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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of April 7, 2015

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.


Hound Notes: Alderman Lail again should be commended for recusing himself on the budget item where Land Design is being paid. It fits what has been said here for some time. Alderman Lail's wife works for Land Design out of Charlotte that has developed and designed the Downtown projects related to the Bonds that were passed last November.

In the Agenda notes I alluded to issues involving the local workforce. It is hilarious that the numbers were not reported for two months and then we see an increase of nearly 4,000 people in the workforce. Yeah Right! and I've got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. Just call me.  Somebody is inputting some more BS into the numbers.

Dramatic shifts in numbers like that do not occur unless there is a significant event that justifies them.  This is obviously a cooked number that will be revised back down. The Atlanta Federal Reserve has revised its forecast for first quarter GDP to .1%. Large corporations, especially in the retail industry, are still announcing layoffs every day. The cooked books and denial of the Powers That Be certainly are disheartening to the working class.

19 Signs That American Families Are Being Economically Destroyed
- The Economic Collapse Blog - Michael Snyder, on April 8th, 2015


Invocation by Bill Garrard

Special Presentations
A. Proclamation for National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. - (Per Hickory Inc.) - Lieutenant Young introduced Telecommunicator Supervisors, Shelley Davis and Nicole Sain; and Telecommunicators Jeanne Davis, Emily Bell and HollyPage. Mayor Wright read and presented the Proclamation for National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.

B. Proclamation for Fair Housing Month.

Consent Agenda
Items K and L-5 were removed from the Consent Agenda.

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. (Removed by Alder Patton. discussed and approved by Council.)

L-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. (Alderman Lail recused himself from voting on this Item.  Council approved his recusal and voted approval of Item.)

Informational Items

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. (Kevin Greer presentation)


Questions - Answer
Mayor Wright asks about Hickory's current license to remove water from the stream. Mr, Greer stated have a plant capacity of 32 million. Mayor Wrifht asked about how much Concord is permitted to take out - 8 million.
Alderman Lail asked about lowflow and noflow toilets and provisions for drought protocols. The City is not binded by the plan. The plan has recommendations.
Alderman Guess asked if this group monitors pollution.  Mr. Greer answered No. The plan is about water quantity not water quality. They are looking into sampling water quality issues. The State of North Carolina is responsible for water quality issues. Alderman Seaver asked about the number one pollutant. Mr. Greer stated nutrients.
Alderman Lail asked if we were better off than we were 10 years ago. Mr Greer stated yes. Rhodhiss has improved and this has improved Lake Hickory.

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. (Chuck Hanson presentation)

Questions and Answers
Alderman Lail asked about having 9 months of contract duration and then they can charge you more. He wants to ward off something down the road. Mr. Hanson says that they are providing us with staff/labor time. The time frame keeps the local government from dragging the issues out (timely fashion).
Alderman Zagaroli asked about this group not being a design firm. Mr. Hanson states that they are a design firm but not for our project. They are a management firm. Alderman Zagaroli further asked about estimated costs and made an observation about double-dipping. We will have to go through the same process with the design firm. 'This groups doesn't know what it will look like.'
Alder Patton asked about minimum standards. Who is going to work with that. Mr. Hanson says it will be between Staff and Bond Commission.
Mayor Wright speaks to why they are getting so many questions.  It is critical to show people that they are going to keep an eye on this money the first day and the last day. He asks about updates. 
Assistant City Manager Andrea addresses the thought process behind this.

General Comments (per Hickory Inc.)
Mayor Wright asked how the Easter egg hunt went. Alderman Seaver advised excellent. Alot of the children showed up, they were really excited. Alderman Lail asked how many eggs did Parks and Recreation do for the hunt. Alderman Seaver advised 25,000. Mayor Wright advised that the Elks Lodge pays for the eggs, and Parks and Recreation organizes the events and hides the eggs. It is amazing how few minutes it takes for 25,000 eggs to be found.

Mayor Wright commented that there are a lot of good things going on in the City. The Farmer’s Market will begin on April 18th. There are a lot of good things planned for the Music Series, the Crawdads, and great progress on the building across from Clark Tire. A lot of good things going on and he hopes that everyone is as optimistic about the bond referendum. He challenged Mr. Archer and Mr. Hansen to get something out of the ground.

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