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

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August 13, 2019


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
Phyllis Campbell, Mark Wilkes, Joseph David, 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



Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Phyllis Campbell, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the August 13, 2019, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council with the following addition:  1) Resolution for Feasibility Study.


Upon motion by Barbara Laprade, seconded by Phyllis Campbell, and unanimously carried, Council approved the minutes for the June 20 and June 25, 2019 physical development committee meetings and the July 9 and July 16, 2019 Town Council meetings.


Vice Mayor Adams asked that the August 2019 treasurer’s report be filed for audit.


Be it resolved that motion was made by Joseph David, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of
July 9, 2019 to August 13, 2019 in the amount of $18,041.00.


No one appeared before Council during public comment.


Police Chief Richard Baldwin presented the police report for July 2019.  He noted that the report is off of the new system, and it is computer generated at the end of each month.  The Brookneal Police Department answered 73 of the 76 calls for service last month; Campbell County sheriff’s office answered the other 3 calls.     


Public Works Director Mike Crews said that the 2010 Kenworth trash truck finally is back in service; however, he said the old “backup” 1991 trash truck is completely unusable now with the leaf spring housing completely breaking away from the frame.  He said trash pickup for last Thursday was done very late in the day after finally receiving the 2010 Kenworth back from the shop.  He said VDOT has not done the milling on Lusardi and some work on Lynchburg Avenue, but all other paving work in Town has been done. 

He said he talked with Justin Reynolds, engineer with Dominion Energy, concerning a lighting resource and power supply to the Town reservoir.  He said they discussed who would be responsible for tree removal, and whether they would put the power supply underground or above ground.  He said he asked him to put the cost of tree removal in their estimate since they are doing the design and engineering of the project.  He said he is waiting to hear back from Mr. Reynolds on a cost of this work by Dominion.      


Town Manager Russell Thurston said that the USDA has asked for another resolution on the feasibility study grant application.  This resolution lists each of the exact documents that the Council is authorizing to be signed on behalf of the town to execute this grant.  He said he believed that the Town will be awarded this grant, but he has no confirmation of that yet.   He said he did get notification at the end of last week that the $50,000 grant was awarded to the Town to assist with the purchase of a new sanitation vehicle.  He said he is working on getting some information from Cindy Bomar on the procurement process.  He said he has talked to the fleet manager of the City of Lynchburg, and he gave him information on where they purchase sanitation vehicles in the state of Virginia.  He said they would be discussing where the balance of the money will come from including looking at low interest loans. 

Mr. Thurston commended Councilperson Wilkes for work on the playground that is coming together at the recreation park.  He said Mr. Wilkes has done a lot of fundraising to cover the costs without help from the Town treasury. 

He said that he is in the process of looking for a governmental accounting auditing firm.  He said Jerry Reynolds, Town auditor for many years, has decided to call it quits since he is short staffed and since so many changes have taken place in governmental audits with the pension plan requirements.   

Mr. Thurston said that he has been investigating a sidewalk project which was brought up by Councilperson Laprade a few months ago.  He said he has been working with the engineer to come up with some pricing on installing sidewalks in some areas of Town.  He said he put together some maps with some start points and end points with input from the Council, and met with the engineer.  He said to do a sidewalk from Dollar General to Caroline Avenue, a sidewalk down Cook Avenue, and a sidewalk from the traffic light all the way down to the Food Lion would be about $2.5 million.  He said this price does not include buying any right of ways from landowners in those areas if it is needed.  He said that if landowners don’t agree to donating their land, then imminent domain and legal issues would be additional costs.  He said the most VDOT would potentially fund (if they would even fund sidewalks) would be 50% of the project; the Town would need to come up with $1.25 million of Town money for the project. 

Mr. Thurston said he did visit with a sign company in Lynchburg to make metal signs to be displayed at the Town reservoir.  He said he needed input on the information that he put in the Council packets concerning the content of the signs.  He asked for a consensus from Council to move forward with the creation of the signs.  He said the cost would be about $300.  Councilperson Johnson asked if the signage was done, was that going to allow the reservoir to be opened sooner.  Mr. Thurston said that this was a step in the right direction although he said the issue of power is still something that needs to be discussed.  He said that signs would make it quicker and easier to get the reservoir open, but he said he also thinks camera systems still need to be installed.  He said Bryan Wade (emergency preparedness and security coordinator with VDH) said that the image quality from battery powered camera systems are such low resolution that they can’t positively identify a person or a vehicle; he said that higher quality camera systems would require electrical power.  He said he thought electricity is a key to getting some of these things done.  e sai

Upon motion by Phyllis Campbell, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, the Council authorized Russell Thurston to purchase signage for the reservoir at a cost of up to $300 with verbiage as indicated in the Council packet information and discussed at the physical development committee meeting on June 25, 2019.   


Upon motion by Joseph David, seconded by Barbara Laprade, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to adopt the following resolution for the USDA Feasibility Study Grant. 

A roll call vote was taken as follows:

Ms. Laprade                Aye                 
Mr. David                    Aye
Ms. Johnson               Aye
Mr. Wilkes                   Aye
Ms. Campbell              Aye
Vice Mayor Adams     Aye

View Resolution


Councilperson David asked if another committee meeting needs to be scheduled concerning the reservoir.  He was concerned about going ahead and getting a meeting scheduled (if needed) to save time.  Vice Mayor Adams said that once what was in process concerning the reservoir (signs, electricity quote for lighting and power supply, camera systems) was done then they could look at re-opening the reservoir, but he didn’t have a timeline on how long that was going to take.  Mr. Thurston said once the estimates from Dominion come in, then he said he would let Mark know, and then Mark could talk to his committee members to schedule a meeting. 

Vice Mayor Adams said that what was budgeted for the audit will probably have to be reconsidered in light of the resignation of the current auditor, Jerry Reynolds.         


Councilperson Laprade asked about tables not being available at the community building if only the auditorium is rented.  She asked if possibly an extra fee could be charged to use the tables in these cases. 

Councilperson Johnson asked about the Town donating money to help with Brookneal Fest that is coming up in October and being sponsored by the Brookneal Chamber of Commerce.   She suggested an amount of $750.00.  The Council discussed this issue, and Vice Mayor Adams said that he would need to look at the numbers in more depth with the Clerk/Treasurer Bobbie Waller.

Councilperson David asked about what was going on with the high-speed internet that was supposed to be available in the Town months ago; they had placed their equipment on the Town’s water towers.   Mr. Thurston told him he would check into this.  Councilperson Johnson said that it was available at the DMV select office and at her office (J.T. Davis Insurance Agency) in Nathalie.




Bobbie A. Waller: Clerk/Treasurer

James Nowlin: Mayor

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