The Village of Walnut Creek Council met in Regular Session, January 27, 2010 at 7:30 PM, 103 Village Drive.
Councilmember Danny Jackson
Councilmember Tom Shaw
Councilmember Greg Ricker
Councilmember Russ Prys
Administrator Lou Cook
Clerk Cathy Woodson
Chief Ken Barrett
Police Officer Bryan Belden
Not Present: Mayor Darrell Horne was absent
Residents in Attendance: Mr. David Sloan and Mr. Woody Woodson.
Also present: Mr. Michael Jordan, CPA, Pittard, Perry & Crone, and Mr. Steve Mozingo, Chief of the ElRoy Fire Department.
Councilmember Russ Prys led the pledge of allegiance.
Councilmember Jackson called the regular council session to order and turned the regular session meeting over to Councilmember Shaw to preside over the election of the Mayor Pro-Tem.
Councilmember Greg Ricker moved that Councilmember Danny Jackson be re-elected to the position of Mayor Pro-Tem for the Village of Walnut Creek and seconded by Councilmember Russ Prys. The motion passed unanimously. Councilmember Jackson then took his oath of office by Ms. Woodson, Clerk, Village of Walnut Creek. A copy of this oath is attached to and made a part of these minutes.
Mayor Pro-Tem Jackson then asked for a motion to approve the January 27th consent agenda, the December 9th minutes and financial report. Councilmember Ricker asked to make some comments regarding the interest rates affiliated with the General and Utility Accounts. Councilmember Ricker stated that after extended dialog with Neil Benton, BB&T, in regards to the reconciliation of the interest rates for both of these accounts, it seems that this matter is finally settled. Councilmember Ricker drew everyone’s attention to the pages in the financial report showing a zero per cent interest rate even though we are currently receiving interest retroactive to August 1st. Clerk Woodson commented that the interest is now not determined by a percentage but rather by a comparison of our netted expenses to our deposit balances. Clerk Woodson also stated that some refunds on service charges are also expected. Clerk Woodson provided an amended break down of interest charges received dating back to July 1, 2009 to
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January 27, 2010
December 31, 2009 for both accounts. Councilmember Ricker thanked BB&T for their cooperation in resolving this issue. Councilmember Shaw moved to approve the budget amendment, finance report, and minutes. The motion passed unanimously.
Public Comments: None
ElRoy Fire Department Report:
Fire Chief Mozingo reported that their fire department received a lower rating this year from a seven to a six which is good news for the residents of Walnut Creek. Mr. Mozingo stated that this new rate, effective March 1st, will lower the residents’ costs on Homeowner’s Insurance by two to three hundred dollars. Mr. Mozingo also reported that the Village has a sufficient number of hydrants required. Mayor Pro-tem Jackson complimented Mr. Mozingo and the ElRoy Fire Department for their dedication and diligence to the residents of the Village of Walnut Creek.
Planning Board Committee Report:
Mr. Sloan, Chairperson of the Planning Board, gave a brief report on the Planning Board’s re-evaluation of the New Year ahead. The Planning Board base lined the “Road Map” to help bring the new Councilmember liaison Russ Prys up to speed. Mr. Sloan also announced the withdrawal of Mr. Woody Woodson on the Planning Board and is currently looking for a replacement. Mr. Sloan stated that the planning Board has lost their volunteer for the landscape design of the Playground area. The Planning Board is considering a recommendation for a Village Social at their next meeting.
Councilmember Prys commented that he has asked the Planning Board to put a cost line to their plans to have some determination on costs to present before the Council before the Budget has been decided.
Mr. Cook announced that the required Ethics Training has been scheduled by the League of Municipalities. There will be a class, free of charge, scheduled in Smithfield on the 20th of April. Councilmembers can register online. Mr. Cook questioned, to be in compliance, who actually is required to attend this training and has asked the Village’s Attorney Baddour to inquire.
Mr. Cook mentioned, as reported in the Village’s newsletter, that the Government Channel 2 now has new features with a better presentation. Mr. Cook requested any ideas for input.
Mr. Cook presented a renewal contract with Southern Corrosion to maintain the Village’s Water Tank which is due by the end of February. The cost associated with this contract has been significantly reduced. Mayor Pro-Tem Jackson asked Councilmember Ricker to review this contract and give the Council his recommendations at the next February Council meeting.
Mr. Cook announced that Mr. Pendergraph will give his DOT analyses presentation at the February Council meeting.
Mr. Cook also announced that Kriquette Davis, YMCA Director, would like to have their next YMCA Triathlon at Walnut Creek on Saturday, August 7th.
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January 27, 2010
Mr. Sloan asked if Mr. Cook could mention to Ms. Davis about using water soluble paint on the roadways of the Village.
Mr. Cook reviewed the highlights of the Lake Committee meeting. Mr. Cook stated that the 2010 Boat Stickers are now available and the Lake Committee has streamlined the application by not requiring a copy of trailer registrations. Mr. Cook also stated that Foster Lake and Pond Management has agreed to transfer the stunted Bass from Spring Lake to Lake Wackena. Mr. Cook said that Mr. Mitchell Morton, Foster Lake Management, will be in charge of the transfer. Several residents have requested a meeting with a Foster Lake Management representative to discuss algae control recommendations for some of the stagnant areas of the lake. The meeting will be held next Wednesday, February 3rd at 6:00 P.M. with Councilmember Prys, Doug Sutton, Pete Mitchell, Jeff Wharton, Ben Sauls, and Jim Clough, Lake Committee chairperson.
Mr. Cook stated that some of the Christmas Trees collected will be distributed throughout the deep areas of Lake Wackena to provide hurdles for fish.
Mr. Cook asked that residents requesting to lower the lakes need to give consideration to the timeline required for approval. The lake will not be lowered this year.
Mr. Cook stated that a North Carolina General Statute, effective May 1st, now requires that any licensed boat operator under the age of twenty six must obtain a certificate/permit showing completion of a boat safety course. The Village will be offering this course, free of charge and can call the Town Hall to enroll.
Mr. Cook announced that buoys will soon be set out in Lake Wackena to mark hazardous areas.
Ms. Woodson stated that the Tax Revenue from Property Taxes are only 71% collected at this time but many of those delinquent have called and stated that they re-financed this past year and have contacted their mortgage companies.
Ms. Woodson reported that the utility invoice charges have shown a reduced amount of water consumption throughout the Village.
Police Report – Chief Ken Barrett
Chief Barrett reported that the Village’s Police Department received twenty two calls last month but the Holidays were safe and quiet.
Chief Barrett made several announcements:
1) February 9th-(7:00P.M.) The next Crime Watch meeting will be with Sheriff Winders who will speak about GPS tracking systems for crimes in the County.
2) February 27th-(8:00P.M.) Female Defense Class, cost $50
3) March 6th-(8:00P.M.) Concealed Weapons Class, cost $50
4) March 20th-(8:00P.M.) Boat Operating Permit Class, cost, free of charge, and open to all ages.
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Financial Audit Report :
CPA Michael Jordan gave a brief review of Village’s Financial Audit Report. Mr. Jordan recapped the highlights of his two hour meeting with the Village’s Audit Committee where they reviewed the Financial Audit Report FY 2008-2009. Mr. Jordan summarized subjects addressed as cash available for investing, budgetary revenues and expenses, and fund balances. Councilmember Ricker followed up by thanking Mr. Jordan for attending their Audit Committee meeting and remarked that his inputs have led to some productive initiatives for planning future budget options.
Greg Ricker: Water & Sewer – Investment Committee
Mr. Ricker stated that the change in engineering firm used has been established with Cox-Edwards and a contract has been signed. Mr. Ricker has reviewed several key issues with them in regards to sewer problems at the Dogwood and Wackena Lift Stations which are a main priority concern. Mr. Ricker also stated that for the past month, he has been in contact with Senator Don Davis and Representative Butterfield every day to find sources of funding for these projects.
Mr. Ricker reviewed the first two Investment Committee meetings and mentioned the third meeting will be held before the February Council meeting. The Investment Committee is looking at investment interests available for Municipalities and will present their recommendations before the Council at the February Council meeting. Mr. Ricker also commended Bob Biggers and Murray Porter for their insight and bringing financial awareness to the other members of the Investment Committee and the Council appreciates their service to their community.
Russ Prys: Planning Board
Tom Shaw: Webmaster, Village Owned Properties & Equipment
Danny Jackson: Lake Committee, Police Commissioner, Cable
Mr. Jackson reported that Suddenlink has now added a Security System Service in addition to their bundled plan of TV Cable, Internet, and Phone Service. Suddenlink is also adding new HD channels to their line up.
Old Business: None
1) Councilmember Ricker, on behalf of the Investment Committee, stated that they will be looking at long-term capital needs. Mr. Ricker also stated that they will look at some of the Planning Board’s ideas as well.
2) Mayor Pro-Tem Jackson asked, at the bequest of Mayor Horne, to set up a special meeting for a Budget Workshop before the next February Council meeting.
3) Councilmember Prys asked to discuss two issues which were of concern; adjusting tax rates to lower our fire tax and eliminating some of the tax burden for Walnut Creek
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Country Club. Discussion ensued regarding contracting out for fire protection. Points were made that contracting out would only raise our rates and other fire departments would have to come from farther distances. In regards to reducing tax rates for the Walnut Creek Country Club and the Village, other discussions ensued. Attorney Baddour commented that adjusting tax values is illegal and is a constitutional issue. Attorney Baddour also stated that it would take an act of the General Assembly.
4) Administrator Cook asked to address setting a date for the Budget Workshop before the February 24th Board meeting. Two possible dates were given, Saturday, February 6th at 9:00A.M or Tuesday, February 23rd at 7:00P.M. for an alternative date. Mr. Cook stated that he would have to check the requirements on advertizing the February 6th meeting in the News Argus. Mr. Cook will co-ordinate which date is possible and will let the Council know.
Correspondence/ Announcements: None
There being no further business to bring before the Council, the meeting was adjourned.
Clerk, Catherine Woodson Mayor Pro-Tem Danny Jackson