Town of Woodland Board Minutes
Date: March 4, 2021
David Cooper – Mayor Pro Tem
Brian Christison – Commissioner
Ricky Morris - Commissioner
Donielle McDermott – Town Clerk
Eddie Hoggard – Police Chief
Mayor Beale, Commissioner Outland, and Raymond Eaton were absent.
Call to Order: Mayor Pro Tem Cooper called the meeting to order at 7pm. 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 Christison made a motion to add 8g Polar Engraving, 10d Public Hearing, 11d Teleconference, and move number 12 Library to 6b. Commissioner Morris 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 Meeting dated February 4, 2021. Commissioner Cooper suggested amending the minutes to include he was absent due to a Covid quarantine. Commissioner Christison made a motion to accept the minutes with the amendment. Commissioner Morris seconded and the motion carried.
Consideration of Bills: 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 Morris seconded and the motion carried.
Commissioner Cooper told the board to keep our upcoming budget in mind. We will be working on it shortly.
Public Comments: Mickel Pruden passed out a current map of the Northampton County voting districts. He said the districts were set back in the 1960s and are out of proportion. There is a petition generated from local citizens circulating the county asking the county commissioners to redistrict the map based on the 2020 census. This group of citizens will also be asking to make a change to allow the citizens to only be allowed to vote for a commissioner in their district. Mr. Pruden is requesting the commissioners sign the petition.
a. Mickel Pruden suggested to the board that the fire department and the town board go half and half on purchasing a brick in memory of Dr. Stanley.
Robbie Collier read the fire department report which will be included in the Minute Book. For the first time in over 30 years, there were zero calls. Mr. Collier had paperwork from the landfill that needed to be signed by the town regarding dumping the asbestos from the fire department in their landfill. The cost to take it will be around $250. Mayor Pro Tem Cooper said he would sign the form and asked Mr. Collier if he would be responsible for taking the bags of asbestos to the landfill, in which Mr. Collier replied that he would.
Revelle Builders will be bringing the metal for the building on Monday, March 8, 2021. It will be stored on the concrete slab and covered with tarps until time to build. There is no demolition date yet. They are waiting for the ground to dry.
The fire department will be having a boot drive on April 3, 2021 from 8:00 – 12:00. Another fundraiser they are working on is a cornhole tournament and asked the board to reserve the park on May 22nd or 29th for them to hold this fundraiser.
Mr. Collier informed the board that the department voted to start charging for false alarms and an ordinance will have to be written up for this. The first false alarm will be free, the second $100, the third $250, and any more after three will be $500 each time. However, these charges will be left to the chief or assistant chief’s discretion. Mr. Collier asked the board to consider this proposal. Commissioner Cooper asked what the penalty would be for those who do not pay. Mr. Collier said that insurance should pay for this fee, but after multiple false calls their insurance may drop them. This would hopefully cause the owner to fix whatever the problem is that causes the false alarms. When asked if other departments charge for this, Mr. Collier said that Gaston Fire Department charges for every call, every man on scene, and every truck out there. Commissioner Cooper said the next step would be for town Attorney, Luther Culpepper to work on writing up an ordinance. Commissioner Cooper asked for a fire department member to meet with Atty. Culpepper to draw this up. It was mentioned a public hearing may have to be held for this ordinance as well.
b. The board has not decided on whether to accept Dr. Stanley’s office for use as a future library. Commissioner Christison asked Robbie Collier how much it would cost to remove any asbestos that may be inside Dr. Stanley’s office. Mr. Collier said it was $100 per hour. The board discussed the current condition of the building and the work that would need to be done for the building to be compliant. After more discussion, the board decided against the project. Commissioner Christison made a motion to turn down the offer to receive Dr. Stanley’s building as a donation to the town. Commissioner Morris seconded and the motion carried.
Citizen Christine Dennis took this time to ask the board how the town allows all these abandoned building to remain in town. Commissioner Christison said the cost to tear down the buildings is too much.
Police Report: Chief Hoggard read the police report which will be included in the Minute Book. Note: the report was missing one stolen vehicle which was recovered.
The first Tuesday in August in the Night Out Against Crime. Chief Hoggard is working on doing something for this event.
The equipment grant paperwork for the new grant has been submitted.
May 10-13, 2021, Chief Hoggard will be in Cherokee, NC for the Chief’s Convention.
a. Our current personnel policy allows for outside employment. A “Request for Secondary Employment” was presented to the board. This is a form that employees would fill out stating their request to work outside of the Town of Woodland in an effort to maintain transparency. The board liked the form, but requested it be rewritten to say that the request must be reviewed annually rather than approved annually. Mrs. McDermott will retype the report and bring it to the board for review next town board meeting.
b. The Town of Woodland applied for funding with the state for Asset Inventory Assessment, however we did not score high enough to receive any funding.
c. Three gentlemen gave estimates to repair our roof, however the board said the estimates were too broad. The board requested the men to submit quotes using their business letterhead and to be more specific this time. Commissioner Christison said he will reach out to Eddie Revelle and ask him to have another look.
d. Mrs. McDermott explained that the Woodland Community Outreach was receiving profit from the sales of bricks ordered to be placed in our memorial park. Now that this group has disbanded, Ron Lane reached out to Mrs. McDermott to see if the town would like to receive the profits. The town would need to set up a PayPal account for the company, Polar Engraving, to deposit the profits. Commissioner Christison made a motion to start receiving profits from Polar Engraving and put the profits in the town beautification fund. Commissioner Morris seconded and the motion carried. The board suggested creating a separate account for the PayPal account to be deposited into.
e. As a point of information, the board packets included a letter from the League of Municipalities offering information for Service Line Warranty Programs for customers. The board agreed the price is more than residents can afford, and not a service we would use much.
f. The Town of Woodland received enough Covid Relief money to distribute two bags per customer and there was still money left over. Mrs. McDermott took it upon herself to purchase enough supplies to now distribute bags to the tenants of the Housing Authority and the Woodland Olney Apartments. She asked the board for permission to do so. The board agreed the money was to be used to help fight Covid and by distributing these bags we are helping our town citizens with basic needs, therefore they agreed to distribute the bags to them.
g. The motion to add an 8g was done in error as Polar Engraving was already on the agenda.
Maintenance Report: The maintenance report is included in the Minute Book.
a. Commissioner Morris stressed the urgency of getting the applications together for the board to hire someone. Commissioner Morris and Mayor Pro Tem Cooper decided to meet after the public hearing to review the applications we have.
b. Spring Clean UP/Bulk Pick Up will be the first full week of May this year, May 3rd-7th, 2021.
c. John Ruppe still has a vehicle stored in the town’s maintenance shop. The maintenance department is requesting it to be moved to free up some space. The board suggested sending a certified letter to Mr. Ruppe stating the vehicle needs to be picked up by a certain date or we will dispose of it.
a. The monthly UCPCOG report for the CDBG will be included in the Minute Book.
b. Page 6 of the Grant Administration Contract between the COG and the Town of Woodland needed to be amended according to the State. Commissioner Christison made a motion to approve the revised Grant Administration Contract between the UCPCOG and the Town of Woodland. Commissioner Morris seconded and the motion carried.
c. The Fair Housing Plan was not completely finished, however it needs to be approved and sent to the state by March 22, 2021. The board decided to not vote to approve the plan until complete, therefore we will wait until the Public Hearing on March 11, 2021 to approve the final plan.
d. Helen Page with the COG called and said the town will need to hold another Public Hearing on March 18, 2021, this time for our Fair Housing Plan. The board agreed to hold the public hearing on March 18, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
Clean Water State Revolving Fund:
a. The Town of Woodland received the letter of intent to fund from the NCDEQ for the Peachtree/Chestnut Sewer Replacement Project. This will be part loan and part grant.
b. Commissioner Christison made a motion to approve the UCPCOG as the grant administrators for the CWSRF project and to accept the Grant Administration Contract between the UCPCOG and the Town of Woodland. Mayor Pro Tem Cooper seconded and the motion carried.
c. Requests for Qualifications for this project have gone out and the deadline for submissions is March 24, 2021 by 5:00 p.m.
d. There will be a teleconference on March 18, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. with our state project manager, Steve Tsadwa. He has requested the town clerk, our O.R.C., the mayor and our water and sewer commissioner present for this meeting, as well as our grant administrators and engineer.
Zoning Report: No report
Armory: No money has been received yet for the armory, but things are moving along. Mr. Eaton has been in contact with Tam Sonnenberg, and a walk through has been scheduled for Mr. Sonnenberg’s lenders.
Comments from Mayor Pro Tem: Mayor Pro Tem Cooper was glad to see everyone at the meeting.
Comments from the Commissioners: No comments.
Public Comments: Christine Dennis told the board there is something wrong with her water and has been since the last big storm. She stated she can’t drink it nor bathe in it. Mayor Pro Tem Cooper informed Mrs. Dennis that the water is checked monthly and all the reports have come back clear. Mrs. Dennis showed the board a picture of what her pots look like after water has dissolved from them. The pictures showed a white residue left in the bottom. Commissioner Christison said this could be from her pipes in the house. Another citizen, Mr. Bobby Mann asked Mrs. Dennis to look at the picture. He too stated this appears to be caused by galvanized pipes, stating she needed to replace the pipes in her house.
Adjourn: At 8:46 p.m., Commissioner Christison made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Morris seconded and the motion carried.