June 9, 2015

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, Mark Wilkes, Barbara Laprade, and Joseph B. David, Jr., Council Members 

Russell Thurston, Town Manager

Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer

Mike Crews, Public Works Director

Ricky Baldwin, Chief of Police

Absent:  Richard Adams, Council Member

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the June 9, 2015, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council

 

MINUTES

 

Upon motion by Barbara Laprade, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, Council approved the May 12, 2015 Town Council meeting minutes. 

TREASURER’S REPORT

Mayor Campbell asked that the June 2015 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 May 13, 2015 to June 9, 2015, in the amount of $16,101.44.

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Mr. Dean Monroe, of Staunton River Roe Vineyards, said that he picked up the application for the special use permit for the Vineyard, and he said that he did not know where to start with this.  He said the permit is so far out of bounds that he did not know where to begin.  He asked who would invest a $100,000 in a business if you only had a license for one year.  He said he would not even get into the rest of it, because “that is something we cannot even get by”.  Mayor Campbell said that she thought that was the definition of a special use permit, not set up by the Town but set up for everyone.  Mr. Monroe said that if Michael Monroe dies, there goes the permit.  He said they could not live with it.  Mayor Campbell said that she did not know anyone that would serve on this Council that would not want the best done for Brookneal which is what she said the Monroes are doing.  Councilperson Laprade asked if they any provisions in place to protect Mr. Monroe’s interest.  Town Manager Russell Thurston pointed out that it is not zoned to do what they want to do.  He said that when you take it upon yourself to make an investment of a use that is not permitted in that zoning district; you are taking on a great risk.  He pointed out that they took that risk on not having the paperwork in place to begin with and so that is a great risk that the Monroes took on. 

Public Works Director Mike Crews pointed out that there is nothing zoned agricultural in the town.  He said that the special use permit came about with the request by the Monroes, and the Town spoke to an attorney in Bedford concerning a special use permit versus a conditional use permit (which is what the Town had been doing prior to this request by the Monroes).  He said that the attorney’s recommendation was for the special use permit, and it was determined to be in the best interest of the Town and the special use permit can be granted for different things.  Mr. Thurston said that this permit has been reviewed by a land use attorney, and he has sifted through this very carefully.    He said the Town Council has had this document for several months, a public hearing was conducted, and the Council voted to adopt it.  He said that as the governing body, the Council can change something on it, but he said this is the document that will hold up in court.  He said the problem with not having it is that if any neighbor or anybody with a parcel on Booker Road, Claytor Road, or Mattox Road wanted to challenge why the Monroes are doing what they are doing (without having this special use permit like we have it), they could go to the court and petition the judge for an injunction to make them stop what they are doing.  He said, yes, there is a lot of legal stuff in the document, because they have asked to do something in a district that it is not zoned for.  He said that if you do special use in a district that is not zoned for it, then you are asking for a lot of legal criteria to give you the chance to do the special use.  Councilperson Laprade asked if there was anything the Town could do to protect the interest of the Monroes.  Mr. Thurston noted that he has heard regrets from members about things the Town has done in the past.  He said that in the past some people have been given a free pass to do what they wanted to do, and then there are regrets;  he has been asked to see if this can be changed, but it boils down to what was in the special use or conditional use permit to begin with. 

Mr. Thurston noted that this permit has passed legal muster and will stand up in court.  He said that whether this board is here or not, future board members can deal with it.  He said the Monroes chose to go ahead without “having all their ducks in a row”.  He said that he has done everything he can to have this stand up in court if the vineyard gets challenged, and he said that he has done this to help the vineyard.  Mayor Campbell asked Mr. Monroe that when the Town had the public hearing, did he think about getting a copy of that permit and coming to the public hearing.  She said that when nobody came to the public hearing, the Council thought everything was okay.  Mr. Dean Monroe said that he just got a copy of the permit.  Mr. Thurston noted that the permit allows them to grow grapes, it permits them to have a vineyard, and it permits them to have a winery.  Mr. Dean Monroe noted that he has a contract to grow hoppes, and he can’t do it.  Mr. Michael Monroe noted that he has a contract to grow blackberries for wine making, and he said he could not do it.  Mr. Thurston said that when they initially came to Council, they didn’t say anything about growing hops.  Mr. Dean Monroe said that he felt like they had made an error on their part for planting this crop and taking what he considered an agreement with the Town.  He said they spent the money, they can plow it under, and he said he would plow it under before he signed that permit.  He said they had plenty of places to take this, and he said that he just wants to be treated like everybody else.  He said that he did not feel like they were getting treated like everybody else in this Town.  He said there were 2 pages of stuff that is silly. He said that every aspect of this business is getting controlled by this Town.  Mr. Monroe said that they were restricted to 40 acres of grapes.  Mr. Thurston noted that that was what they asked for, and he said that the Council gave them what they wanted in the permit which included growing grapes, having a winery, and to plant up to 40 acres of grapes which is what was asked for.  Mayor Campbell noted that the annual renewal protects the town, (since not everyone is trustworthy) so if the permit is not being used as was specified, the Town has something to fall back on to withdraw the special use permit.

Mr. Michael Monroe noted that it wasn’t just the annual renewal that is the problem, it is the number of things that they cannot do, when they can spray, when they can harvest, and what they can plant.  He said that it is not just one thing, but everything together that makes a big old mess.  Mr. Thurston noted that this is in a residential area, and had to be put through stiff legal review.  He said this project has to be done in harmony with the whole community over there.  He said that you are doing something Ag related in a residential district.  Councilperson Laprade said that in this process in the future and even now, there needs to be some dialogue back and forth between both sides to solve some of these issues. 

Mayor Campbell said that this is something that is not going to be settled tonight.   Vice Mayor Nowlin asked the Monroes to highlight and underline what their issues are in the special use permit and a meeting will be set up.  He said those issues may or may not be changed, but he said they would address it one more time. 

Mayor Campbell noted that the Council as a whole should have learned a good lesson here as well as Dean and Michael Monroe as a whole should have learned a good lesson here.  She said she thought no one had read the special use permit clearly and everyone is sitting here taken aback at what was in it.  She suggested Mr. Nowlin schedule that meeting with the Monroes sooner rather than later. 

POLICE REPORT

 

Chief Richard Baldwin presented the police report for June 2015.  He said there were 73 calls for service in May, however, he was unable to get the information on the calls the Brookneal Police Department answered due to a problem with the Campbell County computer system.  He said there has been some vandalism at the town park to the restrooms, and there was a young girl that was burned in the town limits in May. 

 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT

Public Works Director Mike Crews said that the annual CCR reports will be going out the 1st of July.  He said that a new dump truck has been purchased and is out in the town parking lot.  He said that they are looking into automatic flushing systems for the water lines, and a representative from Mueller will be here June 22 to do a demonstration and provide a loaner for the Town.   

TOWN MANAGER REPORT

 

Town Manager Russell Thurston said that the quarterly birthday luncheon will be held at noon on June 24, 2015.  He said there is a public works maintenance position open as well as the water plant operator position that is still open.  He said the VDOT project is waiting on materials and suppliers approvals from VDOT.  He said there is a project in the works to replace the countertops at the community building.  He said that he and Chief Baldwin are working on an ordinance that deals with grass, garbage, weeds, and vacant lots that don’t get cut.  He said they think they have the process down, and the next move is to meet with the judge in Rustburg to go over the plan.   Mr. Thurston said that one of the board of supervisors members proposed to cut $50,000 from the Brookneal budget for this year.  He said that everyone is going to have to fight to keep the funding that we have from Campbell County.  

APPROVAL/DISAPPROVAL OF THE 2015/2016 GENERAL FUND BUDGET AS PRESENTED AND ADVERTISED

 

Upon motion by Barbara Laprade, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, the Council approved the general fund budget for 2015/2016 as presented and advertised. 

A verbal vote was taken as follows:

Ms. Laprade            Aye            Mr. David                        Aye

Mr. Jean            Aye            Mr. Nowlin                        Aye

Mr. Wilkes            Aye            Mayor Campbell            Aye

 

Click here for General Fund Budget details

 

Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Joseph B. David, Jr. and unanimously carried, the Council voted to approve the following transfers of appropriation.

 

APPROVAL/DISAPPROVAL OF THE 2015/2016 WATER FUND BUDGET AS PRESENTED AND ADVERTISED

 

Upon motion by Barbara Laprade, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, the Council approved the water fund budget for 2015/2016 as presented and advertised.

 Click here for Water and Sewer Fund Budget details

 

REQUEST FOR TRANSFERS OF APPROPRIATON

 

To: Brookneal Town Council

Date: June 9, 2015

 

The following Appropriation Transfers are requested for FY2015:

Category—Revenue                   INCREASE       New Total       Balance in Account

Meals Tax                                     $ 20,000.00      $122,000.00                  N/A    

Category--Expense                     INCREASE      New Total       Balance in Account

Streets—Vehicle Supplies—        $ 20,000.00       $ 21,000.00               $ 97.25

01-4102-5408

To cover the purchase of a 2007 Ford dump truck-- public works department (from the general fund side)

Category--Expense                     INCREASE      New Total        Balance in Account

Town Manager-Vehicle Supplies     $ 750.00        $ 3,750.00                 $ 267.30

Category—Expense                    DECREASE     New Total       Balance in Account

Streets--Salaries—01-4102-1001    $ 750.00        $26,824.00              $ 5,567.80

To cover the cost of new tires for the Town Manager’s Dodge truck

Category--Expense                     INCREASE      New Total        Balance in Account

Recreation—Repairs & Maint.—   $ 4,300.00       $ 9,719.97                 $ 137.03

01-7104-5407

Category—Expense                    DECREASE     New Total       Balance in Account

Streets—Hospital Insurance—      $ 4,300.00        $ 7,881.92               $ 7,881.92

01-4102-2005

To cover the cost of the improvements to the community building kitchen and to cover the cost of normal maintenance and repairs to the recreation department (over budget due to unanticipated roof repairs that had to be done to the community building in January 2015).

Category--Expense             INCREASE      New Total        Balance in Account

Sanitation—Salaries—            $ 1,650.00      $24,317.00             $ 1,650.00

01-4203-1001

Category—Expense             DECREASE     New Total       Balance in Account

Streets—Hospital Insurance— $ 1,650.00     $ 6,231.92              $ 6,231.92

01-4102-2005

To cover the cost of the sanitation department worker who has worked more hours in FY2015 than anticipated. 

Category--Expense             INCREASE      New Total        Balance in Account

Town Council—Other—            $ 682.92        $ 9,182.92               $ 350.00

01-1101-5801

Category—Expense             DECREASE     New Total       Balance in Account

Streets—Hospital Insurance—  $ 682.92        $ 5,549.00            $ 5,549.00

01-4102-2005

To cover the cost of miscellaneous items for Day in the Town.

Category--Expense             INCREASE      New Total        Balance in Account

Public Works—Overtime—      $ 1,000.00       $ 5,500.00               $ 509.83

01-4101-1002

Category—Expense              DECREASE     New Total       Balance in Account

Streets—Hospital Insurance— $ 1,000.00       $ 4,549.00              $ 4,549.00

01-4102-2005

To cover the cost of overtime in the public works department.

Category--Expense              INCREASE      New Total        Balance in Account

Kersey Building Expense—       $ 5,250.00      $ 6,450.00               $ 441.26

01-4302-5409

Category—Expense              DECREASE     New Total       Balance in Account

Streets—Hospital Insurance—   $  4,549.00     $ 0.00                     $ 0.00

01-4102-2005

Category—Expense               DECREASE     New Total       Balance in Account

Streets—Salaries—                    $ 701.00      $26,123.00             $ 4,866.80

01-4102-1001

To cover the cost of painting the Kersey Building.

Respectfully requested by:

 

_________________________________ __________________________________

Treasurer                                                                                    Date

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

 

There were no committee recommendations.

 

 

ITEMS FROM TOWN COUNCIL

 

Councilperson Mark Wilkes said that he would like to see a ball park committee formed to work on problems at the Town ball park.   Councilperson Jean suggested the president of the girls’ softball league and the president of the boys’ baseball league should be invited to be on that committee.  Councilperson Wilkes also suggested that Public Works Director Mike Crews be on that committee. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Upon motion from Mark Wilkes, seconded by Joseph B. David, Jr., and unanimously carried, Mayor Campbell announced that the June 9, 2015, meeting was adjourned. 

___________________________                        ____________________________

Bobbie A. Waller                                                Phyllis L. Campbell

Clerk/Treasurer                                                Mayor

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