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 March 21, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT:  Mayor David Helms; Jane Hale, Jim Owens, Tricia Spencer, Bill Weaver and Jim Barker, Council Members; Town Attorney Mark Fenyk; Town Manager John E. B. Clark, Jr.;  Assistant Town Manager/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. Ken Heath rendered the invocation. Mayor Helms led the Pledge to the Flag.

VISITORS:  Jeff Spickard, Sara Kegley, Chris Gilley, Brian Reed, Bill Seymour, Bessie Kirk, Sandy Willard, Tammy Hash, Jenny Martin, Dean Martin, Mark Montgomery, Lindy White, Stacey Ely, Samantha Archer, Sandip Patel, Charles Wassum, III.

MINUTES:  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Hale and a vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, the minutes of the meeting held March 7, 2011 were approved as written.  Messrs Owens, Barker, Weaver, Ms. Spencer and Mrs. Hale voted affirmatively.

PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER TRAFFIC FLOW ON EAST CHILHOWIE STREET:  Mayor Helms opened the Public Hearing.  Mr. Hicks and Councilman Weaver explained that the Public Hearing was originally set to consider converting the bridge to one-way.  It is the recommendation of Mr. Hicks and Councilman Weaver that the bridge be reopened as two-way until after the Chatham Hill Road Bridge is repaired, as traffic will have to use the East Chilhowie Street Bridge as an alternate route.  There was no public comment and Mayor Helms closed the Public Hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER SPRUCE STREET AND MATSON DRIVE FOR A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT APPLICATION:  Mayor Helms opened the Public Hearing.  Mr. Brian Reed, MRPDC, explained that the CDBG Block Grant application is for up to $1,000,000., however, the project should cost approximately $700,000.  Mr. Reed added that this should be a good project for the Town.  The Town would provide a local match of approximately $30,000.  There was no public opposition to applying for the grant.  Mayor Helms closed the Public Hearing.

 EAST CHILHOWIE STREET BRIDGE TRAFFIC FLOW:  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mr. Owens and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved reopening East Chilhowie Street Bridge as two-way.

SPRUCE STREET/MATSON DRIVE RESOLUTION ON CDBG GRANT APPLICATION:  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved the Resolution. 

SAFE ACT OPTIONS:  Mr. Reed explained that the Safe Act gives localities options when applying for CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Grant funding.  Mr. Reed recommends that Council obtain additional information.   The Safe Act has been applied recently to CDBG Projects.  It requires a certified mortgage originator before contracts can be signed for housing rehabilitation.  It is very difficult to obtain or contract out.  Localities may have to eliminate pay backs and go grant only.  The Town Manager may have to make this decision following further consultation with DHCD and the Town Attorney.

ACCOUNTS:  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, the accounts in the amount of $883,058.44 were approved for payment.  Mr. Hamm requested that Allied Transmission, in the amount of $1,000.00 be held until all repairs are complete. 

INVESTMENTS:  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, the Investment report was approved as presented.  Messrs Owens, Weaver, Barker, Mrs. Hale and Ms. Spencer voted affirmatively.

MOUNTAIN STATES HEALTH ALLIANCE REPORT ON ECONOMIC IMPACT:  Ms. Lindy White reported that a study had been compiled through East Tennessee State University regarding the economic impact that Smyth County Community Hospital has on the area.  She stated that the economic impact is approximately $46 million.  Smyth County Community Hospital considers itself to be a solid partner in the community regarding economic impact.  A regional cancer center is slated to open in the summer of 2011.  Ms. White added that the new hospital is on budget with the possibility of a need for only infrastructure funding.  Ms. White stated that Mt. States Health Alliance would like to place a sign or banner promoting the construction of the new hospital.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mr. Owens and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, this issue was referred to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

PYROTECHNICAL CERTIFICATION:  Mr. Heath explained the requirements for setting of fireworks.  The State now requires that the setter be certified.  Mr. Jerry Breen has agreed to take the courses needed to become certified in order for the Town to continue to have the annual fireworks display on the 4th of July.  Mr. Breen must be re-certified every two (2) years.  The application is $180.00.  Mr. Heath will compile a list of prices for the fireworks and materials, not to exceed $500.00 and report back to Council.  Upon motion of Mr. Owens, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 4 AYES and 1 NOE (Spencer), Council approved Mr. Breen taking the course to be certified and Mr. Heath finding fireworks and materials at a price not to exceed $500.00.

GOVDEALS:  Mr. Hamm reported that the Town had a successful sale of old vehicles and equipment.  The amount of revenue was $10,671.65.

QUARTERLY FUEL CONSUMPTION:  Mr. Clark informed Council that all town departments had exceeded or achieved their goal of reducing fuel consumption by 9% at least one quarter in 2010 except for the Marion Lifesaving Crew.  Four departments met the goal in three quarters.

HIGH LEVEL TANK REPAIRS AND REHABILITATION:  Mr. Clark explained that The Lane Group had submitted the only proposal for engineering services in the amount of $4,900.00.  The approximate amount for the project is $50,000.00.  Mr. Clark added that this project may be covered by a grant.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mr. Owens and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved beginning the project contingent on grant approval and the Health Department procurement approval.

SEWER TREATMENT PLANT PERMIT RE-ISSUANCE:  Mr. Hicks stated that the VPDES Wastewater permit must be renewed every five years and being advertised again for public comment.    

WATER LOSS-LETTER FROM HEALTH DEPARTMENT:  Mr. Hicks informed Council that there is a need to aggressively work to replace inoperable meters.  Water accountability now ranges from 55% to 60%.  The violation can be averted as long as the town presents the Health Department with a proposal to remedy the problem.  Mr. Hicks tested a sample of meters and they are reading low by an average of 26%. Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Ms. Spencer and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was referred to the Water Committee for study of the proposal.

FARMER’S MARKET PROPOSAL:  Mr. Heath stated that he feels the most cost effective way to run the farmers market is to have a paid part-time employee at the market every week. He suggests hiring a Market Manager at a rate of $15.00 per hour to work no more than five (5) hours per week for the twenty-seven (27) weeks that the market is open.  The Market Manager should also be able to provide horticulture work and assistance for additional hours within the budget.  Mr. Heath added that the cost for this person would not exceed $2,700.00.  Upon motion of Mrs. Hale, seconded by Ms. Spencer and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, council approved advertising the job as a part-time position based on contract.

SENIOR CITIZEN ADVISORY BOARD:  Mr. Clark reported that the Board had met and is working on guidelines for rent of the building.

YOUTH GOVERNMENT DAY:  Mr. Heath informed Council that Youth Government Day will be Wednesday, May 11, 2011.

WEATHER RADIO:  Mr. Heath stated that a weather radio will be installed at the Town Hall for information to avert weather related disasters.

BACK OF THE DRAGON MOTORCYCLE RIDE:  Mr. Heath stated that an organizational meeting will be held to discuss ways to maximize Route 16 as a major tourism attraction.

CROOKED ROAD:  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Ms. Spencer and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, Mr. Ken Heath was appointed to represent the Town on the Crooked Road Board of Directors.  The Crooked Road will sponsor a musical event to be held in Philadelphia, PA, Pittsburg, PA and Washington, DC.  Mr. Heath stated that the organizers were told that Marion could not accommodate the event.  Mr. Heath suggested that the Town ask the Lincoln Theatre for the use of the Theatre on May 19, 2011 to accommodate the show.  Mr. Heath added that the Town is a large sponsor to the Lincoln and it should be at no cost to the Town or the Crooked Road.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mr. Owens and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved Mr. Heath asking the Lincoln for the use of the theatre.

PAVING SCHEDULE:  Mr. Weaver stated that the Street Committee will meet this week to discuss the schedule.

MARION COMPREHENSIVE PLAN:  Mr. Barker stated that the Planning Commission will begin discussion and possible changes to the Comprehensive Plan.  Mt. Rogers PDC will help with this process.  He added that the Plan is a springboard to the future and good vision should be in the plan.

ARBOR DAY:  Arbor Day Celebration will be May 6th at the Job Corps Center at noon.

VML COMMITTEES:  Mayor Helms stated that Council members may submit applications to serve on VML Committees.  Applications must be submitted by April 8, 2011.

SEWER LINE-PARK BLVD, RALPH PRICE PROPERTY:  Mr. Hicks stated that Mr. Price would like to run a sewer line through the Town’s right of way.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was referred to the Sanitation Committee.

Upon motion, duly seconded and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, the meeting was adjourned.

 

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Mayor                                                                                                   Clerk