2018-04-12 / Front Page

Mayor ready for battle with county, says, ‘let court decide who is right’

Lincolnton Mayor Henry Brown began the regular April city council meeting by stating unequivocally that the city is ready for a court battle with the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners.

“I will be brief,” he said. “There have been many comments made about how the city is not doing this or that in reference to what is going on with the county. The city has gone out of its way to try and make these things right. But because of things that have been said, we are now going to court. Let the court decide what’s best for us. I just want to say the city of Lincolnton has done everything they can to resolve the situation.”

Moving forward, the issue that had been tabled from February of how best to notify businesses that renewal of their business licenses is due, was brought up and discussed. Council­man member Kyle Reese suggested that an email alert, sent out at the proper time, would not only remind the customer, but create a “time- stamp” as to when the customer was sent the notification. It would be bet­ter than a missed telephone call, he said. “It would be very easy to build an email database over time, and if the customer is concerned that he should be reminded, he will provide an email to us,” said Reese.

In regards to the present outstand­ing late fees, it was agreed that the fees should be collected, without question, as no one business should be treated differently from the oth­ers.

An extensive discussion ensued over the problem with rentals of the Clubhouse. At present, a $75 deposit was refunded to people who rented the Clubhouse if they cleaned it according to the rules posted. The mayor deferred to city clerk Martha Jo Austin to explain.

“We have had issues with people who have not cleaned up after their event. They seem to think that if they take the trash out, that’s enough,” she said. “There is a set of ground rules posted in the kitchen detailing just what is to be done, and it is not happening. Currently, there is a $75 refund if the renter cleans up. Sweep­ing, mopping, and general cleaning of the kitchen and restroom are all part of the return of the deposit, but people would come by and argue the refund was due them anyway. The proposal is to not have a refund – to just have a flat fee – and to have our housekeeping do the cleanup. The renter would still have to put up the tables and chairs, and take out the trash. We would do the rest,” she said.

She went on to clarify that the rules are always given to the patron when they pick up the key, and there is a copy with the cleaning bucket in the kitchen. Going to a flat fee would do away with the repeated arguments. If the rules are not fol­lowed at this point, the city would no longer rent the clubhouse to that group. Motion was approved to go to a flat fee at this time.

Lincolnton Police Chief Brandon Lively reported on some issues with various areas of the city that need maintenance. Hogan Lane, in par­ticular, is of concern due to poor road conditions and plant growth. The lack of streetlights on Cathy Way was also mentioned. Brown said that council is aware of the situation and it would be discussed.

Chief Lively also mentioned several potholes in the city. “Most of these issues involve areas that are right on the property line,” said Lively, with the mayor commenting that several were a matter for the state to maintain.

On another matter, Lively reported that he has received the shipment details for the new patrol car, and delivery should be approximately the end of April.

Lively was then questioned on the work schedule for the Lincolnton Police. He explained that the sched­ule varies extensively from week to week, depending on the work load, and he would fill in as needed. He stated he was the only investigator for the city as well.

Lincolnton Fire Department Chief Matt Ivey submitted his report, showing that the department re­sponded to three fire alarms in the month of March. In his report was a request for additional equipment.

“We have quite a bit of equipment that is out of date and needs to be replaced. We replaced six sets of turnout gear last year, and we have nine sets left to replace. So I’ve asked for six sets, just so we do not go over budget. We also need to replace enough hose to replace the hose on our two primary vehicles, with a few other things we need,” said Ivey.

Kyle Reese made a motion to accept the request and the quote of $13,463 for the assorted gear. The motion was seconded by Alana Burke and approved.

Building and Code Enforcement Official Jim Farrand was not pres­ent at the meeting. However, his report was submitted to the council. In the report, it states that the Plan­ning and Zoning Department issued 11 building permits and had one variance application for a total in permits of $674. There were also six inspections on building permits; two plat approvals; 52 meetings with property owners were conducted; five violations, and one complaint/ violation closed.

Ben Alligood reported that at the wastewater treatment plant Lincoln County had an approximate influ­ent of 615,000 gallons; the city influent was 7.4 million gallons; that there were 8,071,400 gallons of treated effluent/discharged; and that accumulated rainfall was three inches. “Some of the new areas are coming online next week. It’s very different than it was a year ago,” said Alligood.

As a part of his departmental re­port, Adam Minyard recorded that the water treatment plant produced 17.3 million gallons, and received a total of 3.10 inches of rainfall over the month of March. He also re­ported that there were nine meters to turn off on the cutoff list, and that his crew repaired a service connection on Rowland-York Road, with the help of Ashlind Contractors.

In other business, the council voted to approve the amended gen­eral and hotel/motel budgets.

The council then went to executive session for legal matters.

The next regular monthly meeting of the City Council will be held on Tuesday, May 1, beginning at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

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