23 Jul July 23rd, 2012 Minutes
THE FOUR HUNDRED AND NINTH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
July 23, 2012, 2012 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Bundren, Mayor Pro-Tem Sharpe, Alderman Tichy, Alderman Clemmons, Alderman Gregory and Clerk York.
Absent: Alderman Crouse and Alderman Slaughter
Alderman Clemmons gave the invocation.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to approve the June 21, 2012 meeting minutes. Alderman Gregory seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk York observed that a suggestion has been made to schedule Plaid Day in the Spring rather than in the Fall. With August approaching, being able to plan Plaid Day for September of this year is not likely, unless the event would be much smaller. The Board discussion last revolved around the size of the event and when to have it. No decisions were made about these questions during the last discussion. Mayor Bundren directed that this discussion would be resumed when the full Board of Aldermen was present. Until that time, the item was tabled.
Report on Cabin Pump Station Project
Mark Reich reported that he has played telephone tag with Allan, so there is not much to report. Schedules have not allowed for them to get together. Mr. Reich is continuing to work on getting a meeting set up to discuss this project
Arnold Allred stated that everything is working fine, related to the Collection System. On Cardinal Lane, there was a sewer line repair. A four-inch terra cotta line, which crossed the creek, had a crack in it. This line has been replaced. There has been another State inspection. The inspector dug a little deeper this time, checked out a lot of other things, and seemed to be pleased. The inspector went out to check on the Birch station, and then went to the end of Ashe Drive and Cedar Lane. He looked at the sewer line there, and liked the way everything has been maintained. The inspector did mention putting a flow meter in at the NC 62 Pump Station, before pumping over to Burlington. It is not known whether this will be mentioned in the forthcoming letter. Mr. Allred recommended not venturing too far with the flow meter, unless it is mentioned in the letter that the Board will receive. Mayor Bundren asked about the cost of a flow meter. Mr. Allred replied that a flow meter would cost $3000.00. Mr. Allred said they would look into this, if it is mentioned in the letter. Otherwise, this recommendation will not be considered.
Regarding the Distribution System, Mr. Allred indicated that everything looks good. There has been a change, in the Raleigh office, of the staff person there who works with the THM sample. The Village has been taking two samples, one for each location. The new staff member responsible for this now indicates that only one sample is needed. Mr. Allred said this is very helpful. This will save the Village of Alamance $600-$700 each year, as it cuts the cost in half. Clerk York stated the cost savings would be even greater than that. Mayor Bundren thanked Mr. Allred for his report.
Larger Recycle Bins
Clerk York reported that the new, larger recycle bins will arrive between August 1st and August 17th. These are times that the Village can choose for the bins to be delivered. Waste Industries normally picks up recycling on August 2nd and August 16th. Ideally, the new recycle bins would be distributed on August 3rd or August 17th. August 17th would be the last possible day on the schedule. Clerk York indicated that August 16th will work better for Waste Industries. He recommended that August 17th be the delivery date for the recycling carts. That way, on that Thursday, Waste Industries will come through to pick up recycling. A truck will follow behind the first truck to pick up the old bins. On Friday, the new recycling carts will be delivered. There would only be one day when residents would not have a receptacle for recycling materials. This plan works best, logistically. With this plan, regular pickup times would not have to be changed. All residents would need to put their old bins out on August 16th, even if they don’t have any recycling. Mayor Bundren asked when the water bills would go out, so that this notice could be included. Clerk York replied that water bills would go out on July 31st. Mayor Bundren asked if August 3rd would be a better date for the pickup of the bins, so that residents won’t forget. Clerk York expressed concern about the short timing of the earlier date. He added that the notice would be included on Facebook. He will make sure that all residents are informed. Though there has already been information in the newsletter, choosing the August 3rd date would be cutting it too close, to make sure that all residents are informed. Choosing the August 16th date would allow for more time to inform the residents. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe informed that the City of Burlington delivered their new recycling carts two weeks before residents were supposed to use them. Alderman Gregory said that Burlington had major problems because they changed companies. Clerk York said the Village of Alamance was fortunate not to be changing companies. Gibsonville also changed companies and their recycling day changed. For the Village of Alamance, nothing is changing except that residents are getting new recycling carts. Mayor Bundren asked about calling Mr. Abernathy to get a short article on the front page of the Region section of the newspaper. Clerk York said that he could definitely make the call to do that. Mayor Bundren suggested that the times and dates could be put in the Alamance News also. If they couldn’t do an article, perhaps the newspaper would run an ad. This would be less expensive than another mailing to residents. Alderman Tichy asked about the cost of an additional mailing. Clerk York said that a mailing would cost about $185.00. The last ads cost $193.00. Mayor Bundren asked if a postcard could be mailed. Clerk York said there would still be the cost of a postcard being printed, in addition to the postage. Alderman Gregory suggested a sign be used. Mayor Bundren noted a sign could be placed down at the bridge. She stated that they should work with the August 17th date and try to get an informational banner. Clerk York said that he is planning on calling everyone in the Village. Mayor Bundren said if Clerk York called everyone, the additional notices would not be needed. Clerk York said he would call all residents well before August 17th. Mayor Bundren asked if these plans met the approval of the Board. There was consensus to move forward with these plans.
Improvements to Gravel Area at NC 62 Pump Station
Mayor Bundren stated that she has not been able to get a quote from Cardwell. She will work on this before the next meeting.
There was no other Old Business.
Special Use Permit – Alamance General Store
Clerk York reported that the Planning Board has looked at the special use permit for Alamance General Store. The Planning Board voted to approve the special use permit, subject to whether or not Junior Frye has to sign it, as an owner. Even though Junior is not the applicant, he is the owner. Attorney Charles Bateman stated that Junior would need to sign it, as the owner. Clerk York stated this is a recombination. Normally, recombinations are exceptions. However, Clerk York said that he didn’t know if a certificate of exception would be appropriate in this case. Attorney Bateman said the certificate of exception is correct. Mayor Bundren asked if a public hearing needed to be set. Alderman Gregory made the motion to schedule a public hearing. Alderman Tichy seconded the motion. Mayor Bundren asked about the date of the next Board meeting. Clerk York replied that the next meeting date would be August 27, 2012. He noted that the next meeting date would need to be changed due to his absence on August 27th. Mayor Bundren suspended the special use permit discussion. She directed that the final New Business item on the agenda be presented in order to determine the date for both the next Board meeting and public hearing.
August Board Meeting Date
Clerk York announced that he would be taking vacation August 24-31, 2012. He would not be able to attend the regularly scheduled Board meeting on August 27, 2012. Mayor Bundren suggested that the meeting date be changed to August 23, 2012. Alderman Clemmons made the motion to move the meeting date to August 23, 2012. Alderman Tichy seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Special Use Permit – Alamance General Store
The meeting agenda was returned to discussion of the Special Use Permit for Alamance General Store. Alderman Gregory made the motion to schedule a Public Hearing for the next Board of Alderman meeting on August 23, 2012. Mayor Bundren said this was pending if Mr. Taylor could attend the meeting on this date, and attainment of signatures needed from Junior Frye. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk York observed that the regular finance information is included in the packets. The CD did not come due until today. He is waiting on interest rate information to do another CD. This is normally all that is included on the Finance Report. Alderman Clemmons reported that he and Clerk York have recently discussed insurance for the Village. The insurance is through the NC League of Municipalities. From his perspective, the Village is well-insured at the right rates.
There was no additional New Business.
Clerk York informed that there is a home on Birch Lane which has recently changed hands. The new owner would like to hook onto sewer service. There is not currently a physical tap there. The total amount of the assessment for the original owner was $4300.00. A real estate company paid $3200.00 and also paid $800.00 for the cost of the tap. That left $325.00 that has not been paid. With interest, in November 1998, the amount was $349.00. That’s where the file ends. A letter was sent; there is no information in the file after that. There is no record that the owner owed anything; there is nothing showing on the spreadsheet to indicate they owe anything. When assessments were made, homeowners were paying for their linear footage and their tap. When the new owners hook on, Clerk York will send someone out to make a tap for them, for which the Village would pay the bill. The only question is whether the Board thinks they should pursue the $349.00. There is no record as to whether or not this amount was paid. Mayor Bundren asked if the original owner paid for the footage assessment and the tap fee. Clerk York said they paid the full tap fee of $800.00. The tap fee was $450.00 for the sewer, $350.00 for the water; they paid $800.00. The linear footage was $3500.00. For whatever reason, the real estate company paid $3200.00. Mayor Bundren asked if the tap had been put in. Clerk York said the tap was never put in. Clerk York said, from the way he looks at it, the remainder owed was probably paid. He said he wanted to make the Board aware of this situation. The only way to know for sure that this was paid, is to check the records at the accountant’s office in Greensboro. The records are in storage and you must pay to have the records delivered or have the accountant look at them. If the accountant didn’t bring it to the Village and they don’t have a record, then likely the owner didn’t owe. Mayor Bundren said that the issue of the possible balance on the account had been settled earlier and the debt is considered to be satisfied. She asked if they could make sure there isn’t already a tap. Clerk York replied that he has already been out there to check on it; there is not a tap there. Mark Reich commented that to know for certain, a TV camera could be run up the pipe to see if there is a tap. Mayor Bundren asked if the tap would be under the road, or on the same side. Clerk York said that everyone’s tap is in their yard. Mayor Bundren asked if the sewer line was across the street or on the same side as the house. Clerk York replied he did not know, saying he would take a look to see. Arnold Allred said the sewer line is on the same side of the street as the pump station. Clerk York said if that was the case, the sewer line is across the street from the house in question. Clerk York described the location of the house. Mayor Bundren said her recollection is that houses on that street were having sewer problems and had to get taps. She said it doesn’t make sense that they paid for a tap and didn’t get it at that time. Clerk York said he would have thought there was a tap. Gerald Walters has a tap even though he is not connected on yet. Clerk York said it is a pretty big yard, but he did not see it. Mayor Bundren observed that you don’t see them anymore, if they were put in a long time ago. She said it’s likely underneath the ground. She asked about the cost of a camera. Arnold Allred said that Jerry has a camera. Clerk York asked Arnold Allred if he could drive by the house and take a look. He said it would cost as much to use a camera as it would to do the tap. Alderman Gregory asked if the new owners believe they are connected to sewer or a septic tank. The new owners think they are still on a septic tank and are inquiring about connecting onto sewer. Mr. Reich suggested that a dye test could be run to determine if the home is on sewer. It is a simple test that involves flushing some dye down the toilet and then seeing if it runs out into the sewer system.
Clerk York said he is fairly confident they are not connected from the house. Mayor Bundren suggested they try the dye as a first step; this will be less expensive. Clerk York said if they can find a tap, they can run the dye to see if they are connected. He doesn’t think they are connected. Mayor Bundren commented that water came through 10 years before sewer came through. All received water taps and then later they received sewer. For a long time, there wasn’t sewer service in the Village. Clerk York said he assumed that they would have run a tap at the same time they ran the sewer. They didn’t connect the house, but they put the clean-out up. Mayor Bundren said she thinks the tap is there, as it was paid. Mark Reich said that smoke testing was an option. Clerk York observed that Rural Water will do a smoke test. Mayor Bundren suggested that Clerk York call Rural Water to see if they could help with the question. Mayor Bundren asked if it would cost as much to use a camera as to do the tap. Clerk York reported that Rural Water would do the smoke test for free. Mayor Bundren asked about the cost of the camera.
Clerk York said Rural Water would do it for free. It will cost if C&J used their camera. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to contact Rural Water first. She asked him to report back to the Board at the August meeting.
Clerk York reported that Tommy Owens has mowed his lawn. The trim on the edge is still not done. Mr. Owens left Clerk York a message after he mowed his lawn. He said he would get the trim eventually, but his weedeater is broken. Mayor Bundren asked if the kudzu, growing over his deck, had been cut. Clerk York said he would make sure Mr. Owens addresses this, at the back of the house. Mayor Bundren asked if mowing included the whole yard. She said Mr. Owens mows only the front little section, leaving the back. Attorney Bateman said the back is included too. Clerk York received a quote from Mr. Byrd for mowing Mr. Owens’ yard. Mr. Byrd will mow it for $40.00, with the exception of the kudzu. He will not cut the kudzu because he doesn’t know what is under it. This is what the cost would be, for future reference.
Alderman Gregory asked Clerk York about the plywood covering a hole at the upholstery shop. Clerk York commented on the situation with the hole in the wall at the upholstery shop. He said an inspector had gone out there. The owner indicated they were working on this with their insurance. The only way to force a change in the exterior of the building would be to have it condemned. Mayor Bundren asked Attorney Bateman if he was familiar with the building and situation being discussed. She described the building which a car ran into, which now has plywood on the side of it covering the hole the car made. It’s about the tenth time that a car has run into that building. Mr. Bateman said they are not allowed to impose the same standards on commercial buildings or nonresidential buildings, as they do on the minimum housing code. Under the minimum housing code, if there is a breech in the walls, you can do something about it. For commercial structures, they have to be condemned as being unsafe. If the building is a fire hazard or is in unsafe condition, the Board could bring some kind of measurable enforcement proceedings. Mayor Bundren asked if the Fire Department would be asked to look at the building. Mr. Bateman said that Building Inspection is generally asked to look at these situations. Clerk York said that the Building Inspector has already taken a look at the building. Clerk York will ask the Building Inspector to come out again and take another look at the building.
Mr. Buddy Michaels of Coinsports commented on the video games/video poker machine at K & J, saying he had recently spoken with Clerk York. He presented a bill from the Town of Haw River that illustrated their fee of $500.00 for gambling establishments. They charge $250 for each additional computer. They charge $5.00 each for electronic video games. Burlington charges $2500.00 for the first computer and $1000.00 for each additional computer. But video poker in Burlington has a fee of $5.00 each. He did not believe the machine at K&J should be labeled as a sweepstakes machine. Attorney Bateman asked if the machine at K&J gave out prizes. Mr. Michaels said that the players purchased phone time. Attorney Bateman said that the machine was operating under the process approved by the Court of Appeals.
Mr. Michaels said that it is video poker that has an injunction, not technically video computer games. Mr. Bateman asked Mr. Michaels if he had video poker. Mr. Michaels asked how the City of Burlington was doing it. Mr. Bateman said this was not video poker; it may be a game or pinball machine. Mr. Michaels said that he could bring a copy of the bill from Burlington. Mr. Bateman responded that if Mr. Michaels presented him with something showing that Mr. Michaels had a video poker machine in the city limits of Burlington, Mr. Bateman would take that document to the Chief of Police. Mr. Michaels asked what if he brought the paper that showed it was the poker that has an injunction. Attorney Bateman responded that he has all of those Court of Appeals decisions.
Mr. Michaels said he just wanted to know why the standards are different everywhere. Mr. Bateman said they are not really different. Mr. Michaels asked why McDonald’s was not charged a privilege license to do their sweepstakes. Mr. Bateman said that that is why Mr. Michaels is allowed to use the kind of machines he uses.
Mr. Michaels asked why the highest privilege license fee is for an adult establishment, charging $500.00, when most other businesses have a $25.00 fee. Yet, another business would be charged $3500.00. He said he doesn’t see how this can be fair. Mayor Bundren responded that this is how the Board of Aldermen decided to handle their schedule of fees. They don’t want to have a lot of video games in the Village of Alamance. Alderman Tichy stated that video games tend to carry higher governing overhead, in terms of police services, and sanitation, including citizen complaints. Burlington and other areas have had problems with the police response, fights in the lots, and other things that go along with it. This is the real justification for the fees. Alderman Gregory pointed out that the Village of Alamance has imposed these fees to enforce what other towns around the Village are doing. Mr. Michaels expressed his appreciation to the Board for their time.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to adjourn and Alderman Clemmons seconded. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned.