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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of September 15, 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:The most interesting item on the agenda tonight was the plan to revitalize the property in west Hickory where the old Southern Desk and Ivey-Weaver Mill (S&W Chemical) used to reside.

If that plan could come to fruition, then we might see a turnaround for an area that has for a long time been in desperate need of revitalization and investment. It will take some outside of the box ideas to move such a plan forward, because this area has had a propensity to be neglected for over a generation. Most of the people who live here now, haven't a clue that was a middle class/working class area. I know the area well because my mother owns property there. A few blocks from here is the first place my maternal grandparents lived when they moved to Hickory -- when my grandfather started his business and my grandmother was an announcer on the radio. Drive down 1st Ave SW towards and past the Snack Bar to see the definition of ramshackle. Think about people that have lived in that area for 30, 40, and 50 years and have seen no growth and their real property values have declined. Is that their fault? Do Something!


Special Presentations
A. Alan Barnhardt – Update on Catawba Science Center Projects

New Business - Public Hearings
1. Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER). - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires the City of Hickory, as a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement funding recipient, to report on CDBG monies spent within the previous fiscal year. This report, the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) evaluates the effectiveness of the use of resources in addressing identified goals and objectives cited in the Annual Action Plan which is prepared before the fiscal year begins. The CAPER outlines the City’s CDBG expenditures from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. Staff recommends approval of the FY2014-2015 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report. This public hearing was advertised in a newspaper having general circulation in the Hickory area on September 4, 2015 and September 15, 2015.

Departmental Reports
1. Acceptance of the Bid for the Water Treatment Facility Emergency Power Generator Replacement Project with Crowder Construction Company in the amount of $2,699,000. The City of Hickory Water Treatment Facility was last upgraded in 1993. This upgrade included the installation of a new emergency generator that would provide power for the acility in the event of a power failure. The emergency generator is a permit required critical piece of equipment for operations of the facility. The existing generator is approximately 24 years old and has exceeded the mechanical life of the unit. Vendors cannot provide replacement parts to repair the existing unit. In October of 2014 Council approved contracting with HDR Engineering, Inc. to evaluate the existing conditions, and analyze the generator for proper sizing. The project was advertised for bids and found Crowder Construction Company to be the lowest responsible bidder. The bids received are below the Engineer’s Estimate of $3.0 million dollars. Staff recommends Council accept the bid for the Water Treatment Facility emergency power generator replacement project with Crowder Construction Company in the amount of $2,699,000. This project is planned as a component of the FY 2015-2016 Capital Budget to be funded from Capital Reserves.

2. Acceptance of the Southwest Hickory Revitalization Strategy Plan for the Southern Desk and Ivey Weaver Cotton Mill.
- The City of Hickory applied for two Community-wide Brownfield Assessment Grants from the US EPA in November 2011. In May 2012, the City received notice that it had been selected to receive two $200,000 grants to assess petroleum and hazardous materials contamination at Brownfield sites. The City’s environmental consultant, AMEC Foster Wheeler, subcontracted with CIII Associates to compete a redevelopment strategy for the former Southern Desk and Ivey Weaver Cotton Mill sites. The City hosted a public workshop in May 2015. After reviewing the existing conditions at the sites, speaking with residents, and conducting market analysis, CIII Associates has presented a mixed use vision to guide future development at the two sites. Staff recommends that City Council accept the Southwest Hickory Revitalization Strategy plan for the Southern Desk and Ivey Weaver Cotton Mill sites.

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