September 1, 2016
Vacant Buildings and Properties in Disrepair: During our Work Session Meeting on July 20, 2016, we had a discussion about abandoned houses and buildings in town, and it was agreed that we do not want our town to look as bad as some other towns in the area. We discussed our concerns regarding the need for property owners to be held accountable for the upkeep of their property. I made the recommendation that we discuss this at our September Meeting and develop a plan of action. In that effort, I contacted Mr. Luther Culpepper, the Town's Attorney and asked him to attend this meeting to discuss options that we may have as a Town Board to address these matters.
Decriminalization of Town Ordinances: Some months ago, the Town Board decided instruct our Town Attorney, Mr. Luther Culpepper, to begin the work of rewriting our Town Ordinances, in an effort to decriminalize them. This is being done so that the Town of Woodland will no longer be responsible for remitting any additional fines to the Northampton County School Board, for the purposes of “maintaining free public schools.”
I have asked Mr. Culpepper to come to our meeting to discuss his progress with regards to his efforts and to also address any questions or concerns Board Members, or the citizens of Woodland may have regarding this issue.
By-Laws: The Board has previously agreed to start working on preparing By-Laws for the Town of Woodland. In this effort, we have previously received copies of by-laws from other towns in our area.
I recommend that we establish a By-Laws Committee which will be charged with preparing a draft document of By-Laws for the Town Board to review and eventually approve.
Maintenance Position: The Town of Woodland will soon be advertising to fill a position within our Public Works Department. All interested candidates will be required to possess: a “Class B” Certified Driver's License (CDL); a High School Diploma, or GED; and must be able to read and write the English Language. A criminal record check and drug screen will also be required prior to consideration for employment. Duty assignments for this position will include streets, parks, cemeteries, water/sewer maintenance, and installation. More information regarding this position will be available at Town Hall. The Town of Woodland is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
401K Packages for Town Employees: I recently met with Ms. Diane Swindell, a representative of the North Carolina Total Retirement Plans Office and discussed the possibility of providing the town employees an opportunity to participate in a state sponsored 401K program, that will serve as a supplement to their retirement package.
According to Mrs. Swindell, this program has been available for many years, although the Town of Woodland has not taken advantage of it. Additionally, the town would not be required to pay any money towards this program; however, the Town of Woodland will be required to enter into a “Third Party Administrator Agreement” which will allow money to be removed from the pay checks of all participating employees and placed in the “Supplemental Retirement Income Plan of North Carolina.”
I recommend to the Town Board that we schedule a “Work Session” in October to meet with Mrs. Swindell, so that we can learn more about this program, before we consider making a decision as to whether or not we will offer this program to the employees of our town.
The Better Hearing Center: I recently received a telephone call from Susan Ruddon, a representative of The Better Hearing Center, located in Wilson, NC. I was asked if this company could come to the Town of Woodland and offer a “Free Hearing Screening” for our residents. The hearing center will provide all of the materials they will need; however, their request is that they be allowed to conduct the hearing tests at Town Hall, or some other centrally located site in the town. According to the representative, they would like to schedule the four hour session (from 10am to 2pm) on a Monday in October. The available dates are: 10/10/16, 10/17/16, 10/24/16, and 10/31/160.
The Better Hearing Center will also assist in helping anyone suffering from hearing loss with possible solutions, including hearing aids at reduced prices; however, they will not push the issue, they are more interested in providing this service to the community. Mrs. Ruddon also stated that they conduct home visits for all of their patients, so that the elderly are not required to come to their office.
I think that this is a very good opportunity to serve the senior citizens of our town, by providing a free hearing screening and I would be available on any of the above-mentioned dates, to serve as the host.
I recommend that the Town Board agree to allow The Better Hearing Center to come and conduct a free hearing screening on one of the dates noted above.
Roanoke Chowan Development Association (CADA) – Regarding the air conditioner on top of the Head Start Building, we recently had one of the air conditioners repaired at a cost of under $300. All other issues regarding CADA are still on-going. According to Robbie, we have not received any more complaints regarding the problems they previously had with the circuit breakers. We will continue to monitor the building.
I recommend that we set up a quarterly schedule to conduct on-site inspections, to ensure that any maintenance issues are addressed in a timely manner.
Youth Fun Day/Back-To-School-Giveaway: On August 20, 2016, the Special Events Committee, along with the assistance of the Recreation Committee, held the third installment of Youth Fun Days for the Town of Woodland. As a result of an outpouring of support and donations from all sections of the community, we were able to give out 100 backpacks, filled with school supplies!! The members of the committees are very thankful for all of the many donors who were willing share in this effort. It was a really fun day, which was shared by everyone in attendance.
Woodland Community Outreach, Inc. - Woodland Community Outreach, Inc., has submitted its proposal to the State of North Carolina to be recognized as an established, non-profit corporation. The Board of Directors are currently in the midst of preparing the By-Laws for the organization. During the Family Fun Day event, scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016, between 2pm and 6pm, the organization will be inviting the public to join the organization, by paying a $5.00 per year Membership Fee. All are welcome to join and all are encouraged to participate.
Family Day - On Saturday, September 10, 2016, the Special Events Committee will sponsor a Family Fun Day for the Town of Woodland. The event will take place at the National Guard Armory from 2pm to 6pm. There will be crafts, games (including a life-size Hungry Hippo game), a karate demonstration and music performed by the Eyes of Emiline. Free health screenings will be available by the Northampton County Health Department, as well as food vendors. Come out and join the fun!!