Council Meeting Minutes
March 17, 2015
Mayor Robert Crabtree called the meeting to order at 10:00 am. Vice Mayor Guy Owen and Councilmembers John Garland, Bob Allmond and Roger Carlton were present. Town Administrator Peggy Carver, Town Clerk Mandy Millsaps and Town Public Works Technician Eric Hayes were also in attendance. Town resident Jack Gross was also present.
Mayor Crabtree called for a motion to approve the Council meeting minutes from February 17, 2015. Roger Carlton made a motion to approve the February 17 2015 minutes. Bob Allmond seconded the motion. All others approved. The motion carried. Town Administrator Peggy Carver added approval of the closed session minutes from February 17 2015. John Garland made a motion to approve the closed session minutes. Guy Owen seconded. All others approved. The motion carried.
Approval of agenda. Mayor Crabtree added a closed personnel meeting to the agenda. Town Administrator Peggy Carver added a discussion about the audit letter from the State of North Carolina. John Garland made a motion to approve the agenda with the items added. Bob Allmond seconded. All others approved. The motion carried.
Roger Carlton gave the financial report. Both the General Fund and the Water Fund were discussed in detail. The General Fund balance shows a decrease in projected end of the year balance of $8000. The Water Fund reserves are on target. Town Administrator Peggy Carver added that the Town is now breaking even within the recycling program because revenue from the State and sale of the recyclables were close to the cost of the program.
Town Public Works Technician Eric Hayes gave the Public Works report. He stated that Keith Broyles from the North Carolina Rural Water Association will be coming to the Town soon to do a leak study. This study will help determine any discrepancies in the amount of actual water billed vs. water distribution. Upon completion of the study, the information will be provided to the Town for review.
Old business item #1: Paving Plan: Approval of critical paving needs. Roger Carlton made a motion to approve moving forward with the first critical phase of the repaving cost of $52,744.73 and the best method to finance the project. John Garland seconded the motion. All others approved. The motion carried. Town Public Works Technician will contact Dean Staples with HMC paving in order to move forward with this project. The approved list for first year of critical need paving is attached to these minutes.
Old business item #2: Water Meter Replacement; update on requested changes and or questions to the McGill proposal. All points of concern were sent to Harry Buckner with McGill and Associates. Town Administrator Peggy Carver stated there has been no response from Mr. Buckner at this time. The proposal from McGill and Associates, along with the proposed changes and questions from the Council are attached to these minutes.
Old business item #3: Response to North Carolina Wildlife Commission regarding Willow grass: Town Clerk Mandy Millsaps made several attempts to contact North Carolina Wildlife in order to have a representative speak to the Council regarding the implementation of Willow grass in Lake Santeetlah. Attempts were unsuccessful. John Garland stated that because this project affects the entire County it would be a good idea to make the local paper aware of the Willow grass implementation plan. The Council also reaffirmed its opposition to the project and directed Town Administrator Peggy Carver to work with Mayor Crabtree to stop this project in any responsible manner possible.
Old business item #4: Town Attorney fee retainer vs. hourly: This item was deferred at Town Attorney Ellen Davis request.
Old business item #5: FCC broadband decision: The FCC has decided that local governments and or municipalities will be able to provide internet service to their residents and nearby areas outside the municipal limits. Roger Carlton stated that there is grant money that may be received by Graham County through the GREAT organization that could be used for the purpose of broadband and that the Town of Lake Santeetlah should be aware of this grant to ensure that the Town benefits from this grant. Mayor Crabtree stated that it would be a good idea to discuss this matter with Graham County Manager Greg Cable.
Old business item #6: County tax collection: A meeting is scheduled for March 18, 2015 at 9:00am with Mayor Crabtree, Finance Officer Roger Carlton, Town Administrator Peggy Carver, Town Clerk Mandy Millsaps, the Graham County Manager and the Graham County tax office staff. This meeting will be to discuss the process of tax collection and the delinquent taxes from the Town of Lake Santeetlah property owners. This meeting will also be to discuss Core Logic (company used by several mortgage companies to collect tax information) and their failure to report Town taxes to the banks with escrow
Old business item #7: Report on Santeetlah Lakeside: Roger Carlton requested authorization from the Council to send a letter stating the specific concerns of the Council regarding Santeetlah Lakeside PUD to José Rosado and Jose Minski. Roger Carlton stated he would also like to send this letter to the financial institution providing services for this specific project. Councilmember Guy Owen stated that he had reservations about sending a letter to the financial institution. Mayor Crabtree stated that Roger Carlton should hold off on sending a copy to the financial institution. Direction was given Councilmember Carlton to draft a letter and send it to the Mayor for review. The Mayor will then send the letter to the Town Administrator and the Town Attorney for review. At that point a letter will be sent to José Rosado and Jose Minski.
Old business item #8: Amendment to revised building application: Mayor Crabtree discussed paragraph two on page one relative to building applications required by Graham County and the need for Town applications if the County required an application. This item will be moved to the April 2015 Planning Meeting for further discussion.
New business item #1: 2015 election hand count vs electronic count: Roger Carlton made a motion that the votes for the upcoming November Town Council election be hand-counted instead of electronically counted. Town Administrator Peggy Carver stated that it would save the Town about $5000 by having the votes hand-counted. Vice Mayor Guy Owen seconded the motion. All others approved. The motion carried.
New business item #2: Danger Trees: responsibility once tree has fallen: Town Public Works Technician discussed the specific danger trees within the Town. The Council discussed options for tree removal. Direction was given to Town Public Works Technician to clean up tree debris from Town right-of-way, easement or Town property only. If the danger tree is near power lines then Duke Energy should be contacted first. It will be the responsibility of the property owner to have danger trees removed and cleaned off their property. Town Hall may provide information to property owners regarding tree services in the area.
New business item #3: Consultant advertising regarding sewer feasibility study: Roger Carlton made a motion that the Town advertise in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Asheville for consultant services regarding the feasibility study. Bob Allmond seconded the motion. All others approved. The motion carried. Roger Carlton will draft an advertisement.
New business item #4: Upper gate upgrade: Mayor Crabtree called for a motion to set a limit of $500 for the upgrade of the upper gate. Roger Carlton made a motion to approve upper gate upgrade cost not to exceed $500. John Garland seconded the motion. All others approved. The motion carried. Pete Macalouso will repair the upper gate.
New business item #5: Information regarding new Public Works truck. Jack Gross provided the Town with research he gathered on a truck for Town use. Options for purchasing another vehicle were discussed along with current condition of the Public Works truck and the number of miles on the truck. Guy Owen made a motion that we have Lowell Garland research this item further for both new and used trucks based on the needs of the Town. Bob Allmond seconded the motion. All others approved. The motion carried.
New business item #6: Policy for purchasing flowers for the passing of Town residents: Mayor Crabtree called for a motion to determine the action of the Town after the passing of a Town resident in regards to flowers and/or donations. Roger Carlton made a motion that the Mayor and Town Administrator make the decision to purchase flowers or make donations on a case-by-case situation as long as the budget allows. Bob Allmond seconded the motion. All others approved. The motion carried.
New business item #7: Draft for public comment / time limit. Direction was given to Councilmember Roger Carlton and Town Administrator Peggy Carver to draft a policy for public comment regarding time limit and number of times someone may speak during an open meeting. Once this draft is completed it will be brought back to the Council for review. This item did not require a vote.
New business item #8: Discussion of audit letter from the state of North Carolina: Finance Officer Roger Carlton expressed concern with three areas of this letter. The first being “submitting a budget vs. actual report every month”. Secondly the term “borrowing state funds” and lastly, the fund balance percentage analysis. Mayor Crabtree and Finance Officer Roger Carlton are to draft a letter of response to the audit letter. This letter will then be sent to Town Administrator Peggy Carver for review and then upon completion sent to the State Auditor.
Discussion item #1: 143 Nantahala Trail/Kriegler progress with obtaining a building permits: Town Clerk and Town Administrator stated they have not received any information from Mr. Kriegler at this point. Roger Carlton made a motion that the Town extend the time frame in which Mr. Kriegler needs to provide the parking platform plan to the Town for an additional 60 days. Guy Owen seconded the motion. All others approved. The motion carried.
Discussion item #2: Damage to roadway at Santeetlah Point: Pictures of significant damage to an area of the road on Santeetlah Point were shown to the Council. Mayor Crabtree stated that there are several homes under construction in and around this area and that it is hard to determine exactly who or which construction caused the damage. Direction was given to Town Public Works Technician to research placing some type of barrier or rock in this area in order to keep heavy equipment from damaging the road any further. Once construction is complete the damage will be reassessed. There was also discussion regarding sharing the cost of repair with the three construction projects. This will be reviewed at the next Planning Meeting.
Public Comment: Mayor Crabtree called for a motion to open Public Comment. Guy Owen made a motion to open public comment at 12:10pm. Bob Allmond seconded. Jack Gross spoke about the information supplied to the Council with research pertaining to rentals within the Town of Lake Santeetlah. Mr. Gross provided information with regards to possible income for the Town. Roger Carlton made a motion to contact Town Attorney Ellen Davis to further investigate whether requiring a privilege license from a rental would violate our zoning code by turning a residence into a business. There was no second to this motion. Motion did not carry. Roger Carlton made a motion to close public comment at 12:14pm. Bob Allmond seconded. Public comment closed.
There will be a GREAT Tourism Plan meeting at Town hall at 5:00pm tonight.
Planning meeting April 16, 2015 at 10:00 am
Council meeting April 21, 2015 at 10:00am
Mayor Crabtree called for a motion to move into closed session. Vice Mayor Guy Owen made a motion to move the meeting into closed session. All others approved. Meeting was then moved into closed session at 12:16pm per Gen. Statute 143 – 318
Meeting moved back into open session at 12:45pm.
The Town auditor Tony Delucca with DLC & Company LLC came to discuss the audit letter from the state of North Carolina. The above referenced questions were addressed. The auditor stated that this audit letter was expected and that he would help to address the concerns of the Council.
Meeting adjourned at 1:00pm
Robert P. Crabtree, Mayor Miranda Millsaps, Town Clerk