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 September 21, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT:  Mayor David Helms; Dr. James Gates, Jane Hale, Eugene Hendrick, Suzanne Jennings, Bill Weaver, Mel Leaman (arriving late) and Mark Warren, Council Members; Town Manager John E. B. Clark, Jr.; Police Chief Michael Roberts; Police Lt. Rex Anders; Town Attorney Mark Fenyk; Community and Economic Development Director Ken Heath; Purchasing Agent B. J. Hamm; Police Officer Brian Sexton; Town Engineer/Assistant Town Manager Cecil Hicks; and Town Clerk/Director of Finance Dixie Sheets.

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

VISITORS:  Jeff Spickard, Diana and Ralph Price

MINUTES:  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES, the minutes of the meeting held September 8, 2009 were approved as written and distributed.  Dr. Gates, Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Hale, Messrs Hendrick,  Weaver, and Warren voted affirmatively.

REPORT ON ADDITIONAL FUNDING ON SOUTH MAIN STREET WATER LINE REPLACEMENT AND REQUEST ON INSPECTION SERVICES-TOWN MANAGER:  The Town has been informed by the Virginia Department of Health that additional funds have been approved for the South Main Street Water Line Replacement Project.  An additional $41,426 will bring the total funding package to $204,776.  In light of not putting up $41,426, Mr. Clark proposed that Don Henderlite be moved from the Water Treatment Plant for three (3) days per week as an inspector on the South Main Street Water Project and that the Town pay additional fees to Lane Engineering for the same.  Mr. Henderlite performed inspection duties while employed by Lane Engineering previously.   It was estimated that $7,100 would pay for the additional inspection.   Dr. Gates moved that the Town allocate funds to increase inspection fees for the South Main Street Project, not to exceed $7,200.  Mr. Weaver seconded the motion.  Council approved the same by a vote of 6 AYES and 0 NOES.  Dr. Gates, Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Jennings, Messrs  Hendrick, Weaver, and Warren voted affirmatively.

REPORT ON PROPOSED UPGRADES ON SEWER TREATMENT PLANT AND COUNTY TIMETABLES:  Staff from the Town and Smyth County met to discuss plans for the upgrade of the Sewage Treatment Plant.  The Town is proceeding with Lane Engineering on a  Preliminary Engineering Report on the needed upgrades at the plant. The County plans to participate in the project using additional money left over from a County project.   These funds must be expended by 1/1/10.  Mr. Spickard advised that the study is well underway and expected to be completed by September 30.  He noted that the UV disinfection system is the primary need.  Lane’s plan is to roll into design so that the County funds may be utilized. 

Mr. Leaman arrived.

REPORT ON PRATER LANE RAILROAD CROSSING LIABILITY ISSUE AND REQUEST TO BID:   Mr. Fenyk stated that he had spoken with Virginia Municipal League Insurance Program concerning liability on this project.  He was assured that the Town’s current policy would cover the Town’s liability and the Railroad’s liability during construction and that the Railroad has been added as insured.  He added that our existing limits on liability would cover the Town and the railroad after construction was completed.   Discussion ensued.  Dr. Gates stated that the Railroad and VDOT will benefit from closure of the crossing.   Mr. Fenyk added that the Railroad stands firm with their offer and that the contractor will also be required to provide coverage to cover the Town and the Railroad.  Mr. Clark advised that VDOT may withdraw their funding and are anxious to know if the project is still a viable one.  Dr. Gates moved that the Town proceed with the project, contingent that the Town will incur no costs.  The crossing will only be closed if fully-funded.  Mr.  Leaman seconded the motion.  Council approved the motion by a vote of 6 AYES and 1 NOE (Weaver). 

REPORT ON 1908 SCHOOL HOUSE PROJECT:  Mr. Heath informed Council that a pre-bid meeting will be conducted at 10 am on September 23, 2009.  He added that the Town does not own the Schoolhouse at this time.  A  public hearing will be conducted by the Smyth County Board of Supervisors to discuss the situation with the 1908 Schoolhouse.

REPORT ON FARMER’S MARKET:  Mr. Heath reported that the Farmer’s Market is winding down.   Pumpkins and canned goods are the main items at this time of the season.   Trick or Treat Downtown will be conducted on Main Street on October 31 with a costume contest at the Farmer’s Market immediately following.  A Halloween party will be held at the Market for adults later that evening.  The German Club is planning to host a Christmas Market on the weekend of the Christmas Parade. 

FARMER’S MARKET – RURAL DEVELOPMENT FUNDS:  Mr. Heath advised that an application has been submitted for Rural Development Funds to upgrade the Farmer’s Market with a 55%/45% (Town) split.  The funds would be used to install restrooms at the Farmer’s Market.  This would be an unbudgeted expense.

STREETSCAPE PROJECT:  Mr. Heath stated that the next phase of the Downtown Streetscape will include Broad Street, a portion of East Main Street and the alley between the former Belks building and the Lincoln Theatre.  As discussed previously, he requested that Council close that portion of North Iron Street.  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mrs. Jennings and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, a public hearing was scheduled to consider closure of a portion of North Iron Street.

REPORT ON PUMP STATION AT RIVERVIEW ESTATES:  Mr. Hicks reported that the Town has identified the easement area of the proposed pump station to be a 40 foot  X 20 foot area.  It is located at the southeast corner of Lot # 3 in the Riverview sub-division.

REPORT ON SPRINKLE AVENUE COMPLAINT:  This matter has been resolved.

REPORT ON FOWL PROBLEMS ON IRON STREET:  Chief Roberts reported that this situation has been discussed with the Animal Control Officer and they are attempting  to catch them.

ACCOUNTS:  Dr. Gates moved that the accounts be paid in the amount of $747,974.32.  Mrs. Jennings seconded the motion.  Council approved the same by a vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES.  Dr. Gates, Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Jennings, Messrs Weaver, Warren, Hendrick and Leaman voted affirmatively.

INVESTMENTS:  Upon motion of Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Jennings  and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the Investment Report was approved as written and distributed.  Dr.  Gates, Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Jennings, Messrs Hendrick, Leaman, Weaver and Warren voted affirmatively.

RECOMMENDATION OF RE-APPOINTMENT TO THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS:  Mr. Fenyk advised that the term of William C. Buchanan, Jr.  has expired.  He has agreed to serve an additional term, if re-appointed.  Upon motion, duly seconded vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, Council recommended that the Judge of the Circuit Court reappoint William C. Buchanan, Jr.  to the Board of Zoning Appeals.  His term shall expire on September 13, 2013.

RESOLUTION TO HONOR CARL AZZARA FORMER MSHS BAND DIRECTOR:  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the following Resolution honoring Carl Azzara was adopted.

A RESOLUTION TO HONOR

CARL SALVATORE AZZARA

FOR HIS COMMUNITY SERVICE AS

THE MARION HIGH SCHOOL BAND DIRECTOR 1954-1964

 

WHEREAS, Carl S. Azzara was born in Yonkers, New York on August 13, 1928, received a B.S. in Music Education from Concord College and arrived in Marion, Virginia in 1954; and

 

WHEREAS, Carl S. Azzara served the Marion High School Band as the Band Director from 1954 to 1964, and took an interest in all phases of school activity; and

 

WHEREAS, Carl S. Azzara unselfishly gave his time and talent to the development of the Hurricane Rebel Band and guided the Hurricane Rebel Band to numerous honors and awards; and

 

WHEREAS, Carl S. Azzara, an accomplished and well known piano player, brought pride to our entire community through his leadership, his service and his generous friendship; and

 

WHEREAS, Carl S. Azzara was instrumental in shaping the careers of many young men and women, unselfishly giving his time and talent; and

 

WHEREAS, Carl S. Azzara was honored with the dedication of the 1964 Class Year Book in his honor; and

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Town of Marion, Virginia, in regular session assembled the 21st day of September 2009, that the town hereby congratulates CARL S. AZZARA for his 81 years and upon his return to Marion for the Marion Senior High School 2009 Homecoming.

 

RESOLVED, 21st day of September, 2009

 

SIGNED:                                                          ATTEST:

 

 

__________________________                      __________________________

David P. Helms, Mayor                              Dixie O. Sheets, Town Clerk

 

REQUEST TO BID FOR SCBA EQUIPMENT THROUGH RURAL DEVELOPMENT GRANT:  Mr. Clark stated that any funds that may become available from FEMA will not be available until after the expiration of the current SCBA units.  A Rural Development Grant of 55% has been secured to purchase 8-10 of the units.  These will be ordered by early October.  Dr. Gates requested a meeting of the Fire Committee and involve the MVFD to discuss this issue.

REQUEST TO BID POLICE SUV:  Mr. Hamm stated that there has been a “glitch” with the grant money intended to purchase two (2) police cruisers. The grant specifically states that items purchased with the funds must be American made.  There are no American made police packages.  Chargers, Impalas and Crown Victorias are all manufactured in Canada. Mr. Hamm is in the process of determining if the SUV’s on State Contract are made in the United States.   Chief Roberts has been able to find on the state contract that the 2010 Tahoe 4X4 is assembled in the United States.  The Town is considering the purchase of two (2) at $30,047 each.   Dr. Gates requested a joint meeting of the Police and Finance Committee to discuss the specifications.  He further requested that local dealerships be contacted to determine prices for the specifications required.

NOTICE OF ADDITIONAL FUNDING ON STREETSCAPE PROJECT:  Marion has been awarded additional funding for the Downtown Streetscape.  Mr. Heath stated that the Town has a contract with Spectrum Design that is being reviewed by the Town Attorney.  He plans to have everything in place when VDOT gives the Town the notice to proceed.

REPORT ON PEARL AVENUE/BUCHANAN STREET COMMUNITY INFORMATION MEETING:  Mayor Helms stated that the information meeting was well attended.  Toby Bowen, MRPDC, gave an overview of the renter occupied and owner occupied regulations and ability to pay.  Mr. Clark noted that an advertisement for a Rehabilitation Specialist has been posted.  The Mt. CAP winterization program will be worked into this project.   It was also announced that $118,000 in additional funding has been allocated from Rural Development.  The Town looks forward to a most successful project.

REPORT ON ROOF REPAIRS AND ADDITIONAL REQUEST:  Mr. Clark reported that repairs and painting on the cupola are complete.  Cost of the crane was $2,700 for 15 hours.  H. C. Carter, owner of Red Oak Construction, had informed Mr. Clark that the repairs should last 3-5 years.  He said that the cupola is in need of major repair or replacement and should be considered in future budget for removal and/or replacement.  Also, it was discovered that the front guttering system and downspouts have deteriorated.  Mayor Helms rode up on the crane and viewed the problem.  As estimate of $14,000 for copper gutter and downspouts or $10,000 for galvanized was proposed by Red Oak Construction.  It was noted that current downspouts are hidden behind the brick and water is coming into contact with the brick, resulting in damage.  These repairs are not budgeted.  Following a lengthy discussion, Dr. Gates moved that repairs be approved and that the same material for guttering in the rear of the building be used in the front of the building.  This will be negotiated by the Town Manager.  Mr. Weaver seconded the motion.  Council approved the same by a vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES.  Dr. Gates, Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Jennings, Messrs Leaman, Hendrick, Weaver and Warren voted affirmatively.

REQUEST TO REZONE PROPERTY AT 1103 CULBERT DRIVE:  Ralph and Diana Price were present to request rezoning of their property located at 1103 Culbert Drive from R-1 to Medical Arts.  They have recently purchased the property and believe that Medical Arts would be the best use of the property.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Hendrick and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, this item was referred to the Planning Commission for study and recommendation.

REQUEST TO HOUSE SNO SHACK ON TOWN LOT:  Mr. Clark advised that the Slemp’s have requested permission to house the Sno Shack on the Town parking lot on North Main Street for the winter.  They offered $40 per month to leave the building on the property.  Mr. Leaman was concerned that this would set a precedence.  Also, noted was the fact that this property is used for handicapped parking during the Christmas Parade.  There was further concern that the new tenants at the former Hungate’s building park vehicles there.  Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Leaman and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the request was denied.

WATER COMMITTEE ON MAPLE STREET/FRANKLIN STREET WATER:   Mr. Hicks reported that a ¾ inch water line services ten (10) homes in this area.  He proposes a two (2) inch line to adequately provide service and water pressure to the residents.  Dr. Gates moved that a two (2) inch line be installed at a rough cost of $6,000.  Mr. Weaver seconded the motion.  Council approved the same unanimously.  Dr. Gates, Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Hale, Messrs Leaman, Hendrick, Warren and Weaver voted affirmatively.

MONITORING SYSTEM:  Mr. Hicks advised that the Virginia Department of Health has issued an order to install a monitoring system for chlorine at the Town Springs.  The cost is estimated between $4,500 and $5,500.   This is an unbudgeted item.  Funds from Water Treatment and Sewage Treatment Equipment Repairs may be used to fund this item.  Upon motion of Dr. Gates, seconded by Mr. Leaman and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, approval was granted to install the required monitoring system at the Town Springs.

DEER POPULATION:  Mrs. Jennings stated that she continues to receive calls concerning the deer population.  Mr. Clark reported that he has been unable to contact D. C. Walker concerning this matter.

PRATER LANE - SPEEDING VEHICLES:  Mrs. Jennings reported that she has received several complaints of speeding on Prater Lane.  Chief Roberts will address this matter.

WATER ACCOUNTABILITY:  Mr. Hendrick was pleased that the Town’s water accountability is up to 57%.  Mr. Clark stated that he has not received the formal report from Anderson and Associates.  However, approximately 75% of the leaks that have been identified in the report have already been repaired.

HOT AND COLD TANKS:  Mr. Hendrick asked that, as time permits, the trees blocking the view of the “Hot & Cold” tanks be removed.   The tanks have been a delight to travelers on I-81 and brought attention to Marion as a “Town with a Sense of Humor”.

THANKS TO PUBLIC WORKS:  Mr. Hendrick expressed his appreciation to the Public Works staff in patching areas of Town that he identified and cutting the bush around the fire hydrant on Scott Street.

SIDEWALK REPAIRS AND HANDICAP SIDEWALK AT FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH:  Mr. Hicks stated that a contractor has been engaged to repair the sidewalks.

PATRIOT’S DAY:  Mayor Helms reported that there was a good turnout at the Annual Patriot’s Day Remembrance Ceremony.

AMERICAN WOOD FIBERS:  Mayor Helms announced an Open House at American Wood Fibers located in Seven Mile Ford on September 24th at 5:30 pm.

BLUE RIDGE JOB CORPS OPEN HOUSE:  Mayor Helms announced an Open House at BRJC on October 23 from 9 am until 4 pm.

REQUEST FOR SPECIAL USE PERMIT-ECONO LODGE:  Mr. Hicks reported that a request has been received from Mr. Patel,  owner of the Econo Lodge, to construct a 30X30 cube on the back of the motel to use as his living quarters.  Mr. Hicks further stated that the request meets the spirit of Special Use.  Dr. Gates felt that as this is a new structure, it should be reviewed by the Planning Commission.  Dr. Gates moved that the request be referred to the Planning Commission for study and recommendation and that a Public hearing be scheduled on October 22, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. to consider the same.  Mrs. Jennings seconded the motion.  Council approved the same by a vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES.

PERSONNEL POLICY:  Mr. Clark informed Council that several items in the Town of Marion Personnel Policy, adopted on March 17, 2009, needed to be changed.  These items are:  (1)   Section 3.09 Salary of Transferred Employee-Page 12, paragraph 1, second sentence, should read “The salary of an employee shall be changed because of the transfer.”  In the second paragraph under Section 3.09, it should read…, “shall be adjusted according to the procedure as described in Section 3.08.  (2) Section 4.08 Disciplinary Action – Page 21, E. Reduction in Pay, second paragraph, should read …”shall be adjusted according to the procedure as described in Section 3.08.”   Upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Leaman and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, the recommended changes are adopted into the Personnel Manual.

PUBLIC WORKS COMMENDATION:  Mr. Clark commended the Public Works Department with regard to removal of debris, tree trunks and plastic containers from the river near the dam.

CLOSED SESSION-POSSIBLE BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT OFF EXIT 44-CODE OF VIRGINIA, 1950, AS AMENDED, SECTION 2.2-3711 (A)(3): Pursuant to Code of Virginia, 1950, As Amended, Section 2.2-3711 (A)(3) and upon motion of Mrs. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Weaver and vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES, Council entered into Closed Session to discuss a possible boundary adjustment off Exit 44 at Washington Avenue.  Mrs. Jennings moved that Council return to Open Session and that it is known that only those matters exempted from Open Session and identified were discussed during the Closed Session. Mr. Weaver seconded the motion.  Council approved the motion by a vote of 7 AYES and 0 NOES.  Dr. Gates, Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Hale, Messrs Warren, Hendrick, Weaver and Leaman voted affirmatively.

Dr. Gates moved to empower the Town Manager to present the Town’s ideas on a boundary adjustment at Exit 44.  Mrs. Hale seconded the motion.  Council approved the same unanimously. 

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

 

____________________________________            __________________________________

Mayor                                                                                     Town Clerk

 


September 8, 2009

Page 2

 

 

A.       Upgrade on Sewer Treatment Plant, County Participation and Lane Engineering Study – Town Manager (See Attachment)

B.      Request to Close Iron Street  (See Attachment)

C.      Roof Contractors at Town Hall – Town Manager (See Attachment)

 

      6.            PUBLIC PRESENTATION

 

                      An opportunity for anyone who is not on the Agenda to bring matters before          

                  Council

 

7.          COMMITTEE REPORTS

                      A.      Street Committee – Park Terrace Situation

                      B.  Building & Grounds & Finance Committees – Municipal Building

                                                               

 

8.          COUNCIL REPORTS

                                                   i.      Mrs. Hale

                                                 ii.      Mrs. Jennings

                                                iii.      Dr. Gates

                                               iv.      Mr. Weaver

                                                 v.      Mr. Leaman

                                               vi.      Mr. Warren 

                                              vii.      Mr. Hendrick

 

9.       MAYOR’S REPORT

         

10.       ATTORNEY’S REPORT

              A.  Pump Station Project – Riverview Estates Easements

             

11.        CLOSED SESSION

A.  Boundry Adjustment at Exit 47 –Justification. Code of Virginia, 1950, As

                        Amended.

 

12 .       ADJOURNMENT