City of Virginia
August 8th , 2022
Regular Meeting Minutes
Meeting Called to Order: 701pm
Roll Call: Martin, Pratt, Bowman, Wulf, Cox all answered present. Knous was not present.
Agenda Approval: Cox motioned to approve, Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Minutes Approval: Pratt motioned to approve, Martin seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Approval of Monthly Bills: Wulf made a motion to approve, Cox seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Treasurer Barrett stated that the sales tax for the month was $14257.65 and video gaming was $6200.88. He also stated that he hasn’t heard anything back from Auditors on the draft report yet. There was a finance committee meeting tonight before regular council.
Guests: Vickie Bell, Pat Noltensmeier, Terry Ayres
Mr. Ayers stated his concerns about police. Mayor said he is still working on it. He stated that he has had two things stolen from the property. Mayor states we are working on it, we have applications that we will go through in the police committee meeting. Alderman Martin asked if there is a particular day/time its worse? Mr.Ayres stated 330-4pm on Fridays, a lot of trucks that are loud. Alderman Martin wants to know if we can get state police. Mayor states he will contact them to see if they could help out.
Public Works no report
Police Chief no report
Fire Chief got calls for: malfunction alarm at Methodist church, accident north of town, truck was down for over a week for overheating problems
Zoning Officer no report
Park Board Alderman Cox stated that the pool passed state inspection. The pool will have to have new grates and it painted next year. Pool going to close August 16th but will still have school/classes. Baseball practices started, first game August 18th. The park also got a new used truck. The next meeting is August 17th 7pm at park board office.
Library Board no report
Economic Development Alderwoman Martin asked Vickie Bell if she would like to speak. Martin stated there were no big plans right now. She added that the committee talked about what we could do to promote Virginia and how to possibly looking at getting the community involved. There is currently no request for funds.
Cemetery no report
Attorneys Report no report
TIF There is a TIF meeting tomorrow, have an application that will be reviewed.
Attorney Veith states we have the ordinance prohibiting parking of vehicles. Veith added definition to parking section that defines a boulevard. One cant park there unless you are an emergency vehicle at times of emergency. Attorney Veith added that he has a few more projects working on by request from Mayor. Mayor asks for explanation for the board about the buildings on the square as to why it is taking so long. Attorney Veith stated that the process starts with due process. Property owners have the right to receive notice and be heard. When a building is identified as subject to demolition, we have to find the property owner, send owner a notice, then informing the owner they are responsible for correcting any property violations or tearing the building down as a way to get it in compliance. If owner does not do that, you have to have them served with a court date. The owner can tie things up for a while, if you get a judgment for demo, you have to get bids unless under 25k then you can waive bidding process. It can be expedited by posting a notice, but you still have to give notice to property owner and you have to find them. And with our situations, that has been a problem. There is an issue with another owner, we had contact through a PO Box. You cant serve through a PO box, it has to be in person service. Other issue is cost of demolition. Attorney Veith stated you have to understand when you put that investment in, there is little return and even more so expensive when it is a square and there are common walls. Attorney Veith stated we used TIF funds for this the last time, and those only come in periodically. Alderman Martin asked in order to locate them, do you use an investigator? Attorney Veith you can try that. Alderman Martin asks as long as they pay their taxes, can it be declared abandon if there is no water or electricity? Attorney Veith states he has never used that provision of the statute. Ayers asks if there are concerns with safety, does that change anything? Attorney Veith states the city has the ability to go in and remedy the immediate safety concern. Mayor states the reason why he wanted to bring it up is because the Mediquip building recently sold to a guy in Ohio for $1000. He talked to Finn and wanting to make a profit on it. Attorney Veith states you can try to get them to demolish it. Alderman Martin asks about small claims court. Attorney Veith states you take them to ordinance court. Alderwoman Martin is that similar to small claims? Attorney Veith said yes, it is the second Tuesday of every month. Attorney Veith stated in order to do so he just needs the information. Alderwoman Martin thinks if we ding them enough even for small stuff that they may start following ordinances. Wages can be garnished and a lien on the property. Alderman Martin asks if it is the property in question. Attorney Veith states if you get a separate judgment then you can put it against all of their properties but collecting from them is the hard part. Alderman Martin states she feels like we have to make an attempt and be persistent and maybe they will realize it is serious and it will cost them money.
Cox Alderman Cox stated that he has gotten complaints on blind spots and that weed eating would probably take care of all of the issues. There are three places that are a concern.
Knous not present
Wulf Alderman Wulf stated that animal control met last month and they are looking at a new location. He also asked if Jackson St will that be taken care of? Mayor states yes, they are still working. Mr. Lyons reached out about the pin oak tree. There is another one on Springfield St as well. Mayor stated the street dept has been busy and they are working on this stuff. Alderwoman Martin asks if we notify the homeowner that something needs to be done? Mayor states that the ordinance officer would issue that if it is on the property owners property. If it is on the city property, we take care of it.
Bowman Alderman Bowman stated he had received complaints on speeding on Beardstown St. He also asked if we can we do something to let all citizens know to make their house numbers more clear for emergency responders so they know where they are going? There is also a branch hanging over the road on Sylvan that needs to be taken down.
Pratt Alderman Pratt asked if we have a date on when they are doing the streets? Mayor states we are still at mercy of IRC.
Martin Alderwoman Martin stated that we need to get someone to help us communicate accurate, timely information up front on social media. It would be a good idea if we authorized a designated person that can post information on behalf of the city. Sheriff Ohrn does a really good job with the county, he gets information out early to get ahead of the rumor mill. Alderwoman Martin stated that Susan McDevitt is good at diffusing discussions on Facebook. She will make valid points on the statuses. Alderwoman Martin discussed with McDevitt and she was excited about taking on that roll. They met with the Mayor and discussed what kind of things she would be posting. McDevitt is willing to do it. We can get her involved, have her come to the meetings so she gets the information firsthand and gets correct information out there. She could cover city events as well. She can put out public statements on facebook. Alderman Cox thinks it could help. Alderman Wulf asks if she would operate the City facebook? Alderwoman Martin states yes if she is comfortable with it. We are working on updating the Virginia website.
City Clerks Report
Nothing to report
Mayor and Alderwoman Martin met with the district executive with the boys scout council. The district executive wants to start boy scouts again here in Virginia. She was asking about sponsors. Martin states it takes 5 kids to be interested in order to have a troop. Two kids are going to Ashland right now. There is a charter fee if a charter wants to be established. Sponsor would either pay charter fee or help fundraise to pay the charter fee. Methodist church used to be the meeting place for the boys scouts, but they have pulled out since then. District Executive will be going to the school to see if there is any interest. Sponsor would help find a place they could meet and help find/approve leaders. Sponsors sometimes help financially as well. She would like for us to get the word out, if there are any people that would like to volunteer. Mayor states there is a big leak in the front office ceiling. There are other leaks as well throughout City Hall. Campbell Construction bid a new roof, vents, and install for a power vent. There is another guy that will be giving another bid to compare. When we get the second bid, we will have a special meeting. It needs to be done as soon as possible. Treasurer Barrett asks if maybe get an insurance adjuster come out if it was possible damage from the hail a while back. Mayor states he will call Snedeker. Mayor would also like to hire a part time ordinance officer at $15/hr that would be working between 25-30 hours a week. Alderwoman Martin asks if they would be able to access a fine or write a ticket. Attorney Veith states there is a process, the code mandates that. Attorney Veith stated he would be happy to train them on that so that they would be authorized to do that. Mayor asks if they could write the UTV/Golf cart tickets. Attorney Veith stated probably not. Alderman Cox asks if Mayor has someone in mind. Mayor states yes, they are from out of town. Alderwoman Martin asks if they have to be sworn in. Attorney Veith states they are not listed as an officer in the code of ordinance, but the safe thing to do would be the swear them in. Alderwoman Martin just feels if they are going to do it they need to have as much authority to follow through with what the code says. Treasurer Barrett asks if we can put an ordinance officer under the police budget? Attorney Veith assumes it can be done.
No unfinished business
- Authorize signers on accounts for Petefish, Skiles, and Company
With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the authorized signers and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- 1st Reading of an Ordinance Prohibiting Parking of Vehicles between curbs and sidewalks
Mayor states having issue on Morgan St. Alderman Bowman asks about empty trailers? Attorney Veith replied that it states any conveyance which to me would include trailer. Attorney Veith added that we could amend the ordinance right now to clearly state trailers. You can amend the ordinance to redefine vehicle to include trailer of any kind. With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Pratt made a motion to approve the ordinance prohibiting parking of vehicles between curbs and sidewalks with the amendment of adding “trailers” to the ordinance. Alderman Bowman seconded. Martin, Pratt, Bowman, and Cox all voted in favor. Wulf voted against.
- Employee Compensation
Mayor stated the finance committee meeting met prior to the meeting. Alderman Bowman states that the committee discussed an incentive program but we cannot afford that right now. Committee agree with a 5% increase across the board. Part time would be increased $.50. Mayor asks if there are any questions. Alderwoman Martin asks if they typically get an increase each year? It was stated that they will hold performance reviews and they have to be in to the finance committee by February 28th. Alderman Wulf asks if that would be in addition to the 2% we already give? Alderman Bowman stated that we are coming back to the table on that at a later date. With nothing further to discuss, Alderwoman Martin made a motion to approve the employee compensation proposal and Alderman Cox seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
A question from the public was asked about the recycling bins…
It was stated that the city will bring the cardboard one back once it is fixed. We have been talking to a third party out of Springfield about containers being put outside of people’s houses. Mayor states we are going to try to continue the recycling bins but it is getting out of hand. People are throwing in trash in there. It was asked if there will just be one company? Mayor states that it would be put out for bids. Alderwoman Martin states she knows that some people will pay for curb side recycling and some will not. It is getting more and more expensive. It is a problem everywhere and it has gotten so expensive. The trash is a real issue that is mixed in with the recycling. Once that happens the trash contaminates the recycling and it cant be accepted.
With nothing further to discuss at 811pm, Alderman Cox made a motion to adjourn the council meeting and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Randy McClure, Mayor Ashley Cox, City Clerk