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January 10, 2023


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:

Kenneth Jennings, Mayor
Barbara Laprade, Joseph David, Cynthia Johnson, and Conner Francis, Council Members
Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer
Russell Thurston, Town Manager
Mike Crews, Public Works Director
Robert Kolich, Chief of Police
Absent:  Mark Wilkes, Vice Mayor and Scott Fisher, Council Member



Upon motion by Joseph David, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the January 11, 2022, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council with the following addition:  1) Appointment of Vice Mayor.


Upon motion by Conner Francis, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the January 10, 2023, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council


Mayor Jennings asked that the November and December 2022 and January 2023 treasurer’s reports be filed for audit.


The following resolution was presented to Richard Adams by Barbara Laprade in the absence of Vice Mayor Mark Wilkes.


, The Honorable Richard Adams has served the citizens of the Town of Brookneal for Eighteen years beginning in January of 2005; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Adams also served as the Chairman of the Finance and Planning Committee for Fifteen consecutive years; and

WHEREAS, It can be said Mr. Adams was instrumental each year with helping to create and execute a balanced budget; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Adams also devoted many hours to economic development activities such as representing Brookneal at the Regional Airport Authority; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Adams also served as Vice-Mayor and took over the role of town Mayor upon the passing of his long-time friend and fellow Council member, The Honorable Champ Nowlin;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mark Wilkes, by virtue of the authority vested in me as the Honorable Vice-Mayor of the Town of Brookneal, do hereby affirm that Tuesday, January 10, 2023, shall be recognized as a day of appreciation in the honor of:

Richard Adams, for his outstanding and dedicated service to the people of Brookneal; let it be known by all that Brookneal is a better place because of him.

BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, Let this Resolution of Appreciation be hereby and forevermore recorded in the official record of the Town of Brookneal, this 10th day of January of the year of our Lord Two-Thousand Twenty-Three.

Signed by my hand, The Honorable Vice-Mayor, Mark Wilkes


Tony Whitley, of the Odd Fellows Lodge #267, told the Council that the lodge would like to donate a tree for the community building grounds in appreciation for the Town allowing them to use the community building as their meeting center for the last 2 years.  He said the lodge has been in Brookneal for 110 years, and they would like to place a plaque at the tree commemorating the Lodge’s 110 years. 

Upon motion by Conner Francis, seconded by Cynthia Johnson and unanimously carried, the Council voted to allow the Odd Fellows to plant a tree of their desire at the community building after consultation with the Town administration.


Shannon Burton, president of the William Campbell Band parent association, appeared before Council to request use of the community building for a banquet/ball on March 25, 2023, for the band students and their parents from 6 pm to 10 pm.  

Upon motion by Joseph David, seconded by Cynthia Johnson and unanimously carried, the Council voted to allow use of the community building at no charge on March 25, 2023 for the WCHS band banquet/ball.


Mr. Michael Monroe, of Elite Recycling, appeared before Council for 2 separate agendas.  He passed out some information about the new facility at the Dan River property including a letter of intent and a map of the property.  He said they have had meetings with Mike Crews and Clay Samples about the water situation at the building and what the Town can provide.  He said the town will be able to provide water for the new facility that has been built but not the other 4 facilities on the property.  He said he is here today on the fire suppression system.  He said they have put in a storage facility for fire suppression at Dan River utilizing the old water treatment facility by turning it into a storage facility so that they can get off of the Town water supply in the future.  He said that Mr. Samples said that once this facility goes online, the Town can’t do anything else; no hotel, no new restaurants, nothing new in the industrial park.  He said that the importance of the fire protection system at Dan River is to 1) utilize it to where they will have enough fire protection to cover the entire facility that they are going to build over the next five years and 2) to unhook from the Town allowing the Town the water it needs for future growth.  He said the reserve tanks are already in place.  He said they are asking for assistance on installing this system to fill it and/or utilize the fire protection system.  He said Campbell County is willing to help, but the Town needs to reach out to them and ask for assistance.  He said this is just not for the Dan River facility, but it will also be utilized by the Brookneal Volunteer Department for the public.  He said they are here to ask the Town to reach out to Campbell County Economic Development and obtain the help needed to put in this fire suppression system for future businesses here, for the future of the town and for public safety.  He said that if they cannot get fire protection to the 5 facilities being built, they will not be able to stay in the Town.  He said this project will bring at least 50 jobs if not more, and more business will be coming into the town as a result of this project.  Mr. Monroe said that the 1st building will be going online mid to late March 2023, and he hopes to be on Town water only until the end of this year.  He said they have purchased a lot of the pumping equipment already for the storage facility. 

Public Works Director Mike Crews asked that this discussion be continued to the physical development committee meeting that will be on January 17.  He said this meeting was supposed to be held tonight, but the committee chairperson is ill.  Mr. Crews addressed the water shortage being discussed by Mr. Monroe per Mr. Samples.  He told the Council that Clay Samples is not an engineer; he is a contractor that works for the Town of Brookneal.  He said as far as Mr. Samples saying how much water the Town of Brookneal can supply is not for Mr. Samples to say.  He said that needs to be determined by a preliminary engineering study; he said that will examine all the logistics of the Brookneal water system and determine what the Town can offer.  Mr. Crews said he found it hard to believe the Town is limited on the water it can supply at this point because in the past, the Town had multiple industries and was supplying water to all of those.  Councilperson David pointed out that the water is only going to be needed at the Dan River facility if there is a fire; it is not going to be needed all the time. 

Mr. Monroe moved on to his 2nd agenda.  He said that his company has cleared a lot on Virginia Avenue adjacent to Elite Recycling where there was a burned house.  He passed out some information on a proposal to partner with the Town on a new trash collection site on Virginia Avenue.  He said this would be a nicer site for the citizens, and it would offer recycling bins furnished by Elite Recycling.  He said that the Town could put in as many trash containers there as they would like.  He said that they have inquiries weekly about where items can be taken for recycling.  He said if the Town is interested, he would like to set up a meeting to further discuss the details.  Mayor Jennings asked the physical development committee to look at this proposal, and Councilperson David said they would add it to the agenda for their January 17, 2023 meeting. 

Ms. Tracy Meisenbach, of Cook Avenue, spoke to the Council about the road on Carson Street that goes past the state-maintained sign.   She said that this road has water and sewer easements that cut across her property all the way back to the nursing home.  She said part of that area is washed away tremendously bad.  She said if there was an emergency and the Town needed to take trucks or a trailer in there, it may not be possible.  She asked if the Town would be willing to put in some gravel on the area. 

Art Pursel, representing the Brookneal Community Alliance, told the Council that they had their first meeting of 2023 on January 9, 2023.  He said they plan on continuing community events such as the Brookneal Fest and Main Street Strong this year.  He said their main purpose is Town beautification and business growth and support.  He said they are also looking at having an Easter Egg Hunt for the Town, and a Town business survey looking into where the Town businesses stand on what they get from the Town and what they can focus on.  He said they will also repeat the Farmer’s Markets this year.  He said the alliance is the liaison between the citizens, business owners and the Town Council, the Town office and the Town works. 

Mr. James Rocco, of Virginia Avenue, told the Town Council that he is concerned about the property at 311 Virginia Avenue that is adjacent to his property.  He said the property is dilapidated and has been there for years like that.  He said tin is falling off the roof, and he is afraid his daughter may get hurt there.  He said there is overgrowth of the trees and the bushes and rodents inside the property.  He just wanted to know if the Town is aware of this and what the Town may do about this.   Mr. David agreed with Mr. Rocco that it is a danger to the community.  He said floors have fallen through inside, and there are pieces blowing off of it.   Mr. Thurston said he would look into this.


Robert Kolich, Chief of Police, presented the police report for December 2022.  He said of the 146 calls for service, 132 were answered by the Brookneal Police Department and 14 by the Campbell County Sheriff’s office.  He said that he and Officer Tanner attended a DMV grant workshop trying to get a grant for overtime for selective enforcement to help increase patrol.  He said he and Officer Mason attended a lockdown drill at Brookneal Elementary with the sheriff’s office.


Public Works Director Mike Crews said that he had been contacted by someone with Central Virginia Cat Rescue that will be trapping the cats from the dumpster area.  He said this group will catch the cats and will vaccinate them, spade or neuter them, possibly find homes for some of them, and possibly bring some of them back to the site.  He said the extreme cold weather in December didn’t’ present any major problems.  He said they are still installing the rest of the larger radio read water meters.


Town Manager Russell Thurston said that the Council had approved 4--$10,000 grants under the New Beginnings Grant program.  He said that Michael Monroe submitted an application for the last of these, and that is in the Council packet.

He said he has the plans for the playground at the ballpark.  He said the physical development committee will be looking at this soon to choose a drawing from among those submitted.  He said the architect is now working on the drawings for the boat ramp area; he said he hopes to have a picnic shelter and a playground element in that area. 

He said the ballpark area will include not only a new playground, but also a pickle ball court, basketball court upgrades, a walking trail, and restrooms.

He said he will prepare a budget meeting schedule and present that at the February meeting.


Upon motion by Cynthia Johnson, seconded by Conner Francis and unanimously carried, the Council voted to adopt the schedule of meeting dates for 2023 and the town holidays for 2023 as outlined by the Clerk/Treasurer


Mayor Kenneth Jennings announced the appointment of Mark Wilkes as the Vice Mayor.  Upon motion by Barbara Laprade, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, the Council confirmed the appointment of Mark Wilkes as the Vice Mayor of the Town of Brookneal


Mr. Michael Monroe’s application for the $10,000 new beginnings grant indicated to the Council that this grant would be used for improvements to the former water treatment building and the 519,000-gallon water storage reservoir to be used as fire protection on new and existing buildings in the essential recycling complex.  Mr. Monroe said Elite Recycling has been in business for 12 years and started with 1 employee.  He said they now have 40 employees, and this new machine is the future in recycling.  He said the Town cannot quite fathom the amount of recognition, traffic and business this machine is going to bring to this Town. Upon motion by Conner Francis, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, the Town awarded the 5th New Beginnings Grant of $10,000 to Elite of Virginia, LLC.


There were no committee recommendations.


Councilperson Johnson said that the Brookneal Community Alliance expressed concerns about the backs of the buildings that face Rush Street being open, and they were wondering what could be done about that.  Mr. Thurston said that he would have to notify the owners in writing and by law give them a 30-day notice to seal those buildings up.  He said if they don’t act, then the Town could do that and bill the cost to them with the hopes they would reimburse the Town.  She also asked about the trees blocking the view in the CVS/O’Reilly Auto Parts area.  Mr. Thurston said some detective work would need to be done to see whose responsibility that is. 

Councilperson David said that he heard that some personnel from the Brookneal Volunteer Fire Department helped with a swift water rescue at Buggs Island.  He asked if the Town could do some kind of commendation when something like this happens just to recognize citizens for their good works.   He also asked about looking at the chicken issue again in the physical development committee since eggs have increased so much in cost.  Ms. Laprade noted that the holdup on this is the lack of a planning commission to explore the options.  

Councilperson Francis said that he is very excited about the plans for the playground and the boat ramp.  He said he has been talking with economic development about a welcome sign on the Staunton River bridge welcoming canoers and kayakers to the area.  He said economic development had a conversation with VDOT about a sign, and the only concern VDOT had was about how to attach the sign to the bridge.  Mr. Thurston told Mr. Francis that the branding signs around town were designed by a firm out of Richmond, and that branding is available for signage.   He told Mr. Francis he would work with him on this. 


Upon motion by Conner Francis, seconded by Cynthia Johnson, and unanimously carried, Mayor Jennings announced that the January 10, 2023, Council meeting was adjourned.

Bobbie A. Waller: Clerk/Treasurer

Kenneth Jennings: Mayor

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