11/28/2019 12:15:00 PM STOKESDALE TOWN COUNCIL
Nov. 14 / MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
WHAT they voted on, and HOW they voted:
Mayor John Flynt, Mayor Pro Tem Thearon Hooks, and council members Deanna Ragan, Frank Bruno and Tim Jones voted on the following agenda items at the Nov. 14 council meeting:
4 to 1: Approve the meeting agenda (Tim Jones opposed)
5 to 0: Approve Tim Jones' request to recuse himself from voting on a property rezoning request
4 to 0: Approve a rezoning request for property on Ellisboro Road
5 to 0: Refund $9,240 to Keystone Homes that had been held as a performance bond
5 to 0: Approve changes to the Planning Board's Rules of Procedure and to Stokesdale Ordinance Article IX
5 to 0: Hire Peter Dealing to substitute for Gary Matchunis, the Town's water system operator, on an as-needed basis
4 to 1: Accept a proposal from Blaney Electric to replace eight ceiling lights in the front foyer of Town Hall (Tim Jones opposed)
5 to 0: Accept a proposal from Blaney Electric to replace light bulbs/ballasts outside Town Hall
as reported by PATTI STOKES
Mayor John Flynt called the monthly meeting to order at 7 p.m. Following the opening prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, the meeting agenda was unanimously approved after council agreed to postpone a discussion on two agenda items until January.
Approval of minutes. Councilman Tim Jones asked that language in the Aug. 8, 2019, meeting minutes pertaining to a citizen's statement he said hadn't been made be deleted before the council voted to approve the minutes. When Flynt asked if/when Jones had notified the town clerk about his requested changes, Jones said he had not personally done so (the request was submitted by Jimmy Landreth at 9:45 a.m. the day of the council meeting).
Flynt reminded Jones that requests for anything to be voted on are to be submitted by the Friday before the monthly council meeting, and then called for a vote.
Council voted 4 to 1 to (Jones opposed) to approve the Aug. 8, 2019, meeting minutes.
Sheriff's Office. Jeremy Fuller, assistant commander of the sheriff's District 1 office which is based in Summerfield, introduced Jonathan Marshall as a new patrol sergeant assigned to District 1.
The sheriff's office responded to 74 calls for service in Stokesdale in October. Of those, five were Part 1 crimes (of a more serious nature) - a property theft, which was unfounded, two motor vehicle break-ins and two thefts from motor vehicles.
With the holiday season underway, Fuller reminded everyone to keep gift packages well-hidden and locked up. Fuller also advised residents to lock up their lawn tools and equipment when not in use.
Fire department. Fire Chief Todd Gauldin said Stokesdale Fire District responded to 85 calls for service in October; 50 were medical/rescue-related and 35 were fire-related.
With the winter temperatures here, people are using alternative heat sources and Gauldin cautioned everyone to check their chimneys, flues, pipes, etc., before using them.
"And if you use a kerosene heater, please mark on your can the difference between kerosene and gas, because when you put gas in there and go to light it, that is a bad situation!" Gauldin said.
When asked if residents need a permit to burn leaves, Gauldin said yes. Noting that with colder weather comes lower humidity, he recommended making smaller piles when burning, and visiting www.deq.nc.gov or www.ncforestservice.gov/burn_permits to see the rules for burning. He added that only natural products should be burned (no trash, building materials, non-vegetative products, etc.).
Events Committee. Committee chair Frank Bruno said the Town's annual Christmas Tree lighting event will be held Saturday, Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall. Stokesdale United Methodist's choir and Bethany's school choir will be singing and Santa will be stopping by.
Holiday banners were to be placed downtown before Thanksgiving.
In preparation for the annual Christmas parade on Dec. 14, Bruno said the Events Committee is meeting weekly on Tuesdays, including on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10. All parade sponsors secured by Nov. 30 will be listed on an ad running in the Northwest Observer's Dec. 5-11 issue.
Board/Administrative report. Hooks presented September and October balance sheets and Budget vs. Actual reports for the general fund and water enterprise accounts. As of Oct. 31, the Town has $2,950,958 in total assets in the general fund, and $828,093 in the water enterprise fund.
No one spoke during this period.
Before opening the public hearing for a rezoning case, Flynt asked Town Attorney Tom Medlin if he might have a conflict of interest, since he (Flynt) had sold the property to Stokesdale Bi-Rite owner David Wrenn in June 2017 (before Flynt was elected to the council) and he still owns property across from where a new Bi-Rite will go if this rezoning were approved.
Medlin said he saw no conflict of interest, since Flynt would have no direct gain from the rezoning.
Tim Jones said he has a business relationship with Wrenn, so requested to recuse himself. His request was unanimously approved by the council.
Flynt then gave an overview of the request to rezone part of a parcel on the northeast corner of Belews Creek Road and Ellisboro Road from RS-40 (Residential) to GB (General Business).
Public comments. Mark Jordahl and Mark Nadel spoke in favor of the rezoning.
Council voted 4 to 0 to approve the rezoning.
Performance bond. Since last month's meeting Town Planner Oliver Bass has confirmed all zoning conditions for the Northwest Meadows community off Ellisboro Road have been met.
Council voted 5 to 0 to refund Keystone Homes $9,240 held as a performance bond.
Council voted 5 to 0 (in separate votes) to change the Planning Board's rules of procedure to read that the board chair and vice chair will be elected in January rather than July; also, to amend the Town's ordinance to read that board member terms will be two (versus three) years, and the board shall consist of five members (not "at least" five).
Substitute water operator. Per Jones' request, written confirmations were provided in support of hiring Peter Dealing to substitute for Gary Matchunis, the Town's water system operator, as needed. Jones said he had wanted assurance Matchunis is accepting responsibility for any work Dealing performs in his absence.
Council voted 5 to 0 to hire Dealing to work on an as-needed basis.
Blaney Electric proposal. Bruno explained the Town has had major issues with the ceiling lights in the front foyer of Town Hall; this proposal is to replace eight center ceiling lights with LEDs, which would be more efficient, at a cost of $1,824.
Council voted 4 to 1 to accept Blaney's proposal for eight light replacements. Tim Jones opposed, saying he thought the price was too high.
Council voted 5 to 0 to accept a second proposal from Blaney Electric to replace bulbs and ballasts in street lamps and at the flag pole outside Town Hall, at a cost of $270.
Following council's closing comments, the meeting was adjourned at about 7:40 p.m.