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 August 17, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT:  Mayor David Helms; Eugene Hendrick, Suzanne Jennings, Bill Weaver, Mel Leaman and Mark Warren, Council Members; Town Manager John E. B. Clark, Jr.; Town Attorney Mark Fenyk; Police Chief Michael Roberts; Police Sgt. Wes Thomas; Community and Economic Development Director Ken Heath; Engineer’s Assistant Todd Long; Purchasing Agent B. J. Hamm; and Town Clerk/Director of Finance Dixie Sheets.

INVOCATION/PLEDGE TO THE FLAG:  Mr. Heath rendered the invocation.  Mayor Helms led the Pledge to the Flag.

VISITORS:   J. C. Widener, Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Wayne Burkett

MINUTES:  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, the minutes of the meeting conducted on August 3, 2009 were approved as written and distributed.  Mrs. Jennings, Messrs Leaman, Hendrick, Warren and Weaver voted affirmatively.

UPDATE ON PRATER LANE RAILROAD CROSSING:  Town Attorney Mark Fenyk advised that the contract that the Town has, prepared by Norfolk Southern, does not contain the limited liability that the Town has requested.  The contract, in hand, requires a $1 million general liability insurance policy during the construction phase and $2 million policy after closure of the crossing to specify Norfolk Southern as the insured.  Discussion ensued.  Upon motion of Mr. Warren, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was continued and Mr. Clark was asked to invite Norfolk Southern representatives, or those allowed to speak on behalf of N/S, to meet with the Town’s Manager, Engineer and Attorney to discuss the project. 

UPDATE ON RIVERVIEW ESTATES PUMP HOUSE PROJECT:   Mr. Fenyk stated that the Riverview Estates Sub-division reserves 10 feet around each lot for utilities.  He noted that he has not found where the Town has a right of way to go into the sub-division with the Water Pump Project.  He suggested that the Town request that the owners of the un-conveyed portions,  to convey non-exclusive easements to the Town.  Mr. Fenyk was unsure if the existing pump is included in the 10 foot area.   Mr. Weaver moved that the Town Attorney prepare the documents to acquire non-exclusive easements from the property owners for the Riverview Pump Station Project and that a survey be performed if necessary.  Mr. Warren seconded the motion.  Council approved the same by a vote of 4 AYES and 1 ABSTENTION (Mrs. Jennings).

REQUEST FOR TEMPORARY LEASE – CHRISTMAS TREE/GREENERY STAND:  Upon motion of Mr. Leaman, seconded by Mr. Warren and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was continued.   It was suggested that the advertisement for temporary lease of Town property include any area that the Town owns that could be used, not just the Farmer’s Market.

DEER CONTROL REPORT:  Mrs. Jennings reported that she continues to receive calls concerning the deer population in Town.  Police Chief Michael Roberts stated that there have been seven (7) reported deer accidents in July.  Chief Roberts advised that the City of Galax Police Chief informed him that they have an officer who is designated to control the deer population and that method is labor intensive and quite expensive.  Galax has killed 127 deer this year and is having difficulty disposing of the deer.  The other method of instituting the Urban Archery Program has been adopted by several localities.  Mr. Fenyk advised that each hunter must have permission from the property owner to perform any hunt.  Upon motion of Mr. Leaman, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was continued to gather additional information.

PUBLIC HEARING ON AMENDMENT TO THE TOWN CODE WITH REGARD TO SECTION 38-1 - SCHEDULED 9/8/09:  This Public Hearing will be conducted to amend the Town Code of Ordinance with regard to “Care of Premises”.

ROOF REPAIRS AT MUNICIPAL BUILDING:   Mr. Clark reported that the membrane on the Municipal Building roof was replaced several years ago.  The roof has begun to leak in several places due to the saturated membrane and deteriorated cupola base.  Architect Bill Huber was invited to assess the roof.  As a short term repair, the Town staff will apply a sealant.   Red Oak Construction was contacted to assess the damage and estimated cost of the project is $22,000, leaving the air conditioning units on the roof. 

Mr. Warren expressed concern that the air conditioning units are located upon the roof.  He felt that the units should be removed and a sloped roof be installed.  He spoke with personal experience as his home has a flat roof.    Mr. Clark will meet again with Red Oak Construction to discuss alternative plans.  Mrs. Jennings moved that this matter be referred to the Building & Grounds and Finance Committees for study and recommendation.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Leaman and carried by a vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES.

UPDATE ON EAST CHILHOWIE STREET BRIDGE:   Mr. Clark reported that the contract for the design and bidding phase for the East Chilhowie Street Bridge repairs has been signed with Mattern and Craig.  A provision was included that M&C would coordinate with the insurance company of the vehicle involved in the crash.  Mattern and Craig have 45 days to complete the design phase.

ACCOUNTS:  Upon motion of Mr. Leaman, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, the accounts were approved in the amount of $477,453.62.  Mrs. Jennings, Messrs Warren, Weaver, Leaman, and Hendrick voted affirmatively.

INVESTMENTS:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 5 AYES AND 0 NOES, the Investment Report was approved as written and distributed. 

REPORT ON MEETING WITH CDBG REPRESENTATIVE CONCERNING THE PEARL AVENUE/BUCHANAN STREET PROJECT ON AUGUST 5:   This meeting confirmed the project scope of 6 renter occupied dwellings and 15 owner occupied dwellings.  Renter occupied units will be allowed $25,000 in rehabilitation with 0% interest for a ten year period.  The owners have agreed to rent to LMI persons only and to increase the rent on their property for a specified time limit.  LMI property owner’s payments are based upon the “ability to pay”.  Many of these will not be required to pay the funds back.  Three houses are scheduled for demolition.  Jimmy Wallace, DHCD representative, encouraged the Town to partner with Mt. CAP in applying for additional funding.  Scott Booth, MRPDC, has also applied for $114,000 from Rural Development with the Town of Marion match at $36,000.  These funds could be used to purchase vacant lots after the demolition of the 3 houses.  This is a two year project.  A meeting will be scheduled to discuss this matter with Mr. Mike Walker and Scott Booth.

TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF THE RED BIRD TAXI COMPANY:  Mr. J. C. Widener intends to sell his taxi service to Kenneth Wayne Burkett.  The business will continue to be located at 207 Broad Street.  Chief Roberts stated that his office will conduct a background check and perform inspection of the vehicles.  Upon motion, duly seconded and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, a Public Hearing was scheduled on September 8, to consider the transfer and “Certificate of Need” for the Red Bird Taxi company.

POLICE COMMITTEE-REPORT ON POLICE DEPARTMENT POLICY:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 5 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was continued.

MARION LITTLE LEAGUE:  The 2009 Marion Boys All-Star Team Age 11 &12 sent a letter to Town Council expressing their appreciation for their support, donation and “send off” as they represented District 1 and Marion at the Virginia State Tournament in Centerville, VA .  These young men represented our community very well and the Town is proud of their performance.  Members of the Team are Hunter Lefler, Riley Blevins, Nicholas Stiefel, Michael Ellis, W. K. Dalton, Jacob Spencer, Sam Wagner, Ty Campbell, Tyler Stephenson, Chandler Dixon and J. Johnson.  Coaches are Junior Wolfe, Brian Leaman, Anthony Ellis  and Joe Ellis

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION CLINIC OPENED:  Mr. Warren reported that a Veterans Administration Clinic will open at District III Cooperative in Atkins.  This facility will be beneficial to the entire area. 

HEARTWOOD IN ABINGDON:  Mayor Helms and Mr. Heath attended the groundbreaking of Heartwood located in Abingdon.   Mr. Heath advised that Heartwood will be up and running within 2 years.  Heartwood will show case area talents in the arts.

COUNCIL MEETING RESCHEDULED:  The next Town Council Meeting has been rescheduled to September 8 due to Labor Day.

SMYTH COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TOWN AND COUNTRY BBQ:  Mayor Helms reminded Town Council that the Town and Country BBQ in Chilhowie will be held August 20. 

VFW NATIONAL MEETING:  Mayor Helms advised that VFW 4667 Commander “Turk” Johnson is attending the National Convention.   Word has been received that Commander Johnson was interview by FOX News. 

PATRIOT’S DAY:  Patriot’s Day will be held on September 11, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. on the steps of the Municipal Building.

1908 OLD SCHOOL HOUSE:  Mr. Heath advised that the Town is awaiting official word from HUD.  The Town is in receipt of a contract from Spectrum Design.   The plan is to begin construction/renovation by December 1, 2009.

FALL NEWSLETTER:  Mr. Heath encouraged articles for the fall newsletter be submitted as soon as possible..

TOWN BROCHURE:   Mr.  Heath reported that the volunteers are working on the Town brochure.  He asked that any photographs that might be appropriate would be greatly appreciated.

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

 

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Mayor                                                                                                   Clerk