By Carol Vaughn —
The Town Council of Parksley Monday recognized outgoing Councilman Chris Hamlin for his service to the community.
Mayor Frank Russell presented a plaque to Hamlin in recognition of his contributions to the town.
In other action, the town has purchased a chipper for brush, at a cost of $7,500.
Resident Billy Ray Justis thanked the council for purchasing the chipper, saying, “That is the best thing that the town could have invested in.”
Justis also praised public works director George Duer.
Betty Farley announced she and Cathy Kababick are planning a meet-and-greet event for town council candidates Monday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m. at the pavilion in the town square.
The Friends for a Better Parksley will offer a free Thanksgiving dinner on a takeout basis at the Parksley fire station social hall on Thursday, Nov. 25 from noon to 2 p.m. Organizer Jeff Stauffer is seeking volunteers to help with the dinner.
The council voted to spend up to $200 to purchase fall decorations for the main business street.
The Parksley town park benefited from a community service project competed by the Navy from SCSC Wallops Island earlier this month. FCA1(SW) Adam Parker, a Parksley resident, and about a dozen others volunteered their time to refurbish the park equipment.
Mayor Russell thanked Hamlin for arranging for the Navy personnel to do the work.
The town council at a work session later this month will discuss whether to impose a curfew on playing music at the park, after complaints were received about a group playing loud music Sunday nights until 9 or 10 at night.
Mayor Frank Russell suggested 6 p.m. as a reasonable time to end music playing in the park on Sundays.
The council also agreed to discuss in the work session a transient occupancy tax ordinance related to homestay businesses, such as those found through airbnb.com
“We’ll report back on it next month,” Russell said.
Councilman Henry Nicholson gave an update on the town office renovations, saying the structure “is actually not as bad as we all thought.”
Nicholson said in the center of the museum section of the building, “we’ve got a big belly” in the floor, caused by the sills at the end being jacked up to meet a wall that was added sometime in the past.
“It was a grader shed — it never had a wall,” he said.
Several sills in the town office section had been damaged by termites, he said.
Still, the building as a whole is sound.
“The building has been there over 100 years,” he said.
The council voted to budget $100,000 for the repairs, with labor being done by town employees and volunteers. Nicholson said he thinks the project likely will come in under that amount.
The money will come from funds the town is receiving as result of the federal American Rescue Act Plan.
“I think we’re going to have a nice, shiny pearl in our town when it’s done,” Nicholson said.
Mayor Russell thanked resident Brad York for working for two days on wiring for the mobile unit that is serving temporarily as the town office. The trailer was supposed to arrive with wiring ready, but it did not.
The council voted to hold a public hearing Monday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. to receive comments about replacing water meters in town with electronic models. The hearing also will be to receive comments on other potential uses of the ARPA money coming to Parksley.
Councilman Ricky Taylor had made a motion to allocate $165,000 from the ARPA funds for the new meters, but he withdrew the motion after other council members suggested getting public input on use of the federal funds.
Councilman Mark Layne reported he met with Grayson Williams of the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission about the grant-funded downtown revitalization project.
Work on the Harvest Alleyway is about 75% complete and the band shell concrete has been poured. All work on those parts of the project should be competed by Dec. 19, Layne said.
A downtown business facade improvement project has been extended. There currently is no contract signed for those improvements. Once a contract is signed, the contractor will have 210 days to complete the work.
Notices have been sent to four property owners about blight under a town ordinance, according to town clerk Lauren Lewis. Two owners have responded with a timeframe for repairs to be done.
The town is giving certificates for a free ice cream to town children who show good school progress reports, either at the town office or to Police Chief Keith Greer, Lewis said.
Greer purchased the certificates from the Club Car Cafe and has handed out more than 40 so far.
“Keith has gone to the Club Car and bought these certificates out of his own money and is doing this for the kids in town. That’s what Keith is doing for our town kids,” Taylor said.
Parksley will hold a trunk-or-treat event Saturday, Oct. 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the town square.