27 Feb February 27th, 2012 Minutes
THE FOUR HUNDRED AND FOURTH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
February 27, 2012, 2012 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Bundren, Mayor Pro-Tem Sharpe, Alderman Clemmons, Alderman Tichy, Alderman Crouse, Alderman Gregory and Clerk York.
Absent: Alderman Slaughter
Alderman Clemmons gave the invocation.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to approve the January 23, 2012 meeting minutes. Alderman Tichy seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Report on Cabin Pump Station Project
Mark Reich presented an update on the Cabin Pump Station Project. He provided Board members with maps to accompany his report. Mr. Reich first addressed the NC 62 Pump Station. They have looked into placing a siphon at the existing station, but as stated previously, the elevations will not work there. This alternative has been eliminated from consideration. The second location for the siphon would be down behind the ballfield and north of the tower. This location was highlighted on the accompanying maps. At this location, they would propose to put in an access road to the siphon and also the dosing tank. The siphon would go from the point illustrated, across the creek, to the existing gravity sewer line. There is an existing gravel drive coming down beside the ballfield now which goes to the existing tower. The gravel drive would come off of this drive to access the dosing tank. The elevations appear to make this a viable alternative. The problem is that, from the existing pump station all the way back to the proposed location, the existing sanitary sewer lines would need to be replaced. The sewer lines are flowing against the creek, coming back from the ballfield going to the course. The lines coming in from the western side are at a higher elevation, so a new line would need to be run back around to the dosing tank. Mr. Reich said he was asked to look at another possible alternative that may be less expensive. He will also take an in-depth look at the operating and maintenance costs associated with the pump station. Mayor Bundren asked about the pump station at Birch Lane, asking if it pumped back up to NC 62. Mr. Reich said this was correct. He pointed out the manholes on the accompanying map. Mayor Bundren asked a question related to the map and where the line could be stopped. Mr. Reich responded that they would still need to pick up residences that tie into the line in that area and run the sewer line, coming from another direction, back around. Mayor Bundren said if they only picked up certain lines to go NC 62, they wouldn’t be pumping as much and it would be gravity fed. She asked why all the lines would need to be redone. Mr. Reich asked if she was including maintaining the pump station. Mayor Bundren replied affirmatively and asked what the cost would be. Mr. Reich noted this may be another alternative that he needs to examine. Mayor Bundren said if this could be done, only a few houses would be picked up and the pump would only be running periodically. Mr. Reich said this may be another viable option. Mayor Bundren commented that re-running all of the line would be very expensive. Mr. Reich said that he had planned on doing away with the pump station altogether. Mayor Bundren stated she was just thinking of the cost. Mr. Reich said that taking out the cost of replacing the sewer lines would be a tremendous savings. Mr. Reich stated that they should be able to get funds to replace the lines. He said they are hoping to get some type of a grant for the project. If a grant cannot be obtained, this may be a more viable option of leaving the section “in” as suggested. Mayor Bundren asked Mr. Reich to look at this, as a possibility. Mr. Reich said they would look at this, as an alternative, as well. They looked at the alternatives, too, of just upgrading the existing pump station. This would include putting in new pumps, new control panels, installing a new emergency generator, and upgrading the complete facility. Mr. Reich then referred to another map that illustrates the 500 year floodplain and the 100 year floodplain. The pump station itself is out and above the 100 year flood elevation, but not the 500 year flood elevation. As part of the upgrade, they are looking to raise the site up about three more feet, to get it above the 500 year floodplain. This would make it less vulnerable to flooding conditions and make it more reliable. On the North side, they will probably have to put in a retaining wall, because that slope comes close to the top. They could use segmental blocks to put a retaining wall on three sides, to build up the pump station site. Part of the driveway is not in the 500 year floodplain, but it is in the floodplain as you go back toward the pump station. The cost for doing all of the work would be $198,500.00. Mayor Bundren asked if this cost included eliminating the NC 62 Pump Station. Mr. Reich replied this cost is just for upgrading the existing pump station. He said that going across the creek would cost about $140,000.00—this is just for the siphon alone. This is a huge cost, plus you would add the engineering costs, easements, etc. Mr. Reich said he had worked up some costs for the alternate plan being looked at behind the ballfield. They will try to fine tune some of these costs a little more and look at the operating costs, along with the present work analysis. They will try to see if the future operation and maintenance costs will make the siphon more viable and cost effective to do. They haven’t completely ruled out the siphon yet.
Next, Mr. Reich presented the alternatives examined for the Cabin Road Pump Station. He pointed out the current location of the pump station on the accompanying map. It is clearly within the 100 year floodplain and also clearly within the 500 year floodplain. The first alternative was to do nothing. This is not a viable alternative because of the environmental issues. The second option would be to do an upgrade at that particular location, but because of the proximity of the creek, they would be looking at building retaining walls an additional eight feet high to get the pump station above the 500 year floodplain. Again, this is just not a viable alternative. The third option is to come across (as diagramed on the map) with a gravity line, come across the creek, come across Pond Road, and then begin a siphon (as illustrated). They would go across with the siphon, part of which could be trench-laid, and then put a horizontal bore underneath the creek to come back up on the other side and tie into it, putting a siphon there. This is a viable alternative, looking at the preliminary numbers. The cost would be $386,000.00. With the siphon, there will be some operation and maintenance costs. There will still be a telephone bill, but no power bills. Equipment won’t need to be replaced with the siphon as with the pump station. Operation and maintenance costs would be lower. Mayor Bundren added this would cut down the usage of the NC 62 Pump Station. Mr. Reich said that that was correct. The fourth option would be to put in a pump station, at the Pond Road location, instead of a dosing tank. A forced main would be run from there, back around Pond Road, and tie back into that existing line behind the houses. The cost for this fourth option would be $524,000.00. It’s a viable alternative, but it is not the most cost effective alternative. There will still be operation and maintenance costs associated with the pump station. The recommendation for Cabin Road is to do the siphon at the location (as illustrated). Mayor Bundren asked about the possibility of grant money for the project. Mr. Reich said a loan could be obtained, at a minimum. The grant possibility depends on how much funding is available. Typically, the USDA will do a 40-year loan. This helps to amortize expenses over a longer period of time. Mayor Bundren asked what a 40-year loan would look like, with interest rates similar to current ones, or perhaps “no interest.” Mr. Reich commented that “zero interest” or “loan forgiveness” is related to days gone by. They will need to look at interest rates; they vary also with median income. Mr. Reich said they will look at this some more, relative to some payback costs. Charles Bateman provided some information about possible costs and Clerk York added a projection of $1250.00 per month. Alderman Clemmons asked about the steps to determine what grants might be available. Mr. Reich said that once the preliminary report is completed, it will be given to the agency. They will look through the report and comment on it; perform an internal analysis of median incomes and make a determination as to the availability of grant funding. Mayor Bundren asked that they move forward with the rest of the information and thanked Mark Reich for his report.
(The handout presented by Mr. Reich is incorporated and made apart of these minutes)
Arnold Allred presented the ORC Report. Regarding the collection system, the pump stations are doing well. He asked if there were any questions about the collection system or pump stations. There were no questions. There has been a lot going on with the distribution system this month. Regarding the THM and HAA5, they were “low” again because of Burlington’s switch to chloramines. There have been some higher chlorine readings. They called Eric Davis of the City of Burlington and learned that chlorine has been increased a little. Mr. Allred said he is not sure why they are doing this. The purpose of switching to chloramines was to use less chlorine. The next THM sampling will be in April. Regarding the lead and copper audit, Clerk York and Arnold Allred completed a 4-hour audit. Mr. Allred noted it was the worst audit he had ever been through. They are trying to go back and look at all records, making sure each house that ever had lead or copper is being tested. They are going back to the system that was on the old water tank, the old town system. Clerk York has had to go to every house and ask about lead joints. So far, none of the houses checked has had lead joints. A report must go back to them. The lead and copper sampling will have to be done again, based on those sites. They were set up to do lead and copper sampling on the day of the audit. The inspector stopped the sampling. The last sample was done in August. According to the State, the sampling can be done anytime during the 6-month period. They have until the end of June to complete the next lead and copper sampling. Clerk York has been working steadily on this project. Mr. Allred spoke about adding a flushing site. This goes back to discussions with Burlington about high chlorine readings and low PH readings. Burlington says that Alamance’s low PH reading are a result of not flushing enough. The automatic flusher that was installed in the Town Hall is working great. Mr. Allred would like to add another automatic flusher on NC 62, across from the pumping station. He has been opening that hydrant up every time he is in town, letting the water flow. This amounts to 2,000 gallons every time. If he can add a flushing unit, it could be flushed every day like the one at the Town Hall, which is working great for testing. The flushing unit for NC 62 would have to be put into the ground and would not be as simple as the one at the Town Hall. There is already a water connection at the house, in the front yard, and there is a close connection to the sewer line. This way, no one sees the water running down the road. This could be done daily. The cost would be less than $500.00. This would really help out with the flushing. Alderman Clemmons asked why this needed to be done. Mr. Allred replied that Burlington says Alamance needs to flush more water. The way the system is set up now, the Town Hall is at the end of the system that comes across Kirkpatrick Road. Adding the second flusher at the end of the other system would mean that both systems are flushing. Mayor Bundren asked if the Fire Department was doing the flushing any longer. Mr. Allred replied that Clerk York will present this information. Clerk York said that he spoke with the Fire Chief. The Fire Department will not turn the valves or do the flushing. They will do it this year, but they do not want the liability for it, if a valve were to break or there were problems. The State requires that the valves be turned once a year. Mr. Allred said that 90% of the valves were not turned last year. There are 153 valves—the Fire Department does not want responsibility for them. Alderman Crouse said they paint the hydrants once a year. They are going to tag the hydrants; tags have already been ordered. Each hydrant will have a tag, of which Clerk York will have a copy. Each time the hydrant is painted, the valve will be operated. The problem with the valve exercise is that some Fire Department Board members are concerned that, if main valves are operated, the valve could get stuck. If this was to occur, and a house catches fire, a lawsuit could result and the Fire Department would be liable. Alderman Crouse said the valves will be operated as they are painted. Mayor Bundren asked who would be responsible for the valves on a regular basis. Clerk York answered that he could find someone to do it, or Arnold Allred could do this on an hourly rate. Mr. Allred said he estimated it would take 30 minutes per valve, for a total of $1680.00 per year. When he does a valve exercise, the lid is removed, the valve is exercised and they paint the valve number in the road. When the valve is exercised, it is closed all the way down and opened all the way up. Mayor Bundren said if they had to pay someone to do the valve exercise, she would rather it be Arnold Allred. She said she would feel more comfortable with the ORC doing this for the Village. Mr. Allred said that he had incorporated this into the budget figures, if the Board wanted to handle it this way. Alderman Clemmons asked for confirmation that the Fire Department would do the valve exercise this year. Arnold Allred confirmed that was correct. Alderman Clemmons asked if the year was a fiscal year. Clerk York responded that it is a calendar year. Mayor Bundren said one half year’s cost would need to be incorporated into the budget. Alderman Gregory asked if the 153 valves were with the hydrants. Arnold Allred replied that this number includes everything. Some of the valves need to be raised. He said they would make a list while valves are being exercised, to get these raised up. The biggest fear is someone hitting the hydrant so that it doesn’t shut off as it should. When this happens, the valve cannot be shut off. Then a whole line has to be shut off, in order to repair the hydrant. Mayor Bundren thanked Mr. Allred for his report.
This item was tabled until the next meeting.
There was no additional Old Business.
Waste Industries—Potential for Larger Recycle Bins
Mayor Bundren announced that Waste Industries is now using a larger recycle bin for the City of Burlington. She asked Brent Kirchhoff to present information to the Board regarding this change. Brent Kirchhoff addressed the Board, saying that Waste Industries provided a RFP for the City of Burlington. He noted that part of the RFP for Burlington could include other towns, such as Haw River, Gibsonville, Elon, and Mebane. Waste Industries has contacted these towns which all want to come on board with what Burlington is doing. Waste Industries and the Village of Alamance have a contract in place for doing recycling, every other week, with 18-gallon bins. The other towns will be moving to using a 96-gallon cart, a wheeled cart the same size as the trash carts. This will help encourage a larger volume of recycling and result in less trash. This has been the case in locations where the larger recycling carts have been placed. Waste Industries is happy to include the Village of Alamance in these plans. Mayor Bundren asked about cost savings. Mr. Kirchhoff said they bid $1.04 per home, per month, for Waste Industries to provide the service. The City of Burlington will purchase the carts. The cost for Waste Industries to provide the carts, maintain them, and deliver them when needed is $2.36 per month, per home. The Village of Alamance is currently paying $2.22 per home, per month. The cost would be fourteen cents more per home for Waste Industries to provide the carts. If the Village of Alamance purchased its own carts, the Village would be responsible for them. Mayor Bundren asked about the one-time cost for the carts. Mr. Kirchhoff said the cost would be roughly $57.00 per home. Someone would have to deliver them to the homes, inventory them, and maintain them. Waste Industries would do all of this if they supplied the carts. The Board has the opportunity to decide what makes more sense for the Village of Alamance. Mayor Bundren asked how long it would take to recoup the cost, at $57.00 per cart, based on the number of homes. Clerk York said there are 370 homes. Mr. Kirchhoff said it would be $1.18 less per home than the Village is paying now. Alderman Tichy noted it would be a 4 or 5 year payback, at $57.00 per cart. Mayor Bundren asked about the life of the cart, if the payback would be 5 years. Mr. Kirchhoff replied that the carts last for 10 years. Mr. Kirchhoff said that the manufacturer would do distribution, at the cost of $3.00 per cart. The manufacturer will give a serial number for each cart placed, noting at which home it is placed. Mayor Bundren asked if the Village of Alamance would need to purchase carts at the same time that the City of Burlington is purchasing them. Mr. Kirchhoff said that the City of Burlington is bidding out the purchase of the carts themselves. Mayor Bundren stated that the Village of Alamance needed to follow-up with Burlington, to see if they could piggyback on their contract. Clerk York responded that he could do this. Mr. Kirchhoff suggested this could result in a cost lower than $57.00 per cart. Attorney Charles Bateman asked a question regarding resins and cost figures. Mr. Kirchhoff stated that costs usually rise at this time of year, but said it would not be that significant. The cost might go from $57.00 per cart to $58.50. Other times of the year, costs go down. He said much of this has to do with the cost of petroleum. Alderman Clemmons asked if storage would be an issue at a house. Alderman Gregory said that he does not have room for the bin he has now. Alderman Tichy said it would be easier to use the closed container rather than an open bin. Mayor Bundren said she liked the idea for the same reason. With the open bins, recyclables blow away into the yard. Alderman Tichy commented that recent winds have blown recyclables all over the street in Heritage Glen. Mr. Kirchhoff said the Board did not need to make a decision tonight. Mayor Bundren concurred, stating she just wanted to receive the information. They will contact Burlington for additional cost figures. Alderman Clemmons asked about feedback at other places. Mr. Kirchhoff said that, by and large, residents were very supportive. They accepted it very positively. It has raised volumes of recyclables in every community that has converted. Alderman Clemmons asked if there was a community somewhere that the Board could talk with. Mr. Kirchhoff said that every municipality in Wake County has converted in the last three years. Orange County was planning to convert but ran into a political issue; they will convert next year. Mayor Bundren asked Mr. Kirchhoff to provide information to Clerk York. Alderman Clemmons suggested a similar size town be contacted. Mayor Bundren thanked Mr. Kirchhoff for coming and presenting the information.
Sgt. Payne, Alamance County Sheriff’s Office—Community Watch
Sergeant Payne handed out a flyer that contained a list of community watch signs. Sometimes the Community Watch signs help, sometimes they don’t. Drug addicts do not pay attention to these signs. Mayor Bundren asked if there was a Community Watch program and someone that teaches how to be on the alert. Sergeant Payne said that neighbors know if a car doesn’t “belong.” If something doesn’t look right, citizens should call 911. The Sheriff’s Department is glad to come and check. They will run a tag if a vehicle is parked by a wooded area or looks suspicious. They also check for what was logged as stolen in a break-in. Much information is common sense. For example, you don’t want trees or bushes grown up in front of the windows of your house. Sgt. Payne said that, in his opinion, every crime comes back to drugs. Drugs are certainly bad in Alamance County. There is too much money involved and too little manpower to stop the drug traffic. Most crime takes place in a wooded area or where a house is off the road, where neighbors cannot see what is happening. Neighbors have to look after each other. Neighbors should let neighbors know when they are going out of town. Alarms are nice, but are costly. With an alarm, the Sheriff’s Department or the Police Department is contacted immediately. You can contact C-COM’s non-emergency number when you go out of town, 570-6777. You can provide them with detailed information about lights, vehicles, etc. The Sheriff’s Department will check the house twice, with this service. A log sheet is kept. Deputies get out and walk around the house, on both day and night shifts. Neighbors know neighbors and need to watch after each other. The crime rate is up. There are only 10 officers working tonight. With the size of Alamance County, it can take some time for the deputy to arrive when called. The Sheriff’s Department does the best it can, with what it has. Sergeant Payne suggested posting Community Watch signs and using lighting. Mayor Bundren asked if up-lighting used in landscaping helped deter crime. Sgt. Payne said this would help. He suggested that folks think like a criminal to protect themselves. Mayor Bundren said the reason Sergeant Payne was asked to speak was because of a recent crime. Clerk York said there was a break-in in the Village last Tuesday, during the day, while someone was not home. The house is located on Baptist Loop, on a very quiet street, with mostly woods on one side. Sgt. Payne said this is what criminals look for, and the economy has an impact too. The Sheriff’s Department has pawn trackers so they can see anything ever pawned or bought at a pawn shop. If the same name keeps appearing, that provides information. Sometimes serial numbers are placed on the list with one number wrong. Stolen televisions, for example, may be listed with one number wrong. Charges have been made and stolen property has been recovered. Mayor Bundren thanked Sergeant Payne for the information presented. Peggy May asked if someone broke into your house, could the homeowner shoot the suspect. A new law, Castle Law, has just been passed. If someone is beating on your door and you feel endangered, you can pull the trigger through the door. Sgt. Payne said he wouldn’t suggest that this be done, saying he would wait until the door opened. Sergeant Payne closed his presentation, saying the Sheriff’s Department was always ready to help when needed.
Approval of Extermination Contract
Clerk York said that Sawyer Exterminating does a sweep and check for termites every year. They’ve done this annually since the Town Hall was built. They certify the building for termites. The one year contract covers this service. It is usually $150-$170. The year doesn’t start until the Village signs up for the service. Clerk York said he would have this information ready for the next meeting.
This item was tabled until the March meeting.
Approval of Mowing Contract
Clerk York stated that Byrd’s Lawn Service is the current contractor for the mowing. They are keeping the same price as the previous year. The cost is $45.00 per mowing for the Town Hall; $50.00 per mowing at the Pump Station. The mowing is bi-weekly, for 18 mowings per year. The total cost is $2400.00 per year. Byrd’s includes aeration, fertilizer, seed, lime, spraying weeds as needed, and pine needles. The other quotes obtained are from Baxter and Emerald Green. The Baxter quote is $3929.00; $900.00 for mowing at the Pump Station and $2954.00 for mowing at the Town Hall. This cost is much higher than the quote from Byrd’s Lawn Service. Emerald Green proposed different treatments, so it’s not apples to apples. However, if you separate out the mowing, the Pump Station mowing would cost $1147.00 annually and $1620 for mowing at the Town Hall, with the Emerald Green quote. Mayor Bundren said the bottom line is that Byrd’s Lawn Service provides the lowest price for the mowing contract. Alderman Gregory moved to continue with Byrd’s Lawn Service for the mowing contract. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk York said the budget amendment was needed to shore items up before the end of the fiscal year. Mayor Bundren asked if all Board members had read the budget amendment. Alderman Clemmons moved to approve the budget amendment. Alderman Gregory seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk York reported that there are new CDs. Currently, the Village has $1.3 million invested in a total of 3 CDs. As these CDs come due, in February, March, and April, they will be layered out to be 12 one-year CDs at $110,005 each, with the last CD being slightly more than this amount. This way, there will be a CD coming due once per month. They will be “liquid” funds, at the one-year rate. Mayor Bundren asked if the rates have increased. Alderman Clemmons responded that the rates have not yet increased. Clerk York said the current rate is .6% and the rate for the smallest CD is 1.05%. The Village will have 12 CDs by the end of April 2012.
There was no other business.
Mark May addressed the Board regarding a home-based business. His business has previously been located in Burlington where it was permitted. He was in business at that location for 28 years. He was in the Hillcrest School area before it changed over to Blessed Sacrament. His business is a dental laboratory business. He does not serve the public. The work is done for dentists, by prescription. His wife does the pick-up and delivery. With the passing away of his mother-in-law, the home was sold. He would like to put his business in a mobile home behind his house. This would help him out, to be closer to home. He requested permission from the Board for these plans. Mayor Bundren asked if the Village allowed for this type of home based business. Attorney Charles Bateman responded that it depends on what is classified as home occupation. Clerk York said the Ordinance does not define what can be used as a home occupation, but it does address rules for home occupation. Section 2 states “that the use of a dwelling for the home occupation should be clearly incidental and subordinate to its use for residential purpose by its occupants. Not more than 25% of the floor area of the dwelling unit shall be used in conduct of a home occupation.” The business is intended to be incidental to the home. However, in this case, there would be a separate building used for the business. This is really the question at hand. The Ordinance doesn’t define what the Village considers home occupation. Attorney Charles Bateman said that typically one doesn’t sell to the public, generally. In some cases, you can’t have any employees other than yourself. Mr. May said that Burlington allowed him 1 1⁄2 employees. Clerk York cited the Ordinance section which states that “no home occupation shall be conducted in any accessory building.” This is an accessory building. There are 7 particular requirements for a home occupation. Clerk York said the two he addressed were the most applicable. The appearance of the building can’t be different and there can’t be extra traffic generated. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to re-read the section about the outbuilding. Clerk York read: “no home occupation shall be conducted in any accessory building.” Mayor Bundren asked how the Board would go around the use of a trailer for the business. Alderman Clemmons said it would not be an accessory building, which would be like a shed. Alderman Crouse asked if Mr. May would be using a different address from that of his house. Mr. May said the address is right beside his house. There are four mobile homes on his property. The property is all together. It is a matter of one of the two that he would choose, out of the four mobile homes. He plans to do some remodeling of the one chosen. The doublewide on the road was his parents’ home; they have passed away. Two of the mobile homes have been rented, previously. He has always kept their mobile homes maintained and looking nice. Alderman Clemmons said that his only concern is that they are setting a precedent, and then could have a situation where the Board didn’t want this to be done. He asked if this could be prevented. Attorney Charles Bateman said that this doesn’t sound like it would be a burden. Alderman Clemmons asked if the Board could set rules. Attorney Bateman said that rules could always be established. Mayor Bundren asked if the Ordinance could be firmed up so that an accessory building could be defined. Alderman Gregory asked if the address could be rezoned. Mayor Bundren responded that this would be spot zoning. Alderman Crouse said if Mr. May didn’t tell about his home based business, no one would know about it. Mr. May agreed this was correct. He understands there are lots of places with outbuildings, where perhaps work is being done. Mr. May stated that he wanted to be honest and upfront with the Board. He further said that he was a man of integrity and wanted to do what is right. Attorney Charles Bateman said they could work on firming up the Ordinance. Alderman Clemmons asked if Mr. May could give the Board a month to get back with him on this matter. Mr. May reminded the Board there would be no public access whatsoever. When he had the business on Hillcrest, there was the school there, but this was no nuisance. Mayor Bundren asked about waste that would result from the home based business, and whether it would be a problem for the Village system. Mr. May said that monomer resin is hard when cooked, grindings go into the trash. The sink he uses with stone, and he has a plaster trap underneath, so this does not go into a city sewer. He has been doing this in a home in Burlington for 26 years. He is under inspection. Mayor Bundren asked what happens to the residue. Mr. May said plaster of paris is what he uses to pour models. It goes in the trash and then to the landfill. He does not run grindings or washings in the sink, because he does not want the sink to stop up. This is as much for his protection as for the City. Mayor Bundren asked what Mr. May “cooked” in his business. Mr. May replied that he boils out wax. He does dentures and partials. Mr. May said he would really appreciate the Board’s consideration of his plans. Mayor Bundren asked Mr. May to return for an answer at the March meeting of the Board of Aldermen.
There was no further public comment.
Alderman Clemmons moved to adjourn and Alderman Crouse seconded. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned.