Dublin mayor won’t seek re-election

camrett skeensBy DAVID QUESENBERRY

Patriot Publishing 

At the March 21st meeting of Dublin Town Council, Dublin Mayor Benny Skeens informed Council that he would not seek re-election for another term as mayor.

Referring to his thirty years as councilman and mayor, Skeens said that he had served with many outstanding persons over the years who he felt had the best interests of the Town of Dublin and the area in mind. He said that he was very fortunate and very thankful to the people of the community for their trust in allowing him to serve the Town for so long.

Skeens added that he felt the Town “had the greatest employees and the greatest people in the Town of Dublin of anybody.” He expressed appreciation for the persons who had helped him over the years with an encouraging word or “pat on the back.”

Skeens’ term as mayor will conclude at the end of year following the general election in November.

In other action, Council heard from Town Manager Tye Kirkner on the status of the Town’s three grant applications.

Kirkner told Council that the first grant submission was for a $500,000 brownfield multi-purpose grant which was intended to remove asbestos and pipes, as well as repairing roofs and drains in the former Main Plant in the Industrial Park currently occupied by Camrett Logistics.

Being the third submission for this particular grant, Kirkner said the Town was being very aggressive in working with the engineering consultant CHA and making contact with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to secure the grant.

Kirkner told Council that the Town received a $50,000 assessment grant last week for remediation of an oil tank in the Industrial Park. Work on the grant was underway with meetings scheduled with DEQ in May. The grant would be administered by the Town Manager and included provisions for a Phase One environmental study for the entire plant.

On a final note, Kirkner said the Town should hear sometime in late June or early July, about its application for a $1,000,000 Federal Environmental Protection Agency grant.

The grant would provide from thirty-six to forty Phase I environmental studies and thirty-five Phase II studies for the entire plant and some adjoining properties that are not part of the Town of Dublin.

This grant could be applied to those adjoining properties either needing remediation or which might be brought into the Industrial Park.

Council next considered the three month goals for upcoming work sessions.

Kirkner reviewed the goals for each work session grouped according to dates.

From March 21st to April 18th, the goals included considering: a utility rate review, implementation of the new rate study and a budget review.

From April 18th to May 16th, the Council would discuss utility rates and public participation in the budget and rate discussions.

From May 16th to June 20th, the Council would need to hold public hearings on the proposed budget and utility rates followed by approval of the budget and utility rates on June 20th.

Based on the proposed schedule, Council decided to conduct a work session on Thursday, March 28th at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

In the budget report, as of February 29th, Kirkner said that General Fund revenues were 67 percent as compared to an anticipated 58 percent budgeted. General Fund expenditures were 67 percent as compared to 58 percent budgeted.

The Enterprise Fund showed both revenues and expenditures at 67 percent compared to 58 percent budgeted.

Kirkner said that overall the budget continued to do well.

In other action Council approved a donation of $300 for a sponsorship for the Claytor Lake Festival.

Council also decided that the Town of Dublin offices would be closed on Good Friday, March 29, 2024.

The Town Manager and Council recognized all employees of the Utilities Department for their prompt installation that day of four hundred feet of new waterline when they discovered that the existing line was in need of replacement. The work required complete replacement of the main line which also involved eight residences and two fire hydrants.

Kirkner told Council that he expected employees were still on site completing the work. He described the Utility Department as “incredible” and praised Utility Superintendent, Darrin Cullip for doing a “phenomenal” job.

Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Dublin Town Center.