24 Jun June 24th, 2013 Minutes
THE FOUR HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIRST SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
June 24, 2013 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Bundren, Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, Alderman Clemmons, Alderman Tichy, Alderman Slaughter, Alderman Gregory and Clerk York.
Absent: Alderman Crouse
Alderman Clemmons gave the invocation.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to approve the May 20, 2013 meeting minutes. Alderman Tichy seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Public Hearing on 2013-2014 Budget
Mayor Bundren asked if anyone present wished to speak in regard to the budget. There was no comment. She asked if anyone needed points of clarification. The Mayor stated that the 2013- 2014 budget does not include any tax increase. It does include a water rate increase and a 3% raise for the employees. Alderman Clemmons explained that the Village has one full-time employee, Clerk Ben York, and one part-time employee that works roughly 10 hours per week. There is another employee who reads meters for the Village. A question was raised by Chris Lavender, Burlington Times-News, about the water rate increase. Clerk York answered that the water rate would increase from $5.11 to $5.19. The increase in the sewer rate would go from $5.76 to $5.88. This is exactly 2 1⁄2% above the rate Burlington currently charges the Village of Alamance. This matches Burlington’s rate increase. There was a second question from Mr. Lavender relating to the increase from the current year’s budget. Alderman Clemmons explained the project relating to the Cabin Road Pump Station. The Village does not have permanent legal access to this pump station, having to go through someone else’s property. Alderman Clemmons further explained that the Board of Aldermen has been working to fix the problems at the pump station. The pump station is in a flood plain. If there is a flood there, sewage could get out into the streams. There are big issues with this. Mark Reich, Engineer, has completed a study for the Village and there are plans for a gravity feed system to replace that pump station. Access will no longer be a concern. There are funds on the General Fund side to pay for this project, for the most part. Some of the funds to pay for the project will come from surplus in the coming year’s budget. This was built-in to the budget. A portion of the funding will come from General Fund monies received next year; a large portion will come from monies in savings. Mayor Bundren added that this has already been discussed with our auditors. They informed that a one time payment from one fund to the other is not an uncommon occurrence. Alderman Clemmons stated that the Water and Sewer is an enterprise system. It is supposed to support itself. If the Village was doing this on a yearly basis, there would be problems with this. However, with Capital Improvement like this, it is acceptable. Mr. Lavender asked when the gravity feed system would be completed. Mr. Reich answered this would probably be in the Spring. Clerk York said that a Capital Project Fund has been created. Funds will be transferred out of the General Fund into the Capital Project Fund.
Approval of 2013-2014 Budget
Alderman Clemmons made the motion to approve the 2013-2014 budget. Alderman Slaughter seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk York announced that the website is ready to go up. He has been waiting on photos from two members of the Board. Mayor Bundren expressed that she would rather have all the photos before the website goes “live.” She asked Clerk York to remind Board members of the need for the photos.
Report on Cabin Pump Station Project
Mark Reich indicated that he has just received the report on the wetlands today. They were waiting for spring rains to stop so that evaluations could be completed. When the initial fieldwork was being done, flags labeled “wetlands” were found. This was done in conjunction with the bridge project that DOT was doing. These have been located and tied down. The DOT has not yet proceeded with having them verified. The process involves the sub-consultant coming out to make a determination. They obtain concurrence from the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers. They don’t think that what DOT marked is wetlands. It has 2 of the 3 factors needed for wetland determination. The U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers is being asked for a verification of the wetlands. This information is needed. Wetlands have to be avoided if at all possible. DOT has determined wetlands on the north side of Pond Road. On the south side of Pond Road, where the existing pump station is, and coming across, there is an area between Pond Road and the new line that will need to be avoided or minimized. Before too much more design work is done, they are waiting for concurrence from the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers. There is not yet a date for confirmation, since the report was just received today. Once all of this is done, Mr. Reich will move forward to complete the design.
Arnold Allred reported that the collection system is in good order, with everything working. Regarding the distribution system, a leak was found on Cardinal Lane, on a service line. This was repaired today. In the Somers Manufacturing building, Jr. Frye showed Mr. Allred a leak going into the basement. They are not sure what this is; there are no meters running. Tomorrow, someone with Rural Water Supply will bring a listening device to examine this problem.
Six valves have been exercised, along with five hydrants. Lead and copper sampling was completed in May. It is far enough along, that they may ask for reduced monitoring. Clerk York suggested they will wait for the results on the recent sampling. With the THMHA5, the last sample showed the HAA5 as .061. The limit is .060. It is just that much over the limit. Clerk York has spoken with Eric Davis at the City of Burlington. Burlington has had some high HAA5 going out. The average for the year should still be fine, so this should not be a problem.
The Village is going to receive a notice of violation for not sampling for DBPs in the 4th quarter of 2012. When the Village was on State Water Monitoring, the samples were taken at Rob Shepard and out at 62. Staff at NCDENR informed the Village that two samples were not required. The Village started doing just one sample last August. Now the Village is on Stage 2 Monitoring and is being told, by letter, that there is a violation because two samples were not taken. A notice will have to be sent out, informing that two samples were not taken. There will be no fine. Mayor Bundren asked that the information given by the State regarding the number of samples be included in the notice.
Clerk York described the events that led to the notice of violation. He said that the Village completed a Stage 2 Monitoring Plan last summer. Locations listed were 4208 NC 62 and the Rob Shepard Drive address. This was sent in to Edwin Peters at the state. A few months later, Clerk York received a call from a different staff person saying only one sample needed to be done from that time forward. In February, Clerk York received a call from a third individual who said that the Village needed to be doing two samples. Clerk York explained that he had been told only one was needed. Then, the sampling month was changed also. This was changed from April to May. Clerk York recently received a letter stating that the Village was in violation because a fourth quarter sampling had not been done. The penalty has been waived, so there is no fine. The letter of notice will be required. Mayor Bundren said that names should be included in the letter, as to who at the State informed Clerk York of the differing sample requirements. Mr. Allred stated that the Village had taken one sample for years. It does get confusing.
There was no additional Old Business.
Mayor Bundren asked if there were any questions regarding the Audit Contract. Clerk York said the contract was the same as last year, in line with what the Village has done in the past. Alderman Clemmons made the motion to approve the Audit Contract. Alderman Tichy seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Swimming Pool Ordinance
Clerk York presented the current Swimming Pool Ordinance. A swimming pool requires a fence around it or a fence around the entire property. A gentleman in Heritage Glen has an above ground pool which is 48 inches high. He has inquired as to whether a fence is required for this pool. Clerk York stated that his interpretation of the current ordinance is that there are no exceptions—all pools require fences. Mayor Bundren asked Attorney Charles Bateman how this compared to ordinances in other municipalities. Mr. Bateman replied he didn’t know of any municipalities that had exemptions. Clerk York said that Alamance County does not require a fence for an above ground pool that is 4 feet high. Clerk York posed this question to the Board because of the resident’s question. Alderman Clemmons asked about the pool height in question. Clerk York responded that it is 4 feet high. This resident would not have to have a fence by the county standard. The Swimming Pool Ordinance that the Village has is pretty straightforward, as it is written. Alderman Slaughter raised a question relating to the ordinance and the height of the fence, related to the deck of a pool. Mr. Bateman explained that the fence is designed to keep small children from getting into the pool by accident. Alderman Slaughter’s question related to the height of the fence from the deck or from the ground. Mayor Bundren stated that wherever the fence started to where it ends, it must be 4 feet in height. Alderman Tichy summarized that weakening the ordinance was asking for trouble. Fences with self-closing gates, as required, are much safer. Mayor Bundren said that she would rather err on the side of safety. Alderman Tichy said he didn’t want to change the ordinance because someone didn’t want to be safe, essentially. There were no further comments. This item was tabled.
Clerk York observed that there are 4 items to be changed in the budget. These include water sampling; utilities, one more street lights bill needs to be paid; and Internet, under Administration. Clerk York stated that he needed enough funds to cover these 4 items before the end of the year. Other items are being reduced to accommodate these final bills for the year. Alderman Clemmons moved to approve the budget amendment as stated. Alderman Tichy seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk York reported that a CD would renew tomorrow. The May CD renewed, earning $926.50 in interest. Last time, there was a total of $1.5 in CDs. Alderman Slaughter and Clerk York have talked with other banks over the last few months. PNC and Mid-Carolina Bank offered “zero” fees, but no interest accrues at all. With the current bank, there is interest but also fees. Fidelity Bank would charge $20.00 in fees, with $10.00 interest earned per month. Wells Fargo is willing to go from .05% to .25% interest and reduce some of the fees. Clerk York said there would only be a savings of $40.00-$50.00 per month if the Village moved to a new bank. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to go over the information with Alderman Clemmons and present it to the Board at the next meeting. She asked that Clerk York bring this information back to the next meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe said she heard Holt Skinner speak about the Holt Family at Providence Church. She asked him if he would be willing to speak at Plaid Day. He expressed willingness and Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe asked that this be kept in mind, in planning for this event. Mayor Bundren agreed that more history and heritage was needed.
There was no public comment.
Alderman Gregory moved to adjourn and Alderman Tichy seconded. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned.