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March 2012

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The Village of Walnut Creek Council met in Regular Session, March 28th, 2012 at 7:30 PM, 103 Village Drive.


Mayor Darrell Horne

Mayor Pro-Tem Greg Ricker                                Councilman Tom Shaw

Councilman Stoney Sloan                                   Councilman Russ Prys

Administrator Lou Cook                             Clerk Sharon Geelen

Chief Ken Barrett

Absent: Attorney Phil Baddour

Residents in Attendance: Steve Lamb, Ray Brown, Ralph Smiley, Jerry & Carol Ray

Mayor Darrell Horne called the meeting to order.

Councilman Tom Shaw led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mayor Horne stated that Craig Bowen from the Planning Board would be briefing the council instead of Danny Jackson. He asked that the council approve the agenda with that change. Councilman Tom Shaw moved to approve the agenda with the change. The motion passed unanimously. Administrator Cook went over a budget amendment where the council would need to increase lines; 142-Elections by $1000, 270-Village Owned Property by $8000, and 315-Meetings and Training by $500. He also stated that they would need to decrease lines; 240-Road Maps by $2000, 230-Equipment Purchase by $7000 and 325-Uniforms by $500 to balance the General Fund Account. On the Utility side they need to increase line 730-Well Maintenance by $400 and decrease lines; 755-Chlorine by $100, 775 Employee training by $100 and 790-Telephone by $200. Mayor Pro-Tem Ricker moved to approve the Budget Amendment. The motion passed unanimously. Councilman Russ Prys moved to approve the February minutes and the February finance report. The motion passed unanimously.

Public Comments:

Ralph Smiley asked if the council would send something to the residents explaining the tax paid to Elroy Fire Department.

Planning Board:

Craig Bowen briefed the council on the Planning Board meeting that took place on March 7th, 2012.  Craig stated that Evelyn Rose resigned as the Planning Board Chairperson effective immediately.  She also is resigning from the Planning Board Effective June 30th, 2012.  Danny Jackson has been elected as the new chairperson and Mike Daly is the new vice-chairperson.

Regarding the request from the council to re-zone lots 1, 2, & 3, Area A, Section 6, from Residential to Open Area the Planning Board passed the motion to recommend the council re-zone those lots.

Mr. Bowen briefed the council on the following:

- Architectural Committee is almost complete

- Chairman Danny Jackson recommended that the Welcoming Committee and Park and Recreation Committee be moved outside of the Planning Board and that they be appointed by the council

- regarding the commercial property at the corner of Highway 70 and Lake Wackena Road that has requested to be de-annexed, the Planning Board voted to recommend the council deny that request

- Architectural Landscape- Larry Somerville submitted a draft ordinance related to new construction and modification of existing structures which has been reviewed by the Village Attorney, Phil Baddour. The Planning Board approved the proposed ordinance and asked that the council also approve it for implementation in the Village

- The Village Picnic will be held April 22nd, from 4:30-6:30 at the Town Hall

Mr. Bowen finished his briefing by stating that the Planning Board would resume its efforts regarding the Road Map unless otherwise directed by the council.

Mayor Horne stated that regarding the recommendation of an Architectural Committee they would need to schedule a public hearing for next month to get input from the residents.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ricker moved to rezone lots 1, 2 & 3, Area A, Section 6 from Residential to Open Area. These lots are located directly across the street from the Village Town Hall and are owned by Walnut Creek, they are considered to be part of the park lands. After some discussion the motion passed unanimously.

Councilman Stoney Sloan moved to attach Evelyn Rose’s resignation letter to the March Council Minutes, attached here to. After some discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Park Land Improvements: Alan Moore and Dwight Bryant from the NC Forestry Service gave a presentation regarding a controlled burn on some of the park land in the Village of Walnut Creek.  After the presentation it was determined that while a controlled burn would be beneficial to the land, it is too late in the year to carry it out at this time and will be revisited next winter.

Manager Report:

Administrator Cook reported that Wayne Electric has started pouring the concrete for the slab and installing the wiring for the emergency generator.  Mr. Cook also stated that as the Town Hall generator project gets closer to finishing he is going to see if they can give us a price on hooking up the emergency generator at the cemetery spot to the other lift station.

Mr. Cook announced Easter Sunrise Service will be on Easter Sunday around 6:30am. He stated Stephen Barnes would be delivering the message this year, the scripture reading will be by Neil Dupuy, and vocals by Tom Shaw. Also, the Bridge Ladies will be providing coffee and donuts. He also said the signs will be going up the Monday prior to Easter. Mayor Horne asked Mr. Cook to have the signs put up a little earlier than the Monday.

Mr. Cook said that Maintenance and the Village Office will be closed on Good Friday, April 6th, 2012.

Mr. Cook reminded the council that there is a budget meeting scheduled for the 18th of April. Mr. Cook also said he received the annual League of Municipalities forecast for revenues which will be used as an aid in the budget process.

Mr. Cook will be attending a water & sewer summit on April 11th, in New Bern, which is an all-day summit.

Mr. Cook reminded that the Village Picnic is April 22nd from 4:30-6:30 pm. The Village will be providing the main course and is asking the residents attending to bring a side dish or a dessert. RSVP’s will go through Sharon Geelen at the Village office.

Clerk Report:

Clerk Geelen stated that she handed out a couple sheets to the council.  The first is a list of residents that have not paid their property taxes.  The second was the revenue collected to date spreadsheet.

Chief Report:

Chief Barrett stated that at last month’s Crime Watch meeting, Judge Riley Wilkens was the guest speaker.  The next Crime Watch meeting will be April 10th at 7 PM at the Village Town Hall.

Chief Barrett said they are continuing to step up enforcement on speeders. They have also been monitoring the lake for boating violations, primarily those that do not have current stickers. Chief Barrett stated there is a concealed weapons class scheduled for the end of April. He also said that they will schedule a Boater Safety Class as soon as Wayne County gets a new Wildlife Officer.

Committee Reports

Tom Shaw-Planning Board, Police Commissioner, Web Master

No Report

Greg Ricker-Lake Committee, Fire Department, Cable, Trash & Recycling

Mayor Pro-Tem announced that Suddenlink has sent a letter stating that they are removing channel 31 effective May 14th, which is the guide channel.

Russ Prys-Water & Sewer Commissioner, Insurance

Councilman Prys stated that the water tank maintenance has been completed.  He said they were still working on getting Well #5 tested so that we may use it as a water source.  Councilman Prys said the two new lift stations are being added to the geographic infrastructure by Geographic Technologies.  Councilman Prys also stated that the contractor, A.C. Schultes has been paid their final payment for the lift station project which came in slightly under budget.

Stoney Sloan-Village Owned Property

Councilman Sloan reported that the road projects are running a little behind but that they should be ready to review bids by April 9th.  He also said that two of the three projects are in an area that is being considered for installing sewer, therefor the council may want to determine where and when they may be having sewer installed before they pay to have the roads re-paved.

Councilman Sloan stated the repair in front of 408 Walnut Creek Drive has been completed.

Councilman Sloan suggested that in order to enhance the look of the area where the new lift station has been installed on Walnut Creek Drive, the Village will be putting some mulch out there in an effort to blend the landscaping a little better.

Councilman Sloan said in regard with the front entrance natural area, he has received 3 bids on cleaning up the dead trees and limbs. The low bid came from the same company that removed the debris piles after the hurricane. They will remove all dead trees, standing dead trees and vines on both sides of the entrance for $3125.00. Councilman Sloan moved that the council accept the bid of $3125.00 and take the money from the Road Map budget line. After some discussion the motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:

Generator Maintenance Agreement:

Councilman Prys briefed the council on proposal for maintenance on the new generators that offered 4 options ranging from “visual inspection” to a premiere “gold package”.  The price difference from Bronze package to the Gold package is just about $500, with the Gold package costing $2700.  Councilman Prys stressed the importance of the annual maintenance and inspection of the generators as they are a high dollar item and recommended the council go with the Gold Package.  This annual contract would cover three generators; the two new ones for the new lift stations and the main pumping station generator.  Councilman Prys stated unless any of the other councilmembers had a problem with it he would put the maintenance of the generators in the budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.  There was no opposition.

Animal Control Ordinance-

Councilman Sloan briefed the  councilmembers on the amendment to the Animal Control Ordinance he has been working with Attorney Baddour to include other domestic animals besides just dogs.  He pointed out that several sections only address dogs and recommends that it be sent back to Attorney Baddour for re-writing to include all domestic animals.  Councilman Sloan stated that despite the fact Attorney Baddour said that a public hearing was not necessary for the amendment; Councilman Sloan would like to have a public hearing.  Mayor Horne instructed Councilman Sloan to give the amendment back to the attorney and get it back to the council members before the next meeting so they can have a public hearing at the same time as the public hearing for the Architectural Committee.

New Business:

Mayor Horne stated that he received a request from Mr. Jimmy Herring to have the dirt road between Lake Wackena Road and the Links motor graded and have the potholes filled because he feels that when the contractor removed the debris from the hurricane it damaged the road.  Mayor Horne also mentioned that there was some discussion to install signs at either end of the road stating it is for emergency vehicle use only, once the road was fixed.  Mayor Pro-Tem Ricker moved to pay up to $2000 to repair the dirt road and restore it to its original condition, erect the signs and notify the parties involved of the Villages actions and that once complete we will no longer be maintaining the road.  After some discussion the motion passed unanimously.

Mayor Horne stated there was an issue of a storage building in a residents yard that is in question of whether it complies with the Village of Walnut Creek zoning restrictions. Administrator Cook stated that he had handed out a packet to the council that included copies of the letters between himself and the resident, pictures of our well site which the resident references in his letter, and pictures of the structure in question. After some discussion the council determined that the structure does not meet the zoning ordinance for an outbuilding in the Village. Mayor Pro-Tem Ricker moved to deny the residents request to keep the structure. The motion passed unanimously.

Mayor Horne asked Councilman Sloan to talk about the subject of a community liaison. Councilman Sloan stated that he felt it would be in the Village’s best interest for the council members to contact the Presidents of the Home Owners Associations in the surrounding neighborhoods to open a line of communication with them to minimize misinformation that may be going around. In the past there have been misunderstandings and he feels if the surrounding neighborhoods have a councilmember that they can call, it will minimize any issues. Mayor Horne asked Administrator Cook to work on getting the contact information for the HOA Presidents in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Administrator Cook brought up the fact that the council still needed to take action on the issue of the corner lot at the Village Green wanting to be de-annexed from The Village of Walnut Creek. He stated that the Planning Board had recommended that the council deny the request to be de-annexed. After some discussion it was determined that there is no benefit to the Village to de-annex that property. Mayor Pro-Tem Ricker moved to deny the request to be de-annexed out of the Village. The motion passed unanimously.


Mayor Horne shared a letter from the Girl Scout Troops of Wayne County asking that the council name March 11th-17th “Girl Scout Week” in observance of 100 years of Girl Scouting.  Mayor Pro-Tem Ricker moved to name the week of March 11th-17th “Girl Scout Week”.  The motion passed unanimously.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ricker moved to go into closed session to discuss a personnel matter. The motion passed unanimously.

Closed Session:

There being no further business to bring before the Council, the meeting was adjourned.

__________________________                   _________________________

Clerk, Sharon Geelen                                   Mayor C. Darrell Horne



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