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

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June 11, 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
Joseph David, Mark Wilkes, Cynthia Johnson, and Barbara Laprade (came in at 7:35 p.m.),    Council Members
Richard Baldwin, Chief of Police
Russell Thurston, Town Manager
Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer
Mike Crews, Public Works Director
Absent:  James Nowlin, Mayor and Phyllis Campbell, Council Member



Vice Mayor Adams told the Council that Councilperson Barbara Laprade would be here a little later, and that all items that needed a vote would be postponed until she arrived. 

He asked if there were any changes to the agenda to which there were none.


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


Mr. Whitt Clark, of Gladys, appeared before Council to announce his candidacy for sheriff of Campbell County.  He said that he has been in law enforcement for 36 years.  In a leadership role within law enforcement for the last 25 years.  He said he is presently with Campbell County as an investigator and has been there for the last 4 years. He said that his vision for the sheriff’s office is one of community policing.  He said he thinks that the office needs to be in the public more, being with people and forming partnerships and relationships with everyone.  He said there is a tremendous problem with narcotics in the county, and he  said he has a strategy to combat that including the implementation of a canine that is sorely needed.  He said he plans to keep all school resource officers and continue to train them; he said children are the most important to him.  He also said that he would like to enhance their working relationship with other agencies within the county such as Brookneal PD.  He said he would like to meet with anyone and tell them about his vision for the county.  Chief Baldwin commented that he thought Mr. Clark was well qualified for the position of sheriff of Campbell County. 

J. T. Davis, of Nathalie, said he was in attendance tonight to talk about the closure of the town reservoir.  He said that he understands since he is in county government that you are faced with a lot of things that you have to take actions, but any action has a lot of time for reaction.  He said that since he retired in March 2018, he bought another boat specifically for the reservoir.  He said he has used it quite a bit and has enjoyed it.  He asked the Council to carefully consider how the reservoir can be re-opened.  He suggested to open it like Briary; he said they keep the lake open from an hour before sunrise to an hour after sunset.  He said this may alleviate the situation that happened.  He asked the Council to do something if they saw fit and somewhat in a timely manner.  Vice Mayor Adams thanked Mr. Davis for his comments, and he emphasized that there was one major responsibility for that reservoir which is to provide safe and clean drinking water for this town.  He said any activity there is purely secondary to that.  He said that he didn’t see a lot of change in the status on it at this point and in the immediate future.  He said changes would have to be policed, and there are limitations on how much time the department has to do that.  He said that he hopes at some point to see the reservoir used for recreational purposes again.  Mr. Davis offered to pay a fee for future use, and he said maybe that would help to offset the cost of expenses associated with whatever the Council decided to do. 

Councilperson David asked who made the decision to close the reservoir to which Public Works Director Mike Crews responded that he did.  Vice Mayor Adams said that Mr. Crews has the right to do that. 


Police Chief Richard Baldwin presented the police report for May 2019.  He said of the 98 calls for service, 93 were answered by the Brookneal Police Department and 5 were answered by the Campbell County Sheriff’s office.  He said that Officer Mason found the damage to the ball field fence on the morning of June 5.  He said it was quite a bit of damage; Mr. Crews said the repairs are going to cost $1,143.  He said the vandalism was ran on Crime stoppers and Facebook with little success.  He said a really expensive bike rack was left behind at the vandalism site.  He said the new police “CAD” system from Zuercher will go live tomorrow (June 12).  He said the dispatchers will have a map on their system where they can track the vehicles of the deputies and officers.  He said Fun Float Day was this month on June 22, 2019.                 



Public Works Director Mike Crews explained what happened at the reservoir on the night of May 18, 2019.  He said Ryan Deitterick, the water treatment plant operator on duty, went to check the reservoir on that night when he encountered 3 men who were drinking and appeared to be on drugs. He said Ryan asked them did they have a permit to be there, to which one of them replied that he was a Davis and he didn’t have to have a permit; he told Ryan he could do what he wanted to do.  He said the young man went to his truck and came back with a handgun and pointed it in the face of Ryan.  He said that Ryan went to the water plant to find a lock to lock the men in the reservoir property until he could get the game warden there, but by the time he came back they were gone.  Ryan had called Mr. Crews during this time and told him about the incident.  Mr. Crews said he and Ryan discussed it, and talked about the safety of the operator and the safety of the water supply.  Mr. Crews said he decided to close the reservoir until further notice.  He noted that fishing in the reservoir is a privilege not a right.  He said that a lot of people don’t want to abide by the rules and regulations written on the back of the reservoir permit.

Councilperson Wilkes asked if the reservoir issue could be turned over to the physical development committee before it was reopened.  Vice Mayor Adams said that it has not been discussed yet.  Councilperson Wilkes said before you make a decision, turn it over to the physical development committee.  Vice Mayor Adams said that he did not have a problem with that.  Vice Mayor Adams said as well as the responsibility the Town has to maintain the quality of the water, we also have to maintain a safe workplace for our employees.  He said until such time as the Town knows it can control the safety of the facility and make sure the employees of the Town are protected, he said did not want to discuss it further.  Councilperson David said that it didn’t make any sense to him, if someone wanted to go and do something to the water, they could just walk up to the reservoir and do something to the water.  He said protecting the supply is nothing; he said the employees need to be educated not to confront people at night that are drinking, doing drugs, and have guns.  He said the employee should have left the reservoir, locked the gate, called 911, and go where it is safe.  (Councilperson Johnson chimed in and said be done with it.)   He said he had been doing this for a number of years, and when people don’t have a description of vehicles, something is not right. 

Mr. Crews noted that he has been attending mandatory meetings for the Hazard Mitigation Plan with Region 2000.  He said any locality that is not a part of this plan, is subject not to get assistance from FEMA in an emergency.  He said they talk about having secure surroundings at your reservoir and having your water plant fenced in.    Town Manager Thurston noted that it is Town owned property, and we have a duty of care on Town owned property.  Councilperson David said that it is crazy to punish everybody else for what a couple of people did; he said the incident was not handled very well by the employee, and he thought employees should be trained how to handle emergency situations.  After much discussion back and forth between Mr. David, Mr. Crews and Mr. Thurston, Vice Mayor Adams intervened to send this issue of the reservoir to the Physical Development Committee.  Councilperson David said he did not want this to go on for months, so he made a motion to vote on the reservoir tonight.  He elaborated that his motion was to come up with rules for re-opening the reservoir, open it limited, and if anyone breaks the rules, then they can never come into the reservoir again as long as they live.  Councilperson Johnson seconded the motion.   No vote was taken.

Councilperson Wilkes noted that while the reservoir is closed, have a meeting and get the rules for the reservoir done.  Town Manager Thurston said that the reservoir is closed for right now, there is no timeframe specified on it, and the Town has a duty of care because we own it; the Town is responsible for what happens on that property.  He said the property probably needs dusk to dawn lights as well as motion activated cameras. He said that these are things that need to be looked at and discussed before the reservoir is reopened.   He said he thought it was irresponsible to say let’s open the reservoir when nothing has been done to potentially abate the situation that happened down there.  He said he believed that the water plant operator should have first say in what happens down there.  He said when he (the water plant employee) is satisfied that enough safety and security is set up down there, then the reservoir can be reopened.  He said he believed in the safety of the employees and the safety of the citizens above somebody going to the reservoir to catch a fish.  Mr. David said it was crazy; that the citizens of the Town of Brookneal are being denied access to property that belongs to them.  He said he thought the way to go with this was to train the employees on how to handle situations. 

Councilperson Laprade said that she felt measures need to be put into place before the reservoir is reopened.  Vice Mayor Adams felt that everyone was saying the same thing, that they want the reservoir open, but with proper measures and rules in place.  He asked the Council members if everyone would be in agreement to get together and start looking at what happened and what measures can be taken to reduce the probability of these incidents happening again.  He asked Mr. David if he would withdraw his motion to re-open the reservoir pending an opportunity to get together as Council members and try to look at this incident in more detail and try to come up with some solutions to get the reservoir open again.   Mr. Adams said that a vote could be held at this point, although the motion made was very open ended, and once that vote is taken, that result would be part of the record for the Town.   Mr. David said his vote was to open the reservoir with rules.   He clarified that his motion was to open the reservoir for public use with a set number of rules to be established, and the reservoir would not open until those rules were agreed upon, and they were published with guidelines as to the consequences of disobeying those rules.  Vice Mayor Adams said that he would not like to see the Council vote on the status of the reservoir, whether it was opened or closed.  Mr. David said that he would like to be able to vote on it or resolve this by next month.  He said he would withdraw his motion if a meeting would be scheduled to come up with a plan to reopen the reservoir.  Councilperson Johnson said she would withdraw her 2nd to the motion concerning the reservoir also at this point.  The group set the date for a meeting as Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. to set up the rules and regulations for the reservoir.    The group also agreed that signs need to be put up at the reservoir stating all the rules and regulations.


Mr. Crews said that the Dixie Boys are hosting the district all-stars tournament starting June 21, 2019.   


Town Manager Russell Thurston said that the hotel and lodging study is moving along.  He said the application has been handed off to the Richmond office of USDA.  He said that it is looking like a $25,000 grant; the Town had requested $15,000, but USDA suggested to increasing it to $25,000 to cover everything needed.  He said that he has not heard anything from Cindy Bomar on the USDA application for a $50,000 sanitation truck grant.  He said that he has talked with Brian Cosman at Hurt & Proffitt about the sidewalk project that Councilperson Laprade had suggested.  He asked council members to let him know where specifically they want to see sidewalks established in the Town of Brookneal.  He said FEMA is reevaluating flood maps across the country; he said Brookneal has been chosen as the regional site to host a meeting of all the localities along the Staunton/Roanoke River.   He said the meeting will be held August 14, 2019 at the new Casey Education Center at Red Hill.


Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Barbara Laprade, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the June 11, 2019, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.


Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Barbara Laprade, and unanimously carried, Council approved the minutes for the May 14, 2019 Town Council meeting.


Be it resolved that motion was made by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of
May 15, 2019 to June 11, 2019 in the amount of $13,485.32.


Upon motion by Cindy Johnson, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to approve the 2019/2020 general fund budget as presented and advertised:

A verbal vote was taken as follows:

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

View General Fund Budget


Upon motion by Joseph David, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to approve the 2019/2020 sewer fund budget as presented and advertised:

A verbal vote was taken as follows:

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

View Sewer Fund Budget


Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, the Council approved the following transfers of appropriation:

Click to View


There were no committee recommendations. 


Councilperson Laprade said that she has been contacting some potential property owners of potential sites for a motel/hotel.  She said that one of the owners indicated that they want to know the type of facility and the owners before giving a price for their property. 

Councilperson Johnson asked if there was anything that could be done about lawn care in Brookneal.  Mr. Thurston told her that there were some things that could be done.  He said that it is a process of writing a nice letter with 15 days’ notice to cut your grass.  He said that if it is not cut then, a certified letter is written saying that this is a becoming a serious offense.  He said that if they don’t cut the grass after 30 days, he could go to the magistrate’s office and have a summons issued for them to appear in court.  He said that the Town could go and cut the grass and charge the cost back to the owner, but the Town does not have the manpower to do so.  He said you also might end up with an owner who just doesn’t care.  He told her to let him know of any particular property she has in mind, and he would work on it.  Councilperson Johnson also said that she had a person from out of town comment about lower Old Main being a complete eyesore.  Mr. Thurston said that some things can be done, and he will work on it.  


Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, Vice Mayor Adams announced that the June 11, 2019 Council meeting was adjourned.



Bobbie A. Waller: Clerk/Treasurer

James Nowlin: Mayor

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