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 October 7, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT:  Mayor David P. 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/Assistant Town Manager Cecil Hicks; Police Chief Michael Roberts; Community & Economic Development Director Ken Heath; Town Clerk/Director of Finance Susan Clark.

INVOCATION/PLEDGE TO THE FLAG:  Mr. Hicks rendered the invocation.  Eagle Scout Glenn Wilson, III led the Pledge to the Flag.

VISITORS: Kristin Untiedt-Barnett, Dave Fields, Bill Huber, John Graham, Henderson Graham, Rebecca Beatty, Joe Beatty, Peyton  Smith, Paul Brown, Roy Evans, Sara Evans, Patricia Evans, Rick Mercer, Carole Mercer, Jeri  Deel Barnett, Ron Ernest, Charles Harrington, Ann Edmisten, Christina Conway, Shantelle Hutton, Haley Hutton, Robin Fletcher, Kim Moser, Shelia Powell, Kathy Cox, Jackie Wilson, Glenn Wilson, Jr., Glenn Wilson, III, Martha Copenhever.

MINUTES:  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES, 0 NOES, the minutes of the meeting held September 20, 2010 were approved as written.  Messrs Owens, Barker, Weaver, Dr. Gates, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Jennings voted affirmatively.

RESOLUTION HONORING ROY EVANS, RETIRED BAND DIRECTOR AT MARION SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL:  Mr. Helms read the Resolution and presented the Resolution to Mr. Evans.  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mr. Weaver and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES the Resolution was adopted.

RESOLUTION HONORING GLENN WILSON, III, EAGLE SCOUT:  Mr. Helms read the Resolution and presented the Resolution to Eagle Scout Wilson.  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES the Resolution was adopted.

DELIVERY OF SURVEY ON ANDERSON AVENUE, GOOLSBY STREET AND NAPOLEON STREET GARBAGE:  Mr. Clark explained that thirty-five (35) letters were delivered.  There have been twelve (12) responses, six (6) in favor and six (6) against garbage pickup in that area.  Mrs. Clark will report at the next Council Meeting as the survey’s are not due yet.

POLE REMOVAL LETTER TO AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER AND COMCAST:  Mr. Fenyk informed Council that letters had been sent and that American Electric Power has started work removing the poles.  He stated that he has not found a good contact for Century Link.

BAUGHMAN AVENUE BRIDGE SURVEY:  Mr. Hicks explained that when the bridge was built the property was not surveyed and part of the bridge is on Alvin and Linda Crowder’s property.  Staff will approach the Crowder’s to secure an easement so that VDOT can continue the upgrade of the bridge.

REPORT OF RE-USE OF SMYTH COUNTY COMMUNITY HOSPITAL BUILDING-JOHN GRAHAM:  Mr. Graham explained to Council that King College has proposed to build a new medical school in Southwest Virginia.  Mr. Graham is asking for support in a County wide effort to bring the Medical School to Marion and offer SCCH or other available property for the King College.  King College does not only want to build a medical school, but also a research center and other clinics throughout the region.  The day to day operations of the school would create approximately 295 jobs.  Additional jobs and revenues could exceed millions for our area.

Mr. Graham added that he and his father, Dr. Henderson Graham, had met with King College President, Dr. Jordan, to offer SCCH or prime land for the College.  He added that a private citizen is willing to donate 20 acres behind the new hospital.  Mr. Graham informed Council that the Virginia Tobacco Commission has offered a matching grant of $25 million for this project and is asking Council to pledge funds if the College chooses to build in Smyth County.  A proposal must be submitted by October 21, 2010.  Dr. Gates stated that this would be long term stability for the community.  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved committing $7.5 million contingent upon King College building in Smyth County.

GERIATRIC UNIT CLOSING-SOUTHWESTERN STATE HOSPITAL:  Mr. Graham informed Council that the Geriatric Unit at SWSH would be closing June 30, 2011.  Several jobs will be lost and those needing a Geriatric Facility will be transferred to a private facility.  The cost for services would be more and the job loss in this area would be detrimental.  Mr. Graham has spoken with Delegate Bill Carrico and asks the Town to submit a Resolution in support of keeping the Unit here.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, staff was asked to submit a Resolution to the elected officials in our region, in favor of keeping the unit in Marion.

REQUEST FROM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ON LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST-KRISTIN UNTIEDT-BARNETT:  Ms. Barnett invited Council and staff to attend the Southwest Virginia Legislative breakfast and Forum for 2010 to be held at the General Francis Marion Hotel, November 22, 2010.  She also added that the Round the Mountain Artisan Trail Brochures are being printed.  Also, the Annual Chamber dinner is November 18, 2010 at 6:30 PM at the General Francis Marion Hotel.  Ms. Barnett asked if the Town would like to purchase a sponsorship package to help with funding the Legislative breakfast. Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was referred to the Finance Committee.

RESOLUTION AND LETTER- APPALACHIAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC:  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the Resolution and letter were adopted.

STP PHASE I IMPROVEMENTS-RURAL DEVELOPMENT:  Mr. Clark explained that the Town will borrow $606,000 from Rural Development for the STP Phase I Improvements.  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved the Loan Resolution, the Resolution of Governing Body and the Code of Conduct for the STP Phase I Improvements.

FARMERS MARKET AWNING BIDS:  Mr. Heath stated that two bids were received and that Sunnyside Awning of Roanoke was the low bidder at $42,340. Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the bid from Sunnyside Awning was approved.

RESOLUTION REGARDING BPOL TAX:  Mrs. Clark informed Council that she had received a resolution from the Town of Mineral regarding the Business Professional Occupational License Tax asking that other Town’s submit a resolution supporting the BPOL Tax.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Mrs. Clark was asked to draft a Resolution similar to the Town of Mineral concerning the Business Professional License Tax.

SMYTH COUNTY WATER CONTRACT:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was referred to the Finance and Water Committees.

MOUNTAIN STATES HEALTH ALLIANCE CLOSING OF OB UNIT AT SMYTH COUNTY COMMUNITY HOSPITAL:  Mr. Heath drafted a personal letter to Lindy White, CEO stating his concerns about the closure of the OB Unit at Smyth County Community Hospital.  Mr. Heath is concerned that the new hospital will be a “band aid” drop off to send citizens to another hospital at a cost to the citizens.  Mrs. Jennings stated that the decision to eliminate the OB Unit would be economically devastating to the community.  People look for schools and hospitals when deciding to move to an area.  Mayor Helms added that the decision was made without notification to the public and that it could effect other departments in the hospital especially pediatrics.  Council was in support of the new hospital because they were informed that it would have the same services as the old hospital.

Discussion ensued.

Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mr. Owens and vote of 5 AYES, 0 NOES and 1 ABSTENTION (Jennings), staff will write a letter to Ms. White, and the SCCH Board of Directors asking that a representative attend the October 18, 2010 Council Meeting to explain and support the decision to close the OB Unit and invite the media and elected officials to attend.

PURCHASE BUDGETED VEHICLES:  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mr. Barker and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was referred to the Equipment Committee.

RESPONSES FROM REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) ON STP PHASE 1 IMPROVEMENTS:  Upon motion of Mrs. Hale, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was referred to the Sanitation Committee.

RAILROAD/TRAIN COLLECTION-BUILDING AND REAL ESTATE COMMITTEE:  Mr. Weaver explained that the Appalachian Spirit Gallery would like to display the model railroad collection in the basement of 144 W. Main Street and the Gallery would like to have a 15 year lease agreement with the Town.  Mr. Fenyk informed Council that a lease in excess of 5 years would have to be advertised and bids would have to be taken.  Mrs. Martha Copenhaver stated that the reason behind the 15 year lease is to be able to apply for grants.  Dr. Gates moved to refer this item back to the Building and Real Estate Committee, Mrs. Jennings seconded the motion. 

Discussion ensued.

Dr. Gates and Mrs. Jennings rescinded their prospective motions.

Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mr. Owens and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the Town will terminate the existing lease with Appalachian Spirit Gallery, write a new 5 year lease and add in the lease that the lease amount will be pro-rated if the Town must take the building use back for an unforeseen reason.

VML CONFERENCE-HAMPTON, VA-OCTOBER 3-6, 2010:  Mr. Owens and Mayor Helms both stated that the Conference was very informative and they were pleased with the interest in Southwest Virginia.

TOWN AND COUNTY QUARTERLY MEETING:  The Town of Saltville will be hosting the Town and County Dinner at the Northwood High School Cafeteria on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 6:30 PM.

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

 

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Mayor                                                                                                   Clerk