ST. PAULS — The Board of Commissioners decided on Thursday to buy equipment to remove water from solid waste at the town’s waste treatment plant to save on costs.
The town has rented the equipment and town employees performed the de-watering process, according to Town Administrator Stuart Turille. Turille said that the process is performed about 12 times per year, requiring the town to pay $5,226 for each rental.
The de-watering equipment will cost about $6,300, and there will continue to be other associated expenses.
“In three months the go-away cost would be recouped,” said Turille. “Then we’d be saving approximately $24,000 in wastewater costs.”
The Board of Commissioners also voted to require all members of its Planning Board to have a St. Pauls address to serve.
The board was concerned about the policy after finding out that the town’s Planning Board has had members that were not St. Pauls residents. The town’s new policy requires seven members who represent all areas of the town and two who live in the town’s extra-territorial jurisdiction.
“I think that’s common sense,” Commissioner McClure Terry said. “We don’t need somebody from Lumberton or Fayetteville to be on the Planning Board.”
The new policy also requires Planning Board members to miss no more than three consecutive meetings without notifying the board in advance of their planned absence. If a member violates that part of the policy, that person will lose his seat on the board. Turille said that several meetings have been postponed because there was not a quorum.
“If you just don’t show up and you don’t call, then you don’t need to be a part of it,” Terry said.. “It’s bad for some to show up and then not have enough here to have a meeting.”
The commissioners also discussed hiring a part-time employee to perform the maintenance on the town’s cemetery instead of contracting the work out. Turille said that the town currently pays a contractor about $15,600 per year and the town could hire a part-time employee for about $10,000 per year and that employee would also be able to assist in other town maintenance.
The issue was tabled so that more information could be gathered.
In other action on Thursday, the board:
— Voted to sell an abandoned home at 641 E. Armfield St. at a public auction on Jan. 8.
— Approved a budget amendment to purchase a new server for the town’s computer network.
— Approved a resolution supporting the placement of a state historical marker for Duncan McNair. McNair came to North Carolina in 1786 and was one of the founders of the St. Pauls Presbyterian Church.
— Heard a presentation from a representative of Lumber River Council of Governments about its activities.