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 April 5, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT:  Mayor David P. Helms; Dr. James Gates, Jane Hale, Mel Leaman, Buford Cregger, Suzanne Jennings, Eugene Hendrick and Bill Weaver, Council Members; Town Attorney Mark Fenyk; Town Manager John E. B. Clark, Jr.; Town Engineer/Assistant Town Manager Cecil Hicks; Police Chief Michael Roberts, Police Officer Kevin Testerman; Community & Economic Development Director Ken Heath; 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, Donnie Coley, Beverly Firestone, William Thompson, Greg Chatham, Angelina Chatham, Mary Briggs Graham, Addison Ratliff, Shelia Glenn, Tanner Glenn, Nick Groseclose, Henry Evans

MINUTES:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the minutes of the meeting held March 15, 2010 were approved as written.  Messrs Weaver, Hendrick, Cregger, Leaman, Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Jennings and Dr. Gates voted affirmatively.

MARION POLICE DEPARTMENT INTERN AND NEW OFFICER:  Chief Roberts introduced Ms. Beverly Firestone, who is interning with the Marion Police Department and he introduced Kevin Testerman as the new Police Officer hired April 1, 2010.

SLUDGE DISPOSAL-MARION WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT:  Donnie Coley explained that the Town is currently looking for a suitable place to land apply the sludge from the Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The current site can no longer be used for the disposal.  There is enough storage at the Plant for approximately six (6) months. The site must be approved by DEQ and the Town must abide by the regulations set by DEQ.  There are 3 options for disposing the sludge; 1) Incineration 2) Land Fill 3) Land Application.  Incineration and Land Filling are very costly.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, staff is to proceed with finding a suitable site for dumping the sludge.

ANTHEM HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE:  Mr. Clark informed Council that Anthem had submitted the Contract for Insurance Renewal.  The Key Advantage 500 Plan includes an increase of 6.38%.  This would add approximately $4.00 per pay period to the employee’s current premium.  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved Anthem’s Contract for Insurance Renewal.

SEASONAL LEASE OF TOWN OF MARION PROPERTY- NORTH MAIN STREET:  Mr. Clark informed Council that the Town received two (2) bids: Dan Slemp $201.00 and Mt. Rogers Community Mental Health $1,000.00.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, Council accepted the $1,000.00 bid from Mt. Rogers Community Mental Health for use of the property from April 24, 2010 to September 13, 2010.

DEER SITUATION-CHIEF ROBERTS:  Chief Roberts and Mr. Clark met with the owners of the property where the excessive deer population is the most prominent.  The property owners are concerned about insurance liabilities in allowing sharp shooting on the property.  Council member’s are concerned  that the property is not a suitable area for sharp shooting.  Chief Roberts will explore more options to remedy the excessive deer situation.

OLD SCHOOLHOUSE PROJECT:  Mr. Heath stated that Smyth County presented plans for a Parking Deck and he also reported that a Deed of Trust will not be necessary for completing the façade improvements in the CDBG-R Blight Abatement Project.

FARMERS MARKET:  Mr. Heath reported that the Vendors are signing up and that the Market will open May 8, 2010.

RELAY FOR LIFE:  Mr. Heath informed Council that the Relay for Life event is June 12, 2010 and suggested that the Town sell raffle tickets for a chance at a year of free garbage removal.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver, and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the Town will sell raffle tickets for $1.00 each for a chance to win a year of free garbage removal.

ATTORNEY GENERAL TO VISIT MARION:  Mr. Heath stated that the Attorney General will visit Marion May 4, 2010, will stay at the General Francis Marion Hotel and will take a walking tour Downtown on May 5, 2010.

GREEN RESERVE PROJECT-WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT:  Mr. Clark informed Council that the Town has been approved for $500,000.  DEQ will meet June 21, 2010 to finalize loan rates, terms and conditions.  These funds will be available through the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (VCWRLF).

AMPHITHEATER-RIVERBEND PARK:  Mr. Bill Thompson informed Council that the project is on schedule and the Town is receiving donations and materials.  Mr. Thompson is conversing with the 76th Engineering Division to possibly build the Amphitheater at no cost to the Town.

SOUTH MAIN STREET WATER PROJECT-CHANGE ORDER #3:  Mr. Spickard explained that the Change Order includes five (5) additions totaling $11,807.00 and three (3) deductions totaling $4,011.72 for a total Change Order amount of $7,795.28.  The project is 99% completed.  The total contract amount is $226,603.46, the original date of completion was 2-10-10, plus an 80 day extension.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and a vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, change order #3 in the amount of $7,795.28 was approved.

QUARTERLY MEETING:  Mayor Helms informed Council that the Town and County Quarterly Meeting will be April 21, 2010 at 6:30 PM at the General Francis Marion Hotel with a program regarding the county tourism efforts.

DESTINATION IMAGINATION:  The Destination Imagination Team was present to ask for a donation toward performing at the global competition in Knoxville, TN on May 26-30, 2010.  The Team’s event will be “Improv”, with 7 minutes to make up a skit and 5 minutes to perform.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the request was referred to the Finance Committee.

STALEY STREET PARKING ISSUES:  Angelina Chapman expressed concerns about the parking issues on Staley Street.  Cars are being parked on both sides of the street and some in the wrong direction, making travel on the street difficult and dangerous.  She expressed concern that a Fire Truck may not be able to get up the street.  Mr. Hicks stated that he will contact VDOT to study the issues and give the Town a recommendation.

STREET LIGHT REQUEST-650 & 652 HAMLET STREET:  Mrs. Jennings reported that the Street Committee met and she informed Council that there is ample lighting on the street and that the Committee recommends putting the request on hold.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Cregger and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was dropped from the agenda.

DOWNTOWN DISTRICT PROPOSED EXPANSION:  Mr. Heath explained that the Downtown Board has a proposal to expand the Downtown District.  The request was made by the Board and not the property owners.  The expansion would generate roughly $4,300.00 per year.  This request for expansion would cause the Town Public Works Department to expand the area of sidewalk that is cleaned, care of more green spaces and cause them to work a much larger downtown area.  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mr. Leaman and a vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, Council recommends mailing letters to the property owners to get their opinions before proceeding with a possible expansion.

PAVING BIDS:  Mr. Hicks estimates the amount of asphalt that will be needed to pave South Main Street is 1424 tons, at approximately $93.00 per ton.  Upon motion of Mr. Leaman, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved advertising the project for bid with a due date of April 16, 2010.

STRIPING:  Mr. Hicks stated that staff proposes purchasing a PowrLiner 8900xlt Striping Machine in the amount of $6495.00 to allow the Town staff to do the street striping in house.

BRUSH BURNING/CHIPPING:  Mr. Hendrick stated that he has been in contact with Don Medley concerning the Town’s brush situation.  Mr. Medley informed Mr. Hendrick that he could chip the Town’s brush pile for $300.00 per hour and complete the job in approximately 2 days for a total of $5,000.00 to $6,000.00.  Dr. Gates questioned what the $300.00 per hour covered and does the cost include disposal of the chips?  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, Town staff is to proceed with gathering more information from Mr. Medley.

JOB CORPS-EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES:  Mayor Helms informed Council that the Job Corps Earth Day activities will be April 22, 2010.

ARTWALK:  Mr. Heath stated that the Artwalk will be Friday, April 9, 2010.

PRATER LANE RAILROAD CROSSING:  Mr. Hicks informed Council that the signed agreements have been sent to Norfolk Southern and the project is getting under way.

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

 

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Mayor                                                                                                   Clerk