26 Mar March 26th, 2012 Minutes
THE FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
March 26, 2012, 2012 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Bundren, Mayor Pro-Tem Sharpe, Alderman Clemmons, Alderman Tichy, Alderman Crouse, Alderman Slaughter, Alderman Gregory and Clerk York.
Alderman Crouse gave the invocation.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to approve the February 23, 2012 meeting minutes. Alderman Tichy seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Report on Cabin Pump Station Project
Mark Reich introduced Darrell Russell. Mr. Russell has been working with Mr. Reich on the Preliminary Engineering Report and has fine-tuned it. Mr. Reich passed out copies of the report. Mr. Russell presented the Preliminary Engineering Report, in the format required by the USDA Rural Development Agency. The first task of the report is putting together the executive loads and populations projected for four years out. Referring to page four, Mr. Russell noted estimates of population through 2030. The population growth that the Village of Alamance has experienced in the last ten years will probably be difficult to achieve in the next 20 years. The population has grown from 310 in 2000, to 951 in 2010. This reflects a 206% increase in population. The main issue in this report is projecting what the next twenty years will look like. The Board may have an idea of what this might be, or may direct what the new growth may be. It is up to the Board of Aldermen to encourage new growth. Mr. Russell needed to determine a population number for the report. In doing this, he first looked at the Alamance County population projection. The State of North Carolina does make population projections for every county. Their projection for Alamance County is a population increase of 31% over the next twenty years. Typically, population increases are seen in places that have water and sewer services. Population increases are usually higher in cities and towns. Using this report, Mr. Russell determined that the population of the Village of Alamance would be 2000. It is easy to see how just one project can greatly affect the population. Population projections are a guess. Mr. Russell has based all the future load projections on the Village population of 2000, for this report. If he had used a straight line projection for what the population was during 2000-2010, the population projection would have been 4000. This number may be critiqued as the report goes through the review process with the USDA. It may have to be changed if the population projection is considered to be too high. Mr. Russell referred to pages 5-6 of the report, which discuss the existing facilities. Mr. Reich has previously presented information to the Board regarding the existing facilities. Page 6 of the report features a picture of the NC 62 Pump Station. Page 7 includes a photo of the Cabin Road Pump Station. Beginning on Page 8, there is explanation of the need for the project. This has also been previously discussed. Estimated flows, for the 20 year planning period, are presented on Page 10 of the report. The 2000 population estimate for the next 20 years , divided by 2.6 persons per household, would result in 769 households. For report and estimating purposes, Mr. Russell must use state guidelines for estimates of flow for residential use, based on the number of bedrooms. For the 769 households, estimates are that 600 would be 3-bedroom households and 169 would be 2-bedroom households.
Using the State value of 360 gpd, this results in a significant increase in the projected flows for the Village for the year 2030. This would result in 256,000 gallons per day, average flow. These numbers are not what the Village of Alamance is experiencing now. Mayor Bundren asked for the current flow number. Mr. Russell replied it is probably about half of this. There is a way, if you do a sewer flow study with meters, that the state will allow a reduction. It takes at least a year to go through the process; it may make sense to do this at some point. Mr. Russell then referred to Page 11 of the report. The future flow was divided between the Cabin Road Pump Station and the NC 62 Pump Station. They also added in a 10% unspecified reserve to the existing business flow. The average daily flow at Cabin Road would be 183,000 and 287,000 at the NC 62 Station. These figures represent “average flow.” For pump station design, you have to do a “peak flow” because flows do increase at certain times of the day. The “peaking” factor is generally 2 1⁄2 times. When you consider the peaking factors, the NC 62 Pump Station would have an estimated peak flow rate of 498 gallons per minute. Right now, it’s designed for 180 gallons per minute. The Cabin Road Station would have an estimated peak flow of 318 gallons per minute. It is currently designed for 125 gallons per minute capacity. Looking ahead 20 years, both of these pump stations would need some work for capacity. Since these numbers are fairly close, Mr. Russell observed that the NC 62 Pump Station would be 500 gallons per minute and the Cabin Road Pump Station would be 320 gallons per minute. Mr. Russell referred to Page 12 for alternatives considered for each of the pump stations. The NC 62 Pump Station was considered first. They looked at a no change alternative, to upgrade the existing station and then to install a siphon under Big Alamance Creek. This option would eliminate the pump station. The no change alternative is just not feasible, because it is way under size. Something will have to be done. Referring to Page 13, Mr. Russell noted estimated costs to upgrade the existing pump station would be $333,000. It is a substantial change to go from 180 gallons per minute to 500 gallons per minute. It would be a rebuild of almost everything except the wet well. Mayor Bundren asked if this was dropping it over the creek. Mr. Russell said, no, it was using the existing pump station, and putting in new pumps, controls, and generators. It’s still pumping straight across. Referring to Page 14, Mr. Russell spoke about the siphon alternatives. They first looked to see if a siphon would work at the existing location of the NC 62 Pump Station. From an elevation standpoint, this will not work, as Mr. Reich has stated in the past. Mr. Russell then called attention to an overall exhibit map. They have identified a location called “Alternate C” as the proposed location for a siphon to enable gravity flow across the creek to the existing sewer line. In order for this to work, the existing sewer line from that location to the NC 62 Pump Station would have to have another line coming back down to that siphon point from the existing Pump Station site. This would get all the flows back to that point. Mayor Bundren spoke of the question she had addressed at the last meeting: going from this siphon point back to 62, using gravity feed, and letting the NC 62 Pump Station only pick up the portion of houses right on Highway 62. Mr. Russell said this could be done, but you would still have the operational costs and the future replacement costs associated with the upkeep of the pump station. Mayor Bundren observed it could be done in phases. Mr. Russell agreed it could be done in phases. Referring to Page 16, Mr. Russell provided the estimated costs for the alternative just discussed. The $400,000 cost would include the new siphon, the 1500 feet of 8-inch gravity line back to the siphon point, and associated costs. Mayor Bundren asked about the estimated cost for the portion for the siphon. Mr. Russell said the siphon itself is called a horizontal bore under the Big Alamance Creek in the cost estimate and would be $140,000 plus 200 feet costing $15,000, for a total of $155,000. This cost is just for the pipe under the creek. Mayor Bundren referred to the alternative she just spoke of, with no pipes from that point back to NC 62, asking what the savings would be. Mr. Russell said the savings would be $95,000, referring to item A-3. Mayor Bundren said that they could make it gravity fed, to a point, for $300,000. Then, at some later time, they could do away with it completely for $95,000. Alderman Tichy asked, if this was done, if they would be obligated to install back up power at this location. Mr. Russell said he thought so. Alderman Tichy asked about the floodplain. Mr. Russell said this would be out of the flood zone. Mr. Russell asked if there were any other questions regarding the NC 62 Pump Station options. There were no other questions.
Mr. Russell then addressed the Cabin Road Pump Station options. He referred to Page 16 for the four alternatives examined. Option A was the No Change alternative, which is not feasible for projected flows. Option B looks at upgrading the existing pump station at the existing site. This is also not feasible because it is in the floodplain. Two reasonable options remain. Option C is a new gravity outfall and a siphon to eliminate the pump station entirely. Option D is to put in a new pump station, out of the floodplain, and pump it back to the NC 62 Pump Station. Mayor Bundren asked if the cost was $337,000-$600,000. Mr. Russell said this was correct. Moving ahead to Page 20, the siphon option for the Cabin Road Pump Station would cost $337,000. The new pump station option, out of the floodplain, with a new force main, would cost $600,000, as shown on Page 22. It’s no doubt that the siphon is the better option. Mayor Bundren asked for confirmation that this is all gravity-fed, noting that others have not heard this information at other meetings. Alderman Crouse commented that the siphon is the best alternative at both ends. Mayor Bundren and Mr. Russell concurred. Mr. Russell stated that Rural Development also requires that they look at life cycle costs: present worth costs, operating costs, valid value costs. Mayor Bundren asked if the information about the gallons per day was based on moving to the siphon. Mr. Russell said it was based on what the Village currently has. Mayor Bundren asked about the difference, if a siphon was installed. Mr. Russell said it would take off the 320 gallon per minute future flow. Mayor Bundren said she was just speaking of doing the siphon at Cabin Road. Mr. Russell said it would take 320 gallons per minute off of future flows. Mayor Bundren asked if this would bring the NC 62 Pump Station out of compliance. Mr. Russell replied it would be very close. Mayor Bundren said they would have some time, if they did one as opposed to the other. Mr. Russell noted this was a good point. He then referred to Page 23 for life cycle costs, 20 year planning period, present worth cost of annual operation and maintenance costs, and salvage value. Looking at total costs, Option B, upgrade of the NC 62 Pump Station, has a total present worth cost of $439,845. The siphon option would cost $358,840. This shows that, even though the construction costs are a little higher for the siphon, the future savings in operation and maintenance costs, over time, mean this is the lowest cost alternative. Mayor Bundren asked if this applied to both the siphons. Mr. Russell said this is addressing only the NC 62 siphon. Rural Development also requires a matrix where they look at other considerations. He referred to Page 24, to a matrix where a factor is assigned to items on the left side of the chart: construction costs, environmental issues, operation and maintenance costs. One option versus another may be more preferable. When this rating is done, the siphon ends up with the higher score, which means it is more desirable. The cost analysis for the Cabin Road Pump Station, Page 24, was presented. It shows a big difference between the siphon and the new pump station. The total present worth cost of the siphon is just over $300,000 and the pump station cost is $635,000. The rating is higher, more desirable, for the siphon. Most decisions are made on the lowest present worth cost. When you look at the options that have been considered, the siphons have the lowest present worth costs for both pump stations. Referring to Page 25, Mr. Russell presented the estimated project costs for both stations would be $737,000. Alderman Clemmons said that what began this study was the State’s requirement for permanent access for the pump station on Cabin Road. He asked if the costs for doing the permanent access were included in the study. Alderman Clemmons said this information would be germane, if the Cabin Road Pump Station was kept as it is; there would be much negotiating to do to put in the road. Mark Reich commented this was why they were examining viable alternatives. Mr. Russell said it would be very difficult to upgrade that station to 320 gallons per minute, including the access issue. Mr. Russell then referred to Page 27 for a summary of current water and sewer rates for the Village of Alamance. Currently, the Village of Alamance has water and sewer rates combined. Rural Development requires that water and sewer be broken out separately, for their purposes. On Page 28, there are estimates if the project does move forward with some sort of funding. The sewer costs are broken out for 2014-2015. The revenue projection reflects an additional line item of additional sewer revenue based on a 30.7% rate increase. Mayor Bundren asked if the Village would have to impose a 30.7% increase. Mr. Russell replied affirmatively, for both projects. He explained the Village would not have to do both projects at the same time. Looking at the projections, using Rural Development’s standards, the principal/ interest payment for $737,000 for 40 years would be $38,000 per year. When these costs are added in, it would take about a 30% rate increase, if both projects were done at the same time. The typical charges relating to this increase are shown on Page 29 of the report. Rural Development will look at this. If it meets their criteria, they can provide grant funds. Mr. Russell commented he couldn’t promise anything, but noted that he has worked on projects where grant money was made available, when the rates were high. This is also based on median household income. Median household income for the Village of Alamance is above the state average; this does not help with chances of grant funding. Mayor Bundren asked about the 30% increase, referring to the base chart of $43.40, asking if that is what would be paid for water. Mr. Russell replied that would be the charge for sewer; this is only looking at sewer charges. Right now, the base charge for sewer is $9.00 and $5.38 per thousand. In order to do all of this at one time, it would be $7.03. Alderman Clemmons asked if rate increases for the City of Burlington had been factored into the calculations. Mr. Russell responded that only a little had been factored in, saying it could be more. Mayor Bundren noted if they proceeded only with the Cabin Road Station project, it would be half of the increase, perhaps 15%. She asked what this cost would be, per month. Mr. Russell replied it would be about $10.00. The other rate would increase to $6.25 from $5.38. Mayor Bundren commented it sounds awful, but really it is not. She said at least this would meet the criteria for the State requirement. Mr. Russell said the siphons would be more reliable, compared to the pump station. Charles Bateman added . Mr. Russell said that the siphons he is talking about are dosing siphons. There used to be one at the school. All the wastewater went to a big septic tank. This is what he is talking about—all the water goes into a tank, with an automatic dosing device in it. It’s mechanical, requires no electricity, but as the water fills up, it automatically releases the valve at the bottom of the tank, which flushes it. Alderman Crouse commented it is like a commode. Mr. Russell observed it was exactly like that. The principle has been around a long time. It generates enough velocity to self-cleanse the pipe. Mayor Bundren noted that when it flushes, it flushes right into the outfall line. Mr. Russell said that he has had some preliminary discussions with the City of Burlington to see if they had any issues with the proposals being discussed. There were no issues raised at that time. The City of Burlington said they may look at metering at some point, but they could do this at any time. Charles Bateman added . Alderman Clemmons asked what the State had said needed to be done regarding the Cabin Road Station. Mayor Bundren said the Village of Alamance has 5 years to come up with a plan to either put in a road, or there would be fines. Clerk York said that the State has not mentioned a deadline when they have done inspections. The inspector has said he would like to see progress on what the Village plans to do. His statements have been more general, rather than specific. Clerk York referred to Arnold Allred regarding this question. Mr. Allred said that, the last time the inspection was done, they had gained access to a road. They received permission from the landowner to go through the gate, and do what maintenance needed to be done. The inspector seemed to be satisfied with this right now. Alderman Clemmons asked about the floodplain issue. Mr. Russell commented this was the biggest issue, from an environmental concern. There have been some overflows. Alderman Crouse said he was surprised there wasn’t a problem last week. Mr. Arnold said he had an alarm from the station, but it was a sound alarm. Mr. Russell noted that the report is still a preliminary document. An application can be submitted to Rural Development, to see what comes back. Most of the work is in the report. The application, from this point forward, is fairly simple. Charles Bateman added . Mr. Russell said both have the opportunity to pick additional loads (?). They looked at the area to the west of Pond Road. There is quite a lot of vacant area out there. This is one of the areas, if developed out, that could make up the entire future population of 2000. There are certainly other areas back in that direction. The siphon would allow more opportunity to take on additional flows. A pump station is limited by its capacity. An 8-inch siphon allows for increased flows, if needed. Mayor Bundren commented that this had been her thinking all along. Once they had the pump station, it opened up the possibility for more development, saying where else would the development go. There is no growth east toward Burlington. There is nothing up Highway 70 until you get to Greensboro, so development will come toward Alamance. This growth needs to be planned. Mr. Allred said a point is reached where you cannot have more flow. Mr. Russell observed everything does have limitations. Mr. Allred asked what would be done at this point. Mr. Russell suggested another siphon could be added. Mr. Allred said he was just making sure a siphon was in the 20-year plan. The question arose about a larger siphon, larger than an 8-inch one. Mark Reich responded to this question, . Mayor Bundren thanked Mr. Russell for his presentation. She said the Board needed to think about all of this, give it some more thought, and talk about it some more before making any decisions. She again thanked Mr. Russell for all of the information.
Mr. Allred presented the ORC Report, observing it was another good report. He asked if there were any questions regarding the Collection system. There were no questions. Regarding the Distribution system, the auto-flushing unit was installed at the NC 62 Station. It is working great. It is being tested every week and is working well. Mr. Allred referred to Clerk York in regard to the copper and lead testing. Clerk York said he has talked with Cliff. Clerk York has sent him the spreadsheet. They will review it. Then they will need the new additions to the list to collect samples. There is still a question about the school and information needed from a couple of residents. Mr. Allred noted they have until the end of June to complete this testing. There were no other questions related to the ORC Report. Mayor Bundren thanked Mr. Allred for his report.
Clerk York observed they are to the point where the Board needs to decide what it would like to do regarding municipal bonds. If the Board decides they wish to move forward, the steps involve deciding how much to invest with a 3-year bond. The money would be deposited into an account. A bond would be purchased with these funds. The Board could review the initial investment results. If more money was deposited, there are options for longer-term bonds that would earn more interest. It’s really a question of whether the Board feels comfortable investing in bonds. Clerk York said he could review the logistics of how the bonds would be set up, but the question is whether the Board feels comfortable going forward, based on the information presented at an earlier meeting. Alderman Clemmons said, from his standpoint, he would say not to move forward with the bonds. There is not enough time to invest in making sure, and following up. The Board knows they have the CDs in banks that are earning nothing. The public funds are safe, the principal is safe. They may need to spend some of the funds down the road. He said bonds, at this point, are not the way to go. Mayor Bundren asked if the other Board members felt the same way. Mayor Bundren asked that Municipal Bonds be taken off the agenda.
Potential for Larger Recycle Bins
Mayor Bundren asked the Board members if they had given any thought to larger recycle bins. Clerk York said that he had not heard back from the contact in Mebane. He has learned that the bid price for Burlington is lower than the price given in the earlier presentation. Alderman Clemmons asked if anyone has had any feedback or talked with anyone about larger recycle bins. Mayor Bundren asked if Clerk York had contacted Wake County. Alderman Clemmons suggested that the audience be asked for feedback. Mayor Bundren explained that the City of Burlington is moving to a larger, roll-out recycle bin. It is a one-time expense to purchase the bins, but the rate is less expensive over the long term. She wasn’t sure if anyone really needs the larger bins. There was discussion about storage problems for the larger bins. There was also a comment about maintenance and upkeep. Alderman Clemmons observed that studies show if there is more capacity, there will be more recycling. His personal concern would be where to put the bin. Mayor Bundren said the initial cost of purchasing the new bins would be more, but that the long-term price would be less. Clerk York said the cost would be $1.04 per month. It would cost the Village $1.04 per month. The Village is currently charged $2.22 and charges residents $2.62. The savings would be $1.18 per month. The price would drop from $2.22 to $1.04 per month. Mayor Bundren said she remembered it would take 8 years to recoup the costs of the new larger recycle bins. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York for an estimate of what the carts would cost, based on Burlington’s lower bid. Clerk York said it would cost approximately $18,000- $19,000 to purchase the needed number of larger bins for the Village. By his calculations, it would take 4 years to recoup the costs, with the savings for the recycle service. Mayor Bundren asked what the savings per month would be, after the fourth year. Alderman Tichy calculated the savings would be $7500 per year. The question was asked about the schedule for recycle pickups. Alderman Crouse noted the recycle pickup was twice a month. Alderman Tichy pointed out that if more was recycled, it would keep down the cost of garbage collection. The more trash that is put into recycling, the lower the cost of garbage collection. Mayor Bundren said this is the reason that Burlington is moving to the larger bins. All of Wake County is also doing this. Clerk York pointed out that Mebane has already moved to the larger recycle bins. He said that the Burlington bid is “open” so a decision does not have to be made right away. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to put something about this in the newsletter, asking residents for their input. She suggested that residents should respond to Clerk York.
Facebook and Twitter Account for the Village
Alderman Gregory (?)said that he receives updates from the City of Burlington on their Twitter. Alamance Parks and Recreation also provides updates via Twitter. All the municipalities use Twitter as a quick way to communicate with people who use their services. He suggested this would be good for the Village of Alamance to consider. Clerk York said it would be simple to set up these accounts, though he might need some help with the Twitter account. Alderman Clemmons asked if comments from the public would be allowed. Clerk York said it would be set up, not as a personal account, but as a group account, so there could be discussions posted. Alderman Gregory (?) said it could be set up not to allow posts. Heritage Glen has accounts that send out information, but that don’t allow posts. Alderman Gregory said this would be a way to get information out to the public. Clerk York described the challenges and difficulties with updating the current website, involving codes. He said there are much simpler ways to maintain and update a website. Alderman Clemmons said this was a mistake on his part. He thought if an Elon student set it up, it would be less costly. Clerk York said he thought the student could have set the website up in an easier way. Mayor Bundren asked for a consensus from the Board regarding setting up the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the Village. The consensus was to move forward with setting up these accounts.
Home Occupation Ordinance
Mayor Bundren stated that the Home Occupation Ordinance had been presented to the Planning Board and asked about the recommendation. Clerk York reported that the Planning Board had approved the Home Occupation Ordinance as written, and the amendments as written. Mayor Bundren read aloud the changes: “prior to establishing a home occupation the operator shall obtain a home occupation permit.” Also, under point number 3, “the business or service must be located within the dwelling or an associated accessory building and may not exceed 25% of the combined floor area of the home and the accessory building or 500 square feet , whichever is less.” The Mayor said a Public Hearing would be needed. She asked Clerk York to advertise the public hearing. At this point, Mark May approached the microphone while Clerk York explained the changes to the ordinance. Currently, the ordinance does not allow for any accessory structures. The home occupation cannot exceed 25% of the floor space of the home. The amended Home Occupation Ordinance would allow accessory structures; the home occupation use could not exceed 25% of the combined floor area of the home and accessory structure. Clerk York informed that Mr. May would need to add the square footage of his home to the square footage of his accessory building. Then he would calculate 25% of the total. The square footage used for the home occupation cannot exceed this amount. Charles Bateman added that the amount of home occupation space cannot exceed 500 square feet. Clerk York said it could not exceed 500 square feet, or whichever is less; 500 square feet is the ceiling. Mr. May said he was looking at a 12 by 60 foot building, asking if he could only have 10 x 12 square feet. Mayor Bundren responded that if the home was 2000 square feet, and the trailer was 1000 square feet, then he would take 25% of the total of 3000 square feet. Mr. May asked if he could only use 25% of this space. Mayor Bundren replied that the space could not exceed 500 square feet. Alderman Tichy said this would be about 12 x 42 feet, maximum. Mr. May said his home was 1500 square feet . Mayor Bundren pointed out that there doesn’t seem to be a problem, since Mr. May doesn’t plan to use one of the rooms of the trailer. Clerk York stated that Mr. May would need to complete a Home Occupation permit, which is already declared a Special Use. Charles Bateman asked . Clerk York said that the ordinance states that home occupations are allowed as a special use. He assumes that a home occupation requires a special use permit. Clerk York said he would be creating a form to be used for the application for a home occupation. A special use fee would be required. Mr. May asked about the cost of the special use fee. Clerk York replied the fee is $100.00, currently. Mr. May asked if this was a one-time fee. Clerk York responded that was correct. Mayor Bundren asked Attorney Charles Bateman to address the Ordinance. Mr. Bateman added . Mayor Bundren asked about consistency. Mr. Bateman . Mayor Bundren asked about someone approaching the Board wanting to use 1000 square feet. Mr. Bateman said this wouldn’t meet the requirements. If you make it a special use permit, then you have to go to the Board of Adjustment. Clerk York pointed out that Home Occupations are listed as an “S.” Mr. Bateman said if it was a special use, you would have to go to the Board of Adjustment to have it approved. Mr. Bateman stated it should be noted “subject to meeting requirements”; there are special requirements that have to be met. Clerk York asked if an amendment was required. Mr. Bateman said an amendment was needed. Mayor Bundren announced that a Public Hearing would be needed for this, as well. Clerk York asked a question about the Planning Board. Mr. Bateman responded that the Planning Board Meeting does not have to be advertised. Clerk York summarized that this could all be done, combined, and would not have to go back to the Planning Board. He can advertise the Public Hearing, and the Board of Aldermen can vote on it at their next meeting. Mr. Bateman said the text of the Ordinance itself does not state that it requires a special use permit. Clerk York informed the Board that the only fees he had for permits were for building permits. Mayor Bundren asked the amount for a building permit. Clerk York said the building permit fee was $15.00, as a one-time fee. Mr. Bateman suggested the Board should cover their costs. If someone applies for a home occupations permit, someone will have to go out and inspect the space setup, and assure that the requirements are met.
Alderman Crouse made a motion to adopt a home ordinance fee of $50.00. Alderman Clemmons seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Approval of Extermination Contract
Clerk York stated that the cost of the extermination contract is the same as last year. The cost of $165.00 includes a termite check and certification for a year. This service started with the completion of the Town Hall in 2005 and has been renewed each year. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe made the motion to accept the extermination contract as written. Alderman Slaughter seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk York presented the Finance Report. There are currently 14 CDs. Next month, a smaller CD will be coming due. Two smaller CDs will be combined to make one CD. There will then be 12 CDs, one coming due each month. Alderman Clemmons asked Clerk York to provide a spreadsheet for the Board at the next meeting. Clerk York said he would email the spreadsheet to the Board members the following morning.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe requested that the Commissioners receive a description of their responsibilities. Mayor Bundren said there has been some question of who is responsible for what; a delineation of duties would be helpful, with parameters. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe explained this would provide some back up for the Commissioners.
Sherry Ford mentioned the newsletter comment regarding a stoplight and requested an update. Mayor Bundren said that no one is interested in the stoplight at this point. Ms. Ford asked about any discussion of a stoplight at Kirkpatrick. Alderman Tichy responded to this question, stating that the long-term plan is to align Kirkpatrick with Anthony and put a stoplight there. This is not planned for anytime in the next few years, and Alderman Tichy will need to see how far out this is on the plans. He said the reason the stoplight came up for discussion is that there is funding for small projects. The question of possible small projects had been put out for discussion. Ms. Ford said that problems in the lower part of the Village have been discussed for years. She said the same kind of problems are continuing. She asked if there had been any further discussion about these problems. Mayor Bundren asked if she was referring to traffic problems or speed problems. She said the Board talks about this often, because at some point, if the bypass ever comes about, it will relieve the situation. In the meantime, there is hardly anything that can be done, other than to have a deputy to sit in the lower part of the Village to slow down the traffic. Ms. Ford asked if there had been any further discussion about a traffic light at Pond Road. Mayor Bundren replied there had not been any discussion about that. The Board consensus is that it would not really deter traffic, as far as flow. There would be traffic backed up at E. M. Holt School all the way; a traffic light at Birch Lane has been deemed an impossibility. This idea would hurt the traffic flow. Alderman Crouse said that the DOT would not consider Pond Road because there are not that many cars on that stretch. Sherry Ford asked if this was still the case, in regard to problems with speeding. Mark Reich spoke about the minimum requirements of 4-1. Ms. Ford asked about a flashing sign that tells the speed of vehicles as they travel through the Village, noting that she had seen some signs in Cary. Mayor Bundren said that this has already been done in the past. There was some discussion about permanent flashing speed signs. Alderman Tichy commented that these were used overhead, like a traffic light on a pole, in high accident areas in New York. Mayor Bundren said these signs have been set up previously, on the right hand side as you come across the bridge. She didn’t know whether this helped. Ms. Ford asked if the Board knew how much time the Village was receiving from the Sheriff’s Department. She commented she had seen a deputy parked at the school. Mayor Bundren stated that she had spoken with Sheriff Terry Johnson Tuesday evening, at the City-County meeting. The Sheriff asked if the Town Hall facility was being used. Mayor Bundren informed the Sheriff that the facility was being used, but not enough. The Sheriff promised to address that. Clerk York reported that there will be 2 deputies present on a regular basis soon, at the Town Hall Sheriff’s Office, due to a lack of office space elsewhere. Alderman Clemmons commented that backing up traffic from E.M. Holt would result in a mess. Alderman Crouse observed this is why the bypass will need to be routed further south, to eliminate traffic issues at the school. Clerk York noted a request could be made for the deputies to spend some time monitoring traffic. Mayor Bundren added if they could pull up to the stop sign, and just sit there for an extra five minutes before pulling out, passing traffic would think the deputies are monitoring speeds. Alderman Crouse said people would be surprised at the number of Highway Patrolmen who come through the Village. Mayor Bundren noted that there had been blue lights flashing outside her house for two nights in the past week; vehicles had been stopped in both instances. A suggestion was made for a Sheriff’s car to be parked in a parking lot to deter speeding traffic. Ms. Ford offered her property for this purpose, saying there are so many tractor trailers and dump trucks barreling through with houses right up on the road. She observed this is a horrible environment. Alderman Slaughter commented on traffic flying through the Village, saying someone had hit the pole outside of her house recently, for the fifth or sixth time. There has also been a fatality outside of her house, since she has lived there. Mayor Bundren commented that all of this information needed to be presented to the TAC. Ms. Ford added that the hydrant at Pond Road had been hit, and that drivers had hit homes there in the past. Mayor Bundren expressed these situations should be shared at every TAC meeting. Alderman Tichy observed that the problem with the bypass is that it is state funded. It has priority, but is still not in the 3-5 year funding cycle. Alderman Crouse stated that the bypass, as proposed, will not eliminate the traffic problems at E.M. Holt School. The bypass needs to be situated further south, in order for it to be a true bypass. Alderman Crouse said that he has discussed this with Alderman Tichy. Alderman Crouse said the traffic at E. M. Holt from 7:30-8:00am is the biggest mess anyone has ever seen. The bypass will not help matters much. Alderman Crouse suggested a spot near the Battleground be selected, then the bypass should move toward the Kimesville Road and swing out from there, similar to what Haw River has done. Haw River is the perfect example of a true bypass. That would eliminate the current problems with traffic through the Village. Ms. Ford said this is looking at plans down the road. This was being discussed when she purchased the property in 1998 or 1999. Alderman Clemmons asked Clerk York if he could research the use of permanent flashing speed signs in the Town of Cary. If the Town of Cary has done this, it would not be obnoxious. Alderman Tichy explained this had been done, where he lived before, when there had been 4 children killed over a five year period. This was done because it was one of the things they could do that would have an effect on the situation. Alderman Slaughter added that as more people move into the Village, there will be more children. Alderman Tichy commented there are more children living there now. Mayor Bundren suggested that Clerk York could check into the use of the signs in Cary. Ms. Ford commented that it’s hard to even visit in the Village because of the noise, noting it is so different if drivers would just observe the speed limit.
Next, Elizabeth Ford addressed the Board, saying she has been informed by Clerk York that there is not an ordinance in place regarding parking vehicles in front yards. Ms. Ford asked the Board to look into this concern. Alderman Crouse asked if the concerns were just in the historical district. Ms. Ford noted that the property in concern is next to the Senecal Office, a little bungalow that is a rental. Vehicles pull into the grass, right over the sidewalk. Clerk York asked which house was being described. Ms. Ford replied that the house right next to Senecal is a bungalow with a front porch. It is immediately next to the office. Charles Bateman . Alderman Slaughter commented the circumstances were not known, saying someone at the residence might be disabled. Charles Bateman added Clerk York announced that Ethics Training will be in May. He promised to forward the information link to the Board members. Training will be scheduled from 10:00am-noon. For those who have to work, the training will be made available online in the summer. The cost is the same, $125.00. Last time, the County paid one fee and set it up for everyone. Clerk York can get some speakers and set up the training in the Council room. Mayor Bundren referred to the need for the criteria to be met, for having observed and completed the training. Alderman Clemmons asked how the completion of the training would be noted. Clerk York said the purchase of the webinar was part of the record, but a document will also be signed by each attendee, stating they attended the mandatory Ethics Training. It is on the honor system, but the documents will be on file, along with a record of paying for the webinar.
Alderman Slaughter (?) asked if letters could be sent, in cases where there is not an ordinance. For example, in regard to the parking in the front yard, could a letter be sent asking the residents to stop parking in the front yard? Clerk York said he does not feel comfortable using the arm of the government to tell people they should or should not do something. If there is no violation of an ordinance, he does feel he should intervene in someone else’s business. Alderman Slaughter mentioned blocking a sidewalk. Clerk York said this involves public safety and he would certainly send a letter. He used the example of the ordinance relating to dogs. He always first writes a letter. The first letter serves as information and a warning. It includes a copy of the ordinance. Clerk York added that if the Board wanted him to write a letter to someone, he would certainly do that. Mayor Bundren asked Attorney Charles Bateman for his thoughts on this. Mr. Bateman said there are a lot of variables that come into play with this question of parking in the front yard. There are graveled areas, paved areas used for parking, and cemented front yards. The problem with addressing this at one house, is that there may be others doing the same thing that the Board doesn’t know about. There could be people having parties. Clerk York said, with an ordinance, there is enforcement. With an ordinance, he can inform someone of the violation and tell them the fine. The only way to force someone to pay the fine is through Small Claims Court. An ordinance needs to include the method of enforcement. Mayor Bundren asked Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe to keep an eye on this situation, regarding the sidewalk. Alderman Crouse suggested that Ron Senecal could put a stop to the problem. Mr. Senecal is the owner of the house. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to speak with Mr. Senecal.
There was no further public comment.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to adjourn and Alderman Crouse seconded. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned.