The Butner Town Council met for its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, March 7, 2019. During the public comment period, Mr. Thomas Jackson of Creedmoor asked Council to look at partially funding the proposed replacement of the Joe Peed Sewer Pump Station. He stated he had also spoke with the City of Creedmoor, who is a stakeholder in the potential upgrade or replacement of the pump station. He passed out statistical information supporting further economic and financial growth if the pump station is replaced. Ms. Lyn Bailey of Butner discussed the monthly SGWASA updates and potential rate increases. She provided a recap of SGWASA’s meetings so far this year. According to Ms. Bailey, at the January meeting, three recommended options would have resulted in a small increase of $2.09 to the minimum 2,000 gallons. Discussion and a vote were tabled for the next meeting. At the February meeting, the vote changed from a simple percentage increase to a structured rate increase that would instead be tied to the budget. According to Ms. Bailey, the rate increase would be the primary source for funding a balanced SGWASA budget. She stated that the Butner-Creedmoor News reported that the representative from Stem, Mr. Kenneth McLamb, consults with his council for its input prior to voting on important issues. She requested that representatives from Butner, Mr. Bill Birdsong and Mr. Jimmy Gooch, bring any rate increase discussions to Council in a public forum prior to committing to any vote for increases, similar to how Mr. McLamb works with his board.
For the first time, the Town’s quarterly newsletter was mailed to Butner residents. A second mailing will occur later in the spring or early summer. Town Council was pleased with the process and initial feedback from the public has been positive. Residents are asked to call Town Hall to submit a name for the newsletter. Also, if you are not a resident of Butner but would like to receive the newsletter, you are asked to call Town Hall.
Council passed an amendment to cover unanticipated payout of accrued vacation time and a temporary Administrative Assistant last year. The Butner Volunteer Firefighters have established a non-profit status and will become the Butner Firefighters Association. They have received $2,500 in donations.
The Central Avenue Sidewalk will be extended from D Street to E Street, connecting Gazebo Park to existing sidewalks on D Street and the eastern side of Central Avenue. The bid for the project was awarded to PGA Construction. Construction is anticipated to begin late May-beginning of June. Renovations to the Old Fire Station should begin soon. The Town is waiting on a construction schedule from the contractor. Construction on the Veterans’ Life Center (VLC) should begin as soon as the weather breaks. Most trade contracts are in place. The Town has seen an increase in single family construction permits.
Mayor Turner announced that Habitat for Humanity is building a house in Butner. They are looking for a veteran to occupy the new home. Please contact him with any potential names.
Councilmember Gooch reported that SGWASA’s search for a new Executive Director failed. The process will begin again as they seek the replacement for former Acting Director Ayscue. Currently, Granville County Manager Felts agreed to assume responsibilities following Ayscue’s departure for a period of 60-90 days, without pay. The cost of the Water Treatment Plant continue to rise, now at $11.7 Million. The SGWASA Board asked that the costs be reviewed. Due to the uncertainty in the amount of water being used, a rate structure cannot be finalized. The Federal Prison reduced water consumption again, creating the uncertainty. The are the driving force behind a rate increase. Water quality reports are good.
Councilmember Smoak reported that the Granville TDA is happy with their billboard advertisement “Uniquely Carolina” on I-85 North at Falls Lake.
Councilmember McKellar reported that he enjoyed judging the Middle School Spelling Bee, held at Butner-Stem Middle School. He will be involved with the Battle of the Books later this year.
Council went into closed session to discuss the Town Manager’s Annual Performance Evaluation and Review.
Town Council will hold a Budget Retreat on March 20. This is the first Council Retreat since incorporation in 2007.
The Butner Planning Board will not meet this month. The Board’s next scheduled meeting is Thursday, April 11, 2019.
Butner Public Safety’s monthly Community Watch will meet on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 6:00 PM in the Camp Butner Room at Town Hall. Contact Sergant Massey (x.103) or Sergant Williams (x.111) at BPS for more information (#919-575-6561).
Board of Adjustment
The Butner Board of Adjustment will not meet this month. The Board’s next scheduled meeting is Thursday, April 25, 2019.
Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee
The Butner Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee will meet on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 6:30 PM in the Mayor’s Conference Room at Town Hall. The purpose of this meeting is to wrap up preparations for the annual Easter Egg Hunt and discuss other projects.