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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of October 7, 2014

I began video recording the City Council in 2012, because of my desire that the City do it on their own as any modern 21st century community began doing long ago. I had people tell me that they couldn't make it to the meetings, but they would like to see what is going on. I was also told by some council members that my summaries did not truly reflect the record, so having a video/audio recording cannot be misinterpreted.

So below is the City Council meeting. With each agenda item, you can click on the links and it will take you to that specific point in the meeting. You can always drag the marker on the video display to the point in the broadcast that you are interested in seeing.

Agenda about the City Council meeting of October 7, 2014

Thoughts about the Hickory City Council meeting of October 7, 2014 

 The Hound's Notes:

You can read my thoughts in the links above. Good to see Attorney Crone recuse himself because there might be an appearance of conflict. That is the thought process that should take place. The integrity of governance depends upon such a mindset.

The Mayor talks about pursuing the $900,000 in relation to the Cloninger Mill park. The rest of the Council really didn't seem to want to travel down that road. It seemed as though they know that option is no longer on the table.


Special Presentations
A. Proclamation for Fire Prevention Week October 5-11, 2014
B. Proclamation for National Friends of Libraries Week, October 19-25, 2014, presented to Alice Spuller, President of Friends of Hickory Public Library, Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and Billy Sudderth, President of Friends of Hickory Public Library, Ridgeview Branch Library.
C. Lou Berry, President of the North Carolina APWA Solid Waste Division, will Recognize Sherman Stinson, Public Services, for the Herman Drake Award

Persons Requesting to Be Heard
A. Larry Pope - (Per Hickory Inc.) - addressed Council about two items. He first than ked Public Services Director Mr. Chuck Hansen, for his assistance on several occasions when he has contacted the City with concerns that needed to be addressed. He also discussed the need for either enforcement or revision of the Code of Ordinance dealing with snow removal on the City’s sidewalks.

B. JD Ross  - addressed Council on behalf of the Old Lenoir Road Business Association. He updated Council on what the Association is doing. They have been working to attract attention to their district, and have an event planned for Saturday, October 18th, “The Artistic Revival”, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Association, along with Jeff Hale, have worked a lot on this event. The vision for this district is to become a center for Arts, Music and Food. He compared their vision to what other cities have done like Charlotte. He had flyers available for citizens, and the information was shared on the City’s Facebook page. The event is a family friendly event, which is open to the public. The Hickory Music Factory is coordinating music with 10-12 musicians playing throughout the day. There will be over 50 artist displaying their work, with tents setup inside and outside. There will also be onsite food vendors. The event will take place behind the strip center where the antique store is located, the former location of Plum Pretty Consignment Store. Around back there is loading bays and an open field where the event will setup with tents and vendors, and inside the warehouse space will be the showcase of the artist. Ten percent of the proceeds from the food or art sales will be donated to the Hickory Soup Kitchen and to the Hickory Music Factory. This event is a great opportunity to give back to the community and also to make people aware of the businesses located in the Old Lenoir Road area, a good place to be, a good place for business owners, and a good place for music and food. He invited everyone to attend. He advised that there is also a Facebook page for the Old Lenoir Road Business Association, and an event page on Facebook also contains more information about the musicians, and vendors.

Alderman Seaver commented that he had invited all of his Facebook friends to that event.

Consent Agenda
Item L removed from the Consent Agenda by Attorney Crone - Attorney Crone said there may be an appearance of conflict due to his firms has merged with the firm making the request -- First Lawyers LLC. Council approved the item and Attorney Crone returned afterward to reassume his seat.

L. Approval of a Landscape Grant for Non-Residential Property Owned by First Lawyers, LLC Located at 858 2nd Street NE in the Amount of $2,500. - 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 $2,500. The applicant, First Lawyers, LLC, has provided two bids for the removal of two existing hard surfaced areas, which are to be replaced with brick sidewalks and landscaping beds. The bids quoted $5,890 and $5,955, qualifies for the full $2,500 grant. The applicant further requests the terms of the grant contract be extended until June 1, 2015. This extension is being requested in an effort to ensure the landscape improvements are not damaged while interior and exterior renovations to the building are completed. The Community Appearance Commission unanimously voted, at their September 22, 2014 regular meeting, to recommend funding of the requested grant in the amount of $2,500.

Informational Item
A. MAB Acquisitions LLC - After a public hearing on March 18, 2014, on April 4, 2014 City Council entered into an Economic Development Agreement for purchase and sell of real property with MAB, with the intent to sell to MAB 10.099 acres of City owned property at the intersection of HWY 127 and Cloninger Mill Road for the price of $900,000. The agreement included a 120 day inspection period which was extended to September 26, 2014 by City Council on July 15th due to a delay in the city removing debris from the property. MAB agreed to develop the property as a grocery anchored shopping center with stipulations on its development as approved by council (Exhibit C of EDA). On September 29th staff received a letter from the attorney representing MAB indicating they would not acquire the property and terminating the EDA.

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. OHM Holdings LLC Parking Lot Agreement - N.C.G.S. 160A-458.3 permits a city to engage in downtown development projects consisting of public and private facilities if the City Council finds the project will have a significant impact on the revitalization of the central business district, as defined by the Council. The statute permits a city to enter into a binding contract with a private developer to acquire, construct, own, and operate the downtown development project or specific facilities within such a project.

General Comments - (per Hickory Inc.)
Alderwoman Patton thanked Hickory Police Department and Catawba County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance for the Carolina Cycle Challenge. They did a fantastic job, it went very smoothly, and she had heard nothing but good things from that. A good community event.

Alderman Zagaroli commented that there was 700 participants, and 13 restaurants that donated
food, a super successful day.

Mayor Wright commented that he saw dads, and moms hooking up the trailers. No casualties
and nobody got hurt.

Alderman Guess commented on CVCC and the Furniture Academy, a tremendous asset to Hickory and the entire community, a huge success, and we look forward to seeing what comes out of that.

Alderman Guess discussed the Catawba Furniture Academy program that CVCC has. Students can attend to learn the skills to manufacture furniture. This is the first one of its kind in the State. It is
a huge opportunity for people who want to get back into that area of manufacturing to learn a craft and skill. It goes along with jobs, education and building population, and all of the things that we are trying to do in Hickory. He commended Dr. Hinshaw and Staff, and the vision that they have had to bring that to our area.

Mayor Wright commented that about every four months they will graduate 38. Every person that
successfully completes the program and graduates will have a job. The partner companies include Lee Industries, Vanguard, Century Furniture, Sherrill and Lexington. They are not only funding this, but they also provide the qualified instructors, so at least 38 people every four months are getting a job doing something that otherwise they would not have known how to do. It is a wonderful thing.

Alderman Seave
r recommended attending the Furniture Well Crafted exhibit at the Science Center.

Alderman Zagaroli stated that the chair design contest is coming up. The judging will take place November 4th, at 10:00 a.m. There will be 20 participants in that, and a reception will follow on November 5th. They hope for this to be an annual event. There are 20 interesting manufacturers presenting chairs. Communications Director Mandy Pitts commented that a lot of them would be out on the Hickory Well Crafted site, and hopefully get Furniture Today, and some others.

Mayor Wright advised that the dedication ceremony was held today announcing the Health Science Center for Lenoir-Rhyne University located between the Old Hollar Mill and the Old Moretz Mill. It is a partnership between economic development corporation, Catawba Valley Medical Center, Frye, Hickory and Catawba County. They will be doing advanced degrees in nursing and PHD’s in various medical fields. The jobs that will be coming out of that will be
wonderful as well.

Alderman Seaver commented that homecoming with Circle “K” at Lenoir-Rhyne, which is a sponsored Youth Program of Kiwanis, they put together over 9,800 meals this past weekend, in a two hour period, for the kids backpack program for Safe Harbor. Homecoming at Lenoir - Rhyne, Appalachian, and Oktoberfest, there is a lot going on in this area.

Mayor Wright commented also the golf tournament, Greater Hickory Classic presented by KIA.  The exposure that the City gets through golf magazines , is wonderful, as well as ads in the Golf Channel. He commented that we need to have people attend. The golfers like to have people watching them play. It is fun, these are legends, and some of the participants will even joke with you while walking down the fairway. He advised if you need tickets call him, and he would see if he could get some tickets. Our community is wonderful, resilient, and we have to keep making good things happen.

Alderman Seaver stated that there are a lot of good programs by the Boost Hickory group on the upcoming bond referendum. He encouraged citizens to attend meetings and to get educated about that.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Boost Hickory WILLNOT be boosting West Hickory/Westmont in the keadt. Seems all of the four proposed areas will be for industrisl park type businsses for N Hky---as the City has been determined for yrs to push growth n industry away from the poorest economic ward #4 as so done for yrs.

One coyncil person adjed me how fould I say such considering the City licated the school in this area to hring growth here in this end. Really? I educated said person as to why the school HAD to be put on that property or Cuty would lose it totally. And IF the City had control then why would they not gave weighed in on the name---instead of letting it keep the name of a different town? The City most likely purpisefully failed to do such in order to grind it in a neighbirhoodS face that has ALWAYS called out the political status quo!!

When said person had egg on their face the next comment was the City was tearing down the old So Desk building for us. Ummmm...such has been in our beighborhood plan since its inception....more than I think 20yrs. No money is spent on my end out if kind consideration and/or warm fuzzies in the City's part!! The City has raised sanitation costs ar leadt once...maybe twice... And told us they needed ti do such to pave rds, add curbing n guttering, water treatment etc. While I am tirally grateful for the stone wall, curbing, abd driveway apron recently done at my house, the City would NOT have done it had it not been for the school that HAD to be put there. As welk as the no truck signs.

When my neighbors/family asks my opinion on the Boost Hickory bonds, I tell them I am voting no, and if they do not want their bucks to pay for upgrades in other areas, they should akso gote NO!!