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

November 8, 2011


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

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

Russell B. Thurston, Town Manager

Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer

Mike Crews, Public Works Director

Ricky Baldwin, Chief of Police

Absent: James Nowlin, Vice Mayor



Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the November 8, 2011, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.


Upon motion by Barbara Laprade, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, Council approved the October 11, 2011, Town Council meeting minutes.


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


Be it resolved that motion was made by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Richard Adams, and unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of October 12, 2011, to November 8, 2011, in the amount of $10,651.12.


No one spoke during public comment time.


Police Chief Ricky Baldwin presented the police report for October to the Council members.

He said the trunk or treat by Childrey Baptist Church at Food Lion on Halloween went really well.

Chief Baldwin said that he had 4 or 5 certified applications and 4 or 5 applications from non-certified people for the police officer position. He said he had a young man interested in becoming a police officer who lives in town, who is married with two kids and has lived in the area his entire life. He said he was leaning to possibly hiring him and sending him to the academy. He said he thought this young man would be a good asset for the Town of Brookneal, and he would bond well with the community. He said he thought this individual would stay here. He said he didn't want to just fill the spot; he wanted somebody that would be good for the Town of Brookneal. He said he knew there were problems in the past with sending officers through the police academy, and then they would quit and leave and go somewhere else. He said he had a contract that the Town of Altavista uses when they hire somebody and send them through the academy. In this particular contract, the officer has to pay back what it costs to send them to the academy if they leave within a three year period. He thought this would be a good idea for the Town of Brookneal to use. Councilperson Meisenbach suggested getting a prospective candidate under contract whether they are certified or not. She said the Town has been a stepping stone for police officers in a lot of cases. She said that in the future the Council should have somebody commit to the town for 3 years at a minimum.

Chief Baldwin said that if the decision is made to hire this young man, then he wants to hire him and work with him for a while before he goes to the academy which starts in January.

Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by Richard Adams, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to authorize Town Manager Russell Thurston and Police Chief Baldwin to work out the details of hiring the new police officer.



Public Works Director Mike Crews talked about the hazardous mitigation plan. He said the Council packets contained a list of actions that were part of the hazardous mitigation plan, and he would like Council to review this list and let him know if any actions needed to be added. Councilperson Meisenbach said that an action regarding livestock and disease control should be added and that something needs to be in place regarding what happens with that issue. She said out west they have had severe outbreaks of equines herpes virus, and they have stopped all travel of these horses from show areas to communities. She said the virus is airborne, and could be spread in the community if an affected horse is unloaded from a trailer at a gas station or restaurant in the area. Mr. Crews said he would check on that issue.

Councilperson Laprade said that there are only 3 places to cross the railroad tracks in town. She said that if something really happened in Town like the incident of a car hitting a rail car at Dan River a few years ago, there would be no way to get over the tracks. Councilperson Meisenbach also said that there is no evacuation plan in place if there was a chemical spill in the area. Mr. Adams said that if there were a major spill, the fire department would be one of the first points of contact, and they would in turn contact Campbell County and emergency management services. They would then control cleanup of the site. Ms. Meisenbach suggested having Mr. Thurston, the chief of police, and the fire chief to meet to discuss an emergency plan for this type of situation.

Mr. Crews said that with Thanksgiving approaching, the trash pickup schedule will be altered to collect Thursday's trash run on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Mr. Crews said that the Christmas parade is December 1, and Mr. Thurston, Ms. Waller, and Mayor Campbell have been working hard on obtaining Christmas decorations for the Town. He suggested having the correct wiring and receptacles installed to accommodate the new decorations. Upon motion by Tracy Meisenbach, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to have the correct wiring and receptacles installed to accommodate the new Christmas decorations at an approximate cost of $4,000.00. Mayor Campbell agreed with Mr. Crews in his request to have Billy Davis of Davis Tree Service to trim up the Bradford pear trees on Main Street.


Town Manager Russell Thurston said that Maria Everett of the Freedom of Information Act Advisory Council said that she would not be able to arrange a meeting until after April 2012 for the Town of Brookneal. Mr. Thurston also advised that the street signs that were needed in different areas of town will have to be purchased by the Town; VDOT does not provide those anymore. Mayor Campbell asked Mr. Thurston to do so more research, and she said she would help him do that. He said that he had a lot of paperwork to fill out for the parade for VDOT this year, and asked if there was an alternate date for the parade in case of inclement weather, to which everyone replied "no." Mr. Thurston said that Region 2000 applied for Phase 3 of the downtown grant. The application was for $360,000. He said Phase 2 is almost ready to go out to bid. He said the FHA (Federal Highway Administration) has to sign off on the plans, and then it will be ready for bid. He said he talked with the Fire Marshall, and the burning ordinance that was presented two meetings ago has not gone before the Campbell County Board of Supervisors yet and will not go before the board anytime soon. Mr. Thurston also said he made the changes that were requested in the Downtown District Overlay Plan that was discussed at the last meeting.

Mr. Thurston said that he has written a letter to the Union Star about things going on in the Town, and he was going to do this periodically.


Upon motion by Tracy Meisenbach, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to give a Christmas bonus of $250 net to the Town employees for 2011.


Mayor Campbell said that Ms. Waller and Ms. David have been working on gathering information on the cemeteries in the area. She asked the Physical Development Committee to get together after first of the year, and review the information on cremations, burials, and fees so that the Council can answer Mr. Wagner's questions and concerns that he presented in August 2011 concerning the Town's policy of no more than one body per grave.


Physical Development Committee member asked what the status was of the slide for the playground. Mr. Crews said it had been ordered and was on its way.


Councilperson Meisenbach asked about having a holiday/anniversary luncheon for the town employees, to which Mr. Thurston said he was already working on. Ms. Meisenbach said that she had brought up a while back that the Town Charter was worded to fit the old election standards for replacing a council member. She said that code was changed last year. She said the Town needs to get the request to change the charter to match the state code put on the next legislative session agenda. She said it used to be that you could appoint somebody to fill a term until the next election, but now you can only appoint somebody to fill the term until the next special election, which has to be held that election year; so if somebody is replaced in July then the ballot has to be in November for the special election. She said the section in the charter regarding the elections directly contradicts what the state code says. Town Manager Russell Thurston said he would check into the issue.


Upon motion from Robert Jean, seconded by Richard Adams, and unanimously carried, Mayor Campbell announced that the November 8, 2011, Council meeting was adjourned.

___________________________                                  ____________________________

Bobbie A. Waller                                                              Phyllis L. Campbell

Clerk/Treasurer                                                              Mayor

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