2008-10-09 / Front Page

Council adopts FY 2009 budget; millage rate to remain the same

The Lincolnton City Council adopted a budget of $800,200 for FY 2009 at its regular meeting held Monday, October 6, at City Hall.

The figure reflects a 5.85-increase over the FY 2008 Budget and calls for the millage rate to remain the same as last year's (5.6 mills).

Included in the budget are increased revenues from water, sewerage, and garbage services as well as increased expenditures for fuel, vehicle maintenance and repair, and health insurance.

In other business, the mayor and council voted to turn over $3,500 in state funds to the Lincolnton Historic Preservation Commission for Phase I of an initiative to develop a historical park on Groves Street, where Founders' Spring is located.

The $5,000 grant was allocated to the city by the General Assembly for this purpose.

According to Jamie Reese, commission representative, $3,000 will be paid to G. Ben Turnipseed Engineers for a concept plan for Phase I and $500 to Anne Floyd, who will write an application for a Recreational Trail Grant.

Located on .88 acres, tentative plans are for the park to feature a walking trail, which would include a bridge over the creek; a gazebo; and a viewing wall, with steps leading down to the spring.

The motion was approved contingent on whether the engineering firm and Floyd can give the commission all of the materials necessary to apply for the trail grant.

In further business, it was agreed that due to safety considerations, Halloween will be observed in the city on Saturday, November 1.

LCHS has a home football game on Friday, October 31.

Also during the meeting, the mayor and council:

• Heard the Water Department Report given by Superintendent Stanley Parton, who said, "Heading into the fall of the year, water production decreased from 14.6 million gallons in August to 12.59 million gallons in September."

In other items of information, the superintendent reported that lake levels have dropped from 315.41 feet above mean sea level (msl) at the end of August to 314.42 ft. msl on Friday, October 3.

Parton and the council then discussed various means of delivering water to the treatment plant such as turning the raw water intake valve to the side, which would buy the city three more feet, and renting a pump. At the present time, the lake level is approximately three feet above the city's lowest raw water intake valve.

.. Discussed making piping changes and removing the water meter on Petersburg Road. "We have a price ($23,700.36), but it's not exactly what we want," said Mayor Dwaine Biggerstaff.

It was agreed that the mayor will check with the contractor and then poll the councilmen on whether to proceed with the project.

.. Voted to hire G. Ben Turnipseed Engineers to prepare a business plan, a water distribution map, and an operation and maintenance manual for the water system for a total of $9,000. The three items are mandated by the EPD.

.. Agreed to allow Mayor Biggerstaff to continue to obtain estimates on the cost of a new garbage truck and then poll the council as to whether to purchase the vehicle.

.. Heard the Zoning Department Report given by Zoning Administrator David Griffin, who indicated that during the month of September, his office issued six building permits for a total of $720, conducted nine building inspections, and approved one plat.

Griffin further noted that he also attends the weekly pre-construction meeting for the new high school.

Concerning the access road to the site, Mayor Biggerstaff said, "We can execute the contract and are doing everything we can to get the contract back. All of the documents have been filed -- we're waiting on the DOT."

If all goes as planned, the access road will be extended to connect Metasville Road to Highway 378.

In reference to this plan, the mayor reported that according to a survey conducted by StreetSmarts, there is not enough traffic on Highway 378 to merit a by-pass lane. However, the study still has to be approved by the DOT.

.. Discussed enforcement of the city's sign ordinance during the next election cycle.

.. Voted to grant Lincoln Square, LLC a 96-day extension of the rezoning of property located at 1118 Augusta Highway.

.. Voted to grant a request, made by Clay Antonakos of Lee Builders, Inc., to rezone four parcels of land on Anthony Street from R-1 to RMH to accommodate manufactured housing.

Although a vote was taken at last month's meeting, the council had to vote again on the matter due to a procedural error.

.. Heard the Police Department Report given by Chief Jim Justice, who said his office received 211 calls for service during the month of September - "everything from theft by taking to public drunkenness."

Officers also worked seven traffic accidents.

.. Agreed to add Morningside Drive to the list of roads under consideration for paving in conjunction with the DOT's Local Assistance Road Program (LARP).

.. Voted to transfer Golden Pantry's alcoholic beverage license from Calvin Griffin to David Griffin. In the same motion, the council renewed Bell's Food Market's alcoholic beverage license.

.. Was informed by city attorney Barry Fleming that the city needs to examine the ordinances and policies in place to prevent fraud and identity theft and compare those ordinances and policies with federal requirements. A revised policy will then be submitted to the full council for approval in conjunction with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA).

.. Voted to enter into executive session to discuss personnel matters. Upon returning to regular session, no action was taken, except for the vote on the budget.

The next regular meeting of the mayor and council will be held Monday, November 3, at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

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