Regular Meeting, February 12, 2013

 

CALL TO ORDER

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

WELCOME/INVOCATION/PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

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

AMEND AGENDA

Mr. Proctor requested that Item III-A, Juliet Lucas, be removed from the Agenda, and that Dr. David Brooks be added as Item III-A; and that Item V-C, Resolution 13-02, be added. Mayor Hunt asked that Items III-B & III-C, Dr. Brooks and Parth Patel, be moved to New Business.

Motion by Commissioner Shooter, 2nd by Commissioner Boyd, to remove Juliet Lucas from the agenda, to add Dr. David Brooks and Resolution 13-02 to New Business, and to move Parth Patel to New Business; the motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion by Commissioner Love, 2nd by Commissioner Hunt, to approve the minutes of the February 27, 2013, Working Session as presented; the motion carried unanimously.

OPEN COMMENT PERIOD

  1. Mr. Eddie Franklin of W. Jackson St. came before the Board to complain that the dog problem in his neighborhood had gotten bad again. Asked whether he had contacted Town Hall or Public Works to have the traps set, he responded that he had not and would do that.
  2. Mr. & Mrs. Walter Hodge of W. Mill St. came before the Board to express their disapproval of the proposed solar farm being planned for the dormant farmland outside of town but adjacent to his property. He believed that this use would depreciate the value of his property, and that if the solar farm went in, he would be selling and moving.

He also stated that the letter from the county to all adjacent property owners informing them of a hearing on the project on February 18th had been misaddressed and he had just received it; he also said that a neighbor had had the notice sent to the wrong person. He averred that “a county employee” had told him that “this is a done deal.” Mr. Hodge then requested that the Rowland Board “stand against this solar farm.”

Mr. Proctor informed the Board that he had had only one phone call in mid-January from Carolina Solar Corp. and that was to ask about the town’s zoning; additional information requested by Mr. Proctor for the Board’s edification at tonight’s meeting was never forthcoming.

Commissioner Shooter informed the Board and the assemblage that Rowland is the only full-service town in the county without extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ), and that it had been defeated about 15 years ago because some people erroneously believed an ETJ would be the initial step to forced annexation. He further opined that perhaps now is the time to again address the need for an ETJ.

Motion by Commissioner Shooter, 2nd by Commissioner Hunt, to write a letter of objection to the County  Commission for the Mayor’s signature, with a copy to the County Planning Board; the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Proctor said he would draft a letter to the CountyCommission for the Mayor’s signature that spoke of the Board’s displeasure at the lack of courtesy in not keeping the Rowland Board apprised of this project, and further, opposing the project itself.

  1. Ms. Mary Thornton came before the Board and informed them that she was at the railroad crossing at Church and Railroad Streets when she backed up into the steep and deep ditch that was unmarked. She said she was not injured and the car was not damaged, but there should be a light or barricade placed there so no one will drive into the ditch. Mr. Watson said he would take care of the problem.
  2. Ms. Carolyn Baker of S. Canal St. appeared before the Board to again complain about the drainage ditch behind her house: It is eroding her property and she would like to have it piped and enclosed. She stated that originally it was not very wide, but is now over 15 feet across. Both Mayor Hunt and Jesse Watson informed her and the Board that the NC Department of Environmental  and Natural Resources (NCDENR) had declared the area a “wetlands” and that we couldn’t touch it.
  3. Ms. Evone Smith opined that water bills were too high, and asked when the new rates were to go into effect. Mr. Proctor informed her that the new rates will be effective with the bills that go out on March 1st. Commissioner Love explained that in order to abide by state mandates, we have no choice but to raise rates Mayor Hunt said that it had been “at least” five years since Rowland has had any utility rate increases.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

  1. Ordinance 13-114, setting new utility rates – Mr. Proctor read the Ordinance by long title only.

Motionby Commissioner Hunt, 2nd by Commissioner Boyd, to adopt Ordinance 13-114, setting new utility rates; the motion carried unanimously.

  1. Approval of addendum to the town’s letter of response to the Local Government Commission – Mr. Proctor summarized the addendum for the edification of the Board and the assemblage; the budget changes adopted by Ordinance 13-113 following mid-year budget review, and illustrating the town’s determination to increase revenues and the respective Fund Balances, were emphasized in this document.

Motion by Commissioner Love, 2nd by Commissioner Hunt, to approve the addendum to the town’s reply to the LGC letter regarding the 2012 Financial Audit; the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

  1. Dr. David Brooks, DVM, representing the Robeson County Veterinary Medical Association – Dr. Brooks spoke to the Board and the assembly regarding the need to decrease the incidence of unwanted puppies and kittens in RobesonCounty. He informed the Board that the county’s six veterinarians have formed the Robeson County Veterinary Medical Association, with an aim to reduce the incidence of these unwanted animals. He stated that in furtherance of this goal, RCVMA members would be offering from 20% to 40% off all spay and neuter services, with a maximum cost per procedure of $100. He hoped that Rowland’s residents would take advantage of this service.
  2. Parth Patel, dba Border Shell – Mr. Patel came before the Board to request permission to open a cyber café; this will not be another internet gaming establishment, but a place for those who have no means to otherwise access the internet to get online, access email, play interactive gaming with other gamers, etc; there will be absolutely no “payouts.”

Mr. Proctor explained that this type of business lies somewhere between our game-room ordinance and our internet gaming establishments ordinance, the latter games of which are now illegal in North Carolina. Mr. Patel explained that Fayetteville has several of these in operation there.

Motion by Commissioner Love, 2nd by Commissioner Hunt, to table this item to the February 27th meeting to allow the Town Clerk and the Police Chief to look further into the matter; the motion carried unanimously.

  1. NCLM Joint Action Program – Mr. Proctor explained that the North Carolina League of Municipalities is forming an action committee to oppose certain proposed Duke Power and Progress Energy rate increases; after some discussion by the Board,

Motion by Commissioner Love, 2nd by Commissioner Hunt, to forego participation in the NCLM Joint Action Committee; the motion carried unanimously.

  1. Committee of 100 Membership Application – There was a very brief discussion of the merits of this organization.

Motion by Commissioner Shooter, 2nd by Commissioner Boyd, to join the Committee of 100, with annual dues of $150.00; the motion carried unanimously.

  1. Resolution 13-02, approving the Town’s Water Shortage Response Plan – Mr. Proctor explained that although we adopted our WSRP by voice vote some time ago, the State has decided that it needs to be by Resolution; therefore, this boilerplate resolution is presented.

Motionby Commissioner Love, 2nd by Commissioner Boyd, to adopt Resolution 13-02, formally adopting the town’s WSRP; the motion carried unanimously.

BUDGET DISCUSSION

Mr. Proctor informed the Board that the January finance report seems to be over budget because there is an additional payday in there – the payday was actually Friday, February1st, but since we are changing banks and are closing out BB&T effective with January 31st’s transactions, we didn’t want to have any February transactions from that institution, for which we would be charged.

He also stated that beginning next month, he was going to include a memorandum each month explaining these types of actions to keep the Board better apprised as to the financial status of the town.

DEPARTMENT REPORTS

Administration – Mr. Proctor stated that he had three quick items:  (1) He distributed a flyer from South Robeson High School requesting an advertisement for its yearbook; it was agreed that the town gives $100 each year to the high school, and this money can be used for a congratulatory advertisement; (2) he also distributed a memo from Ernest Britt of Britt & Britt Roofing detailing the problems with the Senior Center roof, as well as a previous estimate from Britt & Britt Roofing for temporary repairs at a cost of $550.00. This was for the Board’s information and no action was required to be taken; (3) The Lumber River Council of Governments contacted Mr. Proctor today regarding appointing a member to the CoG’s Transportation Committee; Commissioner Love volunteered to serve on this committee 

Motion by Commissioner Shooter, 2nd by Commissioner Boyd, to appoint Commissioner Love to the LRCOG Transportation Committee; the motion carried unanimously.

Legal – No report

Police – No report

Public Works – No report

Water & Sewer – Mr. Watson advised the Board that Water & Sewer Operator Jerry Jones was going to have additional eye surgery and will be out for a while longer.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OTHER MATTERS OF INTEREST

There were no announcements or other matters of interest.

ADJOURNMENT

Motion by Commissioner Hunt, 2nd by Commissioner Boyd, to adjourn at 8:12p.m.

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