(Town Board's Action List)
June 14, 2018
Public Hearing for Budget: The Town Board of Commissioners will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday evening, June 14, 2018, from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm. The purpose of this hearing is to give the public an opportunity to review the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019. Attendees will each be given 1 minute to speak, whether it is to make any comments, or raise any questions of concern. Notification of this hearing has been placed in the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald, as well on the town's face book page and on the town's bulletin board. Pursuant to NC State Requirements, the public was given more than 10 days notice of this hearing.
Town Board Meeting: Immediately following the Public Hearing, we will begin the regularly scheduled Town Board Meeting. There are a number of action items that the Board Members will be required to vote on, including the adoption of the new budget. As such, during the Public Comments section of the meeting, it is strongly recommended that we hold comments/questions from any one person to 1 minute, as we intend to do in the Public Hearing.
It is respectfully recommended that the Board adopt this policy for all future meetings. There have been times when individuals have used up significant time during Board Meetings, to state their points of view. 1 minute should be sufficient time for each person to express himself, or herself. I would recommend that Commissioner Barbara Outland, the Commissioner for Public Safety (Police and Fire Departments) serve as the Time Keeper during the comments section.
Donielle McDermott – New Town Clerk and Financial Officer: The Town Board will need to take the formal action for voting for Mrs. McDermott to serve as the new Town Clerk and Financial Officer. Although the Board had agreed to hire Mrs. McDermott in early May, we must now take the official action during the regularly scheduled Board Meeting. Mrs. McDermott has been working in this capacity since May 14, 2018.
Jonathan Jenkins – Law Enforcement Officer: Mr. Jenkins is a former deputy for the Northampton County Sheriff's Department and is also a Part Time Police Officer for the Town of Woodland. Mr. Jenkins has not worked for the town in almost one year; however, he requested permission to return to work for the town.
During an Emergency Closed Session Meeting on May 17, 2018, with Town Attorney Mr. Luther Culpepper, the Board Members agreed through consensus that we will not allow Mr. Jenkins to work for the town. However, the Board will continue to keep him on the books as an active police officer, in order to help protect him from losing his NC State Law Enforcement Officer Certification, while he seeks full time employment elsewhere.
Presentation of Plaques: The Board agreed to order plaques for Mrs. DeLoatch and Mr. Newsome in grateful appreciation of their dedication and commitment to the Town of Woodland.
Budget Amendments and Adjustments: During the Clerk's Report section of the meeting, Commissioner Christison and Mrs. McDermott will make serveral recommendations regarding amendments and adjustments to the current budget, in order to ensure that we will complete the end of the fiscal year with a balanced budget. The fiscal year ends on June 30, 2018, so this will be our last opportunity to address these very important issues.
New Web Master for Town Web Site: Last month, the town's current Web Master, Mr. Lance Jenkins reported that due to personal issues and additional job responsibilities, he will no longer be able to serve as the town's Web Master. Mr. Jenkins, who received $400 per year for his services, recommended the town contact the Computer Guy. The Computer Guy and Company is located in Roanoke Rapids and provides such services to local business and municipalities.
On May 22, 2018, Mayor Manuel and Mrs. McDermott met with Mr. Curry Roberts of The Computer Guy and Company, which is located in Roanoke Rapids. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the services Mr. Roberts' company offers to maintain websites. Mr. Roberts said his company will be able to provide website graphic designs for the town's website at a cost of $695.00 for the down payment. Once they re-design the web site, Mrs. McDermott will be able to maintain the website herself, including uploading photographs and updating the calander of events, or anything else. This feature was not available with Mr. Jenkins.
After the initial fees, the cost will be $375 per year for the Business Hosting Plan and an additional $35.00 for Domain Registration. The town could obtain a domain registration from another company; however, it is recommended that the town utilize the services of The Computer Guy. The annual yearly amount for fees and services will be $410.00 per year, following the first year contract.
If there are any website content updates that need to be performed by the webmaster, the town will be charged at the rate of $80 per hour. Mrs. McDermott feels confident that she would be able to perform many of the tasks related to keeping the website current, once the website is redesigned. The website will also be made to interact with the town's Face Book page. This feature is currently not employed.
It is respectfully recommended that the Town Board vote to approve hiring The Computer Guy and Company to serve as the new Web Master for Woodland's Web Site.
Asset Inventory Assessment Grant Update: On May 31, 2018, the Town Board met with Blaine Humphrey of Rivers and Associates, the engineering firm hired to assist the town with creating an Asset Inventory Assetment Plan and also a Captial Improvement Plan for the town's Wastewater Treatment System. In February 2017, the State of North Carolina sent written notification stating Woodland has been approved for a grant in the amount of $76,000. The grant agreement included a Grant Fee of 1.5%, which was required to be paid up front. Additionally, a requied match of 5% would be required. This figure represents $2,660, which could be translated into “In Kind” services for labor costs to perform some of the required work.
The Town Board has paid $74,024 in the creation of the Asset Inventory Assessment Plan and the Captial Improvement Plan. Mr. Humphrey said the town is required to spend the money for the grant first, then the state will reimburse the town for the expenditures. He will complete his paperwork and submit a request for the sumission of funds for the entire amount of $76,000. The labor costs portion of the grant will be submitted as labor costs the town paid its employees for the work done to help Rivers and Associates gather the data required to compose the two documents.
The Board will also have to make a decision to repair the wastewater system, which is in much needed repair. Rivers and Associates recommend seeking funding from the state.
Completion of New Production Well Update: As of this date the town has receied a total mount of $246,450 of the $663,500 loan from the state of North Carolina. Of the amount received, $71,066.40 has been paid to Rivers and Associates for their work on the production well. The town also had to pay the state $200 for the Water System Management Plan and Review Fees. A.C. Shultes, the general contractor responsible for drilling the test well and the permanent well, was paid $31,920. The toal amount spent on the well as of this date is $103,186.40.
A.C. Shultes has some final work to complete, which will include planting grass and laying down mulch around the well site. Once that work is complete, a fourth and final work order will be submitted to the state in the amount of approximately $33,000.
The next phase of the project is to install the well head, which is the structure that covers the well and houses the chlorine, used to treat the drinking water. The state has approved the engineering plans for the well head. Now the town, with the assistance of Rivers and Associates, will start a bid process, in order to hire a general contractor to install the well head and complete the work.
According to Mr. Humphrey, the entire project should be completed by the end of December 2018. Once the new well is completed, the general contractor will be required to hire a certified well abandonment contractor to close well number 1, which is located on Oak Street.
Century Link has been contacted in order to install lease lines that will run from each of the two operating well pumps. The water tower will be wired to both well pumps, so that the pumps can run alternatively.
National Guard Armory (Updated Status): We have received the test results from Lieutenant Rodney Newton, which indicated the results of the lead test, which was completed in 2017. There are certain areas of the armory which have significant levels of lead. Mr. Darren McClure, President and Principal Engineer for Mid Atlantic Engineering and Environmental Solutions, suggested we contact Mr. Don Chaney of the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
On May 11, 2018, Mr. Chaney was contacted via telephone. According to Mr. Chaney, a risk assessor will need to inspect the building. Then, a certified lead abatement contractor will need to be called in to clean the entire building. Mr. Chaney recommended that at the time a contract is drafted, it should contain language stating that should further cleaning be required, the abatement contractor perform any additional cleaning at the contractor's expense. The reason is that they should have cleaned it completely the first time. Once the building has been thoroughly cleaned, the risk assessor will be required to come back and perform a second test, to ensure the lead is at or below acceptable levels.
Mr. Chaney also stated that due to the widespread areas of contamination within the building, that the lead may be in the ventilation system. By entering the ventilation system, the lead would be dispersed throughout the building. This would explain why the lead has been found in almost every room of the armory.
A list of certified abatement contractors was found on the web site of the state's Department of Health and Human Services. It was suggested by Assistant County Manager, Nathan Pearce, that William Flynn, the head of the Northampton County's Zoning Administration and Building Inspector Departments be contacted for any contractors with whom he may be familiar. Mr. Flynn said he does not know of any contractors that deal with lead abatement.
On June 12, 2018, an email was sent to all interested parties, including Lieutenant Colonel Rodney Newton, of the NC National Guard, NC State Representative Michael Wray and Mr. Ron Townley of the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments. The purpose of the correspondence was to provide a status update of the armory, as well as to seek assistance in addressing this issue.
The building has been abandoned since the end of February 2018. It would be a shame to let this building sit and deteriorate, because it seems to be a very solid structure; however, the town does not want to take responsibility for a problem it clearly did not create.
Public Hearing for New Water Rates: We will need to schedule a Public Hearing to give citizens an opportunity to review the recommended changes in the town's water rate structure. During the meeting on May 3, 2018, the Town Board approved the recommended changes, to increase the water rates. We can either schedule the hearing during the course of this meeting, or wait until the July Board Meeting and schedule the hearing at that time.
Schedule Dates for Town Board Workshop Meetings: There are several workshop Meetings that are pending. They have been on our “To Do” List for several months, but we needed to place them on the back burner, in order to address more pressing issues of concern. The Board agreed, by way of consensus, that we would address these matters, once we completed the process for adopting the new budget. Several months ago, each Board Member was given literature with regards to each of these issues.
Emergency/Disaster Plan: The Board has discussed the idea of developing a local plan for dealing with 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.
Mr. Ron Storey, from Northampton County's Department of Emergency Management has stated that he is willing to meet with the Board Members to prepare a written plan for how to handle emergency situations, or natureal disasters. We will need to send Mr. Storey several dates, so that we can coordinate his schedule with ours. We can consider these dates at June's Board Meeting, or wait until the July Board Meeting.
Smoking Ordinance - The Town of Woodland should consider adopting a Smoking Ordinance, as a way of promoting healthy lifestyles and protecting its citizens. Ms. Virginia McClary, of the Northampton County Health Department, has agreed to meet with the Town Board to assist in the formation of this ordinance. We will need to send Ms. McClary several dates, so that we can coordinate her schedule with ours. We can consider these dates at June's Board Meeting, or wait until the July Board Meeting.
Minimum Building Standards for Commercial Buildings - In 2017, we began enforcing the town's Ordinance for Minimum Housing Standards. 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. Mr. Luther Culpepper, the town's attorney has agreed to meet with the Town Board in an effort to address this issue.
Commissioner Cooper previously recommended that we combine the workshops for the Smoking and Commercial Building Ordinances into one meeting, in the interest of saving time. The Board Members were in favor of his recommendation. As such, we will try to coordinate a date, when both Ms. McClary and Mr. Culpepper are available. We can consider these dates at June's Board Meeting, or wait until the July Board Meeting.