City of Virginia
July 10th, 2023
Regular Meeting Minutes
Meeting Called to Order: 7pm
Roll Call: Martin, Andrews, Stanbridge, Wulf, Knous, and Cox all answered present
Agenda Approval: Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the agenda and Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously
Minutes Approval: Alderman Knous made a motion to approve the minutes and Alderman Stanbridge seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Approval of Monthly Bills: Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the monthly bills and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Sales Tax: $15496.91
Video Gaming: $6334.81
Treasurer Barrett stated that he got notification that FY22 GATA portal had issue with peer review letter. We will need to reach out to auditors and get that corrected. Treasurer Barrett also stated that he talked to Pat Whalen about a grant and need to get some answers to her for the grant from the auditor as well. He also added that we need to also set up the FY23 audit, hopefully before October.
Police Chief: Chief Shumate stated that things picking up and going smoothly
Fire Chief: Chief Stock stated there was afire alarm call on Grant St that was a disregard,a grass fire Burlingame, electric line down on Stowe, did CPR training last month at our meeting
Ordinance Officer: Ordinance Officer gave the council her report as of last Friday. 29 cases are on the report, most are waiting for a court date. They are people who have gotten notices and didn’t comply or respond. On Saturday we picked up 6 new cases that notices will be sent out to tomorrow. There have been 23 closed cases since last September. Ordinance Officer wanted to thank all of them for complying. In August, the courts will allow 8-10 new cases every month which doesn’t include the status cases. The process is working slowly, we just have to follow the legal system.
Superintendent of Water Report (Hayden Coffey): not present
Superintendent of Street Report (John Ratliff): Ratliff has been having issues with the dump truck, it is getting fixed. He cant haul anything right now other than with the loader bucket. The crew cleaned up the storm damage, had good help from the Chief this last time. The cemetery also had a tree come down and we got that cleaned up. The street pick up truck is in the shop as well, hopefully running tomorrow. They started the signs again today. The dumpsters primed and ready. We got all the materials now and we can start on the MFT. Alderman Knous asks if we have enough trucks for everyone? Ratliff states in the winter time there is only 3 and there is enough. In the summer we pick up 3-4 additional workers.
Park Board: Alderman Cox stated we will have a pickle ball court in Virginia. Jack Handy will donate the money to fund the pickle ball court. Alderwoman Martin stated this should happen in September. One tennis court will be made into two pickle ball courts. The other court can be used for either tennis or pickle ball. There are a lot of communities having tournaments. Alderwoman Martin stated that Beardstown actually had a school pickle ball team and with us being right next to the school, maybe they can get a team together. Alderman Cox stated thank you to Jack. It was also stated that Jonathon Mefford repainted the sign, it looks really good. He also pressure washed the gazebo and got that looking really good. Alderwoman Martin states he is also going to repaint the tennis court. The pool has been hit and miss due to temperature. Junior High baseball starts soon, will have some tournaments up here. Virginia Thunderbirds had a big tournament up here this last weekend and they won the tournament and our 8u won their tournament as well. Park is having a back to school bash on August 7th that the Cass County Health Dept will host. There will be free pool admission, inflatables, school supplies etc.
Next meeting: July 19th 7pm.
TIF: Treasurer Barrett stated there is 1 request for reimbursement, the Country Companies building. No new requests. Funding will be coming in soon. Alderwoman Martin stated she thinks Caraway is done so they will probably have a reimbursement request. Bill Merriman stated that he is having issues with the roofing company so it may be a little bit before they can get that project going. After those projects are made, there should be $170-$200,000 left for others.
Attorney Veith stated we have 2 or 3 cases this month that were just resolved after going through the court process. There are two trials at the end of the month, two properties with the same owner. Just wanted to reiterate with the Ordinance Officer stated, beginning in August we are setting our court dates on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 11am. That time will be set aside for just Virginia. It is not always a quick process, especially when you are telling people to get things done that are sometimes pretty costly or a project that takes time like a new roof or siding. Judges usually try to give defendants time so if the court has to enforce the orders, that way the appellate court can see the trial court tried to give the defendant ample amount of time to get the issue corrected. Attorney Veith said he appreciated the Ordinance Officer’s report because I think it is helpful to hear the numbers.
Thanked the committees getting together. Had a ribbon cutting at the Caraway Pub and Representative Frese was there for the new building that they attached to the old building.
Cox: Alderman Cox thanked the Street Dept. Alderman Cox asked if the lightning hit the water tower? Mayor stated it struck the water tower and took out communications, put a slit in the water main. They had to dig it up and fix it.It has been turned it in to insurance. Currently trying to get parts but they have been hard to get.
Knous: Alderman Knous asked about the roof on city hall? Mayor stated he needs to call again, they were called right before they had storm in Springfield. They said they were heading this way but probably got tied up in Springfield. But the Mayor stated as of right now, he doesn’t think there are any more leaks.
Wulf: nothing to report
Stanbridge: nothing to report
Andrews: Alderman Andrews said he has been looking at signs, he has a list will continue to work on that. He added he can see a lot of been done so it looks good.
Martin: Alderwoman Martin stated that Representative Randy Frese, the District Director Rachel Sparrow, and the Regional Manager visited Virginia. Alderwoman Martin picked their brains. Melinda has all kinds of information on how to get grants through Economic Development that individuals can get if they need help with windows, roof replacement, etc. She said she will help us to see if we can get grants for people. Infrastructure and Housing will be the focus when they get back in session in the fall. There is a need for housing, either rehab some of the housing here or build new, we need it. Representative Frese gave Alderwoman Martin his personal email because he wanted the history of Site M. She stated we are trying to get help from these representatives. She did tell them to go and visit the park because it is like the crown jewel of Virginia. They did go up there through the cabins and park. This was done through the Cass County Economic Development group. They are working on a promotional video. Alderwoman Martin also mentioned that she talked to Bill Merriman, 911 board needs a Virginia representative. Mike Ryan suggested Adam Bentley may be a good person to consider. Chief Stock say she thinks Adam Bentley is willing. Mayor will talk to Bentley.
City Clerks Report
Nothing to report
No unfinished business
- Discuss and or Approve New Overhead Door for Firehouse Building
Alderman Wulf stated building committee met two weeks ago with fire chief and a few others down there. The brush truck is parked behind two other fire trucks and its not easily accessible in the back of the station. The proposal is to put in a 10×12 door for that truck so they can get it in and out quicker. There have been a few bids received for this work. The total is a little under $15000. Alderman Wulf stated we will need to act on this for the fireman, they do a lot for our community. Attorney Veith states we can do a resolution for approving the contract and insert the prevailing wage act so it can be done in one reading. It was also added that the contractors do have insurance of a million plus.
Alderman Cox made a motion to approve and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- Discuss Increase Water Rates for New Water Main Project
Alderwoman Stanbridge stated that they have discussed the new project and cost of replacement. It will take about 2 years. In order to lessen impact, a possible rate increase now would be an option. Alderwoman Stanbridge stated that nothing has been decided, we have suggestion. Alderwoman Martin asks when the last increase was. Treasurer Barrett thinks 2018 or 2019. Alderwoman Stanbridge stated the suggestion is to get ahead now so it is not a huge impact when the time comes. The suggestion is to add $4 to water base/$2 to water base and then $1 for 1000 over on both water and sewer. Alderman Cox asks how much would the bill go up? Alderwoman Stanbridge said $6 up for base. Alderman Knous states this will be one of the first? Alderman Wulf states by doing that those numbers are reasonable. Mayor states it shows the USDA that we have a little skin in the game. Alderman Wulf asks if we need to put it up for public discussion to be able to vote? Attorney Veith thinks it was done by ordinance the last time and other communities do it by resolution with the fee schedule, so he thinks we need to do an ordinance. When the council is ready to do that, then someone will send lawyer the numbers and he will draft ordinance so that it is ready. Alderman Wulf asks two readings? Attorney Veith thinks should do 2 readings since making an increase for future projects, it’s not really an emergency that we need to do right away like other instances. Mayor asks Attorney Veith if there are other towns that he knows of that charge a minimum to vacant properties? Attorney Veith states he doesn’t know if we can do that. Mayor asks if he can research if that is doable? Alderman Knous states so if you have an empty house, you will always pay a water bill? Alderman Wulf asked what about an open lot? Mayor states will have to work out with the committee. Alderman Andrews stated that we aren’t worried about the open lots but the ones that have a building on it with a water/sewer hookup. Mayor states we can call it a meter charge. If they have a house on the property, they should pay a minimum water/sewer charge so they have skin in the game too. Alderman Wulf asks if a person tears a house down because they wanted to expand their yard, we would charge them? Mayor states no. Mayor states the Mediquip building should be paying something for the water/sewer there because it is a building sitting there empty. Alderman Cox thinks that sounds fair. Attorney Veith states we can do it by resolution, will have that next month.
- Discuss and or Approve Office Clerk Position
Alderman Andrews stated there isn’t really qualified candidates out there. We haven’t had one for five months. Recommendation from the committee: go with the engineers that are doing the water for us. They can come in a little bit and then do the rest of it remote. They said they can do it for 3 months as a test run to see how it goes. This is a temporary agreement for the 3 months to give us some time to get a person in here so city hall will be open the normal hours. The probationary period won’t exceed more than $4000 per month. They will look at books and make sure all is correct. They could also train the next person if we can find someone. There will be no withholding just paying them per hour. They said it will be the additional time as a material basis, so it will be just what we need not a set amount of hours. We tried to talk with another accounting firm but they didn’t call us back. We have had great help in the interim but committee recommends to hire them on the temporary basis. Alderwoman Martin asks if they will also be willing to help train the person if we find someone to take that position. Alderman Andrews replied yes and they said they would be available on zoom. Alderwoman Martin said the training would be very valuable. Treasurer Barrett asks if they assist with audits? Andrews stated yes, I have the contract they drew up. Alderman Cox asks Treasurer Barrett if it is a good deal? Treasurer Barrett thinks so, we are coming up where we are going to have an audit. We had someone leave and there will be some cleanup and it will be beneficial to have someone that is knowledgeable in accounting. Alderwoman Martin states this will bring peace of mind. Alderman Wulf states we will still be looking for someone to take this position. Alderman Andrews would say $20-$25 per hour would be what we would offer depending on experience. We are looking someone who is an office manager as well, hopefully in these 3 months we can find someone
Alderman Wulf makes motioned to approve and Alderman Cox seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Noltensmeier asked if the noise on Fourth of July is going to be discussed. Mayor states he went down to the individuals house at 11pm and told him to quiet and he lit one off right in front of me. He told him about the nursing home and that they are scared, he lit another. He is getting two state tickets one for within 600 feet from the nursing home and letting off illegal fireworks. There might be giving more tickets next year if it doesn’t get better. If they set them off after 10pm they will probably get a ticket. Alderwoman Martin said it is a state law, nothing to do with city ordinances.
With nothing further to discuss, at 754pm, Alderman Cox made a motion to adjourn the council meeting and Alderwoman Martin seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Randy McClure, Mayor Ashley Cox, City Clerk