March 8, 2018
Solar Farm Moratorium: The Town Board previously issued a moratorium on solar farms in December 2015. In 2016, the Board extended the moratorium until January 31, 2018. We have discussed with the town's attorney, Mr. Luther Culpepper, the idea of imposing a permanent moratorium, or an indefinite moratorium on solar farms. The Town Board will need to address this issue during our March Meeting. There are no legal issues prohibiting the Board from this action.
Armory: On February 28, 2018, ownership of the NC National Guard Armory was transferred to the Town of Woodland. An informal ceremony commemorating the transfer of the property was held in honor of the historic occasion.
The National Guard honored its commitment to repair the water leak and the three heat fans in the drill hall. They also filled both propane tanks, at a cost of $2,113.00. The National Guard will continue to pay for the electricity until the end of March. The information regarding the vendors used by the National Guard was given to Town Clerk, Amy Deloatch.
The National Guard did not remove the lead material located in the firing range. The National Guard had no intentions of cleaning this area. Lieutenant Colonel Newton suggested either closing that section of the building off from public use, or hiring an agency to clean it. We have set aside $1,000 to join the Brownfields Coalition of Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments. The purpose was for providing assistance for an environmental/hazardous issue such as this.
The Town Board had previously discussed the need to schedule a Public Hearing, to allow the town residents to come and voice their opinions and concerns regarding whether or not the town should keep the building, or sell it. It is recommended that the hearing be scheduled before the end of March.
According to Walt Pierce, the insurance agent from Boyette and Robertson, the replacement costs for the building is estimated at $1.8 million. The additional premium of rating it as a storage use would be $786 from 3/1/18-7/1/18. The additional annual premium amount will be $2,351.00.
Scheduling Workshop Meetings: We have previously discussed the need to schedule some Workshop Meetings, in order to address some issues, which which will require more time than we can afford during a regular Town Board Meeting. I would respectfully recommend that we schedule workshop meetings to discuss the following matters in greater detail:
2018-2019 Budget – We may need at least two meetings prior to the completion of the budget. Per NC State Statute, the budget must be adopted by the Town Board before June 30, 2018. Additionally, we are also required to schedule a public hearing before the adoption of the budget. I would recommend that our CPA/Auditor, Mr. Larry Carpenter be asked to meet with us during our first Budget Workshop.
Water Rate Increase – We had a Water Rate Survey completed last year by NC Rural Water Association. We were informed that the town's water rates are much lower than they should be. We also know, from information presented by Mr. Blaine Humphrey and Mr. Mark Garner of Rivers and Associates, that we have not had a water rate increase in over 7 years. If we intend to seek money from the state to assist the town in repairing the waste water system, we are going to need to raise the water rates. I would recommend that we invite Mrs. Becky Turner to the meeting, to help us determine what we should consider for new rates for both, the drinking water and sewer bills.
Emergency/Disaster Plan - The Board has discussed the idea of developing a local plan for emergencies and disasters; however, as of this date, we have not taken time to set a plan in place. Although Northampton County has a Disaster Plan in effect, the Town of Woodland needs to develop a plan for local emergencies and/or disasters.
Smoking Ordinance - The Town of Woodland should consider adopting a Smoking Ordinance, as a way of promoting healthy lifestyles and protecting its citizens. I would recommend inviting Ms. Virginia McClary of the Northampton County Health Department to attend the meeting.
Minimum Building Standards for Commercial Buildings - In 2017, we began enforcing the town's Minimum Housing Standards Ordinance. The Town Board Members have previously discussed the need to create a Minimum Building Standards Ordinance for Commercial Properties, due to the condition of some of the vacant and dilapidated commercial buildings within the town. I would recommend that the Town's Attorney, Mr. Luther Culpepper, be invited to attend this meeting.
Downtown Revitalization Project Update:
Security Camera System: As of this date, all six security cameras have been installed in the downtown section of Woodland by Kaye Wyman and her crew from W2D2. One fish eye camera (containing four cameras) has been installed in Town Hall. Three cameras are located on the roof tops between Town Hall and New Jerusalem Church of God. Two additional cameras are located on Spruce Street, between Dr. Stanley's Office and Mr. Bankston's Office. The total bill of $19,562.41 has been paid.
Static IP Line: The required Static IP Line has been installed by Mediacom technicians. The cost for the installation is $124.95. The monthly service bill is $129.95, which the Town Board agreed to pay each month. These items have been paid to date.
It should be noted that although the Town of Woodland already received services from Mediacom for internet access, according to Mickel Pruden, he worked out a deal with Mediacom, that the Town of Woodland would not be required to pay for services, as a tradeoff for allowing Mediacom to operate in the town. As a result of this agreement, the Town could have avoided having to pay for the installation of the Static IP Line, or the monthly services. Mickel did try to address this issue with Mediacom, but the “30-day” grace period had already elapsed. This was unfortunate, but we were not aware that the Town has not been paying for the services, or that Mickel had made these arrangements.
Electrician: Mr. Wayne Meeks and and the crew from Harmon Electric, Heating and AC, Inc., have completed all of the electrical work that was required for the security system. Wiring was required to run through Town Hall, as well as into the mayor's office and the chief's office, for the installation of television monitors (an issue to be discussed). A new panel box and electrical meter was also required to be installed on the side of Dr. Stanley's office building. That meter is connected to the telephone pole and the electric will be charged to the Town of Woodland. The total bill of $8,780.18 has been paid.
Smart TV Monitors: The wiring in the the chief's and mayor's offices are set up for the installation of two smart TV monitors. It is respectfully recommended that $500 be used from the Police Department budget to cover the purchase of these televisions. This issue has been discussed with Chief Ruppe.
Welcome Signs: As for the “Welcome to Woodland” signs, we have received final approval from Mr. Scott Emory, an engineer for the NC Department of Transportation, for the placement of the four signs. Mr. Kevin Lynch of Lynch Signs will commence installation of the signs within the next couple of weeks, depending on the weather. The total cost for the purchase and installation of these signs will be approximately $3,736.25.
Marquee Sign: The marquee sign was purchased by Lauren Morris and her organization, Health Matters; however, they did not have sufficient funding to cover the cost for installation. I have obtained permission from the state to utilize some of the funds from the Downtown Revitalization Grant, to pay for the installation. I have been told by Mr. Lynch that the cost for the installation will cost between $1,000 -$1,200. We will be able to save over $1,000 in cost, by using the town's backhoe to dig the large hole, which is required for the large sign.
Downtown Revitalization Grant Expenditures
(Grant Amount: $33,333.00)
VENDOR AMOUNT BALANCE
W2D2 Security Cameras (paid) -$19,562.41 $13,770.59
Harmon Electric (paid) -$ 8,780.18 $ 4,990.41
Mediacom (paid) -$ 124.95 $ 4,865.46
Lynch (welcome signs) -$ 3,736.25 (approx.) $ 1,292.21
Lynch (marquee) -$1,000, -$1,200 (approx.) $ 92.21