27 Mar March 27th, 2017 Minutes
THE FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTIETH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
Present: Alderman Tichy, Alderman Isley, Alderman Jones, Alderman Andrews, Mark Reich,
Attorney Koonts and Clerk York
Absent: Alderman Carouse, Mayor Tichy, Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to approve the January 23, 2017 meeting minutes and Alderman Isley seconded. The motion passed 4-0.
Historic District Commission
Clerk York stated to the Board that at this time the village is part of Alamance County’s Historic Properties Commission and also The Certified Local Government, which allows the Village to apply for Historic Grants with a 60/40 split, the Village paying 40% and the grant covering 60%. Currently the County is responsible for applying for these grants. The Historic Properties commission and the Certified Local Government are looking to become one group and the Board needs to decide if it would like to join the newly formed commission or create their own for the village. The decision to stay with the newly merged group would have no changes for the Village, however, if the board should choose not to stay The Village would then be responsible for forming their own Historic Commission and the writing and enforcing of laws and would need to become a Certified Local Government to be able to apply for Federal grants. As it stands now the Village can put into place any Historic Property ordinances and have them enforced by the commission.
Sherry Ford spoke to the Board regarding the Historic District Commission and the only concern she has is that each municipality does not have a representative on that Commission. The southern part of the county seems to have more representatives than the northern, but she did state that it seems difficult to find representatives to serve. Mrs. Ford also informed the Board that there are not a lot of grants at this time for Historic Properties. The board had some discussion about the benefits of continuing to be a part of the HDC and the CLG as one new Commission verses opting out and forming their own. The main benefits being the County handles most of the paperwork and filing for grants whereas this would fully become the responsibility of the Village and its Commission should the Board choose to form their own. The Village will always have the opportunity in the future to opt in or out of the new Commission, no matter what they decide to do for now. No decision was made at this meeting.
Alderman Tichy reported that he is still working on restoring the website for the village.
Mr. Allred reported that the Birch station was running well and the cabin station was working well after some reprogramming last month. The NC 62 station is in good working order, and the THM sampling turned out well.
All meters for the Village are now in, even the larger 3 inch meters for industrial accounts, making everything automatic read now. Mr. Allred was able to break all of the old meters down and recycled. He has a check for the Village in the amount of $2018.90 from the recycling company.
There were some issues in Heritage Glen with the placement of some meters in driveways, but Mr. Allred and Mr. Reich were able to meet with the contractor and have them moved and made sure this problem would not happen again.
Clerk York informed the Board that a request for variance from Terry Coble has been received. Mr. Coble had a pool built on his property in the 1970’s, when the Village did not have any zoning laws, and the contractor didn’t consider or notice the property line. Mr. Coble would like to move the property line back five feet from the pool, which in this case will cause a problem because there is a building on the other side of the potential new property line that will now be eleven and a half feet from the new line. The Zoning code requires the side setback to be fifteen feet away. Mr. Coble would like to bring his property into compliance. There must be a public hearing for variance set by the Village Board. Variance hearings are held by the Board of Adjustment. In the Village, the Board of Alderman acts as the Board of Adjustment along with James Coble. Clerk York will ensure to post two notices in the newspaper, plus place a sign up at the property. Alderman Isley moved to set a date for the public hearing as April 24th 2017 and Alderman Andrews seconded, motion carries 4-0.
Clean Up of Property on Loop Road
Clerk York stated that he had sent a letter to Mr. Mark Haney in February regarding the cleanup of his property and he has made some progress at this point in the process. Clerk York feels it would be beneficial if a couple of the Council members would go out to the property with him to assess what has been done and what could be done to continue to improve the look and safety of the property.
Mr. Haney addressed the Board regarding the work he is doing on his land, and he believes it is much improved from before. He has plans to continue cleaning up so that he may secure a roommate and improve the look and value of the property. Mr. Haney stated that the line of work he is in contributes to the mess that is often around his house, such as old appliances in the yard that he breaks down to sell for scrap. He is now trying to keep these things out of view behind his building as he tears them down.
Clerk York explained to Mr. Haney that most of the complaints that have come in have been when a homeowner is trying to sell their property and his property was bringing down its value. Clerk York advised the Board that there is an excess of objects scattered throughout the property, which has grown exponentially over the last several years, and there are also many rain barrels around the property. The Board and Mr. Haney have agreed to set a time, convenient for all, to meet at Mr. Haney’s house and walk the property together to find the best resolution to getting his property cleaned up for the benefit of all the property owners in the area.
Mr. Haney stated he would like his septic tank crushed, like everyone else’s was when the new sewer lines were put in on the loop. Clerk York referred to Mr. Reich on this matter, and Mr. Reich stated that crushing the tanks is not part of the contracted service when putting in new sewer lines. It was stated that some of the tanks were crushed by the contractor at that time and Clerk York and Mr. Reich will look into the matter further to see if Mr. Haney’s tank should have been destroyed when the system was replaced.
There is an empty lot near Mr. Haney’s property that has a somewhat stagnate pond that may need to be addressed due to the possibility of it being a breeding ground for bugs and mosquitoes. The Board will also look at this area when they tour Mr. Haney’s property.
Mr. Allred stated that Mr. Haney’s property has 3 water meters, since it used to be a duplex with an apartment attached to it. It was suggested by the Board that the extra meters be taken out because it serves no purpose as it is used as a single-family home now.
Mr. Haney said that a neighbor of his, Carolyn, has a vacant trailer filled with animals that needs to be dealt with. The board suggested that animal control be contacted first to start the process of trying to clear the vacant home.
Clerk York referred the board to the copy of the contract the Village has with Mr. Robbie Harris to take care of all lawn maintenance. The only change to this year’s contract is that Mr. Saxon would like to add in 6 more mowings to the town’s schedule as he feels it will keep the lawn and pump station under better control during the summer months when the grass tends to grow the fastest. This would increase the contracted price by a total of $600.00 dollars, making the new price $3590.00 for the year. Alderman Tichy made a motion to approve the new contract, seconded by Alderman Isley, motion carries 4-0.
Snow Contract Through April
Clerk York informed the Board that Color Landscapes, the company that the Village currently has a snow removal contract with, has filed for bankruptcy and will no longer be serving the Village. There is only one month left in the contract and the gentleman that removed the snow for the Village this past winter has gone to work for a new company and gave a proposal for the last month of service at the same rate that Color Landscapes had given.
Alderman Andrews made a motion to accept the contract, for the month of April, Alderman Isley seconded, motion passed 4-0. There will be new bids for next season.
Alliance Lighting Group
Tabled until Mr. Chris May, the lighting rep. could be present to explain the process and answer any questions.
Clerk York informed the Board that a $1700.00 budget amendment was needed for the smart meter project, and it would be the last one. Alderman Tichy made a motion to approve the amendment seconded by Alderman Andrews, motion passed 4-0.
There was a comment from a resident regarding what could be done about a run-down historic property if the owner refuses to take care of or sell it? Sherry Ford responded to this question by saying that at this point there is nothing that she is aware of that can be done. Clerk York stated that he feels it is two different issues, there are guidelines in place for people who want to make modification or restorations to a historic property, but none to force someone to make those changes. Mrs. Ford said perhaps something could be done if there was enough public complaint. Alderman Andrews said that in reading over the guidelines for the historic commission she found that they were in place for the sole purpose of helping those who wanted to restore or repair historic properties and not to force anyone into repairs or restoration. Mr. Koonts said the house, however, must meet minimum housing code if it is being lived in. It was suggested that some research should be done on the issue and to bring it back up at another meeting.
The corner near the boarding house driveway has trash collecting there again as Alderman Tichy noted. Clerk York stated he would contact Waste Industries to have it removed. Alderman Andrews asked if the cracks in the road could be filled in Heritage Glen and Clerk York responded that there were enough Powell bill funds to cover that and he would check into having it repaired.
Alderman Andrews asked if the sidewalks in the Village could be repaired as well and Clerk York stated that it may be a state issue because it is on a state road. Mr. Reich said he would check into what needs to be done for the roads and sidewalks and whose responsibility it would be.
Alderman Tichy moved to adjourn and Alderman Andrews seconded. The motion passed unanimously.