A Thank-You to ‘Sambo,’ PSA, Multi-Use Trail, More

Former Chief "Sambo" Brown (now in civilian clothes), Mayor Dora Sullivan, and new Chief Jim Pruitt at Town Council meeting. (Wave photo)

Former Police Chief “Sambo” Brown (now in civilian clothes), Mayor Dora Sullivan, and new Chief Jim Pruitt at Town Council meeting. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

January 20, 2014

Cape Charles Town Council members paid tribute to newly retired Police Chief Charles “Sambo” Brown at their January 16 meeting, and welcomed new Police Chief Jim Pruitt. Mayor Dora Sullivan presented Brown with a duck carving in appreciation of his years of service to the Town.

In other business, Cape Charles Business Association President George Proto announced plans for a 2014 workshop on economic development jointly sponsored by the Association, the Town, and the County. Proto also reminded Town Council that the Business Association had asked both the Town and the County to halt plans for a sewer pipe from the highway until concerns about the effect of highway development on the Town are addressed.

Nevertheless, Assistant Town Manager Bob Panek reported that the Public Service Authority is moving forward with plans to provide wastewater treatment to commercial properties on and near Route 13. (Panek is also chairman of the PSA.) He said that 12 properties had been removed from the planned special tax district, while four other properties had been added. Councilman Frank Wendell asked Panek if plans had been put on hold. Town Manager Heather Arcos responded that the Town “has not made any progress” on providing sewer service to the PSA.

Former Police Chief received a duck carving fro the Town. (Wave photo)

Former Police Chief received a duck carving from the Town. (Wave photo)


Panek also reported on the status of the Arts Walk and Multi-Use Trail Master Plan, noting that a public information session held last October was “poorly attended.” Councilman Steve Bennett asked how residents had been informed about the session. Panek responded that the meeting had been posted on the Town website and in the Town Gazette. Bennett noted that he never saw any notice and asked that future meetings be more widely publicized.

Bennett also asked how many members served on the Arts Walk steering committee, and Panek said about eight. The steering committee group is working with Landstudio, the same firm responsible for the renovation of Central Park, on designing a plan for performance plazas and town artwork. One proposal is to close off Strawberry Street between Mason and Randolph avenues to create a performance plaza. Town artwork could be displayed in the center of a roundabout replacing the intersection of Randolph Avenue and Fig Street.

Bennett expressed concern that not enough people were involved in the decisions being made about Art Walk, and asked if VDOT had been consulted about the roundabout. Panek said that VDOT was not involved, but agreed that it should be.

Councilman Frank Wendell recommended that the Multi-Use Trail be linked to a County-wide bicycle trail.

Council moved to hold a public input session on the Arts Walk project and Multi-Use Trail.

Public Works Director Dave Fauber gave a status report on renovations to the former library building. Plans for a handicapped ramp and a new bathroom are moving forward.

Council also received reports on the Harbor Master Plan, the Waterman’s Memorial, and improvements to the Shanty restaurant, which is on Town land. Waterman’s Memorial organizer Edward Lewis said his group has raised $25,000, and that Bayshore Concrete Products would donate concrete for the base of the memorial. The base will be poured in the spring, but further work will await additional donations.

Council voted to purchase a white Dodge Charger police car for $23,236 to replace the one totaled in a collision with a deer in Bay Creek South. Insurance proceeds were about $5,000. Councilman Wendell suggested that instead of buying another police car, the existing fleet could be shared by officers on duty. However, Chief Pruitt responded that the cost of maintenance and fuel would be the same.

Councilwoman Joan Natali suggested raising the Town’s transient occupancy tax to help pay for tourism-related projects. (The 3 percent Town tax is assessed on short-term property rentals, which also bear a 2 percent County tax and 5.3 percent state tax, for a total of 10.3 percent.)

Councilman Chris Bannon said the Town should begin a “rainy day fund” for future capital outlays. Councilman Wendell countered that “it is hard to save money and borrow at the same time.”



5 Responses to “TOWN COUNCIL:
A Thank-You to ‘Sambo,’ PSA, Multi-Use Trail, More”

  1. Evelyn Pinili on January 20th, 2014 9:01 am

    The best of wishes on Mr. “Sambo’s” retirement!
    May you have a Happy, Healthy one!
    From the Pinilis

  2. Joe Vaccaro on January 20th, 2014 12:15 pm

    This is the end of another era for the Town of Cape Charles. Best of Luck to you Chief Brown and I hope that you re-engage the town with your experience, wisdom, and common sense.

  3. Judy McKnight on January 20th, 2014 12:24 pm

    I would hope that no plan for Strawberry would impact the actual intersection of Strawberry and Randolph and change the smooth flow of east/west traffic. It should remain a straight access to and from the Bay. A plaza between Mason and Randolph on Strawberry could be interesting. A “traffic circle,” where art is displayed, at the Randolph and Strawberry intersection, is not. It would certainly divert Randolph traffic to other east/west streets, which are narrower and already crowded with cars and boats during busy weekends and seasons. In addition, is it wise to encourage folks to walk to a traffic circle to see art that could be more safely displayed in the proposed plaza?

  4. Bill Neville on January 20th, 2014 1:01 pm

    Happy trails to the best police chief ever!

  5. Stephen K. Fox on January 21st, 2014 10:04 am

    Congratulations to both Chief Brown on his retirement and to new Chief Pruitt on the assumption of his new duties.

    Chief Brown left a good legacy to be continued. We look for good things from Chief Pruitt, an experienced law enforcement officer. He will do well; he comes from terrific people!