Monday, July 6, 2009 – 7:00 p.m.
Attendance: Mayor Larry McMahon, Mayor Pro Tem James Lilly, Commissioners Beverly Johnson, Alphonzo Rush, Henry Thompson, Sr., Harold Thompson, Town Administrator Dwight Smith, Town Clerk Pam Lisenby, Police Chief Randy Smith, Fire Asst. Chief Brian Hardman
Absent: Director of Field Operations Mike Thompson, Fire Chief Tim Huneycutt
The regular monthly meeting of the Norwood Town Council was held on Monday, July 6, 2009 at the Norwood Town Hall. Mayor Larry McMahon called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m., welcomed the visitors and prayed.
Under public concerns, the following persons spoke:
1) Chris Lambert, Director of the Stanly County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, was present to thank Norwood for monetary support of the CVB. He stated that Stanly County was 45th of 100 N.C. counties in tourism, which generated a $97 tax savings for each Stanly County citizen.
2) Delores and Kenneth James of Marshville (homeowners of a residence at 614 Acorn Acres, Norwood), were present to issue a complaint against the Norwood Police Department. Mrs. James read a letter typed by her husband (who has ALS and could not speak) regarding an incident with Mr. Rod Cate who shot a gun into the air from his yard to scare the James’ daughter and grandchildren away from his pier in their boat. Mrs. James stated that Mr. Cate lied by saying he did not shoot a gun into the air, but clapped his hands from the porch. Mrs. James said that she and her husband just wanted Mr. Cate to tell the truth and “make it right”. Mrs. James continued that Police Chief Randy Smith “took the incident too lightly”, stating it was “their word against his”, and told her that no police report had been filed when she called the Police Department the day following the incident. Mrs. James said she and her husband wanted everyone to know the Norwood Police Department did not do their job.
Mayor McMahon asked Police Chief Smith about the incident. Police Chief Smith stated that he and Officer Keith Hyatt went back to the incident area the following day and spoke with neighbors—some said they heard “firecrackers or something”. Police Chief Smith continued that Mr. Cate was very obese and could not walk far without sitting.
Police Chief Smith stated that neither he nor the James’ were there to verify what happened.
Mayor McMahon suggested a meeting between Administrator Dwight Smith, Police Chief Randy Smith, and the members of the James family to sort out this incident. Mayor McMahon then thanked the James’ for bringing their complaint before the Board and stated that Administrator Smith would be in touch with them regarding the meeting.
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3) Matt Irvin reminded Board members of the Norwood Museum open house on Sunday, July 12 from 2-4 p.m.
Mayor McMahon called for a motion to accept the Consent Agenda as follows:
1) The minutes of the June 1, 2009 regular meeting of the Norwood Town Council were approved on a motion by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Lilly, and passed 5-0.
2) The minutes of the June 3, 2009 special meeting of the Norwood Town Council were approved on a motion by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Lilly, and passed 5-0.
3) The minutes of the June 13, 2009 special meeting of the Norwood Town Council were approved on a motion by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Lilly, and passed 5-0.
4) The minutes of the June 15, 2009 special meeting of the Norwood Town Council (adjourned until June 17, 2009) were approved on a motion by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Lilly, and passed 5-0.
5) A budget update was accepted on a motion by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Lilly, and passed 5-0.
6) A treasurer’s report was accepted on a motion by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Lilly, and passed 5-0.
AGENDA ITEM #1 – SOLID WASTE AGREEMENT
Administrator Smith presented a “THIRD AMENDMENT TO CONTRACT BETWEEN WASTE MANAGEMENT OF THE CAROLINAS, INC. AND TOWN OF NORWOOD, NORTH CAROLINA” for Board review, stating that the original contract was signed years ago and this amendment was a way of agreeing to the contract for another three years.
Administrator Smith stated he had been concerned that Norwood’s rate was 15¢ higher per cart than Locust’s rate when it was much farther for Waste Management to haul the trash from Locust than from Norwood. Smith said he had been told the reason was that Norwood’s town limits were so spread out and other towns were much more compact.
Administrator Smith said he felt good to get the price down less than it was for the past three years.
Commissioner Rush made a motion to accept the above-stated amendment and authorize Administrator Smith to sign the same on behalf of Norwood. Commissioner Johnson seconded the motion and it passed 5-0. A copy of the amendment is attached to these minutes and made a part thereof.
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AGENDA ITEM #2 – SALE OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT
Administrator Smith presented a list of excess equipment and vehicles belonging to the Town of Norwood to be approved by the Board for sale (with the privilege to add other items) as follows:
1) 2001 Ford Crown Vic 2FAFP71W81X109638
2) 1999 Ford Crown Vic 2FAFP71W4XX191277
3) Cannon Fax Machine
4) Computer Printer
5) 1985 Chevrolet Truck (Camouflage Paint) GBHD34J3EF354129
6) 1988 Chevrolet Truck (wrecked) 1GCCS14R712158394
Administrator Smith stated that Iron Horse Auction could do an internet sale immediately, but if Norwood wanted a live auction, it would be awhile until they were in this area.
Commissioner Harold Thompson asked Administrator Smith if he had checked into the government website for the sale. Administrator Smith stated that the vehicles would probably bring $500 or less each and that the items on the government site were usually worth more.
Commissioner Rush asked if Norwood had to use Bill Lilly. Administrator Smith answered that Norwood did not have to use him, but had in the past because he would link Norwood’s items with a larger sale and get good prices.
Commissioner Rush said he thought a live sale would make as much as an internet sale.
Commissioner Johnson asked if the items must be sold at auction or could bids be taken. Administrator Smith said it was fairer for people to bid at an auction.
Commissioner Harold Thompson asked what the vehicles would be worth to drain the fluids and sell for scrap metal. Administrator Smith said, “$35 to $40 each”.
It was stated that the old 1997 Crown Vic outside Town Hall should be added to the list.
Commissioner Rush made a motion to declare the above six items (plus the 1997 Crown Vic) as excess items for sale. Commissioner Harold Thompson seconded the motion and it passed 5-0.
Commissioner Harold Thompson made a motion to give Administrator Smith the authority to arrange a sale of these surplus items as would best benefit the town monetarily. Commissioner Rush seconded the motion and it passed 5-0.
AGENDA ITEM #3 – COLLATERAL
Administrator Smith stated that this agenda item could be “scratched” as it was settled this afternoon, and Norwood would not have to have any collateral for the installment loan for the Lake Shore pump station project. Smith added that the Local Government Commission committee would meet tomorrow regarding the loan approval and Norwood would know the results five days later and could authorize the contractor to begin.
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AGENDA ITEM #4 – MARY BRANCH SIDEWALK
Administrator Smith stated that the Board had previously instructed him to get a cost for the concrete to move Mary Branch sidewalk 75 feet downstream from Highway 52 to cross the creek. Smith said Lucas Home Concrete had quoted $4,000 which he (Smith) felt was low.
Smith added that Jim Turner, engineer with Koonce, Noble & Associates, had suggested that Norwood take the bridge out of the plans and build it with Robbie Cohen funding and providing labor for all the woodwork and Stanly County inspecting the bridge.
Commissioner Harold Thompson asked if the bridge could be Norwood’s part of the contribution, to which Administrator Smith answered, “Yes”.
Commissioner Harold Thompson asked if Stanly County Inspections Department could inspect bridges. Administrator Smith said they had inspected the last bridge Norwood built and even the two small ones on the park trail.
Commissioner Harold Thompson made a motion to remove the bridge from the plans for the sidewalk to Mary Branch Road and build it on Norwood property. Commissioner Johnson seconded the motion and it passed 5-0.
AGENDA ITEM #5 – INSPECTION OF SEWER HOOK-UPS
Administrator Smith stated that Stanly County Inspections had asked about inspecting sewer hook-ups to sewer taps in Norwood since they were already inspecting the plumbing in the houses. Smith added that Norwood maintenance workers did not want this to happen because the County would charge residents $50 to inspect.
Commissioner Johnson asked if the County had any reason for wanting to do this except to collect the $50 per residence. Administrator Smith said he could not answer that.
Commissioner Harold Thompson said he could think of no benefit or advantage of having the County inspect sewer hook-ups unless they could provide such proof.
Mayor Pro Tem Lilly made a motion to defer consideration of this matter until Administrator Smith could obtain more information. Commissioner Harold Thompson seconded the motion and it passed 5-0.
AGENDA ITEM #6 – POLITICAL SIGNS ON TOWN PROPERTY
Administrator Smith stated that he had been asked about placing political signs on Town property and inside Town buildings, adding that the Town had no policy endorsing or preventing such. Smith provided the following policy for Board consideration:
POLITICAL SIGNS ON TOWN OF NORWOOD PROPERTY
Political signs will not be allowed at the following locations:
Norwood Police Station
Norwood Fire Department
Norwood Community Building except on election day
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Norwood Town Hall
Norwood Memorial Park
Darrell Almond Community Park
Norwood Maintenance Shop
Old Water Plant building on Campbell Street
It was suggested that the Norwood Water Plant, Norwood Raw Water Intake Station, and Norwood Wastewater Plant be added to the list.
Administrator Smith stated that the Town owned two properties that were leased to businesses and he did not think the Town could tell the leasees not to allow political signs on the property.
Commissioner Harold Thompson stated that he thought the Town should tell the leasees that if they allowed anyone to put up a political sign, they must allow everyone who asked.
Commissioner Henry Thompson made a motion to adopt the above-stated policy regarding political signs. Commissioner Johnson seconded the motion and it passed 5-0.
AGENDA ITEM #7 – MAINTENANCE OF WATER TANKS
Administrator Smith stated that Utility Services, a company owned by United Water, had inspected the Norwood water tanks and prepared a maintenance schedule to be spread out over a nine-year period at costs as follows: College Street tank - $214,927, Campbell Street tank - $174,878, and Michelin tank - $186,315.
Administrator Smith suggested that Town Board members think about this for awhile and get another company’s quote and an engineer’s opinion.
It was the consensus of the Board to defer consideration of this matter until more information was gathered.
AGENDA ITEM #8 –AGREEMENT WITH HARTIGAN MANAGEMENT
Administrator Smith presented an Agreement between Hartigan Management Enterprises, Inc. and Town of Norwood for grant management services regarding the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center grant for the Eastover pump station. Administrator Smith reminded Board members that Haritgan’s payments would come from the grant funds.
Commissioner Harold Thompson made a motion to authorize Mayor McMahon to execute the Agreement on behalf of Town of Norwood. Mayor Pro Tem Lilly seconded the motion and it passed 5-0. A copy of the Agreement is attached to these minutes and made a part thereof.
AGENDA ITEM #9 – CHECKING STATION POLICY
Administrator Smith presented ‘DEPARTMENTAL POLICY 1.24 CHECKING STATION POLICY” as prepared by the Norwood Police Department for Board review. Police Chief Randy Smith stated that the department’s current policy had been challenged in a few court cases, and the policy being presented was Albemarle’s policy “straight out of the law book”. He added this policy was simple, understandable and acceptable with the District Attorney’s office.
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Commissioner Rush asked when the policy would be implemented, to which Police Chief Smith answered, “Tonight, if possible”.
Commissioner Rush asked about the negatives of the previous policy. Police Chief Smith said it regarded the person in charge of a license check and that even though officers checked with Chief Smith before having a license check, it was not in writing.
A discussion followed of how many police cars to have at a license check.
Mayor Pro Tem Lilly made a motion to ratify ‘DEPARTMENTAL POLICY 1.24 CHECKING STATION POLICY” as presented by the Norwood Police Department. Commissioner Harold Thompson seconded the motion and it passed 5-0. A copy of the policy is attached to these minutes and made a part thereof.
Commissioner Rush stated that Catoddy’s, a consignment store on South Main Street, was a “distraction” by displaying wares on the outside. Administrator Smith said he had been there a few times and would go again.
Commissioner Rush stated there was a yard sale inside Norwood Memorial Park last Saturday with clothes hanging on the fence on clothes hangers. Several Board members stated it was probably a fundraiser by the girls’ softball team to raise funds for the State tournament. Police Chief Randy Smith said that he had been told they raised $1,100. Administrator Smith said no one had talked to him.
Commissioner Henry Thompson asked if the code enforcement officer had been to the third house on the left on Eastover Avenue. Commissioner Johnson knew of the situation and said the owner was in a nursing home. Administrator Smith will have the code enforcement officer look at this.
Commissioner Johnson said she had a phone message that Waste Management did not get Norwood Medical Center’s four carts and they had been left sitting out for four days.
Commissioner Harold Thompson asked about the Town Hall sign, stating he thought this was the last year to get it in compliance with the sign ordinance. Administrator Smith said there was $8,000 in the budget to replace the sign and he would look at some.
Commissioner Harold Thompson asked if Mr. Thomas had ever visited regarding coordinating Arbor Day. Administrator Smith said he talked to Bradley Swaringen who said Mr. Thomas was coming. Smith said there would be an Arbor Day meeting before the end of July.
Mayor Pro Tem Lilly asked about the water situation on East Andrews Street. Administrator Smith said the water had been tested and results sent to the residents, chemicals added to the water, and a piece of equipment made so that the fire hydrant would run constantly to keep the water moving.
Commissioner Harold Thompson asked if the Town was working on a solution other than this
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since this water could not run forever. Administrator Smith said the line could be looped somewhere so the water would not become still. Smith said that Harry Lee, town maintenance worker, said that part of the houses were on a two or three inch line and the others were on a six inch line.
Mayor McMahon asked if this was a galvanized line. Administrator Smith said that it was. Mayor McMahon said it was probably rusted through.
Administrator Smith asked if the Board wanted him to get some quotes to replace the line. Mayor McMahon said, “I do”.
Commissioner Harold Thompson said he would like to see the Town Board put together a long-range plan to replace water lines, beginning with the oldest.
Mayor McMahon stated he had experienced a medical problem last week and was facing possible future bypass surgery. He added that he had decided he would not seek re-election.
Commissioner Harold Thompson told Mayor McMahon he had enjoyed working with him and thanked him.
Administrator Smith presented the following items to the Board:
1) A letter was presented from Liz Nichols, Athletic Director, and Mike Campbell, principal of South Stanly High School asking for a donation toward rings for the State champion baseball team members.
Mayor Pro Tem Lilly said he had worked this out with school officials that Norwood’s part would be placing signs at the town limits about the championship team.
Commissioner Rush said this was a “no-brainer” since the Council had said they were not supporting athletics anymore.
2) A United Water report was presented. Smith said it was “pretty good except for one incident”.
3) A letter to the residents of East Andrews Street was presented which informed them of the actions taken to get them clean water.
4) Small styrofoam pieces were recently dumped in the lake at Darrell Almond Community Park. Town maintenance workers got these out to prevent a fish kill.
5) Duke Energy should have lights and signs installed at Norwood Memorial Park soon.
6) A letter to employees regarding salaries, benefits and salary increases was presented.
7) A letter to Stanly County Water & Sewer Authority was presented which asked Stanly
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County to purchase water from Norwood for the Edgewater development.
8) A code enforcement report was presented. Smith asked Board members to take a look at the “old Olive Lowder house” on West Whitley Street. Smith said there was also a business uptown that needed some attention.
9) Regarding Eastover pump station, Smith said construction was ready to begin when all the easements were in place, adding that the route had been changed because there were too many utility lines along the original route. Smith said the new route would cross on the lots of Jeff Russell and Reba Smith and would be 300 ft. farther, but should not cost any more. Smith reminded Board members there was $42,000 in the bank for this project and the estimated cost of the project was $40,000-$50,000.
10) Regarding the Edgewater sewer line, Ritchie Construction had the low bid at $403,641.34. Smith said this was half what was expected. Smith reminded Board member this was only construction costs and there would be engineering costs added. The five easements from Progress Energy have been reduced to two easements: one an open cut on Indian Mound Road at Lake Shore Drive and the other a direct drill under the “steel bridge”.
11) Regarding the Edgewater water line, all easements are in place except Progress Energy which has been promised by next Tuesday. This bid was around $50,000—a good price according to Smith.
12) Regarding Harborview Subdivision, the project engineer would not “sign off” on the project because the constructor would not produce the “as built” plans. This should be handled by next week.
13) Regarding fire service to Edgewater South, Norwood could almost serve the whole neighborhood, but not quite all. Center Rural Fire Department does not want to serve part of the area. A contract will have to be signed with Center Rural to provide fire service for two years. Smith said it would be better to pay Center Rural for their tax loss for five years.
14) The local bill to enlarge acreage and mileage for satellite annexation has passed the Senate and the House Finance Committee and was to be voted on in the House today. Smith said Representative Burr said he saw no problems with it.
15) Due to receiving Stephen Chambers’ recommendation letter regarding awarding the Edgewater sewer line project to Ritchie Construction after the printing of the agenda, Administrator Smith stated that this would be handled under the Administrator’s Update rather than an agenda item.
Commissioner Harold Thompson made a motion to accept Stephen Chambers’ recommendation and award the Edgewater sewer line project to Ritchie Construction, Inc. at a low bid price of $403,641.34. Commissioner Johnson seconded the motion and it passed 5-0.
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Administrator Smith pointed out that Ritchie Construction also had low bid on the Lake
Shore pump station project.
16) Smith told of an incident involving a Northwoods Apartments resident whose water was disconnected last month for nonpayment, adding that the lady came in Town Hall today and “pitched a fit”. Smith told Board members they would probably hear from her.
17) Smith reminded Board members of the letter he sent them last week regarding his approval to purchase five fire department pagers at $500 each. This was prompted by the fact that only three Norwood firemen showed up at the convenience store fire recently. When asked why this happened, Fire Chief Tim Huneycutt said their pagers did not work.
Smith and John Lambeth will visit fire department members next week to determine the attendance problem.
The Fire Department is applying for a stimulus grant to build a new fire station.
Commissioner Henry Thompson made a motion to approve a budget amendment for $2,500 for pagers. Commissioner Johnson seconded the motion and it passed 5-0. The budget amendment is attached to these minutes and made a part thereof.
Mayor McMahon then called for a motion to go into a closed session to evaluate personnel and discuss the purchase of property. Commissioner Henry Thompson so moved, seconded by Commissioner Rush. The motion passed 5-0.
When the closed session discussion had ended, Commissioner Henry Thompson made a motion to return to open session. Mayor Pro Tem Lilly seconded the motion and it passed 5-0.
Commissioner Henry Thompson made a motion to give Administrator Smith the authority to be looking at property for a new fire station. Commissioner Johnson seconded the motion and it passed 5-0.
Commissioner Johnson asked if the problem had been cleared up with minors at Norwood Memorial Park. Administrator Smith said it had not, adding that the minors had moved up to First Baptist Church on Anson Avenue. Smith said some members of First Baptist Church felt drugs were being dealt on the area of the church. A discussion followed.
With no further business to discuss, Mayor McMahon called for a motion to close the meeting at 8:50 p.m. Commissioner Johnson so moved, seconded by Commissioner Rush. The motion passed 5-0.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Norwood Town Council will be Monday, August 3, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Norwood Town Hall.
Mayor PAM LISENBY, Clerk
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