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 December 6, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT:  Mayor David 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.; Assistant to the Engineer Todd Long;  Community and Economic Development Director Ken Heath; Police Chief Mike Roberts; Police Lieutenant Rex Anders; 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, Sandip Patel, Rusty Hamm

MINUTES:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 6 AYES, 0 NOES, the minutes of the meeting held November 15, 2010 were approved as written.  Messrs Owens, Barker, Weaver, Dr. Gates, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Jennings voted affirmatively.

UPDATE ON FIRE CALL CHARGING PROCEDURES-RUSTY HAMM, MARION FIRE CHIEF:  Mr. Hamm reminded Council that the Town Resolution had been approved contingent to Smyth County adopting a Resolution for the Town of Marion to charge for calls inside the corporation limits.  Mr. Hamm had met with the Town Manager and Town Clerk to discuss billing procedures.  Invoices will be billed monthly on the 15th of each month beginning January 1, 2011 directly to the insurance company.  Mr. Hamm added that the Town should make approximately $6,000 per year.

FIRE DEPARTMENT EQUIPMENT NEEDS:  Mr. Hamm requested scheduling a committee meeting to discuss the importance of equipment purchase for the fire department.  He asked that it be scheduled after the first of the year.

TOWN OF MARION BROCHURE-KEN HEATH, COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR:  Mr. Heath presented Council with a sample of the Town’s Brochure.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mr. Owens and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved Mr. Heath proceeding with accepting bids to print the brochures.

VDOT SIGNALIZATION PROJECT-TOWN MANAGER:  Mr. Clark informed Council that letters have been mailed to property owners regarding donating property for upgrading the signals at North Main Street, Lee Street and Chatham Hill Road.  According to VDOT, signal upgrades are still scheduled to be let out in December and they are awaiting federal approval.

NEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM-TOWN MANAGER:  Mr. Clark informed Council that he had received a letter from David Barrett with Mount Rogers Planning District Commission stated that grant applications will be accepted beginning January 1, 2011 and will close on or about March 30, 2011.  Approximately $19,000,000 is available for new applications.  Mayor Helms agreed that Spruce Street should be the Town’s next project.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Council approved applying for the new Grant.

REVIEW OF MEALS, LODGING AND SALES TAX REVENUES-COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR:  Mr. Heath reported that meals tax revenues are up due to the rate increase, but lodging and sales tax are down due to the recession.  Mr. Heath will continue to track the revenues and report back to Council periodically.

REQUEST FROM SMYTH-WYTHE AIRPORT COMMISSON-TOWN MANAGER:  Mr. Clark stated that the Smyth-Wythe Airport Commission sent a letter requesting the budget appropriation for the Automatic Weather Observation System in the amount of $4386.

REQUEST FROM MSHS WRESTLING TOURNAMENT-HUNTER TRIVETT:   Mr. Trivett did not attend the meeting.  No action was taken.

REQUEST TO PAVE HOLSTON HILLS LANE-MIKE AND TERESA SNAVELY-STREET COMMITTEE:  Mr. Weaver stated that Section 11.2-8 of the Town of Marion Subdivision Ordinance Construction Requirements state that “Unless otherwise specified, all street construction requirements shall be those of the Virginia Department of Transportation for acceptance into the State Secondary System and those requirements of the Town of Marion for accepting new streets for town maintenance.”  Thus no action can be taken at this time by Council because the street does not meet the requirements of the ordinance.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, Council stated that staff should inform the Snavely’s that the street must be brought up to state code before any improvements can be made.

REQUEST FROM FIRST FRUITS ON SEWER ADJUSTMENT-WATER/FINANCE COMMITTEES:  Mr. Clark stated that he had received a letter from First Fruits asking for an adjustment on the sewer charges due to the fact that most of the water used goes into their product and not into the sewer.  Town staff suggested that a subtracting meter be installed.  Mr. Heath added that First Fruits is in the Enterprise Zone and will qualify for a rebate.  Upon motion of Mr. Barker, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and a vote of 5 AYES, 0 NOES and 1 ABSTENTION (Gates), staff will install a subtraction meter so that sewer is not billed for the water used in their product.  First Fruits will contact the Town regarding the size of the meter needed.

PROPOSED RESOLUTION DRAFT FOR PURCHASE OF HANDGUNS BY CERTAIN POLICE OFFICERS OR THEIR SURVIVORS:  The proposed Resolution allows full time officers that retire after twenty years of service or survivors of full time officers to purchase the officers handgun for one dollar.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Dr. Gates and a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the Resolution was approved.

CHRISTMAS PARADE:  The Mayor stated that the annual Town of Marion Christmas Parade was a success and he received several positive comments.

SNOW REMOVAL:  Mayor Helms stated that the Town Crew did a good job during the recent snow event.

TOWN EMPLOYEE CHRISTMAS DINNER:  Mayor Helms informed Council that the Town Employee Christmas Dinner is Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm at the Life Saving Crew Building.

MARION DOWNTOWN CHRISTMAS PARTY:  Mr. Heath stated that the Downtown Christmas Party will be Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm at the Main Street Eatery.

HOLIDAY CLOSURES FOR THE TOWN:  Mayor Helms informed Council that the Town offices will be closed on December 23 and 24 for Christmas and December 31 for New Years.


______________________________________                           ______________________________________

Mayor                                                                                                   Clerk