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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Hickory City Council Workshop - November 3, 2015


These are projects for the near term horizon in Hickory. They explain the projects and how they will be funded, including the use on Issued Bond Funds proposed to begin in July 2017.

• Lackey Project – parking lot, boat dock, etc.
• Kiwanis Splash Pad
• NC Data Campus/Multi-Jurisdictional Park (Conover)
• Sandy Ridge Road - roundabouts
• Cloninger Mill Park
• City Park – Tennis Courts (Greater Hickory Tennis Association)
• Streetscapes/Zoning Overlay Consultant
• Way Finding/Gateway

• Lackey Family to donate $5 -$7 million for memorial in Geitner Park
• Plans to construct lake house, performance dock, amphitheater, conservatory, canopy walk, gardens, overflow parking lot
• Design of project by Tunnel-Spangler-Walsh (TSW) is underway
• Estimated City cost of $750,000 for driveway, parking lot, restrooms, canoe launch, boat dock, fishing pier
• Operation/Maintenance costs unknown at this point

• City to own and maintain as addition to park operations
• Splash pad management team to finalize design/features
• Park to have “wow factor”, regional draw to visitors
• Estimated project cost of $250,000 - $350,000, depending on design
• Kiwanis clubs raising $100,000 towards project
• City share of $150,000 - $250,000 NC DATA CAMPUS/MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL PARK

• Economic Development Partnership in Conover to attract data campus
• Loan of $2.6 million from NC Dept. of Commerce for 55 acre site development – water, sewer, electrical, stormwater, streets, sidewalks
• Multi-jurisdictional project between Catawba County (57%), Hickory (19%), Conover (18%), Maiden (5%) & Catawba (1%)
• Partner’s share in additional proper ty tax revenues based on investment
• Current year payment of $9,880
• Next year’s payment of $104,806 (difference of $94,926)
• Funded with Water & Sewer revenues

• CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation Air Quality) grant of $3,697,684 received for FY 16/17
• Originally designed to add lanes at both intersections – due to ROW and utility relocation costs, roundabouts were selected
• Roundabouts planned at intersections of Sandy Ridge Rd/29th Ave Ne and 16th St/8th St Dr/ 21st Av NE to relieve traffic congestion
• Estimated project costs of $4,622,105
• City share of $924,421 (20% match)

• City initiated master plan of 79 acres for future park in 2008
• Public meetings held in 2008 & 2009
• Many natural features including Falling Creek, waterfall, wide variety of vegetation, wildlife and ecological habitat
• Amenities proposed include picnicking, walking/bike trails, play areas, disc golf, environmental education, exercise stations
• Total project cost estimates of $2.9 million (2009 dollars)
• Phase I (access from Cloninger Mill Rd) estimated at $1.3 million
• Donation of $900,000 received from Outward Bound, balance of $400,000 – City share
• Staff and Parks/Recreation Commission reviewing revised master plan incorporating additional 10 acre commercial tract

• 10-year Priority Use Agreement with Greater Hickory Tennis Association approved by Council on April 7, 2015– will contribute $125,000
• New picnic shelter/restroom/meeting room facility
• Addition of 250 linear feet of paved access road and 1440 linear feet of 8ft wide paved walkway
• Parking expansion from 20 spaces to 90 spaces (also to assist with additional parking requirements for Lackey Project), with curb/gutter and area lighting, removal of existing picnic shelter/restroom facility
• Additional parking will likely be needed in light of Lackey project expansion
• Estimated cost of $574,000 (balance of $449,000 funded by City)

• Goal is to strengthen site design standards for private development in areas where streetscape improvements are planned.
• Overlay creates a more uniform appearance of private development regardless of underlying zoning requirement
• Coordination on lighting, landscaping, improved signage design and placement, and more efficient ingress/egress with new medians installed in streetscape.
• Staff developing RFQ to hire planning/design firm to develop new regulations for key areas of Hickory.
• Estimated cost of $150,000

• Wayfinding Program installs approximately 100 new signs of varying sizes but similar design installed citywide to direct travelers into Hickory from surrounding highways and guide them to multiple public destinations.
• Original program was developed in 2008. Great recession prevented implementation at that time.
• Gateway signage is now a part of the bond program. Five gateways will be developed at key entry points into Hickory. Gateways are usually eye-catching welcome signage with landscaping and/or
public art designed to encourage motorists to recognize when they have arrived and to entice others to shop and shop, dine.
• Estimated cost of $800,000

• $40 million bond referendum passed in November 2014; seven years to issue debt
• Anticipating 2 or 3 bond issues - $15m/$15m/$10m or $20m/$20m depending on projects selected
• Issue debt in FY 2017-18 (July) – will require ½ year debt payment in 2018
• Tax increase planned in FY 2018-19 (3-4 cents)
• Design funds will need to be advanced from fund balance; may drop below 25% Council goal
• Fund balance amount between 20%-25% = $2.4 million

• Tag Fee – City currently receives $5/vehicle generating $170k annually; FY 15-16 legislation authorizes municipalities to charge up to $30/vehicle – additional revenue of $850k/year
• Parking fees for City amenities – e.g. Convention Center (Event Parking concept)

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