Town of Woodland Board Minutes
Date: July 1, 2021
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 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 8c Resolution for the Hazard Mitigation Plan and 8d Broadband. 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 Closed Session Meeting dated May 18, 2021, the Public Hearing dated June 3, 2021, and the Regular Board Meeting dated June 3, 2021. Commissioner Christison made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Commissioner Cooper wanted the record to reflect the board participated in a webinar on June 30, 2021 at 6:30 pm to learn more about the American Rescue Plan Act and how the fund may be spent.
Consideration of Bills: Commissioner Cooper 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: Krystal Bell, a Woodland resident, asked the town for permission to hook up with the town sewer. She is having issues with her septic system. Mrs. Bell lives 2/10 of a mile outside city limits. Commissioner Cooper said the new health inspector suggested she check with hooking up with the town. All the cost would be on Mrs. Bell. The board informed Mrs. Bell that this would be a very costly project which would involve an engineer drawing up a plan to hook up. They suggested Mrs. Bell speak with the other houses down her way to see if they would also be interested in hooking on to town sewer. That way she could split the cost with her neighbors. Commissioner Cooper said he would be happy to talk with the county health inspector on her behalf to see if it is possible to put in a new septic system instead.
Fire Department Report: Robbie Collier read the monthly report which will be included in the Minute Book. The foundation was dug, and the trench has been poured on the new building area. The project is progressing slowly with no completion date known yet. Several of the firemen are still attending classes in Rich Square. As stated last month, if eight of the firemen pass the class, this will open up access to the rescue side of grant money.
Police Report: Chief Hoggard read the police report which will be included in the Minute Book. Chief Hoggard stated he made a mistake on the report for 104 Linden St. The date Mr. Hamilton was last at his residence was June 6th or 7th, not June 13th.
Mayor Beale stated that during the walk audit 18 wheelers flew by so fast one of the ladies with a walker almost fell. We have to slow these people down. He is concerned for the seniors walking to and from the restaurant getting hit by a car. Chief Hoggard said the radar sign is finished, and he will have it set up within the next few days.
Mayor Beale also said he heard machine guns going off during the night recently. Chief Hoggard suggested calling 911 anytime someone hears shots fired.
Chief Hoggard explained to the board the incident at 104 Linden Street. Mr. Hamilton called on June 23, 2021 to request a police report be done. Mr. Hamilton said when he went to his house the morning of the 23rd, his water was turned on at the meter. He had some pipes in his house that he was unable to close all the way, therefore the water being turned on at the road caused flooding in his house. Commissioner Cooper said this is one reason customers need a cut off valve behind the meter, and a lot of towns actually require this. He said the town of Woodland ought to require this.
Mrs. McDermott explained the conversation and the interaction between her and Mrs. Hamilton regarding this. She explained that Mrs. Hamilton contacted her on June 7th asking for someone from the town to go to her house to see if her husband was home as he had left his phone at their new house in Virginia. Mrs. McDermott went before work and noticed a great amount of water in their yard and driveway. She knocked on the door, but Mr. Hamilton was not home. When Mrs. McDermott got to work, she called Raymond Eaton and asked him to go check for flow on their meter because of the amount of water in their yard. Mrs. McDermott messaged Mrs. Hamilton to let her know her husband was not there and to also let her know her water bill had been returned. Mrs. Hamilton asked Mrs. McDermott why her bill was so high and Mrs. McDermott responded by telling her there must be a leak. Mrs. McDermott told Mrs. Hamilton that she asked Mr. Eaton to go check their meter for flow and would get back with her when he checked it. She then asked Mrs. Hamilton if she would like for the town to turn the water off at the road in case there is a leak to keep if from entering their pipes and into their home. Mrs. Hamilton said she would like the water to be turned off “after today” in case her husband goes back today for something. On June 8th, Mrs. McDermott messaged Mrs. Hamilton again to let her know that Mr. Eaton checked their meter one more time and it still indicated no flow, however it showed over 6000 gallons of water had been used since they read the meters last, which was just a couple weeks ago. Mrs. McDermott asked Mrs. Hamilton if she would like to turn their water off permanently or keep their account active so they can have their water turned back on when they come back to this house. Mrs. Hamilton asked for the water to be turned off but the account to remain active and they will pay the flat rate until they sell the house.
Commissioner Cooper said we need to make sure someone is home when water is turned on in the event there is a leak at someone’s house.
Commissioner Christison suggested the board have a meeting with the Hamiltons and Mr. Eaton. The board asked Mrs. McDermott to contact Boyette and Robertson to see what our insurance would cover. The mayor will contact Mrs. Hamilton to schedule the meeting.
The board suggested redoing the water applications to include a paragraph stating no tampering of the water meter.
a. Mrs. McDermott brought up last month’s tabled discussion on cemetery vaults. Last month someone from Garrett Sykes Funeral Home called and asked if the town requires vaults in our cemetery, in which Mrs. McDermott replied that we do not. He suggested the town consider requiring one. A vault will illuminate the need for our maintenance guys to refill plots when the ground settles. The board asked if they recommend requiring a vault with cremations. They asked for us to check with other towns to see if they require vaults.
b. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to hire Cody Hurdle for the maintenance department effective June 28, 2021. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
c. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to pass the Resolution for the Halifax-Northampton Hazard Mitigation Plan. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
d. Commissioner Christison wanted the record to reflect that the board has attended several meetings this past month regarding broadband for our area. Commissioner Christison has a meeting scheduled with Curtis Wynn from Roanoke Connect on July 3, 2021.
Maintenance Report: Raymond Eaton read the monthly report which will be included in the Minute Book. Rivers and Associates has sent in an offer to do our maps for the wastewater plant at a cost of $7,500. Commissioner Cooper said we need to look around and price it out and Commissioner Christison said we should have a decision by next board meeting. They asked Mr. Eaton to get a couple more quotes. Commissioner Christison asked Mrs. McDermott to see if the American Rescue Plan money can be used to pay for the map.
Mr. Eaton ordered books for James Byrum to use to study. He will check on dates and prices for a pesticide class for Mr. Byrum and Mr. Hurdle.
Mr. Eaton will conduct a smoke test on June 12, 2021 on our sewer lines to test the I&I. He requested Mrs. McDermott to inform the public via our Faebook page.
The Town of Woodland receives money from the Powell Bill for S. Persimmon and Walnut St., therefore Mr. Eaton wants to know if we can use Powell Bill funds to pay for patching these roads. The Housing Authority has an inspection coming up on July 20, 2021 and needs the holes patched before then. Mr. Eaton has already met with Trinity Paving for a quote.
a. The Apprenticeship Program was something Mr. Eaton was considering before we hired Mr. Hurdle. He is glad to know there is this type of program available.
b. Mr. Eaton has been approached regarding the Town’s solar farm moratorium. Commissioner Cooper said he feels we should not have any more solar farms in our ETJ. Mayor Beale asked if the solar farms who promised training for the fire department and police department followed through with their promise of training. Mr. Eaton said no. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to amend the Town’s Solar Farm Ordinance to say the town will not allow anymore solar farms in the ETJ of Woodland. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Eaton said someone will be renting Dr. Stanley’s office to use as a car dealership. There will be a zoning meeting next week to discuss this.
White and Woodley are working on fixing the water park.
CDBG: The monthly report will be included in the Minute Book. Mrs. McDermott informed the board that the state received the letter of response in reference to the Procurement and Compliance findings from Monitoring Visit #1 which took place on May 19, 2021. During this visit, the town received three findings, two regarding procurement and one regarding fair housing. The state was satisfied with the response letter and removed the findings.
Comments from the Mayor: There were no comments.
Comments from the Commissioners: Commissioner Cooper asked if the roof is still leaking and stated we need to address this. He asked Mr. Eaton to get a couple quotes to fix the roof. He also said we need to get some quotes to pressure wash and paint the outside of the building.
Commissioner Christison thanked everyone for coming out to the meeting. He went on to say thank you to the board and we did good on the budget again this year.
Public Comments: Ann Uffner asked how much longer it will be for broadband in our area. The board told her it could be one year to maybe as long as five years.
Raymond Eaton told the board we have two lawnmowers down. He contacted CADA and will be having three more young kids come to work for the town soon. He will get them to do work such as edge the sidewalks. He will be spraying for mosquitos next week.
Krystal Bell asked if the mosquito spraying can go to her house. The board agreed that would be fine.
Ann Uffner asked where people were supposed to sign up for the walk audit. Mrs. McDermott told her there was a sign up sheet at Town Hall.
Adjourn Open Session: At 8:36 p.m., Commissioner Cooper made a motion to leave open session and go into closed session to discuss personnel pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11(a)(6). Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.