Town of Woodland Board Minutes
Date: November 7, 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.
Presentation of Plaques: Mayor Pro Tem Cooper presented a plaque to Mayor Manuel and Commissioner Liverman thanking them for their time on the board. This was followed by a time of food and fellowship.
Meeting Resumed: At 7:15 pm, Mayor Manuel resumed the meeting.
Approval of Agenda: The first item of business was the approval or amendment of the agenda. It was decided to add 16 c. Discussion of Sale of Armory, 10 f. Downtown Revitalization Grant, and 7 k. Bryant and Lassiter and Brown’s Mobile Home Application. Commissioner Christison made a motion to approve the agenda with the additions added. Commissioner Liverman seconded and the motion carried.
Approval of Minutes: The next item on the agenda was the approval or amendment of the minutes of the Regular Board Minutes dated September 4, 2019, Special Called Meeting dated September 16, 2019, Special Joint Meeting between the County and Town Commissioners dated September 16, 2019, Community Development Meeting dated October 3, 2019, Regular Board Minutes dated October 3, 2019, Special Called Meeting dated October 21, 2019, and Closed Session Meeting dated October 21, 2019. Commissioner Liverman made a motion to approve all the minutes as written. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried. The minutes from the Special Called Meeting to Approve the Minutes from the Public Hearing for the CDBG dated September 26, 2019 will be approved at the December meeting due to them not being ready.
Consideration of Bills: Commissioner Liverman made a motion to pay all the current bills and to also pay all the regular bills that come in throughout the month. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Public Comments: There were no public comments.
Fire Department: Clerk Donielle McDermott stated the balance of the department’s account is $31,047.60.
a. The property where the possible new fire department will go is currently zoned in an area with a 40’ setback. This will be an issue with the new building because it will not meet setback requirements. A.R. Chesson Construction is requesting a zoning change to include a 0’ setback, however a 20’ setback will do. Stewart Beasley, a zoning board member, stated he sees no issue with this and he may suggest to the current zoning board to rezone that entire block. It is currently zoned at M1, light manufacturing. The zoning board is in the process of coming back together, therefore the board decided to table the variance for zoning until December.
b. Mickel Pruden shared the preliminary project plans of the new fire department building with the board. Their plans include offices and a commercial laundry to wash their turnout gear. He estimates the total cost turn key will be around $750,000. Mr. Pruden said the state will pave the driveways at no cost for the fire department. He also said he thought the town’s public works crew would be taking the trees down at the new site, but Mayor Manuel told him no, our crew would not be able to do that. The town will be responsible for the removal of the trees financially though. Mayor Manuel spoke with Mr. Alexander with Southern Bank about a loan for this project. Mr. Alexander said that the town may obtain a loan from the bank and then USDA can buy the loan out and extend the length of our term. Mickel Pruden suggested checking with Civic Federal Bank and the LGFCU as opposed to USDA because the department has had a bad experience in the past with them. Stewart Beasley asked the board what they hoped to achieve by talking with Representative Butterfield. Mayor Manuel told him they were hoping for some grant money. Mr. Pruden stated that Mike Causey, the insurance commissioner, said at one time the Golden Leaf Foundation may give up to $200,000. Commissioner Christison said he would like the department to get a more accurate price in order for the board to move forward and make a decision on funding. Commissioner Christison said the town needs to find out about the bid process and what statutes need to be followed in regards to receiving bids.
a. The pump house at the water tower is complete, except it needs a door and a frame.
b. The pump house in George is in terrible shape. The chlorine room needs new T 1-11. Marshall Lassiter said when the new well comes on line, this one needs to be re-plumbed, mainly replacing the bolts and connections. He received an estimate at $2,100. Commissioner Christison made notice that we have $1,000 in our budget for the chlorine room.
c. The new well is still not operational. They attempted to start the pump yesterday but it did not happen. Our representative from Rivers and Associates reminded A.C. Schultes that someone from the manufacturer needs to be present to start up the well and to also train the maintenance crew on operating the new well.
d. There was a bad leak in George, but the maintenance crew replaced the hydrant and it is now fixed.
e. The leak at the well house by the water tower is now fixed.
f. Since the Oak Street Well is now abandoned, the town won’t have the expense of testing the water. The roof has been fixed by Kevin Carlile.
g. Marshall Lassiter thanked the board for their decision on hiring Julian Odom.
h. The leak on Cottonwood Street is still there, it has not yet been fixed.
i. The plumbing at the George well was discussed earlier.
j. Mr. Lassiter said that starting in 2020, we will have to start testing for asbestos. We will eventually have to do away with AC pipes (asbestos cement). This will be a new cost to the town.
k. Mr. Lassiter asked the board to approve Bryant and Lassiter and Brown’s Mobile Homes to continue to use Woodland’s lagoon for dumping their waste as they have done for years. Commissioner Cooper excused himself from the voting since he is the owner of Bryant and Lassiter. Commissioner Christison made a motion to allow both Bryant and Lassiter and Brown’s Mobile Homes to dump their waste in Woodland’s lagoon for another year. Commissioner Liverman seconded and the motion carried.
l. Mr. Lassiter shared the Notice of Violation received from the state regarding sewer overflows in July, August, and September of 2019. Mr. Lassiter commented when we get this type of letter, we typically are fined.
m. Mrs. McDermott mentioned that Earl Casterlow came in recently to inform the town of his interest in purchasing the old mower we have listed as surplus. Mr. Lassiter suggested sending all the auction items to the Seaboard Auction in March and asked Mrs. McDermott to contact Mr. Casterlow and inform him of this decision.
n. Mr. Lassiter said there is a leak in the middle of the newly paved street by the new well. He is going to ask someone from Rural Water to come with their listening device to help find the leak in hopes to not have to tear the entire road up.
a. Because the work at the well was not done by July 13, 2019, we have to officially extend the time of completion date allowing an extension of 14 days. Commissioner Christison made the motion to add a 14 day extension to the completion date for the well changing the date from July 13, 2019 to July 27, 2019. Commissioner Cooper seconded and the motion carried.
b. Blaine Humphrey recommended to the mayor that we withhold $10,000 from payment #7. Mayor Manuel explained that because of the time extension, we will now have to pay Rivers and Associates for their extra time. This was not figured into the original budget; therefore withholding money from A.C. Schultes for their negligence will hopefully give us enough money to pay Rivers and Associates for the extra time. Commissioner Christison asked the board to first contact Mr. Humphrey to get an estimate for payment #8 and ask him if it would be better to withhold money from that payment. Commissioner Christison’s concern is if we withhold money from this payment then A.C. Schultes may stop their work and drag this project on even longer. Commissioner Christison thinks waiting until one of the last payments may be a better idea. Commissioner Cooper asked for the board to meet with Blaine Humphrey one more time before the new board takes over. Commissioner Christison asked the board to allow Mayor Manuel to continue attending the progress meetings until the project is complete despite his time as mayor coming to an end. The board agreed.
c. Mayor Manuel informed the board that the state sent us our reimbursement check #4 for the well loan, however there was an error and they sent $20,000 too much. Therefore the town will need to pay that amount back to the state. This $20,000 will be deducted from the next reimbursement request to the state.
Police Report: Officer Hoggard suggested the board do something about the “No Parking” signs at the landing zone behind the Woodland Olney Aparments. After some discussion, Commissioner Outland made a motion to order brighter, larger signs from the streets and sanitation fund. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Officer Hoggard said he is still working on getting an inventory of everything.
Officer Hoggard was asked if Hickory Street, the road leading to the ball park behind Woodland Olney Apartments, is a town road or state owned. Commissioner Liverman will check into this.
Officer Hoggard asked the board permission to start taking applications for part time officers at a rate of between $16.50 and $17.00 per hour. He stated that if the town can hire part time officers to work Thursdays through Sundays then we will not need sheriff deputies to work any longer. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to allow Officer Hoggard to seek applications for part time officers at a starting pay of $16.50 per hour. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Officer Hoggard requested the board to amend the budget to move $45,000-46,000 from Fund Balance to the police department for the purchase of his vehicle and also to purchase a computer and radio for the new vehicle. Commissioner Christison made a motion to move $50,000 from Fund Balance into the General Fund (line item 10-510-59) for the purchase of the police vehicle, computer, and radio. Commissioner Liverman seconded and the motion carried. Commissioner Christison suggested getting rid of one vehicle after the new one comes in.
Sheriff Deputy Horton was present and told the board about the recent drug bust him and Officer Hoggard did.
Clerk Report: The financial reports will be included in the Minute Book.
a. Commissioner Christison made a motion to amend the personnel policy to state that the maintenance crew will be reimbursed up to $125 per year for a pair of steel toed boots and $30 per year for rubber boots. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried. Commissioner Christison made a motion to amend the personnel policy to state that a maintenance worker for the Town of Woodland must be employed by the town for a minimum of one year in order to drive a town vehicle home, unless the employee is on call in which case there is no minimum time requirement. The employee must live within a 15 mile radius. This benefit will be revoked if the town vehicle is seen anywhere other than the Town of Woodland and the employee’s home. Commissioner Liverman seconded and the motion carried.
b. Mayor Manuel requested that one of the board members become a representative for the Town of Woodland with the UCPCOG. He gave out information regarding this.
c. Mrs. McDermott asked the board for permission to pay the Christmas bonuses and the commissioner’s pay the end of November instead of in December. The practice of paying the bonuses in November has been done for several years, but this will be a first for the commissioners to be paid in November. The board agreed.
d. Commissioner Liverman made a motion to officially hire Julian Odom at $14.00 per hour with his start date as October 28, 2019. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
e. The board was reminded that we may need to hire a new public works worker after the first of the year in order to train them before Perry Collier retires. Commissioner Liverman said we will keep the applicants that applied this last time on file for up to a year.
f. It was brought to the mayor and Mrs. McDermott’s attention that the starting budget for the Downtown Revitalization Grant for fiscal year 2018-2019 was short $333. Mrs. McDermott requested to move money within the administration department to add the $333 to this year’s budget to allow Mayor Manuel to spend the remainder of the money he has left. The board agreed.
Zoning Report: Zoning was discussed earlier and there was nothing further to discuss.
AIA Drinking Water Grant: The application for the AIA Drinking Water Grant was submitted on 9/30/19. It will be sometime after the first of the year before we hear anything.
Flood Plain Ordinance: Mayor Manuel spoke to Milton Carpenter regarding the property on the corner of West Woodland Avenue and Cherry Street and the fact that this area tends to flood easily during heavy rains. This area is not zoned for flooding. Mr. Carpenter said we already have a flood damage prevention ordinance. He stated as long as we let people know who build on this property that they need to build up, then we don’t need to change the zoning to a flood zone.
Downtown Revitalization Grant: This was discussed during the Clerk’s Report.
County Building Code Inspector Update: The town is trying to hold the county accountable and continuing to request they be our inspector as the town does not have our own building code inspector. It is believed the county is waiting for the mayor to come off the board before moving forward, therefore Mayor Manuel is urging the board to stay on top of this issue.
a. The lead assessment was done on the armory the end of October and this report was shared with the board. The main areas where the highest levels of lead were located were the rifle range, the hallway leading to the rifle range and the two utility rooms, along with the ac vent in the range. The other location is in the boiler room. This report will be included in the Minute Book.
b. Mayor Manuel asked the board to move forward with the furnace inspection since the assessment has been done and it appears that it is safe to turn on the furnace for the inspection. The board was in agreement.
c. The commissioners expressed their desire to sell the armory since a year has gone by and it had not been determined by the Armory Committee that it is feasible to keep and maintain the armory. Mayor Manuel suggested having a public hearing to let the citizens know the town is considering selling the armory. It was decided to table this item until January of 2020.
CADA: Commissioner Cooper will call Roy Worrels to discuss what needs to be done at CADA.
Tobacco Free Ordinance: Mayor Manuel encouraged the town to approve a tobacco free ordinance for the town.
Medical Building: The new medical office will have their soft opening on November 19, 2019.
Library: Attorney Culpepper told Mayor Manuel he can do the deed work for Dr. Stanley’s old office to be turned over to the town for use as a library. Mr. Culpepper will use the assessed tax value. Mayor Manuel is asking the board to recommit the $10,000 to the library. Commissioner Christison asked for more information on the technicalities of the library. Mayor Manuel reminded the board that they agreed to pay for the electricity, water, and internet. Mayor Manuel has found volunteers to work the library, and he recently found out that the UCPCOG has a program that would pay the salary for seniors to work there. Money will need to be put into the building initially to bring the building up to code.
Commercial Properties: This is tabled for another meeting yet to be determined.
Comments from the Mayor: Mayor Manuel thanked everyone for all they have done during his time on the board. He said it has been such a privilege and honor to serve and he has learned so much. He is so proud of our board.
Comments from the Commissioners: Commissioner Liverman thanked the citizens for being voted in four years ago. She too has learned a lot and said the board has become family. She will miss them.
Commissioner Outland said it’s been a wild ride, she has learned a lot, and she will miss Mayor Manuel.
Commissioner Christison thanked Mayor Manuel and Commissioner Liverman for their work on the board.
Commissioner Cooper thanked Mayor Manuel. He stated that he wants the town to keep going. On another note, Commissioner Cooper said we need to address the Town Hall Building. The roof needs to be repaired and the inside needs painting. He believes Eddie Revelle put the roof on when we took over this building.
Public Comments: Marshall Lassiter said he has enjoyed working with Mayor Manuel and thanked him for always being so transparent. He also thanked Commissioner Liverman for her time on the board.
Julius Webb thanked Mayor Manuel for all he has done for the citizens and especially for the kids of Woodland.
Bobby Mann told Mayor Manuel, “Thank you for a job well done.”
Adjourn: At 9:32 pm, Commissioner Liverman made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.