The Farmville Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, August 31, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building Courtroom with Mayor John O. Moore presiding. Present for the meeting were Commissioners Brenda Elks, Jamin Dixon, Alma Hobbs, David Shackleford, and Bert Smith; Town Attorney Christopher Edwards; Town Manager David Hodgkins and Town Clerk Amy B. Johnson.
Mayor Moore called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
Commissioner David Shackleford offered the invocation, which was followed by the pledge of allegiance to the flag led by Commissioner Elks.
Mayor Moore recognized Steven Hardy-Braz.
Mr. Hardy-Braz announced that there would be a free Bicycle Repair & Safety Clinic held outside at Bennett Park on September 19, 2020 from 10 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Town Manager’s Comments
Town Manager Hodgkins read a statement to address and clear up some misleading comments that were recently on social media such as increases in utility bills last month, utility rate increases, transfers to the Enterprise Funds and the financial condition of the Town.
Finance Director Amy Johnson provided the financial report for the month of August, 2020.
Changes/Additions/Deletions to Agenda
Mayor Moore asked if there were any additional changes to the agenda. There were no changes.
Commissioner Smith made a motion to adopt the agenda as presented. The motion carried unanimously.
1. USDA Funding Presentations by Kim Daniels
Kim Daniels, USDA Area Specialist, made a presentation to the Board on the $350,000 grant the Town was awarded by USDA. She explained it is a Communities Facilities Grant that is for the equipment to furnish the new Library Building. Daniels stated USDA would award the $350,000 as long as the Town agrees to fund the remaining budget of $119,519.
Commissioner Elks made a motion, to accept the grant funding of $350,000 from USDA and to fund the remaining Library equipment budget of $119,519. Commissioner Dixon seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
2. Ordinance to Amend Chapter 74: Traffic Schedules, of the Town of Farmville Code of Ordinances to Reduce the Speed Limit on Charter Oaks Drive, Susanna Court, Phillip Court, and Parker Court from 35 mph to 25 mph
Major Jeffrey Spencer stated the Police Department had received multiple complaints about vehicles speeding on the streets in Charter Oaks Subdivision and the residents advised they would support reducing the speed limit on all subdivision streets. Spencer recommended reducing the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph to provide a safer environment to pedestrians and bicyclists in the neighborhood. He requested adoption of a resolution to reduce the speed limit.
Mayor Moore opened the public hearing at 6:54 p.m.
Steven Hardy-Braz stated he was in support of reducing speeds and even mentioned wanting to reduce speeds further to 20 mph.
There being no further comments, Mayor Moore closed the public hearing at 6:59 p.m.
On motion by Commissioner Dixon, the Board adopted Ordinance (2020) 962, Ordinance Amending Chapter 74, Traffic Schedules. The motion carried unanimously.
3. Ordinance to Amend Chapter 90: Animals, of the Town of Farmville Code of Ordinances to Add a Section Regulating the Keeping of Chickens Within the Town Limits
Planning Director Justin Oakes stated the public hearing this evening was to receive citizen input on a proposed ordinance amendment to add a section regulating the keeping of chickens within the town limits. Oakes further stated the Planning Board had approved the recommendation to adopt this ordinance amendment.
Mayor Moore declared the public hearing open at 7:05 p.m.
Madison Ray, student at Farmville Central High School (FCHS) and President of the Future Farmers of America (FFA), spoke in support of the ordinance and offered ways the FFA could help citizens who wish to have chickens. She said the FFA could supply brochures of how to raise their chickens and can help them care for their chickens.
Kassidy Stancil, a student at FCHS and Vice President of FFA, spoke in support of the ordinance and explained how adoption of it could benefit FFA and the town.
Jonathan Riggs, Agricultural teacher at FCHS, thanked the Board for allowing his students the opportunity to speak this evening. He stated the FFA currently has 130 active members.
There being no further comments, Mayor Moore closed the public hearing at 7:12 p.m.
On motion by Commissioner Elks, the Board adopted Ordinance (2020) 963, An Ordinance to Amend the Code of Ordinances, Title IX, Chapter 90, Animals, to Add Chickens. The motion carried unanimously.
Items for Decision
4. Approval of Minutes
To approve the minutes from the following sessions:
- August 3, 2020 Regular Session
Commissioner Smith made a motion to approve the August 3, 2020 minutes. The motion carried unanimously.
5. Consideration of a Lease Agreement With Pitt County to Provide Additional Dates for Court in Farmville in 2021
Town Manager Hodgkins stated Pitt County has routinely held regular District Court sessions upstairs in the courtroom in the Farmville Town Hall several times each month, typically on Thursdays. Hodgkins added with the closure of court in Ayden and the addition of a new District Court Judge for Pitt County, the county is looking for additional opportunities to hold court in Farmville, beginning in January 2021. He presented a proposed lease agreement between the Town of Farmville and Pitt County for providing space in the Farmville Town Hall for added court dates in 2021, in which the County will pay the Town $40 per day for the use of the courtroom. Hodgkins stated this fee would cover any additional costs for the Town such as utilities, cleaning, etc.
Commissioner Hobbs made a motion to accept the lease agreement with Pitt County for the use of the Town of Farmville courtroom. The motion carried unanimously.
6. Consideration of the Selection of an Architect for the Proposed New Farmville Fire Department Headquarters
Town Manager Hodgkins stated the Interview Committee had reviewed proposals from architects interested in designing the fire station and interviewed them. He further stated the committee unanimously recommends that the Board of Commissioners secure the services of Davis Kane Architects of Raleigh to design the new fire headquarters facility. Hodgkins said if the Board approved the recommendation, he would contact Davis Kane to submit a formal contract proposal for consideration at the next Board meeting.
On motion by Commissioner Smith, the Board accepted the recommendation of Interview Committee to select Davis Kane Architects of Raleigh as the designer of the new fire headquarters facility. The motion carried unanimously.
Mayor Moore asked for citizen comments at this time.
Steven Hardy-Braz thanked the Board for empowering people.
On motion by Commissioner Smith, the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.