City of Virginia
March 13th, 2023
Regular Meeting Minutes
Meeting Called to Order: 7pm
Roll Call: Martin, Bowman, Wulf, Knous, and Cox all answered present. Pratt was not present
Agenda Approval: Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the agenda and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Minutes Approval: Alderwoman Martin made a motion to approve the minutes and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Approval of Monthly Bills: Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the monthly bills after clarification on a bill for badges that was listed last month and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Sales Tax: $ 14731.76
Video Gaming: $ 6439.68
Treasurer Barrett stated that the budget is right on track. All expenses are under budgeted amount. He added that the annual TIF report has been filed for last FY. The ARPA fund report due in April. Treasurer Barrett stated that the 1st reading of the budget is later on in agenda. The council will have the appropriations next month.
Terry Ayres, Steve Anderson, Pat Noltensmeier, Carolyn Defenbaugh, Ronnie Paul, Kent Andrews, Mike Lowe, Reg Ankrom
Paul passed out packet to council. He stated he met with public works committee and discussed water/sewer project. The SEARCH grant that Rural Development offers was discussed in this meeting. It is very competitive. It offers funds to develop the preliminary engineering report. The grant is up to $30k, which would essentially cover the work order that was presented last meeting. He stated that Virginia is below the median household income for the grant so you do qualify to apply. It will take a few months to hear if the city will receive the grant. There is an agreement of services in the packet that was handed to the council. This is one of the requirements to apply for the SEARCH grant which is the engineering services agreement. It does define the cost in the packet. Alderwoman Martin asked if this covers water and sewer? Paul states no just one, water or sewer. Alderman Cox asks how long will this take? Paul states it depends on how fast the city can get us the information and once it is submitted it should be about 2 or 3 months. Alderwoman Martin asks if we are going to be doing the water then with this? Alderman Bowman states it was discussed to use $40k of ARPA funds to get a camera in the lines and see what we are working with. Alderwoman Martin asks do we apply for another one for the sewer? Paul states he doubts you can get two grants. Alderwoman Martin asks Paul if this means we would be committing to a $30k expenditure whether we get this grant or not? Paul states no, you are not committing unless you get the grant. Alderwoman Martin then asked what is down side to committing to do this? Alderman Bowman states he does not think there is any down side. Alderman Knous states we should do this, regardless if we get the grant or not. Paul states he would help us, the city does most of the work but we would help get it together. Paul states there would be no cost to what we do for you with this application.
With nothing further to discuss, Alderwoman Martin made a motion to approve to go forward with the application to Rural Development and Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Paul just needs a signature from Mayor.
Mayor asks if we can get the list of stuff we need to do? Paul states yes, you will have that right away.
Ankrom states his company does electric aggregation for the City of Virginia. We have worked with the city since 2012. Last year we recommended you to pause your electric aggregation for a year because we were seeing prices escalating. People have the right to opt out of they don’t want to participate. This program starts in April and it runs for 18 months. Constellation is your provider and they have sent letters. Alderman Cox stated that we got those cards in the mail, if we don’t do anything then it is automatic enrollment. Ankrom replied If you want to opt out, you can either call them or send the card back in a per-postage mail. By staying with Constellation we have the best rate possible. Mayor states a lot of people thought it was a scam. Ankrom stated his company was hoping to get letters out before constellation sent their letters out.
Police Chief: Chief Schumate stated he is slowly making advances on administrative aspects, been patrolling the school, sitting out at the 4 way, and served search warrants on a social media outlet. He stated that things going well. Alderman Cox asked the Chief what his hours are right now? Chief states for right now is day time because he is needing to do administrative duties and contacting other businesses. Chief stated he is trying to get Virginia in compliance administratively. Alderman Cox states it is good to see you around the school. Alderwoman Martin appreciates the report and wondered if any PT prospects. Chief states the ones that he reported on before no longer are interested. One man did fill out an application last week but will have to go through the academy. The part time academy is a long process. You must hire them first to send them. It is $2k to send them. Beardstown is paying the County deputies their wages (time and half) to cover the part time hours.
Fire Chief: grass fire North of town, accident with entrapment south of town, lift assistance with ambulance service in Philadelphia
Ordinance Officer Ordinance: Officer Large stated there are3 status hearings tomorrow for court. She also stated she went through all the pictures that were given to her and notices have been sent. Alderman Cox asks about roosters? Mayor and Ordinance Officer Large talked, and thought it might be quicker resolved for the chief to serve them a ticket. Chief asks which codes are we using? Mayor states that we have not had time to talk with attorney about that. Attorney states for prop main codes we stick with International Property Maintenance codes, for you, you would be using the City Codes. Chief asks if there are differences? Attorney states generally they run the same. Alderwoman Martin asks about south side of square? Attorney stated he will address this in his report.
Superintendent of Water Report (Hayden Coffey): Coffey stated they have been cleaning water plant. There have been some private sewer service lines out. The samples have been sent out for the month. Coffey went to Effingham to take classes to renew his water license. Coffey states they will have to dig up valve on Main St. to see if can tighten it to try and fix the current issue they are experiencing now. Lowe asks if they will have to shut off water to do that. Coffey said no, there will be enough water in town.
Superintendent of Street Report (John Ratliff): Ratliff stated that the last tree is down and cleaned up, now working at cemetery on a road. The old clay tile was broke up, Ratliff said we will get it closed back up tomorrow. There have had issues with the back hoe. Alderman Cox asks if will pick up brush? Ratliff said yes, as soon as we finish up at the cemetery. Alderwoman Martin asked when we can complete street sign project? Ratliff got quote for stop signs, speed signs, etc. Alderwoman Martin asks if the 12 street signs and 5 stop signs have been ordered already? Ratliff stated not yet. Mayor states we have enough left in the road/bridge budget to cover these costs.
Park Board: Alderman Cox states the reason why the gate is still up is because there is two poles that were damaged during the last storm. Hopefully will get it fixed this weekend. They are working on getting inmates to get park cleaned up. The pool is going to have to be painted. The pool slide is beyond repair. Ball games start April 21st through the summer. They are also trying to get the tennis court painted for pickle ball. Park Board March 15th City Hall.
TIF: Treasurer Barrett stated that there is one new application request but haven’t gotten it back yet. We have around $50k that wasn’t used, hopefully will get more projects
Attorney Veith stated the status conferences are scheduled for tomorrow for property main violations. In court last month, 1 person made an agreement and 3 requested trials. Attorney Veith also stated to answer Alderwoman Martin’s question, the council needs to pick one of the larger properties on the southside of the square. We can request the opportunity to go in and inspect the property. If owner does not allow, then we will pursue further action. But needs to be understood, you will have to pick one building a year because of the cost of demolition unless you want to have $500k or $600k in demolition expenses.
Mayor McClure had nothing to report at this time.
Cox: asked if there will be a city wide pick up? Ratliff replied in the Fall. Will there be a city wide garage sale? First weekend in May. He also asked if there has been any updates on Gridley Rd? Treasurer Barrett stated he talked to Icenogle, let him know TIF approved the project, he said he will fill out the paperwork.
Knous: nothing to report
Wulf: stated in regards to the bandstand, he got quotes on replacing the wood from a few people it was about $14k, we talked to Treasurer Barrett and the best way to do that is to apply for TIF. He also stated there were complaints about speed limit change on Main St, who approved that? McClure stated he approved it. The state guy states he will be doing it the way its supposed to be done. People are going through there yelling at the crossing guard and that should not be happening.
Bowman: nothing to report
Pratt: nothing to report
Martin: asked about the bandstand, do we have anything lined up? The BBQ is coming up. Mayor plans to have it done before the BBQ.
City Clerks Report
Nothing to Report
No Unfinished Business
- FY 2023/2024 City Budget (1st reading)
The council reviewed the budget. Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the FY 2023/2024 City Budget (1st reading) and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- Cemetery Budget and Agreement (1st reading)
The council reviewed the budget. Alderman Knous made a motion to approve the Cemetery Budget (1st reading) and Alderwoman Martin seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- Park Budget and Agreement (1st reading)
The council reviewed the budget. Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the Park Budget (1st reading) and Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- Library Budget (1st reading)
The council reviewed the budget. Alderwoman Martin made a motion to approve the Library Budget (1st reading) and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Alderwoman Martin asked if we get offered a date of electronic recycling? Alderman Wulf said they should be set up on April 1st. Alderwoman Martin states we need to get that out that Virginia is doing one. Alderman Wulf states Shelley Wessel has the information on it.
Terry Ayres: Ayres stated there are 3 signs marked 1 way up by the school. Each one has a different time on it and two of them are twisted and are not visible. Ayres then thanked whoever had them put the stop ahead signs by St Luke’s Hall.
Steve Anderson: Anderson stated there are many complaints about the ordinance officer. The city is going to be sued. There will be a class action suit and there will be an ad in the paper for people who want to join in the suit. It is claimed that she is sending out notices for things that do not exist. Mayor states that the Property Management Code is stiff. Anderson said a vacant lot does not have a house or a garage was cited for falling bricks that do not exist.
At 757pm, Alderman Cox made a motion to go into Executive Session and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
At 906pm, the council returned from Executive Session.
Alderman Wulf made a motion to compensate two employees with a raise effective immediately. Alderman Cox seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
With nothing further to discuss, at 907pm, Alderman Cox made a motion to adjourn the council meeting and Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Randy McClure, Mayor Ashley Cox, City Clerk