The Farmville Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building Courtroom with Mayor Robert Evans presiding. Present for the meeting were Commissioners Brenda Elks, Jamin Dixon, Alma Hobbs, David Shackleford 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.
Commissioner David Shackleford offered the invocation, which was followed by the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
Mayor Evans recognized Bobby Joyner, President of H B Sugg Charitable organization.
Mr. Joyner thanked the Board for the Town’s participation in this project. He stated the unveiling of the new park had taken place and it was a hit. Joyner further stated the park adds beauty to that side of Farmville.
Mayor Evans recognized John Spruill, a Farmville citizen.
Mr. Spruill asked for clarification on why he did not have to pay for debris pickup but the Town was going to have to charge for pickup on a vacant lot where a tree was cut down.
Mayor Evans recognized Steven Hardy-Braz, a Farmville citizen.
Mr. Hardy-Braz informed the Board that on October 3, 2019, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., there will be over 2,000 cyclists with the Cycle NC Mountains to the Coast Ride coming through the Farmville again due to the Town’s warm welcome last year. He added that Greenville has been selected as an overnight host for the first time ever after last year’s event. He stated that the route would be down Church Street and Main Street and they are hoping to have ESPN here to cover the event. Mr. Hardy-Braz thanked the Town employees for all their help and the Board for their continued support.
Town Manager Hodgkins had the following comments:
- Town is in full storm mode in preparation for Hurricane Dorian, with the first meeting being held this morning. Updates will be given regularly, including on Facebook.
- Commissioner Hobbs and myself attended the Greenville ENC Alliance meeting earlier today. He stated that it’s time for the Town to consider a formal role in the organization by giving a contribution of $4,700, which would give the Town a voting membership.
Commissioner Moore requested to be informed when the George Street drainage improvements are completed so he can get the word out to let the citizens living there know.
Finance Director Amy Johnson provided the financial report for the month of August, 2019.
Mayor Evans asked if there were any additional changes to the agenda.
Planning Director Justin Oakes requested for the following changes to the agenda:
- Remove Agenda item #4 – Ordinance Amending Chapter 119 of the Code of Ordinances Regarding Unlicensed and/or Uninspected Vehicles
Mayor Evans asked for a motion to approve the evening‘s agenda.
Commissioner Dixon made a motion to approve the evening’s agenda with the above requested changes. The motion carried unanimously.
1. Zoning Text Amendment to Regulate Parking of Non-Commercial Vehicles and Equipment in Front and Corner Side Yards
Planning Director Justin Oakes requested approval of an amendment to add a section regarding the enforcement of non-commercial vehicles parked in front and side yards.
Mayor Evans declared the public hearing open at 6:54 p.m.
There being no further comments, Mayor Evans closed the public hearing at 6:55 p.m.
Commissioner Elks expressed her concerns with telling people who live and pay taxes that drive for a living that they can’t park their work cars at their home.
Chief Greene stated it’s a problem because there is nowhere for them to park.
Planning Director Oakes stated the ordinance was more for passenger vehicles to not park in yards but rather on street and driveways.
Commissioner Dixon said he sees both sides, but asked for a more complete understanding of the ordinance, with highlighting the sections that are being changed/added. Commissioner Dixon asked Planning Director Oakes to bring this back to the Board to discuss at the October or November meeting.
2. Zoning Text Amendment to Add a Definition for Non-Bulk Storage of Liquefied Petroleum and Bulk Storage of Liquefied Petroleum in the Zoning Ordinance; Establish Non-Bulk Storage as a Permitted Accessory Use and Special Exception for Primary Use in General Business, Highway Business, Industrial, and Light Industrial Zoning Districts; and Establish Storage Location Requirements
Planning Director Justin Oakes presented an ordinance amending Chapter 157 of the Code of Ordinances that would add a definition for Non-Bulk Storage of Liquefied Petroleum and Bulk Storage of Liquefied Petroleum; establish non-bulk storage as a permitted accessory use and Special Exception of primary use in General Business, Highway Business, Industrial, and Light Industrial Districts; and establish storage location requirements.
Mayor Evans declared the public hearing open at 7:15 p.m.
There being no further comments, Mayor Evans closed the public hearing at 7:16 p.m.
On motion by Commissioner Shackleford, the Board approved the amendment and adopted Ordinance (2019) 937, Ordinance Amending Chapter 157 Zoning Ordinance. The motion carried unanimously.
3. Ordinance Amending Chapter 111 of the Code of Ordinances Regulating Transient Merchants, Itinerant Merchants, and Vendors
Planning Director Justin Oakes presented a proposed amendment to Chapter 111 of the Code of Ordinances that would break out Transient Merchants, Itinerant Merchants and Vendors, provide additional requirements, and require a permit application. Oakes added this would establish a new language regulating food trucks.
Mayor Evans declared the public hearing open at 7:15 p.m.
There being no further comments, Mayor Evans closed the public hearing at 7:26 p.m.
On motion by Commissioner Elks, the Board approved the amendment and adopted Ordinance (2019) 938, Ordinance Amending Chapter 111, Peddlers and Solicitors Ordinance. The motion carried unanimously.
4. Ordinance Amending Chapter 119 of the Code of Ordinances Regarding Unlicensed and/or Uninspected Vehicles
Items for Consent
5. Approval of Minutes
To approve the minutes from the following session:
- August 5, 2019 Regular Session
6. Adoption of Ordinance Amending FY 2019/2020 Budget- Fire Department
To adopt an ordinance amending the FY 2019/2020 Budget, which places funds received from insurance to cover damage repairs to the 2009 Freightliner Pumper.
7. Adoption of Ordinance Amending FY 2019/2020 Budget- Library Department
To adopt an ordinance amending the FY 2019/2020 Budget, which transfers grant monies received from the North Carolina Humanities Council “Let’s Talk About It” grant program into the Library Department – Special Programs expenditure account to cover funds spent.
On motion by Commissioner Hobbs,HHSSSS the Board approved/adopted the following:
- Approved the August 5, 2019 minutes
- Adopted Ordinance (2019) 939, An Ordinance Amending the FY 2019/2020 Budget Ordinance- Fire Dept.
- Adopted Ordinance (2019) 940, An Ordinance Amending the FY 20169/2020 Budget- Library Dept.
The motion carried unanimously.
Items for Decision
8. Request for Additional Assistance by Rooted in Community/Community Garden
Sandy Pruette, a representative of the Farmville Community Garden (“Rooted in Community”), requested additional assistance from the Town Board. She stated the group wants to expand their beds and incorporate a walking path. Pruitt explained the group wants to develop an orchid and vineyard in the lot behind the shed. She also explained that there are a few trees that need to come down on the lot to try and reduce trip hazards due to uneven areas, and gravel needs to be brought in. Pruitt stated more points of water access are needed as well. She requested extension of their five-year agreement with the Town to ten more additional years since they are nearing the end of the five-year agreement.
Commissioner Dixon made a motion to provide the adjacent lot for garden use, to extend the agreement for an additional ten years, to clear the overgrown land and to add more water sources. He also requested Ms. Pruette to bring a cost estimate of the other requests for bed development and gravel to the next Town Board meeting for consideration. The motion carried unanimously.
9. Consideration of Authorizing Closure of Portions of Some Streets in Downtown Farmville for the Hometown Halloween Event on October 31
Commissioner Elks stated Hometown Halloween is in its 5th year, and it has grown it each year. Elks stated the event will have free games, candy and musical entertainment with food trucks where people can purchase dinner. She requested permission to have street closures from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
On motion by Commissioner Dixon, the Board approved the street closures for Hometown Halloween and adopted Ordinance (2019) 941, An Ordinance to Temporary Close North Main Street Between Belcher Street and Church Street in Farmville, NC on October 31, 2019. The motion carried unanimously.
10. Consideration of Re-Taking Control of Three (3) Tax Delinquent Parcels From the Contracted Attorney for Immediate Action by the Town of Farmville
Planning Director Justin Oakes, requested to retake control of the following properties from the Tax Attorney for Demolition:
- 4315 West Pine Street
- 3894 Brooks Drive
- 3714 Cameron Street
Oakes explained due to various obstacles, including difficulty locating and serving heirs to these properties, many have sat, with Code Enforcement unable to take action on cleaning up the properties. Oakes added, in order to retrieve a property from the Tax Attorney, a fee of $600 must be paid to the attorney.
Commissioner Hobbs made a motion to approve the request to retake control of listed properties from the Tax Attorney for demolition. The motion carried unanimously.
11. Appointment to the Mid-East Rural Transportation Planning Organization
Planning Director Justin Oakes requested to appoint Commissioner Alma Hobbs to the Technical Advisory Committee and Town Manager David Hodgkins and himself, to the Technical Coordinating Committee, all as a part of the Mid-East Rural Transportation Planning Organization.
On motion by Commissioner Moore, the Board appointed Commissioner Alma Hobbs to the Technical Advisory Committee, and Town Manager David Hodgkins and Planning Director Justin Oakes to the Technical Coordinating Committee. The motion carried unanimously.
Mayor Evans recognized Farmville Boy Scout, Michael Fields, who attended the meeting this evening. Evans stated Michael is working on his community merit badge and plans to work on the community garden for his Eagle Scout project.
Commissioner Hobbs encouraged the Town Board to pay the membership fee to have voting rights on the Greenville ENC Alliance Board. Hobbs commented the community garden is beautiful and has enhanced our community.
Commissioner Dixon requested to have the membership fee for the Greenville ENC-Alliance on the October agenda.
Commissioner Moore stated he had the honor of being the MC at the unveiling of the HB Sugg Park. He said it was a proud and overwhelming experience to be there. Moore commented that Commissioner Hobbs had presented a plaque to honor Bobby Joyner for his commitment to this project and to Farmville.
Commissioner Moore read a press release regarding the opening of Furniture Warehouse to Farmville. He said the business will open in the shopping center on Cooperative Way and will have affordable home furnishings, including Ashley Furniture. Moore stated the owner of the business is Benji Holloman. He also read from the press release where Mr. Holloman thanked Commissioner John Moore for his recruitment efforts and thanked the other Town Board members for their support.
On motion by Commissioner Shackleford, the meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.