Town of Woodland Board Minutes
Date: August 4, 2022
Randy Beale - Mayor
David Cooper – Commissioner
Ricky Morris - Commissioner
Brian Christison – Commissioner
Barbara Outland – Commissioner
Eddie Hoggard – Police Chief
Raymond Eaton - ORC
Donielle McDermott – Town Clerk
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 written. Commissioner Cooper seconded and the motion carried.
Approval of Minutes: The next item on the agenda was the approval or amendment of the minutes for the regular meeting dated July 7, 2022 and the closed session meeting dated July 7, 2022. Commissioner Outland made a motion to amend the minutes to add Commissioner Outland as present at the last meeting. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Consideration of Bills: Commissioner Morris 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.
Franklin Williams: Mr. Williams, the Northampton County Economic Development Director, was present to give an update on internet accessibility throughout the county. The county commissioners are in the midst of trying to secure an internet provider. The first consideration was a pilot program through the COG who had grant money to fund broadband internet with Roanoke Connect in three municipalities in the county. Lasker, Woodland, and Rich Square were the three municipalities chosen. Lasker has already been done, and the next in line is Woodland, but we do not know how long that process will take. In the meantime, the federal government has a Great Grant which the county applied. The federal government will pay for 50%, the municipality will pay for 25%, and the company will pay the other 25%. The county commissioners have vowed to have internet accessibility to all the county citizens. The county commissioners have found a company they are considering contracting with to provide residents internet, but before they sign any paperwork, the internet company will be going to different parts of the county to make sure it will work. Woodland will be the first place they test. If this works, the county will pay the $185 fee for the antenna installation per resident who signs up for internet service. The monthly fee for the residents will be between $30-60 per month. Low income families can apply for a voucher which will cover $30 per month of the service fee. There is no data limit and no contracts will have to be signed. At the moment, there are 2,913 homes in Northampton County without internet. Mr. Williams said Roanoke Connect is still coming, but they are not sure how long it will take. Woodland will be their first stop.
Northampton County is applying for a grant that will send people in from D.C. to help our small towns apply for grants and utilize funds from the American Rescue Plan. Mr. Williams asked the board to consider their top three town needs. There will be a mayors’ meeting next week to discuss the needs of each municipality, then in September, there will be a big meeting with the people from Washington D.C. The top three counties in the state will be picked by November to receive this opportunity.
Mr. Williams thanked Sidney Joyner for keeping a fire lit with the internet problems in the county.
Public Comments: Bobby Mann asked if the grass could be cut at 603 E. Main and 605 E. Main, and the lot in between the two. Mrs. McDermott will get a letter out to the property owners about this right away.
Fire Department: Robbie Collier read the fire report which will be included in the Minute Book. The new fire department sign was just put up this afternoon. The electricity will hopefully be run on the 20th during their next work day.
Police Report: Chief Hoggard read the report which will be included in the Minute Book. Chief Hoggard stated he had been researching part time policies from other towns, and majority of them have a minimum of 24 hours per quarter averaging 8 hours per month. Commissioner Morris said he would like to see more than 8 hours per month. Chief Hoggard stated that a part time applicant was interviewed today and he knows the board will discuss this application during closed session. He’s hoping this applicant will be hired and the town will have more coverage soon.
a. The town was awarded funding for the Water Asset Inventory Assessment in the amount of $150,000. The paperwork to accept this funding will be on the way.
b. Mrs. McDermott presented to the board a Daily Deposit Policy for our Operational/Procedural Manual. A copy of this policy will be in the Minute Book. Commissioner Christison made a motion to approve the Daily Deposit Policy. Commissioner Cooper seconded and the motion carried.
c. The Upper Coastal Plain Council of Government contacted Mrs. McDermott recently to say that our water rates are too low. Had they been $1.26 more per 5,000 gallons, we could have received two extra points in our funding application for the lagoons. Because of this, the COG recommends the Town of Woodland raising the water rates. The board is in agreement the rates should go up and will discuss this further at a special called meeting.
d. The Town of Woodland was presented with a 10-Year Wastewater Capital Improvement Plan to be adopted. This plan will be included in the Minute Book. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to adopt this 10-Year Wastewater Capital Improvement Plan. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.
Mrs. McDermott informed the board that there is storm water funding available, but the application will need to be turned in as soon as possible as this funding will be given out this fall. Blaine Humphrey suggested using these funds to build up the main ditch by Headstart where the erosion is occurring. The board agreed to apply for this grant opportunity. Commissioner Cooper will meet with Mr. Humphrey one day next week to discuss what work needs to be done there. He would like for Raymond Eaton, Julian Odom, and Robbie Collier to attend this meeting.
Pat Liverman asked Mrs. McDermott to ask the town board if the Town would be interested in the Woodland Community Building. The Men’s Club had this building for sale, but did not renew the realtor’s contract. Before they make a decision to put it back on the market, they wanted to see if the town would accept the building as a donation. The board discussed this possibility and decided to look more into this. They would like to take a look at the building and see what kind of shape it’s in and consider the maintenance and upkeep before making a final decision.
Maintenance Department: At this point, Mr. Eaton left the meeting. Commissioner Cooper said a lot has been going on lately with the maintenance department. Robbie Collier has agreed to come back part time. He has a heart for the town. Monday a new employee, Kenny Godfrey, will be starting full time. Mr. Godfrey seems interested in getting his certifications to become ORC.
Last week, the sewer line collapsed at the doctor’s office, therefore this past Saturday a contractor along with our maintenance department came in to replace the line.
Commissioner Christison and a coworker from Benchmark looked at the Town Hall roof today. They found the roof to be in good condition. There were a few small loose screws that could possibly be allowing water to leak in which can be replaced with some bigger screws. He also suggested using a rubber coating sealant around the edges of the roof to prevent future leaks.
Mayor Beale was excused from the meeting at this time, 8:00 pm. Commissioner Cooper took over as Mayor Pro Tem.
a. The monthly report was included in the Minute Book.
b. Pay request #2 to T.A. Loving for the 2015 CDBG work was submitted to the board for approval. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to approve pay request #2 to T.A. Loving Company in the amount of $64,698.03. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
a. Commissioner Christison made a motion to adopt the resolution to accept the State Revolving Loan/State Reserve Grant offer in the total amount of $1,096,150, and to give assurance to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality that all items specified in the loan/grant offer will be adhered to. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
b. Commissioner Christison made a motion to sign the Funding Offer and Acceptance documents for project number CS370639-01, Peachtree/Chestnut Sewer Replacement. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
c. Commissioner Morris made a motion to sign the Standard Conditions & Assurances For State Reserve Projects document for project number CS370639-01, Peachtree/Chestnut Sewer Replacement. Commissioner Outland seconded and the motion carried.
Comments from the Mayor: Mayor Pro Tem Cooper said we are blessed with a great maintenance crew right now.
Comments from the Commissioners: Commissioner Christison agrees with Mayor Pro Tem Cooper.
Commissioner Morris said the cemetery looks amazing.
Public Comments: Bobby Mann asked the board if they had tried Black Betty on the roof. Commissioner Christison said we have not, he is worried it may crack up. He thinks we will try the rubber seal first. With this, Commissioner Christison said the gutters need cleaning.
Closed Session: At 8:19 pm, Mayor Pro Tem Cooper made a motion to go out of open session and go into closed session pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11(a)(6) to discuss personnel. Commissioner Christison seconded and the motion carried.