Town of Farmville
Board of Commissioners
March 6, 2017
The Farmville Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, March 6, 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, David Shackleford, Hunter Walters, Jamin Dixon and John Moore; 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 Cedric Frisby of the Saint John Free Will Baptist Church in Farmville offered the invocation, which was followed by the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
Mayor Evans recognized Bobby Mills, a Farmville Business owner and citizen.
Mr. Mills asked the Board for consideration of granting him extra time to make repairs to his property to bring them up to code within the previously determined timeframe. He indicated that the delay was due to his inability to secure a second opinion inspection from Pitt County Inspections and a delay in getting a permit from the Town which he stated cost him 21 days.
Melba Spruill, who resides at 4068 South Main Street, inquired as to when the property located at 4074 South Main Street will be demolished.
Town Manager Comments
Town Manager Hodgkins made the following comments:
- Town closed on the sale of the former hardware store property on February 24th
- Fireworks have been moved to July 3rd due to a scheduling conflict with Zambelli, but they promised a better show for the same money
- Citizen of the Year banquet will be held on April 25th and the Town sponsored the event at the $100 level
- Board Retreat was a success and staff is already implementing discussion items
- Watkins Mobile Home Park owners (the Crisp family) are present this evening and have requested to make a presentation if the Board will allow
Town Manager Hodgkins stated he had no changes to the evening’s agenda at this time.
Mayor Evans asked for a motion to approve the evening’s agenda.
Commissioner Dixon made a motion to approve the agenda as presented and to allow the Crisp family a chance to present on agenda item #4. The motion carried unanimously.
Finance Director Amy Johnson presented the financial report for the month ending January 31, 2017.
Items for Consent
- Approval of Minutes
To approve the minutes from the following meeting:
- February 6, 2017 regular session
On motion by Commissioner Walters,HHSSSS the Board approved/adopted the following:
- Approve the minutes from the February 6th regular session
The motion carried unanimously.
Items for Decision
- Permit Use of Gazebo by Dr. Linda Adele Goodine of ECU for the “Let’s Dance”
Events on March 30, 2017 and April 6, 2017
Town Manager Hodgkins stated Dr. Linda Adele Goodine, of the ECU Fine Arts Department, had requested the use of the gazebo on the Town Commons on March 30th and April 6th from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. for use for two “Let’s Dance” events. Hodgkins added the event would be free and open to the public and it involves instruction on salsa dancing. He said if approved, the gazebo would only be used by the instructor.
Commissioner Elks made a motion to allow use of the gazebo for the two dates requested. The motion carried unanimously.
- Permit Use of Gazebo by Farmville United Methodist Church on June 4, 2017
Town Manager Hodgkins stated that the Farmville United Methodist Church had requested the use of the gazebo on the Town Commons on Sunday, June 4th for an 11:00 a.m. community outreach service. He added the event would be open to the public.
Commissioner Walters made a motion to approve the request from the Methodist Church to use the gazebo. The motion carried unanimously.
- Construction Contract Award- 2013 CDBG Project/ Watkins MHP
Mike Barnette, from McDavid Associates, stated program expenses to date are approximately $300,000 and the CDBG-I milestone date for executing contracts for construction is April 1, 2017. He stated the contractor has agreed to honor bid prices through March 2017. Barnette recommended awarding the construction contract to proceed.
Mr. Sellers Crisp, representing Watkins MHP ownership, addressed the Board in an effort to explain why they have not met all the conditions in the agreement signed with the Town back in 2014 and took full responsibility for their lack of total compliance. He also provided the Board with details of what has already been done at the park and the list of what is going to be done in the short-term future.
Commissioner Elks expressed her disappointment due to their lack of compliance and failing to meet the agreed conditions within the indicated timeframe. She named several areas of concern: potholes, defined driveways, skirting, stair violations and debris cleanup.
Mayor Evans asked about the consequences of not proceeding with the project.
Mike Barnette stated if the Town pulls the plug on the project, the Town would be required to repay the State for the $320,000 already incurred. He suggested that both parties to come to a compromise.
Commissioner Walters made a motion to delay any action until the next board meeting, to look at the additional progress the Crisp family has made. The motion failed 2 to 3, with Commissioners Walters and Shackleford voting in the affirmative and Commissioners Elks, Moore and Dixon voting in the negative.
Commissioner Dixon made a motion to re-consider once the park is in compliance. The motion carried unanimously.
- Resolution Appointing Advisory Board Member- Planning Board
Mayor Evans requested re-appointment of Carrie Baker to the Farmville Planning Board to serve another term.
Commissioner Shackleford made a motion to adopt Resolution (2017) 1357, Re-Appointing a Member to the Farmville Planning Board (Carrie Baker). The motion carried unanimously.
- Consider Changes to Renewable Energy Development and Service Agreement
Town Manager Hodgkins requested that the Board approve the amended and restated Renewable Energy Development and Service Agreement with NCEMPA. He stated this authorizes NCEMPA to act as agent on behalf of the Town of Farmville and the 31 other members of the NC Eastern Municipal Power Agency for administering aggregate REPS compliance plans. Hodgkins said this is consistent with the role the agency has played in the past on behalf of Farmville and the other member communities. He added the revised agreement also addresses some administrative issues associated with the new Full Requirements Power Purchase Agreement that came about because of the sale of generation assets in 2015.
Commissioner Dixon made a motion to approve the amended and restated Renewable Energy Development and Service Agreement with NCEMPA. The motion carried unanimously.
- Consider New Electric Rate Riders 7A and 7B
Town Manager Hodgkins stated the costs of complying with REPS standards (administration and production of renewable energy) was recovered through a new electric rate ride (Rider No. 7). He further stated in an effort to create more transparency for the consumer, NCEMPA has requested that the member towns split Rider No. 7 into two separate riders, Rider No. 7A, which would fund the costs of Power Agency administrative services, and Rider No. 7B, which would fund the costs of procuring alternative energy sources to comply with the mandate. Hodgkins added this action will not result in any increase in rates to our customers.
Commissioner Dixon made a motion to adopt Electric Rate Rider No. 7A and Rider No. 7B. The motion carried unanimously.
- Consider Building Improvement Incentive Grant Program for Downtown Area
Town Manager Hodgkins presented a proposed policy to attempt to incentivize the renovation of existing buildings and storefronts in the downtown area and to maintain the unique historical character of Downtown Farmville. He asked for adoption of the proposed Building Improvement Incentive Grant Program for Rehabilitation of Vacant Buildings in the Downtown Farmville Business District. He stated that if the program is a success, it may be appropriate to extend this renovation program to vacant buildings outside the downtown area as well. Hodgkins further expressed his belief that this program in partnership with the existing Façade Improvement Grant Program can make a real difference in Farmville and leverage significant private investment in Downtown Farmville.
Commissioner Dixon made a motion to adopt the Building Improvement Incentive Grant Program for Rehabilitation of Vacant Buildings in the Downtown Farmville Business District. The motion carried unanimously.
Mayor asked if there were any citizen comments at this time.
Ms. Salem, a Farmville citizen, expressed her concern for the taxpayers to know what their taxes are going for and if they would have to reimburse the state if the Watkins MHP project does not go through and the Town has to pay back the funds incurred thus far.
On motion by Commissioner Walters, the meeting was adjourned at 7:56 p.m. The motion carried unanimously