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 June 1, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.


PRESENT:  Mayor David P. Helms; Dr. James Gates, Jane Hale, Suzanne Jennings, Mel Leaman, Eugene Hendrick, Bill Weaver and Mark Warren, Council Members; Town Manager John E. B. Clark, Jr.; Town Engineer/Assistant Town Manager Cecil Hicks; Police Chief Michael Roberts; Sgt. Shawn Conklin; Town Attorney Mark Fenyk; Community & Economic Development Manager Ken Heath; Town Clerk/Director of Finance Dixie Sheets.


INVOCATION/PLEDGE TO THE FLAG:  Rev. Steve Dues rendered the invocation.  Mayor Helms led the Pledge to the Flag.


VISITORS:  Jeff Spickard, Rev. Steve Dues, Teresa Hall


MINUTES:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Leaman, and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the minutes of the meeting conducted on May 18, 2009 were approved as written and distributed.  Dr. Gates, Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Hale, Messrs Leaman, Hendrick, Warren, and Weaver voted affirmatively.


Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Leaman, and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the minutes of the Budget Workshop conducted on May 27, 2009 were approved as written and distributed.   Dr. Gates, Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Hale, Messrs Leaman, Hendrick, Warren, and Weaver voted affirmatively.


UPDATE ON THE OLD SCHOOL HOUSE PROJECT, RESOLUTION, REQUEST FOR COMMITTEE TO ACT ON CONSULTANT, AND AGREEMENT AND DEADLINES:  Mr. Fenyk presented an Agreement between the Town of Marion and Smyth County concerning the renovation, expansion and repair of the Smyth County Courthouse.  The County is under an order of the Supreme Court of Virginia directing the County to improve the security and facilities, including parking.   Mr. Clark was asked to write a letter to the Smyth County Board of Supervisors to clarify the Town’s financial support for these projects.  


NOTICE OF AWARD ON HEALTH DEPARTMENT STIMULUS PROJECT FOR SOUTH MAIN STREET WATER LINE:  Mr. Clark reported that the Town of Marion has received Financial Assistance under the ARRA -Department of Health – Office of Drinking Water (Recovery Act) in the amount of $163,350 with 100% Principal Forgiveness for the South Main Street Water Project. 


APPROVAL OF CONTRACT FOR RIVERVIEW PUMP STATION ENGINEERING CONTRACT FROM LANE ENGINEERING:  Mr. Clark advised that a $50,000 Small Project Grant has been awarded to the Town of Marion.  Bid requests for Engineering Services were advertised.  Only one company submitted a bid.  The Lane Group presented a Proposal for Professional Engineering Services for a new water pump station located in the Riverview Estates Subdivision area.  The cost to complete the water line design would be a lump sum of $4,000.  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Hale and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the Contract for engineering services for the Riverview Pump Station Project was awarded to The Lane Group.


REPORT ON PAVING:   Mr. Hicks stated that paving began last week and should be complete by Friday, June 5.


SET DATE FOR FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REVIEW:   The required FOIA review date has been set on June 9 at 7:30 a.m.  The location will be determined.


SET DATE FOR PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PROPOSED 2009-2010 BUDGET FOR JUNE 15, 2009 AT 7:00 P.M:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver, and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the Public Hearing on the proposed 2009-2010 Budget was scheduled on June 15, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.


FEDERAL STIMULUS FUNDS TO AID LOCALITIES:  It was announced on May 20th  that the Town of Marion will receive Federal Grants totaling $73,245 to help purchase safety equipment for firefighters and police.  A grant of $30,290 is designated for safety equipment at the Marion Fire Department.  Another grant in the amount of $42,955 will go toward the purchase of two new police cars.  The U. S. Department of Agriculture will supply the grants through the federally approved Recovery Act.   Mr. Clark will meet with Kathy Alley and request that the $30,290 be allocated specifically for the SCBA units.   Mr. Clark added that the Town has applied for a Homeland Security Grant to purchase additional SCBA units. 


STREET COMMITTEE ON LUTHERAN CHURCH HANDICAP PARKING REQUEST:    Mr. Leaman and Mr. Hendrick, members of the Street Committee, stated that the Committee recommends that the Church control a limit of three (3) handicap parking spaces on Sundays.  The Church could use cones or purchase removable signs, at the Town’s cost.  Upon motion of Mr. Leaman, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, approval of three handicap parking spaces was approved for the Ebenezer Lutheran Church.


ORDINANCE COMMITTEE – DOG COMPLAINTS:  Mrs. Jennings raised the issue of dogs defecating on their neighbor’s yard.  The Committee recommended that those complainants be informed that they should call the Town Animal Control Officer Lee Farmer at the Marion Police Department to report complaints.  They must also be willing to file a report and accompany Mr. Farmer to court.  Mr. Farmer will talk to owners of dogs who have been identified concerning the complaint.  Also, Mr. Farmer will patrol in the area in hopes of catching the perpetrators.  Mr. Fenyk noted that an owner of any dog running loose in the Town of Marion may be charged a Class III Misdemeanor.


TRASH COLLECTION:  Mrs. Hale stated that she has received several complaints from residents of Iron Street and Palmer Avenue that garbage collectors are spilling the garbage as it is picked up and when the trash is compacted.  She also stated that a number of neighbors have complained about a rooster in the neighborhood.  Chief Roberts will have Mr. Farmer check on this matter.


MEMORIAL DAY CELEBRATION: Mayor Helms reported that the Annual Memorial Day Celebration was again a huge success.  He thanked the Town staff that helped with the event.  He also thanked VFW Post 4667 for their continued support of our community.


BUDGET PREPARATION:  Mayor Helms thanked Council and Town staff for their work on the proposed 2009-2010 Budget.    Ms. Sheets advised that the budget will be advertised in the June 6 issue of the Smyth County News and Messenger.  A copy of the advertisement was provided for each Council Member.


TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF RIGHT OF WAY IN THE TOWN OF MARION:  Town Attorney Mark Fenyk advised that the Town has closed a section of the Downtown sidewalk due to falling bricks from the façade of the building.  This is allowed under Code of Virginia 1950, as Amended Section 15.2-2014.  The business owner has made arrangements with a brick mason to repair the front of their store.  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, Council voted that the right of way remain closed until the area is safe. 


FINANCE COMMITTEE – DESTINATION IMAGINATION:  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, $250 was allocated for the Destination Imagination Team to attend the World Championships.


SENIOR DAY:  Mr. Heath reported that Senior Day was held on May 29, 2009 at the Riverbend Park.   Although the weather was threatening approximately 175 seniors attended the event.  He thanked Mrs. Hale and the Marion Police Department for their assistance with the event.


DOWNTOWN AWARDS:    Mr. Heath invited Town Council to attend the Downtown Awards to be held at the new Conference Center Downtown on June 11 at 6 p.m.  Light refreshments will be served.


EAST CHILHOWIE STREET BRIDGE:  Mr. Hicks advised that a car accident on the bridge has resulted in extensive damage to one of the main components of the bridge.  The Town has contacted an engineering firm to assess the damage.  He further noted that the driver of the vehicle who hit the bridge does have insurance.   Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the bridge will remain closed indefinitely. 


NATIONAL SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION:  Mayor Helms informed Town Council that the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution presented the Town with a Certificate of Commendation in Recognition of Exemplary Patriotism in the display of The Flag of the United States of America.  The presentation was made by John Elliott.


PURSUANT TO CODE OF VIRGINIA 1950, AS AMENDED SECTION 2.2-3711 (A3) (A7) and upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Hendrick, and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, Town Council entered into Closed Session to discuss Acquisition of Property and Consultation with Legal Council.   Mrs. Jennings moved that it be known that only those matters identified in the motion and legally exempted from Open Session were discussed during the Closed Session.  Dr. Gates seconded the motion.  Council approved the same unanimously.   Dr. Gates, Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Jennings, Messrs Hendrick Leaman, Warren and Weaver voted affirmatively.




In Support of a Virginia Community Development Block Grant Recovery

Application for the Marion Downtown Project


WHEREAS, the Town of Marion has completed the planning and preliminary design work necessary to address slum and blight in the Marion Downtown Project Area, and


WHEREAS, the Marion Downtown Project Area is contained by East Main Street, North Broad Street, East Lee Street, and North Church Street, and


WHEREAS, the Town of Marion and Smyth County are working toward an agreement for the acquisition of the Historic Marion School Building, and


WHEREAS, the project will aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight.


WHEREAS, the Town of Marion authorizes an application for up to $1,000,000.00 of Community Development Block Grant Recovery funds pursuant to the Economic Stimulus Program.


NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor of the Town of Marion is hereby authorized to sign and submit appropriate documents to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for the Virginia Community Development Block Grant Recovery Program.


Adopted 01 June 2009.


The Honorable David P. Helms, Mayor                     Dixie O. Sheets, Clerk




Signature                                                                     Signature


Mr. Heath had read the resolution previously and upon changing the wording from have an agreement to are working on an agreement and upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings, and unanimous vote, the Resolution was adopted.


APPOINTMENT OF A REVIEW COMMITTEE FOR PROPOSALS FROM ENGINEERS AND ARCHITECTAL FIRMS TO PROCURE THEIR SERVICES – Mayor Helms appointed Dr. Gates and Mr. Weaver.  Council approved the appointments by a vote of 5 AYES and 2 ABSTENTIONS (Gates, Weaver).


Mr. Warren stated that he was uncomfortable with last year’s proposal to determine the best use for the school house property and the $1,000,000 estimated cost of the façade.  Mr. Warren was informed that the Town will perform the façade work, particularly the soffit and windows.  It was further noted that whoever occupies the space, at a later date, must be a 501c3 entity.   The proposed best use was determined to be the Appalachian Regional School of Music. 



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


___________________________                              ____________________________

Mayor                                                                          Clerk