STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA)            STOKES COUNTY

                                                            )           WATER/SEWER AUTHORITY

                                                            )           DANBURY, NORTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF STOKES                   )           MARCH 10, 2011

The Stokes County Water and Sewer Authority met in the third floor Conference Room of the Ronald Reagan Building on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. with the following members present:

John Hawkins, Chairman

Arzell Montgomery, Member

Worth Hampton, Vice Chairman

W. Scott Snow, Member

 

Also present were:

Mark Delehant, Public Works Director, Ex- Officio Member

Julia Edwards, Finance Director

Darlene Dill, Secretary

Mrs. Amie Hampton, Public Attendant

Members absent:

Wayne Smart, Member

 

 

           

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

            Chairman John Hawkins called the meeting to order.  Chairman Hawkins asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of the June 17, 2010 and the September 19, 2010 meetings.  No corrections or additions were noted. Mr. Hampton made the motion to approve the minutes, Mr. Montgomery seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

 

 

 

DISCUSSION OF OLD BUSINESS

 

            During the discussion of the minutes several items of old business were brought to the floor to update and refresh members. Due to the lack of a quorum in previous meetings, approval had not been obtained for the minutes dating back to June 17, 2010.  New water rates and budget amendments were the items discussed.

 

PRESENTATION OF THE 2009-2010 FINANCIAL AUDIT

 

            Julia Edwards, Finance Director presented members with a copy of the 2009-2010 fiscal year financial audit.  Ms. Edward’s, stated that she has responded to the LGC (Local Government Commission) as they were concerned with the lack of funding and the operating loss.  Ms. Edwards stated that she has explained to them the recent rate increase in the cost of water that should alleviate problems concerning operation loss. At the time of the meeting she had received no response back from the LGC.  Ms. Edwards stated that the letters from the LGC were routinely sent if any entity was operating at a loss.  Improvements in the operating loss were discussed.  Mr. Montgomery questioned Mr. Delehant and Mrs. Dill to the status of the public comments on the water rate increase.  Mr. Delehant and Mrs. Dill spoke to the extremely low percentage of customer complaints.  Most are aware that the increase comes directly from the City of Winston Salem.  Mr. Delehant said that additional comments would be made regarding the rate increase, during that portion of the agenda. Ms. Edward’s stated that the 2011-2012 fiscal year budget would be presented to the board at the next meeting.

 

AUDIT CONTRACTS FOR 2010-2011/2011-2012

 

            Chairman Hawkins questioned the cost of the financial audit.  Ms. Edwards stated that she has looked at other entities comparable in size and that the cost was in line with those entities with the total cost at $5700.00.  Ms. Edwards stated that there had been no increase with Martin Starnes & Associates in the past years.  Chairman Hawkins questioned as to whether they audited other county departments, Ms. Edwards responded that they were used for other county audits. Ms. Edwards stated that if additional bids were requested for the 2010-2011 audit that the process must begin immediately as the audit process is started  in the month of April.  Ms. Edwards asked that the audit contract wit Martin Starnes & Associates, for fiscal year 2010-2011 be approved and that additional inquiries would be made for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.  Mr. Montgomery made a motion to approve the Financial Audit Contract with Martin Starnes & Associates at a cost of $5700.00 for fiscal year 2010-2011. Mr. Hampton seconded and the motion was unanimously approved. 

            Mr. Hampton began discussion referring to page 9 of the audit contract.  Discussion was made to the fact that the revenue was increasing this fiscal year due to water fees, additional taps, etc. Mr. Delehant said that this fiscal year is looking very promising compared to the operating loss on page 9 of the 2009-2010 audit.

            Chairman Hawkins asked Ms. Edwards to start looking as to another source for the audit as the price of the current one is extremely high.  Ms. Edwards stated that she would look for another source.

            Chairman Hawkins asked Ms. Edwards about the three accounts that were filed with the Debt Set-off Services, she replied that she still had received no information regarding the three accounts.

 

RATE INCREASE RESULTS

 

            Mr. Delehant explained the water tier program with the City of Winston Salem and how the Water Sewer Authority fees decrease as the consumption increases.  Mr. Delehant explained how large of an impact the Town of Walnut Cove has on the amount paid.  He explained that the Town of Walnut only pays a $18.00 availability fee when they do not purchase water.  The months the Town of Walnut Cove does not purchase water, there is an  increase in the price paid for water.  Mr. Delehant stated that the current trend of revenues versus expenditures could lead to an operating gain.

 Mr. Delehant discussed that in the past an agreement should have been made with The Town of Walnut Cove to pay for an allotted amount of water, whether they received it or not.  Much as the Water Sewer Authority does with the City of Winston Salem.  Mr. Montgomery asked for an original copy of the contract with the Town of Walnut Cove.  Mr. Delehant expressed that to his knowledge one does not exist.  Mr. Montgomery questioned if the Water Sewer Authority could go back and amend the original contract, giving the Town of Walnut Cove an advanced notice of intention to raise the availability fee.  The board instructed Mr. Delehant to proceed with looking into the possibilities and legalities of amending or proposing a new contract with The Town of Walnut Cove with the Council of Governments.

 

ITEMS OF GENERAL CONCERN

 

            Mr. Delehant asked for approval to attend the 34th Annual  NC Rural Water Association conference at a cost of $450.00.  Mr. Snow made the motion to approve the request to attend.  Chairman Hawkins seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

 

NEXT SCHEDULED MEETING

 

            Next scheduled meeting will be June 9, 2011 at 3:00.

With no further business to discuss Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adjourn, Mr. Montgomery seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

 

 

___________________________                              ____________________________

Darlene Dill, Secretary                                                John Hawkins, Chairman