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Friday, May 22, 2015

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of May 19, 2015

I began video recording the City Council in 2012, because of my desire that the City do it on their own as any modern 21st century community began doing long ago. I had people tell me that they couldn't make it to the meetings, but they would like to see what is going on. I was also told by some council members that my summaries did not truly reflect the record, so having a video/audio recording cannot be misinterpreted.

So below is the City Council meeting. With each agenda item, you can click on the links and it will take you to that specific point in the meeting. You can always drag the marker on the video display to the point in the broadcast that you are interested in seeing.

Agenda about the City Council meeting of May 19, 2015

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Hound Notes: Several interesting issues were discussed during this meeting. It has taken a while to put this together because of the diversity of the issues and the details related to each. This was by far the most interesting meeting that has occurred this year.

The first was when we had the "not in my back yard moment" with five people coming forward during "Persons Requesting to be Heard" about the proposed Public Housing project on 4th St SW. I have listed some of the interesting points relayed by those who made presentations before the City Council. One was a prominent Dentist/business owner, three were in real estate, and one was an attorney. All of these individuals had left by the time the Council addressed the issue during Matters not on the Agenda.

The second issue was kicked off by Steve Ivester during Persons Requesting to be Heard. He wanted to talk about the issue to be discussed during the first Departmental Report. He has addressed the issue several times before related to the proposed Cloninger Mill Park and the attached 10 acre parcel attached to that property. The group Outward Bound has agreed to a $900,000 donation in exchange for restrictions and covenants that will keep this 10 acres from being developed commercially and ensure it is developed in association with the Park's general use.

The third issue is the proposed fiscal budget for the upcoming year. It certainly looks like another year of finagling was necessary to make the numbers work . It also looks like the days of kicking the can down the road on tax rate increases are over.

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*** Final Release***

Invocation by Will Posey First United Methodist Church

Special Presentations
A. Business Well Crafted Award to CBSA Architects presented by Business Development Committee

Well Crafted Web Page



Persons Requesting to Be Heard
A. Delores Hammer, Proposed Public Housing Complex on 4th Street SW
B. Crystal Rogers, Proposed Public Housing Complex on 4th Street SW
C. Paul Gadd, Proposed Public Housing Complex on 4th Street SW
D. Mary Yount, Proposed Public Housing Complex on 4th Street SW (Christine Winn spoke in her place)
E. Kim Clarke, Proposed Public Housing Complex on 4th Street SW
F. Steve Ivester speaks about the proposed Cloninger Mill Park and Departmental Reports Item 1

Hound Notes: All of the people spoke against the Housing project. Delores Hammer says that 4th St SW is a business corridor. This is a proposed 3-story building that will tower over existing structures. No residential structures have been built on 4th Street in over 75 years. Every existing Public Housing structure is built in Southeast and Southwest Hickory. She pointed to that on a map she had displayed. 1/5th of the existing structures would be relocated to this site. She addressed a past presentation where Hickory Housing Officials had stated that they wanted to scatter Public Housing throughout the city. She asks, "Where is the diversity in Northeast and Northwest Hickory."

Crystal Rogers is a local Real Estate agent. She talked about the location issue and whether this property fit in the area. She talked about this property having balconies and people seeing clutter on an entry point into the City. Paul Gadd, another Real Estate agent, reiterated the location issue and made statements related to this being a hindrance to growth. Christine Winn spoke about the negative impact that this project would have upon small businesses.

Attorney Kim Clarke wants the Council to encourage the housing authority to find another site and possibly disband the Housing Authority and take its functions under the City Budget. She wants the Mayor to appoint 4 more commissioners to the Authority. She brought up an issue of a conflict of interest related to the the Housing Authority creating an entity called "Unifour Capital Ventures". It has the same Board Members, officers, and directors as the Authority. She asks why?

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of August 5, 2014  -  

Departmental Report Item 2. Consider Hickory Housing Authority’s request to have the City of Hickory make Application for a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. - Hickory Housing Authority contacted City Staff June 30th about applying for a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant. This Federal program through HUD provides up to $500,000 in funding to eligible municipalities to develop comprehensive neighborhood transformation plans in areas that contain distressed public housing. The project will emphasize revitalization of public housing sites, develop a plan for new mixed income housing in the target area and in other locations across Catawba County, and address other needed infrastructure improvements. Hickory Housing Authority has contracted with the Wooten Company to assist in the preparation of the grant application. The required grant match will be provided by Hickory Housing Authority. The City of Hickory would be the main applicant for the grant with Hickory Housing Authority as the co-applicant. The grant is for planning services only. A future application would need to be made to HUD for implementation of funds. Andrea Surratt Presentation.

Dr. Myles, member of the board of the Hickory Public Housing Authority, allowed to address the City Council.
 Further discussion of this issue took place during Matters not on the Agenda, which is listed below.



 Consent Agenda: Approved Unanimously 


New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Cloninger Mill Property Update/North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) - Recently the North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS), a nonprofit provider of outdoor and experiential education, approached staff with a request that Council take the 10.1 acres off the commercial market and dedicate the parcel solely for park use. The organization is proposing Council enter into a Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions (‘Declaration”) which will conserve the parcel in perpetuity by placing certain covenants and restrictions on the affected property. In exchange for Council entering into the Declaration, NCOBS will make a monetary donation of $900,000 to be used to develop the property as a park. The proposed donation is not an offer from NCOBS to purchase the property. The City will retain ownership of the property.

Hound Notes: Steve Ivester spoke during Persons Requesting to be Heard... He said this is a gateway to the city. It is the only flat land along the site. It can provide some parking. He spoke about some water access being available and possibilities with Canoes and Kayaks. He said this could help Hickory become a City on a lake, instead of Hickory just being a City with a lake.

Arnita Dula presented the agreement between the City of Hickory and Outward Bound, but first she introduced Mr. Dan Leroy, the director of development of Outward Bound, who spoke about the mission of Outward Bound.

Outward Bound is an Educational Movement.

Alderman Lail asked a couple questions related to restrictions. One was about traffic related right of way. Ms. Dula seemed to state that that would not be an issue. Alderman Lail asked the City Manager about restrictions and were the funds going into the General Fund. Manager Berry stated that is correct. The Council unanimously consented to this agreement. 



A Hound thought: It is my hope that Hickory Inc. will utilize the $900,000 to build out this park to a certain extent. At least they could build the running, walking, and bike trails at this time. The educational facility and other amenities could be built later. I certainly hope that they won't take monies given in good faith, meant for this development, and utilize it elsewhere. This park has been on the books  for development for over 30 years. They have said it hasn't been developed, because of a lack of funds. They have some funds, so start the development. Don't utilize these funds for Johnny Come lately pet projects.

Public Hearing #2 to Consider an Economic Development Agreement with MAB American for the Development of City Owned Property at Cloninger Mill Road and NC. 127. - Steve Ivester made some good points. It has always been his desire that the property not be developed commercially. It was announced that an anonymous citizen was willing to buy the property from the city for $900,000 and donate it back to the city to try and keep the 10 acres dedicated to the park in its entirety, instead of it being developed commercially.


Hal Row First Talk - October 6, 2014 -  Man calls in and asks about the Cloninger Mill Park (Hound: The Publix deal fell through).

Agenda about the City Council meeting of October 7, 2014 - MAB developers have backed out on the deal at Cloninger Mill. Are we going to see the people who wanted to purchase the land contacted? - Remember at the March 18, 2014 City Council meeting that Kathryn Greathouse came forward and said someone wanted to purchase the 10 acre site attached to the Cloninger Mill Park and keep it as part of the park. Are they still willing to do this or was this a gambit to keep another grocer from coming into the area?


City Council Meeting October 7, 2014 - Informational Item - A. MAB Acquisitions LLC - (Council Discussion. After a public hearing on March 18, 2014, on April 4, 2014 City Council entered into an Economic Development Agreement for purchase and sell of real property with MAB, with the intent to sell to MAB 10.099 acres of City owned property at the intersection of HWY 127 and Cloninger Mill Road for the price of $900,000. The agreement included a 120 day inspection period which was extended to September 26, 2014 by City Council on July 15th due to a delay in the city removing debris from the property. MAB agreed to develop the property as a grocery anchored shopping center with stipulations on its development as approved by council (Exhibit C of EDA). On September 29th staff received a letter from the attorney representing MAB indicating they would not acquire the property and terminating the EDA. -- The Mayor talks about pursuing the $900,000 in relation to the Cloninger Mill park. The rest of the Council really didn't seem to want to travel down that road. It seemed as though they know that option is no longer on the table.



April 7, 2014 - Hal Row First Talk - The Mayor is asked about the proposed grocery store to be located at Cloninger Mill Road at the site of the proposed public park.

Public Hearing at Hickory City Council on March 18, 2014 to Consider an Economic Development Agreement with MAB American for the Development of City Owned Property at Cloninger Mill Road and NC. 127.
 
Cloninger Mill Park - 3rd meeting - The Master Plan - 3/10/2009
Cloninger Mill Park - 2nd meeting - 2 Proposals - 1/15/2009
Cloninger Mill Park - 1st meeting - Preliminary Proposal



2. Presentation of City Manager’s FY2015-2016 Recommended Budget. (Authorize Public Hearing for June 2, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers of the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building). The 2015-2016 Recommended Annual Budget will be distributed to City Council as required by law and be available for review in the Office of the City Clerk, Patrick Beaver Memorial Library, Ridgeview Library and the City’s website (hickorync.gov)

Hound Notes:  The City manager discussed the difficult challenges we have faced over the passed decade and the negative impact they have had on the local budget. Property values have dropped by 6.56% since the last assessment. That is an average across the board. That is part of the reason a 3.95-cent increase in the tax rate to bring us to revenue neutrality. The City Manager talked about the Business Privilege license being a budget buster. This will cost $1.14 million out of the budget annually. 2.7 cents in additional property tax will be necessary to bring the budget back to level. The City Manager also cited the need for an additional requested 1-cent for the cost of design for projects related to the bond referendum that was passed last November. The City Manager is also requesting an additional $2 for the Solid Waste fee bringing the cost to $18.50 per month.

Currently Hickory Inc. is above the desired 25% unassigned balance in the General Fund. There are pressures against that goal. FEMA didn't reimburse over a half-million dollars ($571,951) related to the City's cost of clean-up after the flood in July 2013. Hickory Inc. chose to pay $450,000 towards playing for paving streets. They also chose to pay a contract ($498,400) to Freese and Nichols for Bond referendum related work. Henry River Park Soccer Field lighting ($125,000) had to be paid from the General Fund and will be refunded through donation in 2 years.

The City Manager laid out the effects the Bonds have had and will have upon the City's budget including pre-engineering, scope, and design work and costs. There will have to be bids prior to the bond sale and the projects will have to be fully designed before the bond sale. The City will have to front those costs of design and their associated costs. As the City Manager puts it, We may need to front some of these 'soft costs' for your bond projects. 1-cent of property tax increase would bring in an additional $428,000. A potion of the design can be paid from reserves. The City can borrow some of the money for the upfront costs.

The Council unanimously agreed to have the Public Hearing to adopt the budget at the next meeting.



Matters Not on Agenda (requires majority vote of Council to consider) - Council discussed concerns regarding Hickory Housing Authority. Alderman Lail made the motion that the Public Housing issue discussed earlier be discussed further. Lail says the Council has zoning authority. Atty. Clark made some pointed recommendations about bringing the Housing Authority functions under the City's Budget and possibly revoking their charter. He basically says he is not in favor of doing that. Alderman Meisner says that he doesn't think it will be out of line if the Housing Authority has looked at other sites and certainly to preserve the corridor. Meisner states that they have the authority to put this building right there. Alder Patton addressed that when the Housing Authority made the presentation about dispersing Public Housing last Fall that this didn't seem to be what was presented. This certainly goes against this and does the opposite and goes in reverse of what the council was presented with last Fall. She would like to have some communication with the Housing Authority. Alderman Guess asked about this group (those who spoke on this night) could have communication with the Housing Authority. Guess suggests this and recommends it as the first step.

Alderman Seaver believe that this is a money issue. It will cost more to buy several locations throughout the City as opposed to this location. The Mayor stated that wasn't his understanding of the plan, but he hadn't had contact with the Housing Authority in months. His understanding is that the objective is to disperse  Public Housing much more broadly than it is now. There is no move to make smaller units. The goal is to mix Public Housing with partially subsidized housing and market rate tenants. The Federal government will guarantee rents in an amount sufficient to cover borrowings. He believes the local Housing Authority considers this project to be a disbursement of Public Housing. Alderman Lail believes the goal is to privatize Public Housing. Lail believes that the Council can't exercise authority without laying down the hammer and he's not willing to lay down the hammer like Ms. Clarke suggests. The Mayor added that the Council also doesn't have much authority in dealing with HUD. Alder Patton stated that she would like the Council to have a better understanding of what the Housing Authority thinks they are going with this plant as opposed to what the Council was presented with last Fall. She and Alderman Guess asked for an update. Alder Patton and Mayor Wright seemed to want to know what the $7 million in debt and the new non-profit (Unifour Capital Ventures) is all about. Alderman Lail wants the Council to go into this "Eyes Wide Open" knowing that they don't have regulatory or financial oversight in this matter. They do have zoning authority, but it meets zoning requirements. It was decides by motion of Alder Patton that the Council wants the Housing Authority to provide an update of what they presnted last August.



A Hound thought: This is what happens when you don't respect certain areas of the community. Many of the people of Northern Hickory don't have respect for other parts of the city. You go back to the Referendum on Ward specific voting and they basically said it point blank. I recall at the Green Park debate, and on other occasions, where Hickory Inc.'s representatives said that they never come to this part of town -- Southwest Hickory. Dr. Hammer had some great points and eloquently stated, 'Southwest Hickory has diversity, where is the diversity in Northwest and Northeast Hickory?'

General Comments (per Hickory Inc.)
Mayor Wright recognized Daniel Brodie from Scout Troop 250.
Mr. Berry recognized new Assistant City Manager Rodney Miller.


City Council returned from Closed Session
Closed Session Per NC General Statutes 143-318.11(a)(1)(3) to consult with the attorneys regarding the following: (Action on these items, if any, will occur in Open Session)
1. Approval of Closed Session Minutes of May 5, 2015 - NCGS §143-318.11(a)(1)
2. Discussion of Pending Litigation – Willie James Grimes vs City of Hickory et. al. File No. 5:14-CV-160 - NCGS §143-318.11(a)(3)

Council returned to open session and approved an engagement agreement with the law firm of Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog, specifically with Pat Flanagan to defend Chief Tom Adkins in the Grimes vs. City of Hickory, et. al. complaint subject to a reservation of rights should a determination be made there is available insurance coverage for him.

Council also approved to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Chief Tom Adkins should there be a judgment against him provided there is no finding of willful misconduct or willful violation of any laws on his part.
XV.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

City of Hickory Proposed Budget 2015-16 - May 19, 2015

The City Manager presented the proposed budget for the upcoming year at the City Council meeting on Tuesday Night, May 19, 2015. The proposed budget looks to increase the property tax rate by 6.65 cents per $100 valuation from the present 50 cents per $100 rate. This will be the first increase in the property tax rate in Hickory in 20 years.



City Manager Berry's presentation laid out from City Hall




Click here for the full 2015-2016 Hickory City Manager's Recommended Budget.
http://www.hickorync.gov/egov/documen...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Agenda about the City Council meeting of May 19, 2015

This Agenda is about the Hickory City Council meeting that took place on the date listed above. City council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays of each Month in the Council Chambers of the Julian Whitener building.

At right of this page under Main Information links is an Hickory's City Website link. If you click on that link, it takes you to our city’s website/ The City's website evolves over time, but currently towrds the top right there is a Link called Quick Links. Click that on and look for the Agenda's and Minutes link you need to click. Scroll down from there and this will show you a list of PDF files to upcoming and previous meetings.

Agendas show what is on the docket for the meeting of that date. The Minutes is an actual summary of the proceedings of the meeting of that date. You can also look in the upper right hand corner of the front page of the Hickory Hound and (will soon) find the link to the past history of Hickory City Newsletters.

Here is a summary of the agenda of the meeting. There were a couple of important items that were discussed at this meeting and the details are listed further below:

Please remember that pressing Ctrl and + will magnify the text and page and pressing Ctrl and - will make the text and page smaller. This will help the readability for those with smaller screens and/or eye difficulties.

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Hound Notes - Looks like we are going to see a "Not in my backyard" moment during Persons Requesting to be Heard about a proposed Public Housing Complex on 4th Street SW. Isn't the Apartment complex on 4th Street NW the same type of project? We haven't seen people coming forward against that complex -- YET.

Along the lines of economic reality --
The following is my interpretation of David Stockman's most recent interview on King World News (May 15, 2015). David Stockman was the Former Director of the US Office of Management and Budget (USOMB) during the Reagan administration. He helped direct policies that pulled the U.S. out of a deep Inflationary recession that lasted from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s.

One bad financial report after another continue to be reported here in the first half of 2015. We are in a deep Recession (actually Depression) that has been covered over with money printing, speculative gambling, and fraud. There is no way out -- Well, other than to pretend or be ignorant...

The money printing we have seen has led to Financial Inflation. That is what we have seen in the Stock and Bond Markets with their run-ups since the Financial Collapse of 2008. We are entering a phase where we will see a crisis in confidence lead to a profound political crisis.

David Stockman is calling for a deflation in assets related to malinvestment. Stocks and Bonds have depended on speculative growth to infinity. When investors come to the realization that assets are overvalued, then the bottom will fall out of the stock and bond markets. Look for the next leg down in this Economic Depression to be spectacular. The Central Banks are getting increasingly desperate and fully understand the Bubble that they have created.

We are near the end, but the Central Banksters and Politicos will look to do something -- Think Bail-ins where they depreciate the currency by skimming from your bank and financial accounts.

 David Stockman interview on King World News

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Invocation Rev. Jay Robison, Pastor, Viewmont Baptist Church

Special Presentations
A. Business Well Crafted Award to CBSA Architects presented by Business Development Committee

Persons Requesting to Be Heard
A. Delores Hammer, Proposed Public Housing Complex on 4th Street SW
B. Crystal Rogers, Proposed Public Housing Complex on 4th Street SW
C. Paul Gadd, Proposed Public Housing Complex on 4th Street SW
D. Mary Yount, Proposed Public Housing Complex on 4th Street SW
E. Kim Clarke, Proposed Public Housing Complex on 4th Street SW

Consent Agenda:
A. Request to Accept Donation from Department of Homeland Security.- Hickory Police Department requests approval to accept the donation of three armor vests from the Department of Homeland Security for the Narcotic Unit. The approximate cost of each vest would be $1,500 for a total of $4,500. The Narcotics Unit works with Homeland Security on a continual basis and can use the specialty ballistic vests when there is a need to enter a home or business in a possible dangerous situation. These vests are ultra-lightweight and have thin plate carriers providing the ultimate protection and comfort for the officers while he or she is performing his or her job. Hickory Police Department recommends approval to accept the donation of three ballistic vests from Department of Homeland Security for use by the Narcotic Unit.

B. Approve the Transfer of a Cemetery Deed from Barbara F. Miller and spouse, Glenn E. Miller by and through his Attorney-in-Fact, Randy Allan Miller to James D. Dietz Jr.,

C. Approve the Transfer of a Cemetery Deed from Barbara F. Miller and spouse, Glenn E. Miller by and through his Attorney-in-Fact, Randy Allan Miller to Arlen DeVenney Nicolls,

D. Approve the Transfer of a Cemetery Deed from Stephen D. Shores and wife, Susan C. Shores; David H. Shores, and wife, Janet H. Shores; Robert B. Shores and wife, Melanie G. Shores; James W. Shores and wife, Carol E. Anderson to Alvin Godfrey Stout and wife, Nancy Dale Kinney-Stout

E. Approve the Transfer of a Cemetery Deed from Fred S. Gachet, Jr. and wife, Shirley Ann Gachet to Avis O. Gachet,

F. Approve the Transfer of a Cemetery Deed from Barbara F. Miller and spouse, Glenn E. Miller, by and through his Attorney-in-Fact, Randy Allan Miller to John Daniel Huss

G. Approval of a Proclamation for National American Public Works Week, May 17-23, 2015.

H. Special Events/Activities Application Hickory Choral Society (HCS) Pops Concert, Mandy Pitts, Communications Director/Brand Manager, June 7, 2015 from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sails on the Square Stage in Downtown Hickory.

I. Special Events/Activities Application Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists’ Oktoberfest 5K Footrace & Fun Run, Robin Lutz, Marketing Director, Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists, October 10, 2015 5:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 76 North Center Street.

J. Special Events/Activities Application Human Relations Award Well Crafted Evening Under the Sails, Captain Thurman Whisnant, Hickory Police Department, May 28, 2015 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sails on the Square in Downtown Hickory.

K. Special Events/Activities Application Hart & Soul 5K, Deena Whitener, Mountain View Elementary PTO, July 18, 2015 from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Hickory Regional Airport, 3101 9th Avenue Drive, Hickory.

L. Special Events/Activities Application Schmoozapalooza at Tastin’ Tunes & Tomatoes, Lindsay M. Keisler, SVP, Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, June 18, 2015 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Union Square by the Sails.

M. Approval of a Contract with Hickory Metro Convention Center in the Amount of $2,233 for the Annual Coworker Appreciation Event and Service Awards. - Staff requests approval of a contract with Hickory Metro Convention Center in the amount of $2,233 to reserve an event date. This event is held annually to celebrate the service given by City employees and to thank them for a “job well-done”. There is also a recognition of service milestones, accomplishments and projects throughout the City and a chance to get all coworkers together in a relaxed and celebratory atmosphere. Costs for the event are budgeted. Staff recommends Council’s approval of the contract with Hickory Metro Convention Center.

N. Acceptance of a Grant Awarded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation in the Amount of $180,000. - Staff requests approval to accept Grant 36244.33.12.1 awarded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) in the amount of $180,000 for future land acquisition and obstruction removal at the Hickory Regional Airport. On November 5, 2013 City Council Approved the Hickory Regional Airport’s Transportation Improvement Program submittal for FY2015-2012 to the NCDOT. It included specific future capital project improvements for the airport. Land acquisition and obstruction removal were part of that submittal to allow for a safe glide path for a 600 foot extension of Runway 6. A letter dated March 19, 2015 from NCDOT allocates State funds via Grant 36244.33.12.1
with the State share of $180,000 and the local share of $20,000 for land acquisition and obstruction removal. Staff recommends City Council’s acceptance of Grant 36244.33.12.1 in the amount of $180,000 from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

O. Citizens’ Advisory Committee Recommendations for Assistance through the City of Hickory’s Housing Programs. - The following request was considered by the Citizens’ Advisory Committee at their regular meeting on May 7, 2015:
 Jackie Robinson, 632 1st Avenue Place SE, Hickory was awarded a City of Hickory’s Housing Rehabilitation Loan. The Citizens’ Advisory Committee recommends approval for assistance not to exceed $15,000.00 for repairs to her house. Assistance would be in the form of a 0% interest deferred loan. Funds are budgeted for these items through the City of Hickory’s former Rental Rehabilitation program income and/or program income received through the City of Hickory’s Community Development Block Grant Program. Each of the following applicants are being recommended for approval for assistance under the City of Hickory’s 2014 Urgent Repair Program. This program provides qualified low income citizens with assistance for emergency-related repairs not to exceed $7,200.
 Jessie Streeter, 1304 9th Avenue SE, Hickory
 Steve Crowder, 844 7th Avenue SW, Hickory
 Debora Jenkins, 2013 13th Avenue NE, Hickory
 Vickesha Lawrence, 1407 16th Avenue NE, Hickory
The Citizens’ Advisory Committee recommends approval of the aforementioned requests for assistance through the City of Hickory’s housing assistance programs.

P. Acceptance of the Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant in the Amount of $200,000. - The Brownfields Area-wide Planning Grant provides grants of up to $200,000 to develop a plan for a small area that contains multiple known or suspect Brownfield sites. These plans will typically focus on a neighborhood or district. The plan will focus on the cleanup and reuse of one or more catalyst sites. The City’s grant application would focus on an area that generally includes the vicinity of US 70 between US 321 and South Center Street. This area was discussed as a potential focus area by the Brownfields Advisory Group. There is no required match associated with this grant. Staff recommends City Council’s approval to accept the Brownfields Area-wide Planning Grant in the amount of $200,000.

Q. Acceptance of a Cemetery Deed Conveying Exchanged Plots. - In July 1989, Joyce and Turner King purchased two grave plots in Oakwood Cemetery. In October 2000 the King’s decided that they needed four connected plots. They exchanged their two plots for tow plots in a four grave block and also purchased the remaining two plots in order to have four total connect plots. The two plots they exchanged were never conveyed back to the City via a Cemetery Deed. Staff recommends Council accept the Cemetery Deed conveying the exchanged plots back to the City of Hickory.

R. Approval of the Purchase of 600 Radio Read Water Meters from HD Supply, Inc. in the Amount of $105,000. - Staff requests Council’s approval for the purchase of 600 radio read water meters from HD Supply, Inc. from surplus stock. HD Supply has 600 radio read meters from an order that was cancelled from another customer. These meters match City of Hickory’s specifications and Staff has negotiated a price of $175 each or $105,000. Annually radio read meters are purchased to replace manual read meters to increase efficiencies by removing a source of human error upon entry and streamlining the reading process by partially automating with available technology. Purchase of these meters will represent an $8,400 savings for the Public Utilities Department for a regularly purchased
commodity from the normal bulk purchase price of $189 per meter. Staff recommends Council’s approval for the purchase of 600 radio read water meters from HD Supply, Inc., in the amount of $105,000. The meters would be purchased from Water and Sewer Fund Balance.

S. Approval of Change Order Number One with Hickory Sand Company, Inc. in the Amount of $82,410. - The Maple Place Pump Station was constructed in 1988 to provide sanitary sewer service to this residential subdivision by the developers and donated to the City of Hickory. The subdivision is predominantly developed with approximately three or four lots remaining for development. Change order one for the Maple Place Pump Station replacement project consists of nine items related to easement negotiation and unanticipated conditions that have arisen during construction. Included in this change order is $24,100 for blasting and excavation of 290 cubic yards of rock necessary to install the sanitary sewer line, force main, and water line. All other items are related to easement negotiations ($15,300) or unanticipated conditions which have arisen through construction activities. The revised contract total to date will be $302,160. Funds for this change order will be taken from the Water and Sewer Capital Reserve. Staff recommends approval of change order one with Hickory Sand Company, Inc. for construction of the Maple Place Pump station replacement project in the amount of $82,410.

T. Approve Modification of Special Events/Activities Application for June and September Sails Original Music Series. - Staff requests modifying the Special Events/Activities Application to allow wineries in the Hickory Metro area to apply to sell locally crafted wine during the Sails Original Music Series on Friday nights in June and September 2015. An agreement between the City and the local winery, as well as a special permit from North Carolina ABC and insurance must be submitted from the winery to the City along with a $25 feet to serve during a 2015 City sponsored event. Citizens have requested that wine be sold in the roped off area that the City puts up around the Sails on the Square Music Stage, where beer is currently sold and consumed. Staff recommends approval of the modification to allow local wineries in the Hickory Metro to serve locally crafted wine at the Sails Original Music Series on Fridays in June and September between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. under the Sails on the Square in Downtown Hickory during the City sponsored event.

U. Grant Project Ordinance Number 8.
1. To budget a $200,000 NC Department of Transportation – Division of Aviation State Grant for future land acquisition and obstruction removal. The total project is $200,000 with 90 percent funded by the State ($180,000) and a required 10 percent local match of $20,000 funded by General Fund-Fund Balance).

V. Grant Project Ordinance Amendment Number 5.
1. To accept a $225,223 transfer of General Capital Reserve Fund to the Miscellaneous Storm Grant Project. The total project expenses will be $360,381. Federal and State FEMA funding will cover $135,158 and the remaining balance of $225,223 will be funded by the General Capital Reserve Fund.
2. To accept a $346,728 transfer of General Capital Reserve Fund to the Windridge Bridge Grant Project. The total project expenses will be $1,208,501. Federal and State FEMA funding will cover $861,773 and the remaining balance of $346,727 will be funded by the General Capital Reserve Fund.

W. Capital Project Ordinance Amendment Number 5.
1. To accept a $61,450 transfer of Water and Sewer Capital Reserve-Appropriated Fund Balance to the Water and Sewer Capital Project Engineering Services line item. This transfer is to pay McGill and Associates for Professional Services for the Geitner Basin Outfall Replacement project.
2. To accept a $19,100 transfer from the Water and Sewer Fund-Sewer Lines to the
Murray Basin Capital Project. This transfer is necessary to pay for the railroad permit fees from Norfolk Southern.
3. To accept a $9,406 transfer back to the General Capital Reserve Fund to close the Henry Fork Field Lighting project. There is a $125,000 deferred revenue donation from CVYSA due in FY18 therefore a receivable account will be set up in the General Fund.

X. Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 19.
1. To budget a total of $50 of Library donations from Margie Owsley in honor of Mary Ellen Snodgrass.
2. To budget a total of $1,500 of Parks and Recreation donations in their Departmental Supplies line item. These funds are for the Unifour Senior Games.
3. To budget a total of $7,341 of Parks and Recreation donations in their Departmental Supplies line item. These funds are for the Unifour Senior Games Registrations.
4. To transfer $19,100 from the Water and Sewer Fund-Sewer Lines to the Murray Basin Capital Project. This transfer is necessary to pay for the railroad permit fees from Norfolk Southern.
5. To transfer $27,000 from Water and Sewer Contingency to the Sewer Treatment line item to cover this line item for the remainder of this fiscal year. This is for the treatment and processing of sanitary sewer that is transported to the City of Conover from Hickory for treatment prior to discharge.
6. To transfer $9,406 back to the General Capital Reserve Fund to close the Henry Fork Field Lighting project. There is a $125,000 deferred revenue donation from CVYSA due in FY18 therefore a receivable account will be set up in the General Fund.
7. To appropriate $225,223 of General Capital Reserve Fund and transfer to the Miscellaneous Storm Grant Project. The total project expenses will be $360,381. Federal and State FEMA funding will cover $135,158 and the remaining balance of $225,223 will be funded by the General Capital Reserve Fund.
8. To appropriate $346,728 of General Capital Reserve Fund and transfer to the Windridge Bridge Grant Project. The total project expenses will be $1,208,501. Federal and State FEMA funding will cover $861,773 and the remaining balance of $346,727 will be funded by the General Capital Reserve Fund.
9. To transfer $105,000 of Water and Sewer Fund Balance to the Water and Sewer Pipes, Hydrants and Meters line item. This transfer is needed to pay for the purchase of 600 Radio Read Water Meters at a significant price savings.
10. To transfer $61,450 of Water and Sewer Capital Reserve-Appropriated Fund Balance to the Water and Sewer Capital Project Engineering Services line item. This transfer is to pay McGill and Associates for Professional Services for the Geitner Basin Outfall Replacement project.
11. To transfer $20,000 of General Fund-Appropriated Fund Balance to the Airport Grant project for future land acquisition and obstruction removal. The total project is $200,000 with 90% funded by the State ($180) and a required 10% local match of $20,000.



New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Cloninger Mill Property Update/North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) - Recently the North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS), a nonprofit provider of outdoor and experiential education, approached staff with a request that Council take the 10.1 acres off the commercial market and dedicate the parcel solely for park use. The organization is proposing Council enter into a Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions (‘Declaration”) which will conserve the parcel in perpetuity by placing certain covenants and restrictions on the affected property. In exchange for Council entering into the Declaration, NCOBS will make a monetary donation of $900,000 to be used to develop the property as a park. The proposed donation is not an offer from NCOBS to purchase the property. The City will retain ownership of the property. 

2. Presentation of City Manager’s FY2015-2016 Recommended Budget. (Authorize Public Hearing for June 2, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers of the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building). The 2015-2016 Recommended Annual Budget will be distributed to City Council as required by law and be available for review in the Office of the City Clerk, Patrick Beaver Memorial Library, Ridgeview Library and the City’s website (hickorync.gov)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

20150512 - Hickory City Council (Special meeting)

This was a special meeting held in conjunction with the Hickory Parks and Recreation Commission related to the Deidra Lackey Conservancy to be located along Lake Hickory at Geitner Park. The Lackey family was in attendance.

DEIDRA LACKEY MEMORIAL PARK Master Plan (PDF)




Thursday, May 7, 2015

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of May 5, 2015

I began video recording the City Council in 2012, because of my desire that the City do it on their own as any modern 21st century community began doing long ago. I had people tell me that they couldn't make it to the meetings, but they would like to see what is going on. I was also told by some council members that my summaries did not truly reflect the record, so having a video/audio recording cannot be misinterpreted.

So below is the City Council meeting. With each agenda item, you can click on the links and it will take you to that specific point in the meeting. You can always drag the marker on the video display to the point in the broadcast that you are interested in seeing.

 Agenda about the City Council meeting of May 5, 2015
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Hound Notes: This meeting lasted nearly an hour and a half. I have notes below related to what happened during the meeting. It was more interesting than I thought it would be. You can see for yourself. The Links to the direct points of the meeting are below.
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Invocation by Paul Robinson of Viewmont Baptist Church


Special Presentations
A. Proclamation for National Police Week 2015. - Captain Reed Baer accepted the proclamation.
B. Proclamation for Building Safety Month, May 2015. - Bobby Baker of Code Enforcement accepted the proclamation.

Person requesting to be Heard
Larry Pope - (Per Hickory Inc.) - Mr.  Larry  Pope  discussed  North  Carolina  House  Bill  193  with  Council,  and  requested Councils support of the Bill.

Hound Notes: There was a back and forth between the Mayor and Mr. Pope after the Mayor began commenting on what Mr. Pope had commented on during his time at the podium after Mr. Pope had left the podium. This is not the first, second, or third time that this has happened. I can assure you that the Mayor and the Council generally don't address what someone has said during their time at the podium and 99% of the time they do not have a back and forth discussion with the person at the podium, unless the address has been of an overly friendly/supportive nature.

House Bill 193 text

We haven't seen much of a discussion here in Hickory about the proposed House Bill 193, but here is a link to a segment on WTVD Durham news regarding this proposed House Bill.

I personally don't think this proposed bill does enough. The Police forces in our communities are not really the problem. The problem is the government in general. The government, as it stands now, is not accountable. The government no longer represents the people. It represents itself. We have lost our checks and balances against the government. One thing you can rest assured about, the government will always protect the government, unless something so egregious occurs that the safety/validity of the government gets called into question and/or a majority of the governmental forces just decide they want to throw someone under the bus. It is no different than any other corporation, other than they are legally sanctioned to enforce their rules with the guns, armor, and the machinery of warfare.

One other note: Check out how the Mayor, the City Manager, and Alderman Meisner dismiss Mr. Pope outright. They don't say they will look into the matter and I didn't witness any objectivity related to the issue. A message was sent that they were there to shut Mr. Pope down outright. There was no statesmanship displayed by any of these men on this particular occasion. Why do we see this action on this occasion or have we seen it on other occasions?

And in my opinion here is what we need to see
Platform for a 21st Century Hickory - New Rules on Conflicts of Interest

Consent Agenda:
Item C was removed from the Consent agenda by Alderman Lail. The issue was briefly discussed before being  unanimously agreed to by the council. The rest of the Agenda was passed unanimously.

C. Approval of an Agreement for Consulting Services with McGill Associates in the amount of $61,450 for the Geitner Basin Outfall Replacement Project. -  The Geitner basin outfall is a section of a larger diameter sanitary sewer line that runs from Highway 70 SW at Southgate to approximately the Highway 321 and I-40 interchange, and serves the area of Hickory from 4th Street SW to Highway 321 and Highway 70 SW to Main Avenue SW. It was discovered that a large amount of debris has been disposed of over top of the outfall and is causing problems with crushing and blockages. This section of outfall has immediate danger of failure and requires replacement/relocation. McGill Associates is familiar with the area through the Geitner basin area evaluation and is the optimum firm to complete this sewer outfall line replacement project due to this knowledge. The project will be funded from the Water and Sewer General Capital Reserves. Staff recommends Council approval of the agreement for professional services with McGill Associates for Geitner basin outfall replacement project in the amount of $61,450.

Alderman Lail stated that the reason why he wanted to remove the item was because of the size of the project. Why is the whole outfall line being replaced. Kevin Greer answered that the line is 5,000 feet. There is a lot of debris and infill. There is difficulty. There are design and construction administration service costs budgeted into the $61,245. It can't be replaced in place. It is cheaper to flip sides of the creek and lay the pipes there.

New Business - Public Hearings
1. Consideration of the Community Development Block Grant 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan.
Mr. Larry Pope spoke against the plan because of his concerns about the inclusion of Exodus homes.
Martha Gantt associated with ALFA spoke in favor of the Block Grant proposal.
Angela Hurd director of City of Refuge spoke in favor of the plan.

Mayor Wright asked the City Manager about having to approve the plan exactly the way it was presented. Manager Berry stated that they could make changes. The Mayor stated that he would like Exodus Homes to come in and explain their side of the allegations that Mr. pope had made. The plan has to be submitted to HUD by May 15, which is before the next City Council meeting. Dave Leonetti stated that there can be (later) amendments to the plan. Alder Patton stated in the future, that she has always said that she thought groups receiving funding should be at these meetings to answer any questions there may be. Alderman Meisner asked Manager Berry if they should approve the plan? The City Manager suggested that they approve the plan. Alderman Lail made the motion to approve the plan, seconded by Meisner and it was approved.. The Mayor continued that he wanted Exodus Homes to come in and answer Mr. Pope's allegations. Manager Berry stated he would rather the Mayor not put it in that context. The agencies will come in and address Council on what they do with said funding.

Hound Note: Why are elected officials constantly asking the City Manager what they should do and how they should vote? Nothing against Mick on this issue, but that blows my mind.

New Business - Departmental Reports
1. Code Enforcement Update
2. Resolution – Cancellation of July 7, 2015 City Council Meeting and Rescheduling July 21, 2015 City Council Meeting to July 14, 2015.


+++ Council reconvened after closed session +++
Council convened to closed session and reconvened to open session to discuss a Resolution. Council approved an “Authorizing Resolution the Rural Economic Development Division North Carolina Department of Commerce Building Reuse Program Project 'Blue' Building Reuse Application”.
There is no video recording of the previous item. 


The Dwindling US Economy — Paul Craig Roberts - April 29, 2015
Major U.S. Retailers Are Closing More Than 6,000 Stores - The Economic Collapse Blog - Michael Snyder - May 1st, 2015

Tyler Durden's picture
US Factory Orders Drop YoY For 5th Consecutive Month - Zero Hedge -  Tyler Durden - May 4, 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Agenda about the City Council meeting of May 5, 2015

This Agenda is about the Hickory City Council meeting that took place on the date listed above. City council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays of each Month in the Council Chambers of the Julian Whitener building.

At right of this page under Main Information links is an Hickory's City Website link. If you click on that link, it takes you to our city’s website/ The City's website evolves over time, but currently towrds the top right there is a Link called Quick Links. Click that on and look for the Agenda's and Minutes link you need to click. Scroll down from there and this will show you a list of PDF files to upcoming and previous meetings.

Agendas show what is on the docket for the meeting of that date. The Minutes is an actual summary of the proceedings of the meeting of that date. You can also look in the upper right hand corner of the front page of the Hickory Hound and (will soon) find the link to the past history of Hickory City Newsletters.

Here is a summary of the agenda of the meeting. There were a couple of important items that were discussed at this meeting and the details are listed further below:

Please remember that pressing Ctrl and + will magnify the text and page and pressing Ctrl and - will make the text and page smaller. This will help the readability for those with smaller screens and/or eye difficulties.


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Hound Notes: Not much happening again at this meeting, which has been a theme lately. A couple of regularly scheduled reports with Block Grants and Code Enforcement. We'll see what happens at the meeting.

The Dwindling US Economy
— Paul Craig Roberts - April 29, 2015
Major U.S. Retailers Are Closing More Than 6,000 Stores - The Economic Collapse Blog - Michael Snyder - May 1st, 2015
Tyler Durden's picture
US Factory Orders Drop YoY For 5th Consecutive Month - Zero Hedge -  Tyler Durden - May 4, 2015





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Special Presentations
A. Proclamation for National Police Week 2015. (Exhibit IV.A.)
B. Proclamation for Building Safety Month, May 2015. (Exhibit IV.B.)


Consent Agenda:
A. Approval to Amend the Traffic Ordinance for All On-Street Parking in the 300 Block of 1st Avenue NW from 3rd Street NW Westward to 4th Street NW on the Northside of the Street. - First Baptist Church of Hickory requested a parking ordinance change for the 300 block of 1st Avenue NW, specifically the north side of the street, to better accommodate the cafĂ© that they run. The old ordinance was set in place to allow the safe drop-off/pick-up of the preschool children. Now the children are dropped-off/picked up via 2nd Avenue NW utilizing the portico that the church has. This would also make the parking restrictions the same along the entire block of 1st Avenue NW between 3rd Street NW and 4th Street NW. The Traffic Division has analyzed the request and recommends Council approve the request for changing the on-street parking on the north side of the 300 block of 1st Avenue NW from 3rd Street NW westward to 4th Street NW from “no parking 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.” to “2 hours 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.”

B. Approval of an Agreement for Consulting Services with Hulsey McCormick & Wallace of North Carolina, LLC for the Lake Shore Lift Station Rehabilitation Project in the Amount of $24,500. -  Lakeshore Lift Station is a sanitary sewer lift station which is located in close proximity to the Alexander County Bridge, on 1st Street NW near the intersection with NC Highway 127. This station is approximately 25 years old and is experiencing problems related to `age of the station and exposure to degrading sewer gases. The rehabilitation project consists of complete replacement of the lift station including the wet wall, valve vault, pumps, control panel and all customary appurtenances. The replacement pumps are being upgraded to allow for some future growth in the system. Hulsey McCormick & Wallace of North Carolina, LLC have been selected as the best qualified firm with experience and availability. Staff recommends Council approval of the agreement for professional services with Hulsey McCormick & Wallace of North Carolina, LLC for Lakeshore Lift Station rehabilitation project in the amount of $24,500.

C. Approval of an Agreement for Consulting Services with McGill Associates in the amount of $61,450 for the Geitner Basin Outfall Replacement Project. -  The Geitner basin outfall is a section of a larger diameter sanitary sewer line that runs from Highway 70 SW at Southgate to approximately the Highway 321 and I-40 interchange, and serves the area of Hickory from 4th Street SW to Highway 321 and Highway 70 SW to Main Avenue SW. It was discovered that a large amount of debris has been disposed of over top of the outfall and is causing problems with crushing and blockages. This section of outfall has immediate danger of failure and requires replacement/relocation. McGill Associates is familiar with the area through the Geitner basin area evaluation and is the optimum firm to complete this sewer outfall line replacement project due to this knowledge. The project will be funded from the Water and Sewer General Capital Reserves. Staff recommends Council approval of the agreement for professional services with McGill Associates for Geitner basin outfall replacement project in the amount of $61,450.

D. Acceptance of the 2015 Urgent Repair Program Grant and Approval of the Assistance and Procurement Policies. - In January 2015, the City of Hickory Community Development Division applied for funding through the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s Urgent Repair Program. The City of Hickory has been awarded $50,000 through this program in order to assist approximately 12 very low income homeowners with urgently needed repairs in an amount not to exceed $8,000 per housing unit. The City of Hickory will provide an additional $5,000 in matching funds, which are available from Rental Rehabilitation program income. The total program budget will be $55,000. NC Housing Finance Agency requires the City of Hickory to prepare Assistance and Procurement Policies. These policies must be made available to the public and explain the guidelines of the URP15 program. Staff recommends Council accept the 2015 Urgent Repair Program Grant and approve the Assistance and Procurement Policies for submittal to the NC Housing Finance Agency. Upon receipt and acceptance by NC Housing Finance Agency, funds will be dispersed to the City of Hickory in order to begin repairs to eligible homes.

E. Approval to Issue a Pyrotechnic Display Permit to Hickory Motor Speedway. -  Kevin Piercy, General Manager of Hickory Motor Speedway has submitted a request to obtain permission to have a public fireworks display on May 23, 2015. The North Carolina Fire Code requires a mandatory operational permit for the use and handling of pyrotechnic special effects material. The Division of Fire & Life Safety Bureau shall review all required documentation. The Fire Prevention Bureau will also inspect the pyrotechnics display area prior to the event to ensure compliance with all guidelines and codes. Staff recommends approval of the pyrotechnics displays.

F. Call for a Special Joint Meeting with Hickory City Council and Parks and Recreation Commission regarding improvements to Geitner-Rotary Park and Partnership with the Lackey Family, May 12, 2015, 12:00 p.m., Highland Recreation Center Community Room.

New Business - Public Hearings
1. Consideration of the Community Development Block Grant 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan. - The Consolidated Plan is a five year strategic vision for housing and community development needs within the City. The plan will cover program years 2015 through 2019. The Plan contains an Annual Action Plan that describes the project use of funding and will be updated on an annual basis. The City will receive approximately $300,041 in 2015 through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and approximately $165,000 in program income for a total of $465,041. Funds will be used to develop stronger communities by providing decent housing, creating suitable living environments, and expanding economic opportunities, principally for low and moderate incomes. The Citizen’s Advisory Committee reviewed the draft action plan at their meeting on April 2, 2015 and recommended approval of the proposed budget. Staff recommends Council’s approval of the Community Development Block Grant 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on April 5, April 22, and May 5, 2015

New Business - Departmental Reports
1. Code Enforcement Update
2. Resolution – Cancellation of July 7, 2015 City Council Meeting and Rescheduling July 21, 2015 City Council Meeting to July 14, 2015. - `Be it resolved by the City Council of the City of Hickory that the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting for July 7, 2015 be cancelled. (This meeting in July has traditionally been cancelled by the City Council.) Staff recommends rescheduling the July 21, 2015 meeting to July 14, 2015 due to there being five weeks between the June 16, 2015 City Council meeting and the July 21, 2015 meeting. Be it resolved by the City Council of the City of Hickory that the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting for July 21, 2015 be rescheduled to July 14, 2015.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of April 21, 2015

I began video recording the City Council in 2012, because of my desire that the City do it on their own as any modern 21st century community began doing long ago. I had people tell me that they couldn't make it to the meetings, but they would like to see what is going on. I was also told by some council members that my summaries did not truly reflect the record, so having a video/audio recording cannot be misinterpreted.

So below is the City Council meeting. With each agenda item, you can click on the links and it will take you to that specific point in the meeting. You can always drag the marker on the video display to the point in the broadcast that you are interested in seeing.
Agenda about the City Council meeting of April 21, 2015 
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Hound Notes: 
Not much to comment on about this meeting. You can follow the links below related to the various items. 
I would like to comment on Cliff Moone's address to Council in relation to recruiting high income Military Veterans to the community. I think we've already been successful at doing that; as in with the retired veteran he spoke to who had moved to the community. Mr. Moone makes the point that the Hound has addressed time and time again over the years when he states that these retirees can move here and be within traveling distance (I assume for day trips) to locations such as Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and the Mountains. Exactly, these people can come here and live cheaply and go spend their disposable income in other places. Hickory will never be "THE" destination location, but we have needed more enterprises/venues that are destination entities. We need people who spend money to come here an spend it. That creates value.
When it comes to what I have espoused about attracting the younger demographic to the community, I want you to understand. For me, this has never been a completely personal mission. You haven't seen me saying that I want this for myself. This has been a community mission. I'm not out here spouting out that I want the community to actively seek to attract 40 to 50 year olds. That's my age demo. We keep seeing 60+ year olds saying that we need to look to attract 60+ year olds. Why? Because that is who they hang out with and relate to.
The mission to attract the younger generations is a mission to sow the seeds of the future. Mr. Moone latched onto the saying about 'planting trees that he will never enjoy the shade of' during the bond referendum, when it came to the proposed projects related to that referendum. Well, that is what the mission of attracting the younger generations is all about. If we don't get these younger people to live here, then they won't be enjoying the shade he portrays. Population has fallen over the past 5 years, as a whole, in this community, but has been steady (and risen) over that time period in the very demographic he seeks to attract, while falling precipitously in the very demographic the Hound has been alluding to for eight years -- the 40 and younger age group. 
We have already been successful at attracting Seniors. I just don't get the angst that always comes forward, when the obvious need to attract young people is addressed. What is the 'Me Too' mindset all about. We've already been successful at collecting the low hanging fruit. Our local population was going to age anyway due to the overall demographic shift related to the Baby Boomers. We already have the amenities for Seniors built all around us. That is the reason why the local Powers That Be can't understand why young people say, 'there is nothing to do around here'... because the community has been built around their wants and needs and what they relate to. Those aren't the desires of the younger generations. We will continue to have (maintain and upgrade) infrastructure for older people. That will attract the older people. Hate to say it, but what Mr. Moone proposed in his address of this City Council certainly seems to be unfounded.
Edit to add: One other issue about that address. The proposed projects are not "Boost Hickory" projects. They are Hickory projects that will be paid for by the people of Hickory, not just the people associated with the group, "Boost Hickory".
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Invocation by Councilman Danny Seaver

Special Presentations
A. Proclamation to Hickory High School Lady Tornadoes Basketball Team.  - (per Hickory Inc.) - Mayor Wright read and presented the Proclamation, as well as a sign to Coach Barbara Helms. Coach Helms introduced each player and Mayor Wright presented each of them with a proclamation and a key to the City.


Persons Requesting to be Heard
Cliff Moone - (per Hickory Inc.) - addressed Council on his concerns of the future of the City. He discussed the 65 and over demographic age bracket of people in this area. He suggested recruiting retirees from the military to the area because these retirees are looking for areas like Hickory as opposed to the larger cities.

Consent Agenda - Item B was removed from the Consent Agenda, which was a burial plot sold from the City to Alderman Meisner. Alderman Meisner recused himself. There was no further discussion. The Council approved Item B and then the full Council approved all items.

 
New Business - Public Hearings
1. Consideration of Closing a Portion of Main Avenue Place SE. The City Clerk received a petition from Attorney Terry M. Taylor on behalf of the property owner Woodland Village, LLC, (Successor in interest to Center Street Crossing I, LLC and Center Street Crossing II, LLC). The petition requests the City close said portion of Main Avenue Place SE. The signature on the petition represents the owner of both of the tracts of property abutting this portion of the right of way. Chuck Hanson presentation. Council approved unanimously. Alderman Lail did ask about the sidewalk in the area. Mr. Hanson stated that a new sidewalk will be constructed parallel to Main avenue in that area.


New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Vacant Building Revitalization and Demolition Grant for 890 F Ave Dr SE, LLC. - City Council established the Vacant Building Revitalization and Demolition Grant program on September 16, 2008. The program provides grant funding up to $30,000 for project to renovate and rehabilitate vacant buildings within the Urban Revitalization Area and targeted industrial buildings in other areas of the City. 890 F Ave Dr SE, LLC has applied for a Vacant Building Revitalization Grant in the amount of $6,000 to assist in the renovation of the former Thomasville Furniture Plant located at 890 F Avenue Drive SE. The applicant plans to renovate the facility for furniture manufacturing. The applicant plans to invest approximately $40,000 in real property improvements to rehabilitate the mill building. This makes the project eligible for a $6,000 grant. The Business Development Committee reviewed the application and recommends approval. Staff recommends approval of the Vacant Building Revitalization and Demolition Grant for 890 F Ave Dr SE, LLC. Andrea Surratt Presentation. Council unanimously approved.
 

2. Update on Community Policing - Presentation bu Chief Tom Adkins  -  
Mission Statement 
Examples of Community Policing in Hickory
Presentations and Activities involving Current Issues
Planned Activities 
New Technology - Body Cameras
Councilman Guess asks how Body Cameras relate to Public Records laws
Alderman Seaver asked about also having Dashcams too


Matters not on the Agenda/General Comments

Alderman Meisner thanked his “City of Hickory family” for their support over the past year to his family.

Mayor Wright commented that Council had started the budget process, it is very early, but the amount to create a revenue neutral rate when joined with the evaluations is 53.95 cents. That is not a tax increase. It balances the value and the rate to bring in the same amount of dollars that we brought in last year at 50 cents. The average taxpayer will have 53.95 as the rate, and a value around 7 percent lower than it was last year. That is very early in the game, it has nothing to do with what they will ultimately agree on as the final rate to help them provide the ideal level of service at the ideal price. That is where they want to get. That number has been generated now. Alderman Meisner commented that is on an average. Some are lower and some are higher. Mayor Wright commented that there will be people who will pay more dollars and there will be people who pay less dollars. Council cannot control that.