40 years of bills causes debate in Roachdale
The town board of Roachdale has been approached by two different families recently.
The Bells, who have been ordered to clean up its property at 102 W. Railroad St., were joined by the Stewart family Tuesday at Roachdale's monthly session.
The Stewart family of Roachdale approached the board concerning sewage usage on its property. The matter was brought to the board's attention at its December meeting and was ultimately tabled until January.
The family claims that the property has not been connected to the town's sewage system and yet has paid a sewage bill for nearly 40 years. Though records do not trace back that far (to the mid 1970s), the town's attorney and a recent plumber were present. It was stated that in the '70s an ordinance was passed ordering residents to connect to the sewage system. Issues with the original inspector, employed by the town at that time, and the original homeowner were discussed.
Though the matter is to be investigated further, the town potentially may not be found liable for reimbursement for the nearly 40-year "usage."
The affair was again ultimately tabled until the board's February session so responsible parties can determine an acceptable amount for reimbursement, and if the town is indeed liable for such claims.
In other business:
* A resident reported flooding issues at 205 E. Railroad St. due to recent rainfall. Upon separate investigation, Town Superintendent Jason Woodall reported no clogging had occured in a nearby drain described as "plugged" by ice. No action was taken after it was determined the drain simply "couldn't keep up" with the floodwaters.
* Grant Administrator Vickie Powers, accompanied by associate Sandy Powers, updated the board on multiple grants that are currently being pursued by the town. A wastewater-collections grant is set to be bid upon with a "pre-bid" meeting is set for Jan. 22 at 11 a.m. at the Roachdale town hall.
* A uniform policy was approved for members of the board and other town employees. Employees hope to be able to don the uniforms in time of emergency, unless it is impractical to do so.
The effective date of such measures was tabled until an appropriate vendor can be found.
* New Clerk-Treasurer Debbie Sillery updated the board on building access. Locks have reportedly been changed in accordance with newly-elected officials.
* Resolution 01-2016 was approved concerning credit card usage by town employees. Sillery will now be able to use the card for town-related purposes.
* Executive Order No. 01-2016 was approved. The passing of the order official approved the appointment of Ricky Miles Jr. to the Planning Commission.
* Ordinance 01-2016, which officially establishes a board of zoning appeals (dubbed the Roachdale Advisory Board of Zoning Appeals), was approved via unanimous decision. Five members will be appointed in the coming weeks with four-year terms for each.
* An "Expenditure Dollar Limit" was approved to be raised up to $1,000 for puchases without prior approval.
* Sillery reported Char's Accounting Services as being "a huge help" throughout the beginning of the year and was offered a services contract to continue helping the town be "as efficient as possible."
* Marshal Mahoy told the board he currently is looking to fill two reserve deputy positions soon. Those interested can contact the Roachdale Police Department at 522-1532.
Mahoy also spoke of a P.I.E. grant that would help the town's watch dog, Toby, become fully insured. Mahoy said the canine-officer is covered if something happens to an individual, via bite or scratch, but there is currently no coverage if something happens to him. An application has been submitted and the board will "hopefully" be able to officially approve coverage for Toby at its February session.
* Superintendent Woodall requested a dumpster of two-cubic feet for use at the town's water-treatment facility from Tri-County Trash. The motion was approved.
Woodall also requested to reinstate usage of hand-held meters for municipalities around town. Using a pen-and-paper approach for more than four years, the employees will now have replacement batteries, valued at a total of $88, in order to use the hand-held devices.
* Sillery requested a software change to Keystone Software in order to make the town more efficient; several advantages were cited. The board approved the purchase of the software, valued at $14,025. iCloud and online payments for the town's residents were also discussed for further investigation.
* Cell phones for town employees have experienced over-usage based on an impression of having unlimited data. Board President Bowers stated that this is indeed not the case. A new plan with AT&T was approved to raise the phones' data levels for shared use at 15 gigabytes.
The next Roachdale Town Council meeting is set to take place on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Roachdale Town Hall.