Pinehurst approves various policy updates

PINEHURST – The Village of Pinehurst Council met Tuesday, March 14, with multiple house cleaning resolutions and ordinances on the agenda.

The council approved a resolution to amend terminology in the Fund Balance Policy in accordance with the Government Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 98, which changed specific language “in response to concerns raised by stakeholders that the common pronunciation of the acronym for comprehensive annual financial report sounds like a profoundly objectionable racial slur.”

“This resolution is a minor change to the Fund Balance Policy just to update the reference to the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that is currently in the policy and change that to the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, which that terminology was changed by the Government Accounting Standards Board who governs the accounting for the Village,” said Financial Services Director Dana Van Nostrand. “This is just to be consistent with that change in terminology and also to make sure that we are addressing the inclusive issue that is at the basis of the change.”

The next resolution the council approved was the adoption of a Grants Allowable Costs and Cost Principles Policy in order to be compliant with federal grant requirements. 

“This resolution is to adopt a Grants Allowable Costs and Cost Principles Policy,” Van Nostrand said. “When we accepted the ARPA funds, there were a number of policies that are required by the Federal Grant Compliance requirements to be written. This is one of them, and it’s the only one that was not already addressed by written policies in the Village. We need to adopt this policy in order to fully comply with the requirements of the ARPA funds that we have received.”

The final financial services matter the council took action on was to pass an ordinance amending and closing the ARPA Special Revenue Fund.

“We have fully expended the total award amount of over $5.2 million using salary and benefit expenditures from the general fund for general government services as allowed by the grant,” Van Nostrand said. “The original budget ordinance that was passed establishing the special revenue fund had an estimated budget at the time of over $4.8 million, so we need to increase that budget in the special revenue fund to accommodate the full amount of the award and expenditures and then authorize the transfer of all of those funds from the special revenue fund to the general fund to reimburse the general fund essentially for the governmental services, salaries, and benefits.

“In addition, there was over $100,000 in investment income earned on the $5.2 million to date through February that we are also allowed to use to support those expenditures.”

Village Manager Jeff Sanborn further clarified, “Instead of expending our General Fund funds for this, we used the ARPA funds for the salaries and benefits, which left an equal amount of general fund funds unspent.”

Along with the acceptance of the ordinance, council member Lydia Boesch made sure to emphasize the needs the Village may have regarding this extra funding.

“I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that we got a whole lot of money from the government that is still available for use for capital needs because we all know that we have some significant capital needs on the horizon, and this can be used for that,” Boesch said. “I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that we got a whole lot of money from the government, and it’s still there to be used for beneficial projects.”

The final action time the council was presented with was an ordinance amending Chapter 31 of the Pinehurst Municipal Code.

The initial request by Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Pizzella was to clarify in the municipal code that a member of the Planning and Zoning Board must be a full-time resident of the Village for the duration of their term, or else their term would terminate.

“We had a minor suggestion with regards to some of the language pertaining to the qualifications for people to serve on our advisory boards, which are contained in Chapter 31 of the Municipal Code,” Sanborn said. “As we started digging through the language in that chapter, we were reminded that there’s a whole host of other inconsistencies and points of confusion in the existing language that we ought to be taking the opportunity to clean up and clarify as well.”

The updated document included a plethora of additional language and definition changes, but due to the length of time that the council would require to review the changes, the council decided not to take action at this time and instead bring it back down the line.

“I understand the point of trying to save some time, but I think we need to make sure our ‘t’s are crossed and the ‘i’s are dotted, and so it should come back to us for a quick action next time,” said Mayor John Strickland.

The Pinehurst Village Council will next meet March 28.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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