26 Sep September 26th, 2016 Minutes
THE FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTIETH SESSION OF THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN
VILLAGE OF ALAMANCE
September 2th 2016
Present: Mayor Tichy, Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe, Alderman Isley, Alderman Jones, Alderman Andrews, Alderman Crouse, Attorney Koonts, and Clerk York
Absent: Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe
Alderman Crouse opened the meeting with an invocation.
Mayor Tichy asked to open the public comment, Alderman Tichy moved to go into public comment and Alderman Crouse seconded it. Michael Todd Perry of 4250 South NC 62, has concerns about sewer backing up in his house, especially in the laundry room. He has snaked out all the pipes and still has issues. Arnold Allred asked if he had snaked it out to the street. Mr. Perry said that he had. Mr. Allred offered to call Jerry Warren and have him clean out the lines to the street. Mayor Tichy informed Mr. Perry that if there were no problems in the street lines he would have to have his lines dug up to find the problem. Alderman Jones suggested to Mr. Perry that he call Clerk York in the future if he had any more issues. Mr. Perry also gave his phone number to Clerk York.
Historic District Commission
This item was tabled.
Arnold Allred reports that the distribution systems are working great. There is a bad transducer on the NC 62 pump station. A new one has been ordered now and it’s on the way. The syphon station is still having some mixture problems. Tim Eaton of Carolina pump works is trying to figure out the problem. The syphon started out pulling to many amps because the controller was set for too low amps which caused it to trip out, but it is continuing to trip out and he is working to solve the problem. The leak on NC 62 was found, water was leaking into a manhole from Elder Lane. Jerry Warren has replaced the old service line. The THMHAA5 as well as the lead and copper testing turned out great. The lead and copper testing is something that is done every 3 years now. It is mainly to keep a check on homeowner’s pipes, as there are still some homes with copper piping. Mayor Tichy asked Mr. Allred to check on the syphon station power bill, because it was about the same as the station on 62, it just seems a little higher than it should be. Mr. Allred agreed to check on it.
Automatic Read Meters
Clerk York passed out information regarding Mr. Allred’s proposal and also a second estimate from another company. There are two costs to consider. One is the cost of the meters and the other is the cost of installation. Clerk York had two estimates, one from Carolina meter and supply at $91,861.58 and from Neptune at approx. $93,000.00, so from a cost perspective they are very similar. While Carolina’s meters are slightly less expensive than Neptune’s, it doesn’t cover all the training like Neptune. Clerk York recommends going with the Neptune meters. Mr. Allred suggested getting new lids to replace the cast iron covers, to make it easier to read the new meters. Clerk York is planning on buying 400 meters. These quotes are based on 400 meters. The total cost of the meters, installation, and meter lids comes to $104,725.00. Clerk York is willing to check with other companies for prices, but is very comfortable going with this estimate. Alderman Isley asked if it was in writing regarding the training being included in the total price. Clerk York assured him it was, and pointed out the last line item where it states that the training and implementation are at no charge. Mr. Allred named off some of the cities that use Neptune such as Durham, Burlington and several others. Alderman Isley asked if these meters were able to be upgraded in the future? Mr. Allred responded that Neptune had just changed their meters to a smarter meter and would not be changing again anytime soon. They are called smart meters, like a smart phone, it records usage every few seconds to be extremely accurate and it saves the data for at least 3 months. The software for these meters will actually print out a notice to check for leaks if it notices water running all night. Alderman Isley, asked if there was any maintenance for the software? Mr. Allred stated you can get a maintenance contract for the software and the hand held units, or you can just pay for it yourself if an issue arises. Mr. Allred said he has very little problems with his, and he has had them for 10 years. Mr. Allred said that he can probably have the meters installed within 6 months. Alderman Tichy moved to purchase the Neptune meters and have Mr. Allred install them. Clerk York said that a new line item needed to be created in the water and sewer fund for this project. The line item would cover the meters, lids, software, hardware, and installation. The funds would come from appropriated fund balance. The new line item under operations would be called the Smart Meter Project. From the audience, Michael Perry asked if this would increase water bills. Clerk York and Mayor Tichy assured him that it would not. Clerk York explained that the water fund generates a surplus each year and it enables the Village to set aside money for projects like this so it will not increase water bills. Mayor Tichy stated the Village continues to invest in the water system to keep the water bills from going up, with projects like the new syphon station. Clerk York stated that the slight increase each year in the water rates is the exact amount that the city of Burlington goes up, and no more. Mayor Tichy asked if the budget amendment, approval to purchase, and the installation could be included in Alderman Tichy’s motion. Alderman Tichy was agreeable to that. Alderman Isley seconded the amended motion. Motion passed 5-0
Clerk York stated that he had contacted many different banks and that Carolina bank gave a .32 bid for one year, BB&T gave .08 for one year or .15 for two years, PNC and Suntrust were not accepting at this point. Fidelity was not accepting unless there had been a prior relationship with them. Capitol bank was also .15, just like American National for one year. At Wells Fargo we do not earn interest per say on our account, but we earn an earnest credit, which is netted against what the monthly charges are. We are earning .25 currently, at Wells Fargo, which is higher than any other bid except one, which is Carolina Bank. If the board wants to put money into a CD, Carolina Bank is the only one offering higher than what we currently earn with Wells Fargo. The total value of all the CD’s currently, is $669,000. Clerk York recommend Carolina Bank as the new depository if the board chooses to use one. Clerk York recommend having a third signer. He suggested Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe. Three signers would ensure that there are always two signers for checks, in case one is not available. He then submitted a resolution to the Board to that effect. In summary, the resolution does three things, it makes Carolina Bank the new depository, and adds Mayor Pro Tem Sharpe as a signer for all the accounts, and makes Clerk York a signer at Carolina Bank. Clerk York has been a signer at Carter Bank. This has made the CD renewal process easier.
Alderman Tichy made a motion to pass the resolution and Alderman Isley seconded it. The motion passed 5-0.
Clerk York stated that a budget amendment needed to be made to the syphon project. At the end of June there was still a large payment to be made, about $34,000 in construction. About $1,000 in construction and $1,900 in engineering still need to be paid. The board needs to approve a budget amendment so that the funds can be appropriated to finish paying for the project. This is for a project that was budgeted at $988,700 in expenses. The extra expense seems to come from engineering, at $1900, and $1,000 extra on the construction. The total amount of $2,900 can be reduced by $133, which leads to $2767 total. The $133 comes from what was unspent out of the legal/easements/contingencies line item. Clerk York stated that any extra money in the siphon fund would be transferred back to the general fund, after the very last bill was paid. Alderman Isley made a motion to transfer the $2767.00 from the general fund to the syphon project. $1,000 would go to construction and $1,900 would go to engineering. The Legal/Easement/Contingencies line item in the siphon project would be reduced by $133. Alderman Jones seconded. The motion carried 5-0.
Clerk York has met with Ernie Farley of C&C Real Estate concerning sewer lines at the old boarding house which have been renovated into apartment buildings. This is a pressing matter and Clerk York invited Mr. Farley to speak to the Board. Mr. Farley introduced himself to the board. He is the executive vice president, the U.S. partner for CT Nassau. Charles Harris, from C.E. Harris, General Unlimited Contractor, is a business partner with Mr. Farley in the boarding house. They have properties at 4122 HWY 62 and 4250 HWY 62, and many other properties outside the area of Alamance. The issue is that the boarding house was built in the 1920’s and the sewer lines inside the building are starting to fail. They have had a plumber out to the properties 3 or 4 times in the last month. He has done everything possible but the terra cotta piping is worn out. The only way for him to do that would be to go through the Senecal properties next door. Their sewer connection runs along the back of property owned by Mr. Senecal. They would need to go through and under the middle of this property. They are unable to tap into the middle line because the drain is not sufficient. The concern is that, eventually, the middle line will fail as well. What we need is a tap closer to the center of HWY 62, so that it will alleviate the boarding house situation. Somewhere down the road, Mr. Farley believes, the sewers along NC 62 are from the early eighties and they are at the end of their economic life. Mr. Farley feels that running a line along the back of his property is not a viable solution.
Clerk York presented a map to the board and audience, showing where the sewer lines run underground. Clerk York stated that he met with Mr. Farley and Mr. Mark Reich last week and one potential suggestion that was made was to run a sewer line from Alamance Lutheran’s property which is located across the street. Alderman Crouse asked Mr. Farley if he was going to change his grade once he piped his two structures, and Mr. Farley replied that he would not. The issue is not with the internal pipes, it’s when they get to the terra cotta lines that are before the Senecal property that the terra cotta is collapsed and full of roots. If they begin to replace their line to the Senecal property, then they would be tapping into collapsed and failing infrastructure. Mr. Farley feels they don’t have the ability to go to the north to the Mill property because the lines there are terra cotta and not in great shape anyway, and we don’t have enough gradient to be able to drop the required number of feet, about 100 feet, to get into that sewer line. Alderman Crouse asked if Senecal was having the same problems and Mr. Farley responded that he was not currently. The dilemma seems to be that even if they replace all of their line it is still getting back into the Senecal property. The boarding houses were empty for 7-8 years and now they are filled with eight tenants and have been filed 100% for the last 2 years and the volume of water flow is not being able to be handled by the infrastructure. Some of that is on the boarding house, but its where it goes after the boarding house has pushed it on to the street. There just doesn’t seem to be the ability to clear the whole area. Alderman Crouse noted that Mr. Senecal will probably be facing the same issues and he suggested that the two owners talk to see what could be done to replace the whole line. Mr. Allred noted that it could take up to a year to get a new line across the road because the engineer and DOT would have to approve it and that can be a very difficult process. Mr. Farley stated that although they could run line to the Senecal property it was just going to become his problem, due to the bad infrastructure. Alderman Crouse suggested that Mr. Farley talk to Mr. Senecal since they are facing the same problem. Mr. Farley noted that the mill just barely gets by and that they spend a few thousand dollars each year on the lines. He also noted that the infrastructure, whether the towns or his, is 35-40 years old and needs to be updated. Mayor Tichy looked at the map with Arnold and noted that the towns lines, eight inch PVC, on Senecal property was probably in good shape.
Mr. Farley noted that he understood that replacing the lines was his problem, he is concerned with the distance he has to go to be able to tap in from the mill and the boarding houses. He feels he would need to tap in at Cardinal Lane, to avoid tapping back in at the Senecal property, where there is concern about the adequacy of handling the volume of water. Alderman Crouse asked Mr. Farley if he had spoken to Mr. Senecal about the problem and Mr. Farley said he had. Mr. Senecal is fine with them tapping back into their property but Mr. Farley is concerned that as soon as his sewage hits Ron’s property and he starts to have the same problems that Mr. Farley has, he’s going to be upset. Mr. Farley doesn’t want to create a problem for someone else.
Discussion ensued regarding the property and the best possible solution for them. It was noted that Mr. Senecal would probably be as willing to replace his lines as Mr. Farley is. What Mr. Farley wants is a new tap to be placed on 62 to resolve the septic issues. He is willing to help with the cost, if necessary. Mr. Farley really wants a long term solution to the issue instead of a quick fix. It was noted after Mr. Farley left, that the main problem lies with C T Nassau and Ron Senekal. It will be looked into as to whether the town is responsible for putting in another tap. At this point putting in a new tap on 62 is not beneficial for the town. It would behoove both Mr. Farley and Mr. Senecal to replace their lines at the same time.
There is a broken curb that needs to be addressed, off of Councilman. Need to talk to Jerry Warren to see what can be done to prevent this in the future.
Alderman Jones asked about the status of Gary Rutledge’s house regarding the collapsed chimney. Mayor Tichy reported that the chimney collapsed due to piedmont natural gas digging too close by. The structure is very old and could not handle the vibration and collapsed. He does plan to rebuild it, but at this point has it covered with a tarp.
Alderman Tichy said that an electrician needs to check out the sign to the front entrance of the Village, because a breaker keeps tripping in it. Also, the Elliott property needs to be mowed. Alderman Crouse made a motion to adjourn and Alderman Tichy seconded.