26 Sep September 26th, 2011 Minutes
THE THREE HUNDRED-NINETY NINTH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
September 26, 2011 – 7:00 PM
Present: Mayor Bundren, Mayor Pro-Tem Sharpe, Alderman Crouse, Alderman Tichy, Alderman Clemmons, Alderman Jones, Alderman Slaughter, Clerk York.
Alderman Clemmons gave the invocation.
Alderman Tichy moved to approve the August 22, 2011 meeting minutes. Alderman Slaughter seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Mayor Bundren announced that Plaid Day has been postponed until October 1, 2011. She said this allowed Board members another week to sell tickets. She asked Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe to give a report on the number of tickets sold thus far. Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe reported that Mayor Bundren has sold just under 500 tickets, Alderman Jones has sold 20 tickets, Alderman Slaughter has sold 50 tickets, Alderman Crouse has sold 10, Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe has sold 120 tickets, and Peggy May has sold 50 tickets. Alderman Tichy said he would turn in monies for 50 tickets. Alderman Clemmons and Clerk York have not sold any tickets. Alderman Jones asked if Board members could purchase tickets. Alderman Tichy said tickets could be purchased in someone else’s name. Mayor Bundren clarified that tickets could not be purchased for someone in a Board member’s household. She noted that tickets would also be sold at the gate. She said her goal, personally, has been to sell enough tickets to pay for the IPAD, the rest would be profit. The whole point, she said, was for this to come back to the Village to subsidize and keep Plaid Day funded so the Board would not have to come back to the Village for additional monies. She encouraged Board members to sell more tickets.
Clerk York added that Plaid Day will be this Saturday, October 1st, from 10:00am-4:00pm. He said the Big Time Party Band will still perform, along with the Old Holmes Boys bluegrass band, Mr. Fogleman, and the Line Dancers. The same entertainment is scheduled and most of the vendors will still be present. The inflatables will also be part of Plaid Day. An ad ran in Saturday’s newspaper and there has also been a mention in the Alamance Scene. Clerk York said he hopes a good number will attend and encouraged Board members to tell others about the rescheduled Plaid Day. Alderman Clemmons suggested that Clerk York call the radio stations. Alderman Jones mentioned the email lists. Clerk York said that he has done this and sent information to News 2 and Fox TV. He said he would do this again, regarding the rain date. Mayor Bundren said that Copper Top Farms would not be able to come for the rescheduled Plaid Day, as they are involved that day in Special Olympics. Mayor Bundren said it was good of Copper Top Farms to offer to come for Plaid Day; she hated that not everyone could come for the rescheduled date. Mayor Bundren encouraged all Board members to participate in Plaid Day. Alderman Tichy said he would be out of town. Alderman Jones said that he had a conflict with the rescheduled date. Clerk York said that he would need to get a couple other volunteers. Clerk York asked if anyone would volunteer to help watch the inflatables. This includes watching the children have fun, making sure that they don’t get hurt, or slide backwards. Peggy May suggested that teenagers would be good to help with this. Alderman Jones said he remembered that teenagers helped during the first Plaid Day. Clerk York said this could be tried, if Board members knew who he could call.
Mayor Bundren reminded the Board that the Hydraulic Study had been tabled at the last meeting, and asked if anyone had given this more thought. Alderman Jones asked how much time the Board had to make a decision. Mark Reich said he thought the original quote would be honored. Alderman Jones said that he was asking if there was an issue that the results of the hydraulic study would address.
He asked if the benefit would be to know a better place to test or reduce the points to test, therefore reducing the costs to send out to the lab. Arnold Allred said the Board was considering initiating the testing. Alderman Jones said he can’t remember why the Board was considering this path; he thought there was some advantage to updating the hydraulic study, relating to the Second Connection. Mark Reich said the hydraulic study would give a better idea of knowing where the “dead end” spots may be. He said some testing is being done now, but they can’t say with one hundred percent certainty that this is the dead end of the line. With the way the two systems are set up now, with one valve, it does make it more logical that the dead ends are where the water is being tested.
Mark Reich said one of the drawbacks, as he has indicated before, is that with the valve being closed, the valve needs to be opened during fire flows to increase the fire volumes throughout the system. If the valve was open, you would be able to know, better, where the dead end water would be and how long it would be in the lines. Mark Reich said there would be some benefits derived from the hydraulic study. He said he is not sure it would be worth the $3000 cost, and that this seemed to be the consensus of the Board. He said someone had asked them to check into this. Alderman Jones said that this had been his request. Alderman Jones asked, if the model was updated, and it says that we’re already testing at the right spot, is the study a waste or money or is there some other benefit. Mark Reich said you could know what the fire flows predictability would be; the fire flow volumes at different locations could be predicted. Mayor Bundren said if there was more growth, it would be more advantageous to do this down the road. Mark Reich said this was exactly right, it would be advantageous to do this, with growth.
Alderman Jones asked if the hydraulic study would reduce any testing. Arnold Allred said they weren’t sure when they shut the valve, and had the two systems, how this was going to work. He said they have a lot of information now, everything is working well, and they have good chlorine results. He said he flushes both end systems every other week and tests them both; both are doing fine. Alderman Jones asked Alderman Crouse about the flow testing of the fire hydrants. Alderman Crouse said this was done. Alderman Jones said, if this was already tested, it was better than the model. Mark Reich agreed. Alderman Tichy said the valve could be opened up, if there was a major fire. Mayor Bundren asked if it was the consensus of the Board to not move forward, or to move forward. The consensus of the Board was to table the hydraulic study.
Report on Cabin Pump Station Project
Mark Reich said they have been working and getting closer to the completion of this project. He said it is not 100% done, but he wanted to update the Board. He said they have been looking at all the design criteria they need to look at. In doing the preliminary engineering report, in hopes of getting USDA funding, one of the things they need to look at it alternatives and evaluation of alternatives. He said he would break this into two separate projects: the 62 Pump Station and the Cabin Road Pump Station.
At the 62 Pump Station, he has looked at some of the City of Burlington’s record drawings and also some of the record drawings for the original pump station. Mr. Reich said confirmation was needed, but he was suspicious that there will not be enough vertical separation to force enough head through the siphon to make that one work. He said the sewer main on the Village side of the creek at the pump station is lower than the pump station on the other side. He said he is not sure this will work at this location.
One of the objectives is to eliminate the pump station, but the cost on that pump station, including the amortized costs of normal phone and electric, is relatively low. Some minor modifications may be done that will make it more cost effective, rather than trying to put a siphon down there. Mark Reich said he wants to get some field work and confirm the elevations; it may be that this alternative will be ruled out altogether. Mayor Bundren asked about an earlier study that carried it to the lowest point, somewhere behind the Lutheran Church.
Mark Reich said they may want to go back and look at that; this could be an alternative, but it would increase the cost. He said that the sewer line flowing to the pump station, as it is coming around Back Creek, is actually “bucking” grade on the Village’s side. On the City of Burlington side, it’s following the natural contours on the opposite side of the creek. If they were to go down about 1000 feet below the existing pump station, a siphon could possibly be placed down in that area. Mark Reich said this may be something they still want to explore; any connections between the pump station and the place they decide to put a siphon would need to be run by gravity back to that location.
The other, more important, issue may be access back to the siphon. Access would be needed off of Highway 62, to drive back to it. Mayor Bundren said this was an idea that Haywood King came up with; instead of the pump station, it was going to be moved so that it was all gravity feed to the lowest point behind the Lutheran Church, and then go across. Mark Reich said this was probably where the siphon would have to be placed, though he was hoping to place the siphon closer to Highway 62, so that they could reduce access and floodplain issues. Mark Reich said he has learned, in looking at the design flows, and talking to Arnold, there does seem to be minimal infiltration and inflow in the system, compared to other cities. He said they need to be looking down the road, 20 years, as to where the Village will be then. He has looked at some modest growth factors for this, and tried to come up with some design numbers. That will help to potentially get the 62 Pump Station upgraded. The pump station itself is above the hundred year flood elevation, but below the 500. That may help to either relocate or raise it up, and help to refurbish the pump station. If the capacity needed to be increased some, this could be done. They may be able to get funding for that. Mayor Bundren referred to the last three years and the amount of money spent on the pump station being minimal, but she said this past year a tremendous amount has been spent. Mark Reich said about $18,000 has been spent, but if you take that over a four year period, that gets back to about $7500 per year. He said even with the $4500, and the other costs for electricity and the power being $1500-$1600, along with some other normal maintenance costs, some money would need to be allocated from the budget. These costs would still be there, with a siphon or whatever. He said the amount saved would be about
$5000-$6000 per year. Mark Reich said they have been looking at all of this and trying to prioritize.
Regarding the Cabin Road Pump Station, the elevation differential is feasible. They do need to confirm, in the field, where they need to cross the creek. The creek must be crossed to get over to the west side of the draw that comes up underneath Pond Road. Mark Reich said he needs to get a field elevation on this. He said he thinks they can make this work, though it will be close. As part of looking at alternatives, and what is recommended, they may need to look at the possibility of relocating this pump station as well. This is one of the things they need to look at, to rule out this alternative. Mark Reich said he would like to talk with Alderman Crouse, who has the most history. He said he needs to confirm some issues with sewer overflows, if there have been any. This will help to get points. Mark Reich asked if there have been more than two times that the Cabin Road site has flooded. He asked if there had been sewer overflows with either one of these events. Clerk York was thinking that the 2008 event did not include sewer overflows. Mayor Bundren asked if there had been a sewer overflow one time. Alderman Crouse said it had come close, but there was no spillage on Cabin Road. Mark Reich said he would need to take that out of the report. He asked that Alderman Crouse and one or two others could go over the report, more in-depth, next week, and fine tune some of the numbers. Mark Reich said he would get with the Mayor to set up a meeting.
Arnold Allred said the collection and distribution reports showed everything pretty much in order. He reviewed items in bold on the reports. He said Pump #2 at the 62 Pump Station is out for a water seal failure. This is not the same pump that was worked on in May. The #1 Pump is working fine; it worked well through 6 inches of water. Regarding the chloramine switchover, Clerk York did have some low chlorine readings. The City of Burlington came over to do some flushing and checking. The idea behind this is to use less chlorine, so there is not a THM problem. It went a little bit too low, so they are playing with this, to satisfy everyone on their system. Burlington is not having any problem, but the outlying places like Haw River and the Village of Alamance need to be worked on a little.
There were 20 samples of lead and copper taken in August. Only one sample showed any lead. Five samples showed some copper, but all were well below action levels. There are some older homes in the area that do show some copper because of old soldering. They will sample again in February. The sampling will be done every six months for two years. As long as the samples stay below the action levels, the Village will move to sampling every three years.
Arnold Allred said there were a lot of questions about water running down the road at C.T. Nassau. He said he talked to the personnel there. They are trying to crush cardboard cones and they have found that they crush better if they are wet. They are washing the cones down at the loading dock, where the drain runs down to the road. Meters were checked and no leaks were found. Alderman Jones asked if they were using a fire flow line. Arnold Allred said a pallet of cones if being wet down every 2 or 3 hours. Mayor Bundren asked Arnold Allred if he was checking the fire flow line. Arnold Allred said he has been checking this.
Clerk York said the Big Sweep is similar to Adopt-A-Highway. He said it does not have to involve a highway, it can be any kind of area. He asked if there were any volunteers who would like to get together and pick a spot in Alamance to clean up trash. He said the Big Sweep is this Saturday, but any weekend can be chosen to participate. He said a gentleman in Glencoe is organizing this for each city. Mayor Bundren said that since Plaid Day would be held this coming Saturday, they would not be participating in Big Sweep this weekend. Alderman Clemmons asked if Big Sweep would go towards the Lake Jordan project. Mark Reich said this would apply to the education component. Alderman Clemmons said this would need to be documented and that he would see if his scouts could be involved. Peggy May said she thought Big Sweep related just to rivers. Clerk York said he would need to check with Howard Tash. Peggy May said her church picks up trash from the school all the way down to Bellemont. Mayor Bundren asked if Peggy May’s time could be counted for the Big Sweep. Alderman Crouse noted that part of that was in the ETJ. Mayor Bundren asked Clerk York to get some more information about Big Sweep.
Clerk York reported that the 6-month CD, $315,092.93, matured last week. It earned $543.86 in interest over 6 months, at .35%. Last week, a portion of the NC Capital Management Trust Fund (money market account) in the General Fund was moved. It was only earning $7.56 a month, with the balance of the General Fund portion being $352,452.58. All of the sales tax money is automatically deposited into this account each month, along with franchise utility tax, solid waste tax—any of the tax distributions the Village gets are automatically put into this account, except for property taxes. The County collects the property taxes and sends the Village a check once a month, which is deposited into the Wachovia account. This portion of the NC Capital Management Trust Fund was moved to the Wachovia account. This was combined with the other CD and a CD was purchased for $668,089.37 from Carter Bank. This will earn .5%, which is higher than what other banks are able to do. Clerk York says that he has paperwork that designates this as “public funds.”
Alderman Clemmons asked Clerk York if he had received this. Clerk York said he was given a copy of their paperwork, showing it checked off as public funds. He said it was collateralized, the bank has collateral to back it up, if something should happen to the bank. The funds are protected with actual assets. Clerk York said the State has a list of banks that participate in this method and that they say its okay to invest funds in. There is a website that stars banks according to safety of investments. Carter Bank had the highest, or next highest safety rating. Alderman Clemmons said this really didn’t matter since this is public funds. Mayor Bundren said the good news is that the Village will earn $3.00 per day as opposed to $3.00 per month. Clerk York said that rate is on the smaller amount, with the $668,089.37 it would be almost $6.00 per day earned. At 180 days, this would be $1080.
Alderman Clemmons asked Clerk York to address property tax. Clerk York reported that September is always the month when the vast bulk of the property tax is received. This month it is $122,000, now deposited at Wachovia. Mayor Bundren asked about the percentage rate. Alderman Clemmons said this is hard to determine. Clerk York asked if the Mayor meant the percentage of property tax expected. He said the September amount is about three quarters of the taxes expected. Mayor Bundren said this is probably the property taxes escrowed; the rest would be received later in the year. Alderman Clemmons asked Clerk York about sales tax. Clerk York responded that one of the handouts gives information about this. He said 74% total has been collected, as of now. Regarding Local Options Sales and Use Tax, $30,813 has been collected, which is 28%, so far. Normally at this point in the year, based on projections, it is hoped to collect 25%. So collecting 28% is good. Based on the 951 population number, the last Local Options Sales Tax distribution was $11,956. Mayor Bundren asked how this compared to last year. Clerk York said last year the population was 709, prior to that it was in the 370’s. When the population was in the 370’s, the Village would receive somewhere in the neighborhood of $6000. The Village projected $60,000 for the year. Last year, the Village received over $100,000. There is a projection to receive $110,000 this year. If the Village continues to receive about $12,000 each month, this would total $144,000 in sales tax for the year, or $34,000 more than projected. The Village had projected to receive just over $9,000 per month, based on the 709 population. Now that the population is 951, the Village may get $120,000-$130,000 for the year, on the low end. Clerk York said the Village is likely do very well. He said the Village has increased substantially before the count; the census has added even more people.
Mayor Bundren said that between hiring Arnold Allred and counting the people, the Village has done a good job. Alderman Clemmons asked Clerk York about water and sewer. Clerk York directed Board members to the handout. He said the Village is at 20% which does not include the end of September. He said this is looking at 10% per month. He said that there is high usage in July, August, and September. So by the end of September, the Village could be up to 30% of what is expected to be received. Clerk York said that this will level out once the calendar gets past September. December, last year, was a lot lower than what would be expected for a monthly average. By the time January and February are reached, it should be right where it is expected. Mayor Bundren stated that as long as the Village is taking in more than expected, it is doing well. Clerk York further explained the budget as presented on the handout, saying it is his favorite document. He includes this in the packet every month.
There was no other business.
Davis Gregory, write-in candidate, was present at the meeting. He reported that his whole name would need to be written on the ballot. Alderman Tichy said that cards could be printed out for handout. Mayor Bundren asked if cards printed on a computer would be considered as an expense that would need to be turned in. Clerk York said this probably wouldn’t be an issue; anyone that donates something to a candidate is an issue.
Alderman Jones made the motion to adjourn the meeting. Alderman Clemmons seconded. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting was adjourned.