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.
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. 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:
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
City Council Agenda - May 20, 2014
The Hound's Notes:
*** The issue is the proposed property tax increase coming on Tuesday night that will be part of the City manager's proposed budget.
Here are a some thoughts and questions on the proposed property tax increase as it relates to Hickory Inc.'s Inspiring Spaces Initiative.
Think back to last year, when Mayor Wright was pushing the Prepared Food Tax as the be all end all and all that was needed to fund the Inspiring Spaces projects. Now we know that it wouldn't have covered what they have talked about over the subsequent half a year, since the local municipal election occurred.
Now knowing that the Prepared Food Tax wasn't enough, they were willing to compound the mistake. We would have had this food tax and it wouldn't be covering the cost of Inspiring spaces, so they had every intention of raising your property taxes for Inspiring Spaces all along. What happened to the investments that were supposed to come from the Federal government? the State government? or through the Private sector?... none of that has been talked about recently.
Remember the Farmer's Market project that turned into the Sails project. It started out at $285,000 and within months became a $420,000 project and Hickory Inc. will admit that it is right at a half-million dollar project and we know that more monies have been spent on the structure to maintain and add to it. What if they underestimate the cost of this proposed project. This isn't a small structure like "The Sail's". This is a $40 million bond with ambiguous projects attached. There are still no specifics. We've been down this path before folks.
What if raising these taxes doesn't generate enough money for what is proposed? Hickory Inc. says oops and scales back and does the Linear Park/Sidewalk and whatever they want and you have no choice about it. There are no second chances. It, in essence, becomes the largest slush fund in this city's history; creating, according to the City Manager's numbers above, about $3.6 million per year for Hickory Inc. to spend as they see fit.
Hickory Inc. intends to pass this budget and then they will be holding meetings called "Citizen Briefings" to push the bond referendum. The "Briefing" that is online is long on vagueness and short on specifics. People don't need a pep talk to tell them why this park is a good thing. They need specifics. Tell the people what the projects will cost and what they will have to sacrifice to invest in these projects. They need to understand the trade offs. City Manager Berry and Assistant City Manager Surratt are supposed to be managers not sales people. Elected officials can do that, but that isn't the job of bureaucrats to sell projects. Think about what happened the last time a project was committed to that wasn't fully vetted?
And Guess what? If future economic development does take place, any new businesses looking to come here are going to want additional incentives, like two recent projects where those companies will pay no property tax on their buildings for the next 7 years. So the revenue pie isn't growing, but the outlay/expense pie continues to grow. Companies will expect some form of incentives, which will increase the burden on residents through their property and the taxes they pay on it.
No one is saying that they are against City investments. People are saying that they need specifics, because at the end of the day, the people are the government and the people know what is best for them. The people of Hickory have asked for certain things and have been constantly told NO! Hickory Inc. decides they want something and they grease the skids and manipulate situations. The government is supposed to be the servant of the people and it certainly seems like the view is warped around here.
A. Business Well Crafted Award to Mark Romeo, Cox Manufacturing
Persons Requesting to Be Heard
A. Dan Green, In House Counsel for Meridian Senior Living, Information Regarding a Golf Tournament for National Alzheimer’s Awareness
A. Special Events/Activities Application for St. Stephens High School Jazz Band, Casey Oakes, Director, St. Stephens High School, May 27, 2014, 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sails on the Square.
B. Special Events/Activities Application for Schmoozapalooza Under the Sails at Tastin’, Tunes & Tomatoes, Lindsay M. Keisler, Senior Vice President, Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, June 12, 2014, 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Union Square.
C. Call for a Public Hearing – Voluntary Satellite Annexation of 1218 Bugle Lane. (Authorize Public Hearing for June 3, 2014)
D. Call for Public Hearing - For the Consideration of a Street Closing Petition for portions of the former Hickory North Crosstown Loop and 13th Street NE, Hickory. (Authorize Public Hearing for June 17, 2014)
E. 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 May 1, 2014:
Kathy Jeannette Kendrick Higgs was approved for recommendation to City Council for first-time homebuyer’s assistance to purchase a house located at 170 12th Street Court SE, Hickory. She had requested $5,000 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 former Rental Rehabilitation Program income received in FY 2012 and/or program income received through the City of Hickory’s Community Development Block Grant Program.
F. Approval to Apply for the 2014 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $23,359. - Hickory Police Department requests permission to apply for the 2014 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $23,359. The JAG Program is a formula-based grant through the Office of Justice Programs/Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) that utilizes Uniform Crime Reporting statistics of all law enforcement agencies to determine eligibility for direct federal grant awards. There is no match required.
G. Acceptance of Bid and Award of Construction Contract with Neill Grading & Construction Company Inc., for the Construction of Eastwood Sewer Project. - The Eastwood Sewer Project includes construction of approximately 8,600 linear feet of 8 inch PVC or ductile iron sanitary sewer lines. Eastwood Subdivision is within the existing City of Hickory ETJ, and the City of Hickory does have existing sanitary sewer lines available for connection by the proposed subdivision sanitary sewer lines. Construction of the proposed systems in accordance with City of Hickory specifications will result in negligible increase in maintenance costs for the overall system and will provide for further protection of water quality in the area by potentially eliminating failing on-site septic systems. North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources – State Revolving Fund awarded the City of Hickory a grant to fund construction of this project along with two others previously. Public Utilities requests the project be established with $684,648.82 contract and $32,432.44 contingency for a total of $717,081.26. Staff recommends Council accept the bid and award the construction contract to Neill Grading & Construction Company Inc. for the construction of the Eastwood Sewer Project in the
amount of $684,648.82.
H. Approval of an Agreement for Wastewater Operations between the City of Claremont and the City of Hickory. - Staff requests City Council’s approval of an agreement for wastewater operations between the City of Claremont and the City of Hickory. The proposed agreement details the City of Hickory continuing to provide all services that we currently provide the City of Claremont for operation of their two wastewater treatment facilities, operation and maintenance of five collection system lift stations, operator in responsible charge of the distribution system, and back-up operator in responsible charge services in the collection system. The base fee for this agreement is proposed to be $370,000 per year for operations of the wastewater treatment facilities and lift stations; $13,500 per year for back-up operator in responsible charge of the collection system, and $30,600 per year for operator in responsible charge of the distribution system. These fees will be subject to fee adjustments in the future as approved by the City Council of the City of Hickory for all other public utilities rates and fees. This agreement will be in effect until June 30, 2017.
I. Approve the Transfer of a Cemetery Deed from Nancy L. Isenhour, and husband Larry Isenhour, and Barbara L. Huggins, unmarried to Nancy L. Isenhour,
J. Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 24.
1. To transfer $3,000 from General Fund Contingency to the Professional Services Elections line item. This transfer is necessary to pay the Board of Elections for early voting in the run-off election.
2. To transfer $123,081 of GF-Appropriated-Fund Balance to the Stormwater Capital Improvements line item. This transfer is needed to pay Fenton Rigging & Contracting, Inc. $123,081 for Change Order #1 which includes additional
cleaning of the storm drain and to fully line the pipe under 7th St. SE.
3. To transfer $13,860 of unused funds from the Downtown Canopy project to the Capital Reserve Fund. The final transfer of remaining funds back to the original funding source will close the project.
4. To transfer $9,683 of unused funds from the Radio System Upgrade project to the General Capital Project Fund. The final transfer of remaining funds back to the original funding source will close the project.
5. To transfer $1,008,537 of unused funds from the Northeast Plant Renovation project to the Water and Sewer General Capital Reserve Fund. The final transfer of remaining funds back to the original funding source will close the project.
6. To budget a total of $49,354 of State ($12,338) and Federal ($37,016) revenue in the Water and Sewer Fund Storm Damage Repair line items. These funds are budgeted for miscellaneous FEMA storm damage related to the August storm and flooding event.
K. Capital Project Ordinance Amendment Number 1.
1. To accept a $1,008,537 transfer of unused funds from the Northeast Plant Renovation project to the Water and Sewer General Capital Reserve Fund. The final transfer of remaining funds back to the original funding source will close the
2. To accept a $9,683 transfer of unused funds from the Radio System Upgrade project to the General Capital Project Fund. The final transfer of remaining funds back to the original funding source will close the project.
3. To accept a $13,860 transfer of unused funds from the Downtown Canopy project to the Capital Reserve Fund. The final transfer of remaining funds back to the original funding source will close the project.
L. Capital Project Ordinance Number 4.
1. To budget a total of $54,307 of State ($13,577) and Federal ($40,730) in the Water and Sewer Capital Construction line item. These FEMA funds are budgeted for damages to the Rock Quarry Sewer Outfall as a result from the August storm and flooding event.
M. Capital Project Ordinance Number 5.
1. To budget a total of $400,000 of State ($100,000) and Federal ($300,000) in the Transportation Storm Damage Repair line item. These FEMA funds are budgeted for damages resulting from the August storm and flooding event.
N. Capital Project Ordinance Number 6.
1. To budget a total of $195,363 of State ($48,841) and Federal ($146,522) in the General Capital Construction Project line item. These FEMA funds are budgeted for damages to the Pinecrest Drive Culvert resulting from the August storm and
O. Capital Project Ordinance Number 7.
1. To budget a total of $1,500,000 of State ($375,000) and Federal ($1,125,000) revenue in the General Capital Construction, Design and Miscellaneous Windridge Bridge Project line item. These FEMA funds are budgeted for damages to the Windridge Bridge Replacement as a result of the August storm and flooding event.
A. Report of Mayor Wright’s travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, North Carolina League of Municipalities Board Meeting, May 14, 2014 (Mileage Reimbursement $196.64, Meal Per Diem $10.25)
New Business - Public Hearings
1. Consideration of Amending Chapter 2, Article 8, Youth Council, of the Hickory City Code of Ordinance of the City of Hickory by Amending Sections 2-240, 2-242(a)(c), and 2-245. - The Hickory Youth Council is a group of 25 High School students that provide input to City Council, Staff, and other Boards and Commissions on youth issues. Members learn about City government and perform community service projects. Every year the Council receives far more applications than there are open positions on the Youth Council. The Youth Council reviewed the proposed ordinance revisions at their April 14th meeting and recommended approval of five additional Youth Council members. Staff recommends that City Council approve the amendment to the ordinance to expand the Youth Council membership from 25 to 30 members. This public hearing was advertised on May 9, 2014 in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area.
2. Voluntary Contiguous Annexation of 1515 Cloninger Mill Road NE, Hickory. - Mr. Bobby Hedrick, and wife Patsy Hedrick, have submitted a petition for the voluntary contiguous annexation of .3963 acres of property. The petitioners are requesting annexation in order to connect to the City of Hickory’s sanitary sewer system. The property currently serves as the Hedrick’s primary residence.This public hearing was advertised on May 9, 2014 in a newspaper having
general circulation in the Hickory area.
New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Call for Public Hearing on the City Manager’s FY2014-2015 Recommended Annual Budget. (Authorize Public Hearing for June 3, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers of the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building. The 2014-2015 Recommended Annual Budget has been distributed to City Council as required by law and is available for review in the Office of the City Clerk, Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and Ridgeview Library.
|Join To Get Blog Update Notices|
|Visit the Hickory Hound Group|