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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of September 4, 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 8/21/2012 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 Rev. Whit Malone, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church

Consent Agenda:
A. Special Event/Activities Application for various events with the City and Hickory Music Factory, Mandy Pitts, Communications Director/Brand Manager, with the City of Hickory, the following dates, September 8, 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm, Drum Circle; October 20, 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Ulysses; November 10, 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm, Drum Circle; and November 16, 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Christmas Tree Lighting, Rick Cline and Nathan Hefner, at The Sails on the Square.

*** Always glad to see Ulysses get a gig

B. Special Event/Activities Application for Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center Vigil, Elizabeth Grigg, Hickory Police Department, a vigil for children deaths by parent/guardian, October  16, 2012, 11:00 am to 1:30 pm at The Sails on the Square.

C. Special Event/Activities Application for Ignite Hickory, Inc., applicants, Charles Moretz, and Christopher Harris, Managers, for Christian Rock/Worship music, October 6, 2012 from 2:30 pm to 10:00 pm at The Sails on the Square.

D. Transfer of Cemetery Deed from Mark Lawson Miller, Jessica Lyndsy Miller and Dorothy J. Moot Trust f/b/o Brennan Lawson Miller, William Kelly Miller, Trustee to William Kelly Miller in Oakwood Cemetery

E. Transfer of Cemetery Deed from Donald C. Beaver to Patricia A. Anderson, in Oakwood Cemetery

F. Request approval of six days of vacation time to be used as prizes for the United Way Campaign. - Each year the City of Hickory conducts a United Way campaign, providing an opportunity for coworkers to support United Way and its member organizations. To encourage participation, we would like to offer participants a chance to win some vacation time. Based on the level of participation, coworkers would be eligible to enter a drawing to win one of three vacation time prizes of one day, two days or three days.

G. Request from Hickory Police Department to Award Police Badge and Service Weapon to Retiring Lieutenant James Kurz - By authority of NC General Statute §20-187.2, City Council may award the service weapon and police badge to retiring Lieutenant James Kurz upon his retirement from Hickory Police Department on October 1, 2012 after completing almost 25 years of service with Hickory Police Department. Upon approval from City Council, the police badge and service weapon will be declared surplus and removed from the city’s fixed asset inventory.

H. Approval of the FY 2011 – 2012 Consolidated 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.

I. Request for approval of the Wastewater Treatment Facility Easement Agreement with Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC for the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Facility for 0.0106 acres at no cost. - The Public Utilities Division has been planning for the Upgrade/Expansion of the Hickory-Catawba WWTP for approximately 3 years. This upgrade/expansion is being planned in cooperation with  Catawba County for wastewater service provision in the Sherrill’s Ford, Town of Catawba, Hwy 150 and Claremont areas. The NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Construction Grants and Loans Section has a requirement for all new and/or renovated Wastewater Treatment Facilities to possess a 50-ft buffer from all property lines. In order for this site to accomplish this requirement, an easement must be acquired from Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC.

J. Request approval of the agreement for Engineering Services for Eastwoods, Random Woods and Sherwood Forest Subdivisions Sanitary Sewer Project the McGill Associates, PA in the amount of $129,300.  - This project includes construction of approximately 25,100 linear feet of 8-ingh PVC
sanitary sewer lines. The three subdivisions are within or immediately adjacent to the existing City of Hickory Extra Territorial Jurisdiction and the City of Hickory has existing sanitary sewer mains available for connection by the proposed subdivision sanitary sewer lines. McGill Associates, PA was  selected as the most qualified engineering firm to engage for these services due to the firm’s professional qualifications, successful history with projects involving the State agency and familiarity with the project due to previous work they preformed for the City of this project during initial submittal of the Preliminary Engineering Report. The proposed contract with McGill Associates, PA is to provide design, construction administration and project close-out services necessary to complete
the project as approved by NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Project engineering fees were included in the estimates submitted to and subsequently approved by the Grant Offer.

K. Request approval of a Corporate Hangar Lease with CommScope, Inc. for a term of five years for Hangar S5 located on the south ramp the Hickory Regional Airport. - This is a five year lease that will commence on September 1, 2012 and extend through December 31, 2016. The Lessee shall have the right to extend the terms of this Agreement for one additional five year term upon the same terms and conditions with the exception of an increase in the annual rent by ten percent. For the initial five year term, the Lessee shall pay an annual rent of $72,000 for its use and occupancy of the leased
premises in twelve equal monthly installments of $6,000.

L. Approval of a Proclamation for Constitution Week, September 17-23, 2012, to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties.

M. Grant Project Ordinance No. 3
To budget a $42,364 FY2012 Edward Byrne Memorial Assistance Grant award through the Justice Assistance Grant (J.A.G.) program in several Police Department operational line items. The City of Hickory and Catawba County have received a combined allocation of $42,364 under the 2012 Justice Assistance Grant program. The City of Hickory is eligible for a direct award of $26,658 and Catawba County is eligible for a direct award of $15,706. This grant requires no local matching funds from the City. The Police Department will use funds to purchase infrared/thermal imaging camera recorder for low light situations and for law enforcement training to include training aids for police officers.

Matters not on the Agenda - Arnita Dula addresses the possibilities of creating a clothing ordinance as spoken of by Larry Pope at the City Council meeting of August 7, 2012 about the appearance (dress) of young people in the City (1:00:00 mark to 1:05:00).

As Mrs. Dula states these ordinances first appeared in 2007.  Fines and Citations have been imposed in communities she addresses. These are expansions of decency laws. Currently there are no such communities in North Carolina. Dunn, NC discussed, but did not pass such an ordinance this past August. The ACLU does not support such ordinances, because they are Unconstitutional and disparately impact minorities.

The Hounds opinion is that we should not impose such an ordinance on the people in Hickory. The Police have enough to do.

*** Following this Council Meeting a forum on the City Council Ward Voting Referendum issue took place. I will await the City's presentation and link to it here on the Hickory Hound. I think it is great that the City is doing this and I hope that the city will begin recording and submitting, via Youtube, City Council meetings as we move forward. It fits in with the agenda of bringing government to the people and being open and transparent.

I thought the meeting was good in the sense that everyone got to speak their peace and if that makes people feel good, then that is always a good thing. There is no way that this could be considered a Town hall, because without a point man there is no Town Hall. I don't feel that the meeting was productive, but it is not my prerogative to tell you what you should think about the meeting.

It wasn't the type of meeting where you could get answers from either side of the issue. And I don't think it swayed anyone. Those who were there that supported the issue will still support the issue. Those who will vote no will still vote no. And those who were undecided are still undecided. I will address some of the things said at this forum going forward. The good thing is that the people in the room understand where everyone in the room stands going forward as we deal with the issues involving this community.

*** And I do appreciate Hal Row stepping forward to moderate the event and I would like to wish him a Happy Birthday for September 5, 2012. Peace be with You Hal!

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