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February 11, 2020

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

PUBLIC HEARING FOR REPEALING AND REPLACING THE TOWN CODE SECTION CHANGING THE DEADLINE FOR FILING BUSINESS LICENSE APPLICATIONS FROM FEBRUARY 1 TO MARCH 1 OF EACH YEAR

Vice Mayor Adams opened the public hearing at 7:00 p.m.  No one spoke in favor of or in opposition to the proposed change to the business license due date, therefore, Vice Mayor Adams closed the public hearing at 7:02 p.m. 

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

OPENING REMARKS BY VICE MAYOR RICHARD ADAMS

Vice Mayor Adams said that there are not enough council members present tonight to constitute a quorum, so there cannot be any votes taken at this meeting.  He said anything requiring a vote would need to be tabled until the March 10, 2020 Council meeting.

CHANGES AND/OR ADDITIONS TO AGENDA

Vice Mayor Adams said that there was an item that was added to the March 11, 2020 agenda:  Adoption of the Updated Campbell County All Hazards All Disciplines Plan (Emergency Operations Plan).  He said that this would, however, have to wait for a vote at the March meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Mr. Gary Christie, of the Central Virginia Planning District Commission, appeared before Council to discuss the 2019 annual report for the Commission.  He said they have brought in $18.44 for each $1 in dues (from the member jurisdictions) in grants and outside monies.     He said there were 5 Smart Scale projects approved in June 2019, one of which is in Campbell County at the intersection of US 29 and Rt. 699 at Perky’s in Altavista.  

He said their regional radio system serves Lynchburg, Campbell and Bedford; 2 years ago, they upgraded from 11 towers to 16 towers.  He said there are approximately 2700 devices connected to this system.  He said they are in talks with Campbell County about  joining the regional radio system.

He said they have invested $150,000 in working on the Central Virginia Training Center property which will be officially closed this summer.  He said they are finishing up a tornado recovery grant in Appomattox County; this is mostly a CDBG housing grant.  He said they helped the Town of Pamplin with a water tank improvement grant through the Office of Drinking Water (VDH).  He said they are working on a project to turn the methane gas coming off of the landfill near Rustburg into something beneficial and possibly make some money selling it.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Mr. Scott Fisher, of Clark Street, appeared before Council to ask if there are any plans to get better internet services for Brookneal.  He said he had heard there was a fiber optic line that was being worked on down near the Golden Skillet for Food Lion; he said he had heard it was Mid Atlantic Broadband doing that work.  Town Manager Russell Thurston said that SCS Broadband has internet equipment installed on the Town’s water tank on Bank Street, and the Town is using the SCS service.  He said he understood that SCS may have a funding problem with the equipment that is required at the point of use.  He said he would check and see if he could get an update on this project.   Mr. Fisher said he has tried to get Comcast to come in and talk to the Town about offering internet, but he has not had any success. 

Mr. John Mason, of 311 Main Street, appeared before Council to discuss a problem on his property.  He said he rents from Stewart Smith, and is currently working on some of Mr. Smith’s properties on Old Main Street.  He said he has a garage behind his property at 311 Main Street which connects to an alleyway on Todd Street that is in very poor condition.  He said his wife cannot get her Volkswagen Bug in and out but on one side of the garage.  He said puddles are forming around the Town water meter boxes on that alleyway, and also erosion is also taking place.  He wanted to know if there is something the Town could do since the sanitation truck uses that alleyway.   Vice Mayor Adams said that the alleyway is private property; it is not Town property.  He said VDOT has also said they are not going to take responsibility for it.  He suggested to Mr. Mason that he talk with the other adjacent property owners and as a group try to decide what course of action, they could take to fix that problem area.  Mr. Mason said that he does have opportunities and availabilities to fix the problem himself.  He said that he understood that there is going to be some roadwork done in Town and there might be some millings left over and he asked if he could have access to those millings.  He also asked if the trash truck will continue to travel on this road once it is fixed with private funds.  Public Works Director Mike Crews said that he has already discussed the trash truck issue, and the residents on that alleyway would have to start placing their trash on Main Street or Smith Street for pickup instead of the trash truck using the alleyway.  Mr. Crews also told Mr. Mason that there is going to be some roadwork in Town by VDOT, but he said the Town asked for millings last year when the road project was being done, but they did not receive any.

POLICE REPORT

Police Chief Richard Baldwin presented the police report for January 2020.  He said of the 97 calls for service last month, 86 were answered by the Brookneal Police Department and 11 by the Campbell County Sheriff’s office.  He said there was a robbery in January at Jiffy Food Store, and two days prior to that two businesses were broken into, but nothing was taken.  He said these break-ins are regional, and he feels like they are the same people.  He said several jurisdictions are working on this together.  He reminded everyone of the community event sponsored by the Campbell County Sheriff’s office on March 28 from 9 am to 1 pm.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT

Public Works Director Mike Crews said the electrical poles and lighting project at the Town Reservoir have been completed.  Ms. Waller said that permits and hang tags have been ordered and should be here this week.  Mr. Crews said Chief Baldwin is working on getting the cameras ordered, and he said signs are ready and just have to be placed on the property. He said crypto testing at the water treatment plant will be coming to a close in April.   He said the new sanitation vehicle should be here either the end of March or first of April.

TOWN MANAGER REPORT

Town Manager Russell Thurston said there is a coffee and donut shop in the works in the Town limits.  He also said that there is a new shop on the end of Main Street selling primitive items and home décor.  He said that the FY19 audit reports were received today, and they have been distributed tonight for Council’s perusal.  He said the audit will be accepted by vote at the March 2020 Council meeting.  He said there will be a budget meeting here tomorrow, February 11, 2020 at 11 a.m.  He said Ms. Waller had received information that the health insurance will increase by 4.8% in the FY21 budget year. 

He said the request for proposals for the hotel study were mailed out in early January, and the proposals were due January 31, 2020.  He said he did receive one good proposal.  He said he has submitted the information to USDA for their approval.  He said as soon as he gets the approval from USDA, then he can go ahead and enter into a deal with this company.  He said that the project will be done in phases.  He said that if the company finds that the market is not right for lodging in the area in the 1st phase of this project, then the project will be closed, and no more money would be spent. 

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

Vice Mayor Adams said that a budget meeting schedule was passed out by the Clerk/Treasurer.  The meetings start tomorrow February 12, and will conclude by April. 

Physical Development Committee Chairperson Mark Wilkes said that the meeting that was scheduled for tonight with Rev. Jerry Stanfield has been postponed until March 10, 2020 at 6 p.m. 

ITEMS FROM TOWN COUNCIL

There were no items from Town Council. 

ADJOURNMENT

Vice Mayor Adams announced that the February 11, 2020 Council meeting was adjourned.

 

Bobbie A. Waller: Clerk/Treasurer

James Nowlin: Mayor

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Brookneal, VA 24528