Minutes - November 18, 2002 Regular Session and December
2, 2002 Belhaven Waterfront Study Meeting
Mayor Boyette stated the minutes of the November 18, 2002
Regular Session and the December 2, 2002 Belhaven Waterfront
Study Meeting were open for review and adoption. There
being no corrections to the minutes, Councilman Baker
made the motion to approve the minutes as written. Councilman
Hodges seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
The motion carried unanimously, 4 to 0.
Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) Budget Request
Town Manager Johnson announced that Mr. Tom Thompson,
Executive Director the the Beaufort County Economic Development
Commission had a conflict with the Town=s meeting and
asked that his request be tabled. The Council informally
Adoption of the
Town of Belhaven's Safety Manual - American Public Power
Association Safety Manual
Mayor Boyette stated that the town has historically been
using the American Public Power Association (APPA) Safety
Manual but had never formally adopted the manual as the
town=s safety manual. (Councilman Ebron arrived at the
meeting at this time). Mayor Boyette further explained
that the safety manual not only covered the utility departments
but all departments. After some discussion, Councilman
Hodges made the motion to adopt the APPA Safety Manual
as the Town of Belhaven=s safety manual. Councilwoman
Heath seconded the motion which carried, 5 to 0.
Presentation - Pittard, Perry & Crone - Mr. Jeff Best
Mayor Boyette recognized and introduced Mr. Jeff Best
with Pittard, Perry and Crone and asked him to present
the town's 2001/2002 audit.
Mr. Best briefed the Council on the audit and the many
special funds, such as Hazard Mitigation, Disaster Recovery
Initiative, Crisis Housing Assistance along with the town's
General Fund and the Proprietary Funds (Electric, Water
Town Manager Johnson stated that due to the withholding
of monies by the state the Town had to deplete the fund
balance by only $90,000. Town Manager Johnson stated that
the bond notes for the Water System Improvements sold
for less than 1.5%.
Mr. Best stated that since the town received state monies
through grants totaling over $300,000 it was necessary
to perform a report on compliance for each program on
internal control. In review, Mr. Best stated that the
town assets had increased significantly due to an increase
in special projects. Mr. Best stated that tax collection
was at 84.54%, which is low but stated that the town historically
collects the taxes not just in the current year.
Town Manager Johnson stated that the only thing he was
not pleased with, in the audit, was the tax collection
rate. Mr. Johnson further stated that the town assisting
Beaufort County with tax collections by attaching bank
accounts, garnishing wages and will be able to get additional
monies from those receiving state income tax refunds through
a program through the General Assembly.
Mr. Best stated that the
town was in good financial condition and stated that the
only area of concern was the segregation of duties in
the finance department.
Town Manager Johnson stated that the segregation of duties
in the finance department will always be a problem due
to the limited staff.
Mayor Boyette thanked
Mr. Best for the audit presentation and with consensus
of the Council asked that the audit be presented earlier
next year, possibly in October.
Mr. Best stated that the audit could be performed earlier
which would mean the town would need to have all reports,
etc. ready by August.
After additional discussion, Mayor Boyette asked that
the audit be presented to the Council the 2nd meeting
in October 2003.
Beaufort Hyde Newspaper,
reporter, Ms. Carole Mackay asked that a copy of the audit
be presented to herself and Mrs. Barbie Burnette with
the Daily News. Town Manager Johnson stated they would
get a copy.
Councilman Hodges made
the motion to approve the audit as presented. Councilwoman
Heath seconded the motion which carried unanimously, 5
Mayor Boyette stated that the Town had agreed, with special
permission from Federal Emergency Management Act, to let
the site of the temporary Post Office be placed on the
former site of the school gymnasium. Mayor Boyette stated
that the purpose of the temporary site was to give the
Post Office officials time to find property and/or a building
to locate a new Post Office. Mayor Boyette stated that
originally Post Office officials had wanted to locate
the Post Office in the Belhaven Crossing Shopping Center,
but town officials stated that this was not acceptable
as the town wanted a free standing Post Office possibly
to remain located in the downtown area. Mayor Boyette
further explained that the Post Office had been temporary
located on the "old gymnasium site" for approximately
2 2 years with no rent being charged and the conditional
of the "double wide office" and parking lot
in very poor condition.
Town Manager Johnson stated that he felt there were safety
issues involved as the steps were slick following rains
and nails had backed out of the steps and ramp. The Council
discussed the desire to have a permanent Post Office located
on the present property, if restriction could be lifted
by FEMA, if not the old site on Allen Street would be
ideal if the old Post Office Building was torn down and
the property adjacent to the Post Office purchased.
Mayor Boyette also stated that in order to have the FEMA
restrictions lifted from the property a letter of intent
to build a new Post Office was forwarded to Congressman
Jones' office in order to solicit his assistance in having
the restriction waived. Mayor Boyette recognized Mr. Russell
Johnston, retired Belhaven Post Master, who stated that
other desirable properties be reviewed, if the present
property had so many restrictions.
After much involved discussion,
Mayor Boyette explained that the Council prioritize properties
to be reviewed by Postal Officials for possible sites
for a new post office and then notify Town Manager Johnson
of these sites, so that they may be prioritized at the
next Council meeting. Mayor Boyette also stated that the
town should start charging rent for the present Post Office
temporary site and offer maintenance on the parking lot
as it stays in deplorable condition, especially after
After additional discussion, Councilman Hodges made the
motion that beginning March 1, 2003 the Town would implement
a rent fee of $1,000 and would offer maintenance for the
parking lot for $300.00 per month. Councilwoman Wilkerson
seconded the motion which carried unanimously, 5 to 0.
Mayor Boyette directed Town Manager Johnson to notify
Postal Officials of the rent which will be due beginning
March 1, 2003.
Town Manager Johnson reported briefly on the following
1) Bond Sale for the Water System Improvement sold for
1.45%, very pleased with rate;
2) Christmas Parade and Festivities held this past Saturday,
smaller crowd participating but nice with strong military
presence - the Celebration Committee should handle this
celebration next year;
3) Holidays for the Town, December 25, 26, 27 and January
4) OSHA fined town $750.00, Town Manager Johnson will
5) Water Systems Improvements - rain has slowed construction.
Personnel [GS 143-318.11(5)ii] and Recess
Mayor Boyette stated that the Council had the need for
a closed session according to GS 143-318.11(5)ii (Personnel).
Councilman Hodges made the motion to take a three minute
break and to reconvene into Closed Session for Personnel.
Councilman Baker seconded the motion which carried unanimously,
5 to 0. The meeting recessed at 8:45 P.M.
Upon motion by Councilman Baker, seconded by Councilwoman
Wilkerson the Town Council reconvened into regular session
at 8:52 P.M.
Upon motion by Councilwoman Heath, seconded by Councilman
Hodges, the Town Manager was awarded a $3,000.00 bonus
in accordance with his accomplishment of set goals for
the past fiscal year.