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

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March 12, 2024


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
Mark Wilkes, Vice Mayor
Barbara Laprade, Joseph David, Cynthia Johnson, Scott Fisher and Conner Francis, Council Members
Mike Crews, Public Works Director
Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer
Robert Kolich, Chief of Police



Upon motion by Joseph David, seconded by Cynthia Johnson, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the March 12, 2024, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.


Upon motion by Joseph David, seconded by Cynthia Johnson, and unanimously carried, Council approved the minutes for the February 13, 2024 physical development committee meeting and town council meeting.


Mayor Jennings asked that the treasurer’s report for March 2024 be filed for audit.


Be it resolved that motion was made by Conner Francis, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of February 14, 2024, through March 12, 2024 in the amount of $36,660.39.


Mrs. Donnalynn Davis, business owner of 246 The Main, appeared before the Council to thank the Council for doing such a great job on tending to our town, caring about our citizens and businesses that are here.  She wished to express appreciation for the benevolent gift of the kiosk to 246 The Main.  She said they are in their 10th anniversary in Brookneal.  She said people have come from all over to attend productions at the theater.  She said they are going to put posters for the theater in this kiosk.  She said she would like to let the public know about this gift by putting it on Facebook and in the newspaper.  She asked if the Town would help them get the kiosk moved and put it in place at the theater; she said they are willing to pay for the cost of doing this. 

Ms. Julie Garrenton (and her husband Mark was with her), are the new managers of the Brookneal Farmer’s Market and owners of Falling Molly’s farm in Hat Creek.  She said this year they would like to have the farmer’s market on the lawn at the Brookneal community building.   

She said that the community building area is more visible, has better public parking and is closer to retail shops. She said the hours for the market would be 9 am to 1 pm the 2nd Saturday of each month from April to October.  She said they are hoping to build on the success that Art and Kristy Purcel had last year.  She said that she hopes the market will foster a real sense of community for the people of Brookneal.  Ms. Waller asked that everyone be mindful and respectful of the landscaping project that is being done and paid for by the Brookneal Woman’s Club to beautify the community building lawn.  Councilperson David made a motion to allow the use of the community building lawn for the farmer’s market in April to see how things will work out.  The motion received a second from Cynthia Johnson and was unanimously approved.  Mr. David included in his motion that the Council would revisit the request after the April farmer’s market to decide whether the event could continue for the rest of the year. 

Pastor Phil Stevens, of Brookneal Community Church and also pastor of Winfall Baptist Church, appeared before Council to invite everyone to a launch of the new church on Hunter Road on April 7th.  He said that his church, Winfall Baptist Church is starting this new church.  He said the launch on April 7th will feature the Liberty University Women’s Choir, Congressman Bob Goode, Delegate Eric Zehr, food, and games for the kids starting at 11 a.m.  He said that his church has plans to start a Christian school in the church building on Hunter Road.  Mr. Stevens wants to know if the property is zoned for a school; he wants to start the necessary inspections for this to begin this fall.  Public Works Director Mike Crews told Mr. Stevens that the property is already zoned for a school. 

Ms. Waller told the Council that Mr. Tom Keefer could not be here tonight, but he did leave a report for the Council concerning his property on Virginia Avenue/Lusardi Drive that was declared a public nuisance by the Council in January.  She passed around the report to Council members.  She said Mr. Keefer said that he has put the fence up that Council requested; he also has an engineer coming this Friday, March 15, 2024 to inspect the property.  She said Mr. Keefer said that he still has not gotten the building secured, but he is going to have that done this week. 

Mr. Jeffrey Carpenter of the Brookneal Community Alliance asked the Council if the Alliance can use the community building for their monthly meetings on the 2nd Monday of each month from 630 to 830 p.m.


Upon motion by Conner Francis, seconded by Joseph David and unanimously approved, the Council voted to allow use of the community building to the Brookneal Community Alliance on the 2nd Monday of each month from 630 to 830 p.m.


Chief Robert Kolich presented the police report for March 2024.  He said that of the 105 calls for service in February, 94 were answered by the Brookneal Police Department and 11 by the Campbell County Sheriff’s office.  He said Officer Tanner was involved in a pursuit into Halifax County on February 28, 2024 that lasted for about 18 miles.  He said it led to a foot pursuit with help from the Halifax County Sheriff’s office; 2 people were arrested, 1 for probation violation for dangerous drugs and possession of cocaine, and the 2nd person who was arrested gave information on an attempted murder case in Halifax County.  The 3rd suspect who has pending warrants has not been found at this time.  

Chief Kolich said that Officer Mason has been monitoring Main Street since the last meeting with all the discussion about speeding on Main Street.  He said that the average speed on Main Street was 19 miles an hour.  He said that when he first started doing this, the vehicles were a little bit fast, so his presence alone has slowed down vehicles.  He said there was 35 vehicles of the 1247 checked that were 5 miles or more over the speed limit. 

Chief Kolich said he was asked last month about drugs.  He said he ran a report from February 1, 2023 to February 1, 2024; during that time there was 21 individuals that were involved in 4 firearms seizures, 14 seizures of methamphetamines, 3 seizures of cocaine, 2 seizures of fentanyl, 1 seizure of heroine, and 2 seizures of juvenile possession of marijuana.


Public Works Director Mike Crews presented the following in his report:

  • The maintenance department repaired a water leak on Juniper Cliff Road on 2/22/24.
  • A sewer connection was done on 111 Hunter Road on 2/14/24 and a water connection was done at 135 Reke Owen Street on 2/27/24.
  • Robert Brown with VDOT has been contacted about the parking signs, tractor and trailers being prohibited from coming up Main Street except for deliveries, and a traffic study on Rush Street and Main Street; he is waiting to hear back from him.
  • The Town was awarded $100,000 for the lead service line (LSL) inventory requirements. Tamara Anderson will be the project manager assigned to the Town of Brookneal for this project. She wants to meet with him on March 20, 2024 at 4:00 p.m. to go over the requirements in depth.
  • It’s time for an inspection at Phelps Creek Reservoir for the dam; the cost is going to be around $12,000.00
  • He said he is having some serious issues with the pump stations, the one on Booker Road and Mattox Street. He said he has reached out to Va Pump and Motor for information on pricing and replacement; he said it will be about 2 weeks before they can get to the Town.

Department of Environmental Quality did an inspection on both lagoons last Tuesday, 3/5/24 and he should be getting the inspection report back in a couple of weeks. 


Councilperson David said that he had talked to the airport authority board, and according to the information enclosed in the council packets this month, they want to know if the Town will contribute $8,000 to help with the cost of the audits.  These audits were not done during Covid, and have to be completed in order to submit the loan application for funding of the hangers for the airport.  He said he tried to tell the county that their tax base is so much larger than Brookneal’s (53,000 compared to 750 in Brookneal), and that Brookneal did not have this expense in their budget.  He said that about 4 years ago the airport thought they would save money and not do the audits since they had lost federal funding (FAA) due to not having 10 airplanes.  Now since they need a loan to do the T hangers, they must have the audits caught up before the federal government will consider giving them a loan.  He said he has only seen an estimate for the audits, not an actual bill. 

Councilperson Francis asked if the Airport would accept a lower amount than the suggested $8,000.  Mr. David said that his thoughts were that the Town could look and see if there is some money available in the budget to contribute to the audit cost, and then let the airport authority send the final bill to the Town when it is available.  He said they were asking for a third of the total cost of the audits.  Consensus was to table this issue until the April Council meeting until the final bill for the audit was received, and the Town could see if they had some money available to contribute to this.


Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Conner Francis, and unanimously approved, the Council voted unanimously to approve the following request for transfer of appropriation.

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Finance and Planning Committee Chairperson Cynthia Johnson said that the personnel committee has formed a committee to hire a town manager.  She said the committee is going to be comprised of Councilperson Johnson, Councilperson Francis, Brenda Short, Bobby Long, Laverne Canada, and David Francis. 

Physical Development Committee Chairperson Joseph David said that he had a received a few complaints from people using the community building about the mess around the building and dog feces in the walking areas.  He said that he would like to propose continuing the fence that the Garden Club put up at the side of the community building to go around the rest of the town property to Smith Street.  He said this would hide unsightly items from the 2 houses bordering the community building parking lot. 

Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Scott Fisher and unanimously carried, the Council voted to extend the fence on the back side of the community building originally erected by the Garden Club all the way down to Smith Street.  Councilperson Laprade asked what they were going to do about people letting their dogs use the bathroom in the walking areas around the  community building.  Mr. David said that there is a nuisance ordinance that could be enforced; he said he has identified the person doing this with a camera that was installed in the area.  He said he felt like the person wouldn’t be inclined to walk all the way around the fence once it is erected to take their dogs out to the bathroom.


Upon motion by Conner Francis, seconded by Cynthia Johnson, and unanimously approved, the Council voted to accept the bid from Yoder ConstructIon for the construction of a pavilion at the ballpark in the amount of $50,700.


Councilperson Francis reminded the Council that the Brookneal Fire Department marathon is  April 6.  He also said the catfish/bass tournament is April 19-21.  He said the Masonic lodge partnered with Foster Fuels for a successful blood drive with 37 units of blood collected.  He also said that Red Hill received a Top 10 endangered artifact award from the Virginia Association of Museums for the Henry family cookbook.  He asked everyone to fill out the Centra patient survey either on paper or online.  He said a link was posted on the live video tonight.    Mr. Francis said that Dr. Waldron at Brookneal Medical Center needs help.   

Councilperson David said that 501 is hindering the growth of Brookneal; he said the stretch between Rustburg and Brookneal is unsafe.   He said that everyone needs to complain in every way they can to get the attention of VDOT. He said he called Senator Kaine and Senator Warners’ offices and found out that the nearest office to Brookneal is in Roanoke.


Upon motion by Conner Francis, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to go into closed session under VA Code 2.2-3711 (A) (3) for the discussion or consideration of the acquisition of real property for a public purpose.


Upon motion by Conner Francis, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, the Council came back into open session. 

Mayor Jennings called for a vote certifying that only those items were discussed as allowed under VA Code Section 2.2-3711 (A)(3) for the purpose of discussion or consideration of the acquisition of real property for a public purpose.  

Voting was as follows:

Mr. Francis                  Aye
Mr. Fisher                    Aye
Mr. David                    Aye
Vice Mayor Wilkes      Aye                 
Ms, Johnson               Aye
Mayor Jennings          Aye
Ms. Laprade                Aye


Upon motion by Conner Francis, seconded by Cynthia Johnson, and unanimously carried, Mayor Jennings announced that the March 12, 2024 Council meeting was adjourned.


Bobbie A. Waller: Clerk/Treasurer

Kenneth Jennings: Mayor