Pineville leaders could soon make a change to the town’s form of government for the first time in 15 years.
The Pineville Town Council discussed plans at its Tuesday, Aug. 12, meeting to change the town charter to formally establish a council-manager form of government instead of its current council-mayor form. Councilmembers unanimously passed a resolution of intent at the meeting to change the form of government, and a public hearing is set for the council’s 6:30 p.m. meeting on Sept. 9, a Tuesday, to allow residents the chance to comment or ask questions. The meeting will take place at The Hut, 413 Johnston Drive.
The town charter was last amended in 1999. Town Manager Haynes Brigman said in a memo to the council that the current charter is “very simple and lacks quite a bit of information” town charters usually contain.
“This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does leave some unknowns regarding roles and make-up for our government,” Brigman said in the memo.
The only edit councilmembers are planning to make to the charter is to the form of government. The intent to change to a council-manager form because Pineville currently operates as such, Brigman said.
“The mayor-council form of government under the North Carolina general statutes allows the mayor to serve as the day-to-day administrator of the town, and the councilmembers serve as the policymaking board,” Brigman said at the meeting.
Pineville has operated for many years like a council-manager form of government, and because Mayor Jack Edwards doesn’t assume the role of town administrator, there’s no need to include a council-mayor clause in the town charter, Brigman said.
“A council-manager form of government is where you have a hired professional manager who is in charge of the day-to-day activities of the town,” Brigman said. “So what this amendment will do is change our charter to better reflect our current structures within our organization.”
The council plans to vote on the issue at its October meeting. Visit town hall at 200 Dover St. between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to pick up a copy of the town’s current charter and the proposed amendment.
In other town news, Pineville is planning to use some of the funds from a compliance payment from Cook Out to do landscaping work and plant trees throughout the town.
Cook Out paid the town $32,113 in 2013 as a mitigation payment in compliance with the town’s post-construction storm water ordinance. The council unanimously approved at the Aug. 12 meeting to use $18,000 of the funds for landscaping and tree planting along the median of N.C. 51 leading from the town to the South Carolina line.
“This median is currently a blank canvas, with only grass running the entire length of the median,” Brigman said in a memo to councilmembers. “We feel that adding trees and other landscaping will dramatically improve the look of this stretch of road and create an attractive entrance into town.”
Brigman’s memo said the town also plans to use the funds to “fill in other blank medians” in Pineville including those at the intersection of Park and Park Cedar roads and Park Road and Feldfarm Lane. The quote from JR & Associates for the proposed work is $14,889.35 plus tax, but Brigman said in the memo the town is asking for an additional $3,000 in case there are any problems with the projects or the town has the opportunity to include additional landscaping projects.
Councilmembers said they were on board with the projects, provided they be feasible to maintain.
“I would just ask … whoever is involved (in the project) that they use something that’s easy to maintain and not too demanding on already what our staff has to (take care of),” Councilmember David Phillips said at the meeting.
Brigman assured the council that town staff would take a look at the trees, plants and landscaping already in Pineville to ensure a uniform appearance throughout the town.