr. Hall’s retirement after 36 years of service to the town.
A report is in the packet. A retirement celebration will be held in honor of Assistant Chief Newcomb on September 30, 2016, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
PROPERTY & EQUIPMENT
There was no report.
STREETS, LIGHTS & CEMETERY
Mr. Dean reported that ten 2 hour parking signs, eight public parking signs and posts will cost approximately $5,000 - $6,000. He has received one estimate and is waiting for a second. Town development funds will be used for the purchase.
Mr. Brockwell advised that the issue was covered by the IDA resolution.
There will be a committee meeting following the council meeting tonight.
Information is in the packet.
HOUSING CODE ENFORCEMENT
Mr. Dean reported that three letters were sent out and copies are in the packet. The owner of 501 High Street responded that they will take the building down and brush has already been cleared there. The house on Sixth Avenue is on hold because the owner is deceased and the family has to appoint a trustee.
Mr. Dean had a complaint on grass at the Primary School yesterday. He was not able to make contact with the County Administrator. He will follow up on hiring someone to evaluate the building.
Mrs. Talbert reported that Mr. Dean will get prices to replace the columns in the park. He will also check with the Regional Jail to see if the Town can get their workforce to clean up the park.
WELLNESS – WALKING COMMUNITY
Mrs. Myers reported that the community walking group will continue to meet at least through the end of September.
There was no report.
LAWRENCEVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
There was no report.
The invitation to the retirement celebration is in the packet.
CONSIDERATION OF ACCOUNTS
A motion was made to pay the bills as presented, in the amount of $124,980.33, and charge to the proper accounts. This was made by Mr. Pecht, seconded by Mrs. Talbert and carried by all ayes.
BANK OF AMERICA CLOSING
It was suggested that the town try to contact a person at Bank of America to see what, if any, plans they have for the building.
Mr. Brockwell suggested that the town also try to contact owners of other vacant buildings.
There being no further business to come before Council, a motion was made by Mrs. Bland, seconded by Mr. Pecht and carried by all ayes to adjourn the meeting.
William Herrington, Mayor
Wanda Johnson, Clerk
- Tags: 2016