January 10, 2006

7:00 PM – The regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council


The municipal government of the Town of Brookneal met with the following members present:


Phyllis Campbell, Mayor

James Nowlin, Vice Mayor

Meg Tibbs, Tracy Meisenbach, Richard Adams, Stacey Hailey, and Kenneth Jennings, Council Members

Bill Gillespie, Town Manager

Laurie C. Francis, Clerk/Treasurer

Mike Crews, Public Works Director

Ricky Cousins, Police Chief






Upon motion by Richard Adams, seconded by Meg Tibbs and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the January 10, 2006, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.





Upon motion by James Nowlin, seconded by Meg Tibbs and unanimously carried, Council approved the December 13, 2005 Town Council minutes.





Mayor Campbell asked that the December 2005 treasurer’s report be filed for audit.





Be it resolved that motion was made by James Nowlin, seconded by Meg Tibbs and unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of December 13, 2005 to January 9, 2006 in the amount of $17,750.39.




  • Linda Zielinski, owner of Brookneal Massage Therapy, appeared before council with a complaint about her water bill.  Ms. Zielinski stated that when she switched locations for her business she paid the $25 transfer fee.  She then received a bill for $25 for service at her old location on Lusardi Drive, which she paid.  Soon after that she received yet another bill for $25 for zero gallons consumption at her new business location on Bank Street because there was an overlap in the billing cycle.  Ms. Zielinski did not feel she should have to pay this bill because she did not use any water during that period.  Mayor Campbell sent the issue to the Physical Development Committee for review informing Ms. Zielinski that someone would be contacting her soon with an answer.


  • Rita Smith, of Marshall Street, appeared before council with a concern about the content of the water reports the town had been mailing to the residents.   Mrs. Smith expressed concerns about the number of carcinogenics the town water contained and went on to say that her husband suggested the town perform several different tests on the water to remedy this matter.  Mr. Gillespie, Town Manager, informed Mrs. Smith that the town currently performs all of the tests that her husband was suggesting and assured her that the town water was safe for consumption.


  • Lee Booker, of Juniper Cliff Road and former Council Member, expressed concerns relayed to him by various senior citizens in the community.  Mr. Booker stated that many seniors had approached him with fears that because of the town’s unemployment situation, their taxes were going to be increased.  Mr. Booker stressed that this would put an undue hardship on an already financially strapped group and further stated that many would prefer to see the charter turned back into the county rather than pay any higher taxes.




Ricky Cousins informed council that they were down to three officers again due to Anthony Hamlett leaving to accept a position with the Town of Halifax.  Mr. Hamlett accepted this position immediately upon completion of his training with the Police Academy paid for by the Town of Brookneal.  Chief Cousins stated that it was hard for the Town of Brookneal to compete with other localities for police officers when other localities paid so much better.  Councilman Kenneth Jennings asked Chief Cousins for a cost estimate as to how much the town paid for Mr. Hamlett’s training.  Chief Cousins stated that he believed it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $14,000.





Mike Crews, Director of Public Works, updated council on the status of the evaluation of the water treatment plant.  Mr. Crews met with Jason Clark of W.W. Associates to go over some of the concerns with the treatment plant.  Mr. Crews said that the evaluation would help to meet standards set by the health department.   Mr. Crews went on to say that based on the results of test results recently received, they were considering flushing the water system again in February.





Town Manager, Bill Gillespie, reported to council that VDOT had agreed to install a crosswalk at Brookneal Elementary School.





Upon Motion by Meg Tibbs, seconded by James Nowlin and unanimously carried Council set the following dates for the regular meetings of the Brookneal Town Council in 2006:


January 10, February 14, March 14, April 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, October 10, November 14, December 12.





Upon motion by James Nowlin, seconded by Stacey Hailey and unanimously carried council established the following dates for recognized holidays by the town office:


January 2, January 16, February 20, May 29, July 4, September 4, October 9, November 23, November 24, December 25, December 26.





Town Manager, Bill Gillespie, updated council on the meeting held on Monday, January 9, 2006 with owners of the businesses in the downtown district.  Mr. Gillespie stated that there was an extremely good turnout among the business owners and stressed the importance of all owners returning the participation forms so that the town can move forward with the grant.




Motion was made by Richard Adams to approve the employee policy manual as presented and included in the motion the following certification:


Pursuant to §15.2-1507 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, the undersigned certify that the Grievance Procedure in the Chapter 7 of the Personnel Manual for the town of Brookneal, which Procedure was duly adopted by the Town of Brookneal on January 10, 2006, is in compliance with the aforesaid Code section.


Mr. Adams further added to the motion authorization of the Town Manager, Bill Gillespie, to sign and execute the certification and afforded the same to the town attorney.


The motion, including the certification and the addition, received a second from Meg Tibbs.  Mayor Campbell called for a vote.  With all in favor and no one opposed the motion carried with a 6 – 0 vote.




Campbell County will be hosting its annual joint dinner with the town’s of Brookneal and Altavista on Thursday, January 26, 2006 at the Colonial Restaurant.  Those planning to attend are Stacey Hailey, Meg Tibbs, Richard Adams, and Kenneth Jennings.



FY 04/05 AUDIT


Motion was made by Meg Tibbs to accept the 04/05 fiscal year audit as presented.  The motion received a second from Richard Adams.  With all in favor and no one opposed the motion was carried and the 04/05 audit accepted.





Upon motion by James Nowlin, seconded by Richard Adams and unanimously carried, council extended the Town Managers contract through June 30, 2006.





  • Meg Tibbs, chairperson of the Finance and Planning Committee, offered a motion that the town secure as Bond Council the firm of Edmonds and Williams; and the auditing firm of Jerry Reynolds as CPA; and the town attorney, Frank Wright as council for the water grant.  The motion received a second from Kenneth Jennings.  Mayor Campbell called for a vote.  With no opposition the motion carried 6 – 0.


  • Upon motion from Kenneth Jennings, seconded by Meg Tibbs, and unanimously carried, council approved payment of an attorney bill from Overby, Hawkins, Selz & Wright in the amount of $1,626.50 for review of the town’s personnel manual.




Council member, Richard Adams addressed the issue of businesses closing and the foreign buyout of the Dan River Company.


“We know the town is going to lose tax revenue in 2006.  In addition to the loss of tax revenue from these businesses which have closed, the domino effect of loss of jobs and payroll dollars combined with the loss of sales revenue for the existing businesses in the town will have an adverse impact on the town’s economy.”


“In the past, there appears to have been a reactive approach to economic development in this community,” Adams continued.


In light of recent events, the councilman proposed the creation of an “Economic Development” committee for the town comprised of the mayor, town manager, two to three members of town council and possible representatives from the business community.


The objective of this committee, as explained by Adams, will be to take a proactive and aggressive approach to identifying and recruiting new business into the community.


“As we enter into this new calendar year, we can take the tried and proven approach of sitting back and waiting for something to happen, the results of which are in the history books…new investments in Campbell County are going to the Highway 29 Corridor and in Halifax County to the industrial park in South Boston.  Neither of these options will benefit Brookneal.


Or we can be bold enough to take this matter in our own hands to package and sell this town.  If we take no action, the best we can hope for is that by pure luck – pure chance – some company will find us among the thousands of communities like ours in the country and decide to move here.  We probably have a better chance in winning the lottery,” Adams stated.


He concluded his remarks saying, “A planned, proactive approach can enhance the potential of finding new businesses in our community’s future.  If we don’t bait the hook and put the hook in the water, we are not going to catch any fish.”


Mayor Campbell asked Mr. Adams if he would chair the newly organized committee to which he agreed.


Upon motion from James Nowlin, Mayor Campbell announced that the January 10, 2006, Council meeting was adjourned.




___________________________                  ____________________________

Laurie C. Francis,                                           Phyllis Campbell,

Clerk/Treasurer                                               Mayor

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