August 11, 2016
We have completed all six of our work sessions which were scheduled for 2016. We were able to make a lot of good decisions for the Town of Woodland and were also able to address some issues which had been placed on the back burner for quite a while. Through the efforts of the Town Board and the employees of the Town of Woodland, we are moving in a positive direction and I am pleased to report that we are all working together to help improve the Town of Woodland for all of its citizens.
In addition to the town-wide events and activities we have sponsored this year; we are also moving forward with the work that is being done to install a new water supply well and to repair our deteriorating sewer system. Through the hard work and efforts of the our employees and commissioners, we have also received two very positive reports following inspections of our financial record keeping practices and our Public Works Department.
High Grades for Financial Record Keeping: For the past five years, the Town of Woodland has secured the expertise of Mr. Larry E. Carpenter, CPA, PA, a certified public accountant and business consultant, who has conducted audits on our financial records. Over the past few years, the Town of Woodland has received very positive financial audits, following Mr. Carpenter's review.
Recently, Mr. Carpenter came to our Town Hall and met with Mrs. Kim Bryant, who not only serves as our Town Clerk, but also as our Finance Officer. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss our record keeping and financial procedures from the beginning, when we first receive an invoice in the mail, through the payment process. He also wanted to discuss our payroll process, the intake of revenue and the signing and distribution of checks.
Mr. Carpenter was very pleased with our record keeping policies and our procedures. We have every reason to be proud of the techniques we we have employed to ensure that the Town of Woodland is financially safe and secure. I commend Mrs. Bryant; Mr. Ron Lane, the Town Commissioner in charge of Administration and Finances; Mrs. Jean Bryant, our Assistant Clerk; and our Department Heads, Mr. Robbie Collier (Public Works Director); and Mr. John Ruppe our Police Chief; for ensuring that they operate within the confines of their respective departmental budgets.
Safety Measures Employed by the Public Works Department: On July 25, 2016, Mr. Paul Miller, Loss Control Consultant for the N.C. League of Municipalities, conducted a hazard assessment of Woodland's Public Works Facilities in order to identify potential hazards in the workplace and make any recommendations for corrective action before workplace injuries occur.
After he completed his inspection, Mr. Miller stated that Woodland recognizes “the potential for workplace injuries and has developed an aggressive approach for identifying and correcting risks that may exist” in our work spaces. During his walk-through of the town's facilities, he “did not find any hazards that warrant our attention at this time.”
This is wonderful news and I offer my congratulations and thanks to our Public Works Director, Mr. Robbie and the Public Works Crew (Mr. Perry Lee Collier and Mr. Raymond Eaton) for their hard work and their commitment to safety and risk management!! Job well done, gentlemen!! We are all very proud of you!!
REPORT ON PREVIOUS WORK SESSION ON JULY 20, 2016
Policy for Releasing Records – During the Work Session Meeting, the Town Board decided that as of August 1, 2016, the Town of Woodland will charge the following fees:
Any individual, business or enterprise seeking to obtain records from Town Hall will be charged $5.00 per quarter hour (15 minutes) at a minimum cost of $5.00). This fee is attributed to the labor and time utilized by the Town Clerk to research the requested documents and to make copies. The minimum fee for obtaining any town records, even if it is only one page, is $5.00.
The fees for each page is as follows: 25 cents per page for black and white print, 50 cents per page for color print.
If someone is requesting that we send the records via facsimile, the cost will be $2.00 for the first page, and $1.00 for each additional page. This will be in addition to the $5.00 per quarter hour fee.
These fees will be the same for the general public that come to the Town Hall for copy and fax services, excluding the labor fee.
Purchase of New Asphalt Roller – The Town of Woodland recently purchased a new one-ton asphalt roller for the surprisingly low price of $8,149.00. The purchase of this new equipment will enable our Public Works Department to start patching some of our streets, so that they do not continue to deteriorate. As many of you aware, we have not had a working asphalt roller for some time and as a result, the work crew has had to repeatedly come and repair patches on numerous streets, only to have to come back some months later and re-patch the same areas.
The purchase of this machine will hopefully allow us to repair these problems in a more permanent fashion. This will save us money not only in labor costs for the town, but also will save us having to purchase materials (such as sand and gravel) to keep re-patching those areas.
STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE OF WOODLAND
As members of the Town Council, we will need to seriously consider the future of Woodland and things that can be done to help ensure that this town will be able to continue to operate and function properly for future generations. As such, commencing in the month of September, I would recommend that we start working on putting together some strategic plans that we can work on together, to help improve the community.
By-Laws: Commencing in September, we will start working on our Town's By-Laws, with the intention to have them completed and adopted by our regularly scheduled meeting in March 2017. On March 9, 2017, the town of Woodland will turn 133 years old!!
Capital Improvement Plan: As presented by Robbie Collier several months ago, we need to develop a Capital Improvement Plan that will address the many areas of our Public Works Department, including our water supply, sewer system, streets, sidewalks and facilities (Town Hall, Town Shop, Old Town Hall and Head Start building).
Strategic Plan for Community Development: We need to start working on a plan to help better develop our community, by partnering with organizations like the Special Events Committee, the Men's
Club and other organizations that are interested and concerned about the welfare and public safety of our citizens. The Upper Coastal Plains Council of Governments will be a great resource to assist us.
Strategic Plan for Economic Development: We need to start putting together a plan of attack for addressing our need for more commercial businesses to set up shop in the Town of Woodland. The Upper Coastal Plains Council of Governments and the Northampton County Board of Economic Development will be two great resources to assist us in this endeavor as well.
Youth Fun Day – We have had two youth fun days during the course of this summer (June 25th and July 23rd). On Saturday, August 20, 2016, we will hold our third Youth Fun Day event at the National Guard Armory on Cherry Street, from 10am to 12 noon. In addition to our plan of having a number of activities, we will be also providing supplies for our Back-To-School-Giveaway. We have asked for and received a generous donation of supplies from many private citizens, businesses and social organizations. These events have been co-sponsored by the Special Events Committee and the Recreation Committee.
Youth and Family Day - On Saturday, September 10, 2016, we are planning a Youth and Family Day for the Town of Woodland. We are currently making the plans for this event; however, I can tell you that we intend to have a variety of activities geared for people of all ages, from the very young to the very old. We will also have live entertainment and refreshments for sale. More information will follow.
First Night Out Against Crime – The Special Events Committee and the Recreation Committee sponsored the First Night Out Against Crime gathering on Tuesday, August 2, 2016, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Although I was not present, I was told that we had approximately 20 people in attendance for this event. Although attendance could have been better, I am thankful for everyone who participated in this event and for everyone who came out to share their time. It is the intentions of the Special Events Committee and the Recreation Committee to continue to sponsor this event every year and make it even better.
As always, I encourage all members of the Town of Woodland to come to our monthly Board Meetings, which take place on the first Thursday of each month. The meetings begin at 7:00pm. We look forward to seeing you there and encourage you to raise any issues of concern that you may have.