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 22, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT:  Mayor David Helms; Jane Hale, Jim Owens,  Suzanne Jennings, Tricia Spencer, 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 Lieutenant Rex Anders; Purchasing Agent Billy Hamm; Town Clerk/Director of Finance Susan Clark.

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

VISITORS:  Jeff Spickard, Billy Dungan, Scott Freeman, Sara Kegley

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 February 7, 2011 were approved as written.  Messrs Owens, Barker, Weaver, Ms. Spencer, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Jennings voted affirmatively.

ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ISSUANCE AND SALE OF SEWER BONDS:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was continued.

EAST CHILHOWIE STREET BRIDGE PROJECT:  Mr. Hicks stated that VDOT approved converting the bridge to a one-way bridge.  The bridge is ready to open.  He explained that from North Main Street to the bridge will stay two (2) lanes, but the proposal is to make the bridge one-way from North Main Street.  There would be no right turn out of the pool parking lot and a road closed to thru traffic sign would be placed at the Chatham Hill Road entrance.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and a vote 6 AYES and 0 NOES Council will conduct a public hearing to be held March 21, 2011 to consider opening the bridge one-way.  Upon motion of Mr. Owens, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the bridge is to remain closed until the public hearing.

SIGNALIZATION PROJECT-   Mr. Clark informed Council that all agreements had been received from the property owners concerning upgrade of signals at Lee, Main and Chatham Hill Roads, Dabney and Main Street and Main and Park Blvd.  The contract will be awarded in June. All other upgrades are complete with the exception of Sheffey and W Main Street.

REZONE PROPERTY AT 749 MATSON DRIVE AND ISSUANCE OF SPECIAL USE PERMIT-JOINT PUBLIC HEARING WITH MARION PLANNING COMMISSION:  Upon motion of Mr. Barker, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Joint Public Hearing is set for Monday, March 7, 2011.

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 $1,102,593.44 were approved for payment.

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

COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS:  Mayor Helms stated that a copy of the new committee assignments was included in the Council packets.

 FAIR HOUSING RESOLUTION:  Upon motion of Mr. Owens, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the Fair Housing Resolution was adopted.


POTENTIAL GRANT FROM DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES FOR FARMERS MARKET:  Mr. Heath stated that the Virginia Department of Social Services is soliciting applications from communities for a grant to provide equipment for their farmers markets to accept SNAP/EBT.  This would allow citizens to exchange their “food stamps” for tokens that would purchase produce, fruits and eligible food products from the local vendors.  The grant would provide the wireless device, the first installment of tokens, promotional items, technical assistance and inclusion to the statewide marketing program.  The Town would have to commit to having a designated coordinator to oversee the operations, outreach, promotions and budget of the program.  Upon motion of Mrs. Hale, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved Mr. Heath submitting the application.

RADIO HILL PUMP STATION PROJECT:  Mr. Clark reported that staff had met with Anderson and Associates concerning the Health Department Notice of Violation because there would not be the twenty (20) pounds required pressure at the meters of the house and business on Radio Hill Road in a fire situation.  The cost associated with the installation of the pump is approximately $40,000 to $50,000. The Water Committee will meet and assess several of the scenarios to keep the cost low on the project.

DOWNTOWN HANGING BASKETS-MARION GARDEN CLUB:  Mayor Helms stated that the Garden Club would like to continue working in conjunction with the Town to hang and water the baskets in the downtown area.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved the Garden Club and the Town working in conjunction concerning the baskets.

SMYTH-WYTHE AIRPORT COMMISSION-SCOTT FREEMAN:  Mr. Freeman reported that Mr. Will Leonard had been elected Chairman of the Commission.  The Airport Weather System is currently being installed and should be complete within the next two (2) weeks.  The Commission has applied for a DOAV Grant from the State for purchase of furniture and to pay for easements concerning the new terminal.  The airport web site is now current and repairs are needed to the hangers and fuel farm.  The Commission also plans to purchase a fuel truck.  Mr. Freeman requested that the Commission would like to be on the Council Agenda for the first meeting of every month.  This would keep the Town apprised of current events at the airport.

CABLE TV-COMCAST:  Mr. Owens reported that Comcast will now pre-empt interests in this area to Channel 7.  Three (3) Atlanta based sports networks will be added to the schedule.  Mr. Clark added that ACC basketball package will be added to Channel 7.

SENIOR CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE:  Mrs. Jennings reported that the Advisory Committee had met and are currently polling area centers to acquire information on rental of the building to citizens.

NICEWONGER CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL:  Mrs. Jennings stated that she had toured the hospital which is located in Johnson City, TN, and it is a very nice facility.  Sixty-one (61) children from Smyth County have used the facility.

COUNCIL MEETING TIME CHANGE:  Mrs. Jennings suggested that Council meet at 5:30 pm instead of 7:00 pm.  Mr. Fenyk advised that the Town Ordinance would have to be changed.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was referred to the Ordinance Committee for review and recommendation.

VFW MEMORIAL DAY PARADE:  Mayor Helms informed Council that the parade will be May 30th.

MARCH OF DIMES WALK A THON:  Mayor Helms stated that the walk will be May 7th.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION:  Mayor Helms informed Council that a program will be held Sunday, February 27th at 3:00 pm.

WORLD TRADE CENTER AUTHENTIC PIECE OF STEEL PRESENTED TO MARION VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT:  Mr. Heath reported that he had received confirmation that the Marion VFD would receive a piece of the World Trade Center steel as part of the Port Authority of New York and the New York Fire Department’s program to build monuments across the country to commemorate 9/11.  The Marion VFD has been planning a firefighter’s memorial and now a piece of our country’s history can be incorporated into the memorial.  The Town/Fire Department would be responsible for transporting the artifact to Marion.  Mr. Heath will report to Council when he has information on the artifact and when the Department will be able to retrieve it.  Mr. Heath added that the Town must sign a transfer agreement in order to receive the artifact.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mr. Owens and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Town Council accepts the agreement and Town staff is to sign the transfer.

FIREWORKS:  Mr. Heath informed Council that State regulations have stiffened concerning fireworks.  State applications, certifications, licenses and fees must be obtained prior to presenting the fireworks display. 

WELMONT FACILITY GRAND OPENING:  Mr. Heath stated that the Cardiac Center located on Snider Street will have their grand opening on March 1, 2011.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NETWORKING BREAKFAST:  The breakfast will be March 23, 2011 at the General Francis Marion Hotel.

RELAY FOR LIFE:  Mr. Heath stated that he will organize the Town’s participation in the event.  This will be held June 24, 2011.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mr. Barker and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Town Council voted for the Town to participate in the events.

SENIOR CITIZENS DAY:  Senior Citizens Day is Friday, May 20, 2011 at the Riverbend Park.

HANDICAP PARKING STALLS AT SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER AND COMPLIANCE WITH AMERICANS WITH DISABILITY ACT (ADA):  Mr.  Clark informed Council that he had received a letter from the General Registrar of Voters stating that the parking stalls at the Senior Citizen Center were not in compliance with the ADA.  Staff met with the General Registrar of Voters and the County Building Inspector on site and assessed the problem.  As a solution, the parking stalls can be overlaid with asphalt to correct the deficiency.  These corrections will be made in the spring when the Town does paving and this will put the stalls in compliance.

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


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Mayor                                                                                                   Clerk