During its regular meeting Monday night, the Norlina Town Board voted unanimously to revoke an April decision to stop town payments related to use of the county-owned wastewater treatment plant until an oversight committee is formed and meets to clarify what is expected of each plant user.
In addition to Warren County, other users of the wastewater treatment plant include the town of Warrenton, which operates the plant, and the town of Norlina.
Norlina Director of Operations Blaine Reese explained in April that concerns about Norlina’s role in connection with the wastewater treatment plant have existed for a number of years, and that it appeared that Norlina was the only plant user with no say in decisions related to the plant. He noted that the town believed that a meeting of an oversight committee would be an ideal time to resolve concerns and to move forward with clarity on each plant user’s role.
During Monday night’s meeting, Commissioner Claude O’Hagan, in making the motion to revoke the decision to stop payments, said that Norlina representatives have met with representatives from Warren County and the town of Warrenton, and plan to have ongoing discussions.
Tuesday morning, Reese told the newspaper that an initial meeting was held May 20. He noted that representatives of the county and town governments could not meet earlier due to work on budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. Reese also said that ongoing meetings are planned between Norlina, Warrenton and Warren County representatives.
As a result of the board’s decision, Norlina will make its April and May payments to the wastewater treatment plant and resume its regular payment schedule, Reese indicated. He estimated that monthly payments to the wastewater treatment plant range from $15,000-$20,000.
In other business, the board:
• Voted to move Police Officer Anthony Hargrove from part-time to full-time employment effective June 16. Commissioner Roger Jackson cast the lone dissenting vote. During board discussion he recommended that hiring decisions be delayed until after the 2021-22 budget is finalized. In the current fiscal year, the salary for full-time officers is $43,750. Commissioner Dennis Carrington was not present for the meeting.
• Scheduled a budget work session for 5 p.m. on Monday, June 21, followed by a budget public hearing at 5:10 p.m. and a special meeting to adopt the proposed fiscal year 2021-22 budget at 5:40 p.m. The meetings will be held at Town Hall, 139 Hyco St., Norlina.
• Voted to declare a Crown Victoria police vehicle no longer used by the Norlina Police Department as surplus property. The board then voted to offer the vehicle for sale.