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 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT:  Mayor David Helms; Jane Hale, Jim Owens, Dr. James Gates, Suzanne Jennings, Bill Weaver and Jim Barker, Council Members; Town Attorney Mark Fenyk; Town Manager John E. B. Clark, Jr.; Town Engineer Cecil Hicks; Community and Economic Development Director Ken Heath; Police Chief Mike Roberts; Police Sergeant Wes Thomas; Purchasing Agent Billy Hamm; Town Clerk/Director of Finance Susan Clark.

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

VISITORS:  Jeff Spickard, Billy Dunagan, Sara Kegley, James Pennington, Curt Pennington, Edna Pennington, Becky Pennington, William Jeff Jones, Freda Jones, Larry Buck, Arlen Taylor, Jerry Buck, Bob Bradbury, Howard Bruce, Wilson Leonard

MINUTES:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the minutes of the meeting held January 3, 2011 were approved as written.  Messrs Owens, Barker, Weaver, Dr. Gates, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Jennings voted affirmatively.

EAST CHILHOWIE STREET BRIDGE PROJECT:  Mr. Hicks stated that the bridge repairs were completed on 1-12-11.  Mattern & Craig will perform a final inspection approving the contractors work.  Mr. Hicks added that a decision must be made concerning the traffic flow on the bridge.  Mr. Hicks will ask VDOT for advice.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was referred to the Street Committee.

SIGNALIZATION PROJECT-STREET COMMITTEE MEETING:  Mr. Hicks informed Council that the Street Committee met on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 with VDOT to discuss the schedule for the signalization project.  Mr. Hicks explained that the contractor will begin at the east and progress west to complete the upgrade of nine (9) signals.  This project should take approximately six (6) weeks beginning 1-25-11.  Mr. Hicks added that plans are being made to construct a pedestrian crosswalk from the Lincoln Theatre to Iron Street.  Mr. Hicks is contacting VDOT for cost associated with this project.

FARMERS MARKET GRANT FROM USDA:  Mr. Heath stated that in order to receive grant funding from USDA, a Resolution must be adopted and Notice of Right to Reimbursement must be approved.  He added that Mr. Fenyk had reviewed both documents.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the Resolution was adopted and the Notice of Right to Reimbursement was approved.

SMALL BUSINESS LOAN POOL:  Mr. Heath stated that the town can apply for a $75,000 grant to assist small businesses getting started.  The Town would be responsible for $3,750 in order to receive the grant.  Mr. Heath suggests opening a separate account and appointing a board to monitor the requests.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Owens and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved applying for the grant and approved the local match of $3,750.

BIO GAS PROJECT-SEWER TREATMENT PLANT:  Mr. Clark informed Council that he had sent a letter to DEQ requesting an additional $409,535 to be made available in principal forgiveness and/or by low interest loan in order to complete the Bio-Gas Project.

PHASE I UPGRADE-SEWER TREATMENT PLANT:  Mr. Clark stated that he had sent a letter to Michael Carter, County Administrator and Scott Simpson, County Engineer stating that the County’s share of the upgrade would be approximately $106,959.  Total cost is $606,000.  The County has already provided three (3) pumps at a cost of $68,055.  Mr. Hicks added that one (1) of the three (3) pumps had already been installed and the two (2) remaining should be installed by May, 2011.  Mr. Clark also added that a Public Hearing would need to be set according to Rural Development guidelines.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Public Hearing is set for February 7, 2011.

PEARL AVENUE /BUCHANAN STREET CDBG PROJECT COMPLIANCE REVIEW AND PROPERTY PURCHASE:  Mayor Helms stated that he had received a letter from the Department of Housing & Community Development concerning the Pearl/Buchanan Street Project.  DHCD is pleased with the Town’s management of the project and that there were no findings of non compliance and thanks was given to Scott Boothe and Chris Gilley of Mt. Rogers Planning District Commission.

FULLER CENTER 5K RACE:  Mr. Neil Castrodale informed Council that the 5K Race is scheduled for Saturday, May 14.  The race will start and finish at Marion Baptist Church and will run the same course as in past years.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, council approved having the race.

SMYTH-WYTHE AIRPORT TERMINAL PROJECT UPDATE:  Mr. Clark informed Council members that on August 2, 2010 Council made an agreement in principal to help finance the new airport terminal at a cost of $60,000 to the Town.  Mr. Clark added that it would be a seven (7) year term with the first annual payment due to Wythe County by December, 2011.  The amount would be $10,500 per year.  Principal is $60,000 and interest would be $13,500.

PARKING GARAGE PRELIMINARY ENGINEERING REPORT:   Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was referred to the Building and Grounds Committee.

REQUEST TO REZONE PARCEL OF PROPERTY CONTAINING OLD HARWOOD BUILDING OFF OF MATSON DRIVE:    Upon motion of Mr. Barker, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES this item was referred to Planning Commission for recommendation.

ACCOUNTS:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the accounts in the amount of $682,531.47 were approved for payment.

INVESTMENTS:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and as vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the investment report was approved.

ELEVATOR REPAIRS:  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved contract with ThyssenKrupp Elevator in the amount of $2,614 to repair the elevator in the Municipal Building.

TV CABLE COMMITTEE MEETING:  Mr. Owens stated that the TV Cable Committee had met with representatives from Comcast requesting reasoning for inability for not receiving Roanoke or Bluefield channels in Marion and Smyth County.  Comcast representatives stated that the channels are pre-empted by WJHL in the Tri-Cities area.  Upon motion of Mr. Owens, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, staff will ask WJHL General Manager, Jack Dempsey to attend a Council meeting and explain why channels are being pre-empted when it is not required by law to do so.

FIRE COMMITTEE MEETING:  Dr. Gates stated that the Fire Committee had met with the Fire Chief and other volunteer firemen to discuss purchasing various items. He added that certain items were in the budget, but that tires needed to be purchased for a ladder truck.  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved purchase of four (4) tires for the ladder truck, not to exceed $3,400.

EMERGENCY RESPONDERS MEETING:  Mr. Barker stated that he had attended the Emergency Responders meeting on 1-5-11 and the meeting was very informative.  Mr. Barker suggests that the Town apply for the Storm Rate Designation through the National Weather Service.  This would make the Town certified and prepared for storms.

TELEVISE COUNCIL MEETINGS:  Mrs. Hale asked Mr. Heath to research and prepare a cost analysis relating to televising the Town Council meetings.  She added that the agenda should be made available to the public several days prior to the Council Meetings.

SWVMHI GERIATRIC UNIT:  Mayor Helms stated that he had received a letter from Governor McDonnell concerning funding for reinstatement of the Geriatric Unit, therefore rescinding closure of the unit in June, 2011.

UNITED WAY CAMPAIGN:  Mayor Helms announced that the Town of Marion employees had raised $947 in contributions for the 2010 United Way Campaign.

READER’S DIGEST:  Mayor Helms stated that he had received a letter from Reader’s Digest asking the Town to participate in the Hometown Hero’s and Best in America sections of their magazine.  It would be good publicity for the Town.

AIRPORT COMMISSION:  Mayor Helms stated that he broke the tie vote when voting to re-appoint Bob Dix as the joint representative for the Town and Smyth County.  Smyth County did not vote to re-appoint Mr. Dix.  The Mayor added that he understands there are certain concerns about Mr. Dix’s re-appointment and that the Town’s representative, Mr. Scott Freeman, should address these concerns with Council.  He added that Mr. Dix had recently been elected to Chairman of the Airport Commission by his peers and that he is also a member of the State Aviation Commission.

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

 

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Mayor                                                                                                   Clerk