Below is a summary of the November 28th Martinsville City Council meeting. You can watch the entire meeting here.
Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority Updates
Discussions were held regarding potential land development with the Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
Updates were provided on proposed apartment developments opposite existing 5 Points Homes. Predevelopment stages are underway, scheduled for completion in Q1 2024 with ground-breaking expected in Q2. Requests for site control were made, seeking waivers on tap and permitting fees along with tax abatements.
Further discussions involved the potential use of land for housing along Rives Road, exploring possibilities for development and gaining control of the site for further study.
A motion was made for staff to collaborate on a land development agreement with DRHA for both sites.
The presentation is available here.
Parks Improvement Plan and ARPA Funding
Site Collective, a Raleigh-based planning and design consulting firm, has been selected to implement a Parks Improvement Plan utilizing ARPA funding. Community input sessions and surveys showed significant interest in parks improvement. Graham Smith from Site Collaborative provided the council with an update on the ongoing efforts.
The presentation with their findings is available here.
TreeHuggers coming to the Municipal Building
A proposal from the TreeHuggers, a robotics team comprising 4th and 5th graders, was approved to be featured in the Christmas tree display in front of the City Municipal Building.
The team, consisting of Emery Taylor, Wesley Walker, Hailey Turner, Symphony Phillips, Kavanny Flores, Margot Sharp, Jade Holland-Dallas, Kenneth Lucas, Katie Wall, and Adelyn McKenzie, led by coaches Ms. Emily Harrell and Ms. Jemeisha Childress, participated in the First Lego League (FLL) with this year's theme centered around art.
The TreeHuggers creatively addressed the theme by conceptualizing a project called a TreeHugger—a form of art crafted from recyclable water bottles, painted to portray nature and environmental awareness. Conducting surveys within the community, they found that 72% of respondents expressed a need for more exposure to art.
The team proposed their innovative solution to the Martinsville City Council, envisioning its implementation in Uptown Martinsville. The City Council approved the project to be featured in the Christmas tree display in front of the City Municipal Building, highlighting the TreeHuggers' dedication to promoting art and sustainability within the community.
Local Government Climate Action Plan with GMU
The Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University offered to assist Virginia cities and counties with energy and environmental assessments, mitigation projects, and grants for climate sustainability. Martinsville is exploring a partnership with GMU to develop a climate resiliency plan, aligning with state commitments on clean energy and climate action. The city manager was authorized to create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with GMU.
The presentation outlining the purpose of the plan is available here.
Appointment of City Manager as Executive Director of Redevelopment and Housing Authority
In an unanimous decision, acting as the housing authority, the council considered and passed a resolution appointing the City Manager, Aretha Ferrell-Benavides as the Executive Director of the Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The resolution empowers the City Manager with the authority to sign contracts and related documents approved by the Housing Authority, effectively delegating duties as per state law.
Proclamation to the Veterans Honor Guard of Martinsville and Henry County
Mayor LC Jones presented a proclamation honoring the Veterans Honor Guard of Martinsville and Henry County. Formed in 1973 with an initial thirteen members, the Honor Guard has grown significantly over the years, presently comprising 35 active members. They have dutifully conducted an average of 135 services for fallen veterans since 2008, though unfortunately, 49 members have passed away.