08/16/11 — Council takes care of routine business

View Archive

Council takes care of routine business

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on August 16, 2011 1:46 PM

"He's been here a week and we haven't run him off yet," Mayor King joked in the opening moments of Monday night's City Council meeting, City Manager Scott Stevens' first in his official capacity. "Scott is tough."

A light agenda in Stevens' first meeting allowed everything to go smoothly, as an abbreviated work session and full board meeting that lasted about 30 minutes rounded out the evening in less than two hours.

In fact, the only thing that wasn't scheduled on the agenda was a special presentation to Planning Director Randy Guthrie. A group from the North Carolina Association of Zoning Officials brought a plaque recognizing him as the zoning official of the year within the 85-county region over which the association presides.

"You really deserve that award," Mayor Pro tem Chuck Allen said.

Guthrie noted it was a team effort and recognized members of his staff.

No one spoke during public hearings concerning rezoning requests on North Oak Forest Road or Water Circle, though the attorney representing Marguerite Cox did speak on the request to rezone a plat on Wayne Memorial Drive across from Wayne Community College from residential to office and institutional.

Although there aren't any requirements for site plans for the rezoning yet, John Dees told council that the land has been earmarked for a State Employees Credit Union branch.

In other business, at the request of Dale Benton's attorney, the council continued its trend of deferring a verdict on Benton's conditional use permit to expand his business on Cuyler Best Road. Benton began his quest to expand his trucking and construction business about a year ago with a rezoning request that he eventually downgraded to a conditional use permit with several stipulations, including the installation of a wall to deter noise from carrying into a nearby neighborhood.

A public hearing May 16 saw six people speak for the permit, while four spoke against it. The council has been delaying its decision while the concerned neighbors and Benton and his attorney work out options.

The consent agenda Monday night contained a budget ordinance to replace the letters on the memorial statue at the north side of the roundabout at the corner of Ash and Center streets. $916 from the municipal services district fund will be appropriated to replace the letters that spell out "Seymour Johnson AFB."

In other business, the council approved awarding State Utility Contractors with the contract for the Phase 2 Water Treatment Plant Upgrade project. State Utility Contractors submitted the lowest bid, at $2.176 million. An additional $339,000 will be needed to complete the full project, and an additional $43,183 in additional input/output slots for the new equipment, bringing the total contract amount to $2,558,183.

A 2009 loan at 2.5 percent interest for just more than $2 million will be used to pay for the repairs, although additional funding has been requested as well, since the loan amount won't be sufficient to cover the project.

The council also approved a budget amendment which will allow for the allocation of Community Development Block Grant funds and the Federal HOME Investment Partnership Program for fiscal year 2011-12. The city will receive $359,721 in CDBG funding and $257,235 for its HOME program.