The Manteo Board of Commissioners has approved two legal services contracts.
Current City Attorney Ben Gallop is starting his own law firm, Gallop Law Firm PLCC. He will continue as city attorney. The contract takes effect on July 6, 2022.
The Commissioners also agreed to a contract with Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland, LLP with the same effective date. This law firm is limited to advising City staff and commissioners on “personnel, real estate, and other matters which may require special expertise or labor, as determined and requested by the general manager and/or the city attorney”.
The hourly rates are the same for both law firms: $200 per hour for lawyers and $140 per hour for paralegals or paralegals.
The council had an extensive discussion about speed limits in the city.
Since the early 1970s, the posted speed limit in the town of Manteo has been 20 miles per hour, except for US Highway 64, which is 35 miles per hour.
However, to have a speed limit below 35 miles per hour, an agreement with NCDOT is required. No agreement exists.
“We need agreements in place,” said Manteo Police Chief Vance Haskett, who cited inconsistencies in speed limits between the city and the NCDOT.
Mayor Bobby Owens has proposed setting citywide speed limits at 25 miles per hour without warning. “I’ll probably be the first one caught. I’m speeding,” the mayor said.
City Manager Melissa Dickerson was tasked with asking the NCDOT to come up with a plan for the commissioners to review.
At Manteo’s mid-month board meeting, department heads report on the work of the previous month, in this case May.
Finance: Heather Doughtie, chief financial officer, told the board that auditors at Thompson, Price, Scott and Adams are expected to complete an exit audit in the coming months. The documents were sent and the auditors were on site on May 31 and June 1.
The municipality’s budget for the 2022-23 financial year has been adopted and the budget order is posted online.
Blue Cross-Blue Shield informed the city that premiums will increase by 2% beginning in July 2022. The city budget has factored in a 5% increase.
Doughtie is currently taking a government finance course at Central Piedmont Community
Public works: In May, public works employees participated in KidsFest with a backhoe and donated toy carts and diggers. Around town, employees cleared grass from bumps along W. Sir Walter Raleigh Street; cut around the speed limit sign on W. Fernando Street and watch for children on Ananias Dare Street; mulch placed in the Collis playground; continued to remove trash and debris along the roadway. Alvin Sheppard and Robbie Norman attended the American Public Works Association Leadership and Management Conference.
Manteo Police Department: Chief Vance Haskett leads his monthly report with trainings and courses taken by law officers during the month. In May, courses included Online Drug Trafficking, Countering Impaired Driving on the Roadside, Online Human Trafficking, LIDAR Training and Mandatory Continuing Law Enforcement Training . Officers also assisted with Fun Run and Cupcake 5K, registration for the Manteo Elementary Kindergarten launch, and lockdown exercise at Manteo Elementary School.
Haskett reported on criminal actions and traffic: five crashes; two arrests, one for impaired driving and one for driving with a revoked licence; 63 tickets including 34 issued for speeding; 16 investigations, 14 of which are closed; four ordinance violations and 26 warning tickets.
Haskett answered a question about dogs in Collins Park. Dogs must be leashed or under voice command.
Community and economic development: The downtown market is now open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Some 70 applications were received. A waiting list is now in place.
Michele Bunce finalized plans with partners for the three-day Dare Days 2022 event and worked with Pyrotecnico and Fire Marshal/Emergency Manager Kevin Zorc on the July 4 fireworks display.
Bunce posted on 21 different topics.
Water and sewer“The wastewater treatment plant was compliant and free of violations for the month. The sewer collection system was free of sanitary sewer overflows. The water distribution system was in order and no violations were committed.
On June 14, a major water main break occurred. A six inch cast iron pipe broke in two. The pipe was installed in the 1950s. Josh O’Brien believes the weight of traffic caused the break. It took the city less than three hours to complete the repair. O’Brien credited the team from City Departments and NCDOT and Hatchell Concrete for making the quick fix possible.
Ministry statistics show that in May 2022, service locate requests for water and sewer lines numbered 34. Water meter readbacks numbered 21 and two leaks were repaired. On the sewage system, two pump motors were repaired and one pump motor was replaced.
Shoreline operations: At the Maritime Museum, the sailboats were rigged for the summer; the sail camp safety boat was serviced; and several boards replaced on floating docks. The summer camp started on June 13. Volunteers returned 98 hours in May.
At the city marina: 66 passing boards visited in May with an income of $10,000. The average stay was two nights. Some 19 boats canceled due to weather. For Memorial Day weekend, the occupancy rate was 99%. Two new annual boats registered.
Planning: Melissa Dickerson reported that the planning board had two items on the agenda, one of which was a special use permit for Marshes Light which SAGA requested be removed from the agenda. Council has approved the filling of a water hole in the back yard of a single family home on Barlowe Street. She reported “slow but good progress” at the Shallowbag Bay pumping station.
The Commissioners created by resolution a Main Street Advisory Council, to offer advice, provide feedback and make suggestions as the city moves into this national program. The council decided on a 10-member council with five current members of the Mainstreet council and five people who can be appointed until July 6, the next meeting of the commissioners. The resolution with these modifications passed by a vote of 4 to 0 because two members of the board of directors were not present.
The current core team members are Rashad Daniels, Tanya Lamo, Jessica Sands, Bill Massey and Jamie Anderson. Lauren Borland left Manteo, as did Jason Borland, the board liaison with the team. Commissioner Sherry Wickstrom is also part of the core team.
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