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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of April 2, 2013

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 4/2/2012 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.

City Website has changed - Here is a link to the City of Hickory Document Center

All materials and maps for this meeting are provide at this link: 

City Council Meeting Agenda -April 2, 2013 (13MB)

Invocation by Cliff Moone

Special Presentations
A.Presentation for National Public Safety Telecommunications Week Presented to Shelley Davis and Nicole Sain, Telecommunicator Supervisors for Hickory Police Department.

B. Proclamation for Fair Housing Month Presented to Lois Leonard from the Board of Realtors.

Persons Requesting to Be Heard
Several people spoke during Citizens Requesting to be Heard on a wide array of topics.

1) (11:30) - Bob Anderson speaks about televising City Council

2) (14:10) - Dr Joseph Inglefield - The need for an Aquatics facility (Link to Transcipt)

3) (19:00) - Slade Kosova - The need for an Aquatics facility

4) (22:35) - James Thomas Shell - Unfair Assessments and Unethical Practices
(Link to Transcipt)

5) (30:05) - David Zagaroli - Public Arts - World Renowned Studio of Clay Structures designed by John Hare

6) (31:40) - John Hare - Official Sculptor for the Olympics in the past and he wants to create a sculpture park here in Hickory.

7) (36:05) - Cliff Moone - Speaks about Video Taping the meetings and speaks about North Carolina House Bill 150. We need to have an educated citizenry. The Legislature is moving towards usurping local government authority.

8) (40:25) - J. Franklin Davis - Speaks about the Gallup-Healthway study and other studies and obesity and health in this community.

Consent Agenda:  
A. Approval of Proclamation for Child Abuse Prevention Month, April 2013.

B. Approval of Proclamation for Arbor Day, April 20, 2013.

C. Request Approval to Submit a Grant to the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company and the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina (IIANC), in the amount of $5,000. The City of Hickory Fire Department requests approval to submit a grant to the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company and the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina (IIANC) grant process for acquiring a multi-as detector, an electrical exhaust fan for firefighting operations, and digital camera equipment for fire investigations. The grant request is for $5,000, of which there is no matching fund requirement.

D. Approval of a Partnering Agreement between Catawba County and the City of Hickory for
the Disposal of Household and Commercial Solid Waste. This Agreement states the City will bring all its household and commercial waste it collects within the City limits to the Catawba County landfill for an initial period of five (5) years and automatically renews for one additional five (5) year period unless either party notifies the other to terminate the agreement after the first five (5) year period. Catawba County guarantees the current tipping fees will not increase in any one year by more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the fees may only be adjusted annually effective July 1 of each year. This Agreement allows for the City to continue to dispose or sell any recycled products as
it deems necessary. The County agrees to receive yard waste from the City at no cost and the City is eligible to receive back from the County ground mulch up to 50% by weight of yard waste delivered to the Coun ty. This partnering agreement gives the County more secure source of waste and it
gives the City a more secure and stable tipping fee structure for the future.

E. Special Event/Activities Application for Music Under the Sails on the Square, Mandy Pitts,
Communications Director and Brand Manager, for May 3, May 10, May 17, May 24, May 31, June 7, June 14, June 21, and June 28, 2013, from 4:00 p.m. To 8:30 p.m. at the Sails on the Square in Downtown Hickory.

F. Special Event/Activities Application for Symphony Under the Sails “A Patriotic Celebration”, Reggie Helton, Western Piedmont Symphony, for June 30, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Sails on the Square in Downtown Hickory.

G. Special Event/Activities - Application for Kontras Under the Sails, Mandy Pitts, Communications Director and Brand Manager, for April 19, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Sails on the Square in Downtown Hickory.

H. Special Event/Activities Application for Hickory Alive, Amber B. Detter, Hickory Jaycees, for May 31, June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28 and July 5, 2013 from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30p.m. at the City Hall Parking Lot.

I. Request Approval to Close Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and Ridgeview Branch Library on Monday, May 20, 2013 and Tuesday, Many 21, 2013. Request approval to close both locations of Hickory Public Library to the public on Monday, May 20, 2013 and Tuesday, May 21, 2013 to provide training for all library staff in all aspects of the new integrated library system (ILS) with The Library Corporation (TLC). The intense training will be conducted by staff of TLC as part
of the contract that City Council approved on February 15, 2013. The new system should launch to the public on May 22, 2013.

J. Capital Project Ordinance Number 1.
1. To accept and budget a $44,000 appropriation from General Fund Balance and to budget $176,000 of Federal Miscellaneous Revenue in the Falling Creek Bridge 3 replacement project. This budget amendment provides a total of $220,000 of funding, 80% at the Federal level and 20% at the Local level, for the projects initial preliminary Engineering work.

K. Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 16.
1. To appropriate $88,636 of General Fund Balance (Funds reserved from the State of North Carolina Un-Authorized Substance Tax revenue) and budget in the Police Department's Capital Improvements line item. This amendment is necessary to pay for the second phase of the renovation to property located at 222 3rd St. SW, (Contiguous to HPD Headquarters property) which was purchased by the City in 2011. The second phase is to provide additional parking for the renovated HPD office space. The scope of work includes grading and shaping, paving, curb and gutter, storm drains, catch basins, trenching for data and phone lines, lighting and poles for lighting, fencing, and landscaping disturbed areas. The parking area will provide 48 additional spaces for parking and will connect to the existing parking lot of HPD. Funds are made available to the Police Department from the State and remain in General Fund Balance until appropriated.

2. To appropriate $202 of General Fund Balance (Funds reserved from the State of North Carolina Un-Authorized Substance Tax revenue) and budget in the Police Department's Non-Inventory line item. This appropriation is to budget necessary funds to cover shipping charges for the Special Operations Team vests and armor plates. Funds are made available to the Police Department from the State and remain in General Fund Balance until appropriated. This amendment is also necessary to decrease the Hickory Police Department’s operational budget by $3,863 of unspent Unauthorized Substances Tax funds and return to General Fund Appropriated Fund Balance.

3. To appropriate $44,000 of General Fund Balance and budget in the Falling Creek Bridge Capital project. This represents the required local matching funds for the initial preliminary engineering project budget for the replacement of Bridge No. 327 located on Falling Creek Road. The North Carolina Department of Transportation agreement provides 80% Federal funding in the amount of $176,000 and requires a 20% Local match of $44,000 for a total of $220,000.

New Business - Public Hearings1. Consider Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice and Plan to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing. As an entitlement recipient of Community Development Block Grant Funds, the City of Hickory is required to affirmatively further fair housing in the community. The majority of the actions described in the plan relate to increasing the awareness and education in the community to ensure that all citizens are aware of their rights to fair housing. In addition, the City will take  actions to protect the City’s stock of affordable housing and ensure that all citizens are able to access affordable housing. The public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on March 23, and April 2, 2013.

2. Consider Amendment to the City’s Community Development Block Grant Budget and Action Plan.

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Consideration and Approval of a Facility Lease Agreement with Hickory Music Factory, Inc. - The Hickory Music Factory, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization for students, teachers, artists and patrons to learn, create and experience all things music. The mission of the Hickory Music Factory is to provide and help preserve music in the community through lessons, performances and outreach programs. The leased facility is a building within Jaycee Park; located at 1515 12th Street Drive NW, which formerly housed the primary administrative offices for the Parks and Recreation Department. The leased facility will be used by the Hickory Music Factory to house its business headquarters and operations. The lease agreement will be for an initial period of five (5) years, with an option to renew for an additional five (5) years. In consideration of the lease, Hickory Music Factory will pay to the City of Hickory an annual rental fee of one dollar per year, payable by January 31st of each year. Hickory Music Factory will have use of the facility daily between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., along with use of the existing parking lot during the same hours. Any alterations, additions and improvements to the leased premises are at the sole expense of Hickory Music Factory. The City of Hickory will be responsible for all structural maintenance and building systems repairs and replacements.

* Hickory Music Factory will have use of the existing parking at the leased premises during operating hours.
* Will be allowed to install an identification sign on the building.

* Any alterations, additions, and improvements to the leased premises aree at the sole expense of Hickory Music Factory.


* Rental Fee is $1.00 per year
* The leased premises will be used by Hickory Music Factory to House is Headquarters and Operations
* Operating Hours will be 7am to 9pm

2. Settlement Offer in the HUD Housing Discrimination Complaints,
Billy Sudderth et. al. vs City of Hickory. - In February of 2013, nine complaints were served electronically on the City from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmeSnt (HUD). All of these complaints allege the City of Hickory, the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Citizens Advisory Committee engaged in discriminatory housing practices against the complainants on the basis of race. Specifically the complaints allege the following occurred: “Discriminatory terms, conditions, privileges or services and facilities and refusing to provide municipal services. These discriminatory practices allegedly happened when the City demolished the Ridgeview and West Hickory swimming pools despite opposition from the African American community.”

The Hound: Below are the Power Point  Story Boards related to the proceedings regarding this case. Since this case is proceeding forward, we should allow this to play out without much commentary at this time. There are a few items related to the city's response where they have their facts/assumptions wrong. Also, the city has asked frequently how this has anything to do with a Housing case; conveniently, it seems, forgetting HUD's mission related to Urban Development. The issue is that the city is taking Federal funds and they aren't allowing the public to play a role in how those funds are dispersed. The local bureaucracy has its own agenda.



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