Town of Woodland Board Minutes
Date: March 14, 2019
Kenny Manuel – Mayor
David Cooper – Commissioner
Brian Christison - Commissioner
Barbara Outland – Commissioner
Pat Liverman – Commissioner
Donielle McDermott – Town Clerk
Marshall Lassiter – ORC
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited followed by a moment of silent reflection.
Call to Order: The mayor called the meeting to order at 7pm.
Approval of Agenda: Commissioner Liverman made a motion to approve the agenda as written. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Approval of Minutes: Commissioner Liverman made a motion to accept the minutes from the Regular Board Meeting dated February 7, 2019. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Consideration of Bills: Commissioner Christison made a motion to pay all the bills and to also pay all the regular bills that come in throughout the month. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
a. John Young - Mr. Young is the owner of the lake and the property around the lake behind the boat factory. He has been the owner for about two years. John Young is interested in having a non-sanctioned ski tournament with approximately 20 professional skiers. He stated he will have insurance. Mr. Young would like to open it up to the public, but in order to do so he would need to figure out more logistics on things such as parking, food, and alcohol. One thing he knows he will need is volunteers. He came to the board to see if there is interest with the board to open this up to the town as a public event. He asked that if there is interest, will the town commit to helping?
Mayor Manuel asked where the people coming in to ski would they stay and how long. Mr. Young said they typically come in the night before and they will bring their own camper. Mayor Manuel asked if this will be a one day event, and Mr. Young said it would be for one day only. Mayor Manuel told Mr. Young that the town currently does not have a town police, but he feels confident the sheriff's department can help. Mayor Manuel also told Mr. Young about Woodland Community Outreach and said this organization may have a couple volunteers willing to help. Mr. Young said he would need a volunteer for admissions, 1 or 2 for traffic control, and a couple for parking. He is considering May 4th or 24th for the first event and then possibly in October for a second event. Mayor Manuel said the board may consider using the Armory as a space for parking.
Commissioner Christison suggested the WVFD might be interested in selling food as a fundraiser. Mickel Pruden was present and said this was something he would have to bring before the department. Mr. Pruden asked about how many people will Mr. Young be expecting. Mr. Young said possibly around 100 people.
b. Woodland Volunteer Fire Department - Before the town board meeting, the board met with the WVFD to discuss plans the fire department has for a new building in the future. Robbie Collier thanked the board for meeting with the department at the fire house. The fire department is asking us to contact the League of Municipalities to see if they would have to build a brand new building or could they just add on to their additional building. Currently, the fire department has two more payments on truck #192 for a total of $20,500 to be paid off in December of 2020, and there are nine payments left of truck #193. Those payments are roughly $15,000 per year with a remaining balance of around $131,000. The department gets around $50,000 per year in fire taxes, and they do not want to raise the tax rate. Mr. Collier said they need to start now deciding what to do about a new building because if they don't the building will ultimately fall on top of the trucks. Robbie Collier said the fire department would like to work together with the town but ultimately it will be up to the town because it will be a municipal building.
Mayor Manuel told Robbie Collier he was going to send some information to the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Government to see what they can do to help.
Commissioner Christison asked where we even begin in this process? Mr. Collier said the planning starts with us, the town, since the building will belong to the town. Blueprints average $30,000. We need to call the League to ask about whether or not it needs to be new construction or not. We can also contact USDA and Upper Coastal Plain. Mickel Pruden suggested contacting Michael Wray, the Golden Leaf Foundation, or even the NC Insurance Commission because there may be money available through them.
Commissioner Cooper said the fire department needs to appoint two to three people and the town board needs to appoint two people to form a joint committee in order to work together on this project. Commissioner Cooper suggested the FD part of the committee look at other department's buildings to get a good idea of what they want.
If new construction is how we proceed, the fire department would like a 110X80 with 16' doors 20' wide. This would make it possible to store all the vehicles in one place.
Robbie Collier would like to for us to figure a way to get this building without the fire department having to raise their fire taxes. He stated we need to start working on this soon because inspections are coming due and because of the detrimental shape of the building, the department could face some serious problems.
Commissioner Cooper made a motion to appoint five people from the fire department and two from the town board to form a committee to look at ideas for the future firehouse building in Woodland. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Del Garris said her husband Ellis Garris worked for the Armory for 30 years and he remembers something being done about the lead in the building before he retired. Mayor Manuel said that in 2002 or 2003, the lead was abated but for some reason it is still there.
Fire Department Report: Donielle McDermott gave the financial report on the fire department. This report will be included in the Minute Book. Mrs. McDermott explained to the board that Hertford County recognized an error in two checks they wrote to WVFD resulting in an overpayment of $2,265.89. Hertford County requested that overpayment be reimbursed back to them.
Commissioner Cooper asked the board if they need to go ahead and appoint two members to be part of the New Building Committee. Commissioner Liverman made a motion to appoint Commissioners Cooper and Christison to the New Building Committee. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Maintenance Report: Marshall Lassiter read the maintenance report which will be included in the Minute Book. Commissioner Christison made a motion to repair the tractor at the estimated price of $2,500. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
a. Regarding the Wellhead Protection, Mr. Lassiter said Katie Dunning told him the state came back to her saying they are concerned with the Oak Street well. Therefore, this well will remain open until the new well is up and running. This may put us a year later on our Wellhead Protection program.
b. The FOG (fats, oils, and grease) report, the CCR, and the meter protection and water rates letter have just about all been distributed. The CCR is done annually along with the water supply plan. This gives our customers information on our system and how much water is unaccounted for. North Carolina state says 15% of unaccounted water is normal, and 16% and over raises a red flag. Anything over 15% has to be justified. Woodland's is 18%. Mayor Manuel stated he included in these letter distributions a note stating what can and cannot be flushed into our sewer system.
c. The wastewater treatment plant dumping contracts are in the packets. There is one from Brown's Mobile Homes and one from Bryant and Lassiter. Marshall Lassiter spoke with Robbie Collier about the authenticity of dumping, and Mr. Collier assured Mr. Marshall that the files are most likely in the office at the maintenance shop. Commissioner Cooper said he felt this took place when Margaret Burgwyn was mayor.
Mr. Lassiter informed the board that he replied to Charles Hood on his request to have water lines put in at his address on Yankee Lane, which is a state road. In this letter, Mr. Lassiter included the estimated cost for the project. Mr. Hood wants hook up to three locations. The estimated cost was around $10,000. This cost does not include labor from the town to put the pipe in. Mr. Lassiter said he suggests not to charge labor if he is willing to pay the cost to have the lines put in.
Another request from another possible customer to have water lines put in includes a private road, but Mr. Lassiter highly recommends not getting involved with private roads.
Commissioner Cooper asked if there is a small hydrant at the end of Yankee Lane because he is concerned about flushing out the system. Mr. Lassiter said there is an underground valve. Commissioner Cooper then asked about telephone wires, etc. in the ground. Mr. Lassiter said they would call 811 before they dig.
Mayor Manuel told the citizens present that we will be having a Public Hearing next week on March 19, 2019 to discuss a sewer rate increase. Mayor Manuel contacted CADA and Bobbi Warmack with Roanoke Chowan Regional Housing to invite them to the Public Hearing.
Commissioner Christison said we need to have different rate codes for some of our customers to separate those who only have sewer or only water, etc. Also Commissioner Christison found that some customers are on the wrong rate code. For example, John Young is coded for water only, but he also has sewer. Marshall Lassiter did not think Mr. Young had sewer stating there are no manholes by the boat factory therefore he assumed no sewer. Commissioner Cooper said there are pumps that pump the sewer to the manhole at the entrance of the Armory.
The following motions were made to change customers' rate codes:
1. Commissioner Christison made a motion to change Connie Joyner from WVAC to WRES and SRES. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
2. Commissioner Christison made a motion to change all of the Potecasi accounts to a base rate of $14 for sewer and charge $8.85 per thousand gallons. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
3. Commissioner Christison made a motion to change John Young's from water only to water and sewer. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
4. Commissioner Christison made a motion to add a new rate code to 208 N. Persimmon Street showing in town water only. Commissioner Liverman seconded and the motion carried.
5. Commissioner Christison made a motion to add a new rate code for all town properties including Town Hall, the waterpark, Armory, Nationwide building, and the Fire Department and to have them metered regularly each month. Commissioner Liverman seconded and the motion carried.
Bennett Bryant spoke up and mentioned that water is draining off the top of Woodland Supermarket and falling straight into the sewer system. This may need to be addressed.
Police Report: Commissioner Outland said everything is running well with the sheriff's department. She has asked them to sit at the Dollar General and walk around in there some to make their presence known. Commissioner Cooper asked who called in the fire at the warehouses. Commissioner Outland said it was Elizabeth Parker.
Clerk Report: Donielle McDermott shared with the board the bank balances, budget versus actual, and the listing of checks written last month. She shared where we stand percentage wise with our budget. All of these will be included in the Minute Book.
a. Donielle McDermott stated our accountant, Larry Carpenter, said he was still working on the amended W2s and hoped to have them finished up next week.
b. Mrs. McDermott asked the board to allow citizen Patty Deneen to be the administrator of our town website. Mrs. Deneen is very knowledgeable with computers and different programs and she would like to volunteer her time to do this. Commissioner Cooper asked if this requires her to have the password and also where she will work on the website. Commissioner Cooper also requested a calendar be put on the website. Mayor Manuel told him she would need the password, but the password can be changed in the future if we need to change it. Mrs. Deneen said she will work on the website at home because she may want to work on it in the evenings. She also stated there is already a calendar on the website, but she will be sure to use it and add events to it. Patty Deneen also stressed to the board that she is volunteering her time and asking nothing in return. She wants to do this as a service to her town. Commissioner Outland made a motion to appoint Patty Deneen as the webmaster to our town website. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
c. Donielle McDermott told the board that a Powell Bill training is coming up on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 from 1-3 in Greenville. She thinks this training would be very beneficial to her and Jessica Griffey since they both do the Powell Bill reporting. She is asking permission to go to this training. Commissioner Liverman said she would like to attend also as this is part of her job as commissioner. Commissioner Christison made a motion to allow Donielle McDermott, Jessica Griffey, and Commissioner Liverman to go to the upcoming Powell Bill training. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
d. Donielle McDermott discussed with the board a recent experience where an employee was due a pay raise since his probationary time was up. His time was up during the middle of a pay cycle and she was unsure whether to give him two checks where the employee can be paid one rate for the hours before his raise and another rate for the hours worked when his raise took effect. Commissioner Christison made a motion to amend the personnel policy to state that an employee's pay raise will become effective the next pay period following his/her probationary time. Commissioner Cooper seconded and the motion carried.
e. The formal action on repairing the tractor took place earlier in the meeting.
Zoning Report: Mayor Manuel said Raymond Eaton has not scheduled a meeting yet but will be working on that. Even after Raymond Eaton took over zoning administrator again, PJ still does not want to come back on board.
a. The Northampton County Land Records office sent a letter to the town asking when the town would be filing the deed for the Armory. Mrs. McDermott asked Attorney Luther Culpepper how the town should respond and his advice was to write the county back letting them know that the board has not yet decided if they want to file the deed. However, if and when the town decides, we will let them know.
b. Commissioner Outland spoke with Andy Daughtry with Diversified. He will give us $1.39/gallon for the Armory, and he also agreed to give us the same price here at Town Hall if we switch from Ferrell to Diversified. Andy Daughtry said the quote we got from Ferrell Gas for $1,000, Diversified can do for $500. Andy Daughtry and his crew went to the Armory to test the lines and he suggests we replace all the lines. Commissioner Outland will get the cost on this. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to switch the tanks from Ferrell to Diversified and have them fix the leak if the cost is $1,000 or under. If it will be over $1,000, the board will take another vote. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Donielle McDermott said she called Ferrell Gas and the best they can give us is $0.70 above their cost, which is currently $1.67/gallon as of this date.
Commissioner Cooper made a motion to switch the lp gas tanks at Town Hall from Ferrell Gas to Diversified Gas in Rich Square, NC. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Approve Employee Application: Donielle McDermott asked the board if they were ready to approve the new employee applications. Commissioner Cooper would like to add the town's email to the application. He would also like to see if we can put the application online and allow it to be filled out online. The board would also like to add the question, "Do you have a valid driver's license? State_____ Number_____." Mrs. McDermott will work on these changes and bring it back to the board at the next meeting.
Hillcrest Pool: Mayor Manuel read the minutes regarding action taken on Hillcrest Pool from the regular board meeting dated February 7, 2019. Mayor Manuel said that one issue is the board became aware that some board members are actually stockholders. The other issue is the town should not provide benefits to private corporations. Commissioner Christison made a motion to revoke the original motion that was made on February 7, 2019. Commissioner Liverman seconded and the motion carried.
Commissioner Christison said he thinks the pool should pay 1,000 gallon minimum for sewer each month and pay the regular fee for water used, but they should have their own rate code in the computer. He would like to see the pool metered when being filled up, but he does not mind them using the hydrant as long as we know how much was used.
Commissioner Cooper said he would like to see the pool be filled with a water hose so the town will know exactly how much water was used. Bennett Bryant said that will not work because it would never fill in time to be able to get the chemicals in there without the pool water turning green. Commissioner Christison said he understands their concern and as long as the town knows a guesstimate on the number of gallons they used, he is ok with that, but the pool will be charged for that amount of water.
Bennett Bryant said he is willing to give the pool to the town because they cannot afford to pay for the high bill. Mayor Manuel said he understands, but the Town of Woodland is a governmental business and we cannot give private businesses a break. Del Garris said there have been times when the pool only had $30 left at the end of the year. They cannot raise the cost of membership because they will lose members. Mayor Manuel asked if they had considered a fundraiser. Mrs. Garris said they have talked about it, but Bennett Bryant said a fundraiser is a losing cause.
Mr. Bryant said the fire department always filled up the pool and they have access to it if they ever need the water source. Commissioner Liverman asked if the fire truck could fill the pool up and the pool pay the minimum for sewer plus the cost of the water used. It was figured a one time fill up would cost $250.
Commissioner Christison made a motion to charge $250 for their first fill up at approximately 60,000 gallons, then 1,000 gallon charge for sewer plus regular water usage each month thereafter. Commissioner Liverman seconded and the motion carried. Let it be noted that due to owing stock, Commissioner Cooper abstained from the vote. It was also noted that a contract will need to be written between the Town of Woodland and Hillcrest Pool.
CADA: Mayor Manuel shared with the board a letter from Roy Worrells, the CADA weatherization coordinator. The letter stated his recommendation of replacing some pipes to help carry away water from the building. Mr. Worrells said he would be willing to split the cost of this, but he wanted the town to know that this needed to be fixed as soon as possible. Commissioner Cooper asked about some of the items listed in Mr. Worrells' letter and said the pipes should all be solid pipes and should be noted as such.
Mayor Manuel said CADA has a problem with one of their heating units not working properly. White and Woodley claimed Gary's Electrical (Gary Hughs) did not install it correctly, they did not reconfigure the ductwork. Mayor Manuel called Mr. Hughs and Mr. Hughs said he installed the unit himself and does not feel like he did it wrong. Mayor Manuel said he does not believe we need to pay Mr. Hughs to have it fixed. Mr. Hughs said he will come by and look at it, but we will probably need to pay something.
a. Mayor Manuel shared with the board a price list for signs stating the town uses cameras. Commissioner Cooper said he would like for us to order 8 signs (4 for the wall and 4 for posts), size 24X18, reflective, and the thicker ones. We also need to order 4 posts 8ft tall.
Mayor Manuel said he will contact Wayne Meeks to get an estimate for lighting at the marquee. Mayor Manuel is also pricing solar lights for the Welcome to Woodland signs.
b. Kaye Wyman recently had to do some over the phone service work on our cameras and the cost for this will be $45.
April Board Meeting: Mayor Manuel said that Commissioners Outland and Christison as well as the mayor himself all have meetings on April 4, 2019 so he would like to change the date of the next board meeting. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to move the April 7, 2019 meeting to April 11, 2019 at 7pm. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Comments from the Mayor:
a. William Joyner, the gentleman who would like to offer his services to help with our abandoned buildings, does have insurance. He has $100,000 in liability insurance.
b. Woodlandstock will be on May 4, 2019 from 12 noon-9 pm.
c. Robbie Collier has agreed to let them borrow his trailer and Commissioner Cooper is allowing them to borrow his large tent as well as a couple of portable potties.
d. Mayor Manuel shared the rough draft of a proclamation he would like the board to vote on recognizing Susan Harrison for all her work in the town of Woodland. He would like to have a party and present this proclamation to her. Commissioner Cooper made a motion that the proclamation for Pastor Harrison be given to her for all she has done for the town of Woodland and we wish her great success. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Mayor Manuel shared a letter he wrote to the state about the possibility of lower grade standards. He asked that the board write letters as well.
Mayor Manuel said the board is making progress with addresses of the abandoned commercial buildings.
Mayor Manuel reminded the board that the Woodland Community Outreach will be sponsoring an employee luncheon this Friday, March 15, 2019.
Comments from Commissioners: Commissioner Liverman spoke to Jack Liverman about the trench left on the side of Main Street. He said if the state does not do anything about it, the county will come in. Mr. Jack Liverman mentioned he thought the state was considering paving our main street.
Commissioner Cooper would like the minutes to reflect that Doctor John Stanley recently passed away. He served as mayor of Woodland for 30 years. He had done a great deal for all of us and we are going to greatly miss him. WRAL even reran a piece they once did on him. In one weekend it was stated that Dr. Stanley delivered 20 babies. Commissioner Cooper would like to see a picture of Dr. Stanley hung in the Town Hall.
Commissioner Outland said she has a friend who can take a picture of the picture hanging at the County Health Department for us. Commissioner Cooper would like to have a reception in Dr. Stanley's honor.
Public Comments: There were none.
Adjourn: Commissioner Liverman made a motion to adjourn at 10:03. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.