By DAVID QUESENBERRY
The Dublin Town Council at its Feb. 16th meeting discussed restricting heavy truck traffic on Giles Avenue.
Mayor Benny Skeens noted that he had received complaints about large trucks and other large vehicles on Giles Avenue. Town Manager Tye Kirkner added that he had safety concerns for Town employees making repairs on the street.
While active measures had been taken to slow the traffic, Kirkner noted it “was very difficult to slow down a logging truck or somebody at a high rate of speed that is overweight.”
While the process was still in the informational stage, he said there appeared to be agreement between the Town and VDOT to address the issue. However, VDOT would make the final decision after a public hearing and other processes.
Kirkner said staff’s recommendation was that the proposed restrictions were a good thing. He noted that Pulaski County supported the Town and would join with it in the process since part of Giles Avenue fell under the County’s jurisdiction. He then asked for Council’s input on proceeding forward.
Mayor Skeens said the problem was caused in part by the bridges on Route 100 being unable to carry the weight of shipments by New River Resource Authority members’ trucks. In response, the trucks were routed to the landfill through Dublin via Giles Avenue. Since the bridges have been replaced there is no need to continue that practice, he said. However, at that time the bridges were unavailable and, despite the Town’s misgivings, the use of Giles Avenue was allowed.
The goal now is to cut down on large, heavy vehicles, but not affect other vehicles like school buses.
Kirkner said the notification process would be similar to the Town of Pulaski’s recent lowering of speed limits. While recognizing the street as a convenient shortcut for traffic, he said the Town was responsible for protecting both its roads and the traveling public.
Council also received a briefing from Kirkner on current negotiations with Camrett Logistics on a garage facility.
Kirkner reported that there had been negotiations with Camrett Logistics concerning the Town’s garage property. Needed improvements discussed for the property included filling in the garage pit and repairs to the roof. Council would in the near future receive information on possible spending needed for the project. However, Kirkner reminded Council that a Camrett vehicle servicing facility would bring added revenues to the Town.
Camrett had also investigated getting assistance from the state in securing brownfield grant money. Despite a change in engineering firms, Kirkner reported that he would be beginning work with the new firm on the brownfield grant. He added that Councilwoman Edith Hampton would assist with solicitations required by the grant application process.
Council also received the Manager’s monthly budget report. For the month of January, the Town’s General Fund revenues were 4 percent below estimates, but expenses were even lower at 12 percent below estimates. In the Enterprise Fund, revenues were 9 percent above estimates with expenditures running 4 percent lower than expected.
Kirkner reported that an end-of-year trial balance had been prepared using data on revenue and expenses from the first half of the fiscal year. The trial balance indicated the budget appeared to be on track with end of year performance exceeding expectations. Mayor Skeens complimented the Finance Committee for their hard work on the Town’s budget.
Town Council considered and unanimously approved a resolution setting the number of annual Council meetings. Town Attorney Sam Campbell reviewed the resolution for Council which was in response to the General Assembly’s moving local elections to November.
The resolution provides for ten scheduled meetings per year on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber with no meetings held in July or December. The resolution also authorized all meetings for prior years and established the January meeting as the organizational meeting of the Council for appointment of the Vice-Mayor and non-elected officers. Appointments for those positions made at the June 16, 2022 meeting were extended to January 2024.
In other actions, Council also appointed Hampton as the Town’s alternate to the New River Resource Authority Board and Councilwoman Debbie Hager as the Town alternate to the REMSI Board.
February 25th was picked as the date for the Town’s participation in the “One Bag Challenge.”
Councilwoman Hager asked about the intersection on Town Center Drive and Dublin Park Road in light of speeding and some confusion by drivers at the intersection.
Utility Superintendent Darrin Cullop said that the stop sign poles had high visibility red striping applied to assist drivers. Lights had been considered he said, but they would have to be solar powered which had an uncertain lifespan.
Kirkner added that a 4-way stop was a consideration, and that electrical power was available for lights for the intersection, but it would have to be installed under the road.
In their final action, Council commended Chris Vaughn, VDOT supervisor for his assistance to the Town and employee Mark Vaughn for his work on repair and remodeling a Town structure for economic development. Council discussed visiting the project site to see the work in progress at a future date yet be determined.
The next scheduled meeting of the Dublin Town Council is scheduled for Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 7:00 pm in the Council Chamber at the Dublin Town Center.