August 14, 2012


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

Robert Jean, Richard Adams, Tracy Meisenbach, Barbara Laprade, and Mark Wilkes, Council Members

Russell B. Thurston, Town Manager

Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer

Mike Crews, Public Works Director

Ricky Baldwin, Police Chief



Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by James Nowlin, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the August 14, 2012, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.


Upon motion by Barbara Laprade, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, Council approved the July 10, 2012, Town Council meeting minutes. 


Mayor Campbell asked that the August 2012 treasurer's report be filed for audit.



Be it resolved that motion was made by James Nowlin, seconded by Robert Jean , and unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of  July 11, 2012, to August 14, 2012, in the amount of $30,667.79..


No one appeared before Council during public comment.


Chief Richard Baldwin presented the police report to the Council for July 2012.  Of the 49 calls for service, the Brookneal Police Department answered 30 and Campbell County answered 19.  Chief Baldwin told the Council that he had applied for a police car grant with DCJS.  He said that they are awarding 6 complete police vehicles in the state of Virginia.  He said he hired Jeremy Brown as the part time officer, and he was working out well.

He said he had received a call from the transportation department at Campbell County Schools, and they are going to try to change the traffic pattern for Brookneal Elementary School.  He said they want the parent traffic to go in through Harrison Street instead of Charlotte Street to cut down on so much congestion on Charlotte Street.    


Public Works Director Mike Crews told Council that Phase 2 of the Rush Street improvement project was completed as of today.  He said they have started installing the way finding signs in the Town. 

He said the water plant had an inspection by the Office of Drinking Water on July 31, 2012.  He said they received a good report.  He said the Town will be flushing fire hydrants in the next few weeks.  He will run an ad in the Union Star, and he hopes to start on September 5, 2012. 


Town Manager Russell Thurston told the Council that he is working on the grant with USDA for the handicap ramp at the Community Building.  He is sending off a package of pictures and information to Art Powers at USDA tomorrow.  He said that he is also working on a complaint received from a citizen about a dilapidated and dangerous building that needs some attention.  He said the property owner has no money, and they are a senior citizen on a fixed income.  He said it would cost $3000-4000 to have a private contractor take the structure down.  He said a lien could be put on the property, but it would cost $3000-4000 to go through the legal process to sell the property.  Mr. Thurston said he and Mr. Crews had discussed it, and they think the Town could take the structure down and sell the scrap metal to recoup some of the demolition costs.  Ms. Meisenbach said that there would need to be a signed release from the property owner to sell any of the materials from the demolition.  Mr. Thurston said he would take care of that.      

Mr. Thurston said that the Town did get a Phase 3 Transportation Enhancement Grant from VDOT.  This will cover Main Street from the community building down and some improvements at the railroad tracks on Main Street.     

Mr. Thurston said he received the comprehensive plan from Scott Smith last week.  He distributed a copy to Council members for their review.  He said there is language in the comp plan that talks about low impact agricultural uses in the Town of Brookneal.   

Mr. Thurston said that last month he distributed the revised zoning ordinance to the Council for their review.  He asked if there were any questions about the special use permit or any proposed zoning changes.  Councilperson Jean said he did not want the changes to cause any business any undo hardship.  He also said as long as it is legal, and not against the law, then he did not want to see any restrictions in it.  Mr. Thurston said he still had to get a copy of the zoning ordinance to the planning commission as well as a copy of the comprehensive plan to them.  He said he was anticipating advertising this for public hearing in the near future and adopting the changes to the zoning ordinance and the comprehensive plan.  He said then the Council can legally "put their blessing" on the vineyard.   

Mr. Thurston said that after a lot of haggling, the intersection at Commerce and Rush Streets was paved at the Town's expense for $4,700. 


Upon motion by Tracy Meisenbach, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to send the revised zoning ordinance for a public hearing. 


Upon motion by James Nowlin, seconded by Richard Adams, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to send the comprehensive plan for a public hearing. 


Upon motion by Barbara Laprade, seconded by Richard Adams, and unanimously carried, the Council approved the following transfer of appropriation:


To:       Brookneal Town Council

Date:    August 14, 2012

The following Appropriation Transfers are requested for FY2013:

Category—Expense                                           INCREASE    New Total       Balance in Account

Streets—Repairs Maintenance—01-4102-5407    $  4,780.00   $   9,780.00           $     4,739.46

Category--Expense                                          DECREASE   New Total       Balance in Account

Contingency Fund—01-8102-7010                       $  4,780.00     $  4,597.01         $       4,597.01

To cover the unanticipated cost of paving the intersection at Commerce Street and Rush Street near St. John's Insurance Agency.

Respectfully requested by:






Vice Mayor James Nowlin told the Council that he had been looking at the community building rentals.  He said he wants to find some way to fairly charge for the expenses of utilities for the building.  Councilperson Meisenbach suggested putting a lock on the thermostat in the auditorium to help control the heating and cooling costs. 


Finance and Planning Committee Chairperson Richard Adams said his committee was asked last month to look into a situation with an employee who was out on extended medical leave that may very soon exhaust all his sick leave time.  He said it was a two fold request, the first, being able to use accrued annual leave once accrued sick leave has expired; and the second part involving once that employee has totally run out of all accrued leave, that other employees voluntarily donate part of their accrued sick leave to the affected employee.  He said the committee has been talking, but have not been able to formally meet.  He said the committee's recommendation is to adopt a policy, and there should be some guidelines in place to allow employees a little more latitude in the event someone is out on an extended medical leave.  He said it would allow them to take advantage of annual and sick leave, and allow for employees to donate time if they wish to do so.  Discussion ensued about these issues.  Mr. Adams noted that something needs to be done now to address the current situation, and then some things can be changed at a later time.  Ms. Meisenbach suggested putting this in place now for the first year, and then it can be changed if necessary.  She suggested a cap being placed on the amount of days taken.  She said the committee can determine a cap at a later time.   

Upon motion by Richard Adams, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, the Council approved the following addition to the personnel manual concerning annual leave:

Section 6-1.4     Use of Annual Leave

Add the following language:

"In the event of a documented and approved extended absence due to a medical condition that results in an employee utilizing all of his/her accrued Sick Leave prior to being allowed to return to work, the employee may request to be paid accrued Annual Leave as defined in this section."

Upon motion by Tracy Meisenbach, seconded by James Nowlin, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to make the following addition to the personnel manual concerning sick leave:

Section 6-2.3     Payment of Sick Leave

Add the following language:

"Should an employee during a period of documented and approved extended absence due to a medical condition utilize and exhaust all of his/her accrued Sick Leave AND all accrued Annual Leave as defined in Section 6-1.4, employees of the Town may voluntarily donate part of their accrued Sick Leave to a pool for the effected employee by executing an Authorization to Deduct Accrued Sick Leave form.  Any employee having 5 days or less accrued Sick Leave time may not donate accrued Sick Leave time to the pool and at no time shall the time donated exceed fifty percent (50%) of an employee's total accrued Sick Leave balance nor reduce the employee's total accrued Sick Leave balance below 40 hours.  The number of hours of accrued Sick Leave an employee may donate to the pool for another employee is at the sole discretion of each employee who may consider donating hours.  At no time shall an employee be forced or coerced into donating said hours and no employee shall be penalized in any manner for declining to donate his/her accrued Sick Leave hours to another employee.  The time donated shall be in increments of one (1) hour and shall be deducted from the donating employee's records and shall not be reimbursable by the Town of Brookneal.  The rate of pay for donated Sick Leave hours shall be calculated at the established rate of pay for the recipient employee and shall be subject to normal and regular statutory and voluntary payroll withholding for the recipient employee."


Councilperson Mark Wilkes asked the personnel committee and Town Manager Russell Thurston if they were working on replacing potential retirees on the Town staff due to attrition.  Mr. Thurston said that with the budget it is going to be tough to train new employees while existing employees are still on the payroll.   

Councilperson Barbara Laprade said she was still working on the entrepreneurial extravaganza.  She said she would like to do it in October.  She also expressed concerns about the safety of the cooker on the road beside of the Drugstore Grill.    


Upon motion from Mark Wilkes, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, Mayor Campbell announced that the August 14, 2012, meeting was adjourned. 

___________________________                  ____________________________

Bobbie A. Waller                                             Phyllis L. Campbell

Clerk/Treasurer                                               Mayor

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