Downloadable PDF

May 9, 2017

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:

James Nowlin, Vice Mayor
Richard Adams, Robert Jean, Barbara Laprade, Mark Wilkes, and Joseph B. David, Jr., Council Members
Russell Thurston, Town Manager
Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer
Mike Crews, Public Works Director
Richard Baldwin, Chief of Police
Absent:  Phyllis Campbell, Mayor

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE GENERAL FUND BUDGET

Vice Mayor Nowlin opened the public hearing for the general fund budget at 7:04 p.m.  No one spoke in favor of or in opposition to the general fund budget; therefore, Vice Mayor Nowlin closed the public hearing at 7:05 p.m.

PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE WATER FUND BUDGET

Vice Mayor Nowlin opened the public hearing for the water fund budget at 7:05 p.m.  No one spoke in favor of or in opposition to the water fund budget; therefore, Vice Mayor Nowlin closed the public hearing at 7:06 p.m.

PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE SEWER FUND BUDGET

Vice Mayor Nowlin opened the public hearing for the sewer fund budget at 7:06 p.m.  No one spoke in favor of or in opposition to the sewer fund budget; therefore, Vice Mayor Nowlin closed the public hearing at 7:07 p.m.

PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE SEWER RATE INCREASE FOR FY18, FY19 AND FY20

Vice Mayor Nowlin opened the public hearing for the sewer rate increase for FY18, FY19, and FY20 at 7:07 p.m.  No one spoke in favor of or in opposition to the sewer rate increase of $1.00 for each year from FY18 to FY20; therefore, Vice Mayor Nowlin closed the public hearing at 7:08 p.m.

PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE VEHICLE LICENSE FEE INCREASE FOR TAX YEAR 2017

Vice Mayor Nowlin opened the public hearing for the vehicle license fee increase for tax year 2017 at 7:08 p.m.  No one spoke in favor of or in opposition to the vehicle license fee increase for automobiles from $15 per vehicle to $25 per vehicle effective with the 2017 tax year; therefore, Vice Mayor Nowlin closed the public hearing at 7:09 p.m. 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Upon motion by Richard Adams, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the May 9, 2017, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.

MINUTES

Upon motion by Richard Adams, seconded by Barbara Laprade, and unanimously carried, Council approved the minutes for the April 11, 2017, Town Council meeting. 

Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, Council approved the minutes for the May 4, 2017, Physical Development Committee meeting.    

TREASURER’S REPORT

Vice Mayor Nowlin asked that the May 2017 treasurer’s report be filed for audit. 

PRESENTATION AND APPROVAL OF INVOICES

Be it resolved that motion was made by Richard Adams, seconded by Barbara Laprade and unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of
April 12, 2017 to May 9, 2017, in the amount of $11,221.74. 

PUBLIC COMMENT

Mr. Scott Miller, Brookneal representative on the Campbell County School Board, appeared before Council to give an update on the schools.  Mr. Miller said that he would be up for re-election this year.  He said that the proposed school budget for 2017-2018 included a 5% raise for teachers for the coming year, but the board of supervisors rejected it.  He said that the county budget has not been finalized yet, but the tax rate has.   He said the county indicated that the schools would get level funding again this year, but he said the school budget was cut $540,000 last year.  He said the school board has to give a 2% teacher raise in order to get funding from the state.  He said state funding did increase this year; however there was an 11% increase from the Virginia Retirement System and 10% increase in health insurance that will soak up those funds.  He said that they don’t really have a receptive audience to the schools on the board of supervisors. 

Ms. Mary Westling, airport manager at the Brookneal Campbell County Airport, appeared before Council to update Council on the airport.  She said that discussions have begun about hangars at the airport.  She said that it will bring a lot of individuals with aircraft to the airport.  She said that they are talking about a farmer’s market at the airport, and she wanted the town’s input on it.  She said there is about 2 acres of property in front of the airport to do this.  She said there would be no charge for spaces at the farmer’s market, and they may take vendors on a flight and allow them to have aerial photography over their property as a perk.  Councilperson David asked about a flea market in combination with the farmer’s market.  Ms. Westling said that they could look at that idea as well.  Consensus was that this was a good idea to promote the airport. 

POLICE REPORT

Chief Richard Baldwin presented the police report for April 2017.  He said of the 87 calls for service, 69 were answered by the Brookneal Police Department.  He said the new Tahoe should be here in a couple of weeks. 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT  

Public Works Director Mike Crews said he thought Day in the Town went well, and he thought the crowd was a little light due to the weather.  He said they have been working on a lot of sewer lines in town. 

TOWN MANAGER REPORT

Town Manager Russell Thurston said that at the last meeting he was asked to look into some sewer related problems.  He said that the physical development committee did meet and the minutes are in the council packet.  He said that one of the big issues that they have is whether it is a town problem or a citizen problem when it comes to a sewer issue.  He said that he, Mr. Crews and the committee met and brainstormed on how to figure out where the problem is.  He said the group recommended that the Town purchase a camera system to identify where the blockage is as well as what the blockage is.  He said that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) would be written up to let the citizen know that if the blockage is on them then they have a responsibility to correct the problem and pay a small fee for the camera service if the problem is on their private sewer line.  He said of course if the problem is on the town line, then there would be no fee for the camera service.    Councilperson Laprade noted that for sewer customers that are in low lying areas to please have consideration for them and those situations where “products” may gravitate to those problem areas and make it appear it is the citizen’s problem.

Mr. Thurston said that he talked with Mr. Clarence Jones with the Brookneal Volunteer Fire Department.  He said Mr. Jones said that they have been able to come up with the technology and the correct equipment to be able to safely pull water out of the river and out of a pond here in the town limits.  He said he presented him with the invoices covering the cost of doing this which is $14,000.  He said this money will set everything up for these two sites.  He said Mr. Jones asked him to present a case to Town Council for funding help on these expenses. 

Mr. Thurston said that work is ongoing on the water and sewer grants.  He said that the engineer calculations are showing that there are 8 miles of sewer line in the town; the cost of replacing this line is going to be about 1 million dollars per mile.  He said that would mean a $75 increase per month per household on a sewer bill.  He said it is going to be a very big undertaking.  He said since the Town has no intention of increasing the sewer bill that much that it is going to have to be tackled in little pieces. 

Mr. Thurston said that there was a court date on the 214 Old Main Street property issue, and there was a conviction consisting of 2-6 month jail time convictions on the offending party.  He said it was suspended, but could be enforced if they fail to keep the property in compliance for 12 months.  When asked about the progress of the railroad fees, Mr. Thurston also said that he was told by the State Corporation Commission that the Town attorney could file a motion with the State Corporation Commission to intercede on our behalf to dispute the fees.  He said he is going to do this soon. 

Mr. Thurston said that he did some research on the backflow preventer issue.  He said that the Insurance Information Institute says that property owners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of backflow prevention valves.  He said he researched many localities, and no locality is buying and installing backflow preventers on anybody’s private line; it is a private affair.  He said building codes in many cities are now requiring that when a new property is built that a contractor install a backflow preventer; they won’t issue a certificate of occupancy without it.  He said that he has an extensive amount of evidence that says it is a private affair, not a public one.          

MOTION FOR SEWER CAMERA SYSTEM      

Upon motion by Joseph David, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to authorize town staff to evaluate sewer camera systems, and authorized the purchase of the most appropriate system at a cost not to exceed $15,000.

RECOMMENDATION TO ASSIST BROOKNEAL VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT WITH EXPENSES INCURRED TO DEVELOP ALTERNATE WATER SUPPLY

Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to contribute $7,000 to the local fire department for the purpose of developing alternate sources of water for fighting fires. 

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

There were no committee recommendations.

ADJOURNMENT

Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by Barbara Laprade, and unanimously carried, Vice Mayor Nowlin announced that the May 9, 2017, Council meeting was adjourned. 

___________________________                  ____________________________

Bobbie A. Waller                                            Phyllis Campbell

Clerk/Treasurer                                              Mayor 

Get in Touch!

Telephone: (434) 376-3124
Email Us
townmanager@townofbrookneal.com

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