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Water and Sewer Rate and Capacity Discussion, Police Officers for Clayton and Riverwood Middle, Hurricane Florence Response Grant, Public Hearings and more at Monday Town Council Meeting

11/02/2018

We hope you will join us 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5 for the Clayton Town Council meeting at The Clayton Center/Town Hall, 111 East Second Street in Downtown Clayton.

You can view the full agenda packet online here, or click here to download a PDF copy. Here are the highlights:

Update and Discussion: Sanitary Sewer Tap Replacements / Water & Sewer Rates / Wastewater Capacity Study

The Town of Clayton is continuing to plan for the replacement of the Town’s wastewater treatment plant, which serves our residents, commercial and industrial customers. The plant is 54 years old, has no room to expand and lies in a flood hazard area. Plans to replace the plant date back decades. In the mid-90’s, Town leaders purchased land to build a new wastewater treatment plant near the Neuse River.  In the mid-2000s, Town leaders were beginning to plan for the cost and construction of the plant, but those plans were shelved when the country hit the Great Recession, the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Unclear on the timeline for economic recovery and growth, Town leaders began to explore intermediary methods of accommodating our sewer needs.  We reached agreements to connect and send wastewater flow to the City of Raleigh and Johnston County – and those increased capacities have served Clayton to this day.

Just like our neighbors in Johnston County, Smithfield and Selma, the Town of Clayton recently undertook a wastewater capacity study and water/sewer rate analysis. On Oct. 22, Town Council invited the utility consultants to present their study findings, which included slides on water and sewer rates and wastewater capacity. That analysis shows options on how to build and meet the town’s wastewater capacity needs and how to pay for it through the water & sewer rates. The baseline recommendation calls for building a new plant within 4 years on that designated piece of land and raising the base rate and commodity fees for most homeowners an average of about $15 a month for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019.  The study also calls for annual 30% sewer rate and 2% water rate increases for the following three years. The Council, recognizing the size of these proposed increases, directed staff to continue exploring options.

On Monday, Town Manager Adam Lindsay will review progress on the capacity study and the discussion of sewer replacement tap fees, and discuss setting a Nov. 19 public hearing for water and sewer rate increases.

Clayton Police Officers at Clayton and Riverwood Middle Schools

The Council will consider a contract with Johnston County Public Schools for the Clayton Police Department to staff each Clayton Middle and Riverwood Middle schools with a School Resource Officer (SRO.) The contract would begin Jan. 2 and run for a year and a half. The positions would be fully funded by grant money.

According the guidelines laid out by the school system, the SRO program is "designed to promote safety, good student conduct and relationship building through education, communication and understanding between school personnel, youth, police and the community through various programs supported by both the Johnston County Board of Education, the Town of Clayton and the Clayton Police Department."

The SROs would also provide support to our local elementary schools: West Clayton, Riverwood, East Clayton and Cooper Academy.

Public Assistance Grant Funds for Hurricane Florence

The Town of Clayton has been declared eligible for Public Assistance Grant Funds related to Hurricane Florence. That could cover work related to debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent work associated with damage to infrastructure.

The town expects to receive public assistance funds related to staff overtime for emergency protective measures, as well as staff overtime and regular time related to debris removal. In addition, the town expects to receive public assistance funds for hired electrical contractors and for equipment rented for the storm. The Town did not have any damage to its infrastructure.

The Town formally requested public assistance on Oct. 29 and is awaiting approval. As part of the application process, the Council will consider a resolution designating Assistant Public Works Director Blake Mills as Primary Agent and Finance Director Robert McKie as Secondary Agent. That would enable them to execute and file applications for public assistance and to represent the Town in all dealings with the State and FEMA. The Council will also consider authorizing an agreement between the Town and the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Emergency Management for the Town to receive the funds.

Backup Police Service for Animal Control when Working for Archer Lodge

Since 2015, the Town of Clayton has provided animal control service for the of Town of Archer Lodge on a contract basis. Recently, the Town of Archer Lodge has asked the Town of Clayton to provide police backup for the Animal Control Officer while she works in Archer Lodge.

On Monday, the Council will consider approving an agreement with the Town of Archer Lodge to provide that additional service at a rate of $75 per trip, per service. Attorneys from each Town have reviewed the agreement.

In no way would the agreement authorize Clayton Police to patrol Archer Lodge.

Two Public Hearings

The Council will open the floor for public discussion before voting to approve or deny the following:

Sun Belt Rentals Annexation: Vehicle Sales & Rental Near Intersection of U.S. 70 & U.S. 70 Business

Moffat Properties LLC seeks annexation of 6.22 acres of a 23.4-acre property located at 7635 U.S. 70 Business, which is just north of the U.S. 70 Bypass. The site previously housed Clayton Homes, which sold modular and manufactured houses.

In May, the Council approved a special-use permit to allow vehicle sales and rental on the property. The month before that, the Council voted to rezone the full 23.4 acres to B-3 Highway Business from B-2 Neighborhood Business and to remove it from the Scenic Highway Overlay District.

In April, the Planning Board approved plans to build a 10,500-square-foot building with a 34-space parking lot on the site. The site plan showed a majority of the property to be leveled and covered in gravel for outdoor equipment storage, with area lighting surrounding the property and landscaping around the perimeter.

Kyli Knolls: 22 Houses on Amelia Church Road (Continued from Oct. 15)

Full Spectrum Custom Homes seeks preliminary subdivision plat approval to develop 22 houses on 18.56 acres of land off Amelia Church Road, roughly 3,000 feet south of the intersection of Amelia Church Road and N.C. 42 West. The lots would be at least 25,000 square feet in area.

The applicant would not seek annexation into the Town, and residents would receive water from Johnston County and use septic tanks for sewer service. New streets would have curbs, gutters and sidewalk.

The staff report for this item includes some background information and concerns:

An application was submitted in 2017 for this development that was ultimately denied by the Town Council (2017-98-SD). The original application consisted of 20 single-family lots, and did not include any roadway improvements. The Town Council found that the layout proposed at that time would materially endanger the environment, public health, safety, or the general welfare. This was outlined in the resolution to be determined by the three separate connections proposed on Amelia Church Road, congestion caused by traffic entering and exiting the development, and a general lack of traffic congestion mitigation.

As the development is currently submitted, a left-turn lane into the development off Amelia Church Road will be required by NCDOT and is shown on the preliminary plat. Staff does still have concerns regarding the proposed separation between the existing access easement to the Richard Scott Ball property and the main entrance into the development. The proposed connection results in the convergence of three separate vehicular connections at one point along Amelia Church Road, which results in a safety concern. Staff recommends relocating the 30’ access easement to alleviate these safety concerns.

On Oct. 15, the Council opened this public hearing and heard from the applicant and Town staff. The applicant made a presentation, but failed to provide expert testimony, which is required for all quasi-judicial hearings, including this preliminary subdivision plat request. To give the applicant more time to prepare his case, the Council voted to postpone its decision until Monday.

On Sept. 24, the Planning Board reviewed the request and recommended its approval.

Introduction of New Human Resources Analyst.

The Council will meet the Town's new human resources analyst, Kimberly Lazar.

Setting Nov. 19 Public Hearing

The Town Council will consider scheduling a Nov. 5 public hearing for the following item. No discussion or action is expected to occur at Monday's meeting.

Rezoning Eight Properties on East Main Street (517-549 E. Main St.)

James Lipscomb seeks rezoning of eight parcels totaling 1.196 acres of land along Main Street from Office-Institutional (O-I) to Central-Business (B-1). Currently, the land is being used for a mixture of residential and retail, including City Florist of Clayton.

If approved, the residential properties located at 525 and 531 E. Main St. would be grandfathered in until they are redeveloped in conjunction with the adjacent properties. The building at 545 E. Main St. would be used as an office, and 539 E. Main Street would be demolished. City Florist of Clayton would remain at 549 E. Main St. The properties are adjacent to and bordered by offices to the north, and they are generally surrounded by single family houses in all other directions. The other properties in the same block are zoned Office-Institutional (O-I) and adjacent properties to the east and west are zoned Single-Family Residential.

More info will be included in future agenda packets. For more, call the Planning Department at 919-359-9399.

Need More Info?

If you have any questions about the agenda or any other Town-related issues, please feel free to email Public Information Officer Stacy Beard or call her at 919-358-0348. You may also email Assistant Public Information Officer John Hamlin or call him at 919-480-0170.

Have a great weekend, and we hope to see you at the meeting.

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