23 Jan January 23rd, 2017 Minutes
THE FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTIETH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
January 23, 2017
Present: Mayor Tichy, Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, Alderman Isley, Alderman Carouse, Alderman Jones,
Alderman Andrews, Mark Reich, and Clerk York
Absent: Alderman Tichy and Attorney Koonts
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe opened the meeting with an invocation.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to approve the December 19, 2016 meeting minutes and Alderman Isley seconded. The motion passed 4-0.
Historic District Commission
Clerk York explained that as a Certified Local Government, The Village could apply for federal grants to help pay for improvements in the Historic District. The County would handle all the paperwork for this process. The grant is a 60/40 split with Federal paying sixty percent and The Village paying forty percent toward the improvements.
The Village is currently a member of the Alamance County Historic Preservation Commission; along with several other towns. This Commission would oversee any historic work being done in the Village, using the guidelines from the Secretary of Interiors Office, which are very basic.
If the Village wanted to implement their own guidelines, just for this district, that could be established pending the approval of The Alamance County Historic Preservation Commission.
Exact perimeters for the Historic District would need to be defined by the Board for those new guidelines to be applied to. This process can be done without having to separate from the Commission and form a new one.
The Village can also opt to separate from the Historic Preservation Commission and form their own Commission with their own guidelines, at which point the Village would be solely responsible for applying for any grants and the handling of all paperwork.
There is hope of merging the Historic Preservation Commission and the Certified Local Government (CLG) into one group. At this time, Towns can be a part of one or the other but do not have to be a part of both, if the merge is accomplished each Town or Village will then decide to sign on to be a part of both or be independent of them. This is expected to come before the Board sometime in the next few months.
The Alamance County Historic Preservation Commission is a nine-member Board, with one opening currently. At this time no one from The Village serves on the Commission, but there is the opportunity if someone is interested in doing so.
Clerk York informed the Board that if there was interest in establishing their own Commission and pulling out from the CLG and the Historic Commission, it may be easier to wait and see if these two entities will merge into one, at which time it will be presented to each Town and Village to decide to sign on with them or separate from them. This would be simpler than trying to withdraw from them at this point. Clerk York also stated to the Board, in answer to a question from Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, that if they withdraw from the CLG, all paperwork for Federal Grants would fall to The Village Historic Commission to apply for as the County would no longer be the one to handle that.
Clerk York stated, in answer to a question from Alderman Andrews, that the biggest benefit to establishing a separate Historic Commission for the Village is that there is more direct control of what guidelines can be implemented and followed.
A question from Alderman Jones was asked concerning whether the Historic Commission went after someone who was failing to keep up their property or allow a historic house to fall into disrepair. Clerk York responded that he did not think that was something they did. The main purpose for a Historic Commission is to help homeowners maintain the historic character of the home when improvements are being made, not to force anyone to make improvements or maintain any historic structure.
Water/Sewer Capitol Reserves
Clerk York recommended to the Board that if they wanted to begin to set money aside for repairs or any other emergency situations that may arise, it would be best not to pull that from the water and sewer fund. There is approximately a $40,000 surplus in this fund each year and setting aside only $10,000 or $20,000 out of that is relatively small in light of how expensive repairs can be. A minor water leak can range in repair from $3,000 to $6,000.
The general fund, however, tends to have a surplus of at least $200,000 each year. Clerk York suggested that a portion of general fund money could be set aside and restricted for capital projects only. The Board would still have to vote to use it for that purpose. Clerk York stated that the Board could opt to set aside $100,000 each year of the general fund money and it would then become restricted general fund money instead of unrestricted.
The Village currently has approximately $2.2 million in total cash, which is divided into different categories. The general fund balance is roughly $1.779 million in unrestricted fund balance. It was suggested by Clerk York that The Board could set aside $500,000 now and every year take $100,000 out of the surplus, so long as it exceeds $200,000, and in five years there would be $1 million in restricted funds. The unrestricted fund balance would also be back to what it is now, in the next five years. The Board can always use the restricted money in other ways, if they choose to.
Alderman Jones made motion to set aside $500,000 for water/sewer projects in a restricted fund, seconded by Alderman Isley, motion passed 4-0.
Clerk York informed the Board that the web hosting The Village had before is still active and is continuing to be paid for each month. There is access to the site now to begin putting information into it and that is currently being worked on.
Mr. Allred reported to the Board that there were no issues with the pumps during the snow. Burch station is continuing to work well, however, the Cabin station is still having issues with the mixer tripping out. Mr. Allred has meet with Tim Eaton and some others regarding this matter and have plans to reposition the mixer in the hope that it will resolve the problem.
Rags are still being found at the Cabin station, and are coming from either the Heritage Glen area or Alamance Loop and Mr. Allred has asked that something be placed in the Village news letter regarding this matter.
The NC 62 pumping station had a mixer problem that was resolved by moving a cable that was hitting the mixer. Mr. Allred informed the Board that the yearly sewer/manhole inspection was completed in December along with the yearly creek crossing inspection, and no problems were found anywhere.
At the December meeting there was some discussion regarding sewer lines on Senecal’s property. After some investigation by Mr. Allred and Mr. Reich, they have found that the house beside Senecal and at least 3 other houses are connected to that particular section of line. The Board wanted to determine if these lines were public or private in order to establish who should be responsible for future repairs. Mr. Reich is of the opinion that these lines are private based on a survey done in the mid to late 1980’s, where no easement is shown. When these lines were originally put in there was no permitting. Mr. Reich suggested that these lines, if they are private, should have permits in order to help establish who the responsible party is for repairs.
Mr. Reich would like to discuss this situation further with Attorney Paul Koonts, as he helped the town with a similar issue concerning CT Nassau’s sewer lines.
Mr. Reich advised the Board that they will be setting a precedent if they choose to take on the repairs or put in new lines, in regard to the Senecal houses. More time is needed to be certain whose lines these are and whose responsibility to maintain them. Mr. Allred reported there had been a leak on Cardinal lane in a service line and that line was completely replaced, with no problems. The water loss has gone down dramatically since the various leaks have been fixed.
Distribution, bacterial and THM testing were all good according to Mr. Allred.
All automatic read meters, 3 quarter inch in size, have now been installed. There are currently 3 one inch meters and 2 two inch meters that need to be replaced to have all accounts on automatic read meters. The cost is $1041 total for the 3 one inch meters and $698 each for the two inch meters. The accounts these are intended for are; Senecal, CT Nassau, C & C real estate, the Heritage Glen sprinkler system and E.M. Holt school. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe made a motion to go forward with replacing these meters, seconded by Alderman Jones, motion passed 4-0.
Mr. Allred reported that the recycle center will give .50 per pound for the old meters as they are, or if they are broken down they will pay $1.50 per pound, but someone has to be paid to break them down. There is a young man, in high school, that works for Mr. Arnold and this would be something he could do. After some discussion, the board chose to have them broken down. Mr. Allred will need a letter signed by the Mayor to take to the recycle center, so they understand he has the authority to recycle them.
Clerk York went over the Budget Amendment citing the need to add $1400.00 to the building repairs and maintenance fund due to a large amount of electrical work at the town hall this year. There is an outdoor light in the walkway that is still in need of repair. The automatic read meter project needs to have another $8,500.00 added to it to cover the cost of the larger meters that need to be bought and installed. Motion made to pass the amendment by Alderman Andrews, seconded by Alderman Isley. Motion passed 4-0
There is a house in the Village that has a large amount of trash and junk around the property that needs to be cleaned up. Clerk York will check with the City of Burlington to see how they address these types of situations and also speak with Attorney Koonts to see how best to pursue a mandated clean up. There should be more information regarding this matter at the next meeting.
Alderman Sharpe moved to adjourn and Alderman Andrews seconded. The motion passed unanimously.