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, at the left of the page you will see the Agenda's and Minutes link you need to click. This will give you a choice of PDF files to upcoming and previous meetings.
You will find historic Agenda and Minutes links. 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.
Here is a summary of the agenda of the 9/21/2010 meeting. There were a couple of important items that were discussed at this meeting and the details are listed further below
Invocation by Rev. David E. Roberts of Morning Star First Baptist Church
Presentation of Proclamation to Deputy Fire Chief, Steve Moore Declaring the Week of October 3 – 9, 2010 as “Fire Prevention Week” in the City of Hickory
The Mayor recognized the fire department. The city reached 15 years with no fire deaths, but this year a homeless man died here in Hickory. The mayor stated that our good record has occurred, because of education, fire staff, as well as our citizenry that here in abide by good safety practices.
Roughly 3000 people die as a result of home fires and burns. Two thirds of a home fire deaths resulted from from home fires which no smoke alarms were working along this were present. Working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a reported fire and a half. Weavers of the Hickory fire department recommend at least one smoke alarm on each level of the time, outside of all sleeping areas and bedrooms.
The goal is to take personal steps to increase fire safety. The theme of this campaign is smoke alarms a sound you can live with works to motivate Hickory residents to implement smoke alarm recommendations and the home.
A. Approval to Enter Into an Agreement With Host Agency, Sherrills-Ford/Terrell Fire Department for Ten 800 MHz Radios to be Purchased Through the Assistance to Firefighters Act Grant Program - City Council in May 2009 approved the Hickory Fire Department to be a part of the grant process to purchase ten (10) portable 800 MHz radios through the Assistance to Firefighters Act Grant Program. As a participant of the Catawba County Public Safety Information Committee, it was determined to pursue the grant for portable radios with Sherrills-Ford/Terrell Fire Department as the host agency. Hickory’s cost share for the ten (10) radios would be $1,250.00 or 5%. Sherrills-Ford/Terrell Fire Department has prepared an agreement that once the radios are received through the grant, Hickory will be the owner of the radios and will coordinate with the host agency.
B. Citizens’ Advisory Committee Recommendations for Assistance Through the City of Hickory’s Housing Programs -
The following applicants are being recommended for approval for assistance under the City’s Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program:
Peggy Hunter Amount Not to Exceed $20,000.00 31 28th Avenue, NE
Betty Hairston Amount Not to Exceed $10,000.00 259 10th Avenue, SE
Funds are budgeted through the City of Hickory’s former Rental Rehabilitation Program income received in FY 2009 and/or program income received through the Community Development Block Grant Program. Applicant, Janet Noblitt of 313 20th Avenue, NE is being recommended for assistance under the City’s 2009 Urgent Repair Program for emergency-related repairs not to exceed $5,000.00. Funds are budgeted through the City’s Community Development
Department funds received in FY 2009-10.
C. Award Bid to Amick Equipment for the Purchase of Two Replacement Hook Lift Crew Cab Trucks in the Amount of $139,850.00 - The City’s Street Division uses hook lift crew cab trucks on a daily basis for both the maintenance and construction crews. These two trucks will replace Unit #2200 and Unit #2604. A total of three (3) bids were received and Amick Equipment came in with the low bid while meeting our specifications in the amount of $69,925.00 each or for a total of $139,850.00. Funds are budgeted for FY 2010-11.
D. Approve Resolution to Discard Library Materials to the Friends of the Library for Their Annual Book Sale on October 7 – 10, 2010 - The Friends of the Library collect donated books and other materials throughout the year for their book sales. The donated books and materials are out of date, in poor condition or are no longer needed to meet the collection development goals of the library. There are 4,507 discarded library materials to be donated. The proceeds ultimately benefit the library, which is an appropriate means of disposing of unneeded materials.
E. Proclamation Declaring the Week of September 17 through 23, 2010 as “Constitution Week” in the City of Hickory
F. Budget Ordinance Amendment No. 5
1. To budget $167 of Local Government Revenue in the Police Department Overtime line item. This revenue is payment from Catawba County Mental Health for a portion of an Officers time spent when accompanying involuntary commitment patients.
2. To budget a $1,563 insurance claim check from State Auto Insurance Company in the Water and Sewer Pipes, Hydrants and Meters line item. This payment is for damage sustained to a fire hydrant on 08-02-10.
3. To budget $11,119 of State Revenue and $2,224 from the Recycling Division fuel and motor oil line item in the Recycling Division Non-Asset Inventory line item. The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance has awarded the City of Hickory a grant to upgrade one of the existing Recycling Drop Off Centers existing dumpsters with hook lift style containers. This will allow the City of Hickory to collect and transport different types of materials to the recycling facility with one trip thereby saving time and fuel. The cost of the replacement dumpsters is $13,343. The Grant Contract has a state participation commitment in the amount of $11,119 with a $2,224 required local match.
4. To appropriate $299,803 of General Fund Balance and budget in the Clement Boulevard project Construction line item. Funds are needed to complete the Clement Boulevard extension project including construction of the railroad crossing as well as the remaining utility and electrical work. We anticipate the new road will be opened mid October.
IX. Informational Items:
A. Report of Mayor Wright’s travel to Washington, DC from September 13 – 14, 2010 to attend the 2010 Washington Perspective Fly-In; hotel - $308.01; airfare - $302.90; per diem - $78.75; mileage - $52.00; taxi cab & parking fees - $49.00 (Exhibit IX.A.)
New Business - Public Hearings:
1. Resolution and Order for Petition of the City of Hickory to Close City-Owned 60- Foot Right-of-Way in the 4200 Block of 9th Street, NE - The City received a petition from Public Services Director Chuck Hansen on behalf of the City of Hickory to close a portion of a City-Owned 60-foot Right-of- Way in the 4200 block of 9th Street, NE in order to allow the proposed residential subdivision of the property in this same area per the Recreation Master Plan. Staff review did not yield any comments against this petition. This public hearing was advertised on August 20, August 27, September 3 and September 10, 2010 in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area.
Chuck Hanson made the presentation stating that this is a cul-de-sac, this is a remnant of an old subdivision. This will close the cul-de-sac and allow for the possibility of a future subdivision on the property. This will close the right of way and clean the property up for the possibility of the new subdivision. The Council unanimously consented to the resolution.
2. Ordinance Authorizing Moratorium on New Electronic Sweepstakes Establishments in the Zoning Jurisdiction of the City of Hickory - On September 7, 2010 City Council authorized a public hearing be held for consideration of an ordinance authorizing a moratorium not to exceed ninety days on development approvals; including the issuance of building permits and zoning compliance permits for future electronic sweepstakes establishments as well as development approvals of requests to expand any current establishments. Session Law 2010-103 was recently enacted by NC Legislature which bans the use of electronic machines and devices for sweepstakes purposes which becomes effective December 1, 2010. The gaming industry is seeking an injunction to prohibit the act from taking effect and has brought suit against a number of cities who enacted privilege license fee schedules. According to NC General Statute 160A-381(e) Council may adopt a temporary moratorium on development by ordinance, which must set out four (4) specific criteria. While the injunction is being litigated, it is possible new establishments could occur in Hickory without there being any zoning regulations to affect their locations and operations. The moratorium will apply to future electronic sweepstakes establishments as well as development approvals for requests to expand any current establishments. It will not affect or apply to any current electronic sweepstakes establishments in operation within the zoning jurisdiction of the City of Hickory, as they are grandfathered under the existing Land Development Code. During the moratorium staff will revise a proposed text amendment to the Land Development Code for consideration by the Hickory Regional Planning Commission and City Council.
City Atty. Crone made the presentation. There are opinion lawsuits across the state of North Carolina challenging this new law passed by the legislature. If these lawsuits are successful, that would leave a gap as far as Hickory is concerned. The new proposed ordinance that will be brought forth will better reflect some of the definitions of the legislation and add some other restrictions that Atty. Crone felt he was hearing some of the Council voice that they would like to see in the ordinance. The proposed ordinance will be presented to the Council at some point during the 90 day moratorium. This ordinance will stay in place at least or until December 1. Were the legislation deemed to be unconstitutional, then they will have the ordinance in place to close the gap should that happen. Alder Patton asked within the hearing would take place? Atty. Crone stated that this would be heard sometime in latter October or November. The council consented unanimously to the moratorium.
The Hound has addressed this issue several times since it was brought up at the end of 2009 and since it has been deliberated over this year. I am glad the city has finally taken some action on this issue.
New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Designation of Voting Delegate and One Alternate Voting Delegate for 2010 Annual North Carolina Annual Business Meeting on October 25, 2010 in Winston-Salem, NC. - Under the NCLM Constitution and the voting procedure established by the League Board of Directors, each member municipality sending delegates to the Annual Conference is required to designate one voting delegate and one alternate voting delegate. The vote of each municipality at the Annual Business Meeting on October 25, 2010 may be cast only by a designated voting delegate or alternate voting delegate. The council unanimously voted to approve Mayor Wright as the voting delegate to this annual meeting.
Currently Mayor Wright and manager Berry are the only representatives from Hickory that will attend this meeting. Mayor Wright stated that he hopes that more members of Council will attend this meeting. He stated that his good networking and this is good to attend. City has not always faithfully attended this meeting but once they started having the meeting in Hickory every few years he felt that there needed to be a somewhat visible attendance to this meeting. We sell others on how great this meeting is going to be and that they should come when this meeting is in Hickory, so he would encourage others to come. It is close by. He stated that city staff is on top of the subjects that will be discussed. He added that there is no substitute for someone who puts their name on the ballot who will come back and report.
Citizens requesting to be heard -- Larry Pope addressed the Council about public events controlled by the city. He stated that he had an incident that occurred with him a month ago where there was a foot race in downtown Hickory on Saturday morning. He walked to Post Office BBQ to eat and when he was finished he was headed to Professional Dry Cleaners downtown. As he came across a railroad tracks, he headed down the street and made a right-hand turn along the sidewalk near the Elk's Lodge and old Duke Power building. As he was traveling down the sidewalk he walked into a truck and a car that were parked on the sidewalk that should not have been there. There was a crowd of folks and he asked for some assistance to get around the vehicles. A gentleman stepped forward and assisted Mr. Pope.
Mr. Pope asked for the man to help him get to the Bank of Granite parking lot. The man took him to the Bank of Granite Plasa parking lot and let him go. Mr. Pope found out that he was not where he wanted to be and stopped and asked for assistance again, because he heard a crowd of folks that were standing there. Another person helped him to the Bank of Granite parking lot and there was a crane in the middle of the road that was there for the race.
He called the police department, and the dispatcher did not know who he was and told him that they could not send an officer to help him and he lost contact with the dispatcher thinking that they had hung up. The Lieutenant on duty sent some help to help him get around a crowd of folks and the barricades that were downtown.
Mr. Pope later met with Major Deal and Manager Berry to let them know what had happened and his concerns. Mr. Pope stated that he was told by Manager Berry that no event downtown will change. Mr. Pope stated that there is a law in place that sets out what is proper and what is not proper when it comes to travel areas for people with disabilities. He stated that Manager Berry does not own the sidewalks and cannot make determinations about what will and will not be done. He met with Attorney Dula on the 27th of August to provide her with a copy of the law and told her that he was tired of fighting with the city of Hickory when it comes to his rights. The Americans with disability act is specific about what the city government must do when the council grants permission for these events to happen. Larry stated that he asked Atty. Dula what downtown development will do and what the city will do pertaining to Oktoberfest. He stated that if anyone violates his rights that he will see them in court.
He expects a letter from the Downtown Development Association and the City of Hickory to spell out what they plan to do, as the law requires them to do certain things under the law of the ADA. If they choose not to do it, he stated he will be back and he will do what ever he has to do to protect his rights and other people's rights in the city of Hickory who have a disability. He stated that if Mick Berry is going to make decisions for the Council without informing the council what they should be doing, then he will say to the Council and Manager Berry that he needs to resign his position and they need to fire him (Mr. Berry).
The Hound can sympathize with what Mr. Pope goes through as an individual dealing with a handicap. I know that it has to be a struggle to live independently and be as productive as Mr. Pope is. These ADA issues need to be taken seriously by our government and by all accounts I believe the city of Hickory does take these issues very seriously. I don't believe anyone meant any harm to Mr. Pope on the morning in question and I do believe that the city should hold community events downtown that enhance the quality of life of the city. Sometimes things just happen. I don't believe that vehicles should be parking on the sidewalk and proactive steps need to be taken to ensure that the sidewalks are not blocked.
This issue cuts both ways. Mr. Pope needs to understand that not everything will always be perfect. We cannot always fault our city government for issues that are just part of the process of life. I believe that the city does take Mr. Pope seriously when it comes to the issues of his handicap. There is no desire to slight him over the issues of his physical limitations.
I don't think that any of us should ever make fun of Mr. Larry Pope for addressing the City Council. Citizens need to be listened to when they have concerns, whether you agree with them or not. These issues are important to Mr. Pope. This is not trivial. This is not a joke and I would like to think that anyone who addresses our city government will find representatives of the city government that are responsive, caring, and represent the needs of all of the citizens of the City of Hickory. If you think that this is not something that should be taken seriously, then think about the next time when it might be something that is important to you. Will it be a joke then?
***Mayor Wright spoke about the Chamber of Commerce "Fly In" that he attended last week. He stated that we were one of 34 chambers that attended this event. He stated that he heard several things about the progress of the war and about research going on at Chapel Hill involving the ability to substitute oral medications for chemotherapy that will utilize nanotechnology to fight cancer cells. He stated that it was a good meeting that allowed them to ask a few questions. He talked about an editria he authored in Sunday's Hickory Daily Record that discussed the subject of collective bargaining relating to local municipalities. Mayor Wright stated that he asked a couple questions that were evaded and stated that the people in Washington are trying to dodge the questions and are going counter to the will of the people of the State of North Carolina. He lamented the actions of representatives in Washington related to voting, such as cloture.
The Mayor's Editorial in the Hickory Daily Record: Mandatory collective bargaining counterproductive
The Hound agrees with the Mayor on this issue. First and foremost, we are in economically difficult times. This has nothing to do with our local government workers. I have met several of them and I believe that for the most part they want to do good work and do what is best for our community. The fact remains that the government continues to grow at an exponential pace. If one looks at the pay of government workers, for the most part, they are the only sector of our society whose pay has not decreased during these economically stagnant times. Yes, I understand that our local government workers have not had a raise in two years, but there are a lot of people who are out of work, have had their hours cut, or have seen cuts in their pay and benefits. That is the reality.
I understand the desire of workers to want to ensure that they are fairly represented when it comes to compensation. Most of us don't enjoy such a luxury and we are not responsible for the public trust. The government can basically hold the people over a barrel and demand increases in pay -- look at Congress. We have seen federal elected officials continue to vote themselves pay increases, while statistics show the average citizen has fallen further and further behind. This is one of those balance issues that needs to be dealt with. And as the Mayor stated the federal government is attempting to institute this measure against the will of the people. These issues that are implemented against the will of the people must not stand.
***Alder Patton wanted to add a comment about a sales event taking place this weekend called the Viewmont Street Strut. A group of about 30 businesses have gotten together to market this event. She hopes that people will take the time to head out to Viewmont and support local businesses.