Mayor Williams called to order the regular meeting of the Town of Sharpsburg Board of Commissioners at 6:00 p.m. February 24, 2009.
Mayor Williams conducted a roll call. The following persons were present: Mayor Williams, Commissioner Jenkins, Commissioner Weaver, Commissioner Humphrey, Commissioner Gibson, David Orcutt, Town Attorney, and Robert Masters, Town Administrator.
Motion made by Commissioner Jenkins and seconded by Commissioner Weaver to adopt the meeting Agenda with changes recommended by the Board. Motion carried. Mayor Williams asked if there were any additions or deletions from the Minutes. There were none.
Commissioner Gibson Yes
Commissioner Hamm No
Commissioner Jenkins No
Commissioner Weaver No
Commissioner Humphrey No
V. Old Business
a) USDA Grant Submission. The Town Administrator expressed his concerns over delays in signing the necessary paperwork for the USDA grant and loan application to finance sewer rehabilitation. The Board has directed that the documents not be signed until final approval of the previous grant funds for the Preliminary Engineering Report are received from the NC Rural Center. Mr. Masters indicated that the application needed to signed and sent to USDA during the first week of March unless this funding is deemed not desired by the Board of Commissioners. The Administrator was confident that the NC Rural Center would ultimately approve of the Preliminary Engineering Report and release the Town’s grant funds.
b) Finance Officer Position. The Town Administrator indicated that another qualified candidate had been identified for the Finance Officer position. Commissioner Humphrey indicated that she had concerns over newspaper accounts she had read concerning the candidate. Commissioner Hamm asked how the Town could discuss hiring a Finance Officer when a decision had just been made to reduce the work hours of four town employees. Mr. Masters attempted to explain the complexities of paying town staff out of various departments. Mayor Williams expressed concerns that the Town had already approved the hiring of a Finance Director and that in light of past financial mishaps at the Town, this position was needed. No action was taken by the Board on this matter.
c) Beasley Park. No action taken by the Board.
d) Fire Department Allocation for FY 2009-10. Commissioner Jenkins informed the Board that he and the Town Administrator had been in contact with the Fire Department concerning their 2009-10 fund allocation. Essentially the Town is negotiating a method of making the annual allocation based on a percentage of the collected ad valorem taxes in a previous year. Commissioner Jenkins is awaiting further discussion with the Fire Department on this matter.
VI. Administrator Report/Comments. The Town Administrator reiterated his concerns that without an adequate increase in the existing water/sewer rates, the water/sewer enterprise fund would not receive adequate revenues to support the operations of that department. Furthermore, the burden of supporting the Town’s General Fund would fall solely on the Electric Fund which could cause that fund to close the fiscal year at a net operating loss for the year. Although this could done by the Board, he advised against it and expressed concern that this action by the Board would most likely result in an audit issue after the close of this fiscal year. Both the Administrator and Mayor cautioned the Board on this action reminding them that the funds available in the general operating fund remained low and that failure to adequately raise utility rates in the past had led to a severe financial crisis. No further action was taken by the Board following these comments.
VII. Adjournment. With no other business coming before the Board of Commissioners, Mayor Williams adjourned the meeting.
These Minutes of the Sharpsburg Board of Commissioners meeting on February 24th, 2009 are hereby adopted.