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Winterville chips in for trail as part of Old Tar widening


By Angela Harne
The Times-Leader

Monday, March 12, 2018

WINTERVILLE — Town leaders are working with the state Department of Transportation to include a multi-use trail in the Old Tar Road widening project.

The DOT can accommodate an 8-foot-wide trail on the eastern side of the road, according to Winterville's assistant town manager Ben Williams. The project will require a 20 percent cost share from the town.

Along with a sidewalk, the trail will provide cyclists and pedestrians access to greenways. The multi-use trail will run from Cedar Ridge and Canterbury subdivisions to the intersection of Worthington Road and Cooper Street, Williams told the Winterville Town Council at the Feb. 12 meeting.

To install sidewalks on both sides of Old Tar Road and to add 3 feet for the multi-use trail will cost the town $127,629. The payment will be due in 2020 when the town enters into a cost-share agreement with the transportation department to complete the road widening.

Funds in the town's Powell Bill reserves will cover the project's cost, Williams said.

Councilman Tony Moore made a motion to approve the trail, which Councilman Johnny Moye seconded. Moore made a motion to amend the budget to include the earmarking of the funds for the future project, which Councilwoman Veronica Roberson seconded. Both motions passed unanimously.

The council also voted unanimously to accept a N.C. Division of Water Resources grant to complete a design plan of the town's greenway. The grant requires a $35,000 match, which Mayor Pro-tem Mark Smith made a motion to approve. Roberson seconded the motion that passed unanimously.

In other news, the council:

• Received a report from Chief Ryan Willhite of the Winterville Police Department regarding the town's junk vehicle ordinance. Since its implementation in May 2017, the police department identified 114 vehicles not adhering to the ordinance.

Of the 114 vehicles, 23 were removed from the list once it was determined a violation did not exist.

Of the 91 violators remaining, 84 owners complied with the ordinance by covering their vehicle, moving the vehicle or removing it from town. The police department towed five of the 91 vehicles.

Since October 2017, the department identified an additional 10 vehicles in violation. Nine owners complied and one vehicle was towed.

"The program has been pretty successful," Willhite said.

• Tabled action to enter into a $47,950 agreement with the Government Finance Officers Association to establish an Enterprise Resource Planning software model for the town's billing, work order, payroll, inspection and planning development.

Government Finance Officers Association would locate the software product that would be most compatible with Winterville's workflow, according to finance director Anthony Bowers. The company would also negotiate the best price for the town.

The software would be implemented over a two-year process. The software is estimated to cost $200,000 to $750,000.

"This is critically important to the town and sets the state of where we go for the next 15 years," said Winterville Manager Terri Parker.

The town's last software upgrade was in 2007.

Moore made a motion to approve the agreement with Government Finance Officers Association. Despite a second not given, discussion led him to withdraw his motion.

Councilman Ricky Hines then made a motion to table the matter until Bowers could produce references for Government Finance Officers Association and other company options, which Moye seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

• Annexed a 1.14-acre parcel in Ange Plaza that houses Lemon Grass Restaurant. The council recently annexed neighboring properties. The shopping center is zoned general-business.

• Approved the replacement of a control panel Church Street lift station. The lift station was built in late 1999 and early 2000, according to public works director Travis Welborn.

"There are safety issues, and its in bad shape," Welborn said.

The town secured a $270,000 Golden LEAF grant to raise the top of the station out of the prone flood area and $90,000 FEMA to go toward the panel replacement. The total project cost is $630,000.

• Approved the low-bidder to complete the gravity sanitary sewer project on Division Street. The $216,241 project was awarded to Ralph Hodge Construction Co.

• Approved the Tabard Road improvement project, estimated to cost $31,000.

"We have received numerous complaints about this road and the weather didn't help," Welborn said.

Hines added, "It needs to be done before someone falls in."

Work is scheduled to begin in mid-March.

The Times-Leader serves southern Pitt County including the towns of Ayden, Grifton and Winterville.