Elizabethtown changes companies for water tank maintenance

ELIZABETHTOWN — After more than two years of looking into options for the maintenance of its water tank, the Elizabethtown Town Council on Monday, on the recommendation of Public Works Director Pat DeVane, voted to cancel its contract with the Utility Service Company and move in another direction.

“So that we can ensure proper maintenance of our water tanks in the most cost effective way, we chose to hire an independent engineering firm that would evaluate our tanks, determine when maintenance is needed, bid the work out on a competitive basis, and inspect the work to make sure it is being done properly,” said Town Manager Eddie Madden.

The town had contracted with Utility Service Company at the fee of $49,062.90 for 2017, but DeVane suggested the town contract with AECOM for a one-year fee of $4,500. He said AECOM will oversee any work performed on the water tanks in town, as well as continue an evaluation on those tanks.

The board also approved a program recommended by Jay Leatherman, finance director, for a merit pay effort to benefit town employees.

Despite a 1.5-percent pay raise included in the town’s 2017-18 fiscal-year budget, Leatherman told the board the pay raises were on the low end of most towns in the region. He suggested that money be put aside in the 2018-19 fiscal-year budget to be used for merit raises based on work performances.

“Each employee will be given a work evaluation and, if the evaluation is satisfactory, he or she will receive a 0.5-percent merit increase,” Madden said.

The council approved the program.

In other action on Monday, the board:

— Approved a bid from Cunningham Recreation of Charlotte for playground equipment at Tory Hole Park. The board was told there were three bids for the project, and Cunningham Recreation was the lowest of the three. The funding for the project is coming from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. Madden said installation of the playground equipment is expected to begin in August.

— Approved the advertisement by sealed bid for a parcel of town-owned property on along West Broad Street. The property, located next to Southern Professional Counseling, was deemed surplus property by the board.

The next meeting of the board is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m.