COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES NOVEMBER 12, 2019 - DRAFT

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING NOVEMBER 12, 2019

The Edinburg Town Council met for a Public Hearing on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.  Mayor Harshman called the Public Hearing to order at 7:15 p.m.  All Council Members were present with the exception of Councilwoman Wymer-Hollar.  Town Attorney, Mr. Jay Neal was also present.  Also present were visitors:  Mr. Brad Pollack, Mrs. Deborah Pollack, Capt. Wes Dellinger and Dep. James Horn from the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Department, Mr. Tarsico Guzman from Inboden Environmental and Mr. Ronald Ross, Town Maintenance Supervisor.

The purpose of the Public Hearing was to receive comments on the proposed amendment of Chapter 37, Building Construction, § 37-1.  Enforcement of Statewide Building Code and Chapter 175, Zoning, Article X, Historic District § 175-86, Minimal Maintenance Requirement (Demolition by Neglect) to authorize the Town to secure the services of a Qualified Code Official to perform maintenance inspections. 

There were no comments.   

With no comments or questions, a motion was made by Councilman Beachy and seconded by Councilman Wood to adjourn the Public Hearing.  Motion carried.

The Edinburg Town Council met in a regular session on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.  Mayor Harshman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  All Council Members were present with the exception of Councilwoman Wymer-Hollar.  Town Attorney, Mr. Jay Neal was also present.  Also present were visitors:  Mr. Brad Pollack, Mrs. Deborah Pollack, Capt. Wes Dellinger and Dep. James Horn from the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Department, Mr. Tarsicio Guzman from Inboden Environmental and Mr. Ronald Ross, Town Maintenance Supervisor.

Councilman Beachy stated that in the third paragraph of the October 8, 2019 meeting minutes; Councilwoman Beachy should be changed to say Councilman Beachy.  A motion was made by Councilman Beachy and seconded by Councilman Van Stee to approve the minutes of the October 8, 2019 regular meeting with the change as stated above.  Motion carried.   

A motion was made by Councilman Wood and seconded by Councilman Beachy to approve the Treasurer’s report and to pay all the bills as presented.  Motion carried.

The Water and Sewer Committee had no report.

Mr. Harshman reported that the Health Department has suggested that the Town bring the Virginia Rural Water Association (VRWA) in again to do leak detection and try to get the usage down to 80% of capacity.  The VRWA has some new staff and some better equipment that they can assist the Town with.  The Health Department feels that this step should be taken before seeking the grants that were talked about last month.  Mr. Harshman reported that Mr. Inboden has reached out to the VRWA, but nothing has been scheduled yet.

Mr. Harshman reported that he provided the Council with the Virginia Water and Wastewater Rate Report for 2019.  At the time of the report the Town was about 6% higher than the State’s average water bill for the 3,000 minimum and about 11% lower than the average sewer rate.  The Town water rates over the minimum were about 8% higher for 4,000 and 5,000 gallons and 13% lower for sewer rates.  Mr. Harshman reported that these results support the Town’s slight increase in water and greater increase for sewer.  The increase in the difference on the sewer over the minimum also supports the sliding scale for over the minimum.      

Mr. Harshman reported that Inboden Environmental Services submitted the Pre-Treatment Ordinance draft update to the DEQ in October and the Town is waiting to hear their comments.  The approval of these changes is going to require a Public Hearing and Ordinance adoption once it is finalized.

Mr. Harshman reported that work on relocating the propane tank started today.  The tank ended up being buried on the property the Town purchased in front of the WTP.

Mr. Harshman reported that the training session he attended for the new Underground Storage Tank (UST) rules that the DEQ held in October was aimed more at service stations and he can’t say that he learned how the new rules will affect the Town’s tank. 

Mr. Harshman reported that nothing has been done on the request for extending the reduced tap fees, since the Town has not heard anything from the developer that made the request.

Mr. Harshman reported that the sewer jet machine is in the shop to have the water pump rebuilt.  This is the first time in 15 years that the machine has needed any major work.  The cost for the repair is $4,217.30.

Mr. Harshman reported that the VML has contacted the Town about a program they are endorsing called the NLC Service Line Warranty Program that is administered by Utility Service Partners, Inc.  This is a service plan that homeowners can purchase that will cover up to $8,500 per occurrence to repair broken/leaking water service lines.  The Company uses local contractors that have been vetted and are licensed and insured to perform the work.  Utility Service Partners is a nationwide company that many communities use for storage tank maintenance contracts and also currently have more than 600 communities participating in the Service Line Warranty program.  The program is also endorsed by the National League of Cities and multiple state leagues like the VML.  Mr. Harshman asked the Council if this Company could go ahead and offer this program to Edinburg residents.  The Council was fine with this. 

The Street Committee had no report. 

The Ordinance Committee had no report. 

The Personnel Committee had no report. 

The Finance Committee had no report.  Mr. Harshman reported that Town Treasurer, Ms. Michelle Heier is still working with the accountants on the 2019 financial statements.

The Property Committee had no report.  Mr. Harshman reported that the painter is still progressing at the Edinburg Mill and has also finished painting the front floodwall.  Mr. Harshman also reported that the Ford Ranger that was involved in a collision with a deer has been repaired and the repairs only ended up costing around $3,500.

The Cemetery Committee had no report. 

The Park Committee had no report.          

The Insurance Committee had no report. 

Capt. Dellinger provided the Council with a “Calls for Service” report for October 2019 and he reported that this was highest month of calls Edinburg has ever had, due to the highly active deputies.  Capt. Dellinger introduced Officer Horn to the Council.  Capt. Dellinger reported that they are ready for the Christmas Parade and have auxiliary staff ready to help with the traffic. 

Mr. Harshman reported that he was unable to attend the October Tourism Council meeting, but he provided the Council with a copy of the minutes from the meeting.

Mr. Harshman reported that the Town received notification from VEPGA, the organization that negotiates with Dominion Energy to establish the contract terms for municipal electricity fees.  The 2 points mentioned were that they achieved approximately $32.55 million in savings over the contract term compared to what Dominion was offering and there will also be up to $10 million in credits beginning in 2022 based on Dominion’s spending over the contract term.  The 2019-2022 contract maintains many of the provisions in the current 2014-2019 contract.

Mr. Harshman reported that the Friends of the North Fork asked the Town to work with them to build a kiosk for the Rain Garden at the Mill to mount the existing sign that had been on the flood wall.  The kiosk will also have brochure holders as well as information about duck feeding.

Mr. Harshman reported that Senator Tim Kaine’s staff will be at the Shenandoah County Library on Thursday, November 14th from 12:30-2:00 p.m.  They are asking for appointments to be made but will handle walk-ins as time permits.

Mr. Harshman reported that the Edinburg Heritage Foundation is working on an update of the Edinburg Mill’s website and are currently working on a possible grant to help fund it.

Mr. Harshman reported that he and Mr. Ross will be turning on the Christmas tree tonight after the meeting to check the lights.  It was lit the other day and it appears that the smaller tree is in good shape.  It is hard to see the lights on the large tree unless it is dark, so they will know more after tonight.

Mr. Harshman reported that the Town will be leaving the Veteran’s Banners up through the holidays to give family members that visit a chance to see them.

Mr. Harshman reported that all of the gifts for the Children’s Christmas Party have been purchased and will be bagged up over the coming weeks.  Mr. Harshman also reported that cookie donations are still needed for the Party and they can be dropped off at the Town Hall on Monday, December 2nd and Tuesday, December 3rd.  Volunteers are still needed for the Party and if anyone is willing to help out, please let Ms. Heier or Ms. Lowerre at the Town Office know.

Mr. Harshman reported that the ARB met on October 21st to discuss Shentel wanting to purchase 105 South High Street.  They would like to purchase the property, demolish the house and make it into a parking area.  The ARB stated that they would approve this if Shentel goes forward with it. 

Planning Commission Chairman, Mr. Steve Van Stee reported that the Town Hall meeting the Town had last month went well.  The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the Town’s pursuit of negligent property owners in the Historic District and to receive public comments.  Mrs. Deborah Pollack asked a lot of questions about this process and what the next steps would be.  Most of her questions could not be answered at this time in the process.  Mr. Van Stee stated that the negligent property owners will be sent one more letter from the Town Attorney about the condition of their buildings before action will be taken. 

The Zoning Administrator had no report.

Town Attorney, Mr. Jay Neal reported that he sent a draft settlement agreement to Rose Hill, but has not heard back from them yet.

Mr. Harshman reported that he provided the Council with a map of the proposed sewer plant.

Town Attorney, Mr. Jay Neal stated that he forgot to mention that he went all the way back to the 1870s and did not find any grant of easement for the alley behind 206 South Main Street.  Mr. Neal stated that the Town could do a prescriptive easement since this alley has been used by the public for 20 years, which would be a solution, but would involve filing suit.  The Council agreed that Mr. Neal should move ahead with challenging the property owner.

Mr. Harshman read the first reading of an Ordinance to amend Chapter 37, Building Construction § 37.1. Enforcement of State Building Code.  The second reading will be at the next meeting.

Mr. Harshman read the first reading of an Ordinance to amend Chapter 175, Zoning, Article X, Historic District § 175-86, Minimal maintenance requirement (Demolition by Neglect).  The second reading will be at the next meeting.

Mr. Harshman asked the Council to consider the first reading of an Ordinance to amend Chapter 156, Utilities to add § 156-15 to prohibit water wells within the Town.  Council agreed that Mr. Harshman should go ahead and read the first reading.  Mr. Harshman read the first reading of an Ordinance to amend Chapter 156, Utilities to add § 156-15 to prohibit water wells within the Town.  Mr. Harshman will schedule a Public Hearing on December 10, 2019 before the Council Meeting at 7:15 p.m.

Mr. Harshman reported that the Town Office will be closed on Tuesday, December 24th and Wednesday, December 25th for Christmas.  Mr. Harshman asked the Council if the Town Office could close at noon on Monday, December 23rd for the Employee Christmas Party at the VFW.  The Council agreed that this was okay.  Mr. Harshman also reported that last year’s Employee Gifts were $100 for full-time employees and $50 for part-time employees.  A motion was made by Councilman Beachy and seconded by Councilman Boone to approve the Employee Gifts.  Motion carried.

Councilman Wood reminded everyone to come out and support the Christmas Parade on Thursday, December 5th.        

With no further business, a motion was made by Councilman Boone and seconded by Councilman Van Stee to adjourn the meeting.  Motion carried.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:16 p.m.
                                                                                                        

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