Minutes – October 6, 2003 Regular Session
Mayor Boyette stated that the minutes of the October 5,
2003 meeting were open for review and adoption. There
being no corrections to the minutes, Councilman Hodges
made the motion to approve the October 6, 2003 minutes
as written. Councilman Baker seconded the motion which
Jurisdiction (ETJ) Alternate, Planning Board/Board of
Mayor Boyette stated that Mrs. Rosa White, who had once
served on the Planning Board/Board of Adjustment, was
willing to serve in that capacity again. Mayor Boyette
asked for any other nominations. There being none, Councilman
Hodges made the motion to appoint Mrs. Rosa White as an
alternate member of the Belhaven Planning Board/Board
of Adjustment serving from the extraterritorial jurisdiction
area with a term expiring March 2007. Councilman Ebron
seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
2002/2003 Audit Presentation – Mr. Jeff Best, Pittard,
Perry & Crone, Inc.
Mayor Boyette introduced Mr. Jeff Best, Certified Public
Account, with Pittard, Perry & Crone, Inc. which performed
the Town’s Fiscal Year 2002/2003 Audit. Mr. Best
thanked Mayor Boyette and the Council for the opportunity
to perform the audit and gave praise to the staff (particularly
the finance department) for their willingness to work
with him and his employees during the audit review.
Mr. Best gave an overview
of the 2002/2003 Fiscal Year Audit as follows:
Fund Balance Increased from $2,094,996 Prior Year to $2,113,878
to FY 2002/2003
Fixed Assets Increased by $106,314; totaling General Fixed
Assets June 30, 2003 $3,062,258;
Long Term Obligations (Debt) increased due to the addition
of the new Water Plant;
General Fund Revenues over expenditures by $51,983;
Water and Sewer Revenues over expenditures $349,459;
Electric Revenues over expenditures $223,309;
Federal and State Grant Awards Combined for 2002/2003
Tax Collection was at 85.47% for current year collection.
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 and will always be a problem due
to the limited staff.
Mr. Best also emphasized that the tax collection rate
should be increased and suggested that letters be sent
to delinquent accounts to hopefully increase collection.
Mr. Best stated that with the Town’s infrastructure
(upgrades, improvements) this will allow the Town to grow.
Town Manager Johnson explained
that Beaufort County, collects and bills the Town’s
taxes and together with the Town some bank accounts have
Mr. Johnson also stated that the Town entered into a debt
set off program whereas any state tax refund check could
be garnished for past due utility bills.
Town Manager Johnson stated that this state tax refund
could also be garnished for taxes and has informed Beaufort
County of this for collecting delinquent taxes.
Town Manager Johnson stated that the Fiscal year 2002/2003
Audit is open for public inspection at the Municipal Building
and the Public Library.
The Mayor and Council
praised Town Manager Johnson, Town Finance Director Robin
Godsell and their staff for their budgeting and handling
of the Town’s finances.
Mayor Boyette asked for
a motion approving the Fiscal Year 2002/2003 Audit as
presented by Mr. Jeff Best of Pittard, Perry & Crone.
Councilman Baker made the motion to approve the audit
as presented for FY 2002/2003. Councilman Hodges seconded
the motion which carried unanimously.
Mayor Boyette commented briefly on the following issues:
Beaufort County Committee
of 100 met at noon on October 15 at the Helmsman –
Beaufort County Economic Director, Mr. Tom Thompson presented
slides and reported that there may be sources available
for funding the replacement of the breakwater;
Mr. Bob Holz attended
the Transportation Planning Committee for Mid East Commission
as Belhaven’s representative on October 14 –
his report included the need to inform Department of Transportation
(DOT) that 4-laning to Belhaven from Douglas Crossroads
is a priority, keeping transportation open over Pungo
Creek when bridge is replaced and the need for a bike
trail on 264 By-Pass.
Mayor Boyette recognized the following citizens:
Mrs. Hattie Collins, resident
corner of Pamlico and Pantego Streets who complained about
the overgrown property beside her home; Town Manager Johnson
stated that Code Enforcement would be informed;
Councilwoman Heath mentioned
that property on Union Street was also overgrown;
Mr. Jay Wilkins stated
that he had hoped that the opponents who were running
for Council and Mayor positions with the Town were present
so that he could ask how they proposed to reduce utility
bills or electric rates.
Town Manager Johnson stated
that he would also like to know how electric rates could
be reduced, as would the governing body. Town Manager
Johnson explained that anytime you have a reduction in
revenue a decrease in expenditure would also be needed.
Town Manager Johnson further explained that the only way
to reduce electric rates would be for the town to grow
(as with the waterfront study plan) so that more electricity
is purchased under a lower rated tier and that our contracts
for purchasing be revised. Town Manager Johnson stated
that the electric contacts do not expire until 2011 and
later. Town Manager Johnson stated that the Mayor and
Council are doing all that they can to provide quality
services at the lowest rates possible.
Town Manager Johnson also
stated that in answer to another angle the opponents were
claiming that citizens who received new homes, free of
charge were made to have total electric appliances. To
clarify this statement, Town Manager Johnson stated that
the homes were bid or specified to have a 12 sear heat
pump as this was the most economical way to heat and cool
these homes as 12 sear was high rated for conservation
and electrical efficiency.