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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Agenda about the City Council meeting of March 18, 2014

This Agenda is about the Hickory City Council meeting that took place on the date listed above. 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. You can also look in the upper right hand corner of the front page of the Hickory Hound and (will soon) find the link to the past history of Hickory City Newsletters.

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

City Council Agenda - March 18, 2014


The Hound's Notes:
1) It looks like in Departmental Report 2 that Moretz Mills LLC has come to an amicable agreement with Catawba Paper Box over the closure of E Avenue SE. This issue was thoroughly discussed at the last City Council meeting on March 4, 2014

2) Public Hearing 2 is to consider an Economic Development Agreement with MAB American for the Development of City Owned Property on the Cloninger Mill proposed Park Site - I pointed to this in the Agenda for the past meeting:
2) Possible development of the property at the Cloninger Mill Proposed Park site? - I find item I of the Consent Agenda interesting. Economic Development Agreement with MAB American. Found this from - November 13, 2013 - Inland Real Estate Corporation (NYSE: IRC) announced that it has entered into a joint venture to develop grocery-anchored shopping centers in select markets throughout the southeastern United States with MAB American Retail Partners, LLC, an affiliate of Melbourne, Australia-based MAB Corporation. The five-year development program will target demographically strong metropolitan areas in the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Virginia and Washington, D.C. and could result in the construction of as many as 20 new grocery-anchored shopping centers with a total market value of as much as $325 million. MAB Corporation is a privately owned property development company and fund manager that has completed in excess of $2 billion in projects, including retail, office, multi-family and industrial, at locations throughout Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
MAB Rosenthal - MAB American
If one looks at the links above and the Grocery Store sites created by MAB American, then one will see that there are no associations/partnerships with Whole Foods or Trader Joe's or what has been pontificated about as "Upscale" stores in the Hickory Daily Record. You see associations with Lowe's, Food Lion, and BiLo stores. Sorry to tell folks, they will take it the wrong way, but it needs to be said, Hickory can't support a Whole Foods. We are statistically the poorest metropolitan area in the State of North Carolina. That isn't putting Hickory down. That is stating a fact. We didn't support The Fresh Market on Hwy 127 in Viewmont.

In reverse engineering this, my thought is, and what I have been pontificating to others, is that it is going to be a Food Lion and they are looking to move from their current location on Hwy 127 in Viewmont to a new store. The Food Lions in the Eastern Part of the state are nicer. They've renovated the Food Lion on Springs Road. They can't renovate the Food Lion on 127. It's an old store. Food Lion can keep their current clients in NW Hickory, get people from that side of Cloninger Mill Road, and they will be able to get shoppers from Bethlehem.  A nicer Food Lion would not be a bad thing. I would support Food Lion or any other Grocery Store in this location. It brings more access to groceries in that area and the Cloninger Mill Park can be developed. That is a win-win for that area in my opinion.


Invocation by Rev. Jay Robison, Pastor, Viewmont Baptist Church

Special Presentations
A. Laurie Hoover of the Business Development Committee Presentation of the Business Well Crafted Award to John Teeter, Executive Vice President, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company

B. Proclamation for American Red Cross Month presented to Suzan Anderson, Community Chapter Executive, American Red Cross

Persons Requesting to Be Heard
A. Roger Young - Friends of Hickory, Specific Space for the Downtown Park
B. Matthew Church - Regarding Outside Rates for Water Fees
C. Dr. Ric Vandett - Regarding Homeless Veteran Stand Down

Consent Agenda
A. Call for Public Hearing – for Consideration of Text Amendment (TA) 14-01 to the City’s Land Development Code. (Authorize Public Hearing for April 1, 2014)

B. Special Event/Activities Application for Symphony Under the Sails Spring/Fall Pops Concerts, Reggie Helton, Executive Director, Western Piedmont Symphony, Sails on the Square, April 27, 2014 and September 28, 2014 12:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (times include set-up and clean-up).

C. Special Event/Activities Application for Symphony Under the Sails Summer Pops Concert, Reggie Helton, Executive Director, Western Piedmont Symphony, Sails on the Square, June 29, 2014 12:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (times include set-up and clean-up).

D. Special Event/Activities Application for Music Under the Sails Summer and Fall Friday Night Concerts, Mandy Pitts, Communications Director/Brand Manager, Sails on the Square, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2014; June 6, 13, 20, 27, 2014; and September 5, 12, 19, 26, 2014, 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (times include set-up and clean-up).

E. Special Event/Activities Application for Swinging Under the Stars, Tony Eltora, Executive Director, Hickory Music Factory, Sails on the Square, May 25, 2014, 12:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (times include set-up and clean-up).

F. Special Event/Activities Application for Drum Circles, Tony Eltora, Executive Director, Hickory Music Factory, Sails on the Square, May 31, June 28, July 26, August 30, and September 27, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (times include set-up and clean-up)

G. Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 18.
1. To budget a $2,000 donation from the Hickory Elks Lodge in the Parks and Recreation Departmental Supplies line item. This donation is for the 2014 EasterEgg Hunt which the City of Hickory Parks and Recreation Department coordinates annually.

2. To budget a total of $9,350 of donations from (Humana, ING Source, Lutheran Home, Catawba Regional Hospice, Home Instead Senior Care, Catawba Valley Medical Center, Carolinas Healthcare System, Gentiva, Bayada, Senior Information Resources, Catawba Valley Living, and Brookdale Senior Living) in the Parks and Recreation-Departmental Supplies line item. These donations are for the 2014 Easter Egg Hunt which the City of Hickory Parks and Recreation Department coordinates annually.

3. To budget a $3,025 insurance claim payment in the Traffic Division M&R Traffic Signals line item. This insurance claim payment is for storm damage to fiber optic trunk lines for the City Signals System.

4. To appropriate $7,500 of General Fund Balance (Funds reserved from the US Department of Justice) and budget in the Police Department Departmental Supplies line item. This amendment is necessary to purchase 16 gas masks for the Hickory Police Department Special Operations Team. The current gas masks are over 10 years old and no longer function for the team in case of a chemical threat. The new gas masks provide high protection in law enforcement or counter terrorism operations. They also protect against a range of CBRN (chemical, biological,radiological and nuclear) threats. Funds are made available to the Police Department from the US Department of Justice and remain in General Fund Balance until appropriated.

Informational Item
A. Report of City Manager Mick Berry’s travel to attend the North Carolina City County Management Association (NCCCMA) Winter Conference, in Durham, North Carolina, February 5-7, 2014 (registration - $350; room - $419.95; meal per diem - $51.25)
B. Report of Mayor Wright’s travel to attend the North Carolina Metro Mayors Meeting, February 27-28, 2014 (registration - $125). Mayor Wright was unable to attend due to a conflict in scheduling. The registration fee was non-refundable.
C. Report of Mayor Wright’s travel to attend National League of Cities – Congress of Cities, in Seattle, Washington, November 13-17, 2013 (registration - $765; room - $796.20; meal per diem - $190.25; airfare expense - $506.55; mileage reimbursement - $58.76).

D. The Buyer has cancelled the Offers to Purchase and Contracts for Properties Located at 1840 and 1845 Waterbury Court, in the Waterford Hills Subdivision, which had been approved on first reading on March 4, 2014.

New Business - Public Hearings
1. Public Hearing to Amend 2012 and 2013 Community Development Block Grant Annual Action Plans. - In April of each year, staff prepares an Annual Action Plan for its Community Development Block Grant allocation from the federal government. This plan has included a line item for constructing curbs, gutters, and sidewalks in low to moderate income areas throughout the City. This amendment aims to increase the flexibility of staff to find infrastructure improvement projects that meet the objectives of the Community Development Block Grant Program. A public hearing is required to amend the Annual Action Plan. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on March 7, and March 18, 2014.

2. Public Hearing to Consider an Economic Development Agreement with MAB American for the Development of City Owned Property at Cloninger Mill Road and NC. 127. - North Carolina General Statute 158-7.1 permits the City to sell city-owned property for economic development purposes provided that the transaction will result in the creation of jobs and tax base. The property must be sold for at least market value. The statute permits the City Council to place restrictions on the
development of the property to ensure that future development meets the expectations of the Council. A public hearing is required prior to entering into a contract to develop the site. The property has been appraised for $890,000. The economic development agreement calls for a sales price of $900,000. All site plans and building elevations would need to be approved by City Council prior to
developing the site. The agreement would give the developer 12 months to begin work on the site, and 24 months to complete construction of the anchor tenant building. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on March 7, 2014.

3. Public Hearing to Consider an Economic Development Agreement with Cornerstone United Inc., and Piedmont Wagon Properties, LLC for the Property Located at 1020 Main Ave. NW, Hickory.  - Cornerstone United, Inc. and Piedmont Wagon Properties, LLC, two entities involved with the redevelopment of the historic Piedmont Wagon Building at 1020 Main Avenue NW, are requesting to enter into an economic development agreement in exchange for the creation of jobs, neighborhood reinvestment and additional tax base according to North Carolina General Statute 158-7.1.
Cornerstone United, Inc. is an international third party service contract administration company, with its corporate headquarters in Hickory, NC and operations in the U.S. and Canada. Cornerstone has been in business since 1973. The company intends to up-fit and equip the historic facility for office space at a cost in excess of two million four hundred thousand dollars ($2,400,000) with the improvements being constructed between December 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014. The company currently has 45 employees and has been located in a lease space that they have outgrown off of Tate Boulevard. They intend to create a minimum of five (5) new jobs with the potential to expand and create an additional thirty (30) jobs for a total of approximately 75-80 jobs over the next few
years. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on March 7, 2014.

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Approval of an Agreement to with the Town of Long View to Purchase Potable Water from the City of Hickory. - The City of Hickory previously provided potable/palatable finished water to Long View for an extended period in the late 1990’ while Long View completed some necessary repairs and upgrades at their drinking water treatment facility. This agreement will allow Long View to close their water treatment facility and purchase all of their potable/palatable water from the City of Hickory’s distribution system. The initial water purchase rate will be $1.21 per 1,000 gallons. The
term of this agreement is for an initial term of 20 years with optional 10 year renewal periods. This agreement gives Long View the right to purchase up to 2.5 million gallons per day with options to expand this volume in the future if agreed to by the City of Hickory.

2. Vote regarding the Resolution and Order for Petition of Moretz Mills, LLC to Close a Portion of E Avenue SE. - The vote was deferred until a time certain at the public hearing held on March 4, 2014. Staff recommends adoption of the attached resolution closing E Avenue SE with the following conditions:
1. The City has been granted a transportation easement, at no cost to the City, over the shaded area located at the northwest corner of the intersection of 7th Street SE and F Avenue Drive SE, as shown on Exhibit A (the “Additional Right of Way”);
2. Moretz Mills, LLC, at its cost, completes construction of improvements, including grading and paving, according to the City of Hickory standards for a public street, in the Additional Right of Way and in shaded area in the northeast corner of the intersection of 7th Street SE and F Avenue Drive SE,
as shown on Exhibit A;
3. The Director of Public Services for the City of Hickory shall have the authority to determine whether the above conditions have been met. When the conditions have been met, the Director shall file a certificate with the Register of Deeds stating that the conditions of this Resolution have been met. The closing of the street will be effective when the certificate is recorded. Until that time, E Avenue SE shall remain open. Staff also recommends the City pursue the improvements to the intersection of F Avenue Drive SE as shown on the attached aerial photo (labeled “City Improvement”) and approve the following budget amendment:
General Fund Contingency 010-9900-608.90-01 - $5,150
Transportation-Paving Streets 010-5460-536.33-77 - $5,150

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