Town of Woodland Board Minutes
Date: November 5, 2020
Randy Beale – Mayor
David Cooper – Commissioner
Barbara Outland – Commissioner
Brian Christison – Commissioner
Donielle McDermott – Town Clerk
Eddie Hoggard – Police Chief
Raymond Eaton – ORC
Commissioner Ricky Morris was absent.
Call to Order: Mayor Beale called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited followed by a moment of silent reflection.
Approval of Agenda: The first item of business was the approval or amendment of the agenda. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to add 9a “interviewing applicants” to the agenda and approve the remaining agenda. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Approval of Minutes: The next item on the agenda was the approval or amendment of the Regular Board Minutes dated October 1, 2020, the Special Called Meeting dated October 16, 2020, and the Special Called Minutes dated October 26, 2020. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Consideration of Bills: Commissioner Cooper excused himself from the consideration of bills since his business had a bill for the Town. Commissioner Christison 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: Jean Bryant thanked the board for putting together the covid bags. She said the items were very practical and well thought out.
Bobby Mann also thanked the board for the bags.
Fire Department: Raymond Eaton read the monthly report which will be included in the Minute Book. Mr. Eaton informed the board and citizens of their upcoming Deer Tournament fundraiser coming up on November 14, 2020. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m.
Donielle McDermott shared with the board that County Manager Charles Jackson called her and said they are unable to waive tipping fees. Mr. Jackson said we need to fill out the Northampton County Non-Profit Organization Funding Request and ask for a specific amount. There was discussion amongst the board about whether we could either purchase land to dump the building material on or if we could dump it at our landfill. Raymond Eaton said he will check into this. The board suggested we change the narrative from our original request of asking the county to waive tipping fees to requesting the entire amount of the project. Robbie Collier thanked the board for their support.
Citizen Christine Dennis thanked Robbie Collier for what the fire department did for her when a line went down by her house. At this point, Mrs. Dennis went on to complain about the cut off fee she was charged on her water account and complained about the taste of chlorine in her water. Raymond Eaton informed Mrs. Dennis that her water was tested and the chlorine levels were within the normal range. The complaint about the cutoff charge was on the agenda under item 8b, however Mayor Beale recommended this be taken care of at this time. Mrs. Dennis pleaded that she did not feel it was fair to be charged a cut off fee when her water was not technically “turned off”. Despite the fact that her water was not turned off, Mrs. McDermott charged her account the reconnect fee because her bill was not paid by the designated time and the maintenance crew was sent to turn her water off. Mrs. McDermott explained that the maintenance crew went to her house to turn her water off, but she met them outside and asked them to leave it on stating she was on her way to pay her bill. The maintenance crew left the water on knowing it would be more convenient for them rather than turning it off and then turning it right back on when she paid. Mayor Beale told Mrs. Dennis that Mrs. McDermott did the right thing and she was following protocol. Mrs. Dennis said she would be the office on Monday morning to pay the $60.
Police Report: Chief Hoggard thanked Raymond Eaton for fixing the lights outside the front of Town Hall. Chief Hoggard read the police report which will be included in the Minute Book. Chief Hoggard’s equipment grant for $24,000 was approved. We will now have to pay the grant writer $2,450, but there is money in the budget for this.
The doctor’s office camera should be up by Christmas. We are splitting the cost of this camera with Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center and our half is $3,483.56. Chief Hoggard requested a battery back up for our current cameras. When we lose power, we lose video footage if there is no battery back up. The invoice for this is in the bill folder.
Chief Hoggard is trying out a body camera, and if he likes it he will purchase it at the end of the month. The cost will be $1,090 this year and $900 next year.
a. Mrs. McDermott informed the board that there will be a 2.3% increase in monthly premiums for health care coverage from BCBS for our employees. There is also a $250 increase in max-out-of-pocket. Our health care insurance renews every December.
b. Previously discussed.
c. Mrs. McDermott told the board she felt the Town of Woodland needed a purchasing policy. This is something most towns have, and many times grants require such a policy. Commissioner Christison agreed saying we need a base number for employees to spend without having to go to the board for approval. After some discussion, Commissioner Outland made a motion to set the purchase limit at $1,000 for employees to spend without having to have board approval. Commissioner Cooper seconded and the motion carried.
Maintenance Report: Raymond Eaton read the maintenance report which will be included in the Minute Book. Mr. Eaton said he needs $755 to repair the backhoe. Commissioner Christison said to take it from maintenance and repair in the 30 fund.
The substation land was discussed. After much searching, Luther Culpepper found the deed showing the Town as owners of this land. Previously we offered to purchase this land from the Burgwyn’s for $2,500, but now that we have found the deed, the board discussed purchasing ½ acre surrounding the lift station land giving the town almost a full acre. It was decided to send the Burwyn’s another offer letter with this request.
Commissioner Cooper asked Raymond Eaton and Chief Hoggard to check the street lights throughout town and make a list of the ones that need to be fixed and turn this list in to Dominion Energy.
a. The board discussed having two commissioners and Raymond Eaton be part of the application and interviewing process for the maintenance department applications. Commissioner Christison made a motion that Commissioner Cooper, Commissioner Morris, and Raymond Eaton make up the interviewing committee. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
a. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to approve the project ordinance to upgrade the main lift station at a cost of $983,500. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
b. Mrs. McDermott read the monthly progress report from the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Government.
c. As a point of information, the CDBG quarterly progress report will be included in the Minute Book.
d. The Engineering Report Funding Approval will also be included in the Minute Book. This report lists the upcoming milestones that must be met for this project.
e. This was previously discussed during the maintenance report.
Zoning Report: Raymond Eaton reported that the zoning board met on November 3, 2020 to discuss the zoning for the armory and a variance. The zoning board recommends changing the zoning for the armory to M1, light manufacturing. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to approve zoning the armory property as M1. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Eaton reported that the residents at 300 E. Main St. is requesting a variance in zoning. They would like to put up a 10X16 shed on their property. Zoning requirements state 7 ft off property line and 10 ft from existing buildings. They will not meet the requirement of 10 ft from existing buildings, but it’s their building they will be close to. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to give the property owners at 300 E. Main St. variance to put a 10X16 shed in their backyard less than 10 ft from their existing building. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Armory: The letter of intent to purchase the armory from Mr. Kim Richardson was discussed. The board agreed that this offer was way too low. They discussed different options such as advertising the sale of the armory and also contacting a local realtor to gain publicity and more buyer options. Commissioner Christison said he will contact a realtor right away to have a look at the armory and discuss options.
Comments from the Mayor: Mayor Beale thanked the board and employees for the flowers he received after the death of his mother.
Comments from the Commissioners: Commissioner Outland informed the board and citizens of the upcoming fundraiser for the fire department on November 14, 2020. There will be a bbq beef supper and a cake auction.
Commissioner Cooper asked Chief Hoggard to look after the town during the upcoming Christmas season. Commissioner Cooper asked Raymond Eaton to look into paving HWY 35 when it gets packed. He would like for it to be done before the fire department fundraiser.
Public Comments: Bobby Mann asked if the lot across the road from the armory will be sold along with the armory. The board said yes, that is part of it.
Adjourn: At 9:12 p.m., Commissioner Cooper made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.