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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of September 6, 2011

This newsletter is about the Hickory City Council meeting that I attended this past week. 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, 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 9/6/2011 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.

Invocation by Karla Woggon, Rector, Episcopal Church of the Ascension

Special Presentations:

A. Presentation of Proclamation to Marvin Hewitt, Executive Director, Flynn Home of Hickory, NC, Betty Wright, Administrative Director; John Murdock, Residential Services Director; and Susan Huttman, Community Resources Director Proclaiming the Month of September, 2011 as “National Recovery Month” in the City of Hickory

B. Update – Hickory Play Day on September 24, 2011 - Parks and Recreation Director Mack McLeod will present an update on a special Hickory Play Day scheduled for September 24, 2011 and will also give an update on a prestigious award. This is a Community Picnic and Canned food drive that will last from 10am to 1pm to be held at Geitner Park (2085 13th Street Drive NW) The Mayor will give a proclamation, There will be a walk/bike ride in honor of Zahra Baker, there will be games and a nature hike. There will also be Fishing, Canoeing, and Badminton. The Hickory Police Department will talk about Bike Safety. The Humane Society will be there. Balloons by Jackie Crump. You can bring your own lunch or purchase hotdogs from a local vendor.

Kaboom! Is a national non-profit dedicated to saving play for America’s children. It’s mission is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. Ultimately, we envision a place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Kaboom states that 2011 Playful City USA communities demonstrated creative commitments to addressing the Play Deficit. Playful City USA celebrates and highlights these unique initiatives developed by communities across the country. A primary goal of Playful City USA is to encourage cities and towns to share creative ideas, concepts and programs in an effort to increase play opportunities for children.

There are 151 Playful Cities in the USA. Playful Cities in North Carolina are Hickory, Albemarle, Creedmoor, Durham, Greeville, and Mount Holly. Hickory will receive two Playful City USA signs for highways. Playful City USA festivities will be combined with events going on at every center and park throughout the year.

Consent Agenda:
A. Proclamation – Proclaiming Saturday, August 20, 2011 as “A Day of Celebration of Holy Trinity Christian Church”

B. Proclamation – Recognizing and Expressing Support for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance  - PH C. Certificate of Sufficiency and Preliminary Resolution Relative to Street Improvements Along a Portion of 8th Street NW – No. 01-12 (Authorize Public Hearing for October 4, 2011)

D. Amendment to Traffic Ordinance by Prohibiting On-Street Parking Along Both East and West Margins of 13th Street SE from the Intersection with Main Avenue SE Approximately 1,050 Feet to the Intersection with B Avenue SE - This on-street parking prohibition would eliminate permitted, but unmarked parking along this street segment. During periods when on-street parking activity has been observed, some vehicles were parked so that motorists were very constricted, and turning movements were made difficult, especially those for Plastic Packaging, Inc., who originated this requested evaluation. Motorists are primarily local residents. The Traffic Division recommends that on- street parking be prohibited.

E. Amendment to Traffic Ordinance by Prohibiting On-Street Parking Along Both North and South Margins of 18th Avenue Place NE from the Intersection with 14th Street Place NE East Approximately 330 Feet to the Intersection with 15th Street Place NE - This on-street parking prohibition would eliminate permitted, but unmarked parking along this street segment. During periods when on-street parking activity has been observed, some vehicles were parked so that motorists were very constricted, and turning movements were made difficult. This requested evaluation originated as VC-3 697959 – Requesting No Parking Signs on Street. Motorists are primarily local residents. The Traffic Division recommends that on-street parking be prohibited.

F. Amendment to Traffic Ordinance By Reducing the Speed Limit from 35 MPH to 25 MPH Along 2nd Street NE from the Intersection with 28th Avenue NE North Approximately 270 Feet to the Intersection With 28th Avenue Place NE, 3rd Street NE From the Intersection With 29th Avenue NE South Approximately 730 Feet to the Intersection With 28th Avenue Place NE, and 28th Avenue Place NE From the Intersection With 2nd Street NE East Approximately 550 Feet to the Intersection With 3rd Street NE - Under the City’s Traffic Calming Program, an application was received for a speed limit reduction along 2nd Street NE as indicated above. Staff determined that a speed limit reduction from 35 mph to 25 mph would be acceptable, if the residents desired. The petition packages were received and were determined by Staff to be valid and met the 75% signature requirement. .

G. Pyrotechnic Display Permit by Lenoir Rhyne University for October 8, 2011 After the Homecoming Football Game - Mr. Leonard Geddes, Associate Dean of Co-Curricular Program at Lenoir Rhyne University has submitted a request to obtain permission to allow Pyro Shows Incorporated to provide a public display of pyrotechnics after the homecoming football game on October 8, 2011. The Fire Prevention Bureau will inspect the pyrotechnics display area prior to the events to ensure compliance with all guidelines.
H. Vision 100 Block Grant No. 36237.66.2.1 - Agreement and Resolution with NC Division of Aviation (NC DOA) for Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan, and Runway Approach Obstruction Removal Survey in the Amount of $42,832 (Federal Share 90% - $38,549; City’s Share 10% - $4,283) - This grant agreement is administered by NC DOA and utilizes only a portion of the Vision 100 Grant previously approved by City Council in January, 2011 ($166,667 total grant funds previously approved). This grant includes a federal share of 90% ($38,549) for these projects from the Airport Improvement Plan budget, with the City’s share being 10% ($4,283). These grant projects are part of the continuing Airfield Improvement Program of the Hickory Regional Airport. The Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plan are mandated by the new Stormwater General Permit issued by NC Division of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR) and NC DOA. The Runway Approach Obstruction Removal Survey is mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the NC DOA. of the grant agreement and resolution.

Do people even know? Hickory Airport Operators (River Hawk Aviation) in Bankruptcy

Mind Blowing - The City's Mismanagement of the Hickory Regional Airport.

I. Vision 100 Block Grant No. 36237.66.3.1 – Agreement and Resolution with NC Division of Aviation (NC DOA) for Construction of New Aviation Fuel Farm in the Amount of $343,906 (Federal Share 90% - $309,515; City’s Share 10% - $34,391) - The Hickory Regional Airport has been awarded a Vision 100 Block Grant through the NC DOA for construction of a new aviation fuel farm. There are currently two fuel farms at the airport, both being owned and operated by the current FBO (River Hawk). These fuel farms are in need of maintenance and refurbishment and are not in compliance with EPA mandated secondary containment requirements which must be met by November 10, 2011 or the FBO will be out of compliance. The current FBO has filed for bankruptcy. With these issues drastically affecting the airport and the need to insure a reliable supply of fuel to its customers, the City’s intent is to design and construct a new aviation fuel farm to be owned and operated by trained and certified city staff. The estimated time for completion is mid-December, 2011.The total grant amount to be applied towards construction of the new aviation fuel farm is $343,906, with a federal share at 90% ($309,515) and the City’s local share at 10% ($34,391). Based on the urgent nature of this situation, Staff has requested consideration by the FAA and NC DOA to fund this project in combination with remaining Hickory AIP funds currently in the FAA’s possession and the City’s Vision 100 and block grant funds. and acceptance of the grant agreement and resolution.

J. Approval of the FY 2010-2011Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) - The US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development requires the City, as a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement funding recipient, to report on CDBG monies spent within the previous fiscal year. This report evaluates the effectiveness of the use of resources in addressing identified goals and objectives cited in the Annual Action Plan, which is prepared before the fiscal year begins. .

K. 2011 Urgent Repair Program Grant, Assistance Policy and Procurement Policy - The City of Hickory, through the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s Urgent Repair Program, has been awarded $37,500 to assist a minimum of 10 eligible homes with urgently needed repairs in an amount not to exceed $5,400 per housing unit. The City will provide $3,750 in matching funds, which is available from rental rehabilitation program income. In order to comply with the NC Housing Finance Agency requirements, the City has prepared an Assistance Policy and a Procurement Policy reflecting program requirements. .

Budget Ordinances
1. To appropriate $5,000 of General Fund Balance to the Police Department Training, Meals and Lodging line item. This appropriation is necessary to pay for supervisor legal and case strategy training. $5,000 represents Police Federal Reimbursement balances from previous years (2009 and 2010) that have rolled into Fund Balance at year end; therefore an appropriation is necessary.
2. To budget an $18,456 insurance claim check from Trident Insurance Company in the Police Department Maintenance and Repair of Vehicle line item. This insurance claim is for damage to Police vehicle on 07-10-11.
3. To budget a $100 Library donation in the Books line item to purchase assorted books for the Carolina Room.
4. To transfer $352,350 to the appropriate line items in the City’s various funds for employee performance based merit increases. Performance based merit increases will be granted to eligible employees on October 1, 2011. Eligible employees whose job performance was rated “Meets Job Requirements” will be
granted a 2% increase, and eligible employees whose job performance was rated “Exceeds Job Requirements” will be granted a 2.5% increase. City of Hickory employees have not received performance based merit increases (raises) since July 1, 2008. As the City Manager outlined in his Manager’s Message with the FY2011-2012 Annual Budget, additional Contingency funds were set aside to guard against the possibility of the State of North Carolina withholding local funds. Since the State did not withhold any of our funds, a portion ($352,350) of these additional Contingency funds are now being made available to fund employee performance based merit increases.
5. To amend the Vision 100 Airport Grant by transferring $12,383 from the Transportation Capital Project to the General Fund. The scope of the original grant request was revised to include only two elements in the amount of $42,832. The Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan and the Spill Prevention Control and
Countermeasures Plan ($25,975) and the Runway Approach Obstruction Removal Survey ($16,857). The net effect is a reduction in the General Fund Contribution in the amount of $12,383.
6. To appropriate $8,750 of General Fund Balance and transfer to the Grace Chapel Road/US 321 Hwy Multi-Year Project Fund to pay item for negotiations, acquisitions and Temporary Construction Easements (TCE) necessary for the project.

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Report - 10th Anniversary of 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance In tribute to all of the victims of 9/11 and the many who rose in service in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of 9/11, will be observed as a voluntary Day of Service and Remembrance.

2. Report – September is Disaster Preparedness Month - The month of September has been designated as Disaster Preparedness Month. The Hickory Fire Department and Hickory Police Department have worked together to develop a presentation to be delivered to City of Hickory residents during scheduled neighborhood meetings to help citizens to be better prepared and informed in the event of an emergency incident in the City. Fire Chief Tom Alexander addressed the council. What he addressed is are local Families ready? Does their family have a disaster plan or a disaster kit? The Hickory Fire Department has instituted a Readiness Program. The “Ready” campaign is a national effort to encourage individuals to have an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan and be informed about the different threats that may affect them. Disasters can happen anywhere at anytime. BGy taking the time to create an emergency supplies kit, your family will be prepared in event of a disaster.

Discuss with your family members what to do in an evacuation. When told by officials, go immediately to a shelter as instructed or to the home of a friend or relative who lives out of the area. Find out about your local shelters beforehand.

Know evacuation routes. Pre-establish several different routes in case certain roads are blocked or closed.

Family members can be separated during an emergency. Be prepared by creating a plan for how to reach one another. Establish an out-of-area contact (such as a reklative or friend) who can coordinate family members’ locations and information should you become separated. Make sure children learn phone numbers and addresses, and know the emergency plans.

Quiz Children every six months so they remember what to do, where to go, and whom to call in an emergency.

Decide how to take care of pets. Pets are not allowed in places where food is served, so you will need a place to take your pets if you have to go to a shelter.

Post emergency phone numbers (fire, police, ambulance, etc.) by the phone.

Assemble a family disaster supplies kit and keep another one in the trubk of your vehicle.

Warning, Watch, and Advisory Definitions:
Warning - A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. A warning means weather conditions pose a threat to life or property. People in the path of the storm need to take protective action.

Watch - A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set their plans in motion can do so. A watch means that hazardous weather is possible. People should have a plan of action in case a storm threatens and they should listen for later information and possible warnings especially when planning travel or outdoor activities.

Advisory - An advisory is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. Advisories are for less serious conditions than warnings, that cause significant inconvenience and if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that may threaten life or property.

Chief Alexander lastly spoke about Tornadoes and Hurricanes. The definitions of different levels of those weather events and the level of the damage they can create and how they can affect our area. He spoke about the Emergency Alert systems that are used or can possibly used to alert people in the event of a disaster, such as Public Sirens,Code Red (reverse 911), Signs, Media, Police and Fire Sirens, NOAA emergency radio,Text Messaging, and Emergency e-mail notification. The City utilizes a Code Red System, which is a high volume – high speed service available for mass emergency notification. Code Red employs an internet mapping capability for geographic targeting of calls, coupled with a high speed telephone calling system capable of delivering customized pre-recorded messages directly to homes and businesses. The system is capable of over 50,000 calls within 15-20 minutes.

3. Update – Hickory Pink Heals Tour Events for September 22-24, 2011 -  The Pink Heals Tour Steering Committee will present a brief report to describe the final preparation for the September 22-24, 2011 Hickory Pink Heals Tour. A summary of activities, programs, marketing campaign efforts and events
scheduled will be presented. Deputy Fire Chief George Byers addressed the Council. They last addressed the council on March 1, 2011 about this event. The event will move from Hickory to High Point to Fayetteville. Pink Heals Tour Hickory Website. The Pink Heals Tour-Hickory is a collaborative community initiative to assist the "Cares Enough to Wear Pink" campaign in the effort to raise awareness and money for cancer patients through local non-profit organization.

100% of the profit raised through The Pink Heals Tour-Hickory will go to Through Healing Eyes. So your generous purchase or donation stays in the community to help those in need. With the support of those that protect and serve our community The Pink Heals Tour-Hickory is striving to help women of all ages with cancer and by promoting community awareness. If you have any questions, please contact us at Deputy Chief Byers spoke extensively and thanked the various collaborative partnerships with businesses in the area.

Pink fire trucks and more will parade through Hickory September 22 - 23, 2011.
Founded in 2007 by a firefighter, the Guardians of the Ribbon is based out of Phoenix, AZ. Guardians of the Ribbon, dressed in pink fire suits, drive pink fire trucks across the country every year to spread an awareness campaign supporting women in their fight with cancer. They ask cities to support women in their community with a "Cares Enough to Wear Pink" campaign, where money is raised for local non-profits that help cancer patients. For short, it's called the Pink Heals Tour.

Through Healing Eyes funds go to the community to provide for breast health and education, as well as diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for individuals with breast cancer.

A parade of pink fire trucks and local fire trucks and police cars will begin on September 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza, which is at the intersection of US 70 and Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard. The parade will continue on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard, take a left on 7th Avenue, NE (near LRU), veer left on 5th Avenue Place, NE (pass McComb Park), cross NC 127, turn left on North Center Street (in front of Frye Regional Medical Center), pass the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building, take a right on Main Avenue and stop in Downtown Hickory. A welcome ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. and trucks will be on display until 7 p.m.

On September 23, the trucks will visit health care facilities and be on display at Valley Hills Mall between 4 and 7 p.m. This effort will carry forward through December 14, 2011 where an event will be held at Blue Ridge Harley Davidson with a drawing for a motorcycle and a check delivered to through healing eyes.

Request to be heard 
Deb McNure spoke to the Council thanking Code Enforcement and the Police Department for helping take care of problems with a trailer park in the West Hickory/Westmont neighborhood. She further spoke about problem with that areas GIS numbers related to the GIS system and how the police department/code enforcement had difficulties finding the locations of properties in the area. This brings to concerns to the people of the area, because of response to disaters. She alo thanked the city for providing a stove/oven to the Westmont Recreation Center. She mentioned the Bean Supper that will be held soon at that facility.


Silence DoGood said...

You know, I could understand Hickory, City of needing and building a fuel storage facility to fuel their own aircraft… if they had some. But no, that isn’t the case and some other entities are ponying up 90% of the cost of installation. Why? What’s up that isn’t being talking about or said? Based on the number of flights in and out of Hickory Regional, how is this enterprise going to break even without those numbers increasing to cover the costs of operation? I mean, based on the flight landing and departures reported and most of the aircraft based at Hickory are piston driven so they don’t gulp fuel like turbines, it seems something else is afoot. So I’m wondering, what’s just over the horizon that isn’t being said or talked about that goes far beyond a containment lagoon around some fuel storage tanks.

With the lengthening of the east/west runway a few years ago, what’s up that nobody seems conscious of? A lot of money is being dropped into a hole that is illustrative of Hickory Regional Airport for a non-stated purpose. No, it doesn’t make sense to me either.

Deb said...


You left out the most important part of my 'speech'....dropping the name of the slum-lord that owns most of the trailers that severely break ordinances/literally ratty, have drug-dealing, etc. tenants......most of the trailers in W.Hky and Highland Ave areas. They are owned by none other than our finest State House Representative and co-chair of the Education Committee that has done a great deal to destroy any gains in NC Education.......The Honorable Mark Hilton. He's fought for years to not have the above mentioned areas of Hky in his constituency...but lost this go-round in Raleigh due to the State and Federal governments' gerrymandered districting. I'm a Republican, but will be Tea-Partying ALL over him!!

James Thomas Shell said...

Mark Hilton on an education committee speaks volumes for this State and where it is headed. Does he even have any education?