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Town Board Meeting May 2019
Vehicle awarded, public hearings set
May 8, 2019

ay’s Town Meeting was brief. There were no public comments. Oriental’s former police vehicle was awarded to the highest bidder, two public hearings were set for the June Town Hall meeting, and two of the town’s non-profits gave presentations to the Board about their programs.

Public hearing request for 2019-2020 budget & fee schedule update
Two public hearings are set for the next Town Meeting of June 4. The first is for Board approval of the 2019-20 fiscal year budget, which has been undergoing public meetings since April 2. The next public budget meeting is set for Wednesday, May 8 to discuss the water fund.

town hall signTown Manager Diane Miller requested a second hearing for changes to the Chapter S fee schedule. Miller said there are two items that need to be increased to cover the Town’s costs: an increase in tap fees – for an outside contractor to tap a vacant lot into the Town’s water system – and an increase to the annexation fees. “The last annexation we did, we were at $1,100 in legal fees before the advertisement and mailings,” said Miller. “We charged $50 for the annexation because that was a holdover from a long time ago. I think we need to up the annexation fee to cover our costs.”

The Board agreed and both hearing dates were set.

Former police vehicle Dodge Durango awarded
Ms. Lavon-de Hardy was the winning bidder of the Dodge Durango. Town Manager Miller said hardy had been made aware of all the deficiencies of the vehicle, such as an intermittent air conditioning system, and was agreeable to the purchase anyway. Hardy expressed her gratitude for vehicle, as she has several grandchildren and needed a vehicle that could safely carry them all.

Dragon's Breath Regatta 2017
Officer Nic Blayney and Lavon-de Hardy.

Neuse Neighbors Network & Prime Time Presentation
Debra Steenson, director of Prime Time, and Jane Demers of the Neuse Neighbors Network made a presentation to the Board about their programs and the partnership between the two non-profit organizations.

Both programs help the over 50 community in the coastal region of Pamlico County to ‘Age in Place’, using the efforts of volunteers to provide services that may otherwise force residents to relocate.

Prime Time services the community with the help of a health advocate and providing educational, informational, and recreational programs. Neuse Neighbors Network is based on a national model that uses volunteers to assist their members with everyday activities like changing lightbulbs, going grocery shopping, and dog walking after the owner has had surgery.

Waste Industries contract
Oriental’s current waste collection provider has offered a 3 year extension on the existing contract. In the contract, the prices are set for the first year, but not for years two and three. Due to the increase in recycling costs, those items cannot be determined. Miller says the contract allows for the tipping and COLA fees to be passed through to the Town without Waste Industries charging additional fees. She also said that this would be standard with any waste collection service, and this was the cheapest way to go at this time.

Miller told the Board she negotiated a clause that allows the town to opt out of the recycling portion of the contract in years two and three if the price increase becomes unaffordable to the town. The Board approved the contract based on the inclusion of the opt-out clause.

Police Report
Office Blayney gave the police report to the Board of Commissioners. At the April meeting, Commissioner David White asked why Officer Blayney’s vehicle had so many miles on it. Officer Blayney addressed the question at this meeting, giving monthly averages for his vehicle use going back to October of 2018. His vehicle use has averaged around 900 miles, minus his travel to and from work, for the last few months.

Town Manager Miller said part of the mileage use was going to and from in-service training in other parts of the county. Officer Blayney added that the officers have to drive to the courthouse in Bayboro anytime a ticket is written or an arrest is made.

For the month of April, Officer Blayney put over 1,100 miles on his vehicle, due in part to a chase that ended with no injuries. The second police vehicle had 265 miles for April.

CycleNC and Tourism Board breakfast
Commissioner Charlie Overcash asked if the town had heard back from CycleNC as he believed they still have not designated Oriental as their destination for 2020. Commissioner Dianne Simmons said she had spoken with them earlier in the day and was not aware that it was not final. CycleNC and the Town were still getting agreement from lot owners on the use of their properties for the cyclists.

Lisa Thompson, chair of the Harbor Waterfronts Committee, is working with Marsha Paplham, chair of the Tourism Board, and said they were also unaware of any hesitation on the part of CycleNC. Thompson said the next Tourism Board Business Meeting is focused specifically on CycleNC. The quarterly meeting is held at Brantley’s, Thursday May 16 at 8a.

Manager’s Report
Waterline replacement The waterline has been replaced and the third hydrant installed at Freemason and South Ave. Town Manager Miller said this part of the construction process on South Ave has been completed.

Pier at Lou Mac Park The pier is nearing completion and may be finished by the end of the week. Miller said the sidewalk will be regraded after completion create a smooth transition from sidewalk to pier.

Whittaker Point Restoration Updates Engineers have set up a meeting with the Environmental agencies in order to get permits to begin work on the point. Miller says the third iteration of their engineering plan involves several different methods to help deal with the energy that is destroying the land, including a granite sill, a reef-maker option, oyster shells, the inclusion of fill dirt and marsh grasses and more. Once the permits are secured, work will begin.

Mosquito spraying will begin next week.

Bulk pickup is Saturday. The Town urges residents to have their goods at the curb on Friday night as the truck comes very early and will not make a second pass.

Dates to Know
  • The next Town Board Meeting is Tuesday, June 4 at 7p.
  • A budget meeting for the water fund is Wednesday, May 8 at 8a.
  • Town Hall will be closed for Memorial Day, May 27.
  • Tourism Board Business Breakfast meets 8a at Brantley’s, Thursday May 16.
Related Information

Posted Wednesday May 8, 2019 by Allison DeWeese

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