25 Mar March 25th, 2013 Minutes
THE FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTEENTH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
March 25, 2013 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Bundren, Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, Alderman Clemmons, Alderman Crouse, Alderman Slaughter, Alderman Gregory and Clerk York.
Absent: Alderman Tichy
Alderman Clemmons gave the invocation.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to approve the February 25, 2013 meeting minutes. Alderman Slaughter seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The Mayor read a Thank You note from Clerk Ben York, in acknowledgment of the Board’s donation to Hospice, in memory of his grandfather.
Clerk York noted that a letter has been sent to Dan Moravec, requesting use of the ball field at E.M. Holt Elementary School. He has not yet received a response. Mayor Bundren asked if there were any plans for the current year. Clerk York observed that baseball season would run to mid- June or the end of June. It depends on what the Board would like to do, but planning time would be cut close, if the decision was made to hold the event by the end of June. Clerk York suggested a year would be needed to plan a really great Plaid Day. Mayor Bundren concurred that two months is not enough time for planning the event. The consensus was to table this item until the beginning of the next fiscal year. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to put Plaid Day on the agenda for sometime in July 2013.
Clerk York distributed documents from Appian Digital for the Board to review. Appian Digital does the websites for Mebane and the Town of Elon. They charge a basic fee of $100.00 per hour. They could convert what the Village has on its website into their format. From this point forward, changes to the website could be easily made. Pictures, text, and word documents could be added to the website; minutes and/or audio of meetings could also be added. Anytime the Village of Alamance needed Appian Digital to do something for the website, it would be charged at their rate of $100.00 per hour. They estimate it would cost $2400.00 initially. Mayor Bundren questioned the hourly rate, as printed at $145.00. Clerk York indicated the rate was $145.00 per hour; there is a 20% discount as a new customer. This brings the final estimate to $2400.00. Options are to choose Appian Digital or try to set up a WordPress account. WordPress is free, and this is what Alamance County will be using for their website. WordPress has a lot of tutorials to help set up a website. Clerk York indicated that he could work through the tutorials to learn WordPress, and set up the account. However, if Clerk York should leave his position, the next Town Clerk would have to learn to build the website from the ground up, before any updates to the website could be made. Clerk York recommended Appian Digital as the optimal choice, for the long run. The website would be up and running very quickly; updates and changes could easily be done. There is cost involved. Alderman Clemmons asked about ongoing fees. Clerk York answered that there is basically the set-up cost, and then if assistance is needed from Appian, there is the hourly fee. Otherwise, there are just updates that are completed by logging in to the site. Appian Digital would not be hosting the website; AT & T is the host. AT & T is the entity that has the server, where the files for the webpages are located. Appian takes those files, puts them into their software, so that it is formatted for use with Appian software. Alderman Clemmons asked Clerk York if he felt confident that he could maneuver through the software. Clerk York replied affirmatively. Mayor Bundren asked about the 24 hours needed to convert the website. Clerk York replied that this would be 24 hours of work. They could not complete the work in 24 hours. Appian estimates no more than 24 hours of billed time. WordPress is free. Alamance County has a webmaster that already knows how to use WordPress. If you are familiar with WordPress, you can go ahead and set up an account to get started. But if you are not familiar with WordPress, there is a lot of material to work through, to get started. It would take a considerable amount of time. The learning process would have to be repeated by the next Town Clerk. In short, Clerk York stated that a much better product would be completed more quickly, by choosing the pay option, rather than the free option. Alderman Clemmons posed the question as to whether this was needed. He answered the question himself affirmatively, observing that he had pushed for the website initially. A good website product would be valuable. It would be valuable now, but even more valuable down the road. Clerk York reported that Burlington had been much more involved with their website, spending several thousands of dollars. The Village of Alamance would not be doing any design, just having the information transferred. Mayor Bundren asked about other entities using Appian Digital. Clerk York replied that the Town of Elon website is done through Appian; Mebane also uses Appian for their website. Burlington does not use Appian Digital. Mayor Bundren asked Attorney Bateman if there was any feedback from Mebane. Attorney Bateman observed that there are regular updates and minutes of the regular meetings; they do a lot of good things with the website. Clerk York added that the website will look just as it does now, when this project is completed. It will basically be converted into a format that can be updated. Right now, he has to search through lines of code to update even one sentence. With Appian, it will be very simple. Alderman Clemmons made the motion to choose Appian Digital for converting the website. Alderman Gregory seconded. Alderman Slaughter said this was a good idea. It was better to have nothing, than a website that was not updated. Alderman Davis agreed, noting there should be regular updates. The motion passed unanimously.
Report on Cabin Pump Station Project
Clerk York distributed copies of the contract agreement, which had not been included in the Board packets. Mark Reich reported that a proposal has been put together, based on the Preliminary Engineering Report, for the Board’s consideration and approval. Clerk York has spoken with Teresa Grissom, working through the Department of Transportation. The DOT is in the early design process of upgrading Pond Road. Clerk York has made Ms. Grissom aware that the Board is contemplating the Cabin Road Pump Station Project. He also informed her that Pond Road is a dead end road; it will need to be kept open during the construction. Ms. Grissom had questions, earlier on, about the possibility of closing Pond Road. Since there is no other access, the road will need to be open. Mayor Bundren asked about the bridge replacement. Mr. Reich said he envisioned that they would relocate the bridge, build that structure, then tie the road into it. There may be some temporary delays while they do the final paving. Mayor Bundren asked about the impact on flooding. Mr. Reich said he would strongly encourage them to get the road up above the 100-year, or actually 500-year design, so that residents could get in and out in a flood. Alderman Crouse observed that DOT staff has already started flagging. Mr. Reich indicated there would need to be some coordination. They may be on the south side of the bridge; they may go to the north side. His concern is the big bend in the creek. The road, as it is now, is in close proximity to that steep bank. There is rock to the south side of that bank. He is not sure how they will try to realign the road. They will have to build the structure up. Mayor Bundren asked Mr. Reich if he foresees problems with the plans. Mr. Reich said they will definitely need to coordinate site work with the DOT, to make sure that there won’t be any conflict. He has contacted Ms. Grissom, but has not yet had a reply. Mayor Bundren asked if the proposal required Board action tonight. Mr. Reich said the Board did not have to take action at this meeting. If the Board wants to get started, they can, or they may want to think about it and then take action at the next meeting. Mayor Bundren asked Attorney Bateman if he had read the proposal. Attorney Bateman responded affirmatively. Clerk York asked if the cost of the PER was already included in the fees. Mr. Reich said this would actually reduce the overall total cost of the project by $10,000.00. It would actually reduce the cost by a little more than $10,000.00 because some of the other work at the NC 62 Pump Station site would not be done. Alderman Clemmons asked when the fees would be due. Mr. Reich said there would be design fees, once they got started. There had been discussion about doing the design work this year, with the construction being done sometime after July. The contract is for design fees and also construction administration, as well. The design fees would be paid between now and the end of June or first of July. The construction fees would be due after that. Mayor Bundren commented that they are trying to get this in, in this fiscal year. Mr. Reich noted that, typically with the DOT, design projects can take some time. If the Board wants to wait another month, that would allow time to look at some of the DOT’s preliminary work. He would not want to start design work right now, while the DOT is looking around. They will go ahead and start conversations with the DOT. Mr. Reich stated they will certainly coordinate their work with what the DOT needs to do. Alderman Clemmons asked if the Board would meet a week earlier next month. Clerk York informed that the earlier meeting would be in the month of May. Mayor Bundren stated that they would need to have a working meeting before the regular April meeting anyway, to discuss the budget. Attorney Bateman pointed out that this would need to be included in the notice. Mayor Bundren confirmed that this could be approved at the working meeting, as long as the item was included in the notice. Attorney Bateman added that the Board needed to adopt a resolution stating that they are not seeking requests for qualifications, in order to comply with the State statutes. Alley Williams is so familiar with all of the work that the Village does, that they would have to reinvent the wheel if someone else came in. You can’t bid projects anyway. All you can seek is proposals for qualifications. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe made the motion for the resolution not to seek requests for qualifications. Alderman Clemmons seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Mayor Bundren stated they would hold discussion of the proposal from Alley Williams at the next working meeting.
Arnold Allred reported that things are working very well on the Collection System. Regarding the Distribution System, they’ve begun work on the valves. Eleven main valves and seven other valves have been done. They have been taking photos of the valves, so they can be found more easily next time. When this is complete, it will be given to Clerk York and he can put it on the computer. It will be available on the laptop in the truck; this will make it easier to locate valves at night. They are taking photos of the hydrants, too. THMHA5 sampling is moving to Stage 2 sampling. Burlington is changing their sampling dates to the second month of the quarter. The Village of Alamance will need to sample with Burlington. There was a problem with the PH meter, but a new probe has been received to take care of that. The State had called about that. Mayor Bundren asked if the change meant that the Village would have a 3 month or a back –to- back sampling time. Mr. Allred replied that it would still be one sample every 3 months; it will just be a different time of month. It is not any more sample time. They have accepted the February sampling. The Village will get on the new schedule in May.
There was no additional Old Business.
Clerk York distributed additional information. He reported that $826.96 in interest was earned on a CD of $110,500.00. The new interest rate is .5%. The total value of CDs at Carter Bank is $1,508,504.34. There is $1.92 million in total cash, among all the bank accounts.
Mayor Bundren reported that she had spoken with Attorney Bateman. There has been some conversation about some of the historic houses. The Village does not have a Commission set up. Mayor Bundren asked Attorney Bateman to address this item. Mr. Bateman reminded the Board that the Village has a Historic Properties Preservation Ordinance. A framework for selecting members of the Commission has also been established. In the event there may be some activity requiring a Commission in the near term, Mr. Bateman suggested that the Board adopt a resolution appointing the Board of Aldermen to serve as the Historic Commission on an interim basis until a permanent Commission is established and has the powers, as set forth in the ordinance. This would be a temporary measure, but one that the Board needs to do. Alderman Crouse made the motion to adopt the resolution appointing the Board of Aldermen as the Historic Commission. Alderman Gregory seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Bundren asked Attorney Bateman what other steps the Board needed to take toward establishing a Historic Commission. Mr. Bateman stated that, by and large, the Commission members should be selected from the affected area. It probably would be a good idea for members of the Board to start contacting people they know in the area to determine who would be interested in serving on the Historic Commission. Alderman Crouse asked about the minimum number of people needed for the Commission. Attorney Bateman thought 3 was the minimum, but asked Clerk York to check on this. Clerk York will research this question, in the ordinance. Mr. Bateman explained that Alderman Gregory would be the Ex-officio member, not a voting member, but the Board’s representative to the Commission. Mr. Bateman asked Clerk York to forward information about the Historic Commission to the Board, for review at the next meeting. He said it would be helpful if they could move on this as quickly as possible. Alderman Slaughter noted that there are nine property owners, as possible members.
Alderman Clemmons reported that they have not set the budget to recommend to the Board. The Board will need to get together for a working meeting in mid to late April. Mayor Bundren informed that the regular meeting of the Board of Aldermen is scheduled for April 22, 2013, so the working meeting needs to be scheduled prior to that date. Alderman Clemmons pointed out that the budget would need to be presented in May. Mayor Bundren suggested the week of April 18th. Alderman Clemmons suggested the morning of April 19th, noting the Board has met on Friday mornings before. Mayor Bundren asked about the Friday morning prior to that date, April 12th. It was decided to hold the working meeting at 7:30am on Friday, April 12, 2013.
There was no other business.
Mr. Fred Hoy asked when the Sweepstakes places will be closed down. Attorney Bateman stated that if these businesses are determined to be illegal, the Village could not issue a permit to an illegal business. Mayor Bundren commented that just because the Village of Alamance has a schedule of fees that speaks to these businesses, does not mean the Village approves it. She indicated that the Village didn’t need to do anything right now.
Alderman Clemmons had a question for Mark Reich. He asked when they would begin talking to property owners. Alderman Crouse said he had notified both of the property owners that would be affected. Mr. Shoffner is not in good health; the quicker they move on this, the better. He thanked Alderman Crouse for letting him know what the Village had in mind. He showed no opposition. Neither did the other property owner.
Alderman Crouse said they have been talking about the bridge on Pond Road, at the Fire Department, too. They received a letter from DOT. It is a low tonnage bridge. This is one of the reasons the bridge will be replaced. DOT will be doing some surveying in the area. Property owners also received letters informing that DOT would be doing some surveying and identifying the wetland areas. Mr. Reich stated that they will try to be above the 100 year flood, if not the 500 year flood. Alderman Clemmons asked if there was any way what DOT was doing could help what the Village was doing. Mr. Reich said the relocation of the road, and fill-in, could reduce expenses. It wouldn’t be a tremendous amount of savings. The distance between Point A and Point B would still be the same. This is where the cost is—in the pipe and potential rock. There could be some potential savings. Mayor Bundren asked if it would be advantageous for DOT to do some of the blasting for the Village, if they run into rock. Mr. Reich said he didn’t think this would come into play. They will require the Village to be far enough from their structure, for there not to be any issues. The preliminary plan is to be a good way away from the bridge. He does not anticipate this being an issue.
Alderman Crouse moved to adjourn and Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe seconded. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned.
There was no further Public Comment.