May Council Meeting Minutes




MEMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Jarvis Deel, Vice Mayor Ralph Sutherland, Member Stearl Branham, Member Hurbert “Poly” Branham, Member Trevor Counts, Member Ralph “Pickle” Mock Jr.

MEMBERS ABSENT:  Virginia White

TOWN CLERK: Tina Bartley  


Call to Order & Welcome by Vice Mayor

Mayor Jarvis Deel welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order and asked for a moment of silence.

Approval of Minutes

Mayor Jarvis Deel asked if everyone has had time to look at their minutes; if everybody has had time to look over their minutes, I will ask for a motion to approve the minutes.  Ralph Sutherland made a motion to approve the minutes; Stearl Branham seconded the motion; a vote was taken and all members were in favor.

Approval of Treasurers Reports

Mayor Jarvis Deel asked if everyone has had a chance to look at their treasurer’s report and if anybody has any questions on the treasurer’s report; if there is no questions on the treasurer’s report, I will ask for a motion to approve the general account treasurer’s report also the police treasurer’s report.  Ralph Sutherland made a motion to approve both treasurer’s reports; Poly Branham seconded they motion; a vote was taken and all members were in favor.


Mayor Jarvis Deel asked if everybody has looked at their agenda; does anybody have any additions they would like to make to the agenda; if no additions to the agenda I will ask for approval of the agenda as is.  Stearl Branham made a motion to approve the agenda; Ralph Sutherland seconded the motion; a vote was taken and all members were in favor.

Old Business:

Public Speaking Time:

Mayor Jarvis Deel asked Susan Wood if she followed up on the public speaking time, if they can be allowed 10 mins for public speaking time; Susan stated that she did and if anyone wants to write this down code section 2.2-3707 governs public meetings gives information as far as notice it has to be put in the paper and stuff like that.  There is nothing in there that says anything about how long people can speak.  It just says there has to be statement of whether or not public comment will be allowed and the approximate time during the meeting that public comment will be received.  Obviously you can pass an ordinance or something with a vote to say people cannot use foul language that type of thing and if anyone where to get out of hand that you or one of the board members could put a stop to it.  But there is nothing as to how long people can or cannot talk.  You can always use the card system when people come in and if they want to make a public comment then they can put their name on a card then you would have that information so you would know about how many people would want to make a public comment.  Mayor Jarvis Deel stated with that being said, I make a motion that I will pick up on that code a little bit more and I will throw us something together and we will get it printed out and get it the way it is supposed to be run; Poly Branham seconded the motion; a vote was taken and all members were in favor.

New Business:

Historical Society:

Mayor Jarvis Deel stated we have the Historical Society down here with us tonight and I am sure glad they came and Dennis also brought us a little present, it is a coal miner that stands about this tall and he said we can set it up down there beside the coal miners memorial.  Dennis Reedy stated that was bought by Marvin Colley, you all probably don’t know Marvin, but you may know his mother Mary Hilton.  He bought that and he couldn’t be here tonight due to a soccer game somewhere and it fell to me to make the delivery.  Mayor Deel stated if you will give me his address I will send them a big thank you.  Dennis stated that he would try to do that.  Mayor Deel stated ok, I had also talked to them about one of those historical markers that was in the newspaper, maybe try to see.  I don’t know Susan is pretty smart on this stuff.  Mayor Deel stated it is over the bridge where we have dedicated it to the Clinchco Vets Memorial Bridge also down there I asked them to come down to see if there was any way we could get one of those metal historical signs put up stating about the united mine workers and Kernel Battle and all that at that bridge.  That is not the original bridge but that is the original location. They were going to check on that for me and give me something that we might go on.  Susan Mullins introduced herself; I am the executive treasurer of the historical society.  This is Edith and she is the president.  Edith has done some research and found some newspaper articles about things that happened during that time frame we also have the incorporation and charter of the Town of Clinchco, little odds and ends about Clinchco. We have also been in contact with Jennifer Lucks, she is the go to person with the Department of Historic Resources for this type of thing and we have contacted her when the John Mullins marker fell and just to let you all know that one was easy to do because the marker was already in existence it was damaged beyond repair and it could be replaced at a cost.  Jennifer wanted to know what the purposed topic of the marker would be and she could give us her opinion, but this has to go through several committees before it is approved.  The marker cannot be about a local event it has to be a state or national event so you may be kind of limited of what you can do with the UMWA event that took place.  She came back this afternoon and said in her opinion a marker application about the history of the coal industry in Clinchco, in Dickenson County would be very likely to be approved.  Like any application it would go through our fact checking and editorial process then it would be presented to their editorial committee and then the Board of Historical Resources for final approval.  The current price of the marker would be $1,170.00.  and there are no state funds available so they would have to be a fund raiser done to raise the money.  Possibly you may have to come up with money to have VDOT to come in and set the pole that would be VDOT’s determination.  What we have read is as long as it is on VDOT property they will not charge you.  This process has to start from the beginning, so we have never done one from start to finish.  We will help what we can whatever you all feel; I don’t know if you all can pay for the marker.  The Historical Society definitely cannot.  We did a fund raiser actually to do the John Mullins Marker and we did our fund raiser through face book.  We had the money raised within two or three months.  The sponsor can be the town instead of the historical society; if you all want to set it all up your selves you can do that.  Tina asked if that was a fund me now account; Susan stated no, they just posted it on face book and sent it out to decadents under John Mullins and it shared we are not set up to take credit card or PayPal yet, but that is something that we are going to have to look into.  We got donations from all over the United States.  Just putting it on Face Book and it just went.  We had some money from inside the county but I will tell you most of the money came from outside of the county.  Mayor Deel stated I just thought I would present it in front of the board, I read that article in the newspaper.  I didn’t know what something like that takes to get something like that done.  Susan stated, I think when we started that marker I think it was 48 or 50 words on the marker.  Now you can go up to 100 words.  You can go onto to historical resource department, Virginia click on application and it will tell you exactly what to do.  Dennis stated it might be then you can have your cake and eat it too.  That you can get a little bit of what you was wanting on this monument on there but add a little bit more to it to make it a broader, if they think that is to local and might not go, you know and since you can get as much writing on it that you can, why talk up the whole importance of the coal community.  Mayor Deel stated actually the state police come and according to that they were 150 state police that came.  Susan stated I think what they mean by local event is, if it involved more than just this area what the UMWA means to Clinchco.  The Union was a big part of our lively hood.  We cannot sit here and tell you how to write and submit it.  It would be good to include when Clinchco became Clinchco, when they were incorporated.  How important the coal was to this economy and to this area.  But that is something you all have to decide on and who will be the sponsor.  They only accept 15 applications per quarter.  Their next deadline is June 1st for the September Meeting and then September 1st for the December meeting.  Don stated I don’t know if this is the proper time.  Susan stated it is not.  Don stated I don’t know if I should just wait until public comment, but I would like to ask you a couple questions; Mayor Jarvis Deel stated at this time I would like to say I really appreciate the work you all have done on that and all you all have done because you all have done a lot for us here lately.  Susan stated she would like to invite you all to come over to their building and we stress at every board meeting we are Dickenson Counties Historical Society not Clintwood.  We have managed to salvage some items from Ervington and Haysi, Clintwood, and Longsfork. We asked for stuff from the carrier center and that has been a year and a half ago and the Clinchco Elementary School.  The school board has never given us an answer on that.  Dennis stated if I can slip in here a minute or two here; back to the miners monument, everybody is probably not aware, but we were wanting to add some names because the present monument was put in 1996 that is 21 years ago and make a long story short, I have come up with 93 names that need to be on there, I think there are 315 on the present one.  I had my heart set on another plaque but then that sort of begin to fade away pretty fast when I got the price.  For the plaque alone would be $6,400.00 and so I sort of thought the way things are we will not get no $6,400.00.  So again this little statue down here that was bought for the monument he wanted me and him to go in and get something done on that, so you can have those names put on granite at about; it would take two pieces and it would cost $1,100.00 apiece and I said that is fine I will go in with youto do that and that will be agreeable with the town we like to get that and again I have my heart set on getting this by September for two reasons; #1 that is going to be the 100th anniversary of Clinchco and I am basing that on when the post office was established which was September 4th of 1917 and so I would love to have it by that time and then the homecoming is the first Sunday in October thereafter.  Mayor Jarvis Deel stated at this time I am going to make a motion that Dennis and them get started on that and see what they can get done on it; Stearl Branham seconded the motion; a vote was taken and all members were in favor.  Poly asked if it would be the same granite out there or close to the same.  Dennis stated it should be about close to the same.  Mayor Deel stated if that is about all, I appreciate everything you all done for us.  Susan stated if there is anything else we can do to help just let us know.  Don asked if they were going to stay around for public comment; Susan stated no.  Don stated to Mr. Chairman that he had a question.  I need you to corroborate something for me Dennis and I am sure you can, I think I read somewhere that the original; the mining started in Dickenson County and the surrounding counties started at Mill Creek and it was called Moss at that time.  Susan stated you found where Clinchco was call Moss; Don stated can you answer that; Dennis stated I don’t know about the Mill Creek part of it the first coal come off the hill right off of wood shoot right here behind us before they moved up power house road.  We do have picture of that, they like everything to have proof so we can prove that, well it is in the Clinchco history book.  This is kind of confusing it started at the post office right over here, we figure Clinchco come from Clinchfield and we don’t who, but a feller by the name of Sydney Purcell was the first post master and there is a good chance that man called this place Clinchco because back in the day the postmasters pretty much had free hand in getting a office name that they wanted as long as there wasn’t a conflict of names someplace else, but anyway like I say I think they started with the first coal around 1916 or something like that.  The railroad was opened up in 1915 and it sat over there behind brick flats.  Here is the confusing part for several years Clinchco was called Moss and there was a feller that was with the railroad I think that it was named after, his last name and they were riding the train and the conductor was coming through hollering Moss, well there never was a Moss post office it’s always been Clinchco.  It was in the 20’s that they change the name with the rail roads to Clinchco.  Don Hill stated that the University of Virginia done a study on coal here and they came in and dug core holes and I have got that book if you would like it.  Dennis stated he already had that book.  Dennis and Don spoke more about the history of Clinchco mining.  Mayor Deel stated ok, that will give everyone something to think about on that sign down there.  Mayor Jarvis Deel made a motion that we try to come up with some ideas for some fund raisers and somebody just call down here and let us know what kind of idea you come up with and stuff so we will try to raise some money and see if we can get a sign put up.  Tina stated she didn’t mind to put it up on Face Book.  Trevor Counts seconded the motion; a vote was taken and all members were in favor.

Papers to adopt for People Inc.

Mayor Jarvis Deel stated he would pass down these papers that we need to adopt for People Inc. and let everyone look at it.  It is for that grant it is saying that basically we know what to do with the contractors and stuff basically it is what we have signed down here before for this new grant.  I have to get for the bathroom I have to get one of those handicap faucets.  Not the kind you stick your hands under and water comes on, but as long as it’s the kind that has the arrow like deals for them to pull and push.  The building inspector will accept that and put insulation around the pipes in there and that is all that has to be done.  I have measured everything else in there and everything measured just fine.  Poly asked if Mayor Deel has passed the old business; Mayor Deel stated yes; Poly stated he was just curious the sign up here, Shifty.  The sign was down now I haven’t saw that sign in three weeks.  Mayor Deel stated that will be up to Eugene and Lester to get that back they are the ones who takes care of that sign.  You are talking about the sign that says Shifty Lane; Poly stated no, the little green sign; Mayor Deel stated yeah, that’s the one that says Shifty Lane on it.  That is a state sign, but the county is responsibility for that sign.  Poly stated it laid up there for two weeks and no one ever bothered and now it is gone.  Mayor Deel stated he came up there to put it back up after it disappeared.  Poly asked if it was up now; Mayor Deel stated no, it is already gone so they are going to have to get another one.  Ralph Sutherland asked about the Shifty Lane sign up at Low Gap; Mayor Deel stated that will be up to us.  I guess we will have to talk to state and see if we can get another pole off of them is all I know.  Ralph Sutherland asked if Mayor Deel ever called the police and told them it was gone.  Mayor Deel stated it is gone and you will never see it floating around town that if for sure.  Ralph Sutherland stated you may never see it again but, I mean you should…..Mayor Deel stated they already know it is gone.  Ralph Sutherland asked Mayor Deel about our Corporation Limit sign; Mayor Deel stated it would be up to state to get that moved or the people there will have to cut the leaves back from around it.  I talked to Mike and he said either them people cut the trees or move the sign and that was about 4 months ago.  Ralph Sutherland 4 months ago?  Mayor Deel stated yeah, but I haven’t seen him since this low water bridge kicked up over here.  I had a call….and pick might know him if I had his name in here with me, I can’t remember what that guy’s name was.  It was a Fletcher, some Fletcher called me from state today and was asking about that low water bridge and he is checking on it.  He said he was going to go through the core of engineers and I had told him I had an email from them but he talked like he was going to go through the proper channels.  And he is the only one that has got back with us and Ritchie Thacker and I have both talked to him.  Mayor Jarvis Deel stated ok, if everyone has looked at that I would like a motion to approve it; Trevor Counts make a motion to approve it; Strearl Branham seconded the motion; a vote was taken and all members were in favor.

SWVA Economic Forum:

Mayor Deel stated on the Economic Forum that Tina and I went to it pretty informative they talked about ways to use coal now and stuff like that.  So you have people saying coal is dead, and it is not really dead.  That is kindly the odd part of that forum today is this guy gets up talks about how you can carbonate the coal with this and that for possible fuel and stuff.  Right after he gets done this other boy gets up and he wants to say coal is dead and there is no hope for it and they want this solar stuff.  Don asked if that was the guy that was doing that in Norton; Tina stated this was the economic forum; Mayor Deel agreed.  Don stated this would be an economic forum.  Don asked if his name was Richard Wolfe; Mayor Deel stated yeah, I think he was one of them.  Don stated it is in Norton and they got that plant over there in Norton right there on that old black wood road.  They actually in 1988 or 1987 they actually turned coal into gasoline. Mayor Deel agreed.  Don stated they still own the gas station over there in Hudsonville where the intersection is. 

Dickenson County Bass Club:

Mayor Jarvis Deel stated the Dickenson County Bass Club wanted to know if we would give a donation to sponsor their annual tournament.  Trevor Counts stated we didn’t give to them last year.  Mayor Deel read the flyer to council;   Ralph Sutherland stated he didn’t see why we couldn’t donate them $100.00 for a good cause; Stearl Barnham seconded the motion; a vote was taken and all members were in favor.

Dickenson County Chamber of Commerce:

Mayor Jarvis Deel stated they will be having their business appreciation cookout on June 2nd. It is at the Spill Way picnic area and they want to show their appreciation to our community and present awards, small business of the year, large business of the year etc.  and they are seeking sponsors for this event and hope you will consider being a sponsor this year and we will be recognizing our sponsors.  Trevor Counts asked when it was; Mayor Deel stated it is June 2nd and as you all know we are all members.  Mayor Jarvis Deel made a motion to donate $250.00; Trevor Counts seconded the motion; a vote was taken and all members were in favor.

Flea Market Ordinance:

Mayor Deel stated as you all know we have a flea market ordinance we just haven’t been enforcing it if anyone sets up to flea market.  I would like to get us a flea market started back here in town.  Bring in some people, do like our ordinance calls for.  It would be $5.00 to set up and call it a town wide flea market day; I don’t know what days it could be as.  Stearl stated payday.  Poly stated maybe first of the month or second or somewhere around there.  Where are you going to let them set up at;  Mayor Deel stated they can set up here if we do it odd days when the senior citizens aren’t there they can set up there.  I figure maybe Tuesdays and Fridays.  Council members agree.  Ralph Sutherland suggested maybe a television or something we can raffle off.  Stearl agreed that was a good idea.  Trevor Counts stated you can’t do that.  Susan asked to do what with; Ralph Sutherland stated well to use it for the town anything we need it for.  Mayor Jarvis Deel stated anything we get will go towards that sign.  Everyone agreed.  Poly stated we can use it for something.  We pay these kids to cut grass don’t we; Mayor Deel stated no, we don’t pay them.  Now Gary I wouldn’t mind being able to pay him a little bit every so often and bless his heart he sees no one else shows up so he comes down here to help me out.  Trevor Counts asked if he was the one with long hair; Mayor Deel stated yes.  Poly stated can’t give him a little something.  Mayor Deel stated we will just bring that up next meeting if you all want to.  Poly stated I need to find out about the core of engineers if they don’t do something about my bridge it is going to wash out on account of that other bridge.  Somebody is going to have to give me permission to get in the river or something.  I can’t afford $20,000.0 or $40,000.00 to put a new bridge in.  Mayor Deel stated the core of engineers will tell you that is a personal bridge.  Poly stated yeah its personal, I own on the other side of the river I own it and somebody is going to give me permission to get in that river and clean it out or I am going to get in there anyway and that is the facts.  Ralph Sutherland stated I would just go ahead and do it and forget about it.  Poly stated then what if they come and fine me.  Trevor Counts stated how can they let you get in there and baptize if they don’t want you to get in there and mess with the water.  Poly stated that is the problem, I can get in there, I just can’t get in there with an excavator.  Mayor Deel stated tell them it is an emergency situation that is the way I am working this low water bridge up there.  Poly asked what was wrong with that low water bridge up there.  Mayor Deel stated it is turned upside down you didn’t know that; poly asked where; Ralph Sutherland stated right up there above yours.  Poly stated oh yeah, well that is what I am talking about if they don’t do something it is going to tear mine up.  Mayor Deel stated we are working on that.  Poly stated my bridge can hold a small excavator not a big one it would collapse.  Mayor Deel stated well when they come in they will come in down there where the low water bridge is not across your bridge.  Poly stated well I know that.  That is not what I am worried about coming across my bridge I am worried about them cleaning out behind it.  The gravel is washed up all the way to the top of my bride.  It used to be 4’ from the top of my bridge down to the water and now I bet you it ain’t that deep.  I ain’t asking for no big hand out I am asking for permission to get in there to clean it out.  Don Hill stated, Jarvis has that been designated endangered; Mayor Deel stated yes.   Ralph Mock Jr. stated not only do you got to go through core of engineers but you got to go through the environmental people to.  Mayor Deel stated no, not no more.  That is an emergency situation they can get in that water if they need to, Core gave me that permission their emergency management.  Poly asked Mayor Deel if they could give him permission to get in there; Mayor Deel stated yeah and DEQ they have Ok’d it, but everyone wants to pass the buck because no one wants to do it.  Don Hill stated you know Poly I would be certain I would be on good solid ground before I got in there.  Poly agreed.  Poly asked Mayor Deel who would he get ahold of to be able to clean it out.  Mayor Deel stated I can get it to you tomorrow, but I would start with the core of engineers.  That is how we started and just tell them it is an emergency situation. 

Closed Session:

Mayor Jarvis Deel stated right now we are going to have to have a real quick closed session; 2.2-3711 section 3 and 4 we really don’t have to have Susan back there right now. 

Poly Branham made a motion to go back into session; Stearl Branham seconded the motion; a vote was taken and all members were in favor.  I would like to have a motion that all we discussed was personal back there.  Ralph Mock Jr. Made the motion; Poly Branham seconded the motion a vote was taken and all members were in favor.  Mayor Jarvis Deel made a motion to have Larges Pest Control and have them come and check on the building.  Poly made the motion, Ralph Mock Jr. seconded the motion, a vote was taken and all members were in favor.

Council Comments:

Mayor Deel asked for council comments; no comments were made.

Public Comments:

Mayor Deel asked for any public comments; Don Hill stated he had a couple questions; in order to limit the time for public speakers can speak there has to be an ordinance for the time limit.  Susan stated you have to have a time limit decided on.  Don stated that is what I am saying that is the only way you can limit someone is through the ordinance.  Susan stated that is not the discussion I had today but I can double check that.  Don stated ok, can council limit it with just a vote; Susan stated it was my understanding but I will don’t care to double check it again.  Don stated I know the school board has limitations three minutes.  Mayor Jarvis Deel stated they don’t know more.  There was a big write up in the paper, that’s what brought all of this up.  Don stated I read that article and I didn’t see any limits on times but they have always limited me.  Susan stated if someone wants to be on the agenda that is a completely different situation than public comment they would have to get on the agenda to speak.  Don stated I was on the agenda and it was only three minutes.  Susan stated that she couldn’t speak for the school board but I can go back double check that and call you back on Monday.  Don stated I know at one time Jarvis and I made a limitation for the housing board, do you remember that Jarvis.  Jarvis agreed and stated it has been quite a while back.  Susan stated if you all can get me a copy of that it would be great so I could have it.  Jarvis agreed. 


Poly Branham made the motion to adjourn; Ralph Mock Jr. seconded the motion; a vote was taken and all members were in favor.