Tuesday evening, the Roseboro Board of Commissioner took a forward focus as it hammered out its 2014-15 fiscal plan, a goal of improving infrastructure — with roads at the forefront of members’ minds — as its priority.
The proposed budget that they worked on during the Tuesday budget meeting was current through May 29; however, there are still outstanding debts that have not been paid.
“In June, we pay the second half of the police contract,” said town clerk Nancy Lindsay during the June 3 meeting. That is around $118,000, she said.
“The waste water treatment plant bond was paid in June, and that is $70,305, somewhere around in there,” detailed Lindsay.
“Those are the two huge things that stand out that are paid in June, other than just normal monthly bills,” said Lindsay.
“I received a bill today for the new aeration unit that got installed at the water treatment plant so that is $3,100 coming out of capital outlay,”explained Lindsay.
The office is also in need of some new equipment, including a new copier fax with color and a color laser printer. Modifications are also something that they are look towards in the future in regards to setting up a central server for backup purposes.
They also hope to rip up the carpet and put in new flooring as well as raise the floor by the window so that they can better see customers come into the municipal building.
“I want to see us do some good improvement on our streets,” said Commissioner Richard Barefoot. “Our streets are pitiful.”
“This patching, that’s all it is, it’s just patching,” he added.
“To let you all know we do have a situation on Pleasant Street that has just come up in the last two or three days,” Commissioner Cary Holland interjected, referring to the area by the fire department.
“All this has happened really quick,” Holland explained. “It’s sunk in.” He said that it was just like the situation that happened down on Roseboro Street. That sinkhole in downtown happened in December of last year around the time of the Roseboro Christmas parade.
“There is a flow problem,” Holland detailed, saying further that it is sucking in and washing up underneath the road.
“We’ve got to fix it, otherwise the buses are going to fall in,” said Commissioner Ray Clark Fisher.
“You can take your head and look up under it and there is a four or five foot cavity both ways,” said Holland.
Fisher noted that the fire trucks are heavy and weigh 40,000 pounds. It is a surprise, he said, that they haven’t fallen in.
Members said they are going to have to place a concrete or aluminum pipe underneath the road. The town started working on the problem Wednesday.
The board is also trying to determine how they can insulate themselves from major road repairs by getting ahead of the game.
“We need to be thankful for where we are,” said town commissioner Alice Butler.
“The streets have been so bad for so long, and it’s not about pointing fingers,” added Holland.
“We’ve got to start with something,” said Fisher.
The town clerk offered more details as the board continued to discuss the situation.
“In prior years we didn’t spend as much on contract services, and I think it’s because there was probably a larger team and a little more of an experienced team with Buck (Ammons) being here so long and knowing how to do it,” said Lindsay. “The town was able to do a lot of work for themselves and so there wasn’t as much contracting fee.” Buck Ammons was Roseboro’s longtime public works director who retired after 27 years of service on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013.
Last year there was a good amount of paving going on in Roseboro on Legion Street, NE Railroad Street and South Street to the tune of around $60,000 including potholes.
“If we don’t get to start doing something it’s going to get looking like the buildings downtown,” said Fisher.
“We have done some prioritizing and we are prepared,” said Holland. The board discussed leaving what money is in the Powell Bill fund alone and work on spending what will be coming in each year on repairs.
“Let’s learn how to spend the Powell Bill on what it is meant to be (spent on),” said Commissioner Richard Barefoot.
On May 21, the town offices began closing on Wednesday mornings to allow the clerks time to catch up on some paperwork.
“We use those four hours each week to go through files,” said Lindsay in a telephone interview. “We are getting everything in order and updating the computers and working on paperwork.” The board voted on the temporary change in schedule to enable the staff to have the project time.
“This will help us become more efficient and not let things slip through the cracks,” she said. Currently they are digging though 40 years of paperwork and throwing out what they don’t need.
Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122. Follow us on Twitter: @SampsonInd