23 May May 23rd, 2011 Minutes
THE THREE HUNDRED-NINETY SIXTH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
May 23, 2011 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Bundren, Alderman Crouse, Alderman Clemmons, Alderman Jones, Clerk York.
Absent: Alderman Slaughter, Alderman Tichy, Mayor Pro-Tem Sharpe
Alderman Crouse gave the invocation.
Mayor Bundren advised the Board members of safety procedures in the event of severe weather during meetings at the Town Hall. The restrooms are the only locations in the building with inside walls and would be the safest place in the event of a storm.
Alderman Clemmons moved to approve the April 25, 2011 meeting minutes and Alderman Jones seconded. The Motion carried unanimously.
Clerk York said that he wanted to get the Plaid Day Committee together next week. He met last week with the Coordinator of the Burlington Carousel Festival. She shared their vendor master list for arts and crafts, a list of over 700 vendors. Clerk York said he also has the list of vendors from Gibsonville. He explained that he has some ideas to try this year. Having done Plaid Day last year, Clerk York said he has a good idea of what needs to be done. Progress in planning for Plaid Day is moving forward.
Mark Reich reported that everything at the site is being finalized. Everyone is now hooked on that needs to be. They moved ahead with the one connection at duplex on Alamance Baptist Church Road. Mr. Reich brought an item to the attention of the Board that needs approval. There is a culvert pipe underneath the Loop Road. It is on the side that lines up with Birch Lane. There is a crossdrain pipe, across the street, two houses down, underneath the road, that is 4 1⁄2 -5 feet deep. Mark Reich recommended that a small drainage structure be built there, so that the ditches in the yard do not have to be 5 feet deep, at the culvert. There are two driveways below that, for which one end of the existing driveway pipe cannot be found. The survey data has been examined; a point for the driveway pipe cannot be found. The contractor said he never found the end of the pipe. Mr. Reich recommended that a new driveway culvert pipe be installed; 40 feet will be required to tie back into the drainage structure, so that the water can properly drain. The cost of this project will be $1450.00 for the drainage structure and $800.00 for the culvert pipe. The total cost would be $2200.00. There is still money available in the budget from the CDBG Project. Mark Reich recommended that this be incorporated into the final adjusting change order. This will require Board approval. Mayor Bundren asked Alderman Crouse if he had looked at this. Alderman Crouse said that he had looked at this; he was unable to find the pipe in question either. He agreed that something needed to be done, saying if someone turned short into that driveway, they could turn upside down. He said the ditches needed to be pulled. Mr. Reich said that this is on the punch list. Surfaces are also being cut back down to grade. Brass caps and tops are also being put on all the clean-outs. Alderman Crouse asked if the project would include a graded top. Mr. Reich said that he plans to put a concrete top there, with an opening on the side. Alderman Clemmons made the motion to approve these plans, to be incorporated into the change order. Alderman Crouse seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Mark Reich said that everything is being finished up. The contract completion date is Wednesday of this week and should be completed, outside of some minor seeding. Alderman Crouse commented that the paving looked good. Mark Reich said there is still some shoulder work to be put in—the last couple of weeks have been extremely wet for the seeding work.
Report on Cabin Pump Station Project
Mark Reich noted that Clerk York has signed some more papers which will be turned in to NCDENR in regards to the environmental review. All of the information is still not back from the governmental agencies. When all of this has been received, they will be able to finish the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER). Mark Reich said he hoped to have this ready by the next meeting in June.
At this point, Mayor Bundren made a change in the agenda, with the consensus of the Board. Since Mr. Davis from Stonewall Construction was in the audience and needed to be moved up on the agenda.
Mayor Bundren reported that Alderman Crouse had come to her house Sunday morning to alert her that the doors to the Town Hall were hanging open. The Mayor came to check on the Town Hall to find that nothing was amiss, observing that the door itself was broken. However, this scenario had left the Town Hall open for any kind of vandalism. Mike Davis had already called the Mayor the previous Friday to let her know there was a problem with the door. Mr. Davis said that when the Town Hall was built, the intent was to capture a residential look. The doors are fine, but the use that the doors are getting with the Sheriff’s Department is now much more than during the original plans.
Mr. Davis recommended that a white storefront type door be installed; these doors will be double doors that will be 6’8” height instead of 7”0” height. These will be custom order doors. There is a need for new thresholds as the old ones have cracks in them, from the heavy use. Mayor Bundren asked if this would change the look of the Town Hall. Mr. Davis replied negatively, saying the arch will stay where it is, with the new doors; the only issue could be the interior trim. He did allow for some painting to finish, once the new doors are installed. Mayor Bundren asked if this included the front and the side doors. Mr. Davis said that was correct, for a total of 4 doors, two sets of double doors. This includes the two double doors of the main entry and the double doors off the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s doors are in worse shape, because there is no covering or awning, so these doors are susceptible to weather. Mayor Bundren said the door handle was sitting on top of the filing cabinet. Apparently, the handle had not been popped up to catch the door, so when the door was shut, the door came open sometime in the night.
Alderman Crouse said he wondered how many people saw the doors open and didn’t report it. Mayor Bundren said that no one had called to report the doors being open. Mr. Davis said that it would take 2-3 weeks to get the doors ordered. This will be an entirely new door system, other than the arch. Mayor Bundren asked about new keys. Mr. Davis said the doors could be re- keyed by a locksmith. He said this decision about rekeying the doors could be made later. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York about budget concerns. Clerk York said the General Fund looked fine; a budget amendment could be done. $6000 would be deducted from Capital expenses and would be moved into the line item for Building Repair and Maintenance. Mr. Davis said he would be doing this work for only $100.00 over cost, since he built the building. Mayor Bundren noted the discount. Alderman Jones asked if there was a market for the doors that would be coming out. Mr. Davis said he would check on that. Mayor Bundren suggested the doors could be given to a rehab. Mike said the new Hospice facility might be a possibility. Mayor Bundren observed that she did contact the Sheriff’s Department and had them come out, when Alderman Crouse reported the doors being open. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe moved to proceed forward with installing the new doors. Alderman Crouse seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Then Mr. Davis responded to the request for an estimate for pressure washing the Town Hall.
Mr. Davis also mentioned a price on pressure washing and cleaning the outside of the Town Hall. The quote was $425.00, but $25-$30 could be added to pressure wash the sidewalks and do a little extra work. Mayor Bundren commented on the state of the building, saying it looks terrible when you walk around the outside. Mike said the pressure washing would be done next week. He said he was glad the decision was made to put vinyl siding on the exterior. The initial plans called for sheetrock, but the decision at the time was to change this to vinyl. Vinyl allows for washing and will withstand the cleaning that needs to be done. Mr. Davis mentioned that the painter would be available to do the touch up on the doors. Mayor Bundren asked about painting the interior. She said the hallway and Clerk York’s office need painting. She asked if the painter could give us quote on painting the interior. Clerk York said the painter would be coming by tomorrow and could look at everything. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe asked about the siding she had called Mike’s attention to; he said this has already been repaired, but not yet billed. This was related to storm damage. Clerk York noted that Mike had given the Village of Alamance a good deal on that work too.
Arnold Allred reported a power failure alarm/loose connection at the Birch Station. This was something the generator technician had worked on; he came to fix it. There was a float stuck at the Cabin Station. Clerk York and Mr. Allred handled that situation.
Regarding the distribution system, Mr. Allred said a bacteria test and a THM test have been completed. The test results are back, just a little bit out. Clerk York noted this was a really good sample. Jerry Warren of C&J Utilities has cleaned 4, 200 feet of sewer lines. This cleaning is a requirement every year, by the State.
Mr. Allred passed around a couple of pictures. Mayor Bundren asked about the status of the bypass pump, costing $1200.00 per week. Mr. Allred reported that the Village is finished using the bypass pump. He used the pictures to explain the before and after design of the NC 62 Pump Station. The problem with the #1 Pump was a bad water seal. In another pump station situation like this, you would pull the pump out and put it back. In this particular situation, the pump was sitting under a pipe. The pump could not come out without being taken apart. As approved at the last board meeting, the pump around was done and the pump was taken apart and removed. It was sent off to be fixed. In the meantime, Jerry and Arnold looked at the set-up to see if there was any way to improve it. They decided to take the “C” section out. Arnold Allred did some research and learned that this was a Chicago system. The water comes in, goes through two check valves, and goes down through the pump. When the level gets up to a certain height, the check valves stop and it pumps out. This is the way it is designed; water is passing through the pump twice. In 2006, when the decision was made to take the big pumps out, a retrofit was made. The problem was this pump was put in under the pipe. Mr. Allred referred to a picture illustrating the bypass that was done. He said this worked out perfectly. The “T” section was left in, though Arnold and Jerry had discussed taking it out. There would be no support for the pipes, however, if this was done. On Friday, May 13th, a piece of trash got stuck in the check valve. The pump was pumping around and around, but pumping nothing out. There was an alarm at 12:45. Jerry came and the bypass pump was started. The City of Mebane brought their VAT truck over. Mr. Allred said the NC 62 Pump Station is 35 feet and is definitely a confined space. There is more to the job than simply going and pulling a pump out. Two stainless steel cables have now been put on the pumps. So the next time a pump has to be pulled out, the door will be opened, and the pump can be pulled out with the stainless steel cables. Mayor Bundren asked if this took care of not having the rails. Mr. Allred said the rails are still there in the lower section and will be used. He provided a timeline with details of expenditures. The problem was discovered on April 22nd, then there was a meeting with Jerry on April 25th to determine what to do. On April 27th, Mr. Allred met with Jerry and Rick Jones, a pump specialist. Rick Jones recommended that the “T” section be taken out. His advice helped out a lot. On April 29th, Jerry did a temporary set-up and a trial run to make sure everything worked. On May 2nd, the pump was pulled out and the City of Burlington brought their VAT truck over. On May 13th, there was a problem at 12:45pm, but the pump station was back up at 9:30pm that night. Then on May 18th, the “T” section was taken out. On May 19th, everything was back on automatic and working.
The bypass pumping cost $3,800.00. Mr. Allred commented that Jerry did a really good job. Having to remove the #1 Pump cost $2100.00. It took a day to remove the pump. The #2 Pump check valve emergency cost $2600.00. The City of Mebane brought their VAT truck this time. The repair for pump #1 cost $2900.00 to repair. Mayor Bundren asked if the same two pumps were put back in. Arnold Allred said that was correct. Mayor Bundren said she thought they were both left-handed pumps. He said that with the “T” section now removed, there was not a problem with the left handed pump. Arnold Allred said there was no trouble putting the pump back in; this avoided buying a new pump which would cost $10,000.00. The stainless steel cables cost $1000.00, funds well spent. Jerry put the pump back in, which took a day and a half, for a cost of $2,913.00.
Mr. Allred had 11 hours in the project. The total cost was $16,550.00. Mayor Bundren asked why the project was so complicated. Arnold Allred said that the pump was not properly installed in 2006. Alderman Crouse observed that because the pump was installed below the pipe, this created all the problems. Mayor Bundren commented that the $10,000 spent in 2006 was wasted money. Mr. Allred said he has the 2008 plan drawn up by the State, but this was not implemented. Alderman Jones said the drawings were done “after the fact.” Mayor Bundren said they didn’t conform. Mr. Allred said they just drew a typical pump station. Alderman Jones asked about the old pump problem. Mr. Allred said the connection for the old pump was in the middle of the pump. Alderman Jones said the installation was correct with the larger pump, but when the smaller pump was installed, it was installed incorrectly. Mayor Bundren asked Charles Bateman if there was any way to go back and charge the person that installed the pump incorrectly. Attorney Bateman responded that since it was years ago, the statute of limitations has expired.
Alderman Jones asked if the old pumps are still around and what should be done with them. Mr. Allred said they are considered scrap. He has talked with Jerry about picking them up to see if any value for them could be found. Alderman Jones said he thought the old pumps should be removed. Alderman Crouse said if they could be sold for scrap, a few dollars could be made. Alderman Jones asked if the new set-up caused water to flow through the pumps twice. Arnold Allred replied negatively. He said there still could be a problem with check valves, but as long as both pumps are running, he doesn’t think there will be a problem. Alderman Crouse asked what was actually causing the check valve to fail. Arnold Allred said it was actually a stick that got into the check valve. Alderman Crouse asked if this could have been someone monkeying around on the outfall who threw something in. Arnold Allred said this was likely; he showed pictures of some of the rocks and debris in the pump station. This has been completely cleaned out, with the VAT truck. Alderman Jones said the pump station probably hadn’t been cleaned in years. Arnold Allred said that most stations are not cleaned. Alderman Crouse said that mowing the outfall twice each year allows checking for debris. Mayor Bundren told Mr. Allred he was worth his weight in gold.
Presentation of 2011-2012 Budget
Mayor Bundren reported that the Board met and went over the entire budget at a recent breakfast meeting. The budget has been covered pretty thoroughly. Clerk Ben York provided an overview of the 2011-2012 budget. He said the budget for the General Fund is $248,960.00. He said not a lot of areas of the budget were changed; certain areas like Supplies and Maintenance have been increased to shore them up for the year. There is a wage increase of 3% for the Town Clerk. The rate of retirement has gone up, for what the Town has to pay. This has been accounted for, as well as the health insurance rate. There are no funds scheduled to be transferred out next year, to the Water and Sewer Fund. It is expected that the Water and Sewer Fund will be self-sustaining.
On the Revenue end, in the General Fund, the sales tax is projected to be $110,000.00, as opposed to $60,000.00 the year before, because the population has increased. The other main item in the General Fund that is different is the $10,000 funded for the Jordan Lake Rules. Since this can be funded through the General Fund, Clerk York said he doesn’t expect the expense of the first year to be this much. Regarding the Water and Sewer Fund, Clerk York explained that Burlington is going to raise their water rates 7%. In accordance, the Village of Alamance has followed what Burlington is doing, with water rates to increase to $4.78 per thousand gallons. The current rate is $4.47, so this is an increase of 31 cents. The sewer rate will be $5.38, which is an increase of 35 cents. The flat fees will remain the same. Certain items like Water and Sewer Maintenance have been increased. Water maintenance has generally started at $17,000.00, with $22,000.00 for sewer maintenance. This budget allows for $21,000.00 for water maintenance next year and $24,000.00 for sewer maintenance.
Under the Water and Sewer Fund, there could be a surplus next year if there is not another assuming there is not another maintenance issue such as the recent one. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York if the 2011-2012 budget would be posted in the Town Hall. Clerk York said the budget would be posted in the Town Hall, at the Post Office, and at Junior’s. Water expenses could decrease as two years ago, $86,000.00 was spent purchasing water from Burlington; hopefully, this expense will be about $54,000.00 next year. Catching the leak saved the Village a lot of money. At this point, Mayor Bundren thanked Mr. Allred again. Clerk York said the Village is purchasing about half of the water it purchased in the previous year. Alderman Crouse asked if the Village of Alamance received a break from the City of Burlington. Clerk York said that the Village had not received a break as of yet because they were waiting for enough months to go by to acquire an accurate assessment of the difference in water usage. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to call the City of Burlington. Alderman Jones said he thought Burlington billed the sewer based on what the Village sells, rather than what it buys. Clerk York said that Burlington refunds sewer charges and half of the water charges in the event of a leak for a residential customer. If a residential customer averaged 2,000 gallons a month, and then had a bill for 4,000 gallons, the entire amount for sewer would be refunded and the cost of 1,000 gallons of water would be refunded. Mayor Bundren commented the Village would like a credit. Alderman Crouse said this would be worth looking into. Clerk York said seeing how this pans out in the summer months, when there is the largest amount of usage, there could be more of a credit. He said he would make the call to check on this. Mayor Bundren asked if there were any questions about the budget. There were no additional questions.
Charles Bateman reminded the Board that a date needed to be set for a Public Hearing on the budget. Clerk York said the date for the Public Hearing for the budget will be the fourth Monday in June, at the regular meeting on June 27, 2011. Alderman Clemmons made the motion to hold the Public Hearing on the budget on June 27, 2011. Alderman Jones seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk York said he was making sure the General Fund was shored up before the end of the year, including funds for Internet and Social Security. The major change is the Water fund, which is under Capital Expenses. He is adding $22,000 to the line item for Sewer Maintenance because $16,500 has been spent and that line item is expended. There will be $2500.00 for the rest of the year, with two more months of bills yet to come. Clerk York said $28,600.00 is coming off of Capital Expenses and Meter Reader and going on to the other four items. Mayor Bundren asked if the budget would be in the hole. Clerk York replied that with the expenses already incurred, revenues in the Water and Sewer Fund are not going to meet the expenditures. Mayor Bundren asked how much would need to be moved from the General Fund. Clerk York said the amount could be as much as $10,000.00, depending on how everything panned out at the end of the year. Currently, to date, expenditures total $212,000.00. Clerk York anticipates that revenues will be $250,000.00 by the end of the year. This leaves only about $38,000.00. It will cost at least another $20,000.00 for the final sewer payment. That leaves a balance of $18,000.00. The $16,500.00 expenditure has not yet been made, that will bring the balance down to approximately $1500.00. That would have to include the last two months of paying the Town Clerk, any legal or engineering bills, any water bills from Burlington. Alderman Jones asked if a budget amendment was required or if they could wait. Attorney Bateman said that Clerk York could not spend the money unless it was in the budget. Clerk York said that on paper, the budget would be balanced due to the transferring of funds. However, in terms of what was actually received, expenditures will exceed revenue by at least $10,000.00, maybe as much as $15,000.00. Mayor Bundren asked how much was transferred last year from the General Fund. Clerk York replied that more than $20,000.00 was transferred last year. Alderman Clemmons said the Board has been doing this forever. Clerk York said the amount transferred this year will be less than last year. Alderman Clemmons made the motion to approve the budget amendment. Alderman Jones seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Clerk York gave an overview of the Finance Report. The CD: $315,104.89; it matured on May 16, 2011. It is now valued at $315,376.88, earning $271.99 in interest. A new 6-month CD has been purchased at a rate of .75%. There are now 3 CDs at 6 months. There will not be another report on interest on CDs until September. The total of all 3 CDs is approximately $750,000.00.
Mayor Bundren said she has asked Attorney Bateman to help with this matter. She came home recently and met someone driving down NC 62 on a golf cart. There are now Go-Karts being driven up Cardinal Lane to K & J, up and down on the sidewalks. Mayor Bundren said she was afraid something was going to happen to somebody, saying she knows this is not legitimate use of these vehicles. She asked Attorney Bateman to address this. He said that, in certain circumstances, the State will allow Go-Karts and Golf Carts on city streets i.e. Beach communities, but it would have to be legislative permission to allow this on the streets of the Village of Alamance. Mayor Bundren pointed out that golf carts have been used on Plaid Day to help people get around, but she doesn’t want the Town to be out of compliance. Attorney Bateman said the Town wouldn’t be out of compliance. He suggested that a blurb be put in the Village newsletter, reminding residents that golf carts and Go-Karts are not permitted on city streets and sidewalks. It is a violation of state law. Alderman Crouse asked, if something were to happen, could an individual sue the Town. Attorney Bateman said if the activity was blatant, and the Town was permitting it, probably so. If someone is doing something illegal and you’re doing your best to try to discourage it, that’s one thing, rather than turning a blind eye and not trying to do anything about it. He used the example of using a golf cart on Plaid Day, saying if someone were hurt, there could be a legal claim. Mayor Bundren asked if they could use the golf cart in the parking lot of the church on Plaid Day. Attorney Bateman said yes because it was private property. Alderman Crouse agreed, saying that is private property. Rudy Cartassi, from the audience, said there is also a problem with golf carts at Heritage Glen, coming right through the stop signs. He said kids were on the golf carts, with no adults along. Mayor Bundren became concerned when she saw the Go-Kart come up into the K & J parking lot, being afraid someone could have backed into it. Then, meeting one at dusk on Highway 62 was surprising. That is why she asked Attorney Bateman about this issue. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to include information about this in the newsletter, noting that these are off-street, off sidewalk vehicles. Alderman Crouse asked what the Board would do if there continued to be a problem. Attorney Bateman said that the Sherriff’s department could be contacted.
There was no other business.
There was no public comment.
Alderman Clemmons moved to adjourn. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe seconded. The motion to adjourn passed unanimously.