Minutes of a regular meeting of the Town Council of the Town of Marion, Virginia held in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building on January 3, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.

PRESENT: Mayor David Helms; Jane Hale, Tricia Spencer, Suzanne Jennings, Jim Owens, Bill Weaver and Jim Barker Council Members; Town Manager John E. B. Clark, Jr.; Town Attorney Mark Fenyk; Assistant Town Manager/Town Engineer Cecil Hicks; Police Lieutenant Rex Anders; Police Chief Mike Roberts; Economic Development Director Ken Heath; Police Sergeant Rusty Hamm; Town Clerk/Director of Finance Cindy Stanley.   

INVOCATION/PLEDGE TO THE FLAG: Mr. Hicks rendered the invocation. Mayor Helms led the Pledge to the Flag.

VISITORS: Todd May, Dennis Wyatt, Dr. Charles Wassum, Dan Kegley, Roger Catarino, Jack Tally, and Stacey Ely.

MINUTES: Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the minutes of the meeting held December 19, 2011 were approved as written. Messrs Barker, Owens, Weaver, Ms. Spencer, Mrs. Jennings and Mrs. Hale voted affirmatively.

PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS: Mr. Roger Catarino, President and CEO of First Fruits Beverage Company thanked the Town of Marion for its support and help with grants. First Fruits Beverage Company is eighteen months old and is moving forward. The company had thirty-eight employees until about one month ago. They have recently laid-off eight employees. With the possibility of other contracts and investors coming on board, they are hopeful to add more jobs soon.

Former Fire Chief Rusty Hamm introduced the new Fire Chief Todd May and President Dennis Wyatt. Rusty thanked Council for the opportunity to serve as Fire Chief for the past two years. Todd directed Council to feel free to contact him at any time.   

INVITATION FROM MS. STACEY ELY OF SMYTH COUNTY COMMUNITY HOSPITAL: Ms. Stacey Ely invited Council to tour the new hospital facility and noted she would be very flexible for appointments. She noted they plan to move patients on April 14, 2012. The tour was set for Tuesday January 17th at 3:30pm and everyone was instructed to meet at the construction trailer.

Dr. Wassum again stated his concern about the guardrail above the new hospital. He believes the installation is not sufficient. Mr. Hicks agreed there is about 200 feet on the west side still unprotected. This is the hospitals responsibility and Ms. Ely stated that she would be in contact with Scott Orsborne about this matter.  

UPDATE ON TOWN STREET DRAINAGE: Mr. Heath noted this drainage issue was originally included in the Streetscape Project. The storm drain needs to be installed in the very near future. The concern is whether the town will pay for the project or is the county responsible for a portion. Discussion ensued. Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the letter addressed to the county requesting the county pay a portion was approved.        

SITUATION ON PARKING DECK CONSTRUCTION IN RELATION TO STROTHER STREET: The construction company is asking the town to close a portion of Strother Street for approximately two months during construction of the Parking Deck. There will be two residences affected and the town will maintain ingress and egress for these residences. Discussion ensued. Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, a portion of Strother Street from Church to Chestnut will be temporarily closed during construction, with the town maintaining ingress and egress to the affected residences.  

SELECTION PROCEDURE ON GOLF COURSE MANAGER: Mr. Clark has been in contact with the PGA Consultant. There were thirty-three applications received. The selection process will be started in the near future.  Mayor Helms suggested eliminating the applicants according to salary requirements. It was also suggested to narrow down the applicants and then begin calling references. Mr. Clark noted the banquet facilities have been advertised.

NOTICE OF $600,000 AWARD FROM INDUSTRIAL REVILALIZATION GRANT FOR 1908 SCHOOLHOUSE: Mr. Heath noted the grant is for completing the basement and the first floor of the building. There will be a contract signing with the state.   

STREET LIGHT REQUEST ON PARK BOULEVARD: Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was continued.

Mayor Helms noted the town had received a letter from the Marion Youth Center explaining the decision for the closure. The next council meeting will be Tuesday January 17, 2012. Legislative Days will be February 8, 9, and 10, 2012. The Salvation Army Red Kettle set a record this year. Song of the Mountains will have a local band next time. Mrs. Lawrence asked we work with them on Black History Month in February.   

Mr. Fenyk will conduct a Freedom of Information Act In-service on January 24, 2012 for Council Members, Town Manager and Town Clerk. Mr. Clark is to set the time and place for the meeting.

Mr. Heath noted Back of the Dragon Day will be June 2, 2012 and October 13, 2012.

Mr. Clark noted pay request #2 for the Sewer Treatment Plant Digester Project was received today. Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, pay request #2 in the amount of $36,925.00 was approved.  

Upon motion, duly seconded and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the meeting was adjourned.


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Mayor                                                                                                   Clerk