Council faces few decisions Monday

The Henderson City Council faces the lightest agenda of the summer Monday night, with City Manager Eric Williams estimating that the items over which he has some influence should take a total of 39 minutes.

That time estimate does not include a discussion of Wednesday’s meeting of the Kerr Lake Regional Water System’s advisory board, the approval of the annual renewal of The Ferguson Group’s Washington lobbying contract, a request from Hazel Peck regarding the Appearance Commission, any updates about council member Elissa Yount’s concerns over the Time Warner Cable contract and the budget, and a report from the Finance and Intergovernmental Relations Committee about its meeting Wednesday.

That FAIR meeting included discussions about two important pieces of correspondence: a letter sent Friday to Vance County and the H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library about equitable funding of that institution; and a draft letter to the state’s Local Government Commission in response to the LGC’s letter about the city’s below-standard fund balance.

With the support of Henderson and Oxford, the water system advisory board decided last week to move ahead with seeking bids for the expansion of the water plant to a capacity of 20 million gallons per day. The project is expected to cost $21 million.

The consent agenda for the night includes three resolutions and agreements regarding North Carolina League of Municipalities insurance pools the City Council decided to join during its budget discussions in June: group health insurance through the Municipal Insurance Trust; property and liability insurance through the Interlocal Risk Financing Fund of North Carolina; and workers’ compensation insurance with the North Carolina Interlocal Risk Management Agency.

Also on the consent agenda is a lease-purchase financing agreement with BB&T to handle several purchases approved as part of the 2005-06 budget: a roof for the Aycock gym; a backhoe for the water distribution system; a half-ton pickup truck for the Engineering Department; a sewer rodder; and lab and furnace equipment for the Water Reclamation Facility.

Among other business before the council:

* Mayor Clem Seifert will mention a letter from Iams plant engineer James McCall that compliments city employees Andy Perkinson and Joey Long.

* Mike Garrett will seek permission for the Tar River Cruizers to use the parking lot of the Operations & Service Center.

* The council will be asked to schedule a public hearing for Aug. 8 on the request of Salare Inc. to rezone 6.29 acres at 88 Parham Spring Lane in the Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction from R-15M (low-to-moderate-density residential with mobile homes) to I-2 (industrial nonpark). The Planning Board unanimously endorsed the request from Salare owners Bob and JoAnn Esquivel, whose company makes high-tech plastic containers without chemicals or waste.

* The Public Works and Land Planning and Development committees could schedule meetings to deal with long-discussed issues. The Public Works Committee is due to set up a timeline for deciding the future of the city’s sanitation system, and the Land Planning and Development Committee is awaiting an updated draft of the amortization ordinance to discuss how to handle junkyards and auto repair facilities.

The City Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers of the Municipal Building on Beckford Drive. The monthly Speak Up Henderson forum will precede the council meeting, running from 6 to 7 p.m.