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Monday, June 1, 2015

Agenda about the City Council meeting of June 2, 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: Kabuki theatre on Tuesday night. Two years ago former Alder Sally Fox took a stand that she believed that Hickory needed to go ahead and go up on the tax rate. Various members of the Council dismissed the notion, but it was obvious that it was a political decision based upon their upcoming election. Last year the City Manager asked for a 2-cent increase in the tax rate to offset costs of repaving Hickory streets and to get ahead on some of the costs of what Hickory Inc. wants to do with infrastructure improvements. Council did not want to do this because of the negative effects it might have on the upcoming Bond Referendum.

It will be interesting to see what kind of a show we see related to this budget implementation process on Tuesday night. We certainly won't be seeing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It will be more like a spinning class.

I would like to say that I think it is a wise move to go after the Federal dollars to upgrade City Infrastructure as being presented in the Departmental Report.


Invocation Rev. George Coates, Pastor Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

Consent Agenda: A. Call for a Public Hearing – For Consideration of Rezoning Petition 15-01. (Authorize Public Hearing for June 16, 2015) - The property is located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Startown Road and Catawba Valley Boulevard SE and contains 2.36 acres. The request is to rezone from Low Density Residential (R-1) to Regional Commercial (C-3).

B. Approval to Apply for a 2015 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) to Purchase Additional Officer Body-Worn Cameras and Digital Video Evidence Management Services and Approval of the Interlocal Agreement with Catawba County. - Hickory Police Department requests permission to use funds from the 2015 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) to purchase additional body-worn cameras, hardware, hardware service/replacement, and digital evidence management storage. City of Hickory and Catawba County have received notification of approval to receive a combined allocation of $32,455 under the 2015 Justice Assistance Grant Program. Cities and Counties are required to submit joint applications for the available funding. Catawba County is eligible for a direct award of $12,900 and the City of Hickory is eligible for a direct award of $19,555. There is no match required. The City of Hickory has agreed to serve as lead agency in the grant application process. Hickory Police Department recommends approval to apply for the JAG grant to purchase additional body worn cameras, hardware, service and digital evidence management solution in the amount of $19,955 and to serve as lead agency in the grant process for a combined amount of $32,455. Hickory Police Department also recommends approval of the Interlocal Agreement between Catawba County and the City of Hickory for allocation of the JAG funds.

C. Approval of an Agreement with Alfred Benesch & Company in the amount of $9,450 to Update the Park Master Site Plan for the Cloninger Mill Property. - In 2008, Alfred Benesch & Company (formerly known as Site Solutions) was contracted by the City of Hickory to develop a Park Master Site Plan for Cloninger Mill property. The plan excluded 10.1 acres of the property which was proposed for future commercial development. This agreement provides for design services to incorporate the additional 10.1 acres into the overall Park Master Site Plan. The updated Master Plan will be utilized to seek North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grants for eventual park development. Staff recommends approval of the agreement with Alfred Benesch & Company in the amount of $9,450 to update the Park Master Site Plan for the Cloninger Mill property. Funds are budgeted in Parks and Recreation Department’s current budget.

D. Approval to Write-off Uncollectable Accounts Totaling $227,716.22, in Accordance with North Carolina General Statutes. - North Carolina General Statutes establish all street assessments and property taxes that are over ten years old and are no longer collectable, and should be written off in
conjunction with the annual audit. For the current fiscal year (FY2014-2015), there are no street assessments to be written off, but $88,081.21 in unpaid property taxes that exceeds the ten year limitation. The City of Hickory’s Accounting Division requires all other accounts that are over eighteen months in arrears be written off to comply with “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” in order to more fairly represent financial assets of the City on the balance sheet. For the current fiscal year, this amount is $139,635.01. The Finance Division will continue to pursue collection of the debts. All eligible accounts over $50 are submitted to the North Carolina Debt Setoff Program for collection. As of May 5, 2015, the City of Hickory has collected $30,525.59 from the garnishment of North
Carolina State tax refunds and North Carolina State lottery winnings during this fiscal year. Staff recommends approval to write-off uncollectable accounts for Fiscal Year 2014-2015.

E. Approval of a Termination of Lease Agreement for Property Located at 470 Highway 70 SW. - In June 2004, the City entered into a ground lease agreement with the Hickory Jaycees for a building located at 470 Highway 70 SW. The term of the lease was for twenty-five (25) years with a lease fee of one dollar ($1.00) per year. The Jaycees used the building and parking for their meetings and events. Due to several factors, including the need for repairs to the building, the Jaycees informed City Staff the organization had found an alternative location for their meetings and events as of January 2015. Both parties mutually desire to terminate the agreement at this time. Staff requests Council approve the Termination of Lease Agreement between the City of Hickory and the Hickory Jaycees for the property located at 470 Highway 70 SW. 

F. Approval of a Railroad Permit Agreement from Norfolk Southern Railway Company for Murray Basin Sanitary Sewer Infrastructure Project. - The Murray Basin is the area located between Springs Road, Section House Road, and Highland Avenue. Staff and HDR Engineering Inc. have determined that  approximately 6,000 linear feet of the existing system needs to be replaced and enlarged due to the existing pipe being vitrified clay pipe and numerous problems found during inspection. Staff requests approval of a license agreement in the amount of $19,100 with Norfolk Southern Railway Company to install, maintain, operate, and remove a 12-inch ductile iron sewer force main in a 24-inch steel casing located on the right of way or property of the Railway in the Murray Basin service area.

G. Approval of an Amendment to the Priority Use Agreement with the Catawba Valley Youth Soccer Association (CVYSA). - The City of Hickory entered into a Priority Use Agreement with CVYSA in July of 2013 to reflect CVYSA’s commitment to contribute $125,000 towards the purchase and installation of lights on fields 2, 4, 5 and 6 at the Henry Fork River Regional Recreation Park. Under the current $125,000 financial commitment terms, contributions towards the financial commitment can be made at any time within the first five years of the agreement, but the entire $125,000 contribution must be made by June 30, 2018. CVYSA has experienced several factors which have significantly impacted the organization’s revenue and its ability to meet the current payment schedule. CVYSA remains committed to fulfilling its financial commitment to the City but now desires to amend the Agreement’s terms governing the payment schedule. Under the terms of the financial commitment in the first amendment, CVYSA still agrees to contribute a minimum of $125,000 towards the installation of lights on the previously mentioned soccer fields. CVYSA agrees to pay an initial $26,000 of the $125,000 commitment by June 30, 2015. CVYSA agrees to pay the remaining $99,000 in nine (9) equal installments of $11,000 beginning June 30, 2016 and ending June 30, 2024. The annual payment will be made by June 30th of each year. Contributions would include direct monetary payments from CVYSA funds as well as any grant funds obtained by CVYSA. If CVYSA exceeds the $125,000 commitment as of June 30, 2018, one (1) additional year of priority use will be added to the agreement for each additional $2,500 above the $125,000 commitment level. The first amendment to the priority use agreement was presented to, and endorsed by, the Parks and Recreation Commission at their April 14, 2015 meeting. Staff recommends approval of the First Amendment to the Priority Use Agreement with CVYSA for the use of the City of Hickory owned soccer fields at Henry Fork River Regional Recreation Park.

H. Approval of Invitation to Bid and Contract to Huffman Grading Co. Inc. in the Amount of $121,287 for Additional Parking at Glenn C. Hilton Jr. Recreation Park. - The paved parking lot will be constructed directly across 6th Street Drive NW from the existing Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Recreation Park to provide  overflow parking spaces for the facility. Work under the contract will include clearing, grading, paving, curb/gutter and fencing. The Traffic Division will provide the crosswalk on 6th Street Drive NW and parking lot striping. Landscape Services will provide landscaping and Building Services will provide area lighting for the parking lot. Informal bids were received on May 22, 2015. Staff recommends awarding the contract to the low responsive, responsible bidder, Huffman Grading Co., Inc. in the amount of  $121,287 for the construction of Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Recreation Park additional parking lot. 

I. Budget Ordinance Amendment Number 20.
1. To budget a total of $260 of Library donations in memory of Libby Meisner. $60 in the Books line item and $200 in Supplies line item for the Summer Reading Program.

2. To accept a $68 transfer of excess revenue from the FEMA storm damage (Rock Quarry Sewer Outfall) Capital project and decrease the Water and Sewer Fund balance line item by $68. The project revenues totaled $54,373.64 and expenditures $54,306.51 therefore $68 will be returned to the Water and Sewer Fund. This action will close the Rock Quarry Sewer Outfall project.

3. To transfer $498,400 from the General Fund Other Professional Services line item to the 2014 Bond Referendum project design line item. This transfer is necessary to pay Freese & Nichols for Bond Project Design Services.

J. Capital Project Ordinance Amendment Number 6.
1. To decrease the Loan Proceeds line item in the TDA Parking Deck Capital Project by $125,000 and the Design line item by $125,000. Prior to receiving the 3 Million Loan from BB&T $125,000 was budgeted for the TDA Parking Deck - Design line item to cover expenses. The $125,000 was not adjusted after the loan was received and therefore it's necessary to adjust the budget now. To decrease the Investment Earnings line item by $72,000 and the miscellaneous line item by $72,000. Interest Earnings are not producing what was originally budgeted, therefore the revenues must be adjusted.

K. Capital Project Ordinance Number 3.
1. To accept a $498,400 transfer from General Government-Professional Services to the 2014 Bond Referendum project Design line item. $498,400 was originally budgeted in the General Fund to pay Freese & Nichols for design services. However, this budget amendment establishes the 2014 Bond Referendum Capital Project and therefore the revenue and expenditure for Freese & Nichols
are now budgeted in the project.

L. Grant Project Ordinance Amendment Number 6.
1. To transfer $68 of excess revenues from the FEMA storm damage (Rock Quarry Sewer Outfall) Capital project to the Water and Sewer Fund and decrease the Water and Sewer Fund balance line item by $68. The project revenues totaled $54,373.64 and expenditures $54,306.51 therefore $68 will be returned to the Water and Sewer Fund. This action will close the Rock Quarry Sewer Outfall project.

New Business - Public Hearings
1. Public Hearing on the City Manager’s FY2015-2016 Recommended Annual Budget. - Pursuant to NC General Statutes §159-12(b), a public hearing shall be held before adopting the budget ordinance. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on May 22, 2015. Copies of the budget ordinance were filed for public inspection in the Office of the City Clerk, Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and Ridgeview Library. The recommended budget is also posted on the City’s web page, Pursuant to NC General Statutes §159-13(a), the City Council is required to adopt a balanced budget before July 1, making the appropriations and levying taxes for the budget year. The City Manager recommends adoption of the attached budget ordinance for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on May 22, 2015.

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Authorize Staff to Apply for the US Department of Transportation TIGER Discretionary Grant in the Amount of $27,500,000. - The TIGER Discretionary Grants provide funding up to 80 percent of project costs in urban areas for surface transportation infrastructure project that will have a significant impact on the nation, a region, or metropolitan area. There is a $10 million dollar minimum funding request. The City of Hickory’s TIGER request will be $27.5 million dollars. Funds will be used for critical  infrastructure improvements such as streets, sidewalks, crosswalks, gateways, trails, and streetscape to promote the City as a choice location to live, work and play, and one where businesses want to locate, invest and expand. The match requirement is 20 percent of the grant award. The $40 million dollar bond referendum will serve as the non-federal funding match. Staff recommends Council authorize Staff to apply for the TIGER Discretionary Grant in the amount of $27,500,000.

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