City leaders clip around the law to allow landscaping - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

City leaders clip around the law to allow landscaping

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SOUTHPORT, NC (WECT) - City leaders in Southport exercised an exception to state law to pay one of their own to work on a new town hall building.

Alderman Buddy Barnes is the owner of Wildwood Landscape Contracting, Ltd.

Barnes expressed his company's desire to continue the landscaping maintenance contract for the 1029 North Howe Street property as his contract was about to expire.

However, North Carolina law prohibits the city from contracting with public officials in the same jurisdiction, but makes some potential exceptions for officials in jurisdictions with populations less than 15,000 under following conditions:

1. The undertaking or contract must be approved by specific resolution of the governing body adopted in an open and public meeting and recorded in its minutes. The amount cannot exceed $40,000 in a 12 month period.

2. The official entering into the contract with the unit cannot participate in any way or vote.

3. The total amount of contracts with each official must be specifically noted in the audited financial statements of the local government.

4. The governing board must post, in a conspicuous place in the city hall, a list of officials with whom contracts have been made briefly describing the subject matter of the undertakings or contracts and showing the total amounts.

At it's meeting on Thursday night, Southport leaders approved an exception allowing Barnes' company to continue its work at a cost of $375 per month.

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