The Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen remains split on the decision to send out a request for proposals for a server virtualization project, delaying the decision until after the 2013 election.
Alderwoman Susan Collins, whose term is expiring and who is not running in the election, motioned to delay the decision, seconded by Alderwoman Elizabeth King, during the Thursday, Oct. 24 special meeting.
Mayor David Cignotti, whose term is also expiring and who is not running in the election, and Mayor Pro Tem Bill Sisson voted against the motion, and Alderman Darryl Mills was absent from the meeting.
Collins said she wanted to wait until the new board is seated, but Sisson argued the decision is about government efficiency.
“If you lose this data, you are putting this town at risk,” Sisson said.
There is $60,500 set aside in the 2013-14 budget for a server virtualization project. The figure comes from a two-year-old quote.
Town manager Tim Owens estimated the cost savings of the project at $50,000 in the long run. He presented the board with other options, like estimated costs for IT assessments ranging from free to $10,000.
Cignotti said he feels like the process has been unprofessional.
“We have an IT director,” Cignotti said. “We know we have server issues.”
Following a public hearing, the board unanimously approved a resolution to apply for an intersection improvement grant for one of the busiest Wrightsville Beach intersections.
Three people spoke in favor of submitting the grant application during the public hearing and no one spoke against.
The $292,000 project would transform the Waynick Boulevard and Causeway Drive intersection to Stone Street along with beautification efforts. The town is offering a minimum 20 percent match of $54,000.
Owens said the project would probably require milling the road, removing the road surface to expose the base. He also explained that the project proposal is just conceptual, and details would be finalized during the design process.
Jim Smith, representing the Wrightsville Beach Foundation, spoke in favor of applying for the grant and announced a $20,000 foundation contribution to aid the town’s grant match.
The project total would likely come closer to $400,000, with the addition of water and stormwater improvements. Those infrastructure costs, estimated between $80,000-$100,000, would come out of the water and sewer fund. The remainder of the town’s portion would come from the general fund.
Collins pointed out that only one person who lives on Waynick Boulevard was in the audience.
“We would love to see two left-turn lanes off of Waynick onto Causeway because of the traffic flow, especially on Saturdays and Sundays,” said Mary Baggett of the Blockade Runner. “… The only issue we would have is the timing of this.”
Baggett said she would want the construction to occur during off-season months.