Danville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to adopt a resolution supporting the display of the national motto “In God We Trust” over the door leading into the Council Chambers and at the area where the mayor’s chair is located.
With this vote, Danville joins 26 other local governments in Virginia that have adopted a similar resolution.
The resolution notes that “In God We Trust” became the national motto on July 30, 1956, and the words have been used on U.S. currency since 1864. “The City desires to display this patriotic motto in the Council Chambers as a way to solemnize public occasions and express confidence in our society,” the resolution reads.
The resolution was approved without discussion.
In another matter, City Council listened as a local preservationist and several residents of the Old West End historic district pleaded for a delay in scheduled demolitions of houses at 208 Jefferson Ave. and 233 Jefferson Ave. The citizens talked about the attraction of historic houses, the houses they had renovated, and options to demolition. They asked for a six-month moratorium to give them more to find investors willing to refurbish the two homes.
Deputy City Manager Ken Larkin said the owners of the two Jefferson Avenue houses have appealed the demolition process, which will delay demolition. City Attorney Clarke Whitfield said the appeals will be heard by the Building Code Board of Appeals, but for council to take any special action to stay the demolition would require a change in city laws regarding the demolition process.
In other matters on the agenda, council members:
» authorized the purchase of 7.07 acres located in Danville Plaza shopping center near the Aiken Bridge to be used as a parking lot and trailhead for the Riverwalk Trail. The property includes a paved area and an open, unimproved lot for parking and a passive park.
» accepted a federal grant of $45,872 to aid food service operations at W.W. Moore Jr. Detention Home.
» accepted a federal grant of $86,999 and authorized spending a local share of $26,324 to provide for the electronic monitoring and outreach detention programs operated by W.W. Moore Jr. Detention Home.
» accepted anticipated revenues of $58,201 from Pittsylvania County for W. W. Moore Jr. Detention Home to provide electronic monitoring and outreach detention programs for the county.
» accepted a state grant of $52,911 for the continuation of the city's Victim Witness Assistance Program, which is operated through the Commonwealth Attorney's Office.
» reappointed Constance Henderson and appointed Wesson Claiborne-Felder as board members of the Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
» reappointed Richard L. Turner, Shirley D. Primiano and Max R. Glass as board members of the Industrial Development Authority.
» reappointed John R. Ransom and Robert P. Keesee as board members of the River District Design Commission.
» rezoned some of the last residentially zoned and used acreage on Piney Forest Road to highway retail commercial. David Wayne Johnson Sr. requested the commercial designation for four acres at 995 Piney Forest Road so that he could market the property to commercial clients. The Planning Commission voted unanimously last month to recommend approval.
» rezoned rezone three vacant parcels of land totaling 2.068 acres from residential to light industrial to allow for construction of mini-storage warehouses. The Planning Commission voted unanimously last month to recommend approval.
» amended the city’s zoning code for the central business and tobacco warehouse areas to allow by special permit an accessory building or accessory use without a primary building being located on the parcel. The Planning Commission voted unanimously last month to recommend approval.
» issued a special permit to allow William Gentry to relocate a dumpster used by the Golden Leaf Bistro from behind the restaurant to a parking lot across from the restaurant at the corner of Craghead and Loyal streets. The Planning Commission voted unanimously last month to recommend approval. The design and placement of the dumpster enclosure would require the approval of the River District Design Commission.
» held a first reading on whether to allocate $3 million in bond proceeds for 10 projects, including renovations and improvements to streets in the River District, a Circuit Court courtroom and American Legion Stadium. A first reading is required to provide public notification. Council must wait until its Dec. 2 meeting at the earliest to vote on the allocation.
» held a first reading on whether to allocate $4.1 million in state and local money for Comprehensive Service Act programs for at-risk children and families. A first reading is required to provide public notification. Council must wait until its Dec. 2 meeting at the earliest to vote on allocating the money.
Jerry Dooley, interim director of Danville Regional Medical Center, addressed City Council. He said LifePoint remains committed to a successful hospital and ongoing programs and projects within the community.
“We are not going to pull back,” Dooley told Council members.
He also said a top priority is putting a management team in place.
Dooley has worked in several LifePoint facilities, and his background includes CEO positions in Indiana and Illinois, but he plans to serve only an interim role in Danville.