Town of Woodland Board Minutes
Date: May 6, 2021
David Cooper – Mayor Pro Tem
Brian Christison – Commissioner
Ricky Morris – Commissioner
Barbara Outland - Commissioner
Donielle McDermott – Town Clerk
Eddie Hoggard – Police Chief
Raymond Eaton – ORC
Blaine Humphrey – Rivers & Associates Engineer via Zoom
Mayor Beale was 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 delete item 6 from the agenda due to Tony Burnette unable to attend the meeting and to add item 11c yards to the agenda. Commissioner Outland 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 April 1, 2021 and Closed Session Meeting dated April 28, 2021. Commissioner Christison made a motion to accept the minutes as written. Commissioner Morris seconded and the motion carried.
Consideration of Bills: Commissioner Morris made a motion to pay all the current bills and to pay all the regular bills that come in throughout the month. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
CWSRF Project Engineering Services Agreement: Blaine Humphrey joined the meeting via zoom to discuss the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Engineering Contract for the Peachtree and Chestnut Sewer Replacement Project. The board asked Mr. Humphrey when we can begin. Mr. Humphrey stated the engineering report is due July 1, 2021 therefore it is important to get this contract approved tonight. The goal is for the lift station project to begin first, but that depends on the timeline of the CDBG, and then this project will begin. Commissioner Christison made a motion to accept the CWSRF Engineering Contract. Commissioner Morris seconded and the motion carried.
a. Alicia Handy spoke about her concern for the public. Mrs. Handy said she filed a complaint back in August regarding our part time police officer but has yet to hear a word about her complaint. Mrs. Handy wants to know what has been done about this complaint. Not only did she file a complaint, but she also had a meeting with Mayor Beale and Commissioner Outland. Mayor Pro Tem Cooper asked Mrs. Handy what her request was. Mrs. Handy said she wanted her complaint to be investigated and for the board to get back to her letting her know how it was handled. Mrs. Handy went on to say her major concern is specifically about Officer Kellett. The citizens have a fear of him, and they feel like their voices are not being heard but are afraid to say anything because of that fear. Commissioner Cooper said the board will readdress this issue and get back to Mrs. Handy by the next meeting in the form of a letter.
Fire Department: Robbie Collier read the fire report which will be included in the Minute Book. The old fire department building was knocked down today by the Howell brothers with CAB Construction. Johnny Sykes was originally going to demolish the building, but due to his busy farming schedule he was unable to get it done as quickly as the fire department wanted. CAB Construction may be hauling the building off next week, and cement may be poured in three weeks. Because of the change in who was to demolish the building, Robbie Collier amended the demolition permit with the county.
Mr. Collier reminded the board of the upcoming cornhole tournament to take place at the Woodland ball field on May 22, 2021. There will be over 100 professional players coming and they are looking for some local people to sign up and be teamed up with the professionals. There is a registration fee of $20 but the winners will receive $1,000. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be for sale.
Commissioner Cooper switched back over to the demolition contract asking if the cost will be different since we switched companies. Mr. Collier said he did not know, but the Howell brothers insured Mr. Collier that they will be fair. However, the cost should be low because some local farmers want the blocks, the big pieces are going to Murfreesboro, the lumber will be going to the town dump, and the rest will go to the landfill. There was discussion as to whether or not the town would/could use the blocks for themselves, but with the tight deadline it was decided to leave things as is.
Police Report: Chief Hoggard read the police report which will be included in the Minute Book. Chief Hoggard has started purchasing equipment with his equipment grant money. Commissioner Morris asked if we can spend some of the grant money on an automatic speed limit reader sign. Chief Hoggard said the money from this grant has already been allocated, however there may be another grant we can apply for and use. Commissioner Morris asked the chief to check with the Highway Safety Program to see if they have a sign we can borrow.
a. Chief Hoggard informed the board that the people who sit outside under the station at 401 E. Main St. are causing citizens to complain because of excessive litter. He recommends a letter be typed up and signed by the board asking them to clean this area up.
a. Perry Collier has fulfilled his one month leave for retirement purposes and is now allowed to come back part time. He is limited to under 1,000 hours per year and can only make up to his allowable earned income, an amount he currently does not know. Commissioner Cooper said he would like for Mr. Collier to come back two days a week. The board will go into closed session later to discuss the details.
b. Steve Vaughan is the owner of the property adjacent to the Town’s lift station on the corner of Cherry and Main St. His claim is the town put the marquee sign on his property, not the town’s. The board decided to check the map and possibly have it surveyed first before removing the sign.
c. May 18, 2021 at 7:00 pm will be our budget workshop.
Commissioner Christison suggested using some money from our restricted water and sewer CD to pay the invoice for Ino-Utility for their work on the collapsed sewer line at the intersection of Linden St. and Main St. After brief discussion, it was decided to use money from the budget as it is near the end of the fiscal year.
Maintenance Report: Raymond Eaton read the report which will be included in the Minute Book. Commissioner Cooper asked Mr. Eaton if the debris the town will be picking up needs to be separated, in which Raymond replied no, only the televisions and tires go to a different landfill. Otherwise, all other debris can be picked up together. Commissioner Cooper warned the town to be on the lookout for people from out of town bringing in their junk and dropping it off at someone’s home to be picked up by the town.
Mr. Eaton told the board that Roger Byrum has volunteered to help the maintenance department with the cleanup at no cost. The board said we need to check on insurance liability first before making this decision.
a. Ino-Utility is the company who will be fixing the sewer problem on the corner of Linden and Main St. They will start tomorrow. The initial estimate of $10,130 will be less because there will be no mobilization and no trench box.
Commissioner Cooper asked Raymond to get a list of the street lights that are not working and have them called in.
JR Byrum and Raymond Eaton received their flagger certification.
The side mower is out of commission right now, therefore the maintenance department cannot cut the ditches. Also, the golf cart is not charging. Commissioner Cooper asked if there is money in the budget to fix these things this fiscal year. He’s in favor of fixing it or getting a new one because the golf cart has saved us a lot of gas money through the years.
The state inspector will be here next Wednesday to do a walk through at the waste water plant.
c. Commissioner Christison expressed his concern with the many abandoned yards in town that need cutting. He stated that the town looks bad with the grass not being kept up, but he realizes we do not have the manpower to do it ourselves. Commissioner Christison asked if we can use volunteers to mow the grass, kids in particular. Commissioner Christison said he thought if we could get the kids involved with making the town look nice they would take pride and want to help keep it clean. Citizen Alicia Handy asked if community service workers could do it. She said she knows there are a lot of people who need community service hours. Kids maybe could do it, but they would probably want some sort of incentive to do so.
CDBG: The monthly report from the COG will be included in the Minute Book. Mrs. McDermott informed the board that Stephanie Morris with the state will be coming on May 19, 2021 to review her files for this grant.
Comments from the Mayor: Mayor Pro Tem Cooper thanked the citizens for coming to the meeting. He said there is a lot of business that goes on in town to keep things going. Mayor Pro Tem Cooper also stated how important it is to get some small-town businesses in Woodland.
Comments from the Commissioners: Commissioner Morris thanked everyone for coming to the meeting.
Public Comments: Mrs. Uffner asked the board for an update on the sewer system on Linden St. The board told her that Ino-Utility will be out there tomorrow to start the repair. Mayor Pro Tem Cooper told Mrs. Uffner there would be very little damage to her yard, but not to worry, that either the company or the town will take care of her yard. He also said she may be without service for about one hour, but that would be it.
Raymond Eaton thanked Commissioner Morris and his wife for volunteering their time to help with spring cleanup, and he also thanked Mayor Pro Tem Cooper for all of his time and donation of his equipment to help with the sewer problem on Linden and Main St. Mr. Eaton commended the entire board for all they have done to support the town.
Chief Hoggard told the board that he was confused in the past about the part time salary. He asked the board to discuss this during the closed session meeting.
Alicia Handy asked the board if they would be interested in having a day for food truck vendors to come into town. Mayor Pro Tem asked if they would need a permit to sell food. He recommends some sort of record to be kept of who is selling food. The board asked Mrs. McDermott to check and see what other towns are doing pertaining to food trucks.
Diane Long Barber, a six year resident of Woodland, said she was working in Elizabeth City when the recent tragedy happened with Andrew Brown. Mrs. Barber said she continues to hear that the young black people in our area fear our part time officer, Officer Kellet, because they believe he does not like black people. She is concerned for all the youth in the area. Policing needs to be more compassionate because some of these kids are fatherless, and some are not raised the same. Alicia Handy said she not only fears for the youth, but she also fears for our officers. She wants to make sure everyone goes home safely.
Adjourn Open Session: Commissioner Outland made a motion to adjourn the meeting and to go into closed session. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.