December 2012



December 04, 2012

The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held on December 04, 2012 in the meeting room at the Jackson County Recreation Center at 6:00pm.

 The following members of the Council were present:

Jim Wallace, Mayor

Carl Hooper

Clark Corwin

Suzanne Stone

The following Non-Council members were present:

David Moore, Village Attorney

Stephanie Gibson, Village Clerk/Finance Officer

Quinton Ellison, Sylva Herald

Residents: Lisa Briggs, Steve Brown, and Ron Mau

(1)  Call to order: 6:00pm by Mayor Jim Wallace

(2)  Vote on Agenda: Councilman Hooper made a motion to approve the agenda and Councilwoman Stone seconded the motion.

(3)  Approval of meeting minutes from December 04, 2012 Council meeting:  A motion to approve the minutes was made by Councilwoman Stone, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved.  (Approved meeting minutes are posted on the Village website.)

(4)  Financial Reports:

a)     Stephanie Gibson provided the Financial Reports that were handed out.  The budget for November included $2,725.15 in revenues and $1,763.45 in expenditures.  General expenses included police protection, utilities, attorney fees, and Clerk fees.   Motion to accept the financial report was made by Councilman Hooper, seconded by Councilwoman Stone, unanimously approved.

b)     Bronwyn Burleson of Burleson and Earley Accountants provided the annual audit report.  Bronwyn provided copies of the final audit report approved by the Local Government Commission.  Bronwyn briefly reviewed the Audit Report and answered questions.  Bronwyn noted that the management discussion and analysis provided a good overall summary of the audit.  The auditor’s report is required to determine that all financial statements are materially correct.  Bronwyn said that the Village financial statements present fairly in all material respects, they made a few journal entries and capitalized the paving expenses.  Bronwyn noted that the final page of the report was an analysis of levy and that the village’s overall collection rate was very good at 97.68%.  Councilman Hooper what the collection rate is for uncollected balances.  Bronwyn noted that it was between 3-5% and asked that Stephanie follow-up with Tax collector to determine the rate and action taken for non-payment.  Mayor Wallace asked if there are liens placed on people’s property for not paying and Attorney Moore responded that typically liens are placed on real estate, not personal property.  If someone fails to pay personal property tax, they cannot renew their vehicle registration.  He noted that the town has hired attorneys Ridenhour and Goss to enforce penalties on people who have delinquent taxes on real property.

Mayor Wallace noted that there was approximately $4,000 owed to the village in unpaid taxes.  Bronwyn said the county can provide copies of anyone still owing taxes.

Mayor Wallace asked how far the village could spend down their reserve before people would become uneasy.  Councilman Hooper noted he believed the amount required to keep on hand was 8%.  Bronwyn said she thought it should be more but that an email could be sent to the LGC to determine what amount is required for a healthy fund balance.  A motion to accept the audit report was made by Councilman Corwin, seconded by Councilwoman Stone, unanimously approved. 

(5)  Replacement of Vacated Council Seat:  Councilwoman Stone asked if any other names had been officially submitted other than Ron Mau, Stephanie responded that Mr. Mau was the only person who submitted a formal inquiry.  Councilwoman Stone made a motion that Ron Mau be accepted to fill the vacant council seat, Councilman Corwin seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 

Mayor Wallace recommended having Mr. Mau sworn in at the next scheduled meeting.  Councilman Corwin noted that the next meeting would be held on January 8, rather than January 1 due to New Years and that the date change should be published on the website and in the paper.

(6)  New Business:  Councilman Corwin noted that he feels to add clarity and be more business-like, he would like to add titles in the minutes such as Councilman, Councilwoman, and Mayor when members are being quoted.  He noted that the village is a governmental body and that the minutes will be records.  Councilman Corwin also feels that this should apply to the Planning Board minutes as well.  Some members did not see the need to change the way it has been done in the past.  Clark made a motion to have the minutes reflect titles, Carl seconded, unanimously approved.

(7)  Old Business:  Councilman Corwin asked Mayor Wallace if he had been in contact with the Planning Board to discuss electing officers.  Mayor Wallace said that he had sent an email out to members and that Janie Prentice said she would contact members to arrange a meeting time to elect officers.  Jayne Buchanan had said she was interested in running for secretary.

Councilman Hooper asked if traffic mirrors had been installed, Councilwoman Stone responded that they were currently on back order and would be installed when they were shipped and received.

8)  Public Comment:  Lisa Briggs said that Mark Teague had come to last month’s meeting and discussed concerns from residents of Forest Hills Estates about their road conditions and that she and Steve just wanted to come tonight to see if they could answer any questions or be of assistance in discussions about the possibility of making repairs to their roads and getting hard surface roads instead of dirt and gravel.  Lisa noted that residents were excited to learn that the road qualifies for Powell Funds. 

Steve noted that the road was scraped before Thanksgiving and it was already a washboard.  He noted that they have had past problems with ice and dust and that all homeowners are concerned with the current road conditions.  Steve said that he appreciated the fact that the budget may not allow for work to be done at one time but over a period of time.

Mayor Wallace explained that the village had paid an engineer, Victor Lofquist  $2,160.00 to provide a written plan of how to correct the drainage problem resulting from construction on Cave Springs Road and that the estimated cost was in excess of $100,000.00.  Mayor Wallace also expressed concern about the fact that when the village was incorporated, drainage problems were grandfathered in and that changing the road would probably affect that.  Village ordinances were changed to address drainage problems for determining who would be responsible for repairs, Village of Forest Hills or Forest Hills Estates.

Councilwoman Stone said that it would be helpful for residents of Forest Hills Estates to work on getting other estimates for the road work including repairs to correct the drainage problem. 

Councilman Corwin noted that priorities need to be negotiated between home and property owners and the village council.

At 7:00pm Jim Wallace called for a motion to adjourn, motion was made by Carl Hooper, seconded by Clark Corwin, unanimously approved.