Town of Woodland Board Minutes
Date: June 3, 2021
Randy Beale – Mayor
David Cooper – Commissioner
Barbara Outland – Commissioner
Brian Christison – Commissioner
Ricky Morris - Commissioner
Donielle McDermott – Town Clerk
Eddie Hoggard – Police Chief
Raymond Eaton - ORC
Call to Order: Mayor Beale 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 approve the agenda as is. 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 May 5, 2021. Commissioner Morris made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Consideration of Bills: Commissioner Cooper excused himself from the voting on the bills since there was a bill from Bryant and Lassiter in the folder. Commissioner Outland made a motion to pay all the current bills and to also pay all the regular bills that come in throughout the month. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Public Comments: Sidney Joyner spoke on the need for high speed internet in our area stating that REA is beginning to put internet near us. There was a virtual meeting this past Tuesday with the COG and he was highly disappointed that the Town of Woodland was not represented at this meeting. The COG is pushing for Woodland, Rich Square, and Laster to get high speed internet, but we need representation at these meetings. Mayor Beale apologized for not being at that meeting, and he thanked Mr. Joyner for bringing this to our attention.
Barbara Lockett stated she would like a copy of the board and employees and their contact information.
Larry Carpenter: Mr. Carpenter did not show up.
Lauren Morris: Mrs. Morris along with a coworker from the Family Consumer Science Department in the Cooperative Extension Office in Northampton County would like to do a Walk Audit in the Town of Woodland. The purpose of this walk audit is to determine how walkable Woodland is and how safe is it to walk? A walk audit would look at different aspects of walking in town answering different questions such as, “Are the sidewalks safe? Are there enough sidewalks? Do we have signs encouraging people to walk?” After the walk, the volunteers would come back to Town Hall and go over the results and discuss ideas on how to fix the issues found. This date can then be used on grant applications for sidewalks, for example. Mrs. Morris asked the town in there is any interest in this, and if so, she would like to have a group of at least 10 people. Commissioner Morris asked if we pick a specific day or do we do this individually. Mrs. Morris said that pre-covid, this would be done as a group, however, if we feel the need to or if people are uncomfortable being in a group, we can do this individually. Mrs. Morris will be the coordinator for this walk audit. Citizen Barbara Lockett said one thing she noticed about the walking trail behind the school is the need for more places to sit and rest. Mrs. Morris said this is the type of information we will discover with the walk audit. Mayor Beale said the town may be interested and we could use social media to find the volunteers. Citizen Carolyn Spruill spoke up and said there are no walkways on Ashe St., and also there is a lot of trash on the roads and in yards.
Tony Burnette: Mr. Burnette is the interim Emergency Management Director for Northampton County. One of his big concerns is shelters in the county. He worries about making sure the citizens are safe when storms approach. There currently are three shelters in the county, Conway, Jackson, and Gaston, but he wants to know where the people of Woodland go for shelter. Mr. Burnette recently did a walk through of the CADA building saying that was a nice place and asked if it could possibly be used. If not, is there a building that can be used for shelter.
Mr. Burnette thanked the Town for hosting the recent food drive behind Town Hall. He asked the board if there is a place a semi truck can come and deliver pallets for other towns to pick up, possibly behind Town Hall.
Lowes Distribution will be having a job fair on June 11, 2021 from 10am to 3pm at the Wellness Center in Jackson. Lowes is looking to hire 150 employees.
The Northampton County School Board will be opening a Technical Innovation Center in August at NCHS-East. This center will offer welding, auto mechanics, firefighting, HVAC, cosmetology, nursing and more. There will also be an operational restaurant. This center will be open for students and adults.
The CERT Team is looking for volunteers to help boost emergency personnel in the county.
Commissioner Cooper asked Mr. Burnette if the emergency shelter has to be handicap accessible. Yes, the Red Cross will inspect the building before we get the go ahead to use it.
Mayor Beale thanked Mr. Burnette for the food drive.
Fire Department: Robbie Collier read the report which will be included in the Minute Book. Demolition is complete on the old building. They hauled off 21.5 tons of debris at an estimated cost of $1,800 for tipping fees. Revelle Builders will be pouring cement soon.
The cornhole tournament went well. Everyone had a good time, but no money was made due to one time costs. They are hoping to do this again and since the initial one time costs are behind them, next time should be a money maker.
There are 9 to 10 members doing technical training. If 8 out of the 10 pass this class, grant opportunities will open up for the department.
Mr. Collier thanked Tony Burnette for taking an interest on the east end of the county.
Police Report: Chief Hoggard read the report which will be included in the Minute Book. The radar sign has been ordered and is on the way. The cost for the sign and trailer is roughly $6,000 plus the cost of having it welded.
a. Commissioner Christison made a motion to approve the Resolution for Receiving Federal Funds Under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
b. Commissioner Christison made a motion to approve the Budget and Budget Ordinance for fiscal year 2021-2022. Commissioner Morris seconded and the motion carried.
c. The Town requested a quote from the League of Municipalities for property and liability insurance. The quote came in roughly $9,000 less than our current insurance agent, Boyette and Robertson. However, Boyette and Robertson claim the insurance is not comparable as there are many differences. Due to the lack of time before the next fiscal year, the board discussed sticking with Boyette and Robertson this coming year and possibly meeting with the League earlier next year to go over the differences in the price quotes. Commissioner Christison made a motion to keep our property and liability insurance with Boyette and Robertson for the next fiscal year. Commissioner Morris seconded and the motion carried.
d. Mrs. McDermott has requested two budget amendments.
i. Line item 30-375-03 CDBG revenue and 30-810-78 CDBG expenditure need to be amended to increase to $58,776.08. Commissioner Chrsitison made a motion to approve this budget amendment. Commissioner Morris seconded and the motion carried.
ii. Line item 20-300-08 Sale of Armory revenue and 20-530-59 Sale of Truck expenditure need to be amended to be increased by $23,643.96. Commissioner Christison made a motion to approve this budget amendment. Commissioner Morris seconded and the motion carried.
e. The Town received a letter from Northampton County Board of Elections stating the filing period for our two commissioner seats will begin on Friday, July 2, 2021 at 12 noon and end on Friday, July 16, 2021 at 12 noon.
f. Mrs. McDermott recently spoke with a gentleman from a local funeral home. They called to ask if we require a vault in our cemetery. We do not. His advice is for the town to consider adding this requirement in our cemetery ordinance stating caskets are not designed to bear weight and over time they break down. When this happens, the ground will sink causing the town to have to continue filling in the hole. The board decided to table this at this time.
Maintenance Report: Raymond Eaton read his maintenance report for the month of May. This report will be included in the Minute Book. Mr. Eaton asked the board if the moratorium for solar farms is still in effect. The board was unsure, but we will check on this.
Eric Rice, and inspector for the state, found a few issues during his recent inspection. However, these things have since been corrected.
The fire department would like the extra rocks from the project on Main and Linden St. Commissioner Christison made a motion to give the remaining rock and sand to the fire department with the understanding that the fire department must move it themselves. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Eaton said there are a couple of applicants that have come in for the maintenance position.
The chlorine pump was installed at the well. The well had been offline until this pump was installed.
Mr. Eaton has a couple gentleman coming to give the town a quote for the walkway behind the school.
CDBG: The monthly report will be included in the Minute Book.
a. Commissioner Morris made a motion to adopt the Proclamation of Support for Fair Housing Month. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Comments from the Mayor: Mayor Beale thanked everyone for coming and thanked our guests.
Comments from the Commissioners: Commissioner Christison asked Lauren Morris if she knows whether the ARP money municipalities are receiving can be used to repave walkways. Mrs. Morris did not know.
Commissioner Cooper said he has been on the town board for a while now and was on the board when Mrs. Margaret Burgwyn was mayor of Woodland. She just passed away and he suggests the town buy flowers and a card for the family. On another note, Commissioner Cooper said the marquee needs to be moved.
Commissioner Morris asked Mr. Eaton if the maintenance department was having a problem with people putting their trash out late this spring cleanup. Mr. Eaton said no.
Public Comments: Barbara Lockett would like a list of board members and employees and their contact information.
Raymond Eaton replied to a comment Barbara Lockett made earlier during the walk audit discussion and told the board that we have some benches that we can put out on the walkway behind the school.
Chief Hoggard told the board that we are still waiting for one piece to come in before the cameras can be installed at the doctor’s office.
Adjourn Open Session: Commissioner Cooper made a motion at 8:30 pm to close open session and go into closed session to discuss personnel in accordance with NC G.S. 143-318.11(a)(6) after an intermission. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.