Minutes of a regular meeting of the Town Council of the Town
of Marion, Virginia held in the Council Chambers of the
PRESENT: Mayor David P. Helms; Dr. James Gates, Mel Leaman, Bill Weaver, Ken Heath (Excused Early), Mark Warren, Jane Hale and Suzanne Jennings, Council Members; Town Manager John E. B. Clark, Jr.; Town Engineer/Assistant Town Manager Cecil Hicks; Police Chief Michael Roberts; Police Sgt. Wes Thomas; Town Attorney Mark Fenyk (arriving late) and Town Clerk/Director of Finance Dixie Sheets.
INVOCATION/PLEDGE TO THE FLAG: Rev. Alan Gray rendered the invocation. Mayor Helms led the Pledge to the Flag.
VISITOR: Rev. Alan Gray, Teresa McNeil, James McNeil, Ron Parsons, Jeff Spickard
MINUTES: Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the minutes of the meeting held December 15, 2008 were approved as written and distributed. Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Hale, Dr. Gates, and Messrs Weaver, Heath, Leaman, and Warren voted affirmatively.
RESOLUTION OF CONTRATULATIONS FOR BLAKE V. RICHARDSON ON THE OCCASION OF EARNING THE RANK OF EAGLE SCOUT: Mayor Helms informed Town Council that Mr. Richardson was unable to attend and asked that this item be continued.
UPDATE ON POLICE DEPARTMENT 12-HOUR SHIFT WHICH BEGINS JANUARY 3 – POLICE CHIEF: Chief Roberts advised that the Marion Police Department began working 12-hour shifts on January 3, 2009. All officers have signed off on the regulations with the new schedule.
SIGN-UPS FOR VML/VACo LEGISLATIVE DAY: VML/VACo Legislative Day will be held on February 5, 2009 at the Richmond Marriott. Members of Town Council were encouraged to notify the Clerk if they plan to attend.
APPROVAL OF FINAL PAY
Dr. Gates asked that Mr. Spickard check for cracks in the sediment basin. This was a problem in the past and hopefully has been remedied. It was noted that four (4) years remain on the warranty for the basin.
Mayor Helms expressed the Town’s appreciation to Mr. Spickard for keeping the Town Council apprised of the Water Treatment Plant Update and the Water Tank Renovation Projects.
PROPOSED CLOSING OF ADOLESCENCE MENTAL
HEALTH UNIT: Ron Parsons and Teresa
McNeil were present to discuss the proposed closing of the Adolescence Mental
Health Unit at SWVMHI. The unit, as
part of Governor Kaine’s reduction in services plan, is slated to close on
March 1, 2009. The unit employs 37
individuals, including 9 of the Hospital Education Program, with a budget of
approximately $1.5 million. Closure of
the facility would result in a permanent workforce reduction for the community. The Adolescent Unit at SWVMHI is the only source
of public inpatient services for children ages 13-17 west of
When asked about the difference between Keystone and the Adolescent Unit, Mr. Parsons explained that Keystone is a residential, long-term facility. The Adolescent Unit is an acute mental health care facility. The average stay of patients at the Adolescent Unit is eleven (11) days. Mr. Parsons explained that this unit is needed in our region and community. Discussion ensued. Town Council members agreed that the Adolescent Unit is a vital service to our region. Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Heath, and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, Mr. Heath and Town staff will prepare a Resolution of Support for the SWVMHI Adolescent Unit. The same will be presented at the 1/20/09 meeting for approval.
ACCEPTANCE OF ROOF BID AT SEWER TREATMENT PLANT UV BUILDING: Three (3) bids were received for the roof at the Sewer Treatment Plant. The apparent low bidder was Marion Roofing at $4,411.50. Other bidders were Frizzell Construction ($8,500) and Ralph Price ($6,000). Upon motion of Mr. Heath, seconded by Mrs. Hale, and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the bid was awarded to Marion Roofing. Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Jennings, Dr. Gates, and Messrs Leaman, Heath, Warren, and Weaver voted affirmatively. Mr. Clark noted that the bid is well under the $12,000 budgeted for this project.
Town Attorney Mark Fenyk arrived.
REQUEST FROM SMYTH COUNTY ON SEWER
EASEMENT OFF ROCKY HOLLOW ROAD:
On the existing Town Code Section.14.2, farm animals, such as, goats, pigs, chickens and ducks, etc. may be kept in Town but not allowed to run at large. Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Leaman and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, this section should be reviewed by the Ordinance Committee and continued.
WATER COMMITTEE ON WATER LINE AT
OLD VIRGINIA HOUSE (CURRENTLY WELLBORN) IN ATKINS: Mr. Hicks presented a map of the existing
line formerly used exclusively by Virginia House Furniture. Most of the line is currently not in
use. Dr. Gates suggested that the Town
tap off the water to the part of the line not in use and consider the request
from Mr. Copenhaver for taps on the line.
Mr. Hicks suggested that the Town request permission from the railroad
to extend a one inch line thru an existing culvert under the railroad. Mr. Hicks was asked to secure costs on this
project. Mr. Clark was asked to contact
NEW BUSINESS: Grand Opening for the Pitter Patter Pathways Daycare will be conducted on January 9th at noon.
ACORNS FROM THE CRYING TREE: Mayor Helms stated that a professor at VPI
has requested acorns from different parts of
SONG OF THE MOUNTAINS
PROGRAMS: Mayor Helms expressed pleasure
that the Song of the Mountains Programming has brought many, many visitors to
POLICE DEPARTMENT: Chief Roberts advised that the MPD is
assisting Smyth County Sheriff’s Department in light of the loss of one of
their officers, Deputy Chris Paschal.
Mayor Helms noted that the
PERSONNEL COMMITTEE ON DOWNTOWN DIRECTOR TRANSITION: Mrs. Jennings requested Closed Session to discuss this matter. Mr. Heath was excused from the meeting.
CLOSED SESSION: Pursuant to Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, Section 2.2-3711 (A) (1) and upon motion of Mrs. Jennings seconded by Dr. Gates and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Council entered into Closed Session to discuss personnel concerning the transition of the Downtown Director to a Town of Marion employee. Mrs. Jennings moved that Town Council return to Open Session and that it be known that only the matter identified in the motion and allowed under Closed Session was discusses. Mr. Weaver seconded the motion. Council approved the same by a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES. Dr. Gates, Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Jennings, Messrs Leaman, Warren and Weaver voted affirmatively.
Upon motion, duly seconded, and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the meeting was adjourned.