Wendell and Wake County continue to try to work out issues surrounding the county's payment of fees for the use of the Wendell courtroom.
Wake County pays the town $12 for each case disposed of in the Wendell courtroom. Last year, Wake County Clerk of Court Lorrin Freeman and Wendell Mayor Harold Broadwell determined the county had not paid the fees in full.
Freeman and her staff confirmed that through some research and paid the town an additional $38,690 for the fiscal years from 2004-2007.
On March 13, Wendell Town Manager David Bone wrote Freeman a letter in which he said it was the town's understanding that there would be an additional adjustment to account for fees owed from fiscal year 2008. The town stands to receive a significantly larger sum of money from 2008 because the town of Wake Forest, which also has a courtroom, has had to hold court in Wendell due to renovations at their facility.
In his letter, the manager said the town of Wendell received $17,964 in facility fees for the 2007 fiscal year after the underpayment was corrected.
"Since the Wake Forest court was not handled in Wendell in 2006-07, one can assume (since the Wake Forest court is now handled in Wendell) that the Wendell court facility fees for 2008-09 should be, roughly, double that amount - approximately $36,000," Bone wrote.
But for the first eight months of the fiscal year, the town has received just $6,374 in court fees.
The issue is an important one for Wendell commissioners because the town hall, where the courtroom is located, is bursting at the seams for space with its current staff and the courtroom takes up a significant amount of that space.
Town staff also spends time during the week setting the room up for court proceedings and rearranging the facility for other meetings throughout the week.
"While there is opinion that we benefit financially from Wake County's use of our facility, recent receipts make that position difficult to defend," Bone wrote.