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May 12, 2020

MINUTES OF THE BROOKNEAL TOWN COUNCIL

7:00 PM – The regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the municipal government of the Town of Brookneal met at the Brookneal Community Building, 261 Main Street, so that social distancing could be practiced properly, with the following members present:

James Nowlin, Mayor
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: Phyllis Campbell, Council Member

PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE GENERAL FUND BUDGET

Mayor Nowlin opened the public hearing for the general fund budget at 7:02 p.m.  No one spoke in favor of or in opposition to the general fund budget; therefore, Mayor Nowlin closed the public hearing at 7:04 p.m.

PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE WATER FUND BUDGET

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, Mayor Nowlin closed the public hearing at 7:06 p.m.

PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE SEWER FUND BUDGET

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, Mayor Nowlin closed the public hearing at 7:07 p.m.

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Upon motion by Joseph David, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the May 12, 2020, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.

MINUTES

Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Barbara Laprade, and unanimously carried, Council approved the minutes for the April 14, 2020, Town Council meeting.

TREASURER’S REPORT

Mayor Nowlin asked that the May 2020 treasurer’s report be filed for audit.

PRESENTATION AND APPROVAL OF INVOICES

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 April 15, 2020 to May 12, 2020 in the amount of $20,549.65.

MICHAEL MONROE, ELITE RECYCLING

Michael Monroe, of Elite Recycling appeared before Council to discuss his business. He said in addition to metal and aluminum, Elite has been recycling cardboard, paper and plastic for the last five years. He said that Elite’s paper and plastic division has outgrown the facility they are in by leaps and bounds. He said they have been working with several surrounding counties on their recycling projects getting them started on recycling and getting some up to date on doing recycling correctly. He said they do all of Prince Edward County’s recycling, about 2/3 of Charlotte County, and they are working on getting Campbell and Halifax County’s recycling as well. He said the demand for paper and plastic recycling is huge; he said the only recycling options are a few local facilities like Elite or a facility in Richmond that has automated systems that sort trash. He said Elite is ready to expand; they have been looking at 5 sites over the last 4 months, one in the Lynchburg area, one near Brookneal, one is Halifax County, one in Charlotte County, one in Farmville and one in the Town of Brookneal. He said it would be a $7 million project; the machine costs $5 million and $2 million of improvements are needed to the property itself. He said it would create a minimum 30 jobs with possibly 2 shifts which could be 60 jobs with a minimum pay of $15 per hour. He said it would be a strictly commercial and county recycling site; no one from the public would be able to bring in trash. He said the trash is already supposed to be sorted into papers and plastics at the transfer sites so when it comes to the recycling facility, workers would sort the non-recyclable items before it goes through a fully automated system that sorts what is left into all types of plastics and papers. He said it is dropped into bins which are baled and sent off for recycling. He said the location in the Town of Brookneal is ideal for all aspects of the project. He said there is a 100’ x 400’ building at the Dan River plant which has been untouched (the bleach range), and that is the proposed site for the machine itself. He said they would also have to add a 100’ x 150’ metal building for product intake. He said they want to know what the Council’s outlook is on this facility being in town; if the Town is going to back this project and if they need a special use permit. He said they would need the Town water supply for the restroom facilities. He said Elite now brings 75-100 people per day into the Town of Brookneal. He also said this machine is very quiet when it is running. He said 90% of the “trash” would be able to be converted into a recycled product with the 10% leftover being baled and loaded onto 45’ trucks going to the landfill. He said his estimate is 2 tractor trailer loads per week that will go to the landfill.

He said the machine would take 8 months to manufacture once it is ordered and 2 months to install once it is ready. He said he would guess it would take a 1 year to 1 ½ years to be in operation factoring in hiring employees and training them.

Town Manager Russell Thurston said that he would look at the zoning on this proposed property and hopefully have an answer for him by Friday, the 15th. Public Works Director Mike Crews said he would look at the water supply and see what if anything needs to be done there.

Mr. Michael Monroe also asked the Town to look into a recycling program for the Town of Brookneal. He said they are picking up all of Pittsylvania County’s recyclables. He said he would like to sit down with the Town and see what Elite Recycling can do to help with recycling trash in the Town of Brookneal.

POLICE REPORT

Police Chief Richard Baldwin presented the police report for April 2020. He said of the 53 calls for service last month, 51 were answered by the Brookneal Police Department and 2 by the Campbell County Sheriff’s office.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT

Public Works Director Mike Crews said that he had obtained some quotes on taking down some trees at the community building as the Physical Development Committee has been discussing in prior months. He said St. John’s Tree Service bid was $5550, Epps Landscaping bid was $7900, Ashwell Tree Service bid was $5600 and David Mason’s Tree Service bid was $3600. He said the scope of the work is to remove the 2 large elms, 2 large pines, grind up all 4 stumps, haul away all brush and leave the mulch from the grinding of the stumps. He said he had talked to Dominion Energy to see if they would help out with any tree removal around the power lines; they said they would take down any limbs below the power lines.

TREE REMOVAL AT THE COMMUNITY BUILDING

Upon motion by Joseph David, seconded by Barbara Laprade, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to authorize the removal of the 4 trees at the community building and award the bid to David Mason Tree Service in the amount of $3600.00.

TOWN MANAGER REPORT

Town Manager Russell Thurston said that work on the budget has continued since COVID-19; some meetings have been cancelled and done by conference call instead.

FY21 BUDGET PRESENTATION

Town Manager Russell Thurston said that the hotel/lodging study is underway right now; he said it should be finishing up in June. He said there is a lot of activity at the River’s Edge Townhomes; a lot of new people are moving into town. He said there is a very active real estate market in the Town of Brookneal as well. He reviewed the proposed budget for 20/21:

  • No new tax increases
  • 4.5% health insurance increase
  • Water reserve fund is doing well
  • Sewer reserve fund being built is now over $80,000.
  • No water or sewer rate increases for FY21.

He said he is working on some protocols in the office to get the office reopened to the public as quickly as possible amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

REQUEST FOR TRANSFERS OF APPROPRIATION

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

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COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

There were no committee recommendations.

ITEMS FROM TOWN COUNCIL

Councilperson Johnson said she had received a complaint about some properties in Town especially Old Main Street, and what ordinances were in place to address these properties. Mr. Thurston said there are ordinances in place to address this, and they have been working on a few of these properties. He said that he was going to check into criminal and possibly civil action against some of these property owners. Ms. Johnson said that in the 300 block of Cook Avenue water ponds really bad, and she is concerned about transport vans that travel that area back and forth to the nursing home. Mr. Thurston said he would put in a request to VDOT concerning this.

ADJOURNMENT

Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, Mayor Nowlin announced that the May 12, 2020 Council meeting was adjourned.

 

Bobbie A. Waller: Clerk/Treasurer

James Nowlin: Mayor

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Brookneal, VA 24528