23 Jan January 23rd, 2012 Minutes
THE FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRD SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
January 23, 2012 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Bundren, Mayor Pro-Tem Sharpe, Alderman Slaughter, Alderman Clemmons, Alderman Tichy, and Clerk York.
Absent: Alderman Gregory, Alderman Crouse
Mark Reich gave the invocation.
Alderman Tichy moved to approve the December 19, 2011 meeting minutes. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Report on Cabin Pump Station Project
Mark Reich reported that some progress was being made, but not as much as needed. He had a week of illness at the first of the year, and is just now getting back into the swing of things. He said that this will be wrapped up soon.
This item was tabled until the next meeting.
Arnold Allred said he had another good report. There was a high level alarm last week, on Thursday. Clerk York was able to take care of a float that was stuck. Everything is working fine. Regarding the distribution report, there was a THM sample taken on January 1, 2012. The report is not yet back. In relation to the Valve Program, Clerk York has talked with the Fire Department. The Fire Department related that they did not do anything with valves this past year. There was an inspection last year; inspections are usually conducted every other year. Mayor Bundren asked how often the Fire Department is supposed to do the valves. Mr. Allred replied that this is supposed to be done annually. He took care of some of the valves himself last year, but the Fire Department did not finish them. Some of the main valves have been turned. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to check with the Fire Department to let them know a logging process was needed. Mr. Allred said a form had been given to the Fire Department, but they haven’t gotten around to it. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to follow-up. Clerk York said that he would check with the Fire Department to make sure that dates are established for the valve maintenance, and then follow up regularly. Mayor Bundren said she didn’t want to drop the ball on this need. Mayor Bundren thanked Mr. Allred for his report.
Clerk York said the Village was still “below” on the THM. It used to be high and letters were sent out. A letter has not been required since the third quarter results of 2011came back. Since that time, we have not been above the MCL.
This item was tabled until the next meeting.
There was no other Old Business.
Clerk York presented the finance report. In November, a CD for $316,543.34 was purchased from Carter Bank. This was a 45-day CD, since a 6-month CD would tie up funds. The next time a CD will mature will be March. With the recent Board meeting discussing bonds, this was the action taken with CDs. A new 45-day CD has been purchased; the same rate is available up to 6 months. Once you go over 6 months, the rate is higher. This has allowed the funds to be “liquid” in case a decision is made to invest some of the money. On December 23, 2011, $50,000 from Capital Management Trust was moved over to the CD to form the $366,000. Clerk York referred to a hand-out, stating the numbers are correct, but the dates are not correct. Mayor Bundren asked that a revised copy be emailed to the Board of Aldermen tomorrow. Alderman Clemmons suggested that this be compiled on a spreadsheet. Clerk York said he would forward a spreadsheet that shows the evolution over the last three years. Alderman Clemmons explained that there was too much money in the Wells Fargo account and in the Municipal Trust account. Money was pulled to get what interest they could get now. Alderman Clemmons said that Wells Fargo has been good to refund fees that show up monthly on the account. He spoke to someone there about moving the funds. The account is managed out of Raleigh. Sue Parks takes care of the work here; they are committed to continue waiving the fees. Clerk York said that CDs will mature in February, March, April, and May. He and Alderman Clemmons will look at this again, until the Board makes a decision about municipal bonds.
Fred Hoy raised a question from the audience. He asked about the status of the project to remove the NC 62 and Cabin pumps and replace them with a siphon system. Mayor Bundren explained that that is what Mark Reich had mentioned earlier that he had not been able to work on due to illness. Information had been presented about this at the December meeting that Mr. Hoy missed. Mark Reich offered further explanation. He said that Burlington’s gravity line is not low enough to tie in a siphon from the Village. The Village would need to go approximately 1000 feet downstream to a location where a siphon could possibly be installed. Mayor Bundren asked if this is what Haywood had told them years ago. Mr. Reich said it was. Mr. Reich said the feasibility of having to re-lay the 1000 feet of the Town’s line, plus the cost of going underneath the creek, versus maintaining the pump station would not be cost effective. The existing pump station will probably have to be refurbished, at the current location.
The other project being considered, that will be cost effective, will be taking the line at the Cabin Road Pump Station and tying it in to the Burlington system, upstream, on the west side of Highway 62 and North of Pond Road. The line would cross the stream at the bridge on Pond Road and cross back underneath the gravity line. This would take all the flow off of the Cabin Road Pump Station, do away with that pump station, and put in a siphon at this location.
Mr. Hoy said that when this was originally discussed, the siphon line would end up at Pond Road and Alamance Road and would eliminate the pump station. He said that it had cost a fortune. The cost, back then, was going to be $140,000.00. Mr. Reich replied that he did not know what the projection costs were back then. Mayor Bundren commented that she remembered this cost information also. Mr. Reich said that crossing the creek alone would run nearly $140,000. Mr. Reich said that if another 1000 feet of line was laid, and rock was encountered, the cost estimate could be $50.00 per foot, plus easements and acquisitions would involve another $60,000.00. With easements and acquisitions, the total cost could be nearly $200,000.00 – $250,000.00; yet the pump station could be easily refurbished. Mr. Reich said he didn’t think the Village could obtain a grant for a $250,000.00 project when something could be done for $25,000.00 – $50,000.00. He said it is unfortunate that this is the case; but this is his gut reaction in looking at the basic numbers. He said they will review the math to make sure that refurbishing the pump station is cost effective.
Mr. Hoy asked if the only pump station to be eliminated was the one at Cabin Road. He said this didn’t make any sense. Mr. Reich said this would still be taking the bulk of the flow off the NC 62 Pump Station. Mayor Bundren stated that this would take the lawsuit off the table, take the stress off of the pump station, and open up the possibility for development. She said it is a win- win situation here and that she wished they had done the $140,000.00 project when there was the chance. However, this didn’t happen. With this kind of cost involved, now, she doesn’t see how the Village can take on two projects. She said they would have to do Phase One and Phase Two, if anything was done. Mayor Bundren suggested doing Phase One at Cabin Road and then, as time and money permit, go with the next step. Mr. Hoy asked what percentage of the flow throughout the Village comes from Heritage Glen. Mr. Reich stated that he didn’t have exact numbers, but he will have them when he finishes up the report. Clerk York said that all of Heritage Glen flows through the Cabin Station. He said that 80%-90% is Heritage Glen. Clerk York said that the loop is now on the line and he is not sure if Elder Lane flows to the cabin pump station. Mayor Bundren said that she thinks Elder Lane flows through the Cabin pump station. It is one of the heaviest uses of any pump station. Arnold Allred added that the school and industry are the biggest uses relating to the NC 62 Station. Clerk York said that everything eventually ends up at the NC 62 Station. Mayor Bundren said they will be cutting almost in half what is typically used at the NC 62 Station. Mr. Reich said he thought that was a fair assumption. He will have the final numbers. Mayor Bundren said that it was too cost prohibitive to do both projects at this point. She said cutting the flow to NC 62 in half and the potential for new development would be a win-win. If some grant money can be obtained for that one, it would be helpful. Mr. Hoy asked if they were going to get a second opinion on this. Mr. Reich said they would offer a couple of different alternatives. The bottom line will probably be the cost and cost- effectiveness. Maintaining the existing pump station will be much less expensive. Mr. Hoy said that, at one time, they had talked about running a line from the site of the Cabin pump station parallel to Pond Road. Mayor Bundren said she remembered discussion of putting everything in together, but that was prior to the development of Heritage Glen. This was also prior to the requirements of having to have a road in there, going in on Mr. Kimbro’s land. This has become problematic. She said this is about the only alternative they have, at this point. Alderman Clemmons said that he also wants to see the numbers, but his first priority is to fix Cabin Road. Mayor Bundren agreed. She said it is in the floodplain. Mr. Reich said it was not in the floodplain when it was first built. When the initial flood maps were done, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers cut off one square mile of drainage. If an area was less than one square mile, they didn’t look at it.
Since the flood studies have been conducted, the program has periodically reviewed the flood maps. The stream is less than one square mile. In the beginning, a line had been drawn on the map—everything up above the line didn’t flood. Just because a line is drawn on a map, doesn’t mean the water doesn’t flood on the other side at the same elevation. Mr. Reich has seen places where houses on one side of the street had to get flood insurance, but the other side didn’t. Relating to the maps done around 2000-2001, there is no detailed information, just a line shown. Mayor Bundren thanked Mr. Hoy for his input.
Clerk York said there was a TCC (Technical Coordinating Committee) meeting last week. The Burlington MPO has two meetings, occurring once a quarter. The TCC is the staff meeting. The TAC meets that evening at 5:00 or 6:00pm. Alderman Tichy attends this meeting. The TCC usually approves the agenda for the TAC meeting. At this meeting, they selected a new officer for the year, Bob Harkrader. He is Burlington’s Planning Director and has been head of the TCC for a long time. The budget was approved at the meeting. They receive a grant from the Federal Highway Administration which makes 80% of their budget. The local match is 20% of the budget. Burlington does the local match for Alamance County. The big area of contention is that the Chapel Hill MPO submitted a map with new lines where they extended the borders of their MPO to back up to Alamance’s MPO. This created two main problems. One is that this created a small area of overlap that is now in two different MPOs. The second is that if Mebane were to develop in the future, it will end up being in two different MPOs. These maps were sent to the DOT and rubber-stamped. The MPO was never contacted about it. Now they are trying to have a meeting. Clerk York said he is updating the Board at the request of Mayor Bundren. Mayor Bundren explained that she would like the Board to have information from meetings attended by staff or other Board members. Alderman Tichy provided further information on the border issue. The expansion area is for Mebane’s industrial land. Orange County has been contracting Mebane’s supply of water for a couple of years. When this border change was proposed, it meant Mebane would have to sit on two MPOs in order to coordinate road development projects. They don’t want to do this. Durham and Chapel Hill are so much bigger than the outlying areas of Hillsborough, which border Mebane. This would put Mebane at the bottom of the list. The Board directed DOT to set up a neutral-party meeting with Orange County and Mebane, and both MPOs, in order to move the line. It will be subject to final census data. One of the things that surprised the TAC members about this border change is that it was done before they had census data. The State has also promised to modify the procedure, so that anytime an MPO is being changed, the neighboring MPO will be notified. Alamance was not notified at any time in this process. In other business, Lenny Williams, Mayor of Gibsonville, was elected as the Chair of the Committee. The new two-year planning cycle will start at the next meeting. Last year, there were enough points for all the projects on the list, so all the projects received the highest recommendation level. It’s up to the State to decide what they are going to fund. Mayor Bundren asked if the Highway 70 improvement supersede the bypass, if it “bumped” the bypass back in some way. Alderman Tichy replied that the Highway 70 project had been on the list longer. It was a joint project with Guilford County Planning and the State gave it a very high priority. The projects that have bumped the bypass have been the Highway 119 project and Mattress Road. Mayor Bundren asked Alderman Tichy to keep the bypass in the forefront, as representative from Alamance. She said it should take fewer tax dollars to do the bypass project. Alderman Tichy said there is money for small projects, if there is a need for turn lanes, or minor improvements of any sort. There is some funding available. Mayor Bundren said there wasn’t enough space to make a turn lane in most streets. Alderman Tichy said the turn lane at E.M. Holt School was one of these minor improvements, though it did take a nudge to get the paving finished before school opened. If anyone knows of any intersections, corners, or anything which could be done as a small project, Alderman Tichy asked that it be brought to his attention. He will bring it up to the DOT and see if the funding is there. More guardrails are being installed at the interstate and they are adding run up curb on either side, to clean that road up for development headed south. Bridge money is available in the county also.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe said that she would like to see a stoplight at Highway 62 and Birch Lane. Alderman Tichy said that he would need to check on the long term list for the realigning of Kirkpatrick Road and Anthony Road. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe said that, in the mornings and evenings, traffic on Birch Lane is backed up all the way down to Ashe. This route is used as a cut-through to avoid the school traffic. Mark Reich commented that the DOT would have to do a study on this because it will have to meet four different criteria. Mayor Bundren suggested that something be included with the water bills asking about needs and to see if there is support for a proposed traffic light. Mayor Bundren suggested that if a traffic light was placed at Birch Lane, it should be the kind that ‘trips” when a vehicle approaches.
Clerk York reported that three manhole covers were stolen. A report was filed with the Sheriff’s Department and the manhole covers have been replaced. Alderman Clemmons asked about the cost. Clerk York said the cost was around $100.00 each, about $350.00 total. Someone asked about security chains for the manhole covers, saying that this is done in Florida, using a chain and a lock. Alderman Tichy said it would take longer to steal the cover and that might discourage the individual from taking the manhole cover. Mayor Bundren said she contacted a metal company who assured her that manhole covers would not be accepted as scrap metal. She asked if they had a time limit, if manhole covers were there, before they could do something with them. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe suggested that Shallotte be contacted, to see if they have received any manhole covers. Alderman Tichy asked about the location of the theft of the manhole covers. Mayor Bundren said all three manhole covers were stolen from behind Sheila Fesperman’s house. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe said the Sheriff’s Department has been notified to question an individual that lived there who was arrested in Snow Camp. Alderman Clemmons commented on the danger of the manhole covers being missing. Mayor Bundren said this could be dangerous for walkers. Fred Hoy mentioned again the possibility of locking down the manhole covers. Mayor Bundren said that there has not previously been any problem until now. She asked Clerk York to look into the cost of locking down the manhole covers.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe spoke on behalf of Peggy May. Jr. Frye is selling his business and closing. Peggy May has suggested that the Village of Alamance recognize Mr. Frye in some way, perhaps with a “Jr. Frye Day.” He has been on the Board of Aldermen and served for years. Mayor Bundren asked the Board to give this some thought and make suggestions for honoring Mr. Frye.
Clerk York asked Attorney Charles Bateman if all Board members were required to attend the Ethics training, or just the newly elected members. Mr. Bateman replied that newly elected and re-elected board members should attend the training. Clerk York asked if the County was sponsoring a session as before. Mr. Bateman said that he has not yet heard. Clerk York said that there are other training options at the School of Government. He will send an email with information. There is a fee involved for the other training, not-offered by the County. Alderman Clemmons said he would be surprised if the County doesn’t do the training again. Mayor Bundren asked if the training could be done online. Clerk York said the County had paid for a webinar from UNC-CH. Some sessions are one or two day trainings, such as “Essentials of Municipal Government for Elected Officials.” Some will satisfy the ethics requirement. Alderman Clemmons asked how long they had to do the training. Charles Bateman responded that they have one year to complete the training.
Alderman Clemmons referred to the presentation by Bill Simmons a couple of months ago. They mentioned something he felt it would be worthwhile to consider doing. First, having a generator outlet where a generator could be plugged in, in case power was lost in the Village. Maybe, even going a step beyond, to plan to have a generator. The Village is a major part of the southwestern part of the county. If there was a natural disaster, the Village of Alamance would be a coordinating area. Mayor Bundren said she thought this should be looked at when the budget is being set up. She suggested there should be a committee that could make a presentation. She asked Alderman Clemmons if he would coordinate this effort. He agreed to do that.
Clerk York asked Board members to take their Ordinance manuals home with them. The manuals include all of the ordinances, along with the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance. The historical guidelines are also included. Mayor Bundren asked if the Discharge of Firearms Ordinance permits shooting of varmints. She said the City of Burlington provides for this need. Charles Bateman said that Burlington provides a permit for shooting a varmint. Mayor Bundren asked what it would take to incorporate this into the ordinance for the Village of Alamance. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe said she was sure this was already included. Alderman Clemmons asked about carrying a BB-gun in the Village, inquiring if this violated the ordinance. Clerk York responded it shouldn’t be fired. Alderman Tichy cited the section of the ordinance relating to shooting varmints. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York if he was issuing related permits. Clerk York replied that no one has asked for a permit. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe asked if Clerk York was set up to issue these permits. Clerk York responded affirmatively. A resident would need to request a permit. The resident would then need to come to the Board for approval. Clerk York said he doesn’t currently have a specific permit request form, but could develop one. Mayor Bundren asked if the individual could only fire the weapon on their property, or on someone else’s property, with permission. Clerk York said that, based on the reading of the ordinance, the person would need to limit the activity to their own property. It is a permit to shoot—if they shoot on someone else’s property, they would be trespassing.
Alderman Clemmons reported that Dan Tichy, Homeowners’ Association at Heritage Glen, indicates there has been discussion of doing luminaries in the subdivision. Alderman Clemmons asked if Dan Tichy could contact Alderman Slaughter, in planning for this. Alderman Slaughter said it was a lot more work than you would think, but that it is a lot of fun. Mayor Bundren commented the luminaries looked beautiful in the historic district this year. Alderman Slaughter noted that some of the smaller candles burned out early, and the wind blew out some of the candles the first evening. Containers have been saved for this event next year. Several aldermen commented on the beauty of the luminaries this year.
There was no public comment.
Alderman Clemmons moved to adjourn and Alderman Tichy seconded. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned.