Swepsonville Living

Meeting Minutes

Town of Swepsonville
October 17, 2017 Town Council Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Raymond Herring.

All council members were present for the meeting. Paul Koonts, town attorney; Franz Holt, town engineer, and Glynn Flemming, engineer with AWCK; Will Boney, an accountant with Bobby Massey CPA; and several town residents were also present.

The minutes for the September 19, 2017 meeting were reviewed. The mayor asked for a motion to accept the minutes. Hugh Doss motioned to accept the minutes as written, seconded by Doug Scott. The minutes were unanimously approved.

Mayor Herring noted the passing of Allice Holt who was 93.

The mayor recognized Colton Newton for his Eagle Scout project for the town. Colton recovered the town playground with mulch and built monkey bars for his project.

The mayor opened the public hearing for the floodplain ordinance. He reminded the council that we are only being asked to approve the map. Doug Scott mentioned that the matter was tabled in September due to unanswered questions. Franz Holt stated that the county administers the ordinance and can answer more questions, and that the main difference with this ordinance is new language.

Glynn Flemming stated that anyone in town may purchase flood insurance, but if a property is in the flood zone, a future buyer will probably be required to have insurance to get a mortgage. Glynn also stated that the new ordinance is required due to better mapping technology and county growth. He mentioned that these changes were very minor. Out of 18 properties listed, 16 were alreaqdy in the floodplain, with 1 property being added and 1 removed.

Mayor Herring asked for a motion to adopt the floodplain ordinance. Hugh moved to accept the ordinance, and Darrell seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

A request for a stoplight study by the D.O.T. at highway 54 and George Bason Road was reviewed. In an e-mail received from the D.O.T., they needed to wait until schools were back in session to perform the study. The study showed that a stoplight was not justified at this time.
The mayor discussed the vegetation ordinance at Quarry Hills. Paul Koonts reviewed the ordinance, stating that any growth taller than 18 inches is considered a nuisance, and that if the property owner does not cut it the town has the right to cut it and charge the owner. This ordinance cannot be applied to agricultural or forestry land. The Quarry Hills property is not residential and it is not agricultural. There is a grey area.

Doug Scott mentioned that he thinks Halle will want to stay on good terms with the town, since they will need our approval at some point. He would like the town to call and express our concerns and work out a solution.

Doug motioned that Paul contact Halle Group with the end result being to clean up property at Halle Group’s expense and send them a copy of the ordinance. Gail Miller seconded the motion. All council members were in favor of the motion.

Mayor Herring reminded the council and attending residents of the upcoming election on November 7th.

The mayor brought animal services back up for discussion. The original agreement for “cost sharing” was based on population and the consumer price index. In 2008, the CPI went lower than anticipated, so Burlington changed the cost formula without a new agreement. The mayor does not think we should have to “cost share” on a county (tax paid) program.

Paul Koonts noted that the town’s agreement was to pay $3.25/person, and with this amount adjusted for inflation, it should be around $4.80/person today. For the 2011-2012 period, we paid $5,500; now the amount is in the $8 to$9/person range.

Doug Scott asked did paying the 2011-2012 bill imply that we accept any changes. Paul replied no. Gail Miller asked if we can just pay the amount adjusted for inflation, and state that we see no calculation for the extra amount.

Doug asked the mayor if he has been in contact with any of the other municipalities. The mayor responded that Graham is opposed to the new pricing; Green Leven is highly opposed; Raymond is highly opposed; and the rest are neutral. The larger towns are opposed, but do not know how to address the matter.

Darrell Newton asked Paul if we can talk to Burlington and work out a settlement or new agreement. Paul stated that he will talk to David Huffman, the attorney for the City of Burlington. The mayor asked Paul to talk to the Burlington City Manager, stating there should be a contract.

Will Boney from Bobby Massey CPA presented a graph on the billing cycle for this month.

Gail Miller asked about the online payment progress, and said that we should find out who Graham uses for their online payments.
Gail Miller asked about the mill property, and what is going on with it. The mayor informed us that a section of concrete slab has been removed and the area seeded with grass. Doug asked about the Brownfield Agreement. The mayor stated that the file was closed; that we never had an agreement, but were only eligible for an agreement. The town can reapply any time we see a need to do so. Gail asked what the plan was in moving forward. The mayor responded that there are no plans at all at this time. Gail asked if we voted on the cleanup of the property, and Doug replied it was a line item in the budget and there was no need to vote on it.

Gail Miller asked if the town employment policy needs to be part of the personnel policy, and if Paul wi be presenting a new policy. Paul stated that he will look at our policy and discuss any changes that need to be made.

Mayor Herring opened the floor to any public comments. Keith Hoyt wanted to know how to go about proposing a new ordinance, and how to proceed with one. The mayor said that it could be brought to him or sent to the town’s attorney.

Mayor herring motioned to adjourn. Hugh Doss seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Town minutes recorded by Robert Gumm on October 17, 2017.