02 Aug May 24, 2021 Minutes
THE FIVE HUNDRED AND SIXTEENTH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
MAY 24, 2021 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Tichy, Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, Alderman Andrews, Alderman Baldwin,
Alderman Isley, Alderman Crouse, and Clerk York.
Absent: Alderman Tichy
Invocation and Call to Order given by Mark Reich
Motion to accept the April 26, 2021 meeting minutes made by Alderman Andrews, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe. Motion carries 5-0
Motion made to go into executive session by Alderman Isley, seconded by Alderman Crouse. Motion carries 5-0
Motion made to go back into general session by Alderman Isley, seconded by Alderman Crouse.
Motion carries 5-0
Motion made to go into public hearing for the Zoning Text Amendment by Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, seconded by Alderman Andrews. Motion carries 5-0
Public Hearing Zoning Text Amendment
Clerk York stated that Elizabeth Powell has applied to have the zoning ordinance amended to allow single family residential homes as a permitted use in the industrial zone. There are currently homes and apartments in the industrial district which were there before the zoning areas and ordinances were created. Under the current zoning these homes and apartments would not be allowed to be rebuilt in this district if they were destroyed or fell into complete disrepair.
The application before the board is requesting that the zoning ordinance be amended to allow for single family homes to be a permitted use in the industrial zone. If this is approved, it will allow for homes to be built in the industrial area providing the land or space was available.
The planning board met earlier on this proposal and voted not to change the zoning amendment.
Mayor Tichy stated if the board opted to allow this change it would affect the only industrial tax space in the Village.
The board voted in agreement with the planning board and voted down the amendment to the industrial zone. Motion to reject the amendment to the zoning text as presented made by Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, seconded by Alderman Isley. Motion carries 5-0
Motion made to go back into regular session made by Alderman Isley, seconded by Alderman Crouse. Motion carries 5-0
Mr. Reich stated that the sidewalk project would begin at Mrs. Sherry Fords driveway (3968 S NC 62), where it ended last year, and run through 4024 or 4030 South NC 62. Depending on how the bids come in the work could be extended or shortened to keep within the $30,000 range.
Mr. Reich stated the encroachment agreements would need to be signed by homeowners stating the right of way was undetermined, but the Village would take responsibility for the maintenance of the sidewalks.
The cost for the paving in Heritage Glen will include the milling, mobilization, contingencies, and traffic control. The cost to pave Freedom Dr., Century Ct., and English Ct. would be $126,000.00 There are other streets that could be added in at a cost $51,550.00 for a total of $178,000.00 The work can be done in smaller increments at a time. Mr. Reich stated that Freedom Dr. is the highest priority for paving. In order of priority Mr. Reich listed Amesbury Ct., English Ct, Century Ct., Midland Ct. and Amesbury Ct. Cornerstone Dr. also has a small section of work to be done. Mr. Reich stated that bids could be taken with the option to extend the contract. The Board would like for Mr. Reich to begin the process for taking bids.
Phase 5C in Heritage Glen is progressing with grading complete but no sewer or water installed yet.
Mr. Reich stated he spoken with Mr. Allred had regarding a couple of projects on which the town could use COVID relief funds. Some of the options would be putting up a canopy over the lift station on Pond Road or getting a screen to filter out the flushable wipes that keep clogging the system. They will present some ideas as the time gets closer to the funds coming in.
Mr. Allred reported that the Birch station was running well. Pond station has some dead tress that need to be taken down. The NC 62 station is working well. The distribution showed good chlorine levels after flushing.
Presentation of Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Budget
Clerk York stated there was $150,000 budgeted for Covid relief funds. A budget amendment will be made next month when the first payment comes in. There will be another payment of $150,000 next year for a total of $300,000 in Covid relief funds.
The board agreed to increase the salary of the town employees by 5% and Clerk York will adjust that line item in July.
Clerk York stated that Burlington would be raising the water and sewer rates by 1% taking the water rate from $5.81 to $5.87 and the sewer rate from $6.89 to $6.96
The recycle fee will also increase by $2.95 taking the current fee from $2.71 to $5.66 per month. This increase is due to the provider increase to the Village. Recycling has become more expensive to do and the fees are increasing from all providers.
Clerk York stated those were the main changes to the budget this year.
Motion made to set a public hearing date for the proposed 2021-2022 budget by Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, seconded by Alderman Isley. Motion carries 5-0
Set Public Hearing on 2021-2022 Budget
A public hearing will be had for the 2021-2022 budget on June 28th, 2021
Planning Board Vacancy
Mayor Tichy stated there were two vacancies to fill on the planning board. After meeting and reviewing the six applicants, the Board chose three names but one of the candidates has withdrawn his name for consideration. The two candidates for the seats are John Paseman and Phillip Cheap.
Mr. Paseman stated he owns a small business in Graham and lives in the Village. He is looking forward to serving on the planning board.
Mr. Cheap stated he has lived in the Village for six years and is glad to have the opportunity to give back to the community by serving on the Planning Board.
Motion made to officially appoint John Paseman and Phillip Cheap to the Planning Board made by Alderman Andrews, seconded by Alderman Isley. Motion carries 5-0
Finance Report/Budget Amendment
Clerk York stated there were no budget amendments at this time.
Lisa Cates of 3271 Pond Rd. stated that she has a piece of land at 2424 Smith Bullis Lane that is landlocked, but she does have an easement to it. She would like to be able to use it or leave it to her children. There is a corner of the property that touches Smith Bullis Rd. There is a private access drive. Ms. Cates stated the land is about 10 acres. She just had an old mobile home removed from the property through a County grant in hopes of making some improvements on it or putting up another mobile home. She would like to know what her options are for using the property or possibly being able to sell it.
Clerk York stated he found a deed for online, but not the plat. Mr. Reich asked if there were plat book references in the deed and Clerk York responded there were. Ms. Cates stated she would look at the register of deeds office for a plat number. Clerk York will have Attorney Koonts look at the land and try to help figure out what Ms. Cates can do with the property.
Sherry Ford of 3968 Hwy 62 south stated she had brought up concerns about traffic, speeding and some break-ins at the last board meeting and wanted to address that again. She asked if there was potential in the budget for a part time officer. Mrs. Ford stated that Sherriff Johnson had assured her that they would continue to serve the Village in addition to the Village having their own officer. Alderman Crouse stated that traffic seemed to have slowed down already. Mrs. Ford stated it did while the flashing speed limit sign was in place or while the patrol cars were visible. She said the speeding has picked back up since then.
Alderman Andrews asked if a flashing sign for the Village had been checked into. Clerk York stated he some good prospects for those types of signs and should have more information on acquiring one for the next meeting. The type of sign Clerk York is considering is one that will attach to an existing road sign and flash the speed as cars pass. Mrs. Ford asked if this type of sign would record the speed of passing cars. Clerk York stated it would not. Alderman Isley stated that some of them will do that.
Mrs. Ford stated that Sheriff Johnson told her the signs that record the speed and license plates of passing cars cost $34,000.00 Mayor Tichy stated that the Village would not be looking for license plates so the camera and data from that type of sign would not be necessary. The Village would be looking for information such as the speed of passing cars and that data is much easier to store than all the other information and photos. In North Carolina vehicles do not have front plates, so it becomes a problem to set up cameras to catch tags of passing cars. Clerk York showed a picture to Mrs. Ford of a potential flashing speed sign the Village would be considering. Mrs. Ford asked if the investment into a sign showing speeds is to determine whether to hire an officer based on the data from the sign. Mayor Tichy stated there was a consensus from the Board, at the budget meeting, that hiring a police officer for the Village was not something they wanted to put in the budget. Mayor Tichy stated if an officer were hired there would be a demand to also help with traffic control on Hwy 62 at E.M. Holt during drop off and pick up where cars are parked along the side of the roads and often make illegal moves. Mrs. Ford stated she thought the Sheriffs Department took care of traffic at the school. Mayor Tichy stated there is a school resource officer there who directs traffic coming out of the school at these times to ensure the safety of the children, not to control the other traffic issues during those times.
Mayor Tichy stated there were other problem areas for speeding in the village and that a part time officer would be distributed throughout and would likely have a small amount of time in the historic district thereby having little effect on the issue of speeding there. He stated that the traffic problems in the historic district were no different than the rest of the Village. Elizabeth Powell interjected from the audience “You are clueless Don.”
Mrs. Ford stated she felt like the board was trying to separate the historic district from the rest of the Village and that was not her intention with hiring an officer. The intent would be to have an officer for the whole Village. Mayor Tichy stated if an officer patrolled the Village and based his time in any given area on population, housing density and road milage the historic district would get very little time. The Mayor stated that with the traffic density it is not easy to speed through the historic district especially at high volume times. Mrs. Ford stated she did not agree with that.
Mayor Tichy stated Heritage Glenn has issues with speeding and people running stop signs. He told Mrs. Ford that the traffic issues in the historic district are the same throughout the Village. Mrs. Ford stated, “I cannot believe you are saying that, I cannot believe that.” Mrs. Ford suggested that any thing would be better than doing nothing. Mayor Tichy replied that often when you hire an officer you end up with a police force. He stated, “You know damn well when someone has it everyone else will say we need it here.” Mrs. Ford pointed out she never asked for an officer strictly for the historic part of the Village. She stated she wanted an officer for Alamance.
Elizabeth Powell of 3975 South NC 62 interjected “Here me out. You are rude. You are out of line, you just cursed in a meeting. You are wildly inappropriate. You are condescending, last meeting and in this meeting, to my mother who has never been anything but respectful to you.”
“No one ever said that we wanted something to the historic district or the main part of the Village. We have asked nicely for help for years. This has been going on well before you were ever the Mayor, and you know it.” Mayor Tichy stated he knew that. Ms. Powell continued, “This has been falling on deaf ears. You think this is a personal attack. You have been condescending and rude to my tenants, to my neighbors, to my family last meeting and now this meeting. That is not the person I thought I knew. I thought you were a lot better than that, but you are disappointing, I’ll say that much. Not that you give a s**t or anything.”
Alderman Andrews stated if being rude was the discussion she finds the yard signs very rude and offensive. Ms. Powell stated “good.”
Ms. Powell stated again that they had been asking for a solution for years. Alderman Andrews stated it was a state road and was interrupted by Ms. Powell saying there are other ways to address the issue. Ms. Powell stated, “Y’all don’t want to spend the money. Money gets spent everywhere else. You use Powell Bill money that y’all don’t generate, you get handed that every year from the government to put sidewalks in. Awesome, we need it. Anything else, pray tell where, what.” “Y’all get waited on hand and foot in Heritage Glenn.” Alderman Andrews and Mayor Tichy interjected. Mayor Tichy asked Ms. Powell to tell the board what money had been spent in Heritage Glenn outside of the paving of the one road. Ms. Powell stated it was a yearly event to pave roads in Heritage Glenn. Alderman Andrews told Ms. Powell to come down her road and see that nothing has been done. Ms. Powell told Alderman Andrews to come sit on her porch and see what she means. The Mayor stated the Village does not spend significant money in Heritage Glenn. The paving and road repairs last year in Heritage Glenn cost $126,000.00 and almost a quarter of a million in the rest of the Village. Almost half the road milage the Village is responsible for is in Heritage Glenn. Ms. Powell stated, “that’s all anybody ever hears and that’s why nobody wants to attend these meetings.” “They have no respect for you guys because that’s what people hear. People hear Heritage Glenn constantly.” Mayor Tichy stated, “That’s because you spread that out.” Ms. Powell replied, “No, people can actually think for themselves.”
Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe stated if they were talking about being rude, she felt it was rude for the audience members to be talking while they were trying to have the meeting.
Mrs. Ford stated, “I did not bring up the traffic issue for only wanting help in the old part of the Village. I never said that, but just in general.”
Mayor Tichy stated that the board did not want to get into hiring an officer and the issue keeps coming up. He stated Mrs. Ford and Ms. Powell were the only two people who had ever requested an officer be hired. Mrs. Ford stated that several people came to the last meeting because of concerns for speeding. Mayor Tichy stated that some of Ms. Powell’s tenants had attended that meeting and that would be approximately 12 to 13 people out of 1500 requesting something be done. Mrs. Ford state last she heard there were 1200 to 1300 residents.
Motion made to adjourn Alderman Crouse, seconded by Alderman Andrews. Motion carried 5-0
Don Tichy, Mayor
___________________________________Ben York, Village Clerk