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

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August 11, 2020


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
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, Mark Wilkes, and Barbara Laprade, Council Members



Mayor Nowlin told the Council that there are not enough Council members present to constitute a quorum, so no action may be taken tonight on any agenda items. 


No one appeared before Council during public comment. 


Police Chief Richard Baldwin presented the police report for July 2020.  He said of the 69 calls for service last month, 66 were answered by the Brookneal Police Department and 3 by the Campbell County Sheriff’s office.  He said he and Pastor Jerry Stanfield are working on putting together a support group for friends and family of drug and alcohol abusers. 


Public Works Director Mike Crews talked to the Council about a feature on the new trash truck.  He said there is a lift pocket on the back of the truck in which you can roll an appropriately equipped trash can right up to the back of the trash truck.  He said you then pull the hydraulic lever, it hooks the lip of the can, dumps it, sets it back down, and rolls it away.  He said he would like the physical development committee to look at this idea and possibly make it a requirement for all households in Town to purchase one of these.  He said it would really be a timesaver as well as help to beautify the Town; he said some people’s trash gets strewn all across their yards if animals get into their trash. He said it could also cut down on the number of employees from 3 to 2 needed to work on the trash truck.  Councilperson Johnson said she has a 65-gallon trash can like Mr. Crews is talking about, and the cost of that can was $65.  She said she purchased hers through the Updikes who used to have a waste business in the area.  Mr. Crews said he priced some of these cans, and the 35-gallon can is $90, the 65-gallon is $125 and the 90 gallon is $140.


Town Manager Russell Thurston said that the physical development committee met on August 6 to discuss Main Street/Rush Street/Cook Avenue parking issues.   He said they focused on permitted parking areas that may need to be changed in these areas.  He said it was less focused on changing traffic direction that was previously discussed at the July Council meeting. He said he did talk to Robert Brown, regional VDOT director, about this, and he said VDOT would need to be involved in changing the parking areas.  Mr. Brown said he would assign a traffic engineer to the project to meet with the town and local businesses to discuss the proposed changes.

Mr. Thurston said he and Chief Baldwin have continued to work on some derelict properties in town.  He said that USDA has approved the reallocation of funds left in the hotel/lodging study grant to have a marketing pitch book done, and they will extend the grant deadline by 60 days.  He also said he has been working on gathering information about Brookneal Drug to present them with a resolution commemorating their many years in business. 

Mr. Thurston commented on the trash can issue Mr. Crews talked about.  He said the requirement of these cans would also help the Town’s worker compensation insurance in that the Town’s employees would have less contact with trash collection.  He agreed that it would help the town immensely in multiple ways to require the use of these cans.

He said the Town ended FY20 on a positive note with some money left over even with the challenges that were faced with COVID-19.      


Councilperson David proposed having another physical development committee meeting in the next couple of weeks to talk about Rush Street/Main Street/Cook Avenue parking issues.  He suggested asking the railroad to move the side arm at the railroad crossing to the other side of the road to open up more room in that area.  Vice Mayor Adams was not sure that this could be done.  Councilperson Johnson proposed a speed bump in that area to make traffic stop in that area on Main Street.    


Councilperson David asked the Council’s advice on contacting SCS Broadband about the internet service they are supposed to be providing in Brookneal.  He said with school beginning again soon and a lot of students having to do school online, slow and non-existent internet service is going to be a problem.  He said this company made a deal with the Town to put their equipment on the water tower in exchange for internet service for the Town, and they have not followed through on that commitment.  He said he wanted to contact them and see what is going on with this.  Vice Mayor Adams asked Mr. Thurston to check on this company and their agreement with the Town.  Mr. Adams said that the county has agreed to put wireless internet in, but Mr. David noted that it probably won’t be here until November or December.  Mr. David said the company is B2X, and they are running it off the tower at the elementary school for Brookneal and Red House.   Councilperson David said he would contact SCS to see what he could find out from them.   


Having no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.


Bobbie A. Waller: Clerk/Treasurer

James Nowlin: Mayor

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