The Town Council had the September meeting on September 20, 2017 in the Town Office.
The council meeting began with a closed meeting with Tom Rose and Debbie Foley of the County and Jeanette Filpi of the hospital. Following the closed meeting the council voted to give authority to the Mayor Ray Weiland, Town Manager Terry Tilly, and Town Attorney Chris Corbett to review the Town's ordinances on utilities and BPOL tax to help keep the hospital open with reduced or no fees IF it is legally possible. The hospital was able to extend their license to the end of the year so that they can pursue other possible buyers. The buyer that the hospital had, dropped out at the last minute forcing Pioneer to close the hospital since they were not prepared to continue operations beyond the sale date. There were other possible buyers that were sidelined because the primary buyer was going forward with their purchase until the last minute. The Town intends to do what we can to help the hospital since it is a critical part of our Town, county and all of its citizens.
Eddie Turner and Roger Beasley from the Lane Group engineering firm were present at the meeting to inform the council that the plans for the Fire Department were complete and ready for our final review. The Fire Department project includes a rental space of about 5,000 square feet and a serious potential renter has been identified. The renter would like to be in the space by February 2018. The rental portion of the building construction is expected to require approximately $170,000 to be paid by the renter in addition to the base rent. The pay back of the $170,000 would be spread out over a 7 year period. The rental space will be a big help to the Town and Fire Department by helping to cover the building mortgage and operating costs over the long haul. Putting this rental space and agreement together has been a group effort of Chris Corbett, Fire Chief Buddy Dollarhite, Terry Tilley and the Mayor.
Mayor Ray Weiland has been in touch with Kevin Heath of the Lane Group in order to push along our projects. While the Fire Department project plans are complete, Kevin indicated that our sewer plant plans were not ready but were nearly complete. He said that he has had to work on other projects that were ahead of ours. We don't know yet when we will get the final plans for our sewer plant project but we do expect them soon.
Terry Tilley mentioned that a new six inch diameter waterline and fire hydrants are needed in the Ashby development on a side street where the existing waterline is undersized and not capable of properly supplying all of the customers. The line will have to be extended to pick up all of the customers on the side street including one connection that currently has a well with poor water quality. The total length of the line is about 1,500 feet and Terry expects to be able to install it with Town workers and equipment.
Finally, the deadline for those people who had seriously delinquent utilities accounts last April and who were sent a letter in April to explain the requirement voted on by the Town Council, that they must have a zero balance by October 9th or lose water service. The letter gave those who were several months behind, six months to get to a zero balance or have their utilities services suspended.