November 11, 2014

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

Robert Jean, Barbara Laprade, and Joseph B. David, Jr., Council Members 

Russell Thurston, Town Manager

Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer

Mike Crews, Public Works Director

Absent:  Mark Wilkes and Richard Adams, Council Members

Absent:  Richard Baldwin, Chief of Police

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by Barbara Laprade, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the November 11, 2014, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council. 

MINUTES

 

Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by Joseph B. David, Jr., and unanimously carried, Council approved the October 14, 2014, Town Council meeting minutes. 

TREASURER’S REPORT

Mayor Campbell then asked that the November 2014 treasurer’s report be filed for audit. 

PRESENTATION AND APPROVAL OF INVOICES

 

Be it resolved that motion was made by James Nowlin, seconded by Joseph B. David, Jr.,  and unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of October 15, 2014 to November 11, 2014, in the amount of $15,624.25.

 

PUBLIC HEARING CONCERNING A PROPOSED ORDINANCE ON CLEANUP OF METHAMPHETAMINE LABS AND A PROPOSED LITTER ORDINANCE

 

Mayor Campbell called the public hearing to order at 7:09 p.m. for the proposed ordinance on cleanup of methamphetamine labs and the proposed litter ordinance.  Town Manager Russell Thurston said that Chief Baldwin had recommended that the Town pass the methamphetamine cleanup ordinance because the state code allows localities to charge the expenses of meth lab cleanup to the defendant once found guilty and convicted.  He explained that the litter ordinance would allow a $50 flat fine to anyone caught throwing out .7 cubic feet of trash (equal to a 5 gallon bucket of litter).  He said that this was not already in the Town ordinances.  He said that if it is more than that then it goes into the misdemeanor class where the individual could be fined according to the amount of trash they throw out; a class 4 misdemeanor which is a $250 fine or a class 1 misdemeanor which would be a $2500 fine.  He said this would give the Town the authority to issue a summons to someone if they are caught littering on the Town streets. 

Mr. Michael Monroe of Elite Recycling, said that he thought this litter ordinance was a great thing.  He said he thought that if you threw a cigarette out the window, you should get a ticket. 

Mayor Campbell closed the public hearing at 7:15 p.m.

MOTION TO ENACT THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE ON METH LAB CLEANUP AND THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE ON LITTER

 

Upon motion by Joseph B. David, Jr., seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to enact both the meth lab cleanup ordinance and the litter ordinance. 

A verbal vote was taken as follows:

Mr. Jean                      Aye

Ms. Laprade                Aye

Mr. Nowlin                   Aye

Mr. David                     Aye

Mayor Campbell           Aye

PUBLIC COMMENT

  • Ms. Lynn Burnam, of the CVAAA Board of Directors, appeared before Council concerning the purpose of nutrition sites in planning district 11; she said she understood there were some questions at the last Town Council meeting.  She said the nutrition program began 40 years ago, and it is a federally funded and state funded program.  She said that it has existed in Campbell County for about 38 years, and there are several sites in Campbell County including Altavista, Brookneal, Brookville, and Rustburg.  She said the purpose of a nutrition site is to provide 1/3 of the recommended dietary allowance to senior citizens at the site in a hot meal.  She said the people in Brookneal are served 3 hot meals a week with milk, bread and dietetic fruit.  She said that the program has been in Brookneal around 10 years.  She said the program also provides take home meals for the other 2 days a week.  She said all the people at the Brookneal site have been case managed by a professional social worker in gerontology, and have their own case worker who tracks them and is aware of any changes.  She said they get nutrition education by a nutritionist, registered dietician and home extension agents that come in and talk to them about how to maintain their health in their old age.  They have health programs, exercise programs, and general education programs, including recreation programs such as the Wi bowling game.  She said that folks that are brought to the site in the van are covered by CVAAA’s insurance policy, and therefore it is not allowed for those individuals to go off in a car with someone who might drop in and wants to take them to the pharmacy.  She said CVAAA is responsible for those seniors for the entire day that they are with the CVAAA program.  She said they also cannot walk off and go to the “Golden Skillet” to have coffee with their friends because the site manager and van drivers are responsible for their personal safety and they are covered by the insurance of CVAAA.  She said some of the folks at the site do not seem to understand this.  She said all the sites in all the planning districts have to adhere to these rules.  She said they provide a vast array of services to the folks in Brookneal.    Councilperson David asked who made the rules for the center to which Ms. Burnam replied that the federal government does.  Mr. David asked where he could find a copy of these rules at, and Ms. Burnam said that she could provide a copy of that to him.  Mr. David said that he had talked to the seniors at the center last week, and some complained that they could not go outside and walk.  She said they could go outside and walk if they have a “buddy” or if the site manager goes with them.   Ms. Burnam noted that CVAAA is responsible for their safety, and they are covered by CVAAA’s insurance.

Ms. Burnam said that a question about prayer at the site has been raised, and she said that now since she has explained the purpose of the site; prayer is not why they come to a nutrition site, prayer is why they go to church.  She said that there are federal laws which prohibit mixing church and state.  She said that it is not okay for nutrition sites to hold prayer meetings; it is okay for them to work with the churches, but not to step over that line.  Councilperson Jean noted that it is kind of a blurred line, and it is a real misnomer to say that the constitution provides a separation of church and state.  He said that the constitution says that the state cannot be involved in the churches; it does not say that the churches can’t be involved in the state.  Councilperson Laprade noted that the Council is getting lost somewhere on this issue since the Town does not supervise that program.  She said that CVAAA uses the building, and what the Council should be addressing are issues that relate to the building, and anything that deals with how they operate has to fall into some other realm.  She said that CVAAA has to err on the side of whatever is best for their participants.  Mr. David said that it is an easy thing to say you are a Christian, but to live and be a Christian is another thing totally different.  He said that he did not understand how anyone can be a Christian and be for God and say oh, I work over here and be against God.  He said that nobody is saying that there is a prayer meeting going on down at the site.  Ms. Burnam noted that she had been to the site about 20 times, and she said that quite often with different staff in place, she walked into a camp meeting with gospel singing and bible thumping going on when a former site manager was in charge.  Ms. Laprade noted again that the Town is not over the program, to which Mr. David replied that it was the Town’s building.  Ms. Burnam told Mr. David that CVAAA is totally prepared to vacate the building, and they have other places they can go.  Mr. David said that he thinks it goes way too far; he said he did not expect CVAAA to sponsor a prayer meeting or have a church service, but if somebody wants to sing a song who is to determine if it has a little bit of religious overtone to it and tell them that they cannot sing that song because it mentions God.  Ms. Burnam said that if a senior breaks out in “Amazing Grace” spontaneously, the site manager is not going to stand up there and say “stop that it is religious”.  She said the site manager will guide the program to patriotic songs or old time songs. 

Mayor Campbell said that the seniors had gotten used to it actually being very close to a church service, but the seniors were not there for church.  She said that the Council as a whole has a right to do what they want to do with the building, but she said that it is a good thing that our seniors are getting free meals and getting to be with other seniors.  Mr. David said that in talking to the seniors, religion is not the big factor; they want to continue with the program.  Mr. David said the biggest problem, according to the seniors, is that it is too cold.  Mr. David asked if there was any way CVAAA could help with the heating costs.  Ms. Burnam said that CVAAA is going to be talking to the town manager to work with the Town on that issue.  In response to a question about other sites, Ms. Burnam said that some sites are free, but CVAAA does have to pay to use some sites.  Town Manager Russell Thurston noted that the Town ran way over budget on heating in that building last winter.  He said somebody is going to have to supplement that expense if the seniors want it warmer than the 72 it is set on.

Mayor Campbell thanked Ms. Burnam for coming and for clarifying what the intent of the program is. 

  • Mr. Michael Monroe, of Elite Recycling, appeared before Council concerning the status of the vineyard zoning application.  Mr. Thurston told Mr. Monroe that the only thing left to do is the final paperwork on the special use permit.  Mr. Thurston said that this issue has not been pressed because until the vineyard has a commercial product to harvest and sell, it does not need a special use permit.  He told Mr. Monroe that they would get together and fill out the special use permit.  He said that a public hearing needs to be held and the Council needs to vote on it.  Mr. Monroe noted that he will be producing fruit in 2015. 
  • Conner Francis, a William Campbell student of Brookneal, appeared before Council to discuss William Campbell High School and to make the Council aware of the Campbell County youth council comprised of 13 members.  He said he is the only representative from William Campbell High School.  He said they decided to interview students at their own respective schools and see what they think are some problems today.  He said the main issue was consolidation of schools.  He said no student he has talked to is in favor of school consolidation.  Mr. Thurston asked Conner would he be willing to get on the agenda at the County board of supervisors meeting to which Conner replied “absolutely”. 

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT

Public Works Director Mike Crews said that some repairs have been done to potholes in the town including Commerce Street, Lynchburg Avenue, Virginia Avenue and Booker Road.  He said they are working on the new street lights to get them all functioning; several of them have ballast issues.  He said they will be putting up Christmas banners and Christmas decorations prior to Thanksgiving.  He also said that Thursday trash pick-up for Thanksgiving will be on Wednesday, November 26, 2014. 

TOWN MANAGER REPORT

 

Town Manager Russell Thurston said that the ramp at the community building is nearing completion.  He said that the 3rd and final phase of the streetscape project is out for bid; bids will be opened on November 20, 2014.  He said that the annual Christmas lunch will be on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at noon.  He also said that on Monday, December 8, 2014, we will have our joint dinner meeting with the Town of Altavista and the Campbell County Board of Supervisors at the Drugstore Grill.   

CHRISTMAS BONUS FOR TOWN EMPLOYEES

Upon motion by Joseph B. David, Jr., seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, the Council authorized the payment of $250 net to the Town employees for 2014. 

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

 

There were no committee recommendations. 

ITEMS FROM TOWN COUNCIL

 

Councilperson Laprade said that with the jobs coming to Appomattox, she would like to see the Council as a group go to Richmond and appear face to face with some of the economic development people from the state concerning Brookneal.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Upon motion from Barbara Laprade, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, Mayor Campbell announced that the November 11, 2014, meeting was adjourned. 

___________________________                  ____________________________

Bobbie A. Waller                                             Phyllis L. Campbell

Clerk/Treasurer                                               Mayor

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