ST. PAULS – Commissioners here adopted a spending plan for the 2021-2022 fiscal year that includes an increase for city employees and no increase in water and sewer charges.
The expenditure plan includes a general fund of $ 3,401,364 and a water and sewer fund of $ 866,145.
The plan also includes a 3% cost-of-living adjustment for city employees that goes into effect in July. Pro Mayor Tem Evans Jackson said city employees have received an increase of about 6% this year alone.
“Like I said, I’m fine with that, but it’s way ahead of the cost of living in some places, which is – I’m glad we can,” Jackson said.
A contract with McGill Associates to provide engineering services for the city’s wastewater regionalization feasibility study was also approved on Thursday.
The commissioners also heard from David Honeycutt, of McGill Associates, who presented the findings on the state of the city’s sewer system, as part of an asset inventory project. The necessary repairs to the system come at a cost of $ 13,907,690, which would be paid over the next 10 years.
“We’re just under $ 14 million in 10 years,” Honeycutt said. “It’s a huge number, without a doubt.”
However, funding already acquired in other projects takes about $ 7.7 million out of that number, he said.
Honeycutt suggested the city tackle repairs by continuing to seek loans and grants, as it has done for other projects.
The sewer system spans about 99,645 feet, or 18.7 miles from the city, Honeycutt said. There are 341 manholes and 12 lift stations. And 46.1% of the system’s piping is vitrified terra cotta, which has deteriorated over time and is “beyond its useful life.”
The wastewater regionalization project, which aims to move the wastewater treatment plant out of a century-old floodplain and rebuild the plant, was not counted in the number, he said. he declares.
“Most are in poor condition,” he said of the current sewage treatment plant.
Deputy Director of Public Works Benton Rogers said the $ 1.6 million sewer project is underway. He also said more work would be done to move the stormwater project forward, including sending a card to the state to facilitate the process of obtaining land easements.
“Other than that, it rains every day. We try to work between rainstorms, ”he said.
The addition of a $ 25 permit fee for street vendors was also approved on Thursday. Fees do not apply at the Farmers Market or an ice cream truck operation.
Acting city administrator Debra McNeill said she received John Guduaskas Sr.’s resignation from the city’s planning council. In his letter, Guduaskas wrote that he has served on the board for over 30 years and that the board needs “new faces and new ideas” to guide it forward.
McNeill said term limits are due for review by the board shortly. The terms of the Planning Council are three years.
The city’s acting administrator said she spoke to Robeson County Electoral Board Director Tina Bledsoe about the ballot which included the sale of alcohol by drink, and was told that Bledsoe was awaiting passage of Bill 722. House Bill 722 is an act to order the North Carolina Alcohol Control Board to allow growlers up to four liters. A growler is, in the United States, a glass, ceramic or stainless steel bottle used to transport draft beer.
House Bill 722 was finally approved by NC House on May 6 and sent to the Senate. As of May 10, the bill was in the Senate Rules Committee.
McNeill told Bledsoe the city was interested in holding the liquor by the drink elections in November if possible.
Commissioner Donna Patterson inquired about an above ground swimming pool ordinance that specifies the need for fencing. McNeill said it was a state ordinance that should be overseen by insurance agencies, but said she would look into the matter further.
Commissioner Jerry Quick said the Appearances Committee asked about the cameras placed at Sugar Park, which was recently vandalized. No action was taken.
He also had someone examine a garage on NC 20 that has “too many cars” on the lot.
Jackson said he counted 23 cars on the property on Wednesday.
The commissioners also discussed the functioning of the city’s website and its regular updating. McNeill said whoever updates it should just be given information to upload to the site.
McNeill said she didn’t have time to call the web operator with website information in addition to her other responsibilities.
“I would like someone to take care of that,” she said.
Former mayor Jerry Weindel said he would call for information to be updated on the website.
Contact Jessica Horne at 910-416-5165 or by email at [email protected]