Vandalism at park warrants board consideration
by Karen Martin, Associate Editor
Continued vandalism at Yadkinville's new park has started conversation by the Yadkinville Board of Commissioners on whether to consider installing security cameras with 24-hour coverage.
Yadkinville's Public Works Director Perry Williams explained to the board at Monday night's meeting that there continues to be issues with vandalism.
"We continue to have to make repairs to the bathrooms at the park," Williams said. "There's graffiti, fixtures have been damaged, hand dryers have been torn from the walls and large holes have been knocked into the walls.
"While we continue to make the repairs, the problem is still there," he said. "I've been getting a few estimates and so far it's close to $3,200."
The board decided to have Williams look into different security camera options and come back with additional information at the March meeting.
The board also heard a presentation by Yadkinville Town Attorney Ben Harding about the first draft of a proposed ordinance that would regulate the aesthetics of buildings in downtown.
"This is the first draft of the ordinance you've asked for," Harding said. "The state gives towns the authority to pass ordinances based on health, safety and the welfare of its residents, like an inhabitable house that is not safe and also a non-residential property that isn't safe. The state recently passed a new general statute that will allow for action if a property is non-residential and is not safe because of the way it's being maintained, action can be taken, but there is no general statute that allows us to take action because of a property's appearance."
Harding went on to explain to the board that if the maintenance of a property is such that it influences the surrounding properties by decreasing the values of the other properties and discourages economic development or is detrimental to the public that under certain circumstances they would be able to require the property owner to bring the property back up to standards.
The board was given a copy of the first draft for their consideration and further action will be taken at a forthcoming meeting.
Yadkinville Town Manager Joseph Sloop presented to the board a request from Yadkin County to take over the billing for water customers.
"The county has asked if we would be willing to take over the invoicing and collecting for approximately 46 water service customers," Sloop said.
Several of the commissioners asked questions as to would there be a surcharge to county, would the town employees have time within their schedule to add this to their tasks and how much time it would take to add this to their responsibility.
Harding reminded the board additional water lines in the process of being built and that an additional 50 customers could be added in 2011 to the existing 46.
Harding also suggested that the fee to the county be a per customer rate and not a flat rate. Included in the consideration of the fees to the county was also the use of the software used for invoicing and collecting the water fees from its customers.
The board asked Sloop to gather more information and present it at the next meeting.
The board approved a recommendation from Yadkinville Chamber of Commerce President Bobby Todd to reappoint Sandra Thomas to the TDA board for an additional three-year term.
Considerable discussion took place between the board members after a request by the Yadkinville Downtown Business Association for an advance on the money to purchase fireworks for the town's Fourth of July celebration.
Concerns about a budget amendment that would show on next year's audit as two payments for fireworks in 2011 as well as the transfer of funds and the availability of the funds were also discussed.
Commissioner Eddie Norman made a suggestion that the town take over paying for the fireworks instead of moving money back and forth between the town and the DBA.
"I think we need to look into the liability of the situation and who carries the insurance prior to making that decision," Harding said.
Commissioners Betty Driver and Gene Brannon said that they wanted to wait until after a scheduled budget workshop on March 11 before committing to spending the additional money.
"I think we need to see what our priorities are and where the money we do have available could best be spent before deciding to take over the cost of the fireworks," Driver said.
"I agree with Betty," Commissioner Brannon said. "We need to look into the liability to the town and have a better understanding of the funds we have available and the projects that need to be taken care of."
The fireworks issue was tabled until a future meeting.
In other board action:
A resolution to write off uncollectible utility bills was approved after the town clerk had exhausted all efforts to collect the monies. Amounts written off were less than $50.
The sale of surplus items belonging to the Yadkinville Police Department and the Public Works department were approved.
Other topics of discussion included the pot holes on U. S. 601 and in the Lowes Food shopping center, snow removal, the responsibility and liability of accidents due to snow and ice and solutions that needed to be looked into.
The Yadkinville Town Board of Commissioners holds its monthly meetings at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of every month in the Town Hall building on Van Buren Street.
Anyone with a comment, suggestion or concern should arrive prior to 7 p.m. to sign a public speaking form to be recognized during the open portion of the meeting.
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