27 Jun June 27th, 2011 Minutes
THE THREE HUNDRED-NINETY SEVENTH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
June 27, 2011 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Bundren, Mayor Pro-Tem Sharpe, Alderman Crouse, Alderman Tichy, Alderman Clemmons, Alderman Jones, Alderman Slaughter, Clerk York.
Alderman Crouse gave the invocation.
Alderman Clemmons moved to approve the May 23, 2011 meeting minutes and Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe seconded. The Motion carried unanimously. Alderman Slaughter then noted that the minutes should reflect that she was absent from the May 23, 2011 meeting. Alderman Tichy also noted that he was absent from the May 23, 2011 meeting. A new motion was made to revise the minutes and accept them with the corrections. Alderman Clemmons moved to approve the corrected minutes; Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING: FISCAL YEAR 2011-2012 BUDGET
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to open the Public Hearing. Alderman Tichy seconded.
Sherry Ford asked about the Capital Outlay expenditures, asking why the $33,830 unspent was increased to $100,631 in the proposed budget. Clerk York said that this line item is a catch-all, to balance the budget. Alderman Jones remarked that the budget must be balanced. This was discussed at the last budget meeting. Mayor Bundren observed that the funds are there in case of emergencies, so that if something comes up, the money is available and in the budget. The emergency could be water or sewer, the funds could be moved over. Sherry Ford said she thought the general fund was used for that. Mayor Bundren said if needed, the funds could be moved over, but they prefer not to do that. Alderman Tichy said that the general fund can be used for capital expenditures for sewer and water. Sherry Ford then asked about Professional Services in the budget, noting the amount of $20,000. Clerk York said that this budget item is basically for the audit, for the accountant to do the audit. Sherry Ford then asked about Contracted Services for the City of Burlington. Clerk York said that the Village of Alamance pays a portion for the Animal Shelter. Sherry Ford asked about Professional Services for Engineering at two places in the budget. Clerk York replied that the first, under Administration, is for general engineering. The second entry is under Transportation and includes any engineering relating to streets. Sherry Ford asked about the $22,000 designated as Wages. Clerk York said that his salary is broken up in three places—under “Wages”, noting that 10% of his salary is under the Water and Sewer Fund. Sherry Ford commented that the telephone expense floored her, being $3200. Clerk York said there are several things under the telephone expense. One is the mobile phone costing around $40 per month. The basic phone service includes two lines into the main office, the Sheriff’s department line, and the fax machine, for a total of 4 lines. The monthly bill is around $260. Mayor Bundren noted that the Village also has automatic dialers on the sewer outfall stations. Clerk York said that expense was not included in this telephone expense line item. Sherry Ford asked if anyone was using the Sheriff’s Office. Clerk York replied affirmatively. Sherry Ford asked how often the Sheriff’s Office was being used. Clerk York said the Sheriff’s Office was being used fairly often. Warrants have been moved to the Village of Alamance Sheriff’s Office. Sherry Ford asked why the Village of Alamance had to pay for the telephone for the Sheriff’s Office. Alderman Jones said the Sheriff’s Department was given free rent and telephone in exchange for their presence in the Village of Alamance. Sherry Ford asked that, since the Sheriff’s Department was present, could they not do anything about the traffic. Alderman Jones said he was sure they would pull someone over if they were observed to be speeding. Mayor Bundren said that Highway 62 is a state highway, so the Highway Patrol manages it. Alderman Jones and Alderman Crouse commented that the Sheriff’s Department is running radar, on Highway 62. Alderman Tichy said that he has seen the Sheriff run radar. Alderman Crouse said all the Sheriff’s cars are set up to run radar. Alderman Clemmons noted that the Village is not responsible for whether the Sheriff’s Department pulls anyone over for speeding, but said that, as a father of three, he is glad the Sheriff’s Department has a presence. Sherry Ford said she didn’t realize the Sheriff’s Department was in the Village so often, saying she thought this was great. She then asked about the budget for mowing, commenting that $3000 was in the budget but there was a zero expenditure for year-to-date. Clerk York said this was under Transportation. There is only $1000 budgeted for mowing for next year. He said the line item in question has not been used since he has worked for the Village. It is for mowing the street right-of-ways. The mowing for the outfalls is under the Water and Sewer Fund.
Mayor Bundren asked if there were any other questions regarding the budget. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to close the Public Hearing. Alderman Clemmons seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk York presented the Schedule of Fees. The only changes are for the Water and Sewer rate. Water will be $4.78 and Sewer will be $5.38.
Alderman Clemmons moved to accept the budget. Alderman Tichy seconded. The motion passed unanimously
Clerk York said there would be a meeting tomorrow at the Town Hall at 5:30pm if anyone would like to attend. He said there would be good entertainment and a lot of vendors, more vendors than last year. Mayor Bundren stated that she hoped all of the Board members would participate in Plaid Day this year.
Mark Reich brought the Board up to date on the project. It is pretty much complete with all of the construction. They are waiting on the contractor’s affidavits and release of liens. Then, they will be able to make the final payment.
Change Order #2
Mark Reich called the Board’s attention to a final adjusting change order, similar to the second water main connection, where estimated quantities in the contract were brought back to the actual estimated quantities. There is a net change in the amount of $7450.87. Most of this is for the resurfacing of the road. If it hadn’t been for the resurfacing, the budget would have been “under” for the construction portion of the project. Mark Reich requested approval of the final adjusting change order, which would wrap up the project except for making the final payment. Mayor Bundren asked about the seeding. Mark Reich replied that this had been done, that rain was needed to get the grass to grow. There is a one year warranty period, until May 25th; if seeding problems come up they can still be addressed by the contractor. Alderman Tichy made the motion to accept the change order. Alderman Slaughter seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Report on Cabin Pump Station Project
Mark Reich reported that Clerk York had received a call from the clearinghouse folks, asking for an extension until the 30th of the month to get some final paperwork to the Village. The process is still ongoing, of getting all the data together. Mark Reich said that, hopefully, by the next Board of Aldermen meeting, they will have the information and can complete the PER to bring to the Board. Then, this can be submitted to the USDA for the potential grant.
Arnold Allred said that June hasn’t been as busy as May. He said the NC Highway 62 Station is working very well. Everything is in order as far as the distribution system. Mr. Allred stated that the biggest thing coming up is the switch to chloramines. He said the latest he had heard was that the change would be later in July, around July 25th. Mr. Allred and Clerk York will be attending an information session with the City of Burlington.
Alderman Clemmons asked if more information about this had been sent out with the last water bill. Clerk York said that information about chloramines had been sent out with the last bills. Alderman Clemmons said he felt more should be done to communicate information about the upcoming change. Clerk York said that he could do a separate page of information, with the information that the City of Burlington had sent out. Mayor Bundren asked Alderman Clemmons if he was thinking about door hangers or something like that. Alderman Clemmons said he just wanted people to have notice about this. He asked about the possible related health issues. Alderman Crouse said that anyone on dialysis shouldn’t use the water with chloramines. Mr. Allred said it could also affect some exotic animals. Mayor Bundren asked if the temporary clerk could leave a message on the phone for each resident, about the upcoming change. Alderman Clemmons suggested another announcement in the bill, putting information on the website. Alderman Tichy said if they don’t read the information, at least they would have received it twice. Alderman Clemmons suggested an email to the Heritage Glen folks and other email lists. Mr. Allred said they would have more information after the upcoming information session on Friday.
Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York for the date of the next meeting in July. Clerk York responded that the next Board of Aldermen meeting would be July 25, 2011. The Mayor asked if the change went into effect on July 25th. Mr. Allred said that is what he is hearing. The Mayor asked that any pertinent information be passed along to the Board. Mr. Allred said it would take a while for the changes to get to the Village system; the changes would not happen overnight. Mr. Allred noted that the biggest change for the Village would be the four tests each day that Clerk York will have to run. Some of that equipment is already in, more is coming. Clerk York invited Board members to look at the “science lab” now in the kitchen. Mr. Allred said it would take at least 30 minutes each day to complete the tests. Alderman Crouse asked if the testing could be done at the Town Hall. Mr. Allred said he was setting the testing up for the Town Hall; hoping everything could be done there. It gets more complicated if you have to go out and get samples. Tests have to be run on site. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe asked if the tests would be ongoing. Mr. Allred said that weekends are excluded right now. Once a certain population is reached, the testing must be done seven days per week. Alderman Jones said that it would seem that a better system should require less testing. He said the fact that more testing is required, almost scares you to think it’s bad. Mr. Allred said this is supposed to be the answer to the high THMs. Alderman Jones asked why it required more testing. Mr. Allred responded this was because more chemicals are being added to the water; the State wants the Village to monitor what it is buying from Burlington. If there is a problem, the Village lets them know.
Mr. Allred said another change that is going to take place involves lead and copper sampling. The Village is now on reduced monitoring, because there are no sites with lead and copper levels indicated, in the last 20 years. Now, the monitoring for this is every 3 years. When the change is made to chloramines, this will go back to “standard” monitoring. Then, lead and copper sampling will have to be done every six months. The sampling will have to be done on 20 sites, not 10 sites. This will include the older houses in the Village that have the old lead and copper solder in them. After a year, if two six month samplings show no levels, you can ask for reduced monitoring again. Then, in another year, you can get back to the three year cycle. It will take about 2 years to get back to the three year cycle. For the next two years, the Village will be sampling lead and copper every 6 months.
Mr. Allred said the next thing under THM/HAA5 is, now that there are two water sources, the State says the Village has to do two THM samplings, one at each one of the end sites. So the THM samplings will double. The management plan will change. This is due to the second water source coming in. Mr. Allred said he has already talked to Mr. Reich about updating the map, so that this can be submitted to the State. There is a lot of paperwork to be filled out. Alderman Jones asked if THM/HAA5s are disinfected byproducts. Mr. Allred said that is correct. Alderman Jones said he thought this was from dead water, where it sat. Mr. Allred said this was because of too much chlorine in the water. What is measured right now is free chlorine, chlorine that is left over in the water, not used. If there is too much chlorine in the water, that gets in the organics and causes the THM problem. When ammonia is added, a lot less chlorine is used. The effort is to use less chlorine to drive down the THM.
Alderman Jones asked if the Village was being asked to sample it during high resident times. Arnold Allred said they wanted to sample it at the “worst case” scenario. Alderman Jones asked about sampling at the source. Mr. Allred said that, with THM, it was picked up as it goes through the system. Alderman Jones asked about the two spots that needed to be checked, now that there are two sources. Arnold Allred noted that this involved two end spots. Alderman Jones said he understood, the two deadest spots, not the sources. Mr. Allred said the end source, where they had been taking samples, is now the entry point. Alderman Jones said that was why he thought the hydraulic study should be updated. Mr. Allred said this would be pretty expensive. Alderman Clemmons asked about the location of the two end spots for the sampling. Mr. Allred said one would be at the Town Hall, which will help Clerk York. The other one will be on the other side of the Post Office, Hydrant #39. That is where the system cutoff is, right now; where both systems meet. Alderman Jones asked about the systems being connected. Mr. Allred said the systems are not connected; a valve would have to be opened up, to connect the two systems. Alderman Jones asked about the reason for this. Mr. Allred said this was done to try to find the leak, initially. In finding the leak, they found there are loops in the system. There is a loop around Alamance Baptist, around Ashe Drive and back across. Mr. Allred said he didn’t want to stop any of those loops. This was the best place to put it, and all the loops keep looping around. Alderman Jones asked if the water circulated better with the valve shut, than it does open. Mr. Allred said if it was open, you wouldn’t know which side the water was coming from. You would have to do the hydraulic study to know that. Now, they know where the water is starting and stopping. Alderman Jones said this was giving a known entity, rather than an unknown. Mr. Allred agreed. He said both meters were being read every week. If there is a leak, it is known in a week’s time, instead of waiting a month.
Alderman Jones asked about the cost of updating the hydraulic study. Mark Reich said that he was unsure because they did not perform the original hydraulic study for the Village. He said that they may be able to take the information on file and update it for a new plan. Alderman Jones said that the hydraulic study may say that the water quality would be better with the valve open, but we won’t know that if we don’t do a new study. He said he didn’t know if the software simulation was as good as it is cracked up to be. Mark Reich said the software itself is reasonably accurate. Alderman Jones said that so much has been invested, for such a small addition, it seems the Village would go the extra step to know where the worst water is, and where to sample, and whether to have the valve open or not. Mark Reich said he would get some answers and email Clerk York. Mark Reich said this could give some ideas of where to do some samples; the State will still require two samples. Mr. Allred affirmed that two samples would still need to be done. Alderman Jones said the State would most likely agree if the software says to sample “here” versus the Village just shutting off a valve and going to where it stops. Mr. Reich said the State would be happy with it either way. Mr. Reich said the biggest advantage he sees would be, if something were to happen, with the valve open, everything would be affected. Alderman Jones said he understood that; in an emergency it could be shut off and isolated. In a fire, he said, it would be better flow with the valve open. Alderman Crouse said you would get pressure on both sides, with the valve closed. Mr. Allred stated that you could go to either side and still get pressure. Mr. Allred said the only reason he could see to have the valve open, was if one of the sources shut down. Alderman Jones said he was thinking about the water quality. He said 99% of the time the distribution issue is quality, not fire, not leaks. The Village might go ten years and not have a fire or a leak. Mr. Allred said that was why all the testing was required, to check the quality of the water.
Budget Amendment Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Budget
Clerk York asked if anyone had questions about the budget amendment. Mayor Bundren asked if this was just to balance out, at the end of the year. Clerk York said this was correct. He said that Building Repairs and Maintenance included the new doors. A small change was made to Recycling/Yard Waste to make sure that Recycling doesn’t go over budget for the year. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to accept the Budget Amendment. Alderman Tichy seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk York addressed the audit contract. Last year, the total spent for the audit was $21,400. He said that the range is the same as last year. It will likely go down some next year. This year, the Village still has the CDBG Project and the Second Connection. The federal funds require a more detailed audit. Alderman Clemmons made the motion to accept the audit contract as written. Alderman Slaughter seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Painting Town Hall
Mayor Bundren asked if any Board members had concerns about the work that needed to be done at the Town Hall. Alderman Clemmons moved to approve the painting. Alderman Slaughter seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
NC League Insurance 2011-2012
Clerk York provided information about the NC League Insurance for this year. He said that, last year, there was $3400 budgeted for Property and Liability Insurance. The total premium for this year is $3705, less the incentive credit of $376, bringing the total to $3329. This is in line with what was budgeted and what was spent last year. Clerk York said he wanted the Board to be aware of the pricing in the proposal.
Alderman Crouse asked where the Village stands with the assessments that are in arrears. Clerk York said that one is paying regularly. Ms. Bright has passed away. Clerk York asked Charles Bateman whether anything could be done at this point, regarding the assessment for Ms. Bright. Charles Bateman said a claim could be filed against her estate. The question was raised of how much Ms. Bright owed. Clerk York determined that Ms. Bright owed $1863. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to file a claim for the amount owed. Alderman Crouse seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Clerk York said that he has not received a reply from Mr. Saunders. Mr. Saunders owes $3912.59 in assessments. Mayor Bundren asked Charles Bateman what recourse the Village had in this situation. The Board asked Clerk York to take the matter to small claims court.
Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to report on last week’s Small Claims Court. Clerk York said he went to Small Claims Court against Cynthia Moon. Ms. Moon owes tax debt against the Village in the amount of $1162. In 2001, Ms. Moon came into the Village. That property was annexed into the Village, voluntarily. It was not recorded, for whatever reason, until August 2007. Ms. Moon purchased the home in 2004. She has not paid taxes from 2004-2007, for a total of $1,162. Over the last couple of years, the Village has tried to contact her numerous times. The case was dismissed in Small Claims Court. Now, an appeal will be filed in District Court.
Clerk York reported that the Village of Alamance did receive a refund from the City of Burlington in the total of $22,078. It has been deposited and can go onto the books for the current year. That will reduce the expense line item for water charges in the Water and Sewer Fund. So the expense went from $63,000 to $41,000. That reduces the ending expenses by $22,000. With one of the bills being paid in July, the Village will be able to take $30,000 off the bottom line of expenses. Clerk York asked Mark Reich about the bill for the PER. He said that, without the bill for the PER this year, there is a good possibility that the Village will break even or be ahead of the budget this year. Mayor Bundren said this was wonderful. Alderman Jones asked how far back the refund included. Clerk York replied it covered one year. He said the Village had estimated it spent $44,000 above what it would have spent. Burlington normally adjusts half the difference, so the Village received $22,000.
Sherry Ford from the audience raised the question about golf cart issues, saying she had already spoken to Alderman Tichy. Attorney Bateman said that the state had recently changed the law regarding golf carts. Golf Carts are allowed on state roads only if the local government has passed an ordinance allowing them and setting up a program for registration of Golf Carts. Mrs. Ford asked about riding golf carts on the sidewalks. Attorney Bateman said that sidewalks are a part of the public right-of-way. Mayor Bundren asked if this new law would apply to Highway 62. Attorney Bateman said that the Village could make a change to allow golf carts on streets and highways. Alderman Crouse asked if there was an accident between a golf cart and a vehicle, would the Village be responsible. Attorney Bateman said the Village could be liable for allowing an unsafe vehicle on the street. He said if the Village decided to allow golf carts; it could restrict them to certain streets. Mrs. Ford said that other towns seem to say they don’t have any conditions or restrictions on golf carts. She used Mebane as an example. Attorney Bateman said that he is the City Attorney for Mebane and that he knows that the City of Mebane does not allow golf carts on its streets. Mrs. Ford said that differed from what the Mebane Police Chief said. She went on to say that she was curious as to why this issue of golf carts has come up. She said people in the lower part of the Village have golf carts and have enjoyed them. They don’t drive them very often, but its fun to ride them up to the convenience store. She said the Sherriff doesn’t have any restrictions against golf carts on the sidewalks. Alderman Jones said it sounds like the enforcers of the law don’t understand the law. Mayor Bundren emphasized that, having notified residents about the law, protects the Village of Alamance from a lawsuit. That’s the bottom line, she said. Alderman Jones said he would not want to approve golf carts, because he wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt on his watch, out on the street. If golf carts were legal, there would be more out there. Mayor Bundren commented that Mr. Cartassi mentioned at the last meeting that some people driving golf carts are running stop signs in Heritage Glen. Alderman Jones said there are some kids riding golf carts that are causing problems. They ride at night sometimes. Their vehicles have no headlights. Mayor Bundren also said that she saw some kids on the back of a go cart on cardinal lane. Mayor Bundren asked if there was any further business or further public comment.
There was no further public comment.
Alderman Crouse moved to adjourn. Alderman Tichy seconded. The motion to adjourn passed unanimously.