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July 9, 2019

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:

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

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

OPENING

Vice Mayor Adams told the Council that there would not be enough Council members in attendance tonight to constitute a quorum.  He said that there is tentatively a called Council meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 5 p.m. to vote on items that are crucial.

The following items were tabled until Tuesday, July 16, 2019:

  • Approval of June 11, 2019 Town Council meeting minutes
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Presentation and Approval of Invoices ($6,474.93)
  • Resolution for USDA for the Hotel Feasibility Study
  • Resolution for USDA for the Sanitation Vehicle

Request for Transfers of Appropriation

WAYNE TRIBBLE, VICE PRESIDENT, BROOKNEAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Wayne Tribble, Vice President of the Brookneal Chamber of Commerce, appeared before Council to ask for approval for the Brookneal Fest which is tentatively scheduled for September 7, 2019 in the Town of Brookneal.  He said this would be something similar to Day in the Town but adding to it with Sans Soucy and their winery.  He said all towns have festivals to draw people in (other than Brookneal people) to show some interest in their town.  He said they have talked to the ABC board and VDOT; they want to shut down Main Street from Smith Street to Cook Avenue.  He said that barriers have to be set up between the Town Hall and the old Central Fidelity building and behind the Union Star.  He said beer will be served from Staunton River Brewery.  He said Tonya Massie from ABC is coming to work out all the logistics with them.  He said that any Brookneal business will be allowed to set up on Main Street and other vendors will be allowed to come in and set up in the area.  Vice Mayor Richard Adams asked Mr. Tribble if September 7 conflicts with any other events; Mr. Tribble said the only thing is DeVault Vineyards event in Appomattox that day.   He said that he will have different men from different organizations to help control the entryways to monitor people entering and exiting with alcohol.  He said there will be no admission fee for this festival.  He said 2 people will be required at each barrier at all times.     

Mr. Tribble said that Chamber members would like to start coming to Town Council meetings.  He said unless you get people coming to Brookneal for something, it is going to start slacking off.  He said that initially a lot of the Chamber didn’t like the idea of alcohol, but he said it is part of society and is needed to draw people in. 

PUBLIC COMMENT

Dr. Scott Miller, Brookneal representative on the Campbell County School Board, appeared before the Council.  He said a few months ago he was invited to a town hall meeting at William Campbell High School.  He said a lot of people voiced their opinions and their concerns; he said it went well.  He said the School Board has been struggling for a number of years with their capital improvement plan.  He said they now have a better Board of Supervisors who are more willing to work with the school board.  He said that some concerns were raised that part of the capital improvement plan involved closing William Campbell and that was put into some finance models, but it was at the time unfounded.  He said the School Board has identified Rustburg Middle School as being the most in need and that’s what is being put as a priority is to replace that middle school.  He said the school board said that they were not closing William Campbell after looking at demographics, cost of transportation, and inconvenience.  He said after touring the school, the infrastructure is in the best shape of all the secondary schools in Campbell County.  He said William Campbell is in good shape, and it’s here to stay. 

POLICE REPORT

Police Chief Richard Baldwin presented the police report for June 2019; however, he said it is not accurate because of a glitch in their new system.  He said the report presented is for June 13 to June 30, 2019.  He said between June 1 and June 12, there were 28 calls answered by the Brookneal Police Department.  He said that would make the total calls for service 97. 

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT

Public Works Director Mike Crews said that VDOT is doing a lot of surface treatment to the roads in the Town of Brookneal; he said some streets will get latex treatment.  He said that Superintendent Joe Poppe said that milling of Lusardi Drive and Lynchburg Avenue will begin on Monday, and new plant mix will be put in.  He also said that the Dixie Boys coach pitch team is playing in the state tournament and have a berth to the World Series in Louisiana.

TOWN MANAGER REPORT

Town Manager Russell Thurston said that former Councilman Bob Jean passed away in June 2019.  He noted how much he will be missed. 

He said that the state has invested a lot of money in paving the streets of Brookneal as Mr. Crews had noted is being done.  He expressed his appreciation to VDOT for this project. 

Mr. Thurston said that Byrne JAG (Justice Assistance Grant) that will pay for some training and education for the police department has been awarded to the Town of Brookneal.  He also said that the feasibility study grant application is awaiting the adoption of the resolution enclosed in the Council packet.  He said since there is no quorum tonight, attendance of all Council members at the called meeting set for July 16 is very important so that that approved resolution can be forwarded to the Richmond office as soon as possible.  He said that the $50,000 grant towards the replacement of a new sanitation vehicle that could possibly cost $175,000 to $225,000 is also awaiting the approval of a resolution to move forward.  Mr. Thurston also said that USDA informed Mr. Crews this evening that there is a grant available for up to $50,000 for equipment for damages from Hurricane Michael. 

Mr. Thurston said that he is working on grass issues in the Town, and a few of those issues have been resolved although he is still working on some of these.

Mr. Thurston praised Councilperson Wilkes for his work on coordinating and soliciting donations for the new playground that is being constructed at the ball park.

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

There were no committee recommendations.

ITEMS FROM TOWN COUNCIL

Councilperson Laprade said that she has been somewhat concerned about the climate of several of the latest Town meetings.  She said she put together a handout for consideration.  She said she thought reading and meditating on it would be helpful whether it is adopted or not.  She said she brought it for consideration by the Council.

Councilperson Johnson asked what was the status of the reservoir, is it going to be reopened or not?    Vice Mayor Adams asked Councilperson Wilkes where his committee was at on this issue of opening the reservoir.  Mr. Wilkes said that they worked on some rules/guidelines at the last meeting, but he said that meeting was not a productive meeting.  He said no date has been set to reopen the reservoir.  He said to be honest, at this point, all they have is the rules that they went over at that last meeting.  He said Mr. Thurston and Mr. Crews were supposed to meet with the Department of Homeland Security.  Mr. Crews said that Homeland Security is coming this Thursday, the 11th of July.  Mr. Wilkes said maybe after this meeting, maybe a decision can be made and call another meeting.  Ms. Johnson said that an injustice is being done to the citizens by not saying we have a timeline to get this reservoir open.  She said are you looking at them finishing their study before opening the reservoir back up?  Mr. Crews said that he is looking at all the safety protocol to make sure that everything that needs to be covered is covered in a safe and timely manner.   He said the Town ought to proceed with caution and use the free service from the Office of Drinking water (the people that are coming with Homeland Security and the SWPP—Storm Water Protection Plan).  Mr. Thurston said after these two venues are pursued, he didn’t know when the reservoir might be opened.  He said he didn’t have an answer.  He said the rules have been done and discussed, and the “no trespassing” signs have been put up.  He said they are working through the process that was discussed at the meetings.

Councilperson Laprade noted that her understanding was that the Town has to pass the testing being done on LT2, and there could be potential dangers to the water.  She said that she thought we were going to let the experts advise us before making a decision to reopen the reservoir.  She said that if the experts come in and say it is safe, then it can be reopened, but if they advise that we hold off, then who are we to fight against the people who are trained in that.  Ms. Johnson said that in the research she has done, it does not have anything to do with people fishing on the reservoir with a boat. She said the problem we are having is from warm-blooded mammal fecal matter.  She said she got this information from VDH out of Danville.  Ms. Laprade said that once they put that in writing and advise the Council, then Council will take that under consideration. Ms. Laprade said she was not an expert, and she did not want to make a decision to endanger someone.  She said that she thought the consensus was to accept the guidance of the Department of Health and the Department of Homeland Security, and upon their recommendations, then the Council would proceed.  Mr. Wilkes said wait until all the input from VDH and DHS is received and then proceed.

ADJOURNMENT

Since there was not enough for a quorum tonight, the meeting was continued until Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 5 p.m.

 

Bobbie A. Waller: Clerk/Treasurer

James Nowlin: Mayor

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Brookneal, VA 24528