Dillwyn Works To Continue Driving Streetscaping

Published 4:26 pm Thursday, December 2, 2010

DILLWYN – As they wrap-up phase three of the town's on-going streetscape project, town council members are hoping to secure another transportation enhancement grant for phase four.

During its November 9 meeting, council approved a resolution to the Virginia Department of Transportation formally requesting an opportunity to apply for the federally funded grant.

Along with the resolution to VDOT, council authorized a letter to the Commonwealth Regional Council expressing the town's intent that CRC write the grant for the next phase. Additionally, council requested CRC handle the administration of the grant monies if the town is successful with its grant application.

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While making plans for phase four, council approved a payment of $11,704.95 to Farmville Excavation, bringing the total paid to the contractor thus far for phase three to $127,516.90. The total adjusted contract price is $134,228.32. Phase three included new sidewalks, decorative streetlights, and landscaping in the downtown area.

During the discussion on the streetscape project, Vice Mayor Linda Paige provided a brief report on a recent VDOT Transportation Enhancement Workshop held in Culpeper. The workshop focused on the program's procedural requirements for administering transportation enhancement projects.

Planning and Zoning

Council authorized a hardship variance to allow placement of a manufactured home for a lot on Gold Mine Street. The variance is contingent upon review by the town attorney.

Previously, council approved a conditional use permit for the home but there was a slight change in the way the home needed to be located, thus requiring the variance.

Karen Sue Moss, chair of the planning and zoning committee, shared that she and committee members Jimmy O'Bryant and Wayne Meyers worked with the property owner and visited the site several times to assess and discuss the situation.

“She's followed every stipulation we have given her,” stated K.S. Moss, noting that there has been one obstacle after another for the property owner. “This is the only way it can be set,” added Moss, noting that the committee also worked with representatives from the company that sold the home.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant

With the deadline approaching for submitting an application for a Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Clerk Peggy Johnson advised that the response from businesses was not sufficient to warrant proceeding with the application.

Subsequently, council authorized Johnson to send a letter to Robbie Coates, with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, notifying him that the town would not pursue the grant at this time.

At council's September meeting, Coates recommended the town apply for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, HMGP, which he described as a post-disaster program. If successful, the grant would have provided funds for an infrastructure retrofit for storm water drainage behind businesses fronting Main Street between Conner and Hancock streets.

Maintenance and Clean Up

During a discussion last month about landscape maintenance for the town plaza and along the sidewalks, council agreed to ask its lawn contractor, Jay Talbott, about the cost of adding the work to his contract. Additionally, council wanted his price for removing vines, trees, and brush at the cemetery.

After reviewing information provided by Talbott, council, with a motion by Paige, agreed to add the additional tasks to his contract.

Talbott's initial cost for cleaning-up the town plaza by edging and weeding the beds, trimming and pruning shrubs and trees, and mulching the area is $650.

Maintaining the area with pruning, trimming, weeding, mulching, fertilizing, and watering, if necessary, will be $80 per month during the growing season.

After addressing the overgrowth at the cemetery, Talbott suggested spraying the area with weed killer twice a year at a cost of $75.

Reporting on the monthly clean-up efforts, Sandra Moss recommended skipping the month of December because of the weather and resuming the second Saturday of the month work detail in January-weather permitting.

Ellis Acres

In response to council's authorization to increase the coverage on the recently renovated building at Ellis Acres Memorial Park, Johnson said the additional coverage represents a premium increase of $389.

Last month, when Councilor Diane Holman-James presented the request from EAMP to increase the building's coverage from $50,000 to $150,000, she said EAMP would pay the difference in the premium.

Christmas Parade

While discussing the town's Christmas parade, scheduled for Saturday, December 18, at 10 a.m., Vice Mayor Paige shared that the committee has asked Ossie Harris, Jr. to be the parade marshal.

Harris, who served on council for 19 years, recently resigned due to health-related reasons.

In conjunction with the Christmas in Dillwyn celebration, council authorized the committee to order four Christmas banners for the town's decorative streetlights.

Additionally, council authorized the purchase of four general use banners that include a train logo along with the town's name and date of incorporation.

Total cost for the banners, brackets, and hardware is $864.

Committee Assignments

Reviewing committee assignments, council approved changes as discussed.

Bill Lewis Moss will serve on the finance committee, chaired by Paige with members Diane James and Sarah Walker.

B. L. Moss agreed to chair the building and grounds committee. Moss also said he would serve on the zoning, planning, and building committee with chair Karen Sue Moss and members Jimmy O'Bryant and Wayne Meyers.

Council appointed Faye Shumaker to the beautification and litter committee, serving with council members Sarah Walker, chair, and Sandra Moss.

Paige and Karen Sue Moss agreed to stay on the ordinance committee.

Sandra Moss offered to serve on the community service workers committee along with Mayor Toney and R. W. Maxey.

No changes were made to the Christmas parade committee, which includes Paige, James, Walker and Sandra Moss.

Sandra Moss and Walker will serve as the town's representatives on the chamber of commerce's tourism committee.

In Other Town News

Clerk Johnson reported that Buckingham Branch Railroad is planning to install a geo-thermal system for heating and cooling the old farm supply building the company is renovating.

Council reviewed the upcoming edition of the town's quarterly newsletter. After complimenting its editor Sandra Moss for her efforts, council approved the fourth quarter edition.

During a review of proposed write-offs for delinquent real estate and personal property taxes under $1, Paige recommended sending letters to the delinquent taxpayers explaining the cumulative effect on the town's revenues.

After the discussion, council approved the write-offs as presented. Paige cast the only opposing vote.

Reporting on a recent meeting of the town's 100th anniversary committee, Sandra Moss shared that committee members were enthusiastic about making plans for the anniversary, which will take place in 2012.

She said the next meeting would be on Monday, November 29, 5 p.m., at the town hall. Moss also issued a request to the community for old photos of the town.

A proposed ordinance on yard sales has stalled while council continues researching and reviewing the subject.

Council, with a suggestion by S. Moss, agreed to move its meeting time up to 5 p.m. when there is a conflict with the board of supervisors' meetings.

“I would really like to see us not overlap,” said Moss, who usually attends the board of supervisors' meeting.

In October and November, there is usually a conflict because the board of supervisors traditionally changes its second Monday of the month meeting to the second Tuesday due to the Columbus Day holiday in October and the Virginia Association of Counties Conference in November.