The Berryville Town Council met on Tuesday evening and gave a green light to a Liberty Street block party, a new propane distribution facility and adoption of a “fuel credit card” program that will reduce the amount of paper work required by town staff when processing monthly purchase receipts. The Council also told a local construction company that it was unwilling to waive a water bill related to dust abatement during construction of Mosby Avenue.
The Town Council set September 11 as the date for a public hearing for a proposal from Loudoun Propane. The Middleburg-based company has proposed placing two 30K gallon above-ground liquid propane gas tanks in the Berryville Industrial Park. The tanks, if approved, will be used to fill trucks that will then distribute the gas to homes and businesses.
Town Planner Christy Dunkle said that the proposed facility will include a 2,400 square foot wholesale distribution facility with tanks will be surrounded by a chain link fence.
“This is a highly regulated business and after discussing the proposal with the applicant we believe that all of our concerns have been addressed,” Dunkle said.
Town Soon to Convert to Fuel Cards
Town Manager Keith Dalton is proposing that the Town of Berryville adopt a new way of handling recurring fuel purchases and the resultant piles of receipts that go along with the purchases. Dalton said that adoption of a Commonwealth-sponsored VISA credit card will provide the Town with more flexibility and accountability when it comes to purchasing fuel and paying for related travel expenses.
“Using the fuel card will allow us to have just one purchase order per department,” Dalton said. “We believe that it will reduce our cost to process bills, provide improved accountability for tracking expenses and also offer more flexibility especially when employees travel on business.”
Dalton said that, for example, the fuel card could be restricted to “fuel only” purchases for normal job activity but expanded to allow other purchases if an employee were required to go to another location for training.
“The fuel card is offered through a state program and is accepted everywhere,” Dalton said. ”There is no fee for us to use the card but an added benefit is that the Commonwealth receives a 1.5% rebate on the purchases.”
Dalton plans to present fuel card use policies for review by the Town Council next month. Dalton also plans to investigate a similar program for general procurement as well.
Liberty Street Block Party
The Town Council approved a proposal from several churches and community organizations to throw a block party on Liberty Street on September 29th.
The application requests exclusive use of the street from 11:30am until 3:00pm.
Town Manager Dalton said that the groups have agreed to maintain a twelve foot section of the street clear for emergency vehicles and to cover the $500 cost to place barricades at each end of the street.
Water Bill Waiver Request Denied
Winchester-based Perry Engineering’s request that the Town of Berryville waive a portion of a $2,341 water bill was rejected last night by the Town Council.
In a letter to Town Manager Keith Dalton, Perry Engineer Vice President of Operations Frederick Ash said that water taken from Town fire hydrants by Perry Engineering was used solely for dust control during construction of Mosby Boulevard. Ash asked that Dalton waive the sewer portion of the bill since the Town’s sewer system was not impacted by the work and the water was only used for testing a water line and for dust control.
Ash stated in his request to Dalton; “At no time did any of this testing water enter the Town’s sewer system” and “under the permitted uses section of the Hydrant Use Policy, paragraph e, the Town has the discretion to not charge for water usage for road and street construction.”
The 106K gallons of water used by Perry Engineering was charged at the rate of $22.07 per thousand gallons. The sewer portion of the bill, approximately $1,700, was calculated at the rate of $15.50 per thousand gallons.
In rejecting Ash’s request, the Town Council cited several disagreements with Perry Engineering’s interpretation of the Hydrant Use Policy.
“My reading of the ordinance is that new road construction is not included,” noted Mayor Wilson Kirby.
Dalton echoed Kirby’s sentiment.
“I don’t think that the ordinance was ever intended to waive the cost for large scale construction,” Dalton added. “It also requires that the Town’s Director of Public Works be notified in advance of the water use and that did not occur.”
The Town Council voted unanimously to reject Perry Engineering’s request.
Community Yard Sale
The Town Council unanimously approved use of the Crow Street parking lot for a community yard sale sponsored by Main Street Berryville. The parking lot will provide a place for vendors to set up shop for the September 8th event.