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Town parks to be closed from midnight to 5 a.m.

by Tom Chillemi

Recent vandalism has prompted the Urbanna Town Council to establish hours when its two town parks are closed.

At its August 19 meeting, council approved closing the parks from midnight to 5 a.m. The hours are for Taber Park on Rappahannock Avenue and Watermen’s Park on Kent Street.

The first proposal had been to close the parks from sunset to sunrise. However, council member Barbara Hartley argued for a later closing time and said it was unfair to penalize the public for the actions of a few.
Mayor Don Richwine said setting park hours gives the town the authority to prosecute violators if something happens.

Town attorney Andy Bury agreed and pointed out that official park hours are essential for enforcement.

In an unrelated matter, council directed interim town administrator Holly Gailey to get estimates for fencing areas near the town water tower. She told council that storing chlorine in high concentrations inside the facility was a hazard, noting that chlorine is caustic to metal.

Chlorine is used to treat town water. The plan is to move the chlorine outside to a fenced, covered area.

A few months ago, metal pipes were stolen from the area of the water tower that council wants to fence.

Financial matters
Council member Joe Heyman said preliminary figures indicate that total general fund revenue was down 1.2% from the budgeted amount for the town’s 2012-13 (FY13) fiscal year, which ended June 30. While the general fund revenue is down about $6,700, revenue from the sale of water is up about $10,000 or about 5%, he said.

Heyman told council he will give a detailed report in September once the FY13 figures are complete.

He also said he is working with town staff to develop a monthly budget report for council.

The town council adopted a resolution that designated depositories for town funds at BB&T, EVB, Bank of Lancaster, Citizens and Farmers Bank, and Davenport and Company LLC.

Council’s resolution further requires town checks be signed by at least two of three officials—Mayor Richwine, Bill Thrift, chair of the finance committee, and the town treasurer.

The town currently does not have a town treasurer. Former town treasurer Bob Calves resigned earlier this year.

posted 08.28.2013

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