Village still waiting for $80,000 in state funds
After trimming the budget Tuesday, Village of Marvin officials expect to move forward no later than February on construction of about 3,700 feet of sidewalks along the Marvin Loop extension.
At their meeting Tuesday night,
Nov. 29, council members gave interim Village Administrator a sense of the budget they want. But they delayed any decision because the village is still waiting on $80,000 in road-related funds from the state to pay for the project.
In partnership with Toll Brothers, the village already constructed a paved walkway along Marvin School and Joe Kerr roads. The village is now extending the loop an additional 3,700 feet, and the loop will eventually connect along New Town and Marvin roads, creating a 4-mile pathway/sidewalk around a portion of the village.
The council seemed to favor the smallest of four budget options Thompson presented.
The $370,358.18 budget calls for:
• 6-foot-wide sidewalks, rather than 8 feet. Contractor Tarpon Construction, based in Dallas, N.C., will provide brick-pattern-stamped asphalt at the crosswalks, if the council chooses that option. Two baby carriages should be able to pass each other on a 6-foot-wide sidewalk, Mayor Nick Dispenziere said, and at least one development in the area has 4-foot sidewalks.
• Asphalt, rather than concrete, sidewalks, though Tarpon will use concrete connecting to existing Marvin Creek sidewalks at intersections and where curb and gutter is required. Asphalt costs $21.50 a foot, compared to $30 a foot for concrete, Thompson said.
The budget, which Thompson has reviewed with Tarpon, also provides $30,000 for contingency, representing 10 percent of the base cost; $10,000 for construction administration; and $24,000 for irrigation.
The next budget option – $382,847 – would provide 8-foot sidewalks and still use asphalt.
Using concrete would cost the town $415,052 for 8-foot sidewalks and $392,480 for 6-foot walkways.
The council did not vote on final approval of the project because the village doesn’t yet have all the money it needs to pay for it.
Currently, the village has $338,374 in state funds available for the project, but Marvin was due another $80,000 from the state in October, Thompson said Tuesday night. Gina Fisher, the village’s new finance officer, discovered recently that the previous finance officer had not filed a financial report state officials require before releasing the road-related funds.
Fisher has since filed the necessary report. She and Thompson said they expect to hear sometime this week when – or if – the village will get the $80,000 and if state will penalize Marvin for the late report, which was due in September.
The village should keep a buffer in the sidewalk project budget, to prevent any overrun, council member Lanny Openshaw said. He also suggested some parts of the project where the village who save money if needed. For instance, the town could stop the sidewalk at Wheatfield West and not extend the pathway an extra 990 feet to the Elysian Fields property. That could save the village a little more than $21,000, Openshaw said.
Council delays village clerk proposal
Also Monday, council members delayed until December discussing Village Clerk Mary Shkut’s pay and hours. With council member Ross Overby absent, Openshaw suggested delaying the item.
The village hired Shkut in March to do special projects for 10 hours a week, at $12 an hour. Later that month, the former administrator promoted Shkut to deputy clerk, working 25 hours a week for $15 an hour, or $19,500 a year. With turnover in the administrator and finance officer positions in recent months, Shkut and Thompson got extra duties. Thompson serves as senior planner and interim administrator, and Shkut got her promotion.
In her position, Shkut must attend three meetings – two council and one planning board – a month and manage “contact and document-control responsibilities for all village boards, as well as ordinance amendments, record keeping, meeting preparation.” She also manages the village’s website “and with land-use projects under way, the clerk may be assisting with ordinance revisions and/or survey construction and distribution.”
In a written recommendation to the council, Shkut provided a survey of full and part-time salaries at eight other towns and villages across North Carolina. Shkut noted most of the towns employ a full-time clerk at an average salary of $43,000.
Shkut asked the council to create a new line item for the village clerk position and suggested raising her pay to $20 per hour, or $26,000 a year. She also suggested the board consider increasing the budgeted position to 30 hours a week, which would translate to a $28,200 annual salary.