July 12, 2011

MINUTES OF THE BROOKNEAL TOWN COUNCIL

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, Robert Jean, and Mark Wilkes, Council Members

Russell B. Thurston, Town Manager

Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer

Mike Crews, Public Works Director

Ricky Baldwin, Chief of Police

Absent: Tracy Meisenbach and Barbara Laprade, Council Members

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

Mayor Campbell welcomed new town manager Russell Thurston for his first Town Council meeting.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the July 12, 2011, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.

MINUTES

Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, Council approved the June 14, 2011, Town Council meeting minutes.

TREASURER'S REPORT

Mayor Campbell asked that the July 2011 treasurer's report be filed for audit.

PRESENTATION AND APPROVAL OF INVOICES

Vice Mayor Nowlin made a motion to pay the bills, but Councilperson Richard Adams asked about the invoice for Overbey, Hawkins, and Wright and what it was for. Clerk/Treasurer Bobbie Waller said she had a copy of the invoice which she passed to Mr. Adams. Mr. Nowlin asked that his motion be rescinded because he wanted to see the invoice from Overbey, Hawkins, and Wright. Mayor Campbell said that the entire invoice for $234 was created by one scenario. Mr. Adams said that since the Town has incurred the expense, then we don't have much recourse but to pay the expense. He said that he did have a motion to follow this to try to preclude unnecessary or unauthorized expenses in the future. Mr. Nowlin then reinstated his motion. Be it resolved that motion was made by James Nowlin, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of June 8, 2011, to July 12, 2011, in the amount of $17,815.01.

Mr. Adams said that upon review of Town budgets over the past several years, we have incurred on a regular basis unplanned, unbudgeted expenses for goods and/or services that have been presented to Council for approval to pay. He said that the concern surrounds expenses that are not part of the budgeted line items established in the current fiscal year for operating expenses of the respective departments. He said while there will always be unplanned expenses, a system of checks and balances is necessary to preclude the unnecessary spending of limited Town funds. He continued by saying that a system of this manner was incorporated in past years requiring an approval of such expenses for each department as well as overtime; however this process did not specify overall town expenses or expenses initiated by members of council. He said this loophole must be changed. In consideration of current and projected economic conditions which have and will create adverse budget issues for the Town, Mr. Adams said he made the following motion: no employee or council member shall have the authority to order, purchase and/or incur any good and/or service which may result in an expenditure of town monies without submittal of a written request for such goods and/or services that has been approved prior to such action by one of the following means: 1) Submittal of the request to and approval by the Mayor 2) In the absence of the Mayor and if the matter cannot await the availability of the Mayor, submittal of the request to and approval by the Vice Mayor 3) In the absence of both the Mayor and Vice Mayor and if the matter cannot await the availability of either the Mayor or Vice Mayor, submittal of the request to and approval by the Chairperson of the Finance Committee 4) Submittal of the request to and approval by majority vote of the town council. Mr. Adams added that this would not preclude town departments from acquiring normal operating goods and/or services specified and set forth in the budget for the current fiscal year. He concluded by saying that this shall not preclude the Mayor or the Vice Mayor in the absence of the Mayor from authorizing the acquisition of any good and/or service that may be required during an emergency situation. He added that it did not take away from any departmental need or expenditure for which we have budgeted in the line items for the respective departments, but rather for unbudgeted expenses. Councilperson Jean said that in situations where it would hard to reach the Mayor or Vice Mayor, he would like to see the Town Manager inserted in there so that it could go through his office. Mr. Adams said that once the Town Manager has "his feet on the ground" here, he did not have any objection to his being a point of reference on the submittal of such request. Mr. Adams said the approval should still come from the Mayor or Vice Mayor. He said we have had several situations in the past, of which the Council found out after the fact, that goods or services that weren't necessitated for the operation of the town were obtained and the town was obligated to pay it. He said in those situations, the first option may be the submittal and approval by majority vote of Council, but if it is a matter that requires something straightforward then the Mayor or Vice Mayor should be the ones to approve it. Mr. Jean said that since the town manager is here everyday, in emergency situations if something comes up, then he should have the discretion to get legal advice if he needs it without coming to the Mayor, Vice Mayor, or Town Council. Vice Mayor Nowlin said that since the Town Manager is new right now, he should be added to the list later on after he learns the Town and its operations. Mr. Wilkes said he agreed with what had been said regarding the approval needs to come from the Mayor or Vice Mayor. Mr. Wilkes said that once Mr. Thurston learns his job, then he should be on the list. Mr. Adams said that he had seen some budget issues developing over the next 12 months that could realistically have an adverse effect on this town and the Town needs to look at every penny. Mr. Adams said this bill for $234 to the attorney could easily have gone to pay for the line of duty insurance for one of our two police officers that have to be covered under new guidelines from the state. Mr. Adams said we did not need to spend that money to the attorneys, all we need to do is look at having a system of checks and balances as we have previously required of all operating departments. He said all he was asking for was closing the loophole, so that no one individual can go out and incur an unnecessary expense for the Town.

The motion was seconded by Mark Wilkes and carried, with Councilperson Bob Jean voting no.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Mr. Howard Wells, of Booker Road, welcomed town manager Russell Thurston. He said the town needed to "stop going to the mailbox for a check in the mail" as he referred to the Town receiving all the grant funds. He told Mr. Thurston he was expecting him to get the town back on its feet. Mr. Wells said that for the last few years, he has been trying to get a sliding board for the park, and there have not been funds to do it. He said the uniforms for the town employees should have been purchased when things were better in the Town, when the factories were here and the town was booming. He said the money would have added up, and a slide could have been bought with that money. He said Ricky Baldwin coming to the town was a blessing in disguise, and an example of what happens when you wait, when you are patient. He said he thought a 3rd police officer was not needed; technology could be your 3rd officer. Mayor Campbell commented that when she became Mayor and she saw other towns and cities obtaining grants, she thought that Brookneal should obtain some too. She said that that money is put in a pot and whoever needs it the most is going to get it.

Mr. Wells also questioned the money that the Town spends on the airport. Mr. Adams explained that that is a contractual obligation because half of it belongs to the Town and half of it belongs to the county.

POLICE REPORT

Chief Ricky Baldwin presented the Council with a "newly" formatted police report for June 2011.

Chief Baldwin addressed a concern he had about the communications system in the Town for the police department. He said there were several areas that the police department radios would not transmit to Campbell County. He wondered if this had been addressed in the past. Mr. Crews said that 911 may need to come back down here and go in the "repeater" building beside the town maintenance shop and make some adjustments.

• MOTION FOR APPLICATION TO USDA FOR NEW POLICE VEHICLE

Chief Baldwin said they are having a lot of problems with the police car that Officer Mitchem has been driving. He said that he was told that the repairs to the air conditioning may be quite expensive. He said that he had found out that there is a grant with USDA for up to $25,000 to replace police vehicles. Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by Richard Adams, and unanimously carried, the Council authorized Chief Baldwin to apply for the USDA grant to replace one of the Town's police vehicles.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT

Public Works Director Mike Crews said that the Town did not receive the Phase 3 TEA-21 grant from VDOT that was supposed to be used to finish Main Street. Mr. Crews said the crews were working on the water tank behind the Town office. He said the project would take 45 days to complete. The crews would then proceed to the Hunter Road tank to begin work on that tank. Mr. Crews said the paving on Main Street has been done. He said the laterals on the rest of Main Street, Rush Street, and Smith Street would be paved, but they will not be as pretty as upper Main Street. Mr. Crews said that Haymes Brothers Construction is working on putting in three pressure vaults, one on Riverside Drive behind the fire department, one on Virginia Avenue behind Burgers, Shakes & Cream, and the last one will be installed on Lynchburg Avenue at the railroad tracks near Main Street. Mr. Crews said that the Town saved the asphalt that was milled on Main Street and put it on road going into the recreation park from Charlotte Street and on the road going into the cemetery. He noted that it saved the Town tremendous money on gravel.

TOWN MANAGER REPORT

Town Manager Russell Thurston gave an update on what he has been working on since starting as the town manager on July 1, 2011. Mr. Thurston said he was working on reading the town code book and the branding report from Arnett, Muldrow & Associates. He said he had met with some local business people, and he was working on the annual fire department fire program report. He said he attended the Board of Supervisors meeting on July 5. He said he had been invited by Mike Davidson to be part of the new comprehensive economic development process for Campbell County. He said him and Mayor Campbell had talked about having a meeting of the town leaders in September or October to discuss an economic development strategy. Mr. Thurston said the Town needs to pick a few items to focus on. He said he felt it was important to focus on places to earn money in Brookneal as well as places to spend money.

LINE OF DUTY ACT

Town Manager Russell Thurston explained the line of duty act that was outlined in the state code by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The line of duty act is a provision that provides an insurance benefit for law enforcement, paid or volunteer, firefighters, paid or volunteer, and emergency services workers, paid or volunteer. He explained that the state was funding these benefits, but the state has now said that Towns and localities will have to cover this benefit by themselves without state funding. Mr. Thurston explained that we could opt out of the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) plan for the line of duty act, and self insure, or we could opt out of the VRS plan and go with coverage through Virginia Municipal League (VML). However, if we opt out of VRS, we can not at any time go back to them for coverage. Mr. Thurston suggested staying with VRS because he believed that VML has not done a good job of assessing what the risks are and how to base their premiums. Councilperson Adams suggested staying with VRS at Mr. Thurston's suggestion. He said that since we have the option to review this over the next 12 months, and in the event that something new develops, then Mr. Thurston has time to act on it.

MOTION FOR BANK OF CHARLOTTE COUNTY

Upon motion by Richard Adams, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, Council moved to ask the Bank of Charlotte County to update their resolution adding Town Manager Russell Thurston to the list which includes Clerk/Treasurer Bobbie Waller and Mayor Phyllis Campbell as being the only people that can open up new accounts and sign all legal documents for the Town of Brookneal. A verbal vote was taken as follows:

Mr. Jean Aye Mr. Adams Aye

Mr. Nowlin Aye Mr. Wilkes Aye

Mayor Campbell Aye

TRANSFERS OF APPROPRIATION FOR FY2011

Upon motion by Richard Adams, seconded by Robert Jean, the Council approved the following transfers of appropriation for FY2011:

REQUEST FOR TRANSFERS OF APPROPRIATION

To: Brookneal Town Council

Date: July 12, 2011

The following Appropriation Transfers are requested for FY2011:

General Fund As of 6/30/11

Category—Expense ADD New Total Balance in Account

Office Supplies—01-1227-5401 $ 505.90 $ 8,505.90 $ 0.00

Category—Expense DELETE New Total Balance in Account

Town Manager—Salary--01-1201-1001 $ 505.90 $ 24,494.10 $ 24,494.10

To cover the cost of 3 new chairs for the town manager's office.

General Fund As of 6/30/11

Category—Expense ADD New Total Balance in Account

Information Technology--01-1227-5403 $ 1,470.70 $ 7,370.70 $ 0.00

Category—Expense DELETE New Total Balance in Account

Town Manager—Salary—01-1201-1001 $ 1,470.70 $ 23,023.40 $ 23,023.40

To cover the cost of a new computer for the town manager.

General Fund As of 6/30/11

Category—Expense ADD New Total Balance in Account

General Property Repair--01-4302-5407 $ 2,274.43 $ 7,974.43 $ 0.00

Category—Expense DELETE New Total Balance in Account

Police—Hospital Insurance--01-3101-2005 $ 2,274.43 $ 8,367.57 $ 2,426.93

Monies were requested last month for the new doors for the town office, but the bid for the doors came in higher than expected. This will cover the entire cost of the doors.

Respectfully requested by:

_________________________________

Treasurer

__________________________________

Date

TRANSFERS OF APPROPRIATION FOR FY2012

Upon motion by Richard Adams, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, the Council approved the following transfers of appropriation for FY2012:

REQUEST FOR TRANSFERS OF APPROPRIATION

To: Brookneal Town Council

Date: July 12, 2011

The following Appropriation Transfers are requested for FY2012:

General Fund As of 7/08/11

Category—Expense ADD New Total Balance in Account

Rec/Cashier Salary—01-1203-1001 $8,908.00 $ 8,908.00 $ 8,908.00

Category—Expense DELETE New Total Balance in Account

Contingency Fund--01-8102-7010 $8,908.00 $ 24,508.87 $ 24,508.87

General Fund As of 7/08/11

Category—Expense ADD New Total Balance in Account

Rec/Cashier Salary—SS/Med—01-1203-2001 $ 681.47 $ 681.47 $ 681.47

Category—Expense DELETE New Total Balance in Account

Contingency Fund--01-8102-7010 $ 681.47 $ 23,827.40 $ 23,827.40

To cover the cost of the part time receptionist position for FY12.

General Fund As of 7/08/11

Category—Expense ADD New Total Balance in Account

Telecommunications—01-1228-5203 $ 850.00 $ 5,150.00 $ 5,107.18

Category—Expense DELETE New Total Balance in Account

Contingency Fund--01-8102-7010 $ 850.00 $ 22,974.40 $ 22,974.40

To cover the unanticipated cost of internet services for the Town Offices due to Pure.net dropping their services in the Town in June.

Respectfully requested by:

_________________________________

Treasurer

_________________________________

Date

COUNCIL RECOMMENDATIONS

Councilperson Adams said that about 2 months ago the Dixie Youth Girls had requested the Town replace the existing shingle roof on the concession stand with a metal roof. He said he had checked with Jones Building Supply, and he had an estimate of $740 for that metal roof.

Vice Mayor Nowlin said he would like for the town manager to look at a handicap ramp for the community building. He also said he had been contacted about the uranium mining being proposed in Pittsylvania County. He said studies are being done to see if it would impact the water in the Staunton River. He said he was going to pass along some information to Mr. Thurston for his review.

ITEMS FROM TOWN COUNCIL

Mayor Campbell thanked the businesses and townspeople for their patience during the downtown revitalization project. She also said that beginning Monday, July 18, 2011; the Town office will be open every day of the week except Wednesday. The new part time receptionist is Laura David, and she will start on Friday, July 15, 2011.

Councilperson Jean asked about old business including the status of selling the old trash truck and the dead trees around the pavilion at the recreation park.

Councilperson Wilkes reiterated Vice Mayor Nowlin's request for a handicap ramp at the community building. He said there was really a need for that project.

Clerk/Treasurer Bobbie Waller told the Council that the new Town of Brookneal website is up and running and encouraged everyone to view it. She also added that any business that wants to be linked to the Town's website just needs to let her know.

ADJOURNMENT

Upon motion from James Nowlin, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, Mayor Campbell announced that the July 12, 2011, Council meeting was adjourned.

___________________________                      ____________________________

Bobbie A. Waller                                                  Phyllis L. Campbell

Clerk/Treasurer                                                   Mayor

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