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.
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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 6/5/2012 meeting. There were a couple of important items that were discussed at this meeting and the details are listed further below:
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Invocation by Rev. Dale Sneed, Pastor, Hartzell Memorial and McQueens Chapel United Methodist Churches
A. Presentation By Dr. Dave Hamilton and Dr. William Litaker Regarding Missions of Mercy, a Free Dental Clinic to be held on July 27 and 28, 2012 at the Hickory Metro Convention Center.
North Carolina Missions of Mercy Dental Clinic - Volunteers and Sponsors Needed for event on July 27 & 28
B. Presentation of the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the Fiscal Year Beginning July 1, 2011. This is the seventeenth consecutive year the City Has received this recognition.
C. Presentation by Communications Department Staff of a video showcasing the ribbon cutting and opening day of the Zahra Baker All Children’s Playground at Kiwanis Park
A. Resolution – Cancellation of July 3, 2012 City Council Meeting Be it resolved by the City Council of the City of Hickory that the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting for July 3, 2012 be cancelled due to the annual tradition of canceling the first City Council Meeting in July because of the possibility of not having a quorum of Council as a result of the July 4th holiday and vacations. (This meeting in July has traditionally been cancelled by the City Council.)
B. Proclamation Recognizing Hickory Crawdads Manager Bill Richardson for Becoming the All-Time Winning Manager in Hickory Crawdads History
C. Proclamation Recognizing National HIV Testing Day on June 27, 2012
D. Request From Hickory Jaycees for Use of City Hall Parking Lot for Hickory Alive on June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
The Hound is glad to see Hickory Inc. saw that they were off base and backed off where they were headed with this issue. The two articles below are a reminder of where we were at last year when it comes to this issue. There are still people that would put an end to this event if the opportunity arises. Those who think this issue has been permanently solved are mistaken. Events like Hickory Alive are important to this area and should not be taken for granted.
Newsletter about the City Council meeting of May 3, 2011 -- Addendum on "The Future of Hickory Alive" - May 4, 2011
Hal Row Show - The Mayor - Hickory Alive - A lack of tolerance for Younger Generations - June 27, 2011
E. Request From Catawba Valley Pride Inc. for Use of L. P. Frans Stadium for Catawba Valley Pride Celebration to be held on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Revisiting the Issue from last September
F. Request For Funding By Community Relations Council (CRC) – Spring 2012 Grant Recommendations in the Amount of $6,000.00 - As part of the Community Relations Council work plan and annual budget process, the CRC receives funds to disperse during the fiscal year through the CRC grant process. Non-profit agencies working with diverse populations in Hickory are eligible for grant funding. The grant proposal must show how the program under consideration fits into the CRC goals and mission and how the program will serve to improve human relations in the Hickory area. A total of $12,000.00 is available for grant funding in FY 2011-12. For the spring grant cycle, the CRC received grant requests totaling $15,834.80. The CRC reviewed the applications and recommends funding on five (5) of the grant requests received:
1. Outright Youth of Catawba Valley 1,500.00
2. Exodus Homes 984.80
3. Dr. Neal Gray – Diabetes Support Group 1,015.20
4. Girls on the Run of Catawba Valley 1,000.00
5. Restored Generation Inc. 1,500.00
G. Resolution Accepting the Offer of Dedication by Habitat For Humanity of Catawba Valley of Lands and Improvements as Shown in Plat Book 71 at Page 135 of the Catawba County Registry on 5th Avenue SW - This request is for consideration of a resolution accepting an offer of dedication of street right-of-way by Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley, which involves a newlyconstructed segment of 5th Avenue SW. Habitat For Humanity of Catawba Valley recently completed what was known as the Green Park Subdivision in southwest Hickory. Upon completion of new subdivisions, the plat will contain an offer of dedication for areas deemed public. The offer of dedication stands as the owner’s intention to transfer the area shown from private ownership to public ownership; however, NCGS §160A-374 stipulates that the offer can only be accepted by resolution of City Council. Staff recommends approval.
H. Request for Approval to Purchase Approximately 0.7 Acres of Property Adjacent to the Northeast WWTP from Clay H. and Jennifer Gosnell Located on 1st Street Place, NE in the Amount of $30,500.00, with Estimated Closing Costs of $3,000.00 – The Public Utilities Department Staff was approached by Clay and Jennifer Gosnell, the property owners, about purchasing this property which is located adjacent to the Northeast WWTP. The 0.7-acre property is immediately south of the existing WWTP property on the western end and would provide a beneficial buffer area between the facility and the adjacent community. The property could also be beneficial as the future site of a water resources education building. Purchase of the property will be paid from the Northeast WWTP Upgrade Project Contingency Fund. Staff recommends approval.
I. Tax Refund, as Recommended by Catawba County Tax Office, to Moore’s Ferry Associates, LLC in the Amount of $610.44 - Due to an error in land pricing amount and incorrect allocation between the City of Hickory and the Hickory Rural Fire District for property located at 4331 North Center Street, Moore’s Ferry was subsequently billed for an additional value of $122,087.00 for the City. The error was corrected for the 2012 bill. Moore’s Ferry Associates LLC is requesting a refund for tax year 2011 for overpayment. This has been verified by the Tax Collector’s Office. Staff recommends approval.
J. Resolution Declaring Surplus 1,440 Library Books and Authorizing Materials be Given to Friends of the Library for Their Fourth Saturday Book Sales – January – June, 2012 - The Friends of the Library collected donated books and other materials throughout the year for their book sales, the proceeds providing funds for library programming and other special activities. For many years, the library has given Friends of the Library materials that have been removed from the collection because they are out of date, in poor condition, or no longer needed to meet the collection development goals of the library. There are 1,440 discarded library materials to be donated. Staff recommends approval.
K. Amendment to Lease Agreement with Hickory Christian Academy to Allow for the Lease of Additional Classroom Space at Neill W. Clark Jr. Recreation Park - Hickory Christian Academy (HCA) is located adjacent to Neill W. Clark, Jr. Recreation Park. Due to school facility constraints, representatives of HCA approached the City Staff about the possibility of leasing facility space beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, and a lease agreement was signed on August 16, 2011 leasing three classroom spaces and an office/conference room for a total of 1,851 square feet. The first amendment to the lease provides for: (1) The City agrees to lease an additional room (No. 13), which totals 508 square feet, at a rate of $1.00 per square foot per month. Effective July 1, 2012, the monthly lease payment increases from $1,851.00 to $2,359.00; (2) HCA will also be allowed to use the common mall area for lunch provided a written request is provided seven days prior to the requested use. Should unexpected weather conditions occur, a request may be submitted without the seven day notice requirement. All previously scheduled events in this area will take precedent over any use request by HCA. (3) The lease amendment also provides for the issuance of additional facility keys. Leasing of the additional classroom space will have no adverse affect on any current or future programs offered and conducted by the Parks and Recreation Department. Staff recommends approval of the first amendment to the lease agreement.
L. Write Offs for Fiscal Year 2011-2012 in the Amount $198,299.15 (FY 2011) and $234,986.84(FY 2012) - North Carolina General Statutes establish all Street Assessments and Property Taxes that are over ten (10) years old are no longer collectable and should be written off in conjunction with the annual audit. For the current fiscal year (FY 11-12), there are no Street Assessments to be written off, but there is $127,119.28 in Property Taxes. The City of Hickory’s Accounting Division requires all other accounts that are over eighteen (18) months in arrears be written off to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in order to more fairly represent financial assets of the City on the balance sheet. For the current fiscal year, this amounts to $107,867.56. Current fiscal year writeoffs total $234,986.84, compared to $198,299.15 for FY 10-11. Even though these accounts will be written off, the Finance Division will continue to pursue collection of the debts. All accounts over $50.00 that are eligible are submitted to the North Carolina Debt Setoff Program for collection. Staff recommends approval to write-off uncollectable
accounts for Fiscal Year 2011-2012.
M. Request from Grace Chapel Fire Department in Caldwell County for Transfer from City of Hickory of a Surplus Radio Tower Frame Currently Stored at Fire Station No. 7 for Public Safety Radio Communication Use - During 2003-04, the City demolished the former police department and city jail building that was located on 1st Street NE. During the demolition phase, a radio tower was removed from the side of the building and moved to Fire Station No. 7 for storage. Since that time, there has been no designated use of the radio tower frame. The Grace Chapel Fire Dept. is currently building a new fire station in Caldwell County and has a need for a radio tower for fire and rescue radio communications. Staff recommends approval.
N. Budget Ordinance Amendment No. 24
1. To budget a $50 Library donation (Shirley and Ralph Cunningham) in the LibraryBooks line item.
2. To budget a total of $606 ($100-Quest Book Club and $506-Ridgeview High School Class of 1962) Library donations.
3. To transfer $9,000 from the Street Division Construction line item to the Stormwater Fund Departmental Supplies. This transfer is necessary to provide funds in the Stormwater budget to purchase construction materials needed for storm drain related projects.
4. To budget $1,215 of Miscellaneous Revenue in the Fire Department Maintenance and Repair of Vehicles line item. These funds were received from Mountain Recycling, Inc. for the sale of scrap metal from surplus Engine 14.
5. To budget a $2,000 donation from the Kiwanis Foundation in the Parks and Recreation Maintenance and Repair of Grounds line item. This donation is for landscaping at the Zahra Baker All Children’s Playground at Kiwanis Park.
6. To budget a $300 donation in the Parks and Recreation Departmental Supplies line item. This donation is for the Zahra Baker Community Build.
7. To budget $140 of Parks and Recreation Special Activities Revenue in the Recreation Supplies line item. These funds are designated for Lacrosse supplies (uniforms).
8. To budget $2,460 of Parks and Recreation revenue in the Parks and Recreation Special Events line item. These funds are for the June SOAP (Summer Outdoor Adventure Program) offered by the Parks and Recreation Department.
9. To budget $7,633 of Parks and Recreation revenue in the Parks and Recreation Special Events line item. These funds are for the Senior Games.
10. To appropriate $9,400 of Miscellaneous TDA revenue and to transfer an additional $4,821 of Contingency to the Finance Departments Banking Services line item. These funds are necessary to cover the refinancing fees for the General Fund debts which was paid for out of the Finance Department’s
11. To budget $285,000 of additional Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax revenues for FY11-12. Per State statute Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax revenues are collected by the City and remitted directly to the Hickory-Conover Tourism Development Authority.
12. To appropriate $22,474 of Insurance Fund Balance (General Liability) to the FBO (Fixed Base Operations) Other Professional Services line item for legal expenses related to the FBO Bankruptcy.
13. To transfer $263,500 ($162,500 General Fund, $98,000 Solid Waste Fund, $3,000 Transportation Fund) of designated Fuel Reserve funds to several departments fuel and motor oil operational line items. This transfer is necessary to cover the projected overages in fuel costs in the current fiscal year. These funds are a portion of the $1 million previously set aside by City Council to meet the rising cost of fuel. Any remaining funds at year end will be transferred back to the Fuel Reserve for future needs.
14. To transfer $10,553 of Appropriated Transportation Fund Balance to several Airport operational line items. This amendment is necessary to complete the fiscal year.
New Business - Public Hearings
1. City Manager’s Recommended Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Budget Ordinance - Pursuant to NC General Statutes §159-12(b), a public hearing shall be held before adopting the budget ordinance. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on May 17, 2012. Copies of the budget ordinance were filed for public inspection in the Office of the City Clerk, Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and Ridgeview Library. The recommended budget is also posted on the City’s web page, www.hickorync.gov. Pursuant to NC General Statutes §159-13(a), the City Council is required to adopt a balanced budget before July 1, making the appropriations and levying taxes for the budget year. The City Manager recommends adoption of the attached budget ordinance for Fiscal Year 2012-13.
Newsletter about the City Council meeting of June 5, 2012 - Addendum on the Hickory City Budget 2012-13
Recognition of Persons Requesting To Be Heard
Martha Boston, 123 10th Avenue SE, requests to speak to Council regarding: 1. Code enforcement and slumlords; and 2. Ridgeview Library. - Ms. Boston prefers the name Blitzie. The matter concerns Slumlords throughout the city. She spoke about issues surrounding her house.... people in and out... neighbors with stolen cars. There are issues with trees on other properties and their limbs overhanging and damaging her property. The roots from the trees have torn up her driveway. The bottom line is that nothing had been done for seven years until Code Enforcement got involved three months ago. She believes that we need more code enforcers, because they can't possibly oversee all of the slumlords that don't live in the area. A fence has been placed on her property and she will have to pay money to have it removed. She has been advised that she will have to go to small claims court to get the tree issue resolved. She commended the police for doing a good job. She talked about that kids in the Ridgeview are having kids and the police shouldn't be expected to take care of the kids. She said she believes the City Council has done as much as they can at this time, but believes that the Council should be more visible in Ridgeview. She next spoke about the Ridgeview Library and thanked former City manager McGee and Alderman Lyerly for saving the old library. She talked about how Hickory ois more diversified now and saving this building benefits the entire community. She was informed that the old library will be used as a museum. She would like for it also to be used as a resource. The building has been placed on the national Registry. She thanked Interfaith Board members. She did state that she hasn't heard much from Interfaith (Morningstar Baptist Church and Friendship Church are the board members) in Ridgeviews. She stated that preachers come and go, but the Church will always be there.
Alderman Guess talked about a policy on slumlord properties in Charlotte. He would like to take a look at what Charlotte has done with Rental Properties. Alder Patton stated that they have expanded there policy to all Rental properties. Alder Fox stated that the article was in the Charlotte Observer. Alderman Guess stated that this continues to be an issue.
General Comments: The Mayor did a very good thing when he asked that staff look to help kids in need attend the Swimming program sponsored by the City at the YMCA this summer, He stated that he would like to see this done without a stigma attached.
The Hound believes that the Mayor deserves kudos for this initiative. The Mayor should be commended for making an effort, but we still believe that we need a community pool in Hickory and the Y should not be the community pool.
Alder Patton spoke about the Hickory Community Theater and events at the Library in citing all of the things there are to do in Hickory. The Mayor added Swinging Under the Stars and Hickory Alive as successful events.
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