NEW MARKET – Town Council members have set times for future meetings and given the mayor the authority to cancel future meetings in the event of severe weather.

Council members meet at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month but that time and date were never official until Tuesday's meeting. Council members passed a resolution to clarify their meeting procedure and time with a unanimous vote.

Mayor Doug Bradley read the ordinance that established that council meetings would be held at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday, and that in the case of inclement weather or some other reason why the meeting couldn’t be held, it would be postponed to the following day at the same time.

Councilman Daryl Watkins asked the other council members if there was any reason they shouldn’t keep the schedule by postponing canceled meetings to the following week and keep the routine of Monday meetings intact.

Vice Mayor Peggy Harkness said it would be better if the meeting was held as close as possible to the original time because the information would be fresh in council members minds and if the town manager or town attorney needed the council members to take action, they wouldn’t have to wait a week.

Jason Ham, the town attorney, said he knew the ordinance sounded silly but it was good for the town to have in place.

In the past, Ham said, the council members didn’t have the authority to cancel a meeting. With this ordinance, the mayor -- or vice mayor if the mayor is unable to act — has the authority to cancel a meeting due to inclement weather.

During a second special meeting on Tuesday, council members along with the town manager, Ham and an engineering consultant, William Johnson II, met in a closed session to discuss purchasing land for the water tower project.

Council members have been discussing the project for months and have had a number of closed meetings to discuss their options for purchasing land.

After the meeting, Town Manager Todd Walters declined to comment on where the Town Council was at in terms of a timeline for announcing a location for the tower.

The Town Council will meet again at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Town Hall for its regular meeting.

All council members were present for Monday’s special meetings.

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