Branchville, Town of

County of Southampton

History of incorporation

Incorporated by a 1908 Act of Assembly.

Current charter

Charter, 1908, c. 240.

Amendments to current charter

1912, c. 259 (§ 6)

1927, c. 83 (§§ 5 and 6)

2015, c. 187 (§ 3)

§ 1. Be it enacted by the general assembly of Virginia, that the town of Branchville, in the county of Southampton, as the same has heretofore been, or may hereafter be laid off in lots, streets and alleys, shall be, and the same hereby is made a town corporate by the name Branchville, and by that name shall have and exercise such powers conferred upon towns by the fifty-fourth chapter of the Code of Virginia of eighteen hundred and seventy-three, and be subject to all of the provisions of said Code, and to all laws now in force which may hereafter be enacted, in reference to the government of towns of less than five thousand inhabitants, so far as the same is not inconsistent with this act. (1908, c. 240)

§ 2. The boundaries of said town shall be as follows: Beginning about six hundred yards east of Branchville at the railroad culvert, thence a northern direction and following the Buckhorn branch to the county road at the point where Billie Garnes' northern boundary line begins, thence along the northern side of said Garnes' land to a point where Henry Lufsey's land begins, thence around the northernly and westernly boundary of said Lufsey's land to the county road leading from Branchville to Koskoo, thence across said road in a direct straight line for about three-fourths of a mile to the northwestern corner of W. A. Joyner's residence fence, thence to and across railroad crossing, connecting with a pathway leading south to M. C. Vick's graveyard gate, thence taking a direct southeasternly course to the southwest boundary of the Seaboard Air Line property known as the gravel pit, thence along the southern and eastern boundary of said gravel pit to branch, thence along said branch in a northernly direction to railroad culvert, point of beginning. (1908, c. 240)

§ 3. The government of said town shall be vested in a mayor and six councilmen, to be elected on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November at the time of the general election, as follows: At the 2015 election, the candidate for mayor receiving the most votes and the candidates for council receiving the three highest vote totals shall be elected to serve four-year terms, and new elections for mayor and those three council seats shall be held at the time of the November 2019 general election and every four years thereafter. At the 2015 election, the candidates for council receiving the next three highest vote totals shall be elected to serve two-year terms, and new elections for those three council seats shall be held at the time of the November 2017 general election and every four years thereafter. The term of office for mayor and council members shall begin on the first day of January next following the date of their election and shall continue until their successors have been duly elected and qualified. Council members serving on council who were elected in May 2014 shall have their terms of office shortened by six months but shall continue in office until their successors have been elected at the November general election and have been qualified to serve. All elections shall conform to the general State elections governing towns. Any person entitled to vote in the county of Southampton, and who has been a resident of said town for thirty days, and whose name has been properly registered on the town registration books, and who has otherwise complied with the laws of the State in regard to capitation tax, shall be entitled to vote at any and all elections held under this act of incorporation. (1908, c. 240; 2015, c. 187)

§ 4. The mayor and councilmen shall constitute the council of said town, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum to do business, and all of the corporate powers of said town shall be exercised by said council, or under its authority, except when otherwise provided by law, and the said mayor and councilmen shall be vested with all the rights, powers and privileges that the Code of Virginia confers upon mayors and councilmen of towns. (1908, c. 240)

§ 5. The said council shall have power to elect a clerk, a treasurer, a sergeant, and such other officers as it may deem wise and necessary for the said town, to regulate their compensation, to prescribe their duties, remove them from office and require bond with approved security for the faithful performance of their respective duties. The clerk and treasurer may be elected from the council or from the electors of the said town. The said council shall have power to appoint, every two years, three electors of said town to assess the value of real estate within the limits of the said town for the purpose of taxation, who shall certify their assessment to the council by the fifteenth day of March of each year. The clerk shall annually, before the fifteenth day of March of each year, go to each taxpayer and take the list of all personal property that is subject to taxation for town purposes, and shall make out annually, before the first day of April, all tax accounts. (1908, c. 240; 1927, c. 83)

§ 6. Said council shall be vested with the power of making all laws and passing all ordinances consistent with good government of said town and not repugnant to the laws and Constitution of the State and the United States; and for the purpose of this incorporation the said council may levy such taxes as it may deem fit and proper on all property, both real and personal, within the said town, not to exceed eighty cents on the one hundred dollars of the assessed value, the capitation tax not to exceed two dollars and fifty cents per year, and a license tax on every profession or vocation or business for which a State license is required, and except in cases where the imposition of taxes on licenses by cities and towns is prohibited by general law. (1908, c. 240; 1912, c. 259; 1927, c. 83)

§ 7. The sergeant of said town shall be the conservator of the peace and be invested with the full powers of a constable for the town of Branchville, and shall be entitled to the same fees as a constable for like services, and such other compensation as the council may see fit to give him. (1908, c. 240)

§ 8. Guy T. Horner is hereby declared and appointed mayor and J. D. Woodard, W. R. Sykes, T. J. Harrell, E. M. Harris, W. T. Grizzard, and S. B. Coggins are hereby declared and appointed councilmen of the said town of Branchville, and may qualify as such before any justice of the peace or notary public of Southampton county, by taking the oaths of office, and thereupon they shall constitute the council of said town, with all the powers, until the second Tuesday of June, 1909, and until their successors are elected and qualified. The council hereby appointed shall meet and organize upon the call of said Guy T. Homer, as mayor, or any four of the said councilmen. (1908, c. 240)

§ 9. For the purpose of carrying into effect this corporation, the said town shall be allowed the use of the jail of Southampton county for confinement and safe-keeping of all persons arrested or sentenced to imprisonment under the by-laws and ordinances of said town; and the sergeant of said town may convey any person so arrested or sentenced to said jail, and the jailer shall receive said person or persons in the same manner as if such person were committed by a justice of the peace and delivered by a constable. (1908, c. 240)

§ 10. The said town and property, and persons therein, shall be exempt and free from payment of any road tax, and from working on roads outside of said town, for which exemption the said town shall keep its own streets in order, and shall not be embraced in any road district of the said county of Southampton. (1908, c. 240)