Council Meeting Minutes
JUNE 17, 2014
Approved by the Council on July 15, 2014
A regular meeting of the Council for the Town of Lake Santeetlah was held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at Town Hall. Mayor Bob Crabtree called the meeting to order. The following members of the Council were present: Bob Crabtree, Guy Owen, Roger Carlton and Bob Allmond. Councilmember John Garland was absent. Town Administrator Peggy Carver, Public Works Technician David Dickert and Town Clerk Debbie Wheeler were in attendance. Six town residents were in attendance. There were no other attendees.
The minutes of the special meeting held April 1, 2014 with the Southwestern Commission and the minutes of the special meeting held April 25, 2014 with Duke Energy were read. The minutes of the Council Meeting held May 20, 2014 were also read. Councilmember Roger Carlton said he had suggested some revisions to the May 20, 2014 minutes and requested that the reading of those minutes be deferred to the next Council Meeting on July 15, 2014, when we will also read the minutes for the May 24, 2014 Special Called Council Meeting (Public Hearing). Mayor Bob Crabtree talked about the April 1, 2014 minutes of the Special Meeting with the Southwestern Commission and explained to the audience that the minutes outlined what was discussed. Mayor Crabtree stated since that meeting the Town has had a meeting with a representative with Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Program and the application for a grant for a sewer study has been approved. Mayor Crabtree said that the Town has to decide what we want the sewer study to include. There is an option of a potential pipeline to Robbinsville and other solutions such as a pipeline to Tapoco, and possible options within Town. Town Administrator Peggy Carver stated that the Town did receive a letter from ARC to go to Stage 2 of the application process and that the Town is eligible for $45,920 to go forward with the sewer study. There was no other discussion of the minutes read. Councilmember Guy Owen made a motion to approve the April 1, 2014 Southwestern Commission Minutes. Councilmember Bob Allmond seconded. All members present voted in the affirmative.
Mayor Bob Crabtree talked about the meeting with Duke Energy on April 25, 2014. Mercury vapor lights will be outlawed in 2015 and will need to be replaced. Duke Energy will replace them. The replacement will result in a reduction of power used but the lights will cost more at $9.00 a year per light. LEDs have a 10 year guarantee. Approximately 13 lights will need to be replaced at this time. Councilmember Guy Owen made a motion to approve the April 25, 2014 Duke Energy meeting minutes. Councilmember Bob Allmond seconded. All members present voted in the affirmative. The motion carried.
Approval of Agenda: Councilmember Roger Carlton added under New Business, a discussion of a draft letter that the Southwestern Rural Planning Organization wants to send to the Federal Government and the State about how the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation set priorities for road projects. A motion was made by Councilmember Guy Owen to approve the agenda as amended. Councilmember Roger Carlton seconded. All members present voted in the affirmative. The motion carried.
Mayor Crabtree opened Old Business Item #1: Adoption of Budget Amendments for FY 2013-14: Town Administrator Peggy Carver explained the General Fund Budget Amendment, and pointed out that the Town will be putting $17,685 that the Town did not spend in Fiscal year 2013/14 back into the reserves. This final total is after all of the amendments to the expense accounts are made plus remaining expenses for the rest of the year. Councilmember Roger Carlton asked if the net use of reserves for Fiscal year 2013/14 is approximately $43,000? Town Administrator Peggy Carver answered yes. Councilmember Roger Carlton made a motion to approve the Budget Amendment for the General Fund. Councilmember Guy Owen seconded. All members present voted in the affirmative. The motion carried. A printed copy of this Amendment is attached to these minutes and hereby incorporated by reference.
Town Administrator Peggy Carver explained the Water Fund Budget Amendment and that the Town added back into the water fund $3,962 that will go back into reserves and also added in an additional $3,800 in revenue due to impact fees. Councilmember Roger Carlton made a motion to adopt Budget Amendment #2. Councilmember Bob Allmond seconded. All members present voted in the affirmative. The motion carried. A printed copy of this Amendment is attached to these minutes and hereby incorporated by reference.
Mayor Bob Crabtree opened Old Business Item #2: Adoption of Millage Rate for Fiscal Year 2014 – 15: The Graham County Property Appraiser reported to the Town that the real property valuations in Town will be about $10,000,000 more than what was stated in the proposed budget in May. This means that every mill generates about $1,000 more in tax revenue, which adds about $10,000 more revenue to the budget. The Town Council agreed to adopt the millage rate of 11.5 mills to build back reserves, make some town infrastructure improvements and leave employee medical benefits as they currently are.
Mayor Bob Crabtree opened Old Business Item #3: Adoption of Budget Ordinance for FY 2014-2015: Councilmember Roger Carlton discussed that the two main recommendations are to leave the millage at 11.5 mills in the General Fund and to adjust the annual water fee and the quarterly fee in the Water Fund. Councilmember Bob Allmond made a motion to adopt the Budget Ordinance as presented for FY 2014-2014. Councilmember Roger Carlton seconded. All members present voted in the affirmative. The motion carried. A printed copy of this Ordinance is attached to these minutes and hereby incorporated by reference.
Mayor Bob Crabtree opened Old Business Item #4: Acceptance of Contract with Graham County to Collect Taxes: The Town of Lake Santeetlah has negotiated a proposal for Graham County to collect Town taxes at 5% of the first $100,000 collected and 4% above $100,000 plus reasonable expenses. One advantage of Graham County collecting the Town’s taxes is that the Graham County tax office has the ability to attach liens on property and levy against the delinquent taxes. As of the date of this Council Meeting, the Town has signed the contract with Graham County for the collection of taxes. However, the Town has not yet received the signed copy of the contract from Graham County. Councilmember Roger Carlton made a motion to accept the contract with Graham County to collect taxes. Councilmember Bob Allmond seconded. All members present voted in the affirmative. The motion carried. A printed copy of the Contract is attached to these minutes and hereby incorporated by reference.
Mayor Bob Crabtree opened New Business Item #1: Adoption of Parking Ordinance – Re-opened from the May 24, 2014 Public Meeting: Councilmember Roger Carlton made a motion to re-open the adoption of the Parking Ordinance from the May 24, 2014 Public Meeting. Councilmember Bob Allmond seconded. All members present voted in the affirmative. The motion carried. Mayor Crabtree said that the Town has debated the parking issue for years. The Town is trying to establish a point where people will park off the road. The Town does recognize that some property owners do not have an adequate parking space to park off the road. There will be a “hardship variance” form for the property owners who feel they will not be able to comply with the ordinance. Resident Jack Gross brought up a question about the parking ordinance, asking about the 48 hour rule. The 48 hour rule is defined as “the amount of time a vehicle can be illegally parked before being issued a notice. If the vehicle is not removed within 48 hours of the notification, the vehicle will be towed.” Mr. Gross stated that the Residents could notify Town Hall about company coming and where they would park, however most of the time the ordinance will not have an effect on that because of the 48 hour rule. Mayor Crabtree stated that parking on the road is a different situation. The 48 hour limit is for “other vehicles” such as delivery trucks, trucks larger than pick-up trucks, boat trailers, campers, and motorhomes. Councilmember Roger Carlton suggested to add “that other vehicles may be parked within the town right of way for no longer than 48 hours in any calendar month but not within the two feet limit”. Councilmember Roger Carlton commented that the Town does have a procedure to accommodate construction vehicles, including putting out signs. There were several suggestions as to how to modify the 70.03 of the Parking Ordinance. Councilmember Roger Carlton stated that 70.03a is to be modified to remove the word “personal” and replace it with “no” and midway through the first line to delete the word “no”. It will read “No vehicles may be parked less than two feet from the edge of the pavement at any time”. 70.03b is modified to say “other vehicles may be parked within the town right-of-way for no longer than 48 hours per calendar month, but not within the two feet referred to in 70.03a”. Councilmember Bob Allmond asked the Mayor Crabtree “how can we get rid of the outhouse on Cherokee Trail, near the Gunkles’ home?” Councilmember Guy Owen said that currently it is being used and it should be left there until the problems with the house near it are resolved. Councilmember Roger Carlton commented that there is a complaint form for a request like this, but since the question has been asked the Town should investigate it and try to get rid of it. Councilmember Guy Owen made a motion to adopt the Parking Ordinance as amended. Councilmember Roger Carlton seconded. All members present voted in the affirmative. The motion carried. A printed copy of the Ordinance as amended is attached to these minutes and hereby incorporated by reference.
Mayor Bob Crabtree opened New Business Item #2: Resolution to Transfer $60,000: Councilmember Bob Allmond made a motion to approve the Resolution to transfer $60,000 from Capital Management Trust (CMT) to Macon Bank due to the low interest rate of CMT’s fund. The transferred funds will be invested in a Certificate of Deposit at a rate of 0.4% for six months as opposed to CMT’s rate of 0.01%. Councilmember Roger Carlton seconded the motion. All members present voted in the affirmative. The motion carried.
Mayor Bob Crabtree opened New Business Item #3: Southwestern Commission-Rural Planning Organization: The RPO makes recommendations about transportation funding. The RPO represents seven counties in this area. The draft letter was regarding the SHC map. The letter states that the Strategic Highway Corridors (SHC) include US 64, US 74, US 441, NC 60 and NC 107. Of those routes, only US 74 and US 441 would be transferred to the SHC. It is the position of the RPO that all SHC routes in our region should be transferred to the SHC. The draft letter has been circulated
to members of the RPO who have been responding that they are in agreement with the letter. The Town has contacted Graham County Manager Greg Cable to get his opinion of the letter, and whether it is strong enough on the subject of Corridor K. Graham County supports the draft as is. The members of the Town Council all agreed the Town will follow the lead of Graham County on this issue.
Mayor Bob Crabtree opened the Discussion Period For Council:
· Water System Repairs- Town Technician David Dickert said modifications had to be done in the procedure for backwashing the filter. A valve had failed 6 or 7 years ago. The Town’s Water Operator, Lamar Williams encountered a problem with the manual procedure resulting in a break in the well line at the well field. The estimate to repair the valve is $2,277 per David Dickert. The price also includes a core sample and analysis which is approximately $140. The valve/regulator will be rebuilt on the spot, and should be rebuilt every five years per manufacturer’s recommendations. Town Administrator Peggy Carver suggested that Lamar Williams should meet with the Council during the July Planning Meeting and the Town will establish a maintenance procedure that needs to be followed. Councilmember Roger Carlton said that he feels that this is the peak of the season and if there is a repair that needs to be done, it should be repaired now. This item was continued to the July Planning Meeting. Mayor Crabtree stated that the Town will authorize the repairs to be done after the 1st of July and ask Lamar Williams to come in to the Town Hall and discuss the procedures.
· Widening of the road @ 833 Sequoyah Trail – Ervin & Jane Kelman: Mayor Bob
Crabtree stated that the Town has a proposal from the Kelmans to give the Town the
property needed to widen the road at Sequoyah Trail. Town Clerk Debbie Wheeler
confirmed that the Kelman’s have agreed to give the property to the Town. Councilmember Guy Owen said that the Town will need a Quit Claim Deed from the Kelmans to the Town. Town Administrator Peggy Carver said she will contact the Town’s attorney Ellen Davis and ask her to prepare the Quit Claim Deed once a survey is done.
Mayor Bob Crabtree opened the meeting for Public Comment: Town Resident Jack Gross asked if the Town has a plan to remove any of the big trees right up against the road to allow emergency vehicles to get through. Mayor Bob Crabtree answered that the Town is looking at removing the trees near the road and will prepare a plan to remove any trees in the Town’s right-of-way that are deemed necessary.
Town Resident Jack Gross also asked if the Town Attorney has given an opinion on whether those who own to the middle of the road, and have a right of way if the Town has the authority to take the trees down. Mayor Crabtree answered that the Town has not heard back from Ms. Davis as of yet.
Mayor Crabtree asked for a motion to go into Closed Session per NCGS 143-318.11 to discuss Personnel issues.
There being no further business on the agenda the meeting adjourned at 11:35 pm.
Robert P. Crabtree, Mayor Debbie Wheeler, Town Clerk