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 February 1, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.


PRESENT:  Mayor David P. Helms; Dr. James Gates, Jane Hale, Suzanne Jennings, Mel Leaman, Eugene Hendrick, Bill Weaver and Buford Cregger, 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; Community & Economic Development Manager Ken Heath; 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: Donnie Necessary, Steve Buston


MINUTES:  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the minutes of the meeting held January 19, 2010 were approved as written.  Messrs Cregger, Weaver, Hendrick, Leaman, Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Hale and Dr. Gates voted affirmatively.


DEPUTY CLERK/DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FINANCE VACANCY:  Mr. Clark reported that there were three applicants, two from the Recreation Department and one from the Purchasing Department.  The Town Manager and Town Clerk will conduct interviews this week.


UPDATE ON TOWN’S CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS THROUGH VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION-MR. DONNIE NECESSARY, VDOT:  Mr. Necessary stated that there are four (4) projects in the plan: Town Wide Signal Upgrade, Baughman Avenue, Chatham Hill Bridge and South Church Street Project.  The Town Wide Signal Upgrade is scheduled to be started by in December, 2010, the base mapping is complete.  Baughman Avenue survey has been delayed due to VDOT layoffs and the impact that it had on its staff.  Scheduled completion date is November, 2011.  Chatham Hill Bridge Project will have a significant savings if only the deck is replaced.  South Church Street Project is postponed due to funding.  The savings from the other three (3) projects can be used on this project. 


Mr. Necessary informed Council that he and Mr. Hicks will have scheduled monthly meetings to keep the Town updated on all projects.  Mr. Leaman added that there will be no state funded projects after this fiscal year. Mr. Hicks informed Council that Highway Maintenance funds will still be available for the localities.  He also added that the South Church Street Project is on hold until funds are available. Mr. Necessary added that the project is estimated at $941,000. and the funds left over from the other three (3) projects could fund the South Church Street Project.  Mayor Helms thanked Mr. Necessary and Mr. Buston for keeping the Town informed.


UPDATE ON SONG OF THE MOUNTAINS MUSEUM:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Dr. Gates and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was continued.


REPORT ON CROOKED ROAD HERITAGE MUSIC TRAIL MEETINGS: The Mayor informed Council that the Trail has more than 300 miles with 19 Towns.  Todd Christiansen met with Mr. Heath and Mayor Helms to discuss Smyth County’s assets inventory to sell to the public.  The Mayor explained that Mr. Christiansen is concerned that tourist do not choose Southwest Virginia to spend a week’s vacation.  The Towns along the Crooked Road need to invite tourism and get people interested in the area.  The Mayor informed Council that this project is to generate tourism and economic development.  If the Town wishes to be involved, then funds should be budgeted to cover the cost of brochures, videos and information. 


LEASE TOWN PARKING LOT-SHELLY SLEMP REQUEST/BUILDING COMMITTEE:  Mr. Cregger stated that Miss Slemp requests leasing the Town lot located at the corner of E. Chilhowie Street and N. Main Street to operate her business, the Snow Shack. Mr. Cregger moved that the Town should advertise for bids on leasing the property with a minimum bid covering the cost of advertising, the motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver.


Discussion ensued.


Mr. Cregger amended his motion to state that the lease should be for the six (6) months, April through September, 2010 and stipulate the right of the Town to reject any and all bids.  The motion was carried by a vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES.


SPRINKLE AVENUE/CROUSE RESIDENCE:  Mrs. Jennings stated that she was still receiving complaints about the condition of the property.


SNOW REMOVAL:  Mayor Helms complimented the Town Public Works Department on a job well done.  Mr. Clark added that a plow may be purchased for use on a public works pickup truck or small dump truck.


RESCHEDULE COUNCIL MEETING:  Mayor Helms informed Council that the next regular Council meeting scheduled for February 15, 2010 will be rescheduled to February 16, 2010 due to the President’s Day Holiday.


SONG OF THE MOUNTAINS-KATHY MATTEA:  Mr. Heath stated that Kathy Mattea will be in concert at the Lincoln Theatre on February 6, 2010.


VDOT PROJECTS:  Mr. Clark informed Council that a 2% fee is assessed on all VDOT Projects.  This amount is unbudgeted and is estimated around $31,000.


Upon motion, duly seconded, and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the meeting was adjourned.



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Mayor                                                              Town Clerk