Pinehurst approves reclassifications, market adjustment and COLA modifications

Council approves voluntary annexation

PINEHURST — The Village of Pinehurst Council met Tuesday, June 27, with multiple financial items on the agenda.

The council first held a public hearing for a request by Red Pine Investments, LLC, for a voluntary annexation petition for 7.8 acres of property located in the vicinity of Trotter Drive west of NC Highway 5.

“To date, staff has not received any application nor have there been shared any concrete conceptual designs or layouts for the four parcels,” said Planning and Inspections Director Alex Cameron. “It is zoned Block H within the Pinehurst South Form-Based District. In large, the permitted uses are related to single-family detached and single-family attached and their customary accessory uses. Any future development would have to follow those established rules, process, procedures, density, and zoning requirements and also have to be approved by the Village Council.”

According to Cameron, the benefits of the voluntary annexation for the Village include increased tax revenue and grant opportunities, application and enforcement of all codes and regulations (not just zoning), future development must still follow adopted rules and processes, boundary expansion, and benefits for the property owner include municipal services, added public safety protection, roadway maintenance.

“We had the question of how do we clean our map up, well this is a good way of cleaning it up,” said council member Lydia Boesch.

Following the hearing, the board approved the request.

The council also approved an ordinance to amend the FY23 budget for GASB 9 subscription-based IT arrangements.

“It’s a very technical standard, but the intention of the standard involves analyzing our software subscriptions and determining for ones where it is a multi-year agreement where we anticipate renewing that software over multiple years. The intention for those types of agreements is that we record those subscriptions as a right-to-use asset with an associated liability,” said Finance Director Dana Van Nostrand. “The way that improves financial reporting for governments is that you now have on your balance sheet a number that shows how much you are committed and already contractually obligated to pay in the future for these types of agreements.”

The council also approved a resolution to commit the current fund balance for future capital.

“The policy allows for if we have fund balance in excess of 40% of our actual general fund expenditures in our year-end audit report in the annual comprehensive financial report, it will allow us to report that amount as committed for future capital,” Van Nostrand said. “That basically means that we would need to use those funds for future capital projects.”

Finally, the council approved changes to the policy on the Administration of the Position Classification and Pay Plan after a commissioned study.

“This is the result of a study that we commission every year to look at roughly one-third of the positions within the Village and do a market study on those positions, and our consultant comes back with a very specific recommendation which is about how we should be changing certain position classifications to make sure we’re keeping up with the market,” said Village Manager Jeff Sanborn.

The study looked at all regular full-time and part-time positions in the Parks and Recreation and  Public Services Departments as well as four Administrative positions in various departments, and from those, the recommendations included seven pay grade movements (Streets and Grounds Maintenance Worker I and II, Administrative and Data Coordinator, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor, Parks Maintenance Supervisor, Street Maintenance Supervisor and Buildings and Grounds Supervisor), the addition of four positions (Fleet Service Apprentice, Recreation Assistant, Senior Fleet Service Technician, Assistant Fire Marshal) and a title change for Fleet Maintenance Supervisor to Fleet Maintenance Superintendent.

In addition to those changes, the recommendation was also to modify the policy in order to change the eligibility for the cost-of-living adjustments for new hires to include a prorated amount, to change the eligibility for market adjustments from those below the midpoint to all employees, to change the application of the COLA in the market adjustments so that employees would get both COLA and the market adjustment if their position is reclassified, and a shift of all pay grades by 8% in line with the consumer price index.

“The amounts of money that are being provided in here are already baked into our 2024 budget,” said council member Jane Hogeman. “So we’re not adding on as we sit here to something that we already voted on.”

The Village of Pinehurst Council will next meet July 11.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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