- Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 November 2008 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 26 November 2008 05:00
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This month's Council meeting began with Karen Payne asking for a discussion to be added to the agenda concerning the Council's newest policy of signing up to speak.
Next, Sparky Ridgely commented on the progress that the implementation of the cigarette tax was making and also mentioned that he was working with the Chief Financial Officer and the Town Manager on the matter of a future transfer of funds.
Member Steve Kennedy informed the room that he spoken with Richard Stuart concerning the matching funds program to address the paving problems in Riverside Meadows; he brought to everyone's attention that VDOT had been in town again and that crosswalks were now clearly defined; next he indicated that 4-way STOP signs were a matter of discussion and that the over 20 streetlights that were currently dark had been brought to the attention of Virginia Dominion Power.
Member David Coombes then announced that a vacancy existed on the Planning Commission as long term member Barbara Palmer was retiring from her volunteer position after 12 years of service. He encouraged interested persons to see the Town Clerk, Barbara Goff.
Karen Payne touched on the water and sewer connection rates, saying that a study group was looking at rates and connection fees. Payne indicated that a draft of the resolution should be available by the December 2nd work session and that Public Hearings would then probably be held in January. When it came time for member Burket Lyburn to speak on public safety, he turned the floor over the Chief of Police, Christopher Hawkins.
Hawkins said that, according to his contract, this was the point in time when he was supposed to catch Council up on any and all improvements he had accomplished within the police department.
He then relayed an impressive and extensive list:
Junior Cadette Program, While You're Away (they check on your home); Installation of a Secondary Radio System (donated by State Police) so the department can maintain radio contact even when the phones go out; Inmate Workforce; All officers and dispatchers at required level of training and now moving on to specialty training; Negotiation of a possible generator donation from Dahlgren; joining the Tri-county drug task force; working on a contract to provide police coverage within Riverwood at no cost to the Town; and obtaining a letter from the current owners of Riverwood that allows the police department to act as their agent.
"We don't need the owners to prosecute for trespass", said Hawkins. The chief also mentioned that his department would be undertaking a new program called Life Guard.
Vice Mayor Trish King, in charge of economic development, spoke next. King read off a lengthy report including meetings regarding emergency preparedness, tourism, discussion of a planning grant, the relocation of the recycling dumpster, the possibility of re-locating the police department to the former public works site, and a visit to Kilmarnock to view their results with the Main Street Program.
King commented briefly, "Most of the business owners liked it".
King continued saying she planned to visit Luray in December to discuss how they pursued economic development and announced that their would be "a lot of improvements to the Town's website". King also mentioned that the Town is having discussions about Fredericksburg and what they have done to increase tourism.
Joan Grant, the Town's Chief Financial Officer told the Council that some residents had been in contact with her office seeking payment plans and arrangements for real estate taxes. Grant says she plans on talking about revenue, this year versus last year, in December at either the work session or the regular session.
David Coombes referenced the destruction of Parker's Restaurant and reminded Council of the Maritime Commercial Zoning District that had been created.
Coombes told Council that a request to look at rezoning those sections of Monroe Bay Avenue, such as where Parker's was located, from Commercial C-1 to Maritime Commercial had been sitting with Council for over a year and a half.
Larry Roberson spoke briefly about the replacement of the bridge by Wilkerson's Restaurant. The plans have changed again and now according to Roberson, VDOT says they will "just replace the bridge that is there. There will no longer be a whole new design". Roberson said VDOT hopes to keep one lane open while under construction.