Working Session, January 23, 2013

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 working session and Commissioner Boyd gave the invocation.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the group.  

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion by Commissioner Boyd, 2nd by Commissioner Shooter, to approve the minutes of the January 8, 2013 regular meeting as presented; the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN COMMENT PERIOD

Ms. Amy Inman introduced herself as the new Rowland Postmaster; she thanked the Board for its invitation to appear before them and informed them that she had worked in Rowland before, but about ten years ago had transferred to Orrum. The Board welcomed her to Town. She was glad to be back.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

There was no unfinished business this meeting.

DISCUSSION OF MID-YEAR BUDGET

  1. Discussion of budget amendment – Mr. Proctor informed the Board that he and the Commission Committees met with the Department Heads to attempt to reduce the budget; while several departments actually were able to make reductions, the Police Department required a $20,000 increase due to salaries and gasoline, and this eliminated all the savings.

The Board went over the proposed mid-year budget with Mr. Proctor, and Commissioner Hunt had found several small discrepancies in line items that totaled a $2,539 (0.3%) differential. There was no change to the bottom line of the General Fund ($890,350); however, there were line item changes in both revenues and expenditures. No use of Fund Balance will be required. In the Utility Fund, various line item changes necessitated elimination of the Contingency and the use of $5,755 in Fund Balance. The amended Utility Fund is $409,405, a net increase of $2,055.

Commissioner Shooter reminded the Board that the LGC letter recommended that the Town reduce the current year budget to ensure that no Fund Balance will be required. He would be opposed to any increases in any rates without corresponding decreases in expenditures and expenses.

Further discussion ensued in this vein, with Commissioner Hunt recommending that perhaps Public Works would be able to change the Police vehicles’ oil, thus saving money out of Police Maintenance & Repair line item; Chief Reaves will discuss this with Mr. Watson. It was also discussed about the take-home policy for police cars, and Chief Reaves said that, in light of our salary level, this is the only enticement we have to attract and retain officers.

Commissioner Shooter recommended that once the mid-year budget levels are in effect, the department heads attempt to reduce their department totals an additional 1% to 3%.

  1. Discussion of revenue enhancements – Commissioner Hunt opined that we needed to increase revenues annually, even if it is only a small percentage; over time that would help the bottom line. Commissioner Love stated that she has met with members of the community to discuss the Town’s finances, where it was disclosed that the community would support utility increases of $1 on the base rate of water, $1 on the base rate of sewer, and 50¢ on the debt service fee. Mr. Proctor stated that this would bring in $16,000 annually to the Utility Fund; he also averred that if these new rates took effect with the bills that went out in March, it would add about $5,300 to this fiscal year’s revenues.

Motion by Commissioner Love, 2nd by Commissioner Hunt, to increase the base water and sewer rates by $1.00 each, and the debt service fee by 50¢ effective with the February 28th billing; the motion carried on a vote of 3 – 1, with Commissioner Shooter voting Nay.

  1. Discussion of Changing Zoning to further enhance revenues – Commissioner Love suggested that the Town could enhance tax revenues if we allowed modular homes and new or late-model manufactured housing (under certain conditions) into areas of Town beyond the R-12 Zoning districts.

Motion by Commissioner Hunt, 2nd by Commissioner Love, to table further discussion of this matter to the February 27th Working Session; the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

  1. Ordinance 13-113, Amending the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Budget – Mr. Proctor read the Ordinance by long title only.

Motion by Commissioner Hunt, 2nd by Commissioner Boyd, to adopt Ordinance 13-113, with corrections as previously discussed; the motion carried on a vote of 3 – 1, with Commissioner Shooter voting Nay.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

AdministrationMr. Proctor distributed to the Board a letter from B&B Roofing, presenting a price of $550 to repair a leak at the SeniorCenter that was not part of the work they would warranty. Mayor Hunt asked if the Senior Center roof was part of the CDBG that we are seeking; Mr. Proctor affirmed that is was, and the Board then agreed that we may wish to wait until it is determined if we will be awarded the grant before we spend money that may not be needed to be spent.

Mayor Hunt also suggested that perhaps either the Council of Governments, which oversees the Senior Nutrition Program at the Center, or the CountyCommission could help foot this bill. Mr. Proctor will make contact to ascertain if we could get help.

Legal – No reports

Police – No reports

Public Works/Streets/Sanitation – No reports.

Water/Sewer – No reports

COMMISSIONER REPORTS

Commissioner Love commented about the dilapidated houses on Chapel Street that she believes need to be demolished.

Commissioner Hunt informed the Board that a portable fence was needed at the ball park to shorten the playing filed for younger leagues; he stated that the full cost would be $1,200, but our portion would be about $300, as county recreation and others would be picking up 2/3 of the cost. The Board approved this expenditure by consensus. Commissioner Hunt also asked about the Town paying the light expense for night games. Finally, he mentioned that it may be in order to lease the concession stand for the season to make money.

ANNOUNCEMENTS/OTHER MATTERS OF INTEREST

There were no announcements or other matters of interest.

ADJOURNMENT

Motion by Commissioner Shooter, 2nd by Commissioner Hunt, to adjourn at 8:59p.m.

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