Town of Farmville
Board of Commissioners
August 7, 2017
The Farmville Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building Courtroom with Mayor Robert L. Evans presiding. Present for the meeting were Commissioners Brenda Elks, Jamin Dixon, John Moore, David Shackleford and Hunter Walters; Town Attorney Christopher Edwards; Town Manager David Hodgkins and Town Clerk Amy B. Johnson.
Mayor Evans called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
Pastor Oscar Coggin of Providence Baptist Church in Farmville offered the invocation, which was followed by the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
Mayor Evans stated there were no citizen presentations at this time.
Town Manager Comments
Town Manager Hodgkins made the following comments:
- There has been an 82% reduction in hazardous situations in the workplace since last year, which is due to the Town placing a greater emphasis on safety with employees.
- The street paving/utility work to be completed in front of school should start very soon. It was delayed due to a few minor setbacks.
- Electricities is in the process of updating our Strategic Economic Development Plan, which they are fully funding. They have hired a consultant and participation will be welcomed during public meetings as well as one elected official needing to serve on the steering committee. He asked the Board members to indicate which one would like to serve on the committee.
Finance Director Amy Johnson provided the financial report for the month of June, 2017.
Town Manager Hodgkins stated he had no changes to the evening’s agenda.
Items for Consent
- Approval of Minutes
To approve the minutes from the following meetings:
- June 26, 2017 regular session
- Adoption of Ordinance Amending the FY 2017/2018 Budget Ordinance- Parks and Recreation Capital Outlay
To adopt an ordinance amending the FY 2017/2018 budget to transfer monies back into the Recreation – Capital Outlay Equipment expenditure account due to planned expenditures in the FY 16/17 budget not taking place until the FY 17/18 budget.
- Adoption of Ordinance Amending the FY 2017/2018 Budget Ordinance – Police Radios
To adopt an ordinance amending the FY 2017/2018 budget to transfer funds into the Police Capital Outlay Equipment account to cover the cost for the purchase of 7 car radios which will be funded by a communications grant.
- Adoption of Ordinance Amending the FY 2017/2018 Budget Ordinance- Public Works – Maintenance & Repair Buildings
To adopt an ordinance amending the FY 2017/2018 budget to transfer monies back into the Public Works Maintenance/Repair Buildings account to replace funds spent on unbudgeted expenditures made to the building.
On motion by Commissioner Walters,HHSSSS the Board approved/adopted the following:
- Approved the minutes from the June 26th regular session
- Adopted Ordinance (2017) 891, An Ordinance Amending the FY 2017-2018 Budget Ordinance – Parks and Recreation Capital Outlay
- Adopted Ordinance (2017) 892, An Ordinance Amending the FY 2017-2018 Budget Ordinance – Police Radios
- Adopted Ordinance (2017) 893, An Ordinance Amending the FY 2017-2018 Budget Ordinance- Public Works – Maintenance & Repairs Buildings
The motion carried unanimously.
Items for Decision
- Request by Kris Lanier to Hold a Family Fun Day Event at Bennett Park on September 16 for Hydrocephalus Awareness
Kris Lanier requested permission to use Bennett Park on September 16, 2017 for a community fun day to raise awareness on Hydrocephalus (water on brain). She stated there would be hotdogs and jump houses at the event.
On motion by Commissioner Elks, the Board approved the use of Bennett Park on September 16, 2017 to Kris Lanier. The motion carried unanimously.
- Request for a Donation for a Back to School Party on August 23 for Farmville School Faculty Members
Brad Johnston, Allison Setser and Diane Hudson, representatives from each Farmville School, made a request to the Board for a donation for their Back to School Party to be held on August 23, 2017.
Commissioner Dixon made a motion to approve a $500 donation for the back to school event. The motion carried unanimously.
- Request from Commons Town Homes Homeowners Association for Help with Drainage Problems at Commons Town Homes
Town Manager Hodgkins asked the Board to consider the request from the Commons Townhomes Homeowners Association to assist in addressing the drainage problems behind some of the units. He stated that he had met with them and McDavid Associates to make this recommendation. He requested that the Town install a small diameter drain pipe along the common area that helps to collect/convey storm water runoff and discharge to Horne Avenue.
Commissioner Moore made a motion to approve the installation of the drainage pipe based on the Town Manager’s comments and to approve the $2,500 estimated cost. The motion carried unanimously.
- Offer to Purchase Sludge Dryer and Components at Farmville WWTP
Town Manager Hodgkins stated that Cooper Industries has submitted an offer to purchase the unit and components utilizing three different scenarios based on how much money the Town wants and when it wants it. Hodgkins explained the options that yield more cash for the Town are dependent on a future sale to a third party that may or may not materialize in the near future.
After explaining the options, Hodgkins turned it over to David Cooper, owner of Cooper Industries, to answer questions by the Board.
Commissioner Dixon made a motion to accept the offer of $205,000, pending no offer is made to upset it during the next 10 days. The motion carried unanimously.
- Schedule 2018 Independence Day Celebration for Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Town Manager Hodgkins requested for the July 4th celebrations to be held on July 3rd each year going forward.
On motion by Commissioner Elks, the Board approved the July 4th celebrations to be held on July 3rd each year. The motion carried unanimously.
- Reschedule September Board Meeting Due to Labor Day Holiday
Town Manager Hodgkins requested that the September Board meeting be rescheduled due to it falling on the Labor Day Holiday.
Commissioner Moore made a motion to move the September meeting to Monday, August 28th. The motion carried 4 to 1, with Commissioners Moore, Elks, Dixon and Shackleford voting in the affirmative and Commissioner Walters voting in the negative.
- Consideration of Construction Contract Award- 2013 CDBG Project / Watkins Mobile Home Park
Mayor Evans stated that the last time the Board met some members had some questions for the funding agency regarding the grant contract.
Town Manager Hodgkins provided the answers from the funding agency in response to the submitted questions.
Mike Barnette, from McDavid Associates, stated the project contractor has agreed to hold their prices until August 15, 2017. He asked the Board to approve the presented resolution in order to proceed with the project.
Sellers Crisp, one of the owners of Watkins MHP, presented a four-year no change in use restriction, and a five-year no change in use restriction, with the clause if occupancy falls below 75%, the restriction becomes void. He added that the other stipulations, such as the buffer, keeping the park clean and having the $20,000 assurance for the Town to spend if they do not keep it well maintained, still apply to the options presented. Crisp stated they have no plans to change the use of the park and they want it to succeed.
Commissioner Dixon and Commissioner Moore both stated they wanted the owners of Watkins MHP to commit to a ten-year no change in use restriction, as a commitment to the residents of the park.
Commissioner Dixon requested that the contract with the State funding agency be amended to reflect the email responses to Board questions provided by the State funding agency to Town Manager Hodgkins.
Mike Barnette stated they may or may not amend the contract, but the State’s answers in the email should be sufficient and don’t warrant a formal contract amendment.
Commissioner Dixon stated he would rather have an amended contract but would settle for a written response from the Supervisor at the funding agency.
Mayor Evans called a brief recess at 8:15 p.m. The meeting reconvened at 8:25 p.m.
Commissioner Walters stated that he believed that the sewer reserve has about $400,000 – $500,000 at this time. He said the Board is already looking at having to pay the Sludge Dryer debt off which is about $500,000 and if the Board does not proceed with this project, the Town will have to pay back the money already incurred which is about $375,000 to date. Walters stated that the Town’s Sewer Fund cannot support these expenditures.
Commissioner Moore stated the current Board is dealing with an issue created by another Board. Moore stated he wanted Mr. Crisp to agree to a ten-year no change in use restriction in order to protect the taxpayers, and the residents that live there.
Mayor Evans stated that the Board needs to proceed with the project and the restated the consequences the Town will face if they do not proceed. He stated the Town would have to pay back the incurred costs to date to the State funding agency. Mayor Evans also stated that the relationship with the State funding agency could be damaged. He further stated it is a good business decision to proceed with the project.
Town Manager Hodgkins stated he had tried his best to gather all information requested by elected officials, answer all emails, texts and even deliver information if needed while providing advice and recommendations as warranted. He expressed that a decision needs to be made now.
Town Attorney Christopher Edwards read a statement he prepared to the Board, which gave his professional opinion of the potential serious legal consequences the Board faces if they choose not to proceed. Edwards stated the Town would have a $375,000 liability to the State of NC Division of Water Infrastructure. He also stated the Town would have the potential to face litigation from the Crisp family if the Town does not honor past agreements. Edwards stated the decision could also affect future grant funding. Edwards expressed that in his opinion the Town is far more likely to incur liability and be on the receiving end of legal consequences if they deny the project than if they more forward.
Commissioner Moore asked Mr. Crisp again to commit to the ten-year no change restriction.
Commissioner Elks expressed her concern with the upkeep of maintaining the new sewer infrastructure.
Van Lewis, from McDavid Associates, stated it would be minimal upkeep.
Commissioner Dixon stated he would vote for the project if he gets the changes in writing from the State.
Mayor Evans reminded the Board they were on a deadline and if the Board does nothing, they could lose the project.
Commissioner Shackleford expressed that the Board needs to come to a decision.
On motion by Commissioner Walters, the Board adjourned into closed session at 9:48 p.m., pursuant to G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5), to instruct the public body’s staff concerning the position to be taken by, or on behalf of the public body in negotiating the material terms of a contract, or proposed contract for the acquisition of real property by purchase, option, exchange, or lease. The motion carried unanimously.
On motion by Commissioner Walters, the Board returned into regular session at 10:24 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.
- Consideration of Construction Contract Award- 2013 CDBG Project/ Watkins Mobile
Home Park – continued
After a lengthy discussion only two issues remained.
Commissioner Dixon requested that the answers to his questions from the State, be amended in the grant contract or placed in writing in a letter from the Division of Water Infrastructure Supervisor.
Commissioner Moore stated if Mr. Crisp would revise the agreement to offer a ten year no change in use restriction for the Watkins Mobile Home Park, and Commissioner Dixon’s questions are answered, then the Town Board could “shake hands” with Mr. Crisp, and say the Town Board did their job to make sure everyone was protected; the Town, the citizens, the residents and Country Farms, the owners of the Watkins MHP.
After a lengthy discussion and due to more information requested, the Board decided to recess the meeting.
On motion by Commissioner Walters, the Board recessed the meeting until Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. The motion carried unanimously.