Town of Brookneal council meeting

At its most recent meeting on October 13, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the municipal government of the Town of Brookneal met at the Brookneal Community Building, 261 Main Street, so that social distancing could be practiced properly.


Police Chief Richard Baldwin presented the police report for September 2020.  He said of the 66 calls for service last month, 65 were answered by the Brookneal Police Department and 1 by the Campbell County Sheriff’s office.    He said that the Campbell County Sheriff’s office is sponsoring a citizen appreciation stew on November 7, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Yellow Branch Elementary School.  He said there will be a live band and various other activities as well.  He said they are asking for donations to help with this, and he asked if the Town would be able to contribute to this. He suggested a $200 contribution.  Councilperson David suggested each Council member contribute out of their own pockets instead of taking money from the Town.   


Public Works Director Mike Crews said that the paving has been completed on Lynchburg Avenue. He said the process created a couple of water leaks in the area.  He reminded everyone that fall cleanup will be October 19-30, 2020.  


Town Manager Russell Thurston said that he invited Robert Brown from VDOT to the next Council meeting in November.  He is the VDOT engineer working on the Rush Street/Main Street project.  He also said that he has talked to David Hicks in the VDOT land use department about the possibility of a Christmas parade; Mr. Hicks said they will not deny any parade applications this year due to COVID.  He said that he plans to have as much of a Christmas parade as possible.  Consensus of the Council was to pursue a Christmas parade this year.  Councilperson David suggested encouraging people to wear masks and social distance.  Councilperson Adams suggested advertising in the local newspaper for people to keep their distance and wear their masks.   Councilperson David also suggested someone broadcasting the parade “live” on Facebook or Zoom. 

Mr. Thurston said that the hotel marketing rough draft is completed, and he has a copy of it.  He said he would have a copy for the Council at the next meeting.  

Mr. Thurston said that he has drafted a letter to Acelanet/SCS Broadband expressing the disappointment the Town has with them not offering internet services as they had promised.  He said the letter also invites them to the November Town Council meeting to explain what their position is, what the problems are, and what value their equipment on the water tower offers since the Town has new players in the internet field.  He said Campbell County has had similar concerns and several issues also with SCS.  He said at their last board meeting they voted to pull back any relationship they had ongoing with SCS since there are other providers in the market. 

He said there are a couple of Town vehicles that need to be sold by sealed bid auction.  He asked for a motion to do this.   


Upon motion by Richard Adams, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, the Council authorized the advertisement for sealed bids for the Police department’s 2013 Dodge Charger and the Public Works department’s 2001 Ford F150.  

Mr. Thurston said that there is a sum of money between $100,000 and $200,000 from the CARES act funding (COVID relief fund) that is allocated for the Town of Brookneal.  He said there is a lot of strict rules and guidelines for spending the money.  He said he is working with Frank Rogers on this.  He said the money has to be requested by the Town from the County, and it has to be disbursed from the County to the Town by December 30, 2020. 


Finance and Planning Committee Chairperson Richard Adams said that budget discussions will start after the 1st of the year.  He said Mr. Thurston had already mentioned at the 6 p.m. meeting tonight that there are going to be some budget shortfalls for next year. 

Physical Development Committee chairperson Mark Wilkes said that his committee met at 6 pm tonight to talk about landscaping ideas for the project at the community building.  He said the committee decided to advertise for bids for the project in the local newspaper and town website.  He said Rev. Stanfield has raised over $1,800 for the project already.  He said bids will be due on December 1, 2020.  He said the committee also talked about trash cans for the Town residences, but the issue was tabled until further discussion can be done by the committee. 


Upon motion by Joseph David, seconded by Cynthia Johnson, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to advertise in the local newspaper, town website and in the Town Office for bids for the landscaping project at the community building. 


Mr. Thurston wanted to make a point of clarification concerning the Town roads.   He said that even though VDOT is responsible for the roads in the Town of Brookneal, if the Town has to make an emergency repair and cut the asphalt, then the Town has to do the best it can to put in another base and fix that area. 


Upon motion by Barbara Laprade, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, Mayor Nowlin announced that the October 13, 2020, Council meeting was adjourned.