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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of June 16, 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.

***Final Release***

 Agenda about the City Council meeting of June 16, 2015 

Hound Notes: There will not be another City Council meeting until July 14. I will try to write some articles in the meantime. I have had a lot on my plate of late that does not allow me to devote as much time to this endeavor. Since we 3 1/2 more weeks until the next Council meeting, I hope to submit a cross section on property assessment values as a random shot in the dark to see if residential properties have truly declined in the amounts stated previously. I am not taking preconceived biases into this issue. The second article may take some more time, but I look forward to updating the Putting the Puzzle together article from 2009.

There wasn't a lot that went on at this meeting. The issue of importance was the additional parking to be constructed across from Glenn Hilton Park.


Mayor Wright was absent and Alderman Zagaroli was Mayor Pro Tempore

Ivocation by Reverend David Roberts, Morning Star First Baptist Church

Special Presentations
A. Business Well Crafted Award to WHKY Presented by Business Development Committee Member Dave Paist (courtesy Hickory Inc.: WHKY Award - - (per Hickory Inc.) - Mr. Dave Paist of the Business Development Committee, discussed a brief history of WHKY and presented the Business Well Craft Award to Mr. Tom Long.

B. Students with Attainable Goals (SWAG), Program at Ridgeview Community Center Presented by Business Development Committee Member Dave Paist. (courtesy Hickory Inc.: STUDENTS WITH ATTAINABLE GOALS Presentation - - (per Hickory Inc.) - Mr. Paist discussed a program that was held in the spring for young people called Students with Attainable Goals (SWAG). The program was an entrepreneurship program that was spearheaded by Reggie Cummings and Andrea Nixon of the Recreation Department. It was supported by Jeff Neuville and Gary Miller at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) and Alex and Lisa Spruell of K-9 Security. He advised that on May 14th there was a presentation for the participants. He recognized some of the participants in the program. He commented that it was great that the City of Hickory was supporting this kind of effort. It was a community effort because it was the City, private enterprise, and CVCC.

C. Presentation of the 19th Consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City of Hickory by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). - (per Hickory Inc.) - Mayor Pro Tempore Zagaroli presented the 19th consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence Award (CAFR) to Mrs. Melissa Miller, Finance Director and commended her and her Staff for their work. Mrs. Melissa Miller thanked the Mayor, City Council and the Finance Staff for their efforts.

Persons Requesting to be Heard
Mr. Larry Pope addressed City Council regarding the Community Development Block Grant Funding that is given out each year by the Citizen’s Advisory Board which City Council approves. He discussed his concerns regarding the funding to Exodus Homes.

Consent Agenda:
Passed with Unanimous Consent after removal of Item J 
J. Approve the Termination of Residential Rental Contract with Adam Walker for the Property Located at 1123 15th Street NE.- On January 22, 2015 the City entered into a Residential Rental Contract with Adam Walker for the property located at 1123 15th Street NE. The term of the lease was for one year with a monthly rental fee of $350. Mr. Walker was formerly employed by the City of Hickory however he ended his employment to take another position which required him to relocate. Mr. Walker has requested termination of the rental agreement with the City effective June 19, 2015. He will pay pro-rated rent for the month, and $175 as a lease buy-out fee for early termination of the rental agreement. Staff requests Council’s approval of the Termination of Rental Agreement between the City of Hickory and Adam Walker for the property located at 1123 15th Street NE.

(Per Hickory Inc.) - Manager Berry advised Council of a date change in the Termination of Residential Rental Contract with Adam Walker. Mr. Walker had requested the termination date be changed to July 10th. City Council voted approval.

New Business - Public Hearings
1. Public Hearing for Consideration of Rezoning Petition 15-01. - Wendell Cramer petitioned the City for the rezoning of approximately 2.36 acres of property located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Startown Road and Catawba Valley Boulevard SE. (courtesy Hickory Inc.:
City Planning Report -

New Business - Departmental Reports
1. Approval of an 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. (courtesy Hickory Inc.: Glenn Hilton Parking Expansion -
Mac McLeod presentation - this is a continuation from an item in the Consent Agenda from the meeting of June 2, 2015 - Maps were provided to the Council for viewing during the presentation. A map is provided in the link above of the area in question. Moved up from 2017-18 budget to 2014-15 budget due to the park's parking overcrowding that the park has been experiencing. This will create 47 additional spaces. There are currently 81 marked spaces at the park. 6th St NW is the entrance into the new park, which will only be used as an overflow when the park is full. There is a 20 foot (berm) planted buffer zone and 6 foot fence that will block residential properties. There will be a signaled crosswalk to crossover to a sidewalk that leads to the park. Alderman Guess asked about a natural tendency to cross immediately into the park from the parking lot. Mr. McLeod said that is not the intention. They want people to cross into the existing park entrance. Council had various questions and statements related to this issue. There concern is that if the public is going to enter here, then why not make an entrance here. There is disc golf at this entrance. Alderman Lail asked about the berm and stated that he wants the parking properly screened away from the R-2 (residential) zoning. Mr. McLeod tried to give him assurances on the issue. Alderman Seaver asked about bus parking in the new parking lot. Mr. McLeod said that bus parking usually only occurs during weekdays and is generally not an issue on weekends. It was addressed that people had been parking along 6th Street and back into the neighborhoods. That is the reason why this issue was brought before the Council and needed to be addressed. Hilton park is lighted and the new lot will have lights. Council had a brief discussion.

Council voted 6-1 to accept the proposal - Alderman Lail voted against stating that he didn't believe that what was laid out in the plans/design is what was presented. He did state he was in favor of additional parking.

2. Accept the Hickory Public Library Strategic Plan for 2015-2018. (courtesy Hickory Inc. : Library Strategic Plan -
Louise Humphey was in charge of the presentation. This was her last meeting, since she is retiring. This was a 10 month process. Anthony Chow, Srategic Performance Systems and UNC-Greensboro, consultant made presented information about the process. There were 21 focus groups and 1000 residents involved in the process. The goal is to have state of the art technology, superior customer service, strong collaboration with the city and integrated with the county, Innovative Community Relationships and partnerships, good marketing of the libraries services, Modern and Welcoming Library spaces... Ridgeview Library is too small and needs to be updated.

General Comments (per Hickory Inc.)
City Manager Mick Berry introduced the City’s new Assistant City Manager Rodney Miller.
Mayor Pro Tempore Zagaroli recognized the Leadership 2000 youth that were in attendance.

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