The Butner Town Council met for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Thursday, February 7, beginning promptly at 7:00 PM. During the public comment period, Mr. Cecil Hudgins asked council if anyone could explain the loud boom/explosion that occurred the day before at approximately 2:30 PM. Neither BPS or Council could provide an explanation. Mayor Turner read a proclamation recognizing the 100th birthday of Mr. Richard (Hank) Plott. BPS Captain Donald Slaughter will be retiring February 28th. At the request of BPS Chief Danny Roberts, Council adopted a resolution awarding Captain Slaughter his badge, service sidearm and fire helmet upon retirement. During the financial report and update by Susan Hiscocks, Finance Director, Council asked about the status of the Wynngate assessments. 52 properties did not make a payment last year. 33 were referred to the Town Attorney. The Town started with 12 properties headed towards foreclosure. Most non-payments were made by mortgage companies; now, only 6 are on to the next steps of foreclosure.
Council held a public hearing for REZ-19-01, an application to rezone 19.76 acres off Wellons Drive from Rural Residential (RR) to Mixed Residential (RMX). This zoning district was selected by the applicant to allow for more dense residential development. The Butner Planning Board heard this application at its January meeting and recommended approval. Besides staff and the applicant, no one else spoke either in favor or against the rezoning. After some discussion and consideration, Council voted unanimously to approve the rezoning application and the subsequent consistency statements.
Council approved staff’s recommendations for appointments to the Planning Board, Board of Adjustment and Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee to fill vacancies. For the Planning Board, Council appointed Mr. Bill Cheek to be moved from an alternate member to a regular member to fill Ms. Patricia Thorpe’s seat, with a term expiring in 2020. Council also appointed Ms. Iris Allen as an alternate member with a term expiring in 2022. She fills Bill Cheek’s empty alternate seat. For the Board of Adjustment, Council appointed four new members: Ms. Wyrette Thompson, regular member with a term expiring in 2021, to fill Mr. James Russell’s vacant seat; Mr. Brian Weaver, regular member with a term expiring in 2022, to fill Mr. Ernest Thompson’s vacant seat; Ms. Phyllis Sanders, alternate member with a term expiring in 2022, to fill Mr. Chandler Wynne’s seat; and, Mr. Edwardo Sosa, alternate member with a term expiring in 2022, for a new alternate seat. Council also appointed Mr. Sosa to fill a vacant seat on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, with a term expiring in 2021. Mr. Chandler Wynne was appointed as a regular BOA member at Council’s meeting in January. Granville County Commissioners appointed two new ETJ members to serve on both the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment, replacing A.A. (Buddy) Prince and John Glenn: Mark Pennington and Mike Arrington, both with terms to expire in 2020.
Old Fire Station Project
Following recommendation from staff, Council awarded the contract for renovating the Old Fire Station (701 Central Avenue) to the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder Endeavor Construction Services, Inc., in the amount of $990,873.00. Council also approved a 5% contingency in the amount of $49,544.00 ($1,040,417.00 total). Council also voted to authorize the Town Attorney to finalize and the Town Manager to execute the contract. A project ordinance was needed because the renovations and purchase of furnishings and equipment will cross fiscal years. Council voted to approve the Capital Project Ordinance in the amount of $1,151,117.00 for costs associated with renovating the Old Fire Station. At the recommendation of the Finance Committee, Council voted to approve Budget Amendment 006-2019 in the amount of $592,917.00. This amount will fund the difference in the original estimate for the cost of renovation, equipment, and furnishings for the BPS training center that will be located in the Old Fire Station.
Gazebo Park Tree Project
Over the past several years, many discussions have been had about what to do with the large Red Cedar Tree in Gazebo Park. Without knowing if it was healthy or not, the Town did not want to remove it without another plan in place – especially since the tree is the centerpiece for holiday decorations. Leaf & Limb evaluated the Easter Red Cedar Tree for pruning or removal and recommends pruning since the tree is healthy. The arborist also recommends planting a faster-growing variety of tree near the entrance. In a few years, the new tree could be decorated for Christmas. In the meantime, once pruned, the large Cedar Tree could be decorated in a way to more closely resemble a Christmas tree. Both the pruning cost and adding an additional tree would total $2,845.00.
BPS Chief Roberts Community watch will be held on Valentine’s Day. Ed Beal is retiring from CRH at the end of the month. BPS will hold a promotional ceremony for four promotions. There are 2 PSO vacancies. Chief Roberts will be out for back surgery. Captain Champion will be in charge since Captain Slaughter will be gone by the time he returns.
Mayor Turner announced Marine David Tupper will be the speaker for this year’s Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony.
Councilmember Branch BCA will host a movie night on Saturday, February 16 at the Sports Arena. Doors open at 6:30 PM and the movie will begin at 7:00 PM. The movie being shown is “Frozen.” Food and beverages will be provided; bring your own chairs. BCA will hold its next meeting on February 21st at 7:00 PM at Town Hall. Mark your calendars for BCA’s Beautify Butner event on April 6.
Councilmember Birdsong gave the SGWASA update. SGWASA held many meetings in January and approved 2 service allocations for Creedmoor. SGWASA has authorized a Pay In Class Study. SGWASA has had multiple discussions on the needed upgrades to the sewer system to get it up to capacity and for future growth. There are 2 leading candidates to fill the vacant Director position.
Councilmember Lane gave COG updates. Councilmember Land and Planning Director Ciriello will work through the TAC/TCC committees to try to get funding for intersection improvements. He stated they have received preliminary supportive feedback from NCDOT for these improvements.
Councilmember Smoak discussed the new branding efforts by the Tourism Development Authority (TDA); a new billboard on I-85 will debut soon.
Councilmember McKellar attended UNRBA’s January meeting and shared that the water in Falls Lake is better than a few years ago and it is due largely to the work the UNRBA does on behalf of its members. He also discussed that state of crosswalks on Central Avenue and their need to be repaired from this winter. He ask asked for more signage for motorists to watch for pedestrians in the crosswalks.
No closed session needed. Meeting adjourned at approximately 8:45 PM.
The Butner Planning Board will not meet this month.
Butner Public Safety will hold its monthly Community Watch meeting on Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 6:00 PM. The meeting will be held in the Camp Butner Room at Town Hall. The public is invited to hear about recent arrests, crimes and safety concerns.
BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
The Butner Board of Adjustment will meet on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 7:00 PM. The purpose of this meeting is to clarify conditions of approval for a special use permit approved last year for a solar farm.
PARKS & RECREATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The next scheduled meeting for the Butner Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee is Monday, March 11, 2019 at 6:30 PM. The committee will meet in the Mayor’s Conference Room at Town Hall to plan this year’s Easter Egg Hunt.