Board of Commissioners Meeting Summary
The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners met Monday, Jan. 9. Following is a brief summary of noteworthy actions. It does not include all actions taken at the meeting and should not be viewed as official minutes. The meeting took place virtually with online conferencing software and is available for view on the town’s YouTube channel.
National Mentoring Month ― Mayor Jenn Weaver read a proclamation declaring January as National Mentoring Month. Attrayus Goode of MENTOR North Carolina received the proclamation and thanked the board for support of mentors.
Employee Service Milestone Awards ― Town Manager Eric Peterson gave a presentation on the service milestone award recipients for 2022. Employees are recognized for every five years of service with a coin and $75.
- 5 years of service — Plant Maintenance Mechanic I Dennis Apple, Police Sgt. Heather Blackwell, Stormwater Program Coordinator Heather Fisher, Senior Communications Specialist Cheryl Sadgrove and Utility Systems Mechanic II Thomas Smith
- 10 years of service — Stormwater and Environmental Services Manager Terry Hackett and Water Plant Operator I Curtis Watkins
- 15 years of service — Budget Director Emily Bradford, Wastewater Plant Operator II Jeff Davis and Senior Planner Tom King
- 20 years of service — Water Plant Superintendent Nathan Cates, Police Sgt. Tim Corbett, Billing and Customer Service Supervisor Linda Daye and Utility Maintenance Supervisor Al Robertson
- 25 years of service — Fleet Mechanic Darren Koch and Town Manager Eric Peterson
Stormwater Program Update ― Stormwater and Environmental Services Manager Terry Hackett gave a brief update on the town’s stormwater program. He noted:
- The state will conduct a routine audit of the town’s stormwater permitting program this year.
- The Upper Neuse River Basin Association is expected to make recommendations for updating the Falls Lake Rules later this year. Data from monitoring indicates that Falls Lake is in better shape than was thought. Also, the data shows that Hillsborough only accounts for 1 to 2 percent of the nutrient load reaching Falls Lake.
- The Stormwater and Environmental Services Division will request an increase in the stormwater fee this year to cover the rising cost of materials and the need to create a new stormwater position.
The board made the following appointments:
- Frank Cassadonte to a second term on the Planning Board.
- John Giglia to a first term on the Planning Board.
- Grace Beeler and Eric Raznick to first terms on the Water and Sewer Advisory Committee.
Town code amendments
Assistant Town Manager and Community Services Director Margaret Hauth reviewed the changes that the board had requested to the Code of Ordinances regarding the appointed boards. The board voted to approve the recommended changes, which included:
- Adding language that appointees serve at the pleasure of the board with the exception of one board for which a state statute dictates a member can only be removed for cause.
- Specifying that members of the Parks and Recreation Board should live within a park district.
- Removing language about ex officio positions. It was noted that only the Tourism Board designates a seat to a commissioner in the code. The board included in its motion the conversion of existing liaison commissioner positions to voting members on the Parks and Recreation Board and the Water and Sewer Advisory Committee.
- Reviewing defining language on boards to determine what should be included in the code.
Hauth plans to meet with support staff and each appointed board to review needed updates to rules of procedures for the appointed boards and to streamline stated responsibilities in the code.
Legislative policy goals
The board selected 10 of the 16 proposed policy goals to serve as the North Carolina League of Municipalities’ agenda for the 2023-2024 legislative biennium. The board also appointed Commissioner Kathleen Ferguson to serve as the voting delegate who will cast Hillsborough’s vote for its top 10 policy goals.
The goals are described in more depth in the agenda packet and included:
- Expand federal and state resources for affordable housing.
- Create an adequate and permanent funding stream for local infrastructure.
- Allow municipalities to use local resources and capabilities to expand broadband access in their communities through innovative partnerships.
- Expand state transportation funding streams for construction and maintenance for municipal and state-owned secondary roads.
- Support integrated and multi-modal transportation solutions.
- Increase state funding for public transportation operations.
- Provide state assistance for yearly financial audits, ensuring that an adequate number of auditors is available.
- Update annexation petition thresholds to make voluntary annexations easier to initiate.
- Provide authority to municipal water systems to recoup costs of cleanup from polluters.
- Provide local revenue options beyond property tax.
Work session topics
At the work session on Jan. 23, the board expects to receive an annual transportation planning report from the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization, an update on the future train station project and information about alternative transportation funding.