24 Nov May 18, 2020 Minutes
THE FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
May 18, 2020 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Tichy, Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, Alderman Isley, Alderman Baldwin, and Clerk York.
Absent: Alderman Andrews, Alderman Crouse
Mark Reich gave the invocation.
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe made a motion to accept the February 24, 2020 minutes, seconded by Alderman Baldwin. Motion carries 4-0
Mr. Allred stated the Birch station was working well. The Pond station has had mixers tripping out due to excessive rags in system. The NC 62 station has had a pump out for the last two months. The seals that were needed as part of the repair were out of stock, but Mr. Allred has them now and plans to repair the pump are set for Thursday, weather pending.
The distribution system went through the chlorine process and is now back to chloramine. There was flushing at Kimesville. Alderman Isley said the water seemed cleaner after the flushing.
Presentation of Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget
Clerk York reviewed the proposed budget with the board, starting with the sales and property tax numbers. The projected numbers for next year are the same as this year. There is a three-month difference between the time taxes are collected and received. The tax check in June will reflect the taxes collected after the North Carolina shut down for Covid-19. The checks coming after June may be significantly less than other years for this reason. Clerk York stated he typically budgets under, as a precaution, for each fiscal year. This proposed year, in keeping the numbers the same, he stated the Village should be fine. The numbers can be adjusted if needed later in the year for the general fund.
The water and sewer fund saw an increase the last month due to more people at home. Burlington had a 2% increase in the water and sewer rate which Clerk York reflected in the rates for the upcoming year for the Village. Water increased from $5.70 to $5.81 and sewer increased from $6.75 to $6.89
Mayor Tichy stated he agreed on the full 2% increase due to all the projects and spending on Capital projects. The increase will keep the Village cash flow positive.
Clerk York stated that due to the orders from Gov. Cooper regarding Covid-19 restrictions, the Village had lost about $2000 in late fees the last couple of months.
Clerk York stated the board usually discusses employees’ wages for the upcoming year in a separate budget meeting. This year that was not possible due to stay at home orders, however Clerk York wanted to present the options to the board so they could have a completed proposed budget for 2020-2021.
Clerk York stated that overall the Village was financially strong right now. The budget could be adjusted later, as needed, to adaquatly reflect the money being received.
Mayor Tichy stated that a public hearing date for the budget needed to be set. He asked Clerk York to announce on the newsletter going out with the water bills that residents can a email or mail in any questions or comments they have regarding the budget. All received questions or comments will be read into the official record and presented to the board.
Set Public Hearing on 2020-2021 Budget
A motion was made by Alderman Tichy to set a public hearing date for June 22, 2020 to discuss the 2020-2021 proposed budget, seconded by Alderman Isley. Motion carries 4-0
Annexation/Water-Sewer Request from Citizens on Dogwood Lane
Mr. Reich stated there were 3 lots on the east side of Dogwood Lane and 5 lots on the west side, that would like to have water and sewer service. these houses are petitioning to be voluntarily annexed into the Village to obtain these services. Mr. Reich stated that the elevations at the manholes on Ashe Dr. and Birch Ln. were not elevated enough to provide sewer to those on Dogwood Ln. It may require some type of a pump station to serve this area or possibly have lines run to the Cedar Dr manhole.
Mr. Reich suggested that some cost estimates be pulled together, and then figure out the cost per property to obtain sewer. The sewer will be more challenging to connect to than the water.
Mr. Reich stated that it could potentially be $60 to $80 per foot for water lines, costing approx. $ 4000.00 per lot to run lines to each house. There are also the water and sewer development fees which run $1000.00 per lot. There is also an additional cost because some of the houses on Dogwood do not want to connect which will incur higher cost to run lines around those properties.
There is a water line on Cedar Ln that could potentially be tapped on to, incurring a tap fee, if they have already paid an assessment fee.
Mr. Reich stated that he thinks the two vacant lots would also need to be annexed in to be able to run the water and sewer lines to the interested property owners, although it would be up to a homeowner or developer to attach or not. Attorney Koonts said that since there is a dedicated right of way and it is inside the city; they can use a petition process to allow the extension of lines.
The Board agreed that Mr. Reich should move forward to get more cost estimates for this process.
Mr. Reich stated that the real cost of the project won’t be known until its completed. He stated that rock often plays a part, in this area, of how deep lines are laid which can affect the cost of the project. Each lot will be assessed according to its size and the per foot cost.
Sewer Refund for Alamance Baptist Church
Clerk York stated that an issue at the parsonage brought attention to the fact that the house was on a septic system but had been charged for sewer usage for ten years. Clerk York stated that his recommendation was to make them whole through either a refund or a credit on their account. Clerk York stated they have accrued $4359.00 in charges for sewer over the that time. The water and sewer fund have a cash balance of about $285,000 so a refund will not hurt the Village.
We will add to the budget amendment to accommodate the refund. It is the discretion of the board to give a credit for only the last three years, as required by law, but Clerk York recommends covering the full 10 years as it was the Village’s error. Mayor Tichy stated a full refund was given to someone else who had been charged sewer but was not connected, and this set a precedent.
The parsonage paid the assessment fees for sewer when it was being installed, but did not connect, so if they decide in the future to connect, the connection fee is all they would be charged.
A question was raised by one of the deacons of Alamance Baptist Church regarding the best area to run the sewer connection. He was concerned about rock. Clerk York stated that decision did not have to be made at this time. Mayor Tichy stated the Church should ask their plumber about the best way to run the sewer lines.
The decision before the board tonight is how to refund the money. Alderman Tichy stated a partial cash refund and the rest in account credit would be comparable to what they have done in the past.
A motion was made by Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe to write a reimbursement check for 3 years for $1940.16 and to give a credit of $2419.19 on the bill, seconded by Alderman Tichy. Motion approved 4-0
Finance Report/Budget Amendment
Clerk York stated a budget amendment was needed on two items. The first item, for street repairs and maintenance, will take $120,000 out of the general fund balance and put into the transportation fund for the repaving of Heritage Ln.
The water fund, under appropriated fund balance, will add $2000 to the $3050 and under miscellaneous line item add $2000 to the operations line item. This is to compensate for the Alamance Baptist church reimbursement.
Clerk York instructed the board to add $2000 to the central fund balance, then write miscellaneous under the operations fund. The miscellaneous starting balance is $9416.52 plus the $2000 budget amendment will give a total of $11,416.52
Clerk York stated the overall budget for the water and sewer fund will have been increased another $2000. The budget started at $397,666.56 then adding the $2000 will make it $399,666.56
Clerk York believes dipping into the fund balance will not be necessary.
Motion made by Alderman Isley to approve the budget amendment as presented, seconded by Alderman Tichy. Motion carries 4-0
Alderman Isley asked why the paving on Heritage lane stopped on Brookstone Dr.
Mr. Reich stated that phase 5C in Heritage Glen could potentially begin sometime this year. Mayor Tichy stated that repaving freedom and Brookstone should be completed before finishing paving on Heritage lane.
Alderman Isley asked the status of the work to be done on the parking lot and walkway of the town hall. Clerk York stated the walkway and other exterior work had been completed. He has not yet received quotes from Mike Davis of Stonewall construction on the parking lot yet.
Motion made to adjourn by Alderman Tichy, seconded Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe. Motion passed 4-0
Don Tichy, Mayor
___________________________________Ben York, Village Clerk