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 12/18/2012 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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City Council Action Agenda - December 18, 2012 - Mayor Wright and Alderman Seaver not Present
Invocation by Rev, Bud Zehmer, Pastor Church of the Master United Church of Christ
A. (2:30) - Presentation of a Proclamation to Hickory Jaycees
Council allowing Citizens to speak about Agenda Items
At the 7:00 mark, James Davis makes the following presentation to the City Council:
Council members, I appreciate you allowing me to address items of concern on the Agenda that you are set to vote upon. I am asking that the Budget Ordinance Amendment Item Number 2 be removed from the Consent Agenda for further discussion, because it does not fit with the Parking Fund Ordinance created by a Previous Council and City Administration.
Allow me to read the ordinance to you that was passed out to you.
It is my belief, and that of the Citizens for Equity in Government, that this was the issue with the tent constructed last year on Union Square. It had nothing to do with parking. So, you broke the law that you have sworn to uphold.
As section one states, this money is set aside for funding future parking facility Capital project needs. This fund was created to increase Parking Capacity and address its issues, not for the security purposes of Union Square businesses. Let's be honest these cameras have a lot more to do with securing Union Square's private business interests, than securing the parking lots associated with Union Square.
The businesses on Union Square should address their own security issues like every other private business in other areas of the city have to do. We understand the desire for security, but if Union Square businesses want to collectively improve their security, then should they not be doing this through the Downtown Development Association? Wasn't that what that entity was created for?
Now y'all can go on and unanimously do what you intended to do all along, but thank you for allowing us to go on the record about the continued misappropriation of this fund.
Consent Agenda: (12:10)
A. Transfer of a Cemetery Deed from Robert Edgar Lail, Jr. and wife, Kathy Robinette Lail, Trudy Diana Austin Brower, Widow and Sarah Elizabeth Lail Eaton, Widow, to Jeanette Frances Lail Pittman in Oakwood Cemetery
B. Approval to Extend Public Parking Area in the Large Parking Lot (Lot#2) across North Center Street from City Hall. - Traffic Division has studied the parking lot (Lot #2) located across North Center Street from City Hall. Currently in the parking area, which is two-hour parking, there are thirty seven (37) spaces which include two handicapped spaces. If the public area is increased to match the shape and layout of the parking lot, this will increase the number of public parking spaces to fifty-four (54). Also, by increasing the time restriction from two hours to three hours, any visitors will have more time to explore downtown.
C. Approval of an Agreement for Future Voluntary Annexation for Superior Homes and Land located at 1842 22nd Street NE, PIN No. 3713-12-97-6105. - Superior Homes and Land request connection to the City of Hickory’s water and sewer system without being annexed. The property is located in the City’s extra-territorial jurisdictional area. An analysis has determined the annexation of the property would not be economically feasible for the City of Hickory at the present time. They have agreed to be annexed at some time in the future, when the City finds it economically feasible to do so.
D. Call for Public Hearing – Regarding the Financing Concept for the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade and Expansion. (Authorize Public Hearing for January 2, 2013)
E. Approval of a Resolution supporting an application to the Local Government Commission for the financing agreement for the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrade and expansion. In order for a local government in North Carolina to finance a project, approval is to be obtained from the Local Government Commission (LGC). The LGC requires a resolution be passed by City Council prior to the LGC’s approval of the financing agreement application. In order to meet the application deadline, the completed LGC application must be received more than 28 days prior to the scheduled LGC meeting on February 5, 2013. The resolution resolves that the City is in financial standing to finance this project using the installment purchase debt method without raising taxes, and includes an opinion by the City’s Attorney that the proposed project is authorized by law.
F. Approval of a Deed of Easement for Bus Shelters from the City of Hickory to the Western Piedmont Regional Transit Authority. - The City has erected and maintained a number of bus shelters throughout the city and also in the Newton area over a number of years. Some shelters were erected when the City operated the Piedmont Wagon Transit System; some have been erected since the creation of the Western Piedmont Regional Transit Authority (WPRTA). When the WPRTA was formed, the plan was for the new authority to assume the operation and maintenance of the shelters.
G. Citizens’ Advisory Committee Recommendations for Assistance through the City of
Hickory’s Housing Programs - The following request was considered by the Citizens’ Advisory Committee at their regular meeting on December 6, 2012:
Nancy Braswell was approved for recommendation to City Council for first-time
homebuyer’s assistance to purchase a house located at 452 South Center Street, Hickory. She had requested $6,500 for assistance with down payment and closing costs. The First-Time Homebuyers Assistance Loan is zero interest, no payments and repaid upon sale, refinance or payoff of first mortgage.
Funds are budgeted for these items through the City of Hickory’s Rental Rehabilitation Program income received in FY 2010 and/or program income received through the City of Hickory’s Community Development Block Grant Program. The following applicant is being recommended for approval for assistance under the City of Hickory’s 2011 Urgent Repair Program. This program provides qualified low income citizens assistance for emergency-related repairs not to exceed $6,000.
Dorothy Adams, 235 10th Avenue SE, Hickory, not to exceed $4,880. (Used $1,120 in URP10 funds)
H. Approval of a Proclamation for Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Day, January 11, 2013.
Budget Ordinance Amendment
1. To transfer $40,283 of General Fund Contingency to the Governing Body Professional Services-Elections line item. This amendment is necessary to pay Catawba County Board of Elections for expenses incurred for the Referendum Election held on September 18, 2012.
2. To appropriate $23,302 of Capital Reserve Parking Fund and transfer to the Public Buildings M&R of Equipment line item. This budget amendment is necessary to pay for the upgrade to the downtown parking lot camera system. With addition of the new cameras, the system has outgrown what the infrastructure can support. The upgrade will add storage, increase bandwidth and upgrade the software platform to allow for the number of cameras now installed on the network.
(Item pulled from the Consent Agenda - Citizen James Davis asked that the item be pulled and Alderman Lail initiated the process with Alderman Meisner and Alderman Lail making the motions to remove the item) - Discussed by the Council and given unanimous approval 5-0 mayor Wight and Alderman Seaver were absent
3. To appropriate $7,597 of Transportation Fund Balance and budget in the FBO Maintenance & Repair of Buildings ($5,000), Departmental Supplies ($1,600) and Fuel and Motor Oil ($997) line items. $7,597 of Miscellaneous Airport Revenue went into the Transportation Fund Balance at FY11-12 year end; therefore an appropriation is necessary to make those funds available for purchases this fiscal year.
A. Report of Mayor Rudy Wright’s travel to North Carolina League of Municipalities, Transportation Forum, Raleigh, NC on November 14-15, 2012 (Lodging - $111.63, Meals - $34.00)
New Business - Public Hearing
1. (15:00) Voluntary Annexation of City owned property located at the corner of 21st Street NW and 9th Avenue Drive NW. - The City of Hickory has submitted a petition for the contiguous voluntary annexation of .87 acres of property located at the intersection of 21st Street NW and 9th Avenue Drive NW, which is part of the tract occupied by the Hickory Municipal Airport. The City of Hickory maintains 21st Street NW which follows a north to south route from Clement Boulevard NW to 9th Avenue Drive NW. Although the street is used by the general public, the right-of-way was never dedicated for such. This public hearing was advertised on December 7, 2012 in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area. Cal Overby Presentation. Council Unanimous Consent.
2. ( 19:50) Resolution Directing Street Improvement Project be Undertaken Along a Portion of 304 and 336 10th Ave NE for Curb and Gutter, Petition No. 02-12 - The City Clerk has received a petition from the owners of property along a portion of 10th Ave NE, to install curb and gutter per Section 29-2 of the Hickory City Code. The signatures on the petition represent 100% of the property owners affected. The City Clerk has certified that the Preliminary Resolution adopted by the City Council on November 20, 2012 was mailed by first class mail on November 29, 2012 to the owners of the property subject to assessment should the project be undertaken. This petition comes to us through our normal curb and gutter process where both the property owner and the City participate in the costs. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on December 3, 2012. Council Unanimous Consent.
3. (21:35) Resolution Directing Street Improvement Project be Undertaken Along a Portion of 304 10th Ave NE for Sidewalk, Petition No. 03-12 - The City Clerk has received a petition from the owners of property along a portion of 10th Ave NE, to install sidewalk per Section 29-2 of the Hickory City Code. The signatures on the petition represent 100% of the property owners affected. The City Clerk has certified that the Preliminary Resolution adopted by the City Council on November 20, 2012 was mailed by first class mail on November 29, 2012 to the owners of the property subject to assessment should the project be undertaken. This petition comes to us through our normal sidewalk process where both the property owner and the City participate in the costs. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on December 3, 2012. Council Unanimous Consent.
4. (22:50) Resolution and Order for Petition of Robert Lee Combs Jr., Cynthia C. Combs; Kenneth R. Abernethy, Linda Yvonne McCall Abernethy; Patricia Abernethy Bolch and Alan C. Bolch to Close a Portion of 10th Avenue Place NE, in the 400 Block. - On October 5, 2012, Attorney Terry Taylor, presented a petition on behalf of Robert Lee Combs Jr., Cynthia C. Combs; Kenneth R. Abernethy, Linda Yvonne McCall Abernethy; Patricia Abernethy Bolch and Alan C. Bolch, the owners of property abutting a portion of 10th Avenue Place NE, in the 400 block, requested the City to abandon a portion of this right-of-way. This portion of the right-of-way is no longer necessary for public use and appears the closing is not contrary to public interest. Staff recommends that the City retain all utility easements. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on November 23, November 30, December 7, and December 14, 2012. Council Unanimous Consent.
Citizens Requesting to Be Heard
(26:00) Cliff Moone - Cliff spoke once again about the process that has been instituted in relation to allowing Citizens to be heard before votes are taken in relation to second readings, Consent Agenda Items, and Departmental Reports.
At the end of the meeting Council voted affirmatively to form a subcommittee to formally put this process, allowing Citizens to be Heard before votes are taken, on the Agenda.
Newsletter about the City Council meeting of October 2, 2012 - Addendum on the CEG proposals -
Proposal introduced by the Mayor outside of the constructs of the agenda
Newsletter about the City Council meeting of November 20, 2012 - Cliff Moone addressed the issue of Citizens being allowed the question items on the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. He discussed what occurred at the October 2, 2012 meeting.
Newsletter about the City Council meeting of December 4, 2012 - Cliff Moone addresses the City Council about the Council's new policy odf making a motion to allow citizen's to address the City Council about items on the Agenda. Cliff and all members of the Citizens for Equity in Government feel that the Council is proverbially flying by the seat of their pants on this. Second they are not following proper protocol, because this is nowhere to be found on the Public Agenda, so technically it is a matter not on the Agenda and should by statute come at the end of the meeting after Citizens Requesting to Be Heard, which takes us back to square one. Hickory Inc. wants to say what's the big deal and we agree. Since it isn't a big deal, then formally put in on the agenda and quit with the ruse.
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