02 Aug April 26, 2021 Minutes
THE FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTHTEENTH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
April 26, 2021 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Tichy, Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, Alderman Andrews, Alderman Baldwin,
Alderman Isley, Alderman Crouse, Alderman Tichy and Clerk York.
Invocation and Call to Order given by Pastor Philabaum
Motion to accept the February 22, 2021 meeting minutes made by Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, seconded by Alderman Tichy. Motion carries 6-0
Motion to go into public hearing on special use permit made by Alderman Tichy, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe. Motion carries 6-0
Special use Permit 2869 Rob Shepard Drive: Board of Adjustment
Clerk York stated the Board of adjustment was seated to hear any public comment, of which you must be sworn in to make.
In the mixed-use district, it is allowable to have more than one building on a lot, provided a special use permit has been applied for.
Clerk York stated that Dr. David Patterson had applied for a special use permit to build a 5000 sq. ft. building on the open property behind the dental office. The new building would be between Rob Shepard Dr. and the small home to the rear of the property. It would face Rob Shepard Dr. and would have a brick front, like the dental office and other buildings. The front of the building will accommodate the offices and the rear will be used for shipping and receiving. Standard size FedEx and UPS trucks would service the shipping needs. A paved parking lot would be in front of the building to accommodate the anticipated 4 to 8 cars.
Mayor Tichy stated the planning board met last week and has recommended approval on this project.
Dr. David Patterson was sworn in to give testimony or answer questions about the proposed building. Alderman Isley asked if the traffic would increase in a significant way and what would be the primary use of the building. Dr. Patterson stated it would be a normal amount of traffic and the building will be used for shipping and receiving of soft goods, primarily clothing.
A motion was made to accept the approval of the special use permit by Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, seconded by Alderman Baldwin. Motion carries 7-0
A motion was made by Alderman Crouse to go back into regular session, seconded by Alderman Tichy. Motion carries 7-0
Mayor Tichy opened the floor to public comment.
Lorraine kaika of 2738 Birch lane stated the signs in the historic district of the Village were offensive. They would not in any way encourage people to slow down. She also stated there was now a sign from the sheriffs dept showing 25mph, next to a 35mph sigh, through the historic district and feels that could be confusing. Mayor Tichy stated the placement of the sign, which checks the speed of passing cars, is a recommended speed limit for the area. There will be information at the next meeting on the general speed and amount of traffic passing through the Village, as recorded from the sign. Ms. Kaika stated that she thinks the signs are a horrible representation of the people of the Village of Alamance.
Ron Philabaum of Alamance Lutheran Church stated he understood there was concern over the signs, but he understands that it comes from a place of true concern for the speeding through that part of town. He stated that the DOT did a study and on average there are 9000 cars passing through each day. He stated when there is a police presence or the flashing sign showing speed it helps. He stated that the language of the signs could possibly be changed but something should be done about the speeding.
Kim at 3944 South NC 62 stated that she understood that many people don’t like the signs but she is glad that they have brought community awareness to the speeding issues.
Dr. Patterson stated that he notices the speeding traffic and has wondered if the digital cameras would be an option to put up to catch people speeding through. Attorney Knoots stated he did not think speed cameras were allowed, like red light cameras. Alderman Tichy stated those cameras were easily fought in court and proved more costly to the municipality. Dr. Patterson stated there didn’t seem to be easy solution short of having a law enforcement officer here. Mayor Tichy stated there is an officer here at least once a week.
Catheria Bundren of 4412 NC 62 asked who was attending the TAC meetings. Mayor Tichy stated he was. Ms. Bundren wanted to know what the status of the proposed bypass was. Mayor Tichy stated it was among the lowest priorities due to a lower traffic volume and accident and death rate. Ms. Bundren stated she hopes that more people will show up to the TAC meetings and get more attention drawn to the Village, which needs the bypass to curb the traffic issues.
Ms. Bundren stated she did not appreciate the inference of language on the signs and would like to see something different.
Chris Moore of 3950 South NC 62 stated he understands people may not like the language on the signs but something has to be done about the speeding. Mr. Moore stated the implied language could mean anything to anyone and the signs should not be removed because others find them offensive. Mayor Tichy stated the Village has not asked for the signs to be removed.
Debra Matta of 3969 South NC 62 stated that at least the signs brought attention to the speeding problem. She asked if there were any flashing speed signs that could be placed in the historic district. Mayor Tichy stated that it is a state road and any sign would have to be placed there by the state. Ms. Matta asked if it would help if the citizens contacted the state about the traffic issues. Mayor Tichy stated any citizen could contact the state and it may be more helpful to have citizens reaching out, not just the town clerk.
Sherry Ford of 3968 South NC 62 asked why the Village cannot hire a part time officer to help with the speeding and traffic issues. Mayor Tichy stated the cost would be about $60,000 a year for a part time officer. It is not cost effective at this time to have an officer for the historical part of the Village. Ms. Ford stated Green Level has a full time officer, according to the Sheriff’s dept, at a cost of $75,000 to $80,000 per year including the use and maintenance of the car.
Mayor Tichy stated the total tax revenue from the historical district is $1790.00 which would mean an overall tax rate increase would need to be placed on the Village to compensate for an officers salary. Ms. Ford asked about a possible grant from the state department of justice. Mayor Tichy stated he has never been advised that one would be available. Ms. Ford stated that Haw River just received a grant. Mayor Tichy stated they already have a police department.
Mayor Tichy stated the Village would come close to having part time patrol here if it continues to be requested by the board and the citizens. Ms. Ford asked if someone could look into getting a grant. Mayor Tichy and Clerk York said they would.
Alderman Isley asked if the Village hired an officer would it help with revenue from tickets and would the current officer at the school be removed. Mayor Tichy and Alderman Tichy agreed that the Village would not receive any revenue from tickets and most likely the officer at the school would not be able to stay there as he or whomever would need to be throughout the Village.
James Coble of South NC 62 asked if the Board has ever considered a speed table. Mayor Tichy stated they are not allowed on State roads due to be being a safety hazard.
Donna Lewendowski of 3962 South NC 62 stated that it seems the board has exhausted the avenues for curbing the speeding in town. The signs have brought attention to the issue and if it is up to the citizens to handle the issue it seems this was a good way to do it. She stated the signs are not obscene and they seem to be effective at slowing down the traffic. Alderman Tichy agreed that speeding is an issue in the Village and Heritage Glen as well. He stated that while he does not agree with language of the sign this is the first time there has been so much attention brought it. The best way to handle the issue is for the community to attend the state GAC meetings and push for the bypass. Alderman Tichy stated that there should be information collected from the flashing speed limit sign and that data could be presented at the GAC meeting. Mayor Tichy stated Clerk York can post the time and place for the next meeting.
Shelia Fesperman of 2781 South Cedar Road stated that speeding has been an issue for many years here. She would like to see an increase in police presence. Ms. Fesperman stated the signs were offensive and she did not think they were an effective tool.
Lacey Steger 3965 South NC 62 stated her biggest concern is the 18 wheelers that speed past. She asked if simply having a patrol car parked in the Village would be an option. Mayor Tichy stated that would be a viable option to look into.
Elizabeth Powell of 3975 South NC 62 stated she was the purchaser of the signs and apologized to those who were offended by them. She stated many attempts have been made to find a solution to the issue of speeding in the Village with no results. She asked the board to please help the community find a way to curb the speeding issue.
Cynthia Moon of 2748 Birch Lane stated there could be agreement that the signs have caused some controversy. She disagrees with the language of the signs. Ms. Moon asked if there might be another solution such as a flashing yellow sign to yield. Mayor Tichy stated the board has asked for these types of signs in the past due to fatal accidents in the town. There has yet to be any promise of getting a sign due to budget issues. Ms. Moon asked that if the negative signs were going to remain could they be placed closer to the houses instead of the road.
Lorraine Kaika stated she did not want the Village considered in parts, such as the historic district and Heritage Glen. She sees it as a whole and any issue should be considered an issue for all the residents of the Village. Mayor Tichy stated the board does not favor any section of the Village, the funds are distributed equally throughout with upgrades and upkeep.
Mayor Tichy stated that while he does not agree with the wording on the signs he can not and will not ask Ms. Powell to take them down.
Ms. Kaika stated until the meeting tonight she was unaware of the efforts the town had put in to curb the speeding. She stated there had been some good suggestions from the audience and hopes that one of the options could be implemented.
Mr. Reich stated the soil report for Heritage Glen 5C was satisfactory. Mayor Tichy has signed the water application and it has been returned to the design engineer.
Paving for Heritage Glenn is needed from Brookstone Dr. to NC 62 and Brookstone Dr. to Midland Ct. Brookstone Dr. will continue to be used to access phase 5C but it can be paved before completion. Using the paving cost from last year Mr. Reich estimates the cost to be similar for paving this year. He stated Brookstone could wait to be paved until after the construction was completed in phase 5C and the heavy traffic subsides. Mayor Tichy stated the board would not decide on the paving tonight but will further discuss at the budget meeting in May.
Mr. Reich stated there are 2 options for $30,000 portions of sidewalk work that can be done in the historic district, depending on creating 4ft or 5ft wide sidewalks. The first portion of work would happen in front of the Lutheran Church. The Mayor stated he would like to do 5ft sidewalks to keep it uniform with the newest portion of sidewalk work. Mr. Reich stated he would need to get waivers from the property owners and an encroachment agreement with NC DOT. The Board agreed to move forward with getting bids for the project.
Mr. Allred was not present at the meeting. Alderman Tichy stated that he had a complaint from Mr. Owens about someone driving through his yard as they moved the right of ways in Heritage Glen.
Zoning Text Amendment ( Set a Public Hearing Date ) Elizabeth Powell Application
Motion made by Alderman Tichy to set the zoning text amendment meeting for the next monthly meeting, seconded by Alderman Isley. Motion carries 6-0
May 17th will be the next zoning amendment meeting at 6pm.
Proposal from Camcor to convert for Virtual Meetings
Clerk York stated the covid funds would be used to place T.V. monitors and cameras in the board room to help have virtual meetings when needed. Mayor Tichy stated this money does not impact the Town budget and it had to be used or it would be lost. These upgrades were necessary to hold virtual or live stream meetings.
Planning Board Vacancy
Mayor Tichy stated he and the board would like for Mr. Paseman, Mr. Cheap and Mr. Christmas to come in to address the board. The Board feels these are the strongest candidates for the planning board vacancies.
GFL (Waste Industries) Contract Extension
Clerk York stated the contract extension with GFL would be for three years, from 2021-2024.
He stated that the Village pays for the trash and recycle carts for the residents and the cost will be increasing this year. currently the cost for trash carts is $11.84 and should remain the same. The recycle carts are increasing in price from $1.04 to $2.14 per cart plus $1.95 processing fee. It will increase the amount the Town pays by $3.05 per cart per month. It will be the Boards decision as to whether or not to pass all or some of the cost to the residents. Currently residents pay $2.71, and the town pays $1.04 of that cost. The new amount the town will be paying is $4.09 which is $3.05 more than before. The reason for the increase is that recycling is no longer as profitable as before. The volume of recycle is higher than what can be processed.
Alderman Tichy made a motion to approve the contract extension with GFL, seconded by Alderman Crouse. Motion carries 6-0
Funds from Covid-19 Relief Bill
Clerk York stated there have been Covid relief funds issued by the federal Government. The Village should receive approximately $300,000. Mayor Tichy asked if there were any guidelines for spending the money. Clerk York stated that there were not clear guidelines yet. Mayor Tichy stated that at this time it looks like the funds will have several restricted uses, but more information will be given as the funds are distributed.
Set a date for Budget Meeting
The date for the budget meeting set for May 5th at 7am.
Finance Report/Budget Amendment
Clerk York stated the retirement fund had been underfunded and that it has been appropriately increased. Some funds from the Capitol management trust have been moved into the Wells Fargo account to prevent excess fees. There are no additional monies being spent. It is just adjusting some of the line items, so they do not run out funds.
Alderman Tichy made a motion to approve the budget amendment as presented for bank charges and capital expenditures and for the retirement contribution, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe. Motion carries 6-0
Alderman Tichy expressed concern about ATV’s riding through the Village on the right of ways. He also stated he had concerns about sewer lines and the outfalls area potentially being damaged by these vehicles. Clerk York stated he could put something in the newsletter. Mayor Tichy stated Mr. Allred could post some signs and find out the cost of putting up a gate in certain areas.
Elizabeth Powell asked if there was anything that could be done with the yellow house that has trash in the back yard. Mayor Tichy stated until it became a hazard there is nothing the Village can do.
Motion made to adjourn Alderman Tichy, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe. Motion carried 6-0
Don Tichy, Mayor
___________________________________Ben York, Village Clerk