Ronda discusses water meters, animal policies

By Troy Brooks -

RONDA — Ronda officials held their workshop Wednesday to discuss policies and repairs for the town.

The town discussed the future installation of master meters to better regulate water usage in trailer parks and residencies in Ronda. The town has been having problem with water shuts off and dilapidated trailers and has been considering installing master meters to feed entire trailer parks. Several brands of master meters were discussed.

“A regular traditional turbine is about $700, but an Octave is about $1,200, but you get what you pay for,” said Jeff Jones, of the Ronda water department. “That will give you accuracy that will pay for itself as it gets down into those low flows. I’ve been working with several towns including Winston and they’ve had good success out of the Octave brand water meters. I think that’s a tell-tale sign that Winston is going to Octaves.”

“We’re now individually metering and what was pushing the issue was we had a lot of leaks in these units and they were leaving while we were left holding the big bills,” said town adviser Ron Niland. “Going with the trend is to go to master meters because it’s less hassle. If that water flow is so slow it turns the turbine, it’s got to flip or move something to make that register work. If water is just seeping through, if you don’t have significant flow, those things have to turn to get those things going. The accuracy will pay itself back on a normal account pretty quickly.”

The master meters can have a life span of 25 to 50 years. The master meters will help keep better track of water usage and water bills.

Master meters will continue to be discussed as the commissioners get more feedback from the town.

The town officials also discussed the arrangement of the Fall Festival Committee and beginning preparations for an inaugural festival next fall.

“It would probably be a good idea to get ahead and have an organizational meeting and do it by the first of the week next month to start brainstorming for next fall,” said Niland. “It will let us get ahead of the curb a bit and start bouncing some ideas around on some fun activities to have.”

The town decided to put the possibility of a meeting on notice as they finish picking members for the committee.

“We’ll pick a date to get together and get some logistics stuff done for future dates,” said Mayor Victor Varela. “We can do this. This is going to be going on for the next year and that year’s going to go by quick.”

The commissioners discussed a draft ordinance for the restrictions of keeping farm animals in town limit. The ordinance would deem that it would be unlawful for any person to keep or maintain any farm animals including, but not limited to, hogs, pigs, cows, goats, horses or any other farms animals within the incorporated limits of the town of Ronda. It is further unlawful for any person to keep or maintain chickens, turkeys, or any other fowl within the incorporated limits of the town.

“The changes are strictly typographical. I’ve had some people upset about not being able to have a rooster,” said Varela. “There have been some complaints from the town that the fact that most people in town don’t have an acre of land in addition to the house for raising animals as it is.”

The mayor will continue to work on touching up issues on animal control.

Revisions were made to the social media policy that has yet to be released, a policy that outlines what to allow and what not to allow with social media in the town limits.

“I read something in the Wilkes Journal Patriot and decided that we needed to tweak this a little bit,” said Varela. “There’s one major change on the very first page. It says, ‘at no time will any employee engage in any internet based social media activity either for the town of Ronda or for personal use,’ and I thought, ‘why do we have social media for the town of Ronda if we can’t do stuff for the town of Ronda.’ I would just strike that line.”

“People have had problems where they get on social media and give their opinions about town issues,” said Niland. “They don’t want employees to go onto the social media site regarding town officials.”

Also, a budget amendment will be made for road repairs that need to be done on Factory Street that will cost $5,000 to $6,000 due to drainage issues and a pothole on Old Traphill Road. The payments will be factored in the budget amendment for the next meeting. Money from the Powell Bill, state-provided funding for municipalities who help maintain public roadways, will be used for repairs.

With fall and winter approaching fast, the town is looking into getting a snow plow attachment for the truck. The cost will come out of the Powell Bill.

Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.

By Troy Brooks

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