The Berryville Town Council met on Tuesday evening to hear citizen comments and to take up issues ranging from a Darbybrook Estates “tot-lot” to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) budget transfer for town street maintenance and to set a public hearing for a drought ordinance. The town council also took up the issue of exactly how long a dog needs to bark before it officially becomes a nuisance.
Attorney Scott Smalley addressed the town councilors during the citizen comment period on behalf of the Darbybrook Homeowner Association. Smalley, as on previous occasions, told the council that Darbybrook homeowners have elected to dissolve their homeowner’s association and is looking for help from the Town of Berryville to take over management of the housing development’s common property including a child playground area and a stormwater management pond.
“The Darbybrook Homeowner’s Association has met with the Battletown Homeowner’s Association to discuss transfer of the “tot-lot” but the Battletown homeowners don’t want to take it” Smalley said.
Smalley said last night that he was now back before the town council in order to make a formal request on behalf of the Darbybrook property owners that the town take over management of both the stormwater management pond and the playground area.
Smalley said that Darbybrook would offer a “sinking fund” of $20,000 to cover the expenses associated with future management of the property and agree to allow the town to go back to Darbybrook homeowners for future tax assessments in the event that the fund was inadequate to cover expenses.
Mayor Wilson Kirby agreed that the town would consider the request. Smalley agreed to submit a formal proposal outlining the details of the offer by the end of July.
Citizens Kathleen Erikson and Franklin Bell urged town council members to contact the US Congress in support of House of Representative’s bill HR-1489.
“The financial banking system of this country is going to pieces because the Clinton administration revoked the Glass-Steagall Act” said Erikson. “The hyper-inflation we are experiencing today is the result and now our country is not financially sound.”
The Banking Act of 1933 enacted June 16, 1933, commonly known as the Glass-Steagall Act, was the law that established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and introduced banking reforms, some of which were designed to control speculation. A provision of the Act, Regulation Q, allowed the Federal Reserve to regulate interest rates in savings accounts. The Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 repealed savings account interest oversight. Glass-Steagall Act provisions that prohibited a bank holding company from owning other financial companies were repealed on November 12, 1999, by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The repeal of provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act effectively removed the separation that previously existed between Wall Street investment banks and depository banks. Some experts believe that this repeal directly contributed to the severity of the financial crisis of 2007-2010 by allowing banks to gamble with their depositor’s money. Others argue that repealing the provisions had little impact on the financial system and even helped restore stability during the financial crisis.
“There is a necessity of getting the country out from under the casino gambling that has passed for “banking” since repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act” said Franklin Bell. “We must either go back to the investment approach that we had under Glass-Steagall or go down under casino gambling.”
“I urge you to support HR-1489.”
At least one other local jurisdiction also considered the Federal budget-bust last night. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, City Council passed a pro-Glass-Steagall resolution by a vote of 7-0 on Tuesday night.
Thank you from the Barns of Rose Hill
“Now-a-days, every time I come before the council I think it will be the last time” Barns of Rose Hill project manager Stan Kerns told the Berryville Town Council on Tuesday.
Kerns’s statement doesn’t foretell pending gloom but instead acknowledges the positive developments taking place at Clarke County’s soon-to-open arts and visitor center.
“We’re getting pretty close to completion” Kerns told the council. “We’ve made an awful lot of progress and will open with our first concert Friday night. I’m very excited about where the Barns of Rose Hill are tonight.”
Kerns said that the project has stayed close to budget and that the results are sure to please everyone at its premiere opening on Friday.
“I want to take this opportunity tonight to thank the Town Council, Keith [Dalton] and Christy [Dunkle] for all of your support” Kerns said.
“I’m looking forward to Friday evening concert” said Mayor Wilson Kirby. “The building is looking absolutely beautiful.”
VDOT Road Maintenance Transfer
According to Town Manager Keith Dalton, Berryville’s population has exceeded the 3,500 census mark. Berryville’s growth now means that responsibility for managing the town’s roads will soon transfer to town officials from VDOT. Although VDOT-provided funding for roads doesn’t change, road maintenance, repair and planning responsibilities now reside locally.
Since town road funding from VDOT is based on “lane miles”, Dalton says that town staff is busy inventorying all town roads and measuring exact distances in preparation for next year’s turnover from VDOT.
The Town of Berryville will conduct two public hearings on August 9, 2011.
Town councilors will consider Berryville citizen comments on whether the town should adopt the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission’s recommendations on a regional water and drought management plan. Consideration will also be given adopting the recommendations into law as a Berryville town ordinance.
The town council will also consider a special use permit request by Enders Fire Company to add 50 parking spaces to its current parking lot. A special use permit is required because the construction, if approved, will take place in a flood plain area on the east side of the Johnson Williams Middle School campus.
National Night Out
The Berryville Police department is once again sponsoring a community “National Night Out”. The nationwide campaign involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials together in a show of unity towards heightened crime and drug prevention awareness.
Berryville’s National Night out will be held on August 2 at 6:00 pm in Rose Hill park.
This year’s 28th annual National Night Out is intended to generate support and participation in local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships while also sending a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
“We’ll be sponsoring a moon bounce for kids and giving away hot dogs” said Berryville police chief Neal White. “I hope to see everyone there.”
It’s hard not to like dogs. But when they bark, and bark, and bark, and bark (need we go on?) Recent citizen complaints about barking dogs has prompted town manager Dalton and police chief White to investigate municipal ordinances that place a time limit on how long a dog can bark before it officially becomes a nuisance.
The town reappointed Kenneth Livingston to the Berryville Architectural Review Board. Judy Sue Huyett-Kempf was reappointed to the Berryville Board of Zoning Appeals.
Where’s the Beef?
Mayor Wilson Kirby said that he recently encountered three visitors to Berryville and overheard them asking for directions to the local Wendy’s Restaurant after having seen the national commercial featuring Berryville.
“I enlightened the three women that there is no Wendy’s in Berryville but that we had a wonderful time making the commercial. It continues to be a lot of fun to talk about!” Kirby said with a smile.