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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of September 20, 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 Rev. Bill Garrard, Retired Pastor, United Methodist Church

Special Presentation:
Presentation of Beautification Awards by the Community Appearance Commission Presented by Leroy Harris, Chair of the Community Appearance Commission

Residential Landscape - Richard and Gaye Tucker - 1336 6th Street, NW

Residential Landscape and Renovation (Co-Winners) -
Betty Heath - 425 4th Avenue, SW
Blair Cody - 449 5th Avenue Place, NE

Non-residential Landscape - MDI Management, Inc. - 260 13th Avenue, NE (Lowe's Foods Viewmont Location)

Non-Residential Renovation / Restoration - William and Janelle Gibbs - 44 29th Avenue, NE - Razzberries

Adelaide Shuford Award - Adopt-A-Spot - Dr. Bob and Kandi Peterson - 3rd Avenue, NE and 2nd Street, NE (near the SALT Block)

Special Awards - Non -Profit Organizations - St. Stephens Lutheran Church, ELCA - 2259 12th Avenue, NE

Treasure Tree (White Oak Tree) - Home of Steven & Jennifer Beane - 3740 11th Street, NE

Consent Agenda

A. Transfer of Cemetery Deed from Josephine M. Spencer, Dennis A. Spencer and wife, Carla P. Spencer, Duane E. Spencer and wife, Lynn K. Spencer to David Thomas Spencer in Fairview Cemetery

B. Citizens’ Advisory Committee Recommendations for Assistance Through the City of Hickory’s Housing Programs - The following requests were considered by the Citizens’ Advisory Committee at their regular meeting on September 1, 2011:

*Geraldine Wansley, 47 44th Avenue Place NE, Hickory, was awarded a City of Hickory’s Housing Rehabilitation Loan. The Citizens’ Advisory Committee recommends approval for assistance not to exceed $10,000 for repairs to her home. Assistance would be in the form of a 3% interest loan for a 10 year period.
*Doris Rendlemen, 642 1st Avenue SE, Hickory, was awarded a City of Hickory’s Housing Rehabilitation Loan. The Citizens’ Advisory Committee recommends approval for assistance not to exceed $10,000 for repairs to her home. Assistance would be in the form of a 3% interest loan for a 10 year period.
*Sarah Lopes, 404 3rd Avenue Drive SE, Hickory, was awarded a City of Hickory’s Housing Rehabilitation Loan in the amount of $10,000. The Citizen’s Advisory Committee recommends approval to increase her loan by $1,000 for the cost of the repairs.

Funds are budgeted for these items through the City of Hickory’s former Rental Rehabilitation Program income received in FY 2009 and/or program income received through the City of Hickory’s Community Development Block Grant Program. Each of the following applicants is being recommended for approval for assistance under the City of Hickory’s 2010 Urgent Repair Program. This program provides qualified low income citizens with assistance for emergency-related repairs not to exceed $5,000.

*Karen Hoyle, 617 3rd Street SE, Hickory,
*Brenda Erwin, 335 4th Street SE, Hickory
The Citizens’ Advisory Committee considered these requests at their September 1, 2011 Meeting and recommends approval of the above applicants.

C. Acceptance of 2011 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the Amount of $37,161 – Hickory Police Department and Catawba County have received notification of approval to receive a combined allocation of $52,713 under the 2011 Justice Assistance Grant Program. Cities and counties are required to file joint applications for the available funding. Hickory Police Department applied for a grant in the amount of $37,161 to soundproof interview rooms and upgrade the camera security system and door-locking security system at the police department. The City of Hickory has agreed to serve as lead agency in the grant application process. A public hearing to approve application for these funds was held at the June 21, 2011 City Council Meeting. There is no match required. .

D. Request By the Hickory Police Department to Purchase Nine (9) 2011 Specialized Police Package Crown Victoria Vehicles from Vic Bailey Ford in the Amount of $204,210 ($22,690 Per Vehicle) - The Hickory Police Department has funds budgeted in its FY 2011-12 CIP Budget for the replacement of police vehicles. The 2011 Police Package Ford Crown Victoria’s engine and electrical system best suits the needs of the department in order to operate the large number of electrical devices in the police vehicles. The Police Package Crown Victoria is currently the primary vehicle used in our patrol fleet, but production of this vehicle ended earlier this year, and the model has now been discontinued altogether although parts will still be made. After consulting with the City’s Fleet Manager, it is recommended that we continue to purchase the Police Package Ford Crown Victoria for one more year based on its past reliable performance in police service and the large number of these vehicles already in the fleet. We checked with our local Ford dealership and they stated that they would not be able to bid on these vehicles since they have none in their possession and no more are being made, in fact, this is the case for Ford dealerships throughout the Southeast. After some research, we found that the closest Ford dealership that would be able to provide us with the 2011 Police Package Ford Crown Victoria is Vic Bailey Ford which has these vehicles on their lot and available at the South Carolina State contract price. After this year, HPD will most likely move towards the Police Package Chevrolet Caprice as its primary patrol vehicle. The Police Package Chevrolet Caprice has only been back in production for one year after having been discontinued for a number of years, and is currently only offered with a V-8 engine. By moving towards the Police Package Chevrolet Caprice next year, it will give the manufacturer an additional year to work out any problems that generally occur with a new production vehicle, and additionally, next year the Police Package Chevrolet Caprice will be available with a V-6 engine, which is what HPD prefers. We will also be able to purchase this vehicle through a local dealer. .

E. Proclamation – Proclaiming September 17, 2011 as Constitution Day and September 17- 23, 2011 as Constitution Week in the City of Hickory

F. Proclamation – Proclaiming September 17, 2011 as Hickory Chair Furniture Co. Day in the City of Hickory

G. Request by the Coworker Appreciation Day Committee for Eight (8) Days of Vacation Time for Use as Door Prizes for Coworker Appreciation Day - The Coworker Appreciation Day Committee is requesting eight (8) days of vacation time to be used as door prizes for Coworker Appreciation Day scheduled for Thursday, November 3, 2011 at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. For the last several years, City Council has approved eight (8) days, with five (5) of those days used as the grand prize and the other three (3) days as additional door prizes. .

H. Request for Six (6) Vacation Days for Use as Prizes for City of Hickory’s United Way Participation Campaign - The United Way Campaign Committee is requesting six (6) days of vacation time to be used as prizes for participation in the annual United Way Campaign, starting in September, 2011. To encourage participation, the City wants to offer participants a chance to win vacation time based on their level of participation. The City is a strong supporter of the United Way, and the campaign educates the workforce about the various programs and services that the United Way provides. .

Budget Ordinances
1. To budget a $3,886 insurance claim check from Trident Insurance Company in the Parks and Recreation Department Maintenance and Repair of Grounds line item. This insurance claim is for storm damage at Kiwanis Park on 08-19-11.
2. To transfer $8,426 of Appropriated General Fund Balance to the Police Department Governor’s Crime Commission Multi Year Grant. This multi year grant is budgeted annually and to cover a deficit in year 1 of $6.59 and to budget year 2 local contribution of $8,416 a transfer is necessary. Unused funds will be
sent back to General Fund Balance at the end of the Grant period (06-30-12).
3. To transfer $274,595 of Appropriated General Fund Balance to the Fire Department Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Services (SAFER) Grant. This transfer from the General Fund to the Multi-Year Grant Fund is necessary to budget the local match for year 3 staffing in the grant project and is for accounting tracking purposes only. When funds are entered into the multi year account a reimbursement reverts back to General Fund Balance. This Grant was awarded by the Department of Homeland Security to fully staff a 2nd Ladder Company and runs from 04/30/09 – 04/29/14.
4. To appropriate $78,850 of Water and Sewer Capital Reserve to the Sewer Lines line item. This appropriation is necessary to pay for the 2nd Avenue NW Manhole Replacement project. The existing manhole is approximately 17 ft. deep and has degraded due to age (approximately 60 years old). The manhole needs to be completely replaced to create a solid structure capable of withstanding the demands of 2nd Ave. NW and restore a safe travel surface. The 4ft diameter brick manhole will be replaced with a traffic rated precast concrete manhole.

Informational Items:
A. Report of Mayor Wright’s Travel Registration to the WPCOG Mayors/Chairman/Managers Meeting on August 25, 2011; Registration - $30

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Proclamation Declaring September 24, 2011 as Day of Play in the City of Hickory - At the September 6, 2011 City Council Meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Mack McLeod presented an update on a special Hickory Play Day scheduled for September 24, 2011 at Geitner-Rotary Park from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. and stated that the proclamation would be presented at this meeting. He also announced that the City has been named as a 2011 Playful City USA Community by Kaboom for its efforts to increase play opportunities for children. There are 151 cities throughout the U.S. that have received this designation in 2011, with only 6 in North Carolina. As part of the designation, Hickory will receive 2 signs designating the Playful City USA for the highways. Hickory is also recognized on the Playful City USA website, and all cities that receive the designation are eligible to receive grant money for the development and renovation of playgrounds ranging from $15,000 - $30,000, with Hickory’s notification scheduled for September 19, 2011.

Whereas play is a crucial factor in the overall well being of children… and whereas as uninstructed, unplanned, spontaneous, and self motivated play is on the decline… and whereas children who play are healthier and suffer less obesity and obesity related health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease… and whereas play is a lifelong experience for both children and adults… and whereas the City of Hickory strives to create a generation of children who are happier, healthier, smarter… whereas the City of Hickory endeavors to increase awareness and advance play as a component to lifestyles and whereas the City of Hickory partners with the community to advance the quality and accessibility of play spaces and whereas the City of Hickory will use its National Designation as a Playful City USA community as a form to highlight and encourage play for residents of all ages and abilities… Now therefore, I Rudy Wright, Mayor of the City of Hickory, on behalf of all members of the City Council do hereby proclaim September 24, 2011 as a day of play and encourage all citizens to celebrate Day of Play and support all efforts bring awareness of play to this and all future generations.

The City is one of 20 cities to receive a $20,000 grant from this organization that will go towards the Zahra Baker playground fund.

2. Amended and Restated Agreement for Operations, Maintenance, Management and Marketing Services – Veolia Water North America South LLC in the Amount of $1,338,937 for Continued Operations of the Regional Compost Facility for the Sludge Consortium - The City of Hickory, City of Conover and Catawba County jointly form the Sludge Consortium making up the partners in the Regional Compost Facility. The City of Hickory is Lead Agent for the Sludge Consortium and thereby, the contracting agent for the Sludge Consortium with the private contract operations firm. Veolia Water North America South LLC is the current contract operations firm and has been since the Regional Compost Facility’s inception in 1990. The proposed contract is a 3-year renewal term with three 1-year automatic renewal options and is necessary as the existing 10-year contract is expiring. This contract renewal extends the same conditions of the previous agreement and includes creation of a capital improvement listing for extending useful life of the facility and transitions the budget to recognize a greater importance in mechanical replacements due to age. A budget amendment is not required, and of the contract in the amount of $1,338,937.

Kevin Greer made the presentation (Below is a photo link story board of his Power Point Presentation. The City of Hickory owns 66% of the facility, Catawba County owns 18.5% and Conover owns 15.5%. The facility was built in 1990. It was closed twice in the first few years to address odor issues. In 1994, a specialist (Professional Services Group) was hired to run the operation. The company has changed a couple of times. There have been two contract renewals since 1994.

 Due to the age of the operation, there is starting to be a necessity to increase maintenance on the facility and thus the line item cost of the facility. The proposed fee will slightly decrease. Maintenance will rise slightly. The City shares profits with Veolia. This will be a tghree year renewal. On the back side, there will be three one year renewals. Veolia is responsible for marketing the compost finished product. This facility helps to dispose wastewater and key to all wastewater operations.

Items not on the Agenda
***Alder Jill Patton invited people to the Viewmont Street Strut to promote businesses in that area.
***Alder Sally Fox commended Cal Overby and Mandy Pitts for the work that they did and have done in promoting the Ivey Arboretum's 75th anniversary -- noting that not many cities have Arboretums in their Downtown areas. She also commended City Arborist Tammy Teague for the devotion towards the maintenance of the Arboretum.
***The Mayor commended everyone involved in the 9/11 commemoration. He commended the people involved in the Zarha Baker trial and the professional manner in which the police operated under an awful inherited situation. He talked about the Zahra baker playground, which is over $150,000. It will have amenities that 18 months ago we would not have dreamed of in Hickory.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I have a major problem with the City giving days of paid vacation as a door prize for participation in UW. That money comes from us as taxpayers. There needs to be some other incentive, or those paid days off should be paid for with money donated from some business or gotten from some other place than from the budget paid for by my tax dollars! The way the City is participating in UW is leaving me with no choice as to whether or not I wish to participate in UW. Personally, I don't give to UW. I do give to various charities, some of them on the UW list. Maybe it was a good thing I wasn't able to come to the mtg. I probably would have shown my butt on this one!