By Joy Warren
In accordance with the N.C. Governor’s Executive Order, the March 1, 2021 Town of Elizabethtown Town Council Meeting was conducted virtually via Zoom. This meeting ushered in a full year of conducting Town Business via Zoom. As Mayor Sylvia Campbell has stated several times, it is not ideal but is necessary for the safety of Council members, Town Staff and the public.
Mayor Campbell announced that this would be Eddie Madden’s last meeting with the Council. His last day of work is March 26th. Mayor Campbell thanked him for 13 years of great success and wished him the same success in Columbus County.
Council member Howell Clark stated “You have done so much to wrap up loose ends prior to leaving. This speaks to your level of professionalism.” All the members of the Council reiterated their appreciation for his work for the Town. Madden expressed his appreciation as well to the Council for their affection and loyalty. “I felt like family from day one and I’m grateful to you all.”
SEPI Engineering and Construction made a presentation on their preliminary report of the Town’s Pavement Conditions. The report was developed to provide a consistent, uniform basis for collecting pavement distress data for municipalities.
SEPI assessed 24.58 miles of paved streets which included 143 streets and 158 street segments. Overall, their report indicated that 71% of the streets fell between fair to good. The top three types of distress noted were Fatigue Cracking, Surface Defection and Transverse Cracking. All of these are indications of age and environmental distress. They suggested a maintenance and repair strategy, not necessarily addressed on a worse first scenario.
Madden recommended that the Town pursue a $2 million dollar USDA loan; keep current Powell Bill funding; and use annual appropriation from Powell Bill funds to make the payment. No decisions were made regarding the recommendations. Madden did encourage the Council to make a decision soon so that they can take advantage of this summer’s paving season.
Madden shared a draft of the budget for 2021-22 Budget Year. The General Fund would amount to $4,721.00 (less than last year) and the Water/Sewer Fund at $1,675.10 (greater than last year). The initial proposal includes a 2% COLA for employees and 2% increase in water, sewer, and sanitation.
In administrative matters, Council approved WK Dickson Contract, in the amount of $84,846.00 for design, bidding and construction oversight of the King Street Storm Water Rehabilitation project. The project area is King Street from MLK to Cypress Street.
Council approved the Demolition Bid for 104 Gibson Dairy Road. The contract was awarded to Eddie Sutton for $18,500; approved the bid with S & L Contracting in the amount of $95,689.75 for Elizabethtown Sanitary Sewer Extension, Elizabethtown Industrial Park; approved low bid on the Swanzy Street Lift Station project for $120,000 to Charles Underwood; approved change in previously committed Fund Balance; approved Audit Contract with Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams & Co., P.A. for Fiscal Year Ending 6/30/2021; and approved Tax Releases and Monthly Financial Report.
A public hearing is scheduled for April 12th at 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of Annexation for 911 Airport Road and parcels within the Industrial park. This will be an in-person Town Council meeting.
There are two Bike events scheduled at Browns Creek Bike Park during March for the dates of March 13th-14th and March 19th-20th.
Madden informed the Council that he had received a formal request from Gary Rhoda to name the bridge on MLK Drive for J.C. Bachelor. NCDOT requires adequate public notice for community comments, so Council adjourned their meeting tonight until March 8th to provide time for citizen input and comments.
For the Good Friday Holiday, the Town offices will be closed on Friday, April 2, 2021.