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 December 16, 2014
Thoughts about the City Council meeting of December 16, 2014 - I didn't do an article of thoughts this week. I will incorporate thoughts into this article.
Hound Notes: Not much happened at this meeting other than ordinary business. Taxi Cab rates were raised based upon research conducted by the Hickory Police Department in relation to other communities in the region.
Invocation by Rev. Whit Malone, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church
Persons Requesting to be Heard
Cliff Moone (per Hickory Inc.) - thanked Council for their continued support of the Proclamation for Bill of Rights Day, which was December 15, 2014. He briefly discussed the history of North Carolina’s acceptance of the Bill of Rights. He requested that in future years, not necessarily a Proclamation for Bill of Rights Day, but for the City to encourage the libraries to have a public reading of the Bill of Rights, on Bill of Rights Day, and to encourage it to be done in the schools as well. Mr. Moone commented that it requires vigilance to maintain these rights, and these freedoms that we all care so muc
h about. He mentioned that some of the major Supreme Court cases that have come down have been around the Bill of Rights. He discussed a case that came out of North Carolina that had been ruled based
on the Fourth Amendment.
Larry Pope (per Hickory Inc.) - thanked Council for giving him the respect that any citizen of the City of Hickory deserves and ask for, regardless of his differences with Council. He commended Council for their work on the recent bond referendum and the work that they are going to be doing since the passing of the bond referendum. He advised Council that he had expressed an interest in serving as part of the committee that would be appointed to serve as part of the bond referendum and the results of the bond
referendum. He advised Council that he had filled out the application expressing his interest.
Mr. Pope requested, under Title Two of the American with Disabilities Act, Section 504, provided to him in layman’s terms, simplified, all expenditures of the $40 million dollars as it is spent. He would like to have those explanations down to the penny, or half penny of what is purchased or paid for, and the cost of those items. That helps him as a citizen, a taxpayer, to keep informed of what is going on with that $40 million dollars. He stated that the City will be hiring someone to be the Executive Director of that project, which was never mentioned as part of that $40 million dollar expenditure when voters were a
sked to vote. He commented that he did not know where that money would come from if it would be the City’s contingency fund or from the grant funds. Citizens are entitled to know how that $40 million dollars is being spent, and is spent, when it is spent and planned for. He wished Council and their families a very Merry Christmas.
Consent Agenda: Item F Removed from the Consent Agenda -- subsequently all items unanimously approved
*** F. Adopt Resolution of Intent to Lease City-owned Property to The Service League of Hickory, North Carolina, Inc. - Adopt a resolution authorizing the City Clerk to advertise City Council’s consideration of a lease agreement with The Service League of Hickory, North Carolina, Inc. to lease property owned by the City of Hickory located at 506 3rd Avenue NW, Hickory. Reason for removal was because the use of the property per lease was for a daycare center (per page 48). Wording was changed and item passed unanimously.
A. Report of Mayor Wright’s travel to National League of Cities Congress of Cities and Exposition, Austin, Texas, November 19 – 23, 2014; (Lodging - $903.32; Meal Per Diem - $282; Registration Fee - $520; Air Fare - $411.70; and Taxi Fare - $50)
B. Report of Alderman Zagaroli’s travel to National League of Cities Congress of Cities and Exposition, Austin, Texas, November 19- 22, 2014; (Lodging - $712.23; Meal Per Diem -$216; Registration Fee - $435; Air Fare - $836.70; and Taxi Fare - $50)
New Business - Public Hearings
1. Consideration of Rezoning Petition 14-02. - Mr. Alan Cheung, agent for the Christian Science Society of Hickory, has petitioned for the rezoning of .59 acres of property located at 3048 North Center Street. The petition is to rezone the property from Medium Density – Residential – 2 (R-2) to Office and Institutional (0I). Hickory Regional Planning Commission considered this petition at a public hearing conducted on November 12, 2014, and vote unanimously to recommend approval to Hickory City Council. The rezoning of the subject property to Office and Institutional (I) is consistent with the goals and policies contained within the Hickory by Choice 2030 Comprehensive Plan.
2. Consideration of Closing a Portion of E Avenue SE near the Intersection of 7th Street SE. - The City Clerk received a petition from Moretz Property Management, LLC and Moretz Mills, LLC requesting the City close a portion of E Avenue SE, Hickory. The signatures on the petition represents two of two property owners abutting this portion of the right-of-way.
3. Consideration of Voluntary Contiguous Annexation of the Property Located at 1704 30th Avenue Court NE, Owned by Clay and Catherine Franklin. - Clay and Catherine Franklin submitted a petition for the voluntary contiguous annexation of 1.206 acres of property located at 1704 30th Avenue Court NE. The annexation area consists of one residential lot immediately adjacent to the Lawson’s Creek development. The Franklin’s intend to utilize the lot for the location of one new single-family residence. The annexation request is in order to connect to the City’s water and sewer system. Staff has determined the petition meets the statutory requirements for voluntary contiguous annexation, and adequate public services are available. Staff recommends approval.
4. Consideration of Text Amendment (TA) 14-03. - Planning and Development Services Department, in conjunction with the Hickory Regional Planning Commission, conducts a review of the City’s Land Development Code to determine if amendments are needed. Staff recommends amendments to Articles 6, 7, and 14 of the City’s Land Development Code. Articles 6 and 7 pertain to accessory dwelling units and temporary health care structures, and Article 14 pertains to a definition of the term “premises”. Hickory Regional Planning Commission considered these amendments in an advertised public hearing on November 12, 2014. Hickory Regional Planning Commission votes unanimously (7-0) to recommend City Council’s approval of the text amendments.
1. Increase Taxicab Meter Rates. - Hickory Police Department researched and surveyed 29 cities to determine average rates. The average per mile rate was $2.12, which indicates that the current starting rate in Hickory is $.50 below the average and the current mileage rate in Hickory is $0.12 per mile below average. Only two of the 29 surveyed cities had any sort of flat rate minimum charge above the starting rate. Hickory Police Department recommends increasing the taximeter starting rate to $2.50
for the first 1/8th of a mile, and increasing the mileage rate to $0.265 for each additional 1/8th of a mile ($2.12 per mile), effective July 1, 2015 when the Driver Permits, and Certificates of Necessity are renewed.
Alderman Guess commented that he had attended the pre-Grand Opening of the Walmart Neighborhood Grocery Store located on Highway 70, which was opening on December 17th at 7:00 a.m. He had met with the management and staff at the store. He commented that would be a great addition to our City, and also to the citizens that live on the Southwest side of town. They presented checks totaling $8,000, of which Cooperative Christian Ministries received a substantial check , as well as Long View Elementary School and City of Refuge. They have already started giving back to the community. The store initially is to be open 24 hours. The manager at this store is a Catawba County resident and has been at the Walmart in Hickory for nine years. The store hired approximately 100 employees primarily from Hickory.
Alderwoman Patton thanked everyone for their attendance and wished everyone a lovely Christmas and a great New Year.
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