ALBERTA – On the recommendation of the Alberta Planning Commission the Alberta Town Council approved a request submitted by Landon Wayne Roberts and Carolyn R. Knoedl for an amendment to the Town Zoning Ordinance. The applicants want to change the Town Zoning Ordinance and the Zoning District Classification from “Commercial” to “Residential” of the property located at 9660 Boydton Plank Road near the intersection of Boydton Plank Road (Route One) and Main Street located in the Town of Alberta. The approval is contingent on all taxes being paid.

The Alberta Town Council held a public hearing on the request on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021 at the Old Fire Hall.

Prior to the vote Cheryl Johnson, Chairman of the Alberta Planning Commission, shared the commission’s recommendation for approval with council. Other members of the planning commission are Nancy Avery, Amy Poe and Mable Wynn, Kay Barnes and Cheryl Murmane. Barnes and Murmane were absent when the planning commission met on Oct. 18, 2021 to review the request. Councilwoman Elizabeth A. Crowder represents council on the planning commission.

At the November council meeting Crowder said the owners of the property feel that changing the zoning classification to Residential will make the property easier to sell. The property has been on the market for a year.

Robert Hayes asked if the property could be switched back to Commercial and council said it could if proper procedures were followed. The property is located next to Family Dollar and the fire station.

In other matters, disbursements totaling $3,432.48 were approved.

Councilman Anthony Taylor said he is working with Sarah Brewer, Town Clerk/Treasurer, on updating the town’s website. He said the goal is to have the tentative agenda on the website and Facebook prior to the council meetings in order to keep citizens informed.

Vice Mayor Rebecca Spengler said administration is working to have the agenda and other documents to members of council for their review in advance of the council meeting. She said she will contact the Southside Planning District Commission regarding possible grants to improve Internet access. Taylor said Shentel has different packages that are more costly.

Taylor said he is working on obtaining the occupancy permit for the Old Fire Hall from Brunswick County. He has talked with members of the Alberta Volunteer Fire Department and Councilman Richard Ozmore said he got the fire extinguishers that are recommended. Council is in the process of making improvements to the facility to be used as an emergency shelter and gathering place. Spengler said council will have to solicit quotes for work at the Old Fire Hall.

Crowder updated council on the meeting of the Caboose Committee held on Nov. 2, 2021. She included a copy of a resolution dated Oct. 12, 2011 regarding the caboose. The resolution is signed by Mayor Melissa B. Parrish and Linda Helm, Clerk. The committee has been working on transforming the 1917 Norfolk and Western caboose into a point of interest. Joan Glenn served as President of the Caboose Committee.

Crowder said the Caboose Committee is interested in raising money for work needed on the caboose at the present time.

The Caboose Committee meets the first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. Call the Alberta Town Office at (434) 949-7443 for more information.

Crowder, who serves as Chairman of the Special Events Committee, said the Spooky Trail held on Oct. 31, 2021 was a success. She said the Alberta Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021 at 2 p.m. and other activities are also planned for that date. She encouraged members of council to participate in the parade.

The Special Events Committee meets Tuesday, one week after the town council meeting at 6 p.m.

The Administrative & Finance Committee meets the last Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. Anthony Taylor serves as Chairman.

The Personnel Committee meets Thursday before the town council meeting at 6:30 p.m.

The Public Safety Committee meets Thursday before the town council meeting at 6 p.m.

Council encourages members of the public to attend the committee meetings.

Council discussed lights within the town limits that are not working properly. Spengler asked council members to note those lights documenting the location.

During the citizen comment period that was moved to the end of the agenda Teya Whitehead, VCU Massey Cancer Center Coordinator, said the center provides citizens with resources to aid in their fight against cancer. Brunswick County was found to be one of the top three hotspots in the nation for colorectal cancer. Prevention is the key. Whitehead provided council members with a form for them to be able to reach out to the person who fills it out with resources and prevention information targeted to their particular situation. She extended an invite for questions at any time.

Cheryl Johnson said she appreciates council being concerned about lights not working properly. She said residents should watch the light to determine if they are working properly or not. She thanked the maintenance department for helping keep the town lit and looking good at night. Johnson expressed appreciation for council pushing on the water crisis. She said her business takes a hit when the water has to be shut off or other issues arise. Her business is inspected by the Department of Agriculture and she is seeking a federal grant next year so everything has to be in order. Johnson also thanked council members for the time they volunteer for various things and for allowing her to provide cleanup of overgrowth behind her property near the playground.

Jarvette Drummond, a disabled veteran, stated she is interested in attending council meetings. At the present time she is back and forth between jobs in North Carolina and keeping her kids in school there. She is also expecting a child soon. Once the baby is born and they are adjusted she plans to attend all the meetings she can. She submitted a letter for the mayor’s position.

Drummond expressed concern about the flagpoles not being lit at night. She said there is a requirement that if the flag is flying at night it is suppose to be lit.

The Alberta Town Council meets the second Monday of the month at 5:30 p.m. For more information call the Alberta Town Office at (434) 949-7443 or email at clerkofalberta@albertava.com. The office is located at 136 West 1st Avenue, Alberta, Virginia 23821 in the Old Firehouse.