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Town Officials Respond To Suggestions
Potholes, Pickleball, Pathways: Some Easier To Address Than Others
March 15, 2017

sked what they thought could improve Oriental, residents, property owners, area residents and frequent visitors stepped up and wrote in to both Town Hall and TownDock.net. (See the list sent to TownDock.net, here.)

Town Manager Diane Miller had sought the community’s input in advance of the Town Board’s retreat on March 24. At the Town Board’s March 7 meeting, she told Commissioners that the Town has been tackling a number of the issues raised and that most were already on the agenda for the retreat.

Commissioner Charlie Overcash responds to some of them:

There have been some thoughts from our residents on what they would like to see happen in town. Some of these interests are being addressed already and some will be discussed during our town planning retreat on March 24th.

Pickle Ball.
Regarding Pickle Ball lines on the tennis court.
We already have that in the works. At this point, we are just waiting for the temperature to be consistently warm so that the paint can set up properly. Once that happens, we will have the lines painted on the courts.

Pot holes
The town has purchased a two part filler for pot holes. There should not be any more temporary fixes, but rather a fix using the new filler. Townspeople have sent us information on where pot holes are located and we are filling them whenever we can find time in the town workers schedule. Slowly, but surely the holes are getting fixed and the new material should last a long time.

Trail to Piglet
Status of the trail through the woods by the water plant to the Piglet. We bush-hogged a path through the underbrush to find the best, and what turned out to be the only path to the store. Unfortunately, that path crosses a small segment of private property and the owners of that property will not let us use it for the path. That has stopped us because without their permission, we cannot complete the path.

Annexing property outside of town limits. We cannot do that by current state law. If the property owners ask to be annexed then we can proceed. That is the only way currently.

Bike path
Bike path to Dolphin Point. The Parks and Rec committee has a new member who has brought fresh and promising information to the committee which may get the path project moving again. Come to the Parks and Rec Committee meeting to learn more.

Signs To Waterfront Rights-of-Way
The idea for signs denoting the lost streets leading out to the new park benches off of South Avenue is a good one and we are pursuing it.

Come To A Meeting
If you want to keep up with what is going on with town projects, I recommend you attend several of the town committee meetings. The Parks and Rec, the Harbor Waterfront and Planning Board will be excellent ones for most of the projects and information asked about in the letters sent to TownDock and Town Hall.

Thanks to all of the people who have written in and keep those suggestions coming so we can talk about them in the future.

Charlie Overcash

Town Manager Diane Miller responded to resident Roger Cordes’s complaint about the cost of trash pickup, water and sewer:

Mr. Cordes, I’ve received the comments you forwarded about our rates and this is what I’ve found:

Below see a comparative chart taken from our rates, the Town of Vanceboro’s admin services, and Georgia’s utility dashboard:

Oriental’s charges for trash pickup and water and what Atlanta and Vanceboro charge. Comparison provided by Town Manager, Diane Miller. (click on image to enlarge.)

I don’t quite know your frame of reference, but these are the published rates. What you should also know is that we are not remotely in control of sewer rates as we do not own the system- we simply bill for them at a contracted rate.

Note that Atlanta has economy of scale- making it easier to serve a much larger population and keep the services in house, while ours is contracted, and still, their rates are higher, significantly so with respect to trash and recycling.

According to the Water and Sewer rates dashboard for North Carolina maintained by DEQ and the School of Government, Vanceboro shows their physical assets in the red, meaning they will soon incur large costs for a small system or go out of compliance, they are barely covering their current debt for the utility (we have none), and they are not currently recovering the cost of producing water (we are).

Still, I will be more than happy to share your concerns with the Commissioners at their retreat. I’ve copied Town dock on my response as you copied them on your initial email to us.

Thank you for responding to our request,

Diane H. Miller, MPA
Town Manager

Further Reading: What Oriental Needs: Readers Give Their Take

Posted Wednesday March 15, 2017 by Melinda Penkava

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