Regular Meeting, December 11, 2012

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Hunt declared a quorum present and called the meeting to order at 6:30pm.

WELCOME/INVOCATION/PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Mayor Hunt welcomed everyone to the meeting and Commissioner Shooter gave the invocation. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by those present.

AMEND AGENDA

Mayor Hunt requested that Items II A & B, Special Presentations, be moved to New Business.

Motion by Commissioner Love, 2nd by Commissioner Boyd, to move Items II A & B to New Business; the motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion by Commissioner Love, 2nd by Commissioner Boyd, to approve the minutes of the November 28th working session, with one very minor correction; the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN COMMENT PERIOD

  1. Ms. Mary Thompson of Railroad Street said she was an applicant for housing rehabilitation under the Community Development Block Grant application recently submitted to the state. She asked if the grant had been awarded yet, and she also complained that no one had informed her of her status. Mr. Proctor informed her that the grant was only submitted on November 30th, and the town would not know if we had been awarded the grant until late February/early March at the earliest. He also said that Adrian Lowery with the Lumber River Council of Governments, who spearheaded the grant application, should have already sent letters to everyone who would be assisted if we get the grant; Mr. Proctor said he would contact the CoG to ensure that letters were sent to all rehab applicants, whether or not they qualified.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

  1. Annual Audit Report – John Masters, from accounting firm S. Preston Douglas & Associates presented the audit for Fiscal Year 2011-2012. He first provided graphical information regarding the town’s various balances: Our cash balance has decreased to $127,000; our General Fund balance has dipped slightly to $169,000; the unassigned portion of Fund Balance is about what it was the previous year, but is still below 8%. The collection of property taxes, sales taxes, water & sewer fees, and solid waste fees are approximately the same as in FY 2010-2011.

General Fund revenues decreased $37,619 from the previous year; however, expenses dropped by $56,069, thereby narrowing the operating deficit; it must be remembered, however, that the town also had $17,301 in prepaid expenses by paying two notes early, as well as an $11,500 Receivable from FEMA: this $28,801 narrowed the loss even further.

The Utility Fund showed a loss of $91,552, but the Fund actually made a small profit on a cash accounting basis after removing the non-cash depreciation item. Mr. Masters finished his presentation by suggesting that the town become more proactive in seeking sales tax reimbursements from the state.

The Board asked Mr. Masters about whether the audit was late and if it could be completed earlier. Mr. Masters replied that the Local Government Commission required an October 31st deadline, but gave automatic extensions to December 15th each year. He also said that very few municipalities ever met the initial deadline as it was unrealistic. The Board thanked him for his efforts in the town’s behalf.

  1. Ordinance 12-112, Fire Inspections – Mr. Proctor read the long title of Ordinance 12-112, and then highlighted the salient portions; he confirmed to the Board that the town was indeed responsible for the fire inspections of medical facilities, group homes, motels, and any other facility with multiple sleeping rooms as stipulated in Sec. 5-203 of the ordinance..

Motion by Commissioner Hunt, 2nd by Commissioner Love, to adopt Ordinance 12-112 on 1st and only reading; the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

  1. Christmas Program by Rowland Middle School students – Ms.Pam Carlson, Band Director at SouthRobesonHigh School presented a group of RMS singers who performed three Christmas songs for the Board and citizen attendees. The program was received with delight by all.
  2. James Robinson, South Robeson High School Future Farmers of America – Mr. Robinson introduced himself and informed the Board that he wanted the FFA to be more active in the community. To that end, he asked if the FFA could participate in making the pocket park on Main Street that is a CDBG project; he also asked about suitable property to start a community vegetable garden in town. After some discussion between the Board and Mr. Robinson,

Motion by Commissioner Hunt, 2nd by Commissioner Shooter, to table further discussion until the January 8, 2013 Regular meeting; the motion carried unanimously.

  1. Fire Inspector Contract Agreement – Mr. Proctor reviewed the proposed Fire Inspector contract agreement with Ms. Amy Clifton; there were no questions from the Board. Mr. Proctor introduced Ms. Clifton to the Board. Robeson County Building Inspector Jeff Britt congratulated the Board for taking the mandated step to provide fire inspection for the town.

Motion by Commissioner Love, 2nd by Commissioner Hunt, to approve the Fire Inspection contract with Amy Clifton; the motion carried unanimously.

  1. Discussion RE: Billing software upgrade – Mr. Proctor explained to the Board that our current version of the CSI Billing program does not fully interface with the accounting program and is not user friendly. CSI has come out with an upgrade that is easier to use and “talks to” the accounting program. While there is no charge for this u0pgrade, there is a charge for transferring information from the old version to the new and ensuring that all information has correctly transferred; there is also a charge for training; the total cost is in the $2,750-$3,000 range. Mr. Proctor then introduced Billing Clerk Elizabeth Brown, who has seen the update demonstrated and who presented a condensed overview of the benefits of the program update.

Motion by Commissioner Shooter, 2nd by Commissioner Love, to table further discussion of this topic until we hold a budget workshop; the motion carried unanimously.

  1. Discussion of need for a new copier in the Police Department – Chief Reaves informed the Board that his heavily-used Department system copier was having serious document-feeder problems. He has gone out for estimates on a new copier and the cheapest he could find for a copier/scanner was in the mid $600s. Following some discussion regarding finances, Chief Reaves told the Board that he would see if Jacob’s TV and Electronics Repair could fix it; if not, he would come back to the Board for further direction.

MID-YEAR BUDGET DISCUSSION

Mr. Proctor began the discussion by directing the Board’s attention to the November Finance Report. He stated that, as November is five months into the budget year, the theoretical expenses rate should be 41.6%. He also informed the Board that since we have already had a three-payroll month early in the fiscal year, personnel-related line items are ahead of that 41.6%. He also stated that property taxes are ahead of budget but still somewhat slower than expected for this time of year; sales tax receipts, however, are below budget right now. In the Utility Fund, revenues are right on budget, while expenses are under budget.

Mr. Proctor then directed the Board’s attention to the spreadsheet in their packets illustrating what it would cost for a mid-year salary increase for all employees, based on 1%, 1½% and 2% increases. Commissioner Shooter requested that a more detailed spreadsheet be prepared that showed all personnel costs for each employee.

Motion by Commissioner Hunt, 2nd by Commissioner Love, to table discussion of this item until the January 8, 2013 meeting; the motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Hunt asked Mr. Proctor to provide a General Expense Schedule showing when in the budget cycle standard payments such as bond payments, health insurance payments and other periodic payments are scheduled to be made.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

Administration – Mr. Proctor reminded the Board that the fourth Wednesday this month was the 26th, and that we traditionally forego the December Working Session; the Board concurred. Mr. Proctor then referred to his letter of December 6th to USDA Rural Development, responding to their letter of November 20th asking the town to seek an alternative avenue of bond financing; this letter is FYI in the Commission packet. We just today got their response, confirming that there are no alternative financing sources at this time for the town.

Legal – No report

Police – Chief Reaves informed the Board that there would be no “Shop with a Cop” program this holiday season; instead, the Department will partner with Dollar General to provide a Toy Drive just before Christmas.

Public Works – Public Works Director Jesse Watson informed the Board that Service Worker Rick McLean no longer was with the Town.

Water and Sewer – Water & Sewer OperatorJerry Jones distributed copies of the DENR Division of Water Quality periodic licensing application to the Board. He added that he and Mayor hunt were putting together the required Capital Improvement Program section of the application.

Board of Commissioners – No comments.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OTHER MATTERS OF INTEREST

Tony Hasty requested that the Board consider allowing him to operate the concession stand for the upcoming baseball season. Mayor Hunt thanked him for his interest.

ADJOURNMENT

Motion by Commissioner Shooter, 2nd by Commissioner Boyd, to adjourn at 8:28p.m.

 

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