Kerr-Tar picks up more ‘yes’ answers

May. 21, 2013 @ 05:27 PM

OXFORD — Five down, one to go in Granville County for the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments. Albeit with provisional conditions.

Oxford commissioners are the latest to give approval to a one-time special assessment by Kerr-Tar. The commissioners did so at their Tuesday meeting, approving an $11,761 amount based on a $1.39 per capita rate.

The board did so, favoring it 5-2 and with a condition it be put into escrow until a determination is made on other Kerr-Tar members approving their respective assessments.

Granville County commissioners and the towns of Butner, Creedmoor and Stovall have also given their approvals. The county opted to put it in a trust fund conditional to other entities making their payments, Butner approved without conditions, and Stovall approved on condition the other 20 entities in Kerr-Tar pay.

Stem has it on the agenda Monday night.

Kerr-Tar incurred an accounting irregularity due to using only one checking account. Money from an Economic Development Administration Revolving Loan Fund was used inadvertently, and the EDA has requested repayment immediately.

Kerr-Tar needed $138,537 to repay the EDA, and the remainder of the $311,367 will replenish the account with currently needed operating funds.

Kerr-Tar council members have told the 21 government entities no “intentional wrongdoing” was discovered in a review by the Kerr-Tar board and by its auditor.

The commissioners discussed the pros and cons of approving the assessment. C.J. Harris said, “When there is some money unaccounted for, I’m uneasy giving them more money.”

Robert Williford said, “It’s a good investment.”

Frank Strickland asked, “If not everyone pays, will they come back for more?”

Howard Herring said, “The City of Oxford has received way over the amount they’ve requested. I’m all for it.”

Asked his advice, City Attorney Thomas Burnette suggested putting the requested amount in escrow until it is determined whether other Kerr-Tar Council members approve their assessments.

“I wouldn’t recommend just giving them the money and hoping for the best,” Burnette said.

On a motion to approve the assessment and put it in escrow, the board vote 5-2, with Harris and Betty Moseley voting against.

The board held a public hearing on a proposal to amend the Oxford zoning ordinance as it affects temporary banner signs. No one spoke at the hearing. The commissioners then approved an amendment that will allow businesses to use banner signs on buildings.

In other business, the commissioners approved the following:

• A bicycle plan for improving existing infrastructure, constructing new facilities for bicyclists and creating a more bicycle-friendly community through the development of related program.

• A new materials management agreement with Synagro through December 2017 for biosolid waste removal. The price to the city will be the provider’s cost plus 10 percent.

• A contract for the installation of a new sewer service at 511 Hancock Street. The owner will repay the city the bid amount of $1,800 within one year at no interest.

• A contract with Winston, Williams, Creech, Evans & Co. to audit the city’s financial statements as of June 30, 2013, at a cost of $36,000.

• A demolition order for a structure located at 606 Raleigh Street.

• A change order for the Tranquil Drive Clean Water Management Trust Fund project to install a manhole liner and an additional 40 feet of curb and gutter on Forest Road.

• A tax release in the amount of $32.87 to Delage Landen Operational Services for a copier leased to the city.

• A proclamation recognizing the week of May 13-18 as National Police Week 2013 and May 15 as Police Memorial Day.

Sandra and Maurice Whitlow were presented the commissioners’ Yard of the Month Award.

Susan Wicker, president of the Oxford Historic Preservation Commission, presented the organization’s 2013 award to Douglas Marchant. A presentation displayed winners of the commission’s second annual photo contest. Stephen Schandel and J.B. Spurr each won multiple awards for their photographs in downtown Oxford.

The commissioners heard reports from Finance Director Steve McNally and commissioners Williford, Bullock and Currin.

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