Town Council recognizes law enforcement and fire/EMS personnel

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Vinton Town Council welcomed Capt. Fabricio Drumond as the new Deputy Police Chief at its meeting on February 7.

Drumond was selected from what Police Chief Tom Foster described as a “group of highly qualified candidates” in a newly adopted rigorous competitive process based on interviews and presentations over a two-day period in January.

A huge crowd of supporters packed council chambers to see Drumond pinned with his new badges by his wife Julianna and his mother Milza Clay.

Drumond thanked his family, friends, colleagues, and Town Council for sharing in a moment that represents the culmination of a childhood dream. He said he has wanted to do something meaningful with his life from a young age– to be a “peacekeeper,” and “make the world a safer place.” He remarked that he has found first in his service in the United States Marine Corps and in police work the “true meaning of brotherhood and serving the community.”

His first action as Deputy Chief was to introduce a fellow officer, Andy DiCarlo, as Officer of the Month for December 2016.

Zane Hadzick from FEMA presented the town with a plaque “honoring its significant accomplishments as a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program.” The Town of Vinton has been named as one of the elite Class 8 communities that “goes above and beyond” in making the community safer by being prepared for future flooding events. The designation allows residents living in the flood plain to receive reductions in their flood insurance rates.

Hadzick and council commended the town staff, led by Anita McMillan and Karla Turman in the Planning and Zoning Department, for their hard work resulting in this recognition.

Vinton Fire and EMS Deputy Chief Chris Linkous introduced new Paramedic/Firefighter Kelly Stoots to council and recognized Paramedic/Firefighter Corey Gee for his achievement in attaining his Paramedic certification, the highest level certificate that can be obtained in his field.

Mayor Brad Grose, Vice Mayor Matt Hare, and council members Sabrina McCarty, Keith Liles, and Janet Scheid thanked the public safety workers and law enforcement officers in the town for the huge impact they have within the community.

In the Citizen Comments and Petitions segment of the meeting, Vinton resident Donnie Bush asked council to address high noise levels from exhaust filters at Southern States, which he has measured at 57-67 decibels. He asked that the noise be controlled at least between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Council agreed to delve into the issue further to determine possible solutions.

Council held a public hearing on a petition from Rachel Robertson for a Special Use Permit to operate a small Pilates studio in the residential area of Duke Drive. They approved the petition based on four proffered conditions– that she will see only one or two clients per hour on two to three mornings each week between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12 noon and two evenings each week between 4 and 7 p.m. for a total of no more than 15 hours per week.

Deputy Public Works Director Mary Ann Brenchick updated council on the offer by Sarah and Henry Brabham to gift to the Town of Vinton two parcels consisting of a 0.555 acre of an existing private road and a “stormwater best management facility” of 2.855 acres located between Niagara and Vinyard Roads in the Lake Drive Plaza area.

Public Works and Planning staff, after much consideration, recommended not accepting the parcels. The private road was not built to VDOT standards, has poor drainage, and would cost the town between $85,000 and $90,000 to upgrade to meet minimum standards.

Staff and council commended the Brabhams and adjacent property owner Chris McCarty for their efforts in improving the stormwater management system on Parcel 2 at great personal expense. While regrets were expressed about the continuing costs to private property owners in maintaining stormwater facilities, they noted that there are 45 other privately owned stormwater facilities in the town and it is not advisable for the town to set a precedent by accepting such properties and could not bear the costs.

Council adopted a resolution appropriating $18,000 received from the Department of Criminal Justice Services to purchase a Mobile Services Community Unit, which will be used for community outreach and education by the police department. The town will contribute $2,000 in in-kind matching funds for the grant from the Gas, Oil, Grease and Travel/Training accounts.

Council adopted two resolutions allowing the town to remove outstanding personal property delinquent taxes and vehicle license fees over five years old and outstanding water and sewer delinquent bills over that same five-year period from the active records to a permanent file. Extensive efforts have been made to collect the taxes, fees, and bills and will continue to be made by the finance director. This is an approved accounting procedure for local governments.

The personal property taxes from 2011 are in the amount of $4,405; the vehicle fees are $10,433; and the delinquent water and sewer bills amount to $8,799.

A much-reviewed “Undeveloped Right-of-Way Vacation Policy” was adopted as well.

Town Manager Barry Thompson updated council on continuing meetings and discussions with Valley Metro on the fixed route ridership survey and the Unlimited Rides passes for the STAR services in the town.

He and Public Works Director Joey Hiner explained to council that while the town remains committed to its own recycling program, the private providers for the recycling drop-off services at Lake Drive Plaza have decided to discontinue the services, effective March 1.

Assistant Town Manager Pete Peters updated council on efforts to install a skateboard park along Walnut Avenue in the Tinker Creek Greenway area. The town has been appealing to FEMA for about two years to allow the park, which lies in the flood plain. Tentative site plans include a BMX trail, and a concrete skate pad, along with picnic and parking areas.

Peters also briefed council on a project partnering with CGI Communications and the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce which result in five 60-second Community Video Tours on “living, working, and doing business” in Vinton. There is no cost involved to the town for this marketing program.

 

Councilwoman Janet Scheid brought up several issues on litter in the town, including enforcement of town ordinances on trash collection, proposed clean-up days, and updating greenway plans.