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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Agenda about the City Council meeting of September 16, 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.

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:

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

City Council Agenda - September 16, 2014

 The Hound's Notes:   

1) The Notes pertaining to the individual items are below.

Invocation by Rev. Whit Malone, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church

Special Presentations
A. Proclamation for National Rehabilitation Month to Maureen McMahon, Administrative - Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, Frye Regional Medical Center

Persons Requesting to Be Heard

Consent Agenda:
A. Approval of a Resolution to Declare 8,114 Surplus Discarded Library Materials so that these Materials may be given to the Friends of the Library to be sold at the Friends October 2014 Book Sale and/or at the “Corner Book Store” at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library. - The sale of donated and discarded books is the primary fundraising activity of the Friends of the Library and discarded library materials comprise a significant portion of their inventory. The sale of these items ultimately benefits the library, and is an appropriate means of disposing of unneeded materials. - Public Notice advertised on August 29, 2014 in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area.

B. Request to Amend the Speed Limit Ordinance for Pebble Creek Subdivision to be 25 mph Throughout the Entire Subdivision. - The Traffic Division has received all necessary paperwork from residents within the subdivision in regards to the Traffic Calming Guidelines and have found the residents to be in compliance with the guidelines. Currently all roadways within the Pebble Creek Subdivision (6th Street NE, 5th Street Court NE, and 30th Avenue Court NE) have the default speed limit of 35 mph. Staff recommends amending the speed limit in the Pebble Creek Subdivision including (6th Street NE, 5th Street Court NE, and 30th Avenue Court NE) by lowering the speed limit to 25 mph.

C. Approve the Acceptance of a Grant to Assist in Funding the Purchase of Bulletproof Vests for Police Officers. - The Bureau of Justice Assistance/Bulletproof Vest Partnership program has approved the purchase of 45 vests in the amount of $31,075, ($14,874.73 in Federal Funds and a
required Local match of $16,200.27). The City of Hickory local match has been placed in the Police Department’s annual operating budget. Life expectancy of each vest is approximately five years. The Police Department recommends acceptance of this grant to receive up to 50 percent funding to purchase bulletproof vests for police officers.

D. Approval to Acknowledge Receipt of a T-2C Buckeye to the National Naval Aviation Museum Standard Loan Agreement. - The City of Hickory/Hickory Regional Airport has on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum (NNAM) certain retired aircraft and artifacts located at the Hickory Regional Airport and on display by the Hickory Aviation Museum. The Hickory Regional Airport has participated in and has had on loan property from the NNAM for over fifteen (15) years. The Hickory Aviation Museum has received a T-2C Buckeye aircraft to add to its display at the Hickory Regional Airport from the Department of Navy, and it is now being added to the City’s loan agreement with the Navy. Staff recommends the acknowledgement of receipt and addition of aircraft T-2C Buckeye to the current Loan Agreement with the National Naval Aviation Museum.

E. Approve the Acceptance of the 2014 Justice Assistance Grant in the Amount of $23,359. -  City of Hickory has received notification to receive $23,359 under the 2014 Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG). 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. Hickory Police Department recommends using grant funds from the Justice Assistance Grant to purchase equipment for the Special Operations Team and medical equipment for each officer. Hickory Police Department recommends acceptance of the 2014 JAG Grant in the amount of $23,359.

F. Approval of a Community Appearance Grant for Non-Residential Property for Property Located at 107 and 109 Government Avenue SW, owned by Rahe Bryce, LLC, in the amount of $4,800. - City Council created the Community Appearance Grant program in 1999 to provide economic incentives for property owners to improve the general appearance of their property. The Community Appearance Commission reviews applications for the grant program and forwards a recommendation of approval or denial to City Council. The grants are designed as a reimbursement grant in which the City of Hickory will match the applicant on a 50/50 basis. The maximum grant amount from the City of Hickory is $5,000. The applicant, Rahe Bryce, LLC has provided two bids for replacement of the storefront windows and doors of the two tenant spaces on the front façade of the building. The bids quoted $9,600 and $10,550.40, qualifies for a $4,800 grant. The Community Appearance Commission unanimously voted, at their August 25, 2014 regular meeting, to recommend funding of the requested grant in the amount of $4,800.

Hound Notes: Apparently this is the building where Berndt's is located.

G. Approval to Apply for Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant from the US Environment Protection Agency in the Amount of $200,000. - The Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant provides grants of up to $200,000 to develop a plan for a small area that contains multiple known or suspect Brownfield sites. These plans will typically focus on a neighborhood or district. The plan will focus on the cleanup and reuse of one or more catalyst sites. The City’s grant application would focus on an area in the vicinity of US 70 between US 321 and South Center Street. Grant funding will result in the completion of a comprehensive small area plan for the redevelopment and eventual cleanup of the project area. This will include extensive community involvement to ascertain the concerns and issues most important to neighborhood residents and business owners. Funds will be used to conduct market analyses to determine reuse options for properties in the area. The plan will discuss needed land use changes and infrastructure improvements necessary to spur redevelopment and cleanup of Brownfield sites. There is no required match to apply for the grant. Staff recommends that City Council authorize staff to apply for the Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant in the amount of $200,000.

Hound Notes : A rumor was given to me that Hickory Inc. is getting ready to (want to) make something happen at the Old Sky City Complex. Now, given that the track record on the Hound is only about 90%, there's a 10% chance that this isn't what this is all about. You also have the old Joan's Fabric Building right here in this foot print. Please remember that across the street from all of this, that Catawba Mall was sold to the people that own U-Haul and the German Schnitzel House was also sold.

H. Special Events/Activities Application for Christmas Tree Lighting in Downtown Hickory, Mandy Pitts, Communications Director and Brand Manager, City of Hickory, Friday, November 21, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at The Sails on the Square in Downtown Hickory.

I. Special Events/Activities Application for Hickory Youth Council/Stand Up Speak Out, David Leonetti, City of Hickory, Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Union Square.

J. Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 6.
1. To budget an $800 Friends of the Library donation in the Library Supplies line item to purchase prizes for the Senior Bingo program.
2. To budget a $90 donation from Mountain Recycling in the Historic Preservation Commission line item. The funds are from recycling the old historic sign post.
3. To transfer $2,202 from General Fund Contingency to the Economic and Community Development Non-Asset Inventory line item. This transfer is necessary for the purchase of a decibel meter in order to enforce the city industrial and commercial noise ordinance.
4. To budget a $500,000 North Carolina Department of Commerce Building Reuse Grant in the Economic and Community Development Incentives line item. This grant is for OHM Holdings, LLC to use toward the redevelopment of Lyerly Millfor Transportation Insight. The City of Hickory and the Western Piedmont Council of Governments made application to the Department of Commerce on behalf of OHM Holdings, LLC. The City of Hickory will be the pass-through agency for the grant.

New Business - Public Hearings
1. Consideration of Text Amendment (TA) 14-02 to the City’s Land Development Code. - The proposed amendments to the City’s Land Development Code retains a business’s ability to utilize temporary out-of-doors sales, but limits such sales to properties where the businesses are located. The proposed amendments would make temporary sales an accessory use to the primary business located on a particular property. Hickory Regional Planning Commission considered the proposed amendments during an advertised public hearing on August 27, 2014, and voted (5-2) to recommend to City Council approval of the proposed Land Development Code text amendments. Staff concurs with the recommendation. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on September 5, 2014, and September 12, 2014.

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Acceptance of Funds from the State of North Carolina for a Building Reuse Grant on Behalf of OHM Holdings for the Transportation Insight project at Lyerly Mill. - The City of Hickory and the Western Piedmont Council of Governments made application to the Department of Commerce on behalf of OHM Holdings for a Building Reuse Grant in the amount of $500,000. The City of Hickory will be the pass-through agency for the grant. The grant award is based upon the creation of 50 new jobs on top of the base of 167 full time jobs at the time of the grant and for the rehabilitation of the building known as Lyerly Mill. The reuse of this 38,250 square foot building located at 56 3rd Street SE, which was originally constructed in 1930, will be for the new corporate headquarters for  Transportation Insight, LLC. The total amount of eligible investment in the building is $3,525,347 which qualifies the applicant for the full $500,000 for a total project costs of $4,025,347. This is not the full investment in the overall project, but merely reflects what is eligible for the grant. The Department of Commerce will reimburse 50 percent of eligible expenditures up to the total grant amount. Staff requests acceptance of the NC Department of Commerce Building Reuse Grant in the amount of $500,000 for OHM Holdings, LLC to be used toward the redevelopment of Lyerly Mill for Transportation Insight.

2. Approval of New Scoring Criteria for Considering Grant Proposal under the City’s Community Appearance and Landscape Grant Programs. - Since the Community Appearance and Landscape Grant program’s inception in 1999, grant proposals have been reviewed based upon a few broad eligibility standards that afford the Commission little to no opportunity to judge the merits of each individual proposal. The Community Appearance Commission has experienced a high volume of grant requests, which has resulted in the exhaustion of all grant funds within the first few months of the fiscal year. The Community Appearance Commission recognized this as being a problem, and has developed a set criteria that would be utilized in scoring all grant proposals that come before the Commission for review. The intent of the scoring criteria is to provide the Commission with a clear set of items to review proposals against, and to help ensure the most worthy projects are funded to ensure public funds are expended in the most prudent manner. The Community Appearance Commission unanimously voted August 25, 2014 approval of the grant scoring criteria.

Hound Notes: What needs to happen is that a grant recipient should be eligible for a City grant one time in five years and if people find ways to game the system, then Hickory Inc. needs to be proactive about stopping such practices. Grants should be promoted better and they shouldn't be tools of political capital for the local Powers That Be.

3. Adoption of a Resolution Approving the City of Hickory’s financing Terms for the Hickory Metro Convention Center Parking Deck. - The Hickory Metro Convention Center is owned by the City of Hickory, and the City will be financing the parking deck project. A public hearing was held on September 2, 2014 to provide citizens and City staff an opportunity to discuss the upcoming financing for the parking deck project. Request for bank proposals were submitted to First Citizens, Bank of America, PNC Bank, BB&T, and Wells Fargo. The City of Hickory received one financing proposal from BB&T. A Resolution was prepared to disclose the financing terms proposed by BB&T. The financing amount shall not exceed $3,000,000, the annual interest rate shall not exceed 2.94%, and the financing term shall not exceed fifteen years from closing. The City has selected the semi-annual payment schedule with payments being due in April and October of each year. The City intends that the adoption of the Resolution will be a declaration of the City’s official intent to reimburse expenditures for the project that is to be financed from the proceeds of the BB&T financing. Staff recommends adoption of a Resolution approving the City of Hickory’s financing terms for the Hickory Metro Convention Center Parking Deck Project.


Harry Hipps said...

I'm not sure what problem is being addressed by the land use rule limiting temporary sales. This happens at the mall via kiosks, that come in periodically to sell seasonal or trendy items, then when the season passes they are gone.
Will this rule, for example, prevent Spake Farms from selling strawberries beside Copperbean Coffee Shop? What harm is there from these sales? Maybe there is something I'm not seeing (other than established businesses not wanting competition), but this seems like another heavy handed regulation to make commerce harder in Hickory. Like we have too much of an economy to start with.

James Thomas Shell said...

Look at it this way. If these little farmer's stands are allowed to exist in a Laissez-Faire fashion, then it could effect the Downtown Farmer's Market.

I also think they are trying to put the kibosh on the flea market like sales that are taking place out here at the Springs Road Food Lion.

Remember a synonym of Crafted is Manipulated. Some people get their jollies out of manipulation.