P.O. Box 450/215 Main Street Brookneal, VA 24528

July 14, 2009

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

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

Buster Nicholson, Town Manager

Mike Crews, Public Works Director

Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer

Ricky Cousins, Police Chief






Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by James Nowlin, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the July 14, 2009, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.




Upon motion by Kenneth Jennings, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, Council approved the June 9, 2009, regular meeting minutes, the June 18, 2009, finance and planning committee meeting minutes and the June 18, 2009, special called meeting of the Brookneal Town Council minutes.





Mayor Campbell asked that the July 2009 treasurer’s report be filed for audit.  Clerk/Treasurer Bobbie Waller advised the Council that the Wachovia money market sweep account dropped from 0.68% to 0.13%.  She said that Wachovia had offered transferring this money to another money market account with an interest rate of 0.70%.  Councilperson Jennings suggested that other banks outside of the Town be consulted to find out different rates available.





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
June 10, 2009, to July 14, 2009, in the amount of $25,634.26.


Mr. Howard Wells told the Council that the playground equipment was in bad shape and needed to be checked out.  He said he did not want to see a child hurt on the equipment.  Mayor Campbell told Mr. Wells that the Town was aware of these problems, and that yellow tape was put around the playground every few days, but that someone takes it down.  She said that if the damage was as bad as what Mr. Wells described then maybe the equipment needs to be taken down and removed.  Mr. Wells suggested a quick fix of fiberglass to repair the areas.  Mr. Wells said that he would be glad to do it.  Mayor Campbell suggested that Town Manager Buster Nicholson go down to the park with Mr. Wells and Mike to come up with a workable solution regarding the playground equipment.


Mr. Wells also discussed the Fun Float Day that was held on June 27, 2009.  He thought it was a success.  Councilperson Jean expressed his opinions on the way Fun Float Day was handled and his disapproval of all the law enforcement that was displayed.  Mr. J. D. Puckett said that a meeting with all parties involved in Fun Float Day would be held early next year to better organize the event.  He said a conscientious effort to sit all parties down at the table, going through every step and everything they can cover would be held early next year.  Councilperson Meisenbach disagreed with Mr. Jean on the issue.  She believed that the County made a judgment call based on previous years’ Fun Float Days.


Mr. Puckett commented on the Heritage Festival that will be held at William Campbell High School on August 15, 2009.  Mayor Campbell read a thank you note from Ms. Carolyn Lusardi’s family for the flowers send at her death.




Chief Cousins reported that the following tickets were written after the last Council meeting in June:


5 tickets for speeding 15+ miles over the speed limit

1 ticket for driving without a license

1 ticket for driving on a suspended license

1 ticket for defective equipment


He said there were no problems on Fun Float Day this year.  He said there was a vehicle stolen from Webb Street a few days ago, and there was also an assault and battery at Food Lion last night.  There was a child abuse investigation that was referred to Campbell County.  There was a motor vehicle accident at the post office.  There were 6 narcotics scans with the K-9.  He distributed a memo concerning a class that he and Officer Earhart wanted to attend with the K-9 Ice in Pennsylvania in September.  Ms. Meisenbach estimated that the trip for both officers would cost approximately $500.00.  Ms. Campbell suggested that Ms. Waller look at the budget and the chief and the town manager look at the schedule to determine how they would cover the Town while they were gone.





Public Works Director Mike Crews reported a sewer overflow on Virginia Avenue today.  Mr. Crews reported that the pre-bid meeting for the construction on the downtown grant would be held on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 and the bids would be due on July 31, 2009.  He also said that on Thursday, July 9, the Virginia Housing Development Authority awarded the Town a grant of $10,000 toward the downtown revitalization grant.


Mr. Crews told the Council that the dam at the Phelps Creek Reservoir had to be inspected every 6 years, and it is due to be done in July 2009.  He said in 2003 the cost was $2,000 to have the inspection done, but since the dam had been reclassified by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the quote received this year was $60,000 for the recertification of the dam.  He said a year extension was going to be requested to help find the money to do this in next year’s budget.


Mr. Crews discussed the playground equipment and the need for it to be fixed.  He said that the steps need to be replaced, and he did not see that being done by a “quick” fix.  He said that to replace the spiral slide, the double slide, and the steps would cost roughly $9,000 through Gametime (the manufacture of the equipment).  Mr. Crews had checked through USDA to see if there was a grant available to help repair the equipment, but he said there was not.  The only grant available was for new construction.  Town Manager Nicholson and Mr. Crews are going to work on this issue.


Mr. Crews also said that he signed the letter of conditions for the sanitation vehicle through USDA.





Mayor Campbell explained the process that had been followed to interview auditors per the Council’s request earlier this year.  She said that Alan Layne from Campbell County, James Nowlin, Mike Crews, Bobbie Waller, and herself formed a committee and did interviews with the auditing firms that had submitted proposals in June.  She said there were 3 firms that were interviewed, and that were all excellent.  One firm was out of the price range that had been budgeted for FY10, and one firm quoted a price, but it was not the correct price for the single audit.  She said that it was commented upon by of the members that because of the limited staff that the Town has, it was not cost feasible and it was not staff feasible at this point to go into a new auditor.  It was also commented that the expertise was not there since we had a firm that had already done a single audit and at this time has done many things for us including getting us updated on GASB 34 and never costing us extra money.  It was decided to go with our current auditors.  She said that if the Town gets to the point where it does not have to do a single audit, then the bids will need to go out again.  Mr. Jean said that he felt like that the wishes of Council had been honored, and the waters had been tested.  Ms. Campbell said that there were two concerns of the Council, the price and the format of the audit.  A savings at this point was not going to be realized, and after asking each firm, the format of the audit is the standard format that is used for governmental audits.  The audit format for local government is mandated by the State.  Mr. Nowlin said that another item that was brought up by the Council was checking the time cards, and the auditing firms each said that they do not check those areas in a standard audit.  They said it was an internal issue.




In welcoming Buster Nicholson as the new town manager, Mayor Campbell thanked Mr. Mike Crews for his service to the town as interim manager for the last 3 years.  She said it had been a smooth transition to Mr. Nicholson.


Town Manager Buster Nicholson thanked the search committee, the mayor, the Town Council, and the citizens of Brookneal for the privilege of being able to serve.  He said he anticipated great things for Brookneal.  He said that he wanted to do an individual consultation with each of the Town Council members in the near future, and he would be contacting each of them.


Councilperson Jean made a motion to confer the honor of being the part time town manager on Mr. Amos “Buster” Nicholson, to acknowledge that Mike will be returning to his job full time as the director of public works, and that Mr. Nicholson will take over all the duties as listed for him in the Town manual to include check writing and any other duties that have been previously mentioned and basically be under the same regulations as the past town manager (Mr. Gillespie) with him being on a 12 month probationary period as other employees are.  He included being the signee for the Town of Brookneal for the banks.  He said with all the grants that he felt like there would be plenty of work for both Mike and Buster to do.  Vice Mayor Nowlin seconded the motion.  With all in favor, the motion was carried.


Mr. Jennings wanted to point out that Mr. Crews took care of his job as public works director as well as being interim town manager.




Finance and Planning Committee Chairperson Richard Adams made a motion that the administrative duties for the police department be moved from the finance and planning committee back to the town manager.  Councilperson Jean seconded the motion.  All were in favor except Councilperson Meisenbach who voted nay on the stipulation that it is with the understanding that the police chief is hired, appointed, and fired by the Town Council under the stipulations of the charter.




Richard Adams thanked the Town for the use of the generator and light for the July 4th celebration at Red Hill.  Mayor Campbell thanked Red Hill for the July 4th celebration.  Mr. Nowlin thanked everyone for their work and help during the storm the previous Saturday.


Upon motion from Robert Jean, seconded by Phillip Sheppard, and unanimously carried, Mayor Campbell announced that the July 14, 2009, Council meeting was adjourned.





___________________________                  ____________________________

Bobbie A. Waller                                             Phyllis L. Campbell

Clerk/Treasurer                                               Mayor

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