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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of February 7, 2012

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 2/7/2012 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 Pastor Lorraine Patterson, Morning Star First Baptist Church

Consent Agenda:
A. Transfer of Cemetery Deed from City of Hickory to Caroline R. Latorre in Oakwood Cemetery

B. Special Event Permit Application to Use Union Square for Downtown Hickory Farmers Market every Wednesday (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) and Saturday (8:00 am – 1:00 pm) beginning on Saturday, April 28, 2012 and ending October 31, 2012. They are also requesting to operate on two Saturdays in November (17th and 24th) from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

C. Special Event Permit Application for Grave Marking Ceremony for Clinton Cilley, Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor (Civil War) by Catawba Valley Chapter of the North Carolina Sons of the American Revolution to be held at Oakwood Cemetery on April 28, 2012 from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm - Item pulled from agenda and postponed to a later date.

D. Special Event Permit Application for Hickory Hops by Hickory Downtown Development Association Scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2012 to be held at Government Avenue, SW and Second Street SW from 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm

E. Special Event Permit Application for Charity Chase Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) Scheduled for Saturday, June 2, 2012 from 6:30 am to 10:30 am to Start and Finish on Main Avenue Between 3rd Street and 4th Street NW

F. Special Event Permit Application for Hickory Crawdads Valentine’s Day Party Scheduled for Saturday, February 11, 2012 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at L.P. Frans Stadium

G. Approve Pyrotechnic Display Permits by Hickory Crawdads for Events Held at LP Frans Stadium - The Hickory Crawdads have submitted a request to obtain permission to allow Pyro Shows Incorporated to provide fireworks after the following games held at LP Frans Stadium: April 13, May 25, June 1, 8, 22, July 4, 6, 20, August 10, 17, 2012 with specific rain dates noted. The Fire Prevention Bureau will inspect the pyrotechnics display area prior to the events to ensure compliance with all guidelines. Staff recommends approval.

H. Approve Pyrotechnic Display Permit by St. Stephens High School for Events at Catawba Valley Community College on June 9, 2012 - St. Stephens High School has submitted a request to obtain permission to allow Zambelli Fireworks Company to provide a public fireworks display at CVCC after the graduation ceremonies on June 9, 2012. The Fire Prevention Bureau will inspect the pyrotechnics display area prior to the event to ensure compliance with all guidelines. Staff recommends approval.

I. Resolution Authorizing Preparation of Assessment Rolls and Public Hearing on Preliminary Assessment Roll for Street Improvements Petition No. 01-12 (Curb and Gutter). A petition was submitted on August 23, 2011, approved by City Council on October 4, 2011, and the project was completed on December 19, 2011. (Authorize Public Hearing for February 21, 2012)

J. Change Order No. 7 to Contract with Pizzagalli Construction Company in the Amount of $28,127.00 for the Northeast Wastewater Treatment Plant (NEWWTP) Upgrade Project - The NEWWTP Upgrade Project was initiated in July, 2010 at a cost of $21,569,382.50 for a complete upgrade of the facility. The current contract amount for this project is $22,095,295.50 which includes previously approved Change Orders Nos. 1 – 6. This project was established with a contingency fund in order to address unforeseen expenses that may arise, and Change Order No. 7 consists of 11 items related to unanticipated conditions that have arisen during construction and one item that is recommended for inclusion with the project that was eliminated during the plan modifications. The single largest item that is included in this change order is $9,694.00 for replacement of the balance of the existing fence line and 2 existing gates along Cloninger Mill Road. The largest of the remaining items is for $6,322.00 for removal of an existing construction debris pile that was buried during one of the previous upgrades. The revised contract total to date will be $22,123,422.50. Staff recommends approval.

K. Community Appearance Landscape Grant to Unifour Fire and Safety – Non-Residential Property Located at 1025 Tate Boulevard SE in the Amount of $2,500.00 - This non-residential property, owned by Unifour Fire and Safety, is located at 1025 Tate Boulevard SE. Prior to occupancy, the property had remained vacant for a period of time, and the existing landscaping has become overgrown and unkempt. The intention is to upgrade the landscaping. The applicant has provided two bids for the proposed improvements which total $5,000.00 and $6,200.00. Being that both bids are $5,000.00 or greater, the applicant qualifies for the full $2,500.00 grant. On January 23, 2012, the Community Appearance Commission unanimously voted to recommend funding of the requested grant in the amount of $2,500.00.

L. Consideration of Nomination of Lee and Helen George House Located at 16 9th Avenue NE to National Register of Historic Places - The Lee and Helen George House was built in 1951 and is located at 16 9th Avenue NE in the Combford Park Subdivision. The structure is owned by a trust made up of the George Family Heirs, and its historical significance stems from its embodiment of the Modernist style of architecture and the fact that this home is one of the earliest and best examples of this type of architecture in the city. The Historic Preservation Commission held a public hearing on January 24, 2012. There were several citizens present to show support for the nomination as well as other citizens interested in learning more about the property and its effects on the surrounding area. No one spoke against the nomination. The Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval. The nomination is scheduled for presentation to the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee on February 9, 2012. If approved, the Lee and Helen George House would be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Unless the property owner wants the structure to be designated as a local landmark, the property owner will not be required to have alterations approved by the Hickory Historic Preservation Commission. Staff recommends that City Council recommend the Lee and Helen George House be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

M. Request to Award one Hour of Vacation to Each Employee Who Voluntarily Attends a City Informational Session on Branding - This request is to award one hour of vacation time to each employee who voluntarily attends a city informational session on branding. The informational sessions are designed to educate coworkers on the branding project, its importance to the City, and the role each coworker will play in making the project a success. The opportunity to earn an hour of vacation time will provide an incentive for participation and contribute to the success of the overall project. Staff recommends approval.

N. Budget Ordinance Amendments
1. To budget $407 of miscellaneous revenue in the Fire Department Departmental Supply line item. These funds were received from Mountain Recycling, Inc. for the sale of salvaged metal from surplus Engine 14.
2. To accept and budget a $57,250 donation from the Hickory Kiwanis Foundation Inc. in the Parks and Recreation Facilities line item. This donation is for the purchase of additional playground equipment for the Zahra Baker All-Children's Playground at Kiwanis Park.
3. To reclassify the Library’s vacant Marketing & Programs Coordinator position to a Communications Specialist position and move this position to the Communications Department. This budget amendment moves the funds required to fill this position for the remainder of FY11-12.
4. To appropriate $65,100 of General Fund Balance to the Airport Professional Services line item for legal expenses related to the FBO Bankruptcy. $55,100 is allocated to cover the current expenses incurred to-date this year. An additional $10,000 is to provide funds for anticipated legal expenses for the remainder of this fiscal year related to the bankruptcy.
5. To transfer $60,000 of Water and Sewer Contingency to the Water and Sewer Maintenance and Repair of Buildings line item. This transfer is needed to pay for painting two multi-color "Hickory" logos on 4 Water Tanks (F Avenue, 1st Avenue, 9th Avenue and Mountain View).
6. To transfer $57,241 of Hickory District Court revenues in excess of Hickory District Court expenditures in FY10-11 from the General Fund to the District Court Capital Reserve Fund.

O. Grant Project Ordinance
1. To budget a 2011 Urgent Repair Program Grant awarded to the City of Hickory by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency in the amount of $37,500 with a local required match of $3,750. The required match is provided by the 1992 Consortium HOME Program.

New Business - Public Hearings

1. Resolution and Order for Petition of James Clayton Neill, Manager, Hollar Hosiery Investments LLC to Close a Portion of Highland Avenue SE - On November 28, 2011, James Clayton Neill, Manager, Hollar Hosiery Investments LLC submitted a petition to close a portion of Highland Avenue SE. This area used to be part of Highland Avenue SE, but during the reconstruction of LR Blvd. and the realignment of Highland Avenue SE tie into LR Blvd., the road over this area requested to be closed was relocated and the old roadway removed. This portion of right-of-way is no longer necessary for public use, and it appears that the closing is not contrary to public interest. Public Services Staff stated that the access to water and sewer infrastructure in the area shall remain unabated. This would allow parking and landscaping over the easement area, but no buildings or structures. It is recommended that the City retain a 25’ easement for any existing water and sewer utilities which will cover maintenance and any future replacements. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on January 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2012. Chuck Hanson presentation. Council unanimously consented.

New Business - Departmental Reports:

1. Approve Vacant Building Revitalization and Demolition Grant Performance Agreement with Hollar Hosiery Investments, LLC in the amount of $30,000 - The Vacant Building Revitalization and Demolition Grant program provides grant funding up to $30,000 for projects to renovate and rehabilitate vacant buildings within the Urban Revitalization Area. Hollar Hosiery Investments, LLC has applied for the grant to assist in the renovation of the former Hollar Hosiery Mill located at 883 Highland Avenue SE. The applicant plans to renovate the facility for use by a brewery, restaurant, and event space. The balance of the building will be general retail space. Nearly $3 million will be invested in real property improvements to completely rehabilitate the historic mill building. Future tenants will also invest over $500,000 in personal property and business equipment. The Business Development Committee reviewed the application and voted to recommend approval at their January 25th meeting. Staff recommends approval.- Dave Leonetti Presentation - The Mayor asked about the disbursement of the grant monies. Mr. Leonetti stated that the funds, which are essentially a forgivable loan, will be disbursed $10,000 each year in 2014, 2015, and 2016 as long the building remains occupied. Alderman Guess stated that he is especially excited about the proposed event space. The Mayor stated that he is especially excited about this project being located near Lenoir-Rhyne, which has done a miraculous job updating their facilities and beautifying that area.

The Hound obviously thinks this is a good investment and is something that is much needed. This is exactly what the doctor ordered. If you watch the video above you will understand that. It will be a huge upgrade for that area.

2. Presentation on the 2011 Swim Program Partnership with the Hickory Foundation YMCA - 

Mac McLeod presentation - FY 2011-2012 Parks and Recreation Commission Work Plan Objective
"Pursue local partnerships and collaborations to establish a program to provide accessibility and affordability for swimming lessons to be made available to all children residing within the City Of Hickory."

2011 Spring Break Swim Lesson Program
Tuesday, April 26th-Friday, April 29th 10:00 am K-3rd graders & 11:00 am 4th-6th graders
Offered to City of Hickory residents in grades K-6...  Registration locations: Parks & Recreation Department Administrative Office and Ridgeview Recreation Center

85 children registered for program. Average of 64 children participated each day – ( Tuesday-63/Thursday-66/ Wednesday-65/Friday-63). 17 participants requested transportation with 14 taking advantage of the service: Brown Penn Recreation Center-12 / Highland Recreation Center-2 / Neill Clark Recreation Center-0 / Westmont Recreation Center-0

2011 Summer Swim Pass Program
Partnered with Hickory Foundation YMCA to make purchase of summer swim pass more affordable for those who qualified for Y's financial aid program. City of Hickory and Hickory Foundation YMCA would provide scholarships for a summer swim pass based on financial need to City of Hickory residents

Pass valid Memorial Day until Labor Day at all three YMCA locations
Parks and Recreation's involvement was to verify residency of those participants that wanted to take advantage of the program. Verification could be done at any recreation center. A total of three requests for residency verifications forms were made with two of the forms being picked up. According to the Hickory Foundation YMCA no one took advantage of the program.

2011 Winter Break Swim Lesson Program
Tuesday, December 27th - Friday, December 30th, one class each day at 10:00 am
Offered to City of Hickory residents in grades K-6. Registrations accepted at Parks and Recreation Department Administrative office and all recreation centers

48 children registered for the program. Average of 37 participated each day (Tuesday-31 / Thursday-39 / Wednesday-38 / Friday-39). 10 participants requested transportation with 14 using the service at some point during the week: Brown Penn Recreation Center-7 / Highland Recreation Center-3 / Neill Clark Recreation Center-0 / Westmont Recreation Center-4

Program Cost (excluding staff & vehicle expense)
$740.00 = 37 participants @ $20.00 each

Parent Evaluation Comments… "Actually exceeded my expectations. I didn't expect so much out of something that I didn't have to pay for."… "My son said it was very cool and he liked the swim lessons".
"My kids had a blast. This is their second time and they loved it. The instructors are great."… "This is an awesome program. My son has learned a lot and enjoyed it very much. The teachers are great with the kids."

The Mayor asked if 4 days was enough to learn how to swim.  Mac stated that some people said that they would like more time than that, an hour is not enough, and 4 days is not enough. Alderman Meisner asked about children participating multiple times? Mr. McLeod stated that there are no restrictions, except being a resident of Hickory. Alder Patton asked if the children receive a certificate? Mac stated that they do when they complete the four days. He stated that the Y has worked with them and that it has been a trial and error experience. He stated that they can't teach full blown swim lessons in that amount of time. The goal is to get the kids in the water and get interest and excitement going. He hopes kids will come back for Spring that participated in the Winter.

The Mayor stated that he would like to see outreach towards kids who haven't quite learned how to swim and for kids to have scholarships to participate in competitive swimming, such as the Seahorses and for lifetime fitness.  He added that their wasn't much money spent and more can be spent to get kids to participate.

The Hound thinks that this definitely shows that there is an interest in Aquatic Recreation.  That is embarrassing. Even, if the City is working to create these initiatives, there hasn't been a streamlined process to promote this activity and make it easily accessible. How many people in the community even know about these programs? How many know about that pass? And exactly what is the cost, so that we can understand whether it is prohibitive or not.

But even with the impediments towards participation, you see that 48 children participated in the winter program and 85 participated in last Summer's program. That is significantly more interest than what was touted by the Council when they shut down the pools two years ago. If the program were coordinated through marketing, then I think you easily double those numbers and that is being conservative. So this information hand polished and delivered to the Council shows that they were way off base when they said that swimming as an activity is passe.

I appreciate what the Mayor says about kids learning to swim, but let's be honest, where are they going to swim... and is this really only one hour? And though the details are very much incomplete, it seems that the math is that they are charging $5 for kids to swim for one hour. $20 for 4 days and they are in the water for one hour according to the dialogue I was listening to. If that is correct, then that is robbery.

I suggest that the Council come on out of the closed chambers and listen to the people. They endorsed Aquatic Recreation. It is a lot easier to do your jobs, when you represent your constituency, and especially when it is related to something this obvious and this easy.

Citizens Requesting to be heard - Dr Joseph Inglefield and Rebecca Inglefield. Dr. Inglefield stated that the program is a great partnership with the YMCA. He has been on the board with the YMCA for over 10 years, but this program is simply not enough. We need a public facility that will serve the future needs of this community. It is totally inadequate to depend on the Y at this time. The Y is not able to provide the instructional time or space to do the job right.

It is a matter of commitment and that is what he thought he heard last year and nothing has happened in the last year. We didn't have the money to fix the pools that we had and so what did we do, we demolished them and then turn around and spend $390,000 ($285k+) or so on a big tent Downtown. It is inadequate and if you think that is good for this community it is not. This is a public health issue. Do you want people to drown in the lake? That happens every Summer To a certain extent, the Parks and Rec department has decided that they aren't going to do aquatics and that is simply not right.

We need a public facility that is accessible and affordable. Build a facility and it will fulfill the cities needs. I would be ashamed to be an All-American City with no public aquatic facilities. Greensboro just spent $25 million to build a facility and it is going to host events. No, you can't learn to swim in a week. You need continuous programs... all these sports depend on the fact that you can be a good swimmer. If you think we are going to attract retirees to come here, then we need a decent facility (for exercise).

Mrs. Inglefield came to the podium thanking the Mayor for stating that he wants to have a program where more people learn to swim. She wants to talk about the young people. This is a ground zero time. We aren't stuck with one pool right now... it is wide open for creative possibilities. We are glad to know that there is a start here, but this is not enough.

Mrs. Inglefield asked if their is a committee working on this? and what the goal is and the vision is to help all of these kids learn how to swim? The Mayor (hesitantly) answered  that it is his vision that all children learn how to swim. The committee is the Parks and Recreation Commission. Mrs. Inglefield asked if this was their mission... their assignment. The Mayor answered that that is one of their assignments. Mrs. Inglefield asked if there was a certain timeline? The Mayor answered that that was part of the visioning process of the Parks and Recreation.. and we are getting way off where we wanted to go with and we probably ought to quit with the dialogue... Mrs. Inglefield stated that ahe appreciated it, then asked if we would have something in place in one year that would allow children to learn how to swim? The Mayor responded that you are looking at one person and I think they have already learned how to swim, but he wants to ensure that the kids that didn't quite get there are followed up on, but he would like to see those numbers tripled or quadrupled.

Mrs. Inglefield asked how many children are in our community. The Mayor answered that in that age group there are probably 7,000 to 8, 000 kids. Mrs. Inglefield responded so 67 swam for an hour 4 days a week? The Mayor answered that he shouldn't get into this... for a million dollars we only had 40 a day. Mrs. Inglefield asked for a million dollars? The Mayor responded if we had created those new pools, it would have been with operating costs a million dollars for 40 kids a day. Mrs. Inglefield answered that she knew that the Mayor had heard that children come to a pool for programming. That is the reason why kids didn't come in the summer, because there was no programming. There weren't swim lessons. It was just a path to come splash. Programming is a high decision, That is the reason why you have coaches for softball and basketball and programs for those... but she is glad that he is committed and we are too.

The Hound wants to convey that the above should reiterate many of the points that have been shared on this blog. Thank You Inglefield's for standing up on this issue. And especially Mrs. Inglefield for asking the questions. That scene shows why we need town hall meetings so that we can ask questions and get answers to the issues we face.

What was shown is that there is no plan, there was no plan, and there will never be a plan as long as the current Council is allowed to perform as they presently do. There were charades that were held in which the public demanded overwhelmingly that we have aquatic recreation in Hickory, but this Council went out of its way to make sure that the public's will was usurped. 

Notice how the Mayor passed the buck to Mr. McLeod and the Parks and Recreation Commission several times. Hey Mac and Parks and Rec, how does it feel to be thrown under the bus to provide cover for your bosses. It might be hard to believe, but there are actually people in this city that wouldn't do that to you. I hope that you're paid enough to carry that load.

Remember what President Harry Truman said about the buck stopping here. My name might be Shell, but I don't have the talent that these folks have playing the Shell game with the buck the way this lot does.


Silence DoGood said...

Council loves endorsing things they don’t have to fund. It’s great, all the benefits with none of the liabilities. But they can, however, pass out landscaping grants to businesses; that is a good use of taxpayer funds.

I found it amazing that the Mayor pulled those numbers right off the top of his head like that. So the Parks and Rec Commission have that as a vision as well. I don’t quite follow who was getting off track and what dialogue it was that needed quitting however. Reading the next sentence, it looks and reads as if there is one specific example that both knew of, that remained unnamed, that was a reference point for that exchange. It also appears in the next paragraph that there were 67 participants and the Mayor keeps referring to 40 for a $1 million dollar expense. And in a previous post here at the Hound, I seem to recall the Mayor’s or Council’s reference to “a couple dozen”. And yet, the Mayor wants to see the number tripled or quadrupled. That is still a very low number.

I’m not a swimmer. Water has never held any fascination for me. However, I know that it does have a particular attraction for many. It seems to me that and I'm using the Mayor’s numbers here for a moment, lets start with the 7 – 8,000 children. 10% of the average of that population would be 750. I don’t think that is an unreasonable number for participation. 750 x $20.00 for 4 days = $15,000. I guess we now know why it wasn’t advertised or made known more than it was and I think a prime reason for lack of participation was the lack of knowledge the program even existed, as you say. However to further extrapolate, if you ran a 4 day cycle each week of the year, you’d have $780,000.00. You’re $220,000.00 short of that magic $1,000,000.00 price tag that keeps getting batted around. Add another$65,000.00 to that and you've roughly got the amount expended on the "Greatest Show on Union Square".

Yes I know, there is fallacy in those numbers, since you aren’t going to run a basic swimming program every week in the year for 750 kids. You’re right. But what about the adult users? What about all the other people who would venture in? If 10% of the Hickory population bought a pass to use such a facility at $20 a week, that would generate $4.4 million dollars on a 50 week year. I think that would pay for the facility and operation thereof with change.

They’re forever looking for something to spark vitalization, build an Aquatic Center downtown. For the price of a weeks’ worth of Mocha Soy Latte Crappuccinos (figuring one per day for 4 days), Council could redeem themselves and show their commitment to aquatic recreation and the people could show a little support for such a venture.

James Thomas Shell said...

An aquatic center wouldn't have to be paid off all at one time. If the City built the damn thing for $3 million or $4 million, they would amortize it over 10 years. If they sell bonds, it would add that much to the project, Costs could be defrayed by donations and public-private investment. With that we are talking about $300,000 to $400,000 a year to have an Olympic sized swimming pool and amenities paid off fully in 10 years that would definitely be an enhancement to the area.

As far as the Mayor's numbers, they have always varied with the wind. He tries to throw out the big numbers to scare people off. People don't care about big numbers until they are going to take care of your buddies' interest. $100,000... $300,000... $1 million isn't what it used to be. Our house cost that much. We made real investments in those and look at the value we are losing in them these days. The big numbers game doesn't mean squat to most of us.

The actual costs from the one firm in Charlotte that were provided show a cost of around $750,000 for both pools. One was going to cost a little more than the other to upgrade, but conveniently no competitive analysis was done and this one inquiry about the cost didn't go into the specifics of the cost.

The Council doesn't have a clue about Tea Leaves and they don't realize that this issue is not going to go away. They didn't get that from the start, but I think they are starting to get the picture now.

jinglefield said...

Proposal to Hickory City Parks & Recreation Department Commission and the Hickory City Council

It has been recommended that a proposal for an aquatics facility be made based on the recent public hearings and City of Hickory Aquatics Assessment Survey.

There are numerous citizens of Hickory who are very interested in aquatics facilities at this time. With the closure of the Ridgeview and West Hickory pools the last two summers, there has been an increasing demand for public aquatic facilities. At present, all other aquatic facilities in the Hickory area are private. Based on the city’s survey, aquatic recreation compares favorably in terms of the agenda for the Park & Rec’s department. In the survey only Police, Fire and Library Services surpassed it. Only 5.8% of citizens feel that no aquatic recreation is necessary.

The recent Gallop and Healthways Well Being Index poll ranked Hickory as being last in the USA, is quite a surprise considering Hickory’s being named an All American City. Construction of an Aquatics Center also fits with the ongoing effort of the Business Development Committee to market the City to existing and potential entrepreneurs including young professional couples, middle managers and telecommuters. Aquatics are an area where Hickory is clearly behind similar and competing cities. It is also consistent with our standing charter to attract retires who need a pool for recreation, exercise and medical rehabilitation
The need to provide aquatic recreation for the public health and well being, safety, and protection of our citizens would be the primary motivation of building an aquatic facility. However, there are numerous other organizations and citizen groups that would be interested in the development and success of aquatic recreation in the public sector of Hickory.

jinglefield said...

Uses of such a facility include family swim and recreation times, swim lessons for all ages, and water safety lessons. Also, team training including swimming, water polo, and synchronized swimming, scuba diving, kayak training, police, fire and rescue training, medical rehab and water aerobics, obesity remediation. This would involve all age groups and citizens within the community.

Other groups that would have interest and could benefit from a public recreation aquatics facility include Lenoir Rhyne University, Frye Hospital, the YMCA of the Catawba Valley, economic development council, local developers, city and county schools, home schoolers, Western Piedmont Council of Government, hotel/motel owners, transportation agencies, local merchants and restaurants and eateries. The ability to attract regional competitive events and even national events is possible with the facility we suggest.

Collaboration with these organizations as well as philanthropic groups within Hickory would be strongly urged. These include the various foundations and philanthropists in the Hickory area.

With all this in mind and after careful review and attendance at the public hearings, we would recommended on behalf of the citizens of Hickory:

1) That we use local expertise in aquatics that can provide knowledgeable up-to-date information regarding aquatics facilities
2) The aquatics facility should be a minimum of 25 yards by 50 meters with a minimum depth of 60 inches. The initial construction would include bath house and adequate parking provided or available for immediate and future applications. This pool should be up to current standards and recommendations in terms of water filtration and handling with supplementary solar heating panels and blanket water cover to allow the facility to operate at least six months of the year. Deck space/room for future bleachers for swim meets and planning for possible seasonal enclosure might also be provided as the concept develops.
3) That the facility have adjacent land for expansion including at some point in the future a warm-up or teaching pool of a smaller size planning that this facility would be enclosed at some point in the future either by a seasonal inflatable bubble type structure or a permanent building.
4) We would recommend that this pool be placed adjacent to the Ridgeview area which is central to the city of Hickory, preferably very close to downtown, or even adjacent, where the facility would be an attraction for the entire city and would attract developers of the area surrounding the swimming facility such as hotel, restaurants and other support businesses.

We are available to answer questions to give guidance and recommendations regarding this basic facility which will serve the needs of the Hickory citizens for many years to come.

This proposal, the $30k survey on aquatics, 3 public hearings were all ignored by City Council and the recreation department. The sneaky destruction of the pools approved over the holiday, just like the "Big Tent" , followed. We need new leadership. Pure ward voting would help!