Glen Lyn, Town of

County of Giles

History of incorporation

Incorporated by order of Circuit Court of Giles County, January 30, 1926.

Circuit Court Charter, 1926; provision for repeal 1930, c. 165.

Charter, 1930, c. 165; repealed 1950, c. 558.

Current charter

Charter, 1950, c. 558.

Amendments to current charter

2012, cc. 289, 333 (§§ 3, 5, 11)

§ 1. The town of Glen Lyn, in Giles County, Virginia, shall continue to be a town corporate, and as such shall have and may exercise all the powers and privileges conferred upon it by this charter, and also those that are now or may be hereafter delegated to towns in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as fully and completely as though such powers were specifically enumerated herein, and no enumeration of particular powers by this charter shall be held to be exclusive.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 2. The corporate lines of Glen Lyn are contained in the following boundaries, to-wit:

Beginning at the mouth of East River where it intersects and empties into the New River, thence running an eastwardly course along the South bank of said New River to the point of intersection with the Westernly Right of Way Boundary of the Virginian Railway Company, thence a due South course for a distance of 1320.0 feet to a stake, thence a due West course for a distance of 609.9 feet to a point in the bed of a stream, thence S 33° 31' W, for a distance of 534.3 feet, crossing the Nettie Reed Tract of The Appalachian Electric Power Company to a set stone, corner of said tract and the lands of J. C. Killey, thence N 64° 58' W for a distance of 1052.8 feet crossing said Killey lands, the Secondary Route No. 704 Right of Way, the lands of D. C. Fields and lands of Nettie Reed to a stake located in the South Right of Way boundary of the Virginian Railway Company, thence a due West Course, for a distance of 1062.1 feet to a stake located in a line of the boundary of Giles County, Virginia, and Mercer County, West Virginia, thence N 37° 17' W, with State Boundary for a distance of 1130.1 feet to a stake located in an old field on an East hillside, 125 feet below edge of woods, 10 feet Southwest of a small drain, and 52 feet Northeast from a large boulder, thence N 52° 20' E for a distance of 575.1 feet to an iron pipe located in the stream bed of East River opposite the center of the highway bridge and 45 feet down stream from the center of said bridge, thence Northwardly along the center of East River as it meanders to its mouth and intersection with New River to the point of beginning, containing 154 acres, more or less.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 3. Powers of the town of Glen Lyn.

The town shall have specifically the following powers and privileges, to the extent that they, or any of them, may not be prohibited by the Constitution or the general laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia:

First. To raise annually, by taxes and assessments in the town, such sums of money, in such manner as the council thereof deems necessary or expedient for the use, benefit and purpose of the town, in accordance with the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of Virginia, the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the provisions of this charter.

Second. To fix or set, levy and collect taxes on property, subject to limitations prescribed by the Constitution and laws of Virginia in force at the time of imposition of such taxes; provided, however, that the tax for all purposes on property within the town shall not exceed three dollars ($3.00) on each one hundred dollars ($100.00) of assessed valuation except (a) for amounts necessary to pay interest, principal, or sinking fund of any bonded indebtedness of the town, (b) taxes for fire protection, (c) special assessments for local improvements, water works and sewer system, and (d) taxes that the general laws of Virginia permit towns to levy in excess of their charter limitations. The fire protection tax levied by the town shall be the only such fire protection tax levied therein.

Third. To impose special or local assessments for local improvements, and to enforce payment thereof, subject to such limitations prescribed by the Constitution and laws of Virginia as may be in force at the time of imposition of such special or local assessments.

Fourth. To impose licenses by ordinance upon business, trades, professions or callings, and upon persons, firms, associations or corporations engaged therein or offering to do business within the boundaries of the town, whose principal office is or is not located in said town, except when prohibited by general law, whether or not a license may be required therefor by the State. The fee for such license may exceed the State license fee if any be required.

Licenses may also be imposed upon and a fee therefor collected from persons, firms, or corporations selling and delivering at the same time at other than a definite place of business, goods, wares or merchandise, to licensed dealers or retailers in the town.

For every license issued or transferred under this charter, there may be prescribed by ordinance a reasonable charge or fee, for issuing or transferring the same. Such charges or fees shall be paid into the town treasury.

Fifth. To incur liabilities or debts, borrow money, and execute or issue evidences of indebtedness.

Sixth. To expend the money of the town for all lawful purposes.

Seventh. To acquire by purchase, gift, devise, condemnation or otherwise, property, real or personal, or any estate therein, within or without the town, for the use and benefit thereof; and to hold, improve, sell or lease the same, or any part thereof, including any property now owned by the town.

Eighth. To construct, maintain, regulate or operate public improvements of all kinds, including municipal or other buildings, grounds and structures necessary or appropriate for the use and proper operation of all the various departments of the town.

Ninth. To survey, establish, enter, open, widen, extend, grade, construct, pave, maintain, light, sprinkle, or clean public streets, highways, alleys, sidewalks, parkways or parks or to relocate, alter or close the same; to regulate the weight of loads to be hauled or carried over and upon the streets insofar as such regulation of weights of loads does not conflict with general State laws relating to load limits to be carried or transported over State highways; to regulate the use of all such highways, parks, streets, alleys, parkways and public places; to prevent the obstruction, destruction or injury to any of such streets, alleys or highways; to require any railroad company operating a railroad at the place where any highway or street is crossed within the limits of the town to construct and maintain adequate crossings and to erect and maintain at such crossing any style of gate or warning signal deemed proper; to regulate the operation and speed of all cars, motorcycles, bicycles or vehicles upon said streets or highways as well as the speed of all engines, cars, or railroad trains within the town; to permit or prohibit towers, poles or wires for electric, telephone, telegraph, radio or television purposes to be erected or wires or gas lines to be laid in the streets or alleys, and to prescribe and collect an annual charge for such privileges hereafter granted; to require the owner or lessee of any electric light, telephone, telegraph, radio or television tower, poles, or wires now in use or hereafter erected to change the location or remove the same.

Tenth. To acquire by gift, purchase or by the exercise of the power of eminent domain within this State, land or any interest or estate in lands, rock quarries, gravel pits, sand pits, water or water rights and the necessary roadways thereto, either within or without the rights and the necessary roadways thereto, either within or without the town, or acquire and install machinery and equipment and build the necessary roads or tramways thereto, and operate the same for the purpose of producing materials required for any and all purposes of the town.

Eleventh. To grant franchises for public utilities, subject to the provisions of the Constitution and general laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Twelfth. To collect and dispose of sewage, offal, ashes, garbage, carcasses of dead animals and other refuse, and to make reasonable charges therefor; to acquire and operate reduction or other plants for the utilization or destruction of any or all of said materials.

Thirteenth. To compel the abatement of nuisances within the town, or upon property owned by the town beyond its limits, at the expense of the person, persons, corporations or firms causing the same, or of the owner or occupant of the grounds or premises whereon the same may be, and collect said expense by suit or motion, or by distress and sale; to require all lands, lots or other premises, within the town to be kept clean, sanitary and free from stagnant water, weeds, filth, unsightly deposits and shrubbery overhanging public streets and sidewalks or to make them so at the expense of the owners or occupants thereof; to pass and enforce any ordinances that may be necessary to the public safety for the control of dogs; to regulate or prevent noisome or offensive business within the said town, the keeping of hogs, or other animals, poultry or other fowl therein or the exercise of any dangerous or unwholesome business, trade or employment thereon; to regulate the transportation of all articles through the streets of the town; to prevent unnecessary noise; to regulate the location of stables and the manner in which they shall be constructed or kept; to regulate the location, construction, operation or maintenance of billboards; to provide how, when and under what conditions awnings may project over the streets and sidewalks from buildings, and the manner in which sidewalks may be used for advertising or display signs or merchandise; to generally define, prohibit, abate, suppress and prevent all things detrimental to the health, morals, safety, convenience or welfare of the inhabitants of the town; to provide for order and quiet and the observance of the Sabbath.

Fourteenth. The council may, in its discretion, appoint a board of health for the town and invest it with authority for the prompt and efficient performance of its duties.

Fifteenth. To provide by ordinance for a system of meat and milk inspection and to appoint milk and meat inspectors, agents or officers to carry the same into effect, within or without the corporate limits of the town; to license, regulate, control and locate slaughter houses within or without the corporate limits of the town; to make reasonable charges for such services of inspection; and to provide reasonable penalties for the violation of such ordinances.

Sixteenth. To inspect, test, measure or weigh any commodity or article offered for use or consumption to persons within the town; and to establish, regulate, license or inspect weights, meters or scales employed or used within the town and charge and collect fees therefor.

Seventeenth. To establish, maintain and operate a landing field or airport within or without the town and for such purposes to acquire real estate by gift, lease, purchase or condemnation; to lease such landing fields or airport to others to be used for any lawful purposes; to erect and maintain buildings and appurtenances necessary for the use of such landing field or airport and to prescribe and enforce rules and regulations, not in conflict with the laws, rules and regulations prescribed by the State of Virginia and the Federal Government for the use and protection of such landing field or airport.

Eighteenth. To prevent or extinguish fires, and to establish, regulate, and control a fire department or division, to purchase and maintain fire hydrants, to compensate the water departments of the town for water used in fighting fires and for other similar purposes; to regulate the size, heights, materials and construction of buildings, fences, walls, retaining walls or other structures hereafter erected, in such manner as the public safety or convenience may require; to establish building lines and building regulations; to establish, regulate and control residential and business zones within the corporation; to remove or require to be removed or reconstructed any building, structure or addition thereto, which by reason of dilapidation, defect of structure, or other causes, may have become dangerous to life or property, or which may be erected contrary to law; to establish or designate from time to time fire limits within which limits wooden buildings shall not be constructed, removed, added to, enlarged, or repaired and to direct that any and all future buildings within such limits shall be constructed of stone, natural or artificial, concrete, brick, iron or other fireproof material and to enact stringent and efficient laws for securing the safety of persons in halls and buildings used for assemblies, entertainments, amusements, schools or places of business.

Nineteenth. To provide, permit or prohibit the establishment of places for the interment of the dead and regulate the same and also those heretofore established and to provide as near to the town as the council deems advisable lands to be used as burial places for the dead; to improve and care for the same and the approaches thereto, and to charge for and regulate the use of the ground therein; and to provide for the perpetual upkeep and care of any plot or burial lot therein; the town is authorized to take and receive sums of money by gift, bequest, or otherwise, to be kept invested and the income therefrom used in and about the perpetual upkeep and care of the lot or plot for which such donation, gift or bequest shall have been made.

Twentieth. To exercise full police powers and establish and maintain a department or division of police.

Twenty-first. To license and regulate the holding and location of shows, circuses, public exhibitions, carnivals or similar shows or fairs, or prohibit the holding of the same or any of them within the town.

Twenty-second. To make and enforce ordinances to regulate, control, license and tax the manufacture, bottling, sale, distribution, handling, advertising, possession, dispensing, drinking and use of alcohol, and all liquids, beverages and articles containing alcohol obtained by distillation, fermentation or otherwise; provided, however, that no such ordinance shall be in conflict with any of the provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act or the general laws, of this Commonwealth with respect to such alcoholic beverages, liquids, and articles.

Twenty-third. To pass and enforce all by-laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances which the council deems necessary for the good order and government of the town, the management of its property, the conduct of its affairs, the peace, comfort, convenience, order, morals, education, general welfare, trade, health, and protection of its citizens or their property, and to do such other things and pass such other laws as are necessary or proper to carry into full effect all power, authority, capacity, or jurisdiction, which is or shall be granted to or vested in the town, or in the council, or officers thereof, or which are necessarily incident to a municipal corporation.

Twenty-fourth. To prescribe in accordance with the law any penalty for the violation of any town ordinance, rule or regulation or of any provision of this charter. To provide, by ordinance that where a fine and costs imposed upon any person for violation of a town ordinance shall not be promptly paid the official trying the case may, in his discretion, either commit such person to jail until such fine and costs shall be paid, or require him to work out such fine and costs on the streets or other improvements of the town at a rate per day equivalent to the prevailing wages for similar work at that time, in the town, provided, that no person shall be committed to jail or required to work for longer than 90 days for nonpayment of such fines and costs.

Twenty-fifth. To prohibit and punish the mischievous, wanton or malicious damage to public and private property.

Twenty-sixth. The town may maintain a suit to restrain by injunction the violation of any ordinance, notwithstanding punishment is provided for the violation of such ordinance.  (1950, c. 558; 2012, cc. 289, 333)

§ 4. A lien shall exist on all real estate within the corporate limits for taxes, levies or assessments in favor of the town, levied or assessed thereon from the commencement of the year for which the same was levied or assessed, and the procedure for collecting such taxes and for selling real estate for town taxes shall be the same as provided by the general laws of this Commonwealth, except that the council may, in its discretion, impose upon all taxes not collected prior to the first day of January of each year a penalty of one per centum on the first day of each succeeding month until payment of said taxes and accrued penalties which shall be turned into the town treasury. The council shall have the benefit of all other remedies for the collection of town taxes which are now, or may hereafter be permitted under the general law of the State, including the power to distrain goods and chattels for failure to pay taxes levied thereon.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 5. Administration and government.

The administration and government of the town shall be vested in a council consisting of one principal officer, styled the mayor, and five councilmen. The mayor, and councilmen, shall be electors of the town to be chosen as hereinafter provided, from the residents and electors of the town, and their qualifications to hold office, respectively, shall be the same as required of persons to vote and hold office under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The mayor and councilmen in office at the effective date of this act shall continue in office until their successors are elected and qualified. Beginning with the elections to be held in 2012, the mayor and councilmen shall be elected at the general election to be held on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November and shall serve for terms of four years.

If any person be expelled from the council, a new election to fill the vacancy thus created shall be held within 30 days on such day as the council may prescribe, on not less than 10 days' notice. Any other vacancy in the office of mayor or councilmen shall be filled within 30 days, from the electors of the town, for the unexpired term, by a majority vote of the remaining members of the council, provided, however, that a vacancy in the office of mayor may be filled from their own body or from the electorate of the town, by the council.  (1950, c. 558; 2012, cc. 289, 333)

§ 6. Any persons residing within the corporation limits of the town and duly registered and qualified according to law shall be entitled to vote at all municipal elections. All elections for the officers of the town shall be conducted in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 7. The council shall in the event of tie votes for its membership, and upon the written request of the candidates affected, permit the candidates to cast lots, by some agreed method, to break the tie, otherwise the council may declare a vacancy in such office and fill the same from the electors of the town by a majority vote of said council. All officers shall qualify by taking the oath of office before the clerk, or other officer authorized to administer oaths and shall give such bond as the council requires.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 8. Notice of candidacy for office shall be given, and the ballots to be used in any election in the said town shall be prepared, printed and distributed in the manner prescribed by law.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 9. Town officers.

The officers of the town, in addition to the mayor and councilmen, shall be a clerk, a treasurer, and in the discretion of the council, a sergeant and a deputy sergeant. All officers, with the exception of the sergeant and deputy sergeant, shall be electors of the town.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 10. The council may, by ordinance, provide for such other officers, agents and employees as it deems appropriate, prescribe their duties and fix their compensation.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 11. Organizational meeting.

The council shall meet biennially on the first working day of January to qualify the new members, to organize and elect from among the voters of the town or its membership, a town clerk and a town treasurer. The office of treasurer and clerk may be filled by the same person.  (1950, c. 558; 2012, cc. 289, 333)

§ 12. The council shall affix the compensation of its members, the mayor, and all other officers, agents and employees of the town.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 13. The council shall, by ordinance, adopt such rules as it deems proper for the regulation of its proceedings and the time of its meetings.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 14. Three councilmen shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and no ordinance or resolution shall be passed or adopted having for its object the levying of taxes or contracting a debt except by a recorded concurring vote of three of the members of the council.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 15. All meetings of the council shall be public unless the council by a recorded affirmative vote of three-fifths of its members declares that the public welfare demands an executive session of the council. Any citizen shall have access to the minutes.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 16. The mayor shall preside at all meetings of the council, and in his absence or inability to act, a majority of the councilmen in attendance shall elect a presiding officer. The mayor shall have no vote except in case of tie.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 17. The mayor shall be the chief executive officer of the town; he shall have and exercise all power and authority conferred by general law on mayors of towns not inconsistent with this charter; he shall perform such other duties consistent with his office as are imposed by the council; the mayor shall see that the duties of the various town officers, including members of the police and fire departments, whether elected or appointed, are faithfully performed; he shall also have the power to suspend such officers and members of the police and fire departments and other employees for misconduct in office or neglect of duty, until the next regular meeting or special meeting of the council, when such suspended officer or employee may present testimony in his defense to the council and the decision of the council shall be final in the event of the inability of the mayor to actively discharge his duties, his place may, in the discretion of the council, be filled and his duties discharged, until such disability shall cease, by a member of the council who shall be elected by a majority of the council and who shall be designated mayor pro tempore. The mayor shall be the official head of the town. In times of public danger or emergencies, he may take command of the police and maintain order and enforce laws, and for this purpose may deputize such assistant policemen as may be necessary. The mayor or person acting as mayor shall authenticate by his signature such documents or instruments as the council, this charter, or the laws of the Commonwealth require.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 18. The treasurer shall receive all moneys belonging to and received by the town and keep a correct account of all receipts from all sources, and expenditures of all departments. He shall collect all taxes, levies, licenses, assessments, fees, water rents and other charges belonging to and payable to the town and for that purpose he is hereby vested with any and all powers which are now or may be hereafter vested in county and city treasurers, for the collection of county and city taxes under the general law; he shall keep and disburse all moneys or funds in such places and in such manner as may be determined by ordinance or the provisions of law applicable thereto. He shall pay no money out of the treasury except in the manner prescribed by ordinance or the general law, and shall make such reports and perform such other duties not inconsistent with the office as are required by the mayor or by resolution and ordinance of the council. The treasurer shall not be entitled to any commission for handling the funds of the town but shall be paid such salary as the council prescribes, and before entering upon the duties of his office shall execute a bond in such amount and with such security as the council by ordinance prescribes. The council, in its discretion, may provide that unpaid delinquent taxes which are five years in default shall not be included in the amounts for which the treasurer is required to furnish bond. The council may, in its discretion, and if it deems it necessary or convenient, appoint some person or persons from the electors of the town to assist the town treasurer in the collection of all taxes and assessments, water rents and other charges belonging to and payable to the town, which person may be the sergeant, deputy sergeant, or superintendent of water works, but before entering upon the discharge of such duties, such person shall execute a bond in such amount and with such security as the council, by ordinance, prescribes.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 19. The council may provide that the premium on any surety bond shall be paid by the town.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 20. The town clerk shall be clerk to the council, shall attend all meetings thereof and shall keep a record of its proceedings. He shall keep all papers, documents and records pertaining to the town, the custody of which is not otherwise provided for. He shall be custodian of the town seal and shall attest the same, and shall perform such other duties as are required by general law or by the council by ordinance or resolution.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 21. Police justice.

The council may appoint a police justice, who shall qualify by taking the oath of office before the clerk, or such other officer as may be authorized to administer oaths, and shall give such bond as the council requests.

The police justice shall possess and exercise original jurisdiction for the trial of all criminal offenses committed within the corporate limits of the town and for one mile beyond said corporate limits. He shall have no civil jurisdiction.

The compensation of the police justice shall be fixed by the Council as it may deem proper.

The Council may elect a substitute police justice, to act during the absence of the police justice. Such substitute police justice shall serve during the term of his principal and shall have the same powers, authority and jurisdiction as his principal, and his compensation shall be fixed by the council as it may deem proper.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 22. The council may require the attendance of its officers, agents, appointees or employees at its meetings and may further require that reports be submitted.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 23. All fees, costs or charges for making arrests or trying cases involving violations of town ordinances shall be assessed and when collected, shall be forthwith paid unto the town treasury.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 24. All rights, privileges and property of the town heretofore acquired, now owned, or enjoyed, shall continue undiminished and remain vested in the town; and all the ordinances and resolutions of the council now in force and not inconsistent with this act shall continue in full force and effect until amended or repealed.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 25. The enumeration of particular powers and authority in this charter shall not be deemed nor held to be exclusive but in addition to the powers herein enumerated, implied hereby or appropriate to the exercise thereof, the town shall have and may exercise all other powers which are now or may be hereafter conferred upon or enjoyed by towns under the Constitution and general laws of this Commonwealth.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 26. If any clause, sentence, paragraph or part of this act shall, for any reason, be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment, order or decree shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder of said act, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, paragraph or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which said judgment, order or decree shall have been rendered.  (1950, c. 558)

§ 27. All contracts and obligations heretofore made by the council and government of the town of Glen Lyn, not inconsistent with this charter or the Constitution and general laws of this Commonwealth, shall be and are hereby declared to be valid and legal.  (1950, c. 558)