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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Agenda about the City Council meeting of April 7, 2015

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/ The City's website evolves over time, but currently towrds the top right there is a Link called Quick Links. Click that on and look for the Agenda's and Minutes link you need to click. Scroll down from there and this will show you a list of PDF files to upcoming and previous meetings.

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.


Hound Notes: I know I haven't been writing much. I'm sure that causes some to cheer. Good for them. I'm not going to continue beating the dead horse. It is a waste of my time. If nothing changes, nothing changes and nothing has changed.

People ask How ya Doin... I tell'em So So... Same Ole Same Ole... S.O.S.O.

Check out the numbers... Ole Shell's dead on again... Resident population in Catawba County fell by (that means negative) 276 people in 2014. In 5 years, we have lost 4,419 people. These are guesstimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that most likely underestimate the loss of population in the area. How do I arrive at that logic? Because that is most likely what happened in 2010. From 2009 to 2010, we see a population loss of 4,703 people. Also factor in that these population numbers include illegal immigrants in the community. The two areas of demographic growth in the community are immigrants and the aged. The reason why I point that out is to look at the demographic make-up of the community. That make-up is not conducive to economic growth and stability. It doesn't mean that I am against immigrants. It means that we are trading out stable wealth for poverty. Since 2008, SNAP benefits (Foodstamps) participants have risen from 18,933 people to a current (as of 2014) 31,931 people. That is a 69% tangible growth in poverty, while we have seen a 2% loss of population -- are you getting my point?

The workforce in the area continues its precipitous decline.  They can talk all day long about 5.6% unemployment. The workforce declined by over 2,000 people in 2014. That is when you count people working and statistically seeking work. It's actually worse than that. Unemployment in the community is really well into the double digits... Underemployment is much, much worse. Denial, stupidity, ignorance, and B*** S*** are off the charts.

Link to the numbers above at the St. Louis Federal Reserve website. Please go explore and educate yourself. 

Another Note: I may not have been clear about the significance of the population estimates and the likely underreporting of those negative numbers. Numbers in Census years (years ending in zeros) are much more precise than in off-census years, because there is an actual physical count of households, as opposed to off-Census year numbers, which are accounted for through the Census Bureau's "Community Survey", which isn't a precise accounting, but a statistical sample reported by the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and subsequently the Federal Reserve branches. 

We see a significant decrease in population between the off-Census/Community Survey year of 2009 and the Census year 2010. We have seen modest increases and decreases in the subsequent off-Census/Community Survey years 2011-2014. Evidence is pointing to a much more significant population decrease. The loss of labor force is one variable that points to a more significant population decrease. If you can't find a job, then you will have to leave the area.


Special Presentations
A. Proclamation for National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. 
B. Proclamation for Fair Housing Month.

Consent Agenda 
A. Approval to Issue a Pyrotechnic Display Permit to Hickory Motor Speedway  - Kevin Piercy, General Manager of the Hickory Motor Speedway has submitted a request to obtain permission to have a public fireworks display on the following 2015 dates: June 27, July 3, July 25 and September 19. The following would be rain out dates: June 28, July 4, 11, 18, 26, or August 1, and September 20, 26, or October 24. The North Carolina Fire Code requires a mandatory operational permit for the use and handling of pyrotechnic special effects material. The Division of Fire & Life Safety Bureau shall review all required documentation. The Fire Prevention Bureau will also inspect the pyrotechnics display area prior to the event to ensure compliance with all guidelines and codes. Staff recommends approval of the pyrotechnics displays.

B. Approval of Municipal City Ordinances Repealing or Enacting Speed Limits to Update the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Database.  -  The Traffic Division has worked with the North Carolina Department of Transportation regarding the new ordinances and agree to the speed limits along US Highway 70 between 19th Street SW and 13th Street Place SW (50 mph), US Highway 70 between 13th Street SW and South Center Street (45 mph), US Highway 70 between South Center Street and Fairgrove Church Road (50 mph), 1st Avenue SW between South Center Street and NC Highway 127 (25 mph), and Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard between 2nd Avenue SE and Tate Boulevard (45 mph). The last is to repeal two ordinances that had incorrect reference locations, specifically along 1st Avenue SW between South Center Street and Main Avenue Place SE as this should have ended at NC Highway 127 and along 8th Street Drive SE between 2nd Avenue SE and Tate Boulevard as 8th Street Drive SE has changed names to Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard. Staff recommends approval of the ordinances for North Carolina Department of Transportation as described.

C. Approval of an All-Way Stop at the Intersections of 7th Street SW at 4th Avenue SW and 7th Street SW at 5th Avenue SW.  - 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. Based on recent speed studies it appears that traffic is still speeding along 7th Street SW even though the speed limit was reduced to 25mph. According to the City’s Traffic Calming Guidelines, the next step would be to install an all-way stop to help the speed issue. Staff recommends installation of all-way stops at the intersections of 7th Street SW at 4th Avenue SW and 7th Street SW at 5th Avenue SW.

D. Approval of a Lease Agreement for City-owned Property to Hickory Downtown Development Association, Inc. Located at 24 1st Avenue NE, Hickory.  - The property at 24 1st Avenue NE has been leased to the Hickory Downtown Development Association for a number of years. The current lease has expires, and Staff has been working over the past few months to update the lease to ensure it is active and enforceable. The terms of the proposed lease will be for approximately two years for the nominal amount of one dollar. The lease will renew by mutual option for up to two additional years unless notice is given by either party to terminate. The lessee will be responsible for the payment of all utilities furnished to the property, securing its own janitorial service, maintaining the premise in good order, routine maintenance and repairs of the property.

E. Approve the Transfer of a Cemetery Deed from Terry M. Taylor, Collector of the Estate of Bette L. Peile, Catawba County Estate File Number 14E949 to James Steven Peile

F. Approval of Community Relations Council Spring Grant Recommendations.  - As part of the Community Relations Council (CRC) work plan and annual budget process, the Community Relations Council receives funds to disperse during the fiscal year through the CRC grant process. Non-profit agencies working with diverse populations in Hickory are eligible for grant funding. The grant proposal must show how the program under consideration fits into the CRC goals and mission and how the program will serve to improve human relations in the Hickory area. A total of $4,690 is available in the CRC budget for grants in fiscal year 2014/2015. CRC recommends the following for funding for the Spring 2015 grant cycle:
Lenoir-Rhyne University/Office of Multicultural Affairs - $1,500
Safe Harbor Rescue Mission - $1,000
Council on Adolescents of Catawba Valley, Inc. - $1,440
Western North Carolina Epilepsy Association - $750

G. Approval of a Change to the Assistance Policy for the 2014 Urgent Repair Program (URP14) as Required by N.C. Housing Finance Agency.  - The City of Hickory’s Community Development Department, in complying with the N.C. Housing Finance Agency’s funding requirements for URP14 is requesting a change in income limits for the Assistance Policy. The change would allow assistance to more families. Presently the Urgent Repair Program has $33,565 remaining. Upon approval by Hickory City Council the Assistance Policy will be submitted to N.C. Housing Finance Agency for approval. Staff recommends approval of the income limits for City of Hickory Beneficiaries for 2014 Urgent Repair Project Grant Assistance Policy.

H. Special Event Activities Application Concert Under the Sails – Symphony Under the Sails, Dr. Martha Geouge Hill, Executive Director, Western Piedmont Symphony, Inc., May 3, 2015 and June 28, 2015, Union Square, Downtown Hickory, from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

I. Approval of a Resolution to Declare 4,724 Surplus Discarded Library Materials so that these materials may be given to the Friends of the Library to be sold at the Friends October 2015 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.

J. Adopt Resolution of Intent to Lease City-owned Properties to Safe Harbor Rescue Mission, Inc. Located at 16 1st Avenue NE, and 18 1st Avenue NE, Hickory. - Adopt a resolution authorizing the City Clerk to advertise City Council’s consideration of a lease agreement with Safe Harbor Rescue Mission, Inc. to lease properties owned by the City of Hickory located at 16 1st Avenue NE, and 18 1st Avenue NE, Hickory.

K. Approve a Deed of Conveyance for the former WDF, Inc./Southern Desk Property Located at 1730 1st Avenue SW.  - The Southern Desk property had been in a state of continual decline and disrepair. The City of Hickory temporarily abated the nuisance at the property, but permanent abatement meant demolishing the building. Demolition costs were estimated to be close to $500,000 primarily due to the size of the building and the presence of asbestos. Negotiations were entered into between WDF, Inc. and James Canipe, owner of Foothills Recycling & Demolition, L.L.C. (Foothills) to acquire the property for the purpose of demolishing the building and reclaiming the materials. Upon completion of the demolition, the City agreed to accept a conveyance of the property from Foothills. The City performed a Phase 1 ESA on the property. The inspection did not reveal significant environmental hazards that would expose the City to potential liability as the new owner. Instead of using Foothills to acquire the property, Mr. Canipe created a new corporation, Southern Desk Reclamation, L.L.C. to acquire the property. Upon the acquisition of the property, Foothills then demolished the building, reclaimed recyclable materials, and cleaned up the site. Southern Desk Reclamation, L.L.C. is now willing to convey the affected property to the City in accordance with the agreement. Staff recommends Council accept the non-warranty deed of conveyance from Southern Desk Reclamation, L.L.C. for the former WDF, Inc./Southern Desk property located at 1730 1st Avenue SW.

L. Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 16.
1. To budget a $1,500 Library donation from the Friends of the Hickory Public Library in the Programming line item. This donation is for the Beth Macy author visit scheduled on April 13, 2015.

2. To budget a $5,977 insurance claim payment from Argonaut Great Central Insurance Company in the Parks and Recreation M & R Buildings line item. This insurance claim payment is for hail damage to an HVAC unit on 11/06/14.

3. To budget a $150 insurance claim payment from Occidental Fire and Casualty Company of North Carolina in the Parks and Recreation M & R Grounds line item. This insurance claim payment is for damage sustained to a split rail fence at Cliff Teague Park.

4. To budget a total of $9,142 of sponsorships in the Parks and Recreation-Departmental Supplies line item. These funds are for the Unifour Senior Games.

5. To transfer $35,000 of General Contingency to the Administration Contracted Services line item. This transfer is needed to pay Land Design for the Design Guidelines contract.

6. To budget an $843 insurance claim payment from Progressive Southeastern Insurance Company in the Airports M & R Grounds line item. This insurance claim payment is for damage sustained to a chain link fence on Airport property.

Informational Item
A. Report of City Manager Mick Berry’s travel to Emerging Issues Forum, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 8 – 10, 2015. (Lodging - $381.10; Meals - $41.67; Registration - $295; Fuel - $54.65)

B. Report of Councilman Lail’s travel to Emerging Issues Forum, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 8 – 10, 2015. (Lodging - $381.10; Meals - $32.04; Registration - $295; Mileage Reimbursement - $202.40)

C. Report of Councilman Seaver’s travel to Emerging Issues Forum, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 8 – 10, 2015. (Lodging - $381.10; Meals - $41.67; Registration - $295)

D. Report of Councilman Guess’ travel to Emerging Issues Forum, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 8 – 10, 2015. (Lodging - $381.10; Meals - $32.04; Registration - $295)

E. Report of Councilwoman Patton travel to Emerging Issues Forum, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 8 – 10, 2015. (Lodging - $381.10; Meals - $32.04; Registration - $295)

F. Report of Councilman Zagaroli’s travel to Emerging Issues Forum, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 8 – 10, 2015. (Lodging - $381.10; Meals - $10.25; Registration - $295; Mileage Reimbursement - $202.40; Parking - $60)

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Approval of a Resolution Supporting the Water Supply Master Plan as Developed by the Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group.  - The Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group (CEEMG) was formed in 2006 and later incorporated as a 501C-3 non-profit organization in 2007 as a result of Duke Energy relicensing of the Catawba River as a series of power supply reservoirs. The CWWMG was formed by 18 public water supplies and Duke Energy to create a group whose sole interest was in benefiting and extending the useful life of the precious resource known as the Catawba River. This group has commissioned several studies to better understand the overall health of the Catawba River and what things could be done to extend the useful life of the Catawba River. The Water Supply Master Plan is a comprehensive study that was undertaken by the CWWMG with the goal of updating the basin wide water model to understand current conditions and evaluating future strategies that will assist the basin with extending the useful life of the Catawba River past year 2100. Staff recommends Council’s approval of this Resolution supporting the Water Supply Master Plan as
developed by the Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group.

2. (a) Freese and Nichols, Inc. - Approval of contract with Freese and Nichols, Inc. (FNI) of Raleigh NC for Phase 1 of the Professional Bond Program Management Services in the amount of $498,400 for a comprehensive, phased program to develop additional project definition including preliminary engineering, cost estimates and feasibility analysis of the bond projects, identify regulatory requirements, space constraints, topographic constraints, scheduling, and utility conflicts.
(b) Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 17
1. To budget $498,000 of General Fund-Appropriated Fund Balance in the Administration Other Professional Services line item. This appropriation is to pay Freese and Nichols for the bond program administration.

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