May 11, 2010

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

Richard Adams, Kenneth Jennings, Tracy Meisenbach, and Robert Jean, Council Members

Mike Crews, Public Works Director

Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer

Absent:  Phillip Sheppard, Council Member





7:06 p.m.  Mayor Campbell called to order the public hearing to receive comments on the general fund budget.  Mayor Campbell asked that anyone who had comments in favor of the budget or indifferent to the budget, please come forward to speak.  Margaret Tibbs, of 105 Terry Road, spoke about the Town funding the police department again.  She said that the idea of putting the police department into the County has come up before, and she felt that it was not a bad idea, but a good idea.  She felt it would help our end of the County, since we are already paying taxes to the County for coverage down here.  She said that special coverage is needed for the Town since it is a concentrated area of population.  She felt if the County handled personnel down here it would help with some of the problems that we have had in the past.  She felt a little more involvement with the County, police wise, would benefit the Town and vice versa.  She said if it was up to her, she would put the whole thing in, and let the County handle everything.  She said that she realized that there are other ideas, and/or combination of ideas.  Since no one else came forward to speak, Mayor Campbell closed the public hearing for the general fund budget at 7:09 p.m.




7:09 p.m.  Mayor Campbell called to order the public hearing to receive comments on the water fund budget.  Since no one spoke in favor or in opposition, Mayor Campbell closed the public hearing for the sewer fund budget at 7:10 p.m.





7:10 p.m.  Mayor Campbell called to order the public hearing to receive comments on the sewer fund budget.  Since no one spoke in favor or in opposition, Mayor Campbell closed the public hearing at 7:11 p.m.



7:11 p.m.  Mayor Campbell called to order the public hearing for the personal property tax relief act for 2010.  Clerk/Treasurer Bobbie Waller explained the personal property tax relief act for 2010, and that the percentage for tax relief for 2010 was going to be 67% on cars with assessed value of $501 to $10,000 and for vehicles assessed at $10,001 and up, tax relief would be 67% only on the first $10,000 in assessed value.  This is for any vehicles owned as of January 1, 2010.  Since no one appeared in favor or in opposition, Mayor Campbell closed the public hearing at 7:11 p.m.




Mayor Campbell opened the public hearing at 7:11 p.m.  James Capps has made application for a conditional use permit for Lot #103-C-33-12B, formally Williams Furniture, for the purpose of converting the existing B-1, Central Business Structure upper level to general residential district R-2 multi-family for two apartments.  Planning commission members present include:  Mr. Paul Hines, Chairman, Mr. Josh Pritt, Mr. Mark Wilkes, Mr. Mike Crews, and Mr. Charles McDowell.


Mr. James Capps, of 973 Royal Tern Drive, Hampstead, NC, said he enjoys coming up here to a “slower paced” life.  He originally wanted to open a small business on the property with an apartment for the owners to live over the business for their convenience.  He originally had a Chinese man that was going to put a restaurant there, but the man got sick and died.  He still wants to put a small business on the property with an apartment on the second floor, and he just wants to get the property looking good.  He said it was mostly going to be for him and his friends to come up here on hunting and fishing trips.  He also mentioned opening up a guide service.


After a question from Councilperson Adams concerning handicap access to both areas, Mr. Capps said that the county advised him that only the downstairs business part would need to have handicap access.  Public Works Director Mike Crews said handicap access would be available in front of Buddy Crabtree’s property.  Councilperson Meisenbach asked about access to the upstairs.  Mr. Capps said that a staircase would be built on the back of the property for access to the upstairs.  He said the “balcony” between his building and the next building (over the road on Bank Street) would be fixed up and there would probably be a fire escape ladder put on that balcony for an emergency.


The planning commission gave their recommendation on the issue.  Mr. Crews spoke on behalf of the planning commission, and recommended that there only be one apartment for the operator of the business.  Mr. Paul Hines, chairman of the planning commission, reiterated what Mr. Crews had said that the upstairs be used as one apartment and that it must be occupied by the operator of the business.


Mayor Campbell asked if anyone was opposed to the conditional permit for Mr. CappsMs. Margaret Tibbs said that she was getting two pictures of the proposed project.  She was not sure if the apartments were going to be for rental, or if they were going to be for his personal use as well as for the proprietor of the business downstairs.  She said that she did not like the idea of rental apartments, but the planning commission recommendation pleased her.  Mr. Hines said the planning commission did not have much information to work with.  He said there was no entrance for the second apartment without having to go through the first one, so he did not know how they could look at this thing intelligently when they did not have good information.  Mr. Capps said that the plans sent were only to let the Town know that it was living space upstairs not details.  He said he was in a rush to get these papers out because the original set of plans were sent to the town manager, and he lost them.  He said they threw something together to send, but he said the Town would have the details of the project before the work is done because Rustburg requires you to set a commercial set of plans.  Councilperson Meisenbach asked the planning commission for clarification of “an apartment.”  She said it could be one apartment with two bedrooms or one apartment with three bedrooms.  She also said that she did not think the Town had any way to enforce who could or couldn’t live in the apartment.  She said the recommendation could be made by the planning commission, but there would be no way to enforce that.  Mr. Crews said that the conditional use permit could stipulate that anything other than what is recommended by the planning commission would violate the conditional use permit and it would convert back to the way that it was.  Ms. Meisenbach said that since Mr. Capps is the owner no matter who is in that building.  She said that whoever comes in that building is a sublet, and she said that what the commission is saying is that only he can use it because he is the owner/proprietor.  Mr. Crews said, no, that is not what they are saying.  Mr. Capps said that he enjoys being here and he wants to get the “eyesore” fixed.  He asked the Town to think about seriously since this building is an eyesore.


Ms. Sonya Furgurson, of Willow Lane, said that since the Town is trying to bring businesses to the community, and we are trying to give our community a facelift.  He said that it sounds like Mr. Capps wants to come and spend time in our community, and he wants to encourage a business to come into the community.  She said that it should be encouraged, not discouraged.  She said that she did not understand the difference on the apartment since he is going to have half of the apartment as the owner, and then the proprietor of the business will have the second half of the apartment.  She said she felt like we are fighting against ourselves so much in the Town of Brookneal.  She said this man has already bought a building that other people do not want to even look at, and he has already spent $20,000 on materials.  She said that he wants better for our town, and if we could consider giving some folks that want to build our Town up the opportunity to do so, and then if they take advantage of it, take care of it that way, after it is done, instead of knocking folks down before they have an opportunity to do something.


Ms. Cathy Price, of Church Street, said that she agreed with everything Ms. Furgurson just said.

She said the economy is real bad, and there are people in this area that don’t have a job.  She said we need jobs, and we need things to build this community up.  She said we especially need things for our young people.  She said that’s why they are in some much trouble because they have nothing to do.  She said it is sad because this used to be a booming town.  She said there used to be people everywhere, and now there is nothing.


Mayor Campbell closed the public hearing at 7:31 p.m.  Mr. Hines noted that he would not feel bad if the Council overrules the commission on the Capps issue.  He suggested that maybe this needs to be postponed until more information is presented so the planning commission can look at it better.  Mr. Capps noted that the longer it is postponed, the longer that building is going to stay the way it is.  Councilperson Jean noted that his concern was for the safety of the citizens and if his plan is going to be a professional plan and meet the various inspections.  Mr. Capps pointed out that you have to have an engineering set of plans and they have to be approved before you can get a permit from Rustburg.  Mayor Campbell said she felt the need to apologize to Mr. Capps because he did send plans and money for the advertisement to Mr. Nicholson and it has been delayed due to no fault of Mr. Capps.  Planning Commission member Mark Wilkes noted that the commission is not against Mr. Capps and that the commission went on the basis of the information they received.  He continued to say that a little more time is not going to hurt anything.  He said they were appointed to do a job and this was their recommendation.  Mr. Capps said that if he had known that the Town wanted an architectural set of plans, he would have had them done before coming.


Mayor Campbell told Mr. Capps that the Town would be in touch with him.





Councilperson Meisenbach noted that there was not a section on the agenda for Council comments.  Mayor Campbell said that she purposely left that out because the Council had got in the habit of making a lot of motions at Council comments.  She said that each meeting she had been to Council comments were for the purpose of relaying messages from citizens to Council or something they needed to do.  She said there was a big schedule for tonight, and since there was a closed session and she did not want to be paying a fee for a lawyer who is sitting there at 8:15 until the Council finished.  Mayor Campbell said if there were any additions that require a motion, she would be glad to put them on the agenda.  Upon motion by Richard Adams, seconded by James Nowlin, with Councilperson Meisenbach voting nay, Council approved the agenda for the May 11, 2010, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.  Councilperson Meisenbach said that she felt the Council needs to have discussion in front of the residents, and that cutting that out does the community a disservice.




Upon motion by James Nowlin, seconded by Richard Adams, and unanimously carried, Council approved the April 13, 2010, Committee, and Town Council meeting minutes.




Mayor Campbell asked that the May 2010 treasurer’s report be filed for audit.




Be it resolved that motion was made by James Nowlin, seconded by Richard Adams, and unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of April 14, 2010, to May 11, 2010, in the amount of $11,105.13.


Ms. Sonya Furgurson, of Willow Lane, said that she was in attendance at the last Council meeting when changing the town charter to have the sheriff’s department police the Town rather than the Town of Brookneal was brought up.  She said that if the majority of officers in Campbell County were in the Evington area and there was a major emergency here, it would take between 50 and 60 minutes for them to reach the Town of Brookneal.  She said that that was a major concern for her.  She felt that having somebody close by that can protect us, our elderly parents, and our children is so very, very important to our Town of Brookneal.  She felt it is Council’s responsibility to make sure that citizens are protected above all else.   She asked Council to have somebody check into grants that would fund training of someone for a police officer.  Mayor Campbell noted that it was never the intention of the Council not to have police protection for this Town.  She said that the police station would still be here, and we would get help from Campbell County and pool our resources with them for better training for the officers and better pay.




Scott Smith, of the Region 2000 Local Government Council, appeared before Council to discuss the VDOT Transportation Enhancement Grant.  He said that since there is not an active town manager at this time, VDOT just needs to know who is authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the Town.  Upon motion by Kenneth Jennings, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, the Council approved the following resolution:


A Resolution Regarding the Application for and Administration of

A Transportation Enhancement Grant

For the Brookneal Downtown Revitalization Project


Whereas, in accordance with Commonwealth Transportation Board construction allocation procedures, it is necessary that a request by resolution be received from the sponsoring local jurisdiction or state / federal agency in order that the Virginia Department of Transportation establish an enhancement project in the Town of Brookneal.


Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Town of Brookneal requests the Commonwealth Transportation Board to establish a project for the improvement of Brookneal’s downtown streetscape.


Be It Further Resolved, that the Town of Brookneal hereby agrees to provide a minimum 20 percent of the total cost for planning and design, right of way, and construction of this project.


Be It Further Resolved, that the Town of Brookneal hereby agrees to enter into an agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation to provide oversight that ensures the project is developed in accordance with all state and federal requirements for design, right of way acquisition, and construction of a federally funded transportation project.


Be It Further Resolved, that the Town of Brookneal will be responsible for maintenance, upkeep and operating costs of any facility constructed with Enhancement Program funds.


Be It Further Resolved, that if the Town of Brookneal subsequently elects to cancel this project the Town of Brookneal hereby agrees to reimburse the Virginia Department of Transportation for the total amount of costs expended by the Department through the date the Department is notified of such cancellation. The Town of Brookneal also agrees to repay any funds previously reimbursed that are later deemed ineligible by the Federal Highway Administration.


Be It Further Resolved, that the Town Council of the Town of Brookneal hereby authorizes the Town Manager as Chief Executive Officer or, in the event that said Manager position is vacant, the Town Mayor as Chief Elected Official, to enter into any contracts or agreements with the Virginia Department of Transportation as may be necessary to enact the project described above.




Adopted this 11th day of May, 2010

Town of Brookneal, County of Campbell, Virginia


By: ____________________________





A verbal vote was also taken as follows:


Mr. Jean Aye                  Mr. Adams Aye

Mr. Nowlin Aye                  Ms. Meisenbach Aye

Mr. Jennings Aye                  Mayor Campbell Aye



A copy of the zero interest loan pool program was included in the Council packets for Council’s review.  Mr. Scott Smith, of Region 2000, explained a little bit about the program.  He is recommending that this program be approved by the Council.  This will allow for the Town to use a small amount of the CDBG funds to let owners finance their match (which is 50%).  They can finance it for 5 years, at 0% financing through the Town.  This money will come back into the Town of Brookneal, it re-funds the façade improvement program, and the money can be re-used over and over again.  DHCD does not require sending it back as long as it stays active.  He said it will help business owners continue to maintain their buildings.


Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by Kenneth Jennings, and unanimously carried, the Council approved the zero interest loan pool program for the downtown revitalization project.




Public Works Director Mike Crews said that the repairs to the water tank on Hunter Road began on May 10, 2010 by Pittsburg Tank & Town Company.  He said that there are 7 additional leaks that need to be repaired on that tower.  This company is requesting an additional $5,200 to repair the additional leaks on the tower that were found.  He said they are anticipating finishing the repairs on Tuesday, May 18, 2010.  He said that this tower is offline while the repairs are being done, so please ask the Town to bear with us as there may be low water pressure or a shortage of water at some points.


Mr. Crews said that the streetscape project for Phase 1 of the downtown project was advertised for bids on May 2, 2010.  This consists of new sidewalks, crosswalks, landscaping, paving, and an additional 606 linear feet of water lines for the downtown area.  A pre-bid construction meeting will be on May 17, 2010.  The bid opening will be on June 2, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.  The floating dock for the reservoir will be delivered on Thursday, May 13, 2010.


Mr. Crews also noted that the time capsule was buried today (May 11, 2010).




Physical Development Committee Chairperson James Nowlin told the Council that his committee discussed the matter of Ms. Joyce Young, who appeared at the April 2010, Council meeting on behalf of Faith Tabernacle Church of Jesus Christ, to request use of the community building on Saturdays and Sundays for their church services.  He said the committee’s recommendation is to allow Ms. Young to use the building only on Sundays and on a month by month basis.  He said the fee would be the same as was charged for the other church that was in the building---$50.00 per Sunday.  Committee member Tracy Meisenbach suggested reviewing the use after 6 months.  Discussion ensued about the usage of the community building and how much it costs the Town for the heating and air conditioning.  Mr. Jennings said the physical development committee was supposed to do a review of this and bring back the figures to Council, but this has not been done.  Mr. Jennings made a motion that if the community building is going to be rented out to this church for a month of Sundays with a review after 6 months that we charge $200 per Sunday.  The motion received a second from Richard Adams.  A verbal vote was taken as follows:


Mr. Jean Aye                  Mr. Adams Aye

Mr. Nowlin Nay                 Ms. Meisenbach Nay

Mr. Jennings Aye


The motion therefore carried.


Chairperson Nowlin addressed another request for the community building that was made by the Stone and Yuille families.  Ms. Stone’s son has cancer, and her family wants to have a benefit for the child on Saturday, May 22, 2010, at the community building.  They would like the fee for the building waived for this cause.  Upon Tracy Meisenbach, seconded by Robert Jean and unanimously carried, the Council voted to allow the Stone and Yuille families use of the community building on May 22, 2010, and waive all fees associated with the use of the building.




Planning Commission Chairperson Paul Hines made the recommendation from the planning commission to allow the conditional use permit with the stipulation that the upstairs be used as one apartment and that is must be occupied by the operator of the business.


Councilperson Meisenbach made a motion to table this issue until the planning commission can further review this issue and obtain further information from Mr. Capps.  The motion received a second from Robert Jean and was unanimously carried.


Councilperson Jennings made the comment that the point was missed that until Mr. Capps presents a set of architectural plans to Rustburg and gets them approved, the planning commission can’t do anything.  He felt the planning commission was called in prematurely.  He said he had never seen a piece of business handled as poorly in a while.  He said it was an embarrassment for someone to come from out of town and show as much interest as he has shown.  He said that once this issue is brought from the table that he will be treated in a more business and professional kind of matter.  Mayor Campbell noted that we have asked Mr. Capps for an architectural drawing, but we did not get that, and Mr. Capps is in a hurry to start this project.



Upon motion by James Nowlin, seconded by Robert Jean and unanimously carried, the Council voted to go into closed session under VA Code 2.2-3711 (A)(1) for the discussion of performance and/or disciplinary matters of employee “A” of the Town of Brookneal




Mayor Campbell called for a vote certifying that only those items were discussed as allowed under VA Code Section 2.2-3711 (A)(1) for the purpose of discussion of disciplinary matters of employee “A” of the Town of Brookneal.


Voting was as follows:


Mr. Jean Aye                  Mr. Adams Aye

Mr. Nowlin Aye                  Ms. Meisenbach Aye

Mr. Jennings Aye                  Mayor Campbell Aye


The motion was carried.


Upon motion by Richard Adams with respect to employee A, that for the purpose of employee A only at this time, for the process of any grievance procedure should such procedure be implemented in this matter, that the Town appoint Major Steve Hutcherson of the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office as the person to hear the initial first grievance and as well to serve in the capacity as the first contact in this matter and that also the Town appoint Ms. Shamika Wright with Campbell County in the absence of an in house employee to serve as the second step in any potential grievance matter respective of this person.  Mr. Adams asked the Town attorney to contact both individuals to determine if they would be in agreement to serve in such a capacity.  The motion received a second by Kenneth Jennings and was unanimously carried.


Vice Mayor Nowlin asked the personnel committee to be looking at getting a police chief.  Mr. Jean said there was a motion on the table to begin seeking a town manager immediately that we have not implemented yet.  Mr. Jean said that that needs to be implemented and see what direction that goes in before we move to another search.  Ms. Meisenbach said that we are in violation of our town charter for the past 5 months.  Mr. Wright said that just because you have a vacancy for a period of time, that does not necessarily mean that you are in violation of the charter.  He said that at some point you should have a police chief or sergeant appointed by Council.


Mr. Richard Adams said that in respect to the motion in the last Council meeting that the Town should indeed advertise and move forward in the search for a Town Manager.  He said that in the interim that the Town should advertise for candidates for a police officer.  He said that with respect to Mr. Jean’s recommendation that if we at least start collecting some names and resumes should we be successful in finding a Town Manager fairly quickly that that person would be immediately involved in that selection process.


Upon motion by Richard Adams, seconded by Tracy Meisenbach, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to advertise for candidates to submit their credentials for the position of police officer(s) and that that advertisement be worded to allow the Town the privilege of looking at different levels of experience which may include supervisory background or not, and then the Town will decide on those candidates.


Mayor Campbell said that she had been approached by a member of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office who said that he would be glad to serve on a board to help the Town hire a police officer or a chief.  He said that he would be glad to help solicit someone from Campbell County to also help in the hiring process.  Mayor Campbell referred this issue to the personnel committee.  She said that have this individual get in touch with Mr. Adams.


Upon motion from Kenneth Jennings, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, Mayor Campbell announced that the May 11, 2010, Council meeting was adjourned.




___________________________                  ____________________________

Bobbie A. Waller Phyllis L. Campbell

Clerk/Treasurer                                               Mayor

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