Town of Woodland Board Minutes
Date: July 11, 2019
Kenneth 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: The first item of business was the approval of the agenda. Mayor Manuel made a recommendation to add item e. goals and rims to the clerk’s report. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to add 12 e. basketball goals and rims to the agenda and to accept the agenda. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Approval of Minutes: The next item of business was the approval or amendment of the minutes from the Public Hearing for Proposed 2019-2020 Fiscal Year Budget dated June 6, 2019, the Regular Board Meeting dated June 6, 2019, and the Public Hearing to Address 415 Spruce St. dated July 9, 2019. Commissioner Liverman made a motion to accept the minutes as written. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Consideration of Bills: The commissioners took some time to review the bills and while doing so, Mayor Manuel thanked them and the employees for stepping up in his absence. Commissioner Christison made a motion that all bills be paid along with any other regular bills that come in after this date. Commissioner Liverman seconded and the motion carried.
Larry Carpenter, CPA, PA 2017-2018 Audit Review: Mayor Manuel introduced Larry Carpenter, the town’s auditor. He thanked Mr. Carpenter for being so instrumental in helping with the transition between three different clerks during that particular fiscal year. Mr. Carpenter stated, “The town had a clean audit.” He said the town’s net worth is $3,077,052, and we have $683,485 in unrestricted money in the general fund. Mr. Carpenter went through the audit to review with the board. At the end of the review, the board and the clerk asked some questions. One question the clerk asked was pertaining to traffic tickets. Mrs. McDermott wondered how to keep an ongoing total of the money collected in the case that the town would need to pay the Northampton School System any of this money. Mr. Carpenter advised the board to open a separate checking account for this. Commissioner Liverman made a motion to accept the audit for the fiscal year 2017-2018. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried. The 2017-2018 audit will be included in the Minute Book.
Donielle McDermott reminded Commissioner Cooper and Commissioner Christison to fill out the paperwork for the 2018-2019 audit to be returned to Larry Carpenter.
Public Comments: Patty Deneen said she knew there were two commissioner seats available and asked Commissioner Liverman and Commissioner Outland what their responsibilities are. Commissioner Liverman said she is responsible for maintenance and the Powell Bill. She said it’s very important to listen to what the citizens have to say. Commissioner Outland said she is responsible for the fire department and the police department. She tries to do things that will help both departments. She said when people call her, she tries to find ways to help them. Mayor Manuel stated the commissioners are also responsible for evaluations for the employees in which they are in charge.
Mrs. Deneen then asked if there were any updates on the Armory. Mayor Manuel said no, the only thing new was the gentleman from South Africa who was interested in purchasing it, came by again to have another look.
Mrs. Deneen asked what the public hearing for the house at 415 Spruce Street was about. Mayor Manuel said that this type of hearing is mainly between the resident and the town; however any of the public could be there.
Fire Department Report: Donielle McDermott gave the financial account for the department. This report will be added to the Minute Book. Mrs. McDermott said the fire department was able to get the ice machine from the Armory and install it at the fire department. The fire department said the maintenance crew can use the ice for their water samples whenever needed.
Commissioner Christison said the original amount the department was seeking for a new building may need to be lowered. He also said we may need to find a bank with better rates, but before going to the banks looking for rates, Commissioner Christison says we need to get an idea on the cost of the building. The committee is waiting on information from other entities.
Commissioner Outland said that Representative Butterfield may be able to help with finding some grant money. She was told Garysburg received some funding that put up the outside of their firehouse, but they were responsible for the inside. She said that Margaret Burgwyn told her that Butterfield had found funding for other area fire departments. Mayor Manuel will reach out to Congressman Butterfield to ask about possible funding.
Commissioner Cooper said he was told getting grants for public safety was difficult because we are not adding jobs which put money back into the economy.
It was announced that the Woodland Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary is selling plates on July 27, 2019 as a fundraiser for the building.
Maintenance Report: Marshall Lassiter read the maintenance report from Jessica Griffey. This report will be included in the Minute Book.
Mr. Lassiter shared that REA is having a meeting on August 17, 2019 and left the information about the meeting with Donielle McDermott for those interested. He stated that he attended the meeting last year and requested they remove our waste water plant from their peek hours penalty, but had no success. He recommended someone from the board going and requesting the same.
Commissioner Christison asked if there was a way to measure how many amps are being used during peek hours, but Mr. Lassiter did not know.
Donielle McDermott said the older bad boy mower needs to go in the shop. Mr. Lassiter stated it had a lot of hours on it. The board discussed fixing it or purchasing a new one. It was decided to purchase a new one just like the one the town bought last year. This would allow the maintenance crew to use the same parts for both mowers. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to purchase a new bad boy mower similar to the last one for approximately $12,000 using 75% from capital outlay in streets and sanitation and 25% from capital outlay in water and sewer. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Donielle McDermott stated the red tractor needs to go in the shop. The board recommended sending it to the shop to get an estimate of what it will cost to fix.
Well Report: Commissioner Cooper reported that there was a progress meeting recently with Blaine Humphrey, A.C. Schultes, and Mr. Bashar, the state inspector. It was noted that the contract was signed on November 26, 2018, giving A.C. Schultes nine months to complete the work. Commissioner Cooper stated they have not worked very hard and they don’t work on Mondays. Commissioner Cooper asked for someone from the maintenance crew to take pictures of the site to prove the lack of progress on July 13, 2019. This was the date of original completion. Commissioner Cooper suggested the town send the contractor a letter stating July 13th has passed and the well is not complete.
Mayor Manuel said he talked to Blaine Humphrey who said he has never seen a town go after the full amount of liquidated damages. Generally towns go after whatever costs may occur after the date of original completion. Mayor Manuel suggested the town contact Attorney Luther Culpepper to advise us on our next step. The new date of completion has now been set at August 23, 2019.
Marshall Lassiter said there have been plenty of beautiful days this past spring where A.C. Schultes could have been working but they were not.
Mayor Manuel said how surprised he was to find out the state inspector found non domesticated steel in the well which is a clear violation.
Commissioner Christison said Mr. Bashar requested a letter from A.C. Schultes asking for a reason why they will not finish on time. He also stated that the materials are not even being stored; instead they are just outside on the ground.
Commissioner Cooper made the point that even though the contractor’s completion date has changed, out payment schedule has not changed.
Police Report: Commissioner Outland said the town is still having issues with people going into vehicles and there are still problems at the housing authority.
Mayor Manuel said in last month’s minutes, it is reflected that the sheriff suggested the Town of Woodland hire a full time police or at least hire the deputies full time. Mayor Manuel stated we are still having issues with the Dollar General as well.
Commissioner Cooper reported to the board that he, Commissioner Outland, and Donielle McDermott had some training on our security cameras. He said that we need to put up the signs to let the citizens know that we have these cameras and are using them. Commissioner Cooper suggested the board meet to decide where to put the signs.
Solar Lights for Marquee: Mayor Manuel showed the board the one marquee solar light he purchased, and stated that he would now like to purchase the remaining seven lights using the rest of the Downtown Revitalization Grant money in the budget. Commissioner Christison made a motion to purchase seven additional solar lights using the money remaining in the Downtown Revitalization budget. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Clerk Report: Donielle McDermott shared with the board the accounts overview, which will be included in the Minute Book. She stated she is working on getting all of her papers and reports ready for the annual audit box.
a. Mrs. McDermott reported to the board that she and Mr. Lassiter, using the map of the town, assigned a physical address to the well. This address is now 111
N. Linden St. The county has also received this information. Commissioner Cooper asked if the town will now need to rezone this lot to reflect commercial
property. Mayor Manuel said we should rezone it if it has not been done so already.
b. Mrs. McDermott sent letters out to the Beasleys and the Boones, both are property owners on either side of Step One. These letters were sent requesting
them to cut their grass and clean up their property. Copies of the town’s Weeds, Grass and Refuse ordinance were sent to them as well.
c. Mrs. McDermott sent a certified letter to the Tomlins on 415 Spruce Street informing them of a public hearing to address their property. The hearing was
scheduled for July 9, 2019 and as of this date, the Tomlins still had not signed for their notice. Because of this, they did not know of the public hearing and
did not attend. Mrs. McDermott called the county inspector’s office and spoke with Mr. William Flynn. Mrs. McDermott asked what her next step should be
with the Tomlins considering they are not following the town’s ordinances. Not only do they need to cut their grass, but they have not had water since the
end of March. Mr. Flynn said the county does electrical, mechanical, and plumbing inspections, but they do not do minimum housing code inspections.
According to our ordinance, we need to appoint someone to do this for us. Mayor Manuel said he will meet with the county lawyer as soon as he finds out
his schedule. In the meantime, we need to appoint someone to the office as Minimum Housing Code Officer. This was discussed, and Commissioner
Christison asked if he and Commissioner Cooper could do this together. Commissioner Liverman made a motion to give Commissioner Christison and
Commissioner Cooper the authority under the guise of building code enforcer for the town of Woodland to go to 415 Spruce Street to address the minimum
housing code violations. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried. Mayor Manuel told Mrs. McDermott to let the board know in the future if
someone does not have water for an extended period of time.
Commissioner Cooper said he worries about the liability if the town cuts the grass at someone’s home and something happens to the homeowners’
property. Who is liable? Mayor Manuel said it’s the town’s responsibility.
Commissioner Christison said, “We cannot wait, we need to do something about this house now. It is our duty to do something.”
It was stated that the maintenance crew needs to walk the property first to make sure the yard is clear.
Mayor Manuel said he recommends that Commissioner Christison and Commissioner Cooper go to the house and check it out for themselves.
d. Mrs. McDermott said that at the April 11, 2019 meeting, it was approved to sell the lot on Ashe St., parcel # 0601062, to Keith and Kevin Keene for $2,000.
Mrs. McDermott said that there has to be an upset bid process first. In order to start this process, the board needs to accept a resolution authorizing
advertisement of an offer to purchase the land on Ashe Street. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to accept the resolution authorizing the advertisement
of an offer to purchase certain property. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried. Keith and Kevin Keene sent in a written bid offer and put
5% down. A copy of this request will be included in the Minute Book.
e. Mayor Manuel said that Laureen Flood is requesting the town to purchase two basketball rims for the courts at the Woodland Community Park. The cost of
the two rims is around $340. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to approve the purchase of the two basketball rims using maintenance and repair in the
recreation department. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Before moving on to the next item, Mayor Manuel commented on the animal complaint in the board’s packet. He asked Commissioner Liverman to speak to
Jean Barnes. Commissioner Liverman said she will first speak with Craig Ellison and talk to him about his rooster.
Zoning Report: Mayor Manuel asked Commissioner Cooper to talk to Stewart Beasley and Raymond Eaton about having a meeting and also about finding people to fill the zoning board.
Commissioner Cooper said we need to have the zoning board look into rezoning the Armory and the parking lot across the street, CADA, well #1 and well #2, and possible adding the properties on Cherry Street flood zone.
Comments from the Mayor: Commissioner Cooper spoke up and reminded the board that Monday, July 22, 2019, the Northampton County Commissioners will be having their regular board meeting at Woodland Town Hall. Commissioner Cooper said we need to let the public know about this meeting and encourage attendance. Mayor Manuel suggested making flyers. Commissioner Cooper would like for us to do something special to welcome them.
Commissioner Cooper asked if we would like to have Dr. Stanley’s service that same night. It was decided to do it a different night. Commissioner Liverman will talk with Mrs. Harrell to see when would be a good time for the family. Commissioner Cooper suggested late August and would like to have food at this reception. Mayor Manuel said when we decide to have this, please let Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center know because they would like to be there.
Comments from the Commissioners: Commissioner Liverman asked Mayor Manuel if he had done anything yet about the abandoned building ordinance. Because of Mayor Manuel’s absence, he has not been able to move forward with this and asked for it to be tabled until September.
Mayor Manuel thanked everyone again for all they have done during his absence. He said he will not be staying for the closed session but asked the board that there would be no action taken during the closed session.
Closed Session: At 10:10, Commissioner Liverman made a motion to go into closed session to discuss personnel issues, pursuant to G.S. 143-3181(a)(6). Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
A motion was made by Commissioner Christison to leave closed session and enter regular session. Commissioner Outland seconded. Commissioner Liverman made a motion to adjourn regular session at 10:45.