Category: Board of Aldermen

March 22nd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

The city needs input from the local community and requests assistance from city residents in identifying the community’s resources and unmet needs that exist in the city.

The City of New Bern is preparing its FY 2019-23 Five Year Consolidated Plan and FY 2019 Annual Action plan. These plans are required by HUD so the City can receive its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The City has retained a planning consulting firm, Urban Design Ventures, LLC, to assist in the preparation of these planning documents.

You can find a resident survey asking for the needs within the city and ideas on what residents would like to see CDBG funds budgeted for. To complete the survey, click here.  If you’d like to print out and submit a paper copy, click here.

You can drop off your completed form at Development Services, 303 First St., anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The city will accept surveys until Friday, April 26, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact D’Aja Fulmore, Community Development Coordinator for the City of New Bern, at 252-639-7586 or send an email.

Posted in Board of Aldermen, Community issues, New Bern

March 14th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

City is seeking a grant to create a new farmers market-type enterprise at the City Market location on First Street. No surprise there.

The city floated the idea years ago when it tried to move the existing Farmers Market from South Front Street to the City Market location. That’s how City Market got its name.

The city backed off a strong-arm approach amid a vigorous opposition from Farmers Market members and customers, and renewed the lease on the facility last year.

The city changed the name of the main building on the First Street property to the Volt Center and partnered with Craven Community College to hold classes there, but documents the city presented to the state for grant funding still called the property “City Market.”

Alderman Sabrina Bengel called it “duplicitous” and was upset that Farmers Market representatives have not been included in the discussion.

The City Market plan would create vendor stalls and food services. The original plan included a band stage.

Residents of the Ghent Neighborhood, which abuts City Market, have worried about the noise and impacts in their neighborhood a busy City Market would create.

City officials have dismissed their concerns.

 

Posted in Board of Aldermen, Farmers Market

March 14th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

N.C. DOT work on U.S. Highway 70 and the Pembroke Road offramp on Monday caused the worst traffic jam in Downtown New Bern in decades on Monday.

The roadwork included closing down the Pembroke offramp. The repaving and repair work being done on U.S. 70 has caused backed up traffic, but the offramp closure compounded the problem by an order of magnitude.

Some motorists had a great idea. Instead of slogging through backed up traffic on 70, they opted to take surface streets and go through the downtown. “Some” being defined as thousands.

The ensuing traffic all converged on the two-lane Cunningham Bridge, creating a funnel effect that magnified the problem.

Traffic was backed up for several miles on Broad Street, Neuse Boulevard, and Trent Boulevard. Many motorists took side streets through neighborhoods to avoid the jam.

Alderman Bobby Aster, during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, described the event as “unspeakable.”

He said it took one driver one hour and 12 minutes to get from Pollock Street to Cunningham Bridge three blocks away.

City officials said they were caught off guard by the situation and were not contacted by DOT in advance of the closure (cough-cough-there were electric signs all over the place days before-cough).

Aside from that, Aster wondered why the Police Department didn’t do more … or rather, didn’t do anything … to deal with the traffic jam.

“I’m just wondering the reason why our police department didn’t get out and start directing traffic and moving this traffic outside of our city.

He said one citizen stuck at an intersection for 18 minutes saw a police car drive up, turn around and leave.

“…If you think that it’s bad now, wait ’til the construction starts in James City. I hope our Police Department’s got a plan.”

N.C. DOT is getting ready to upgrade U.S. 70 through James City from a surface street with intersections, to a controlled access expressway (jargon for “freeway”) with frontage roads on either side. See video

Aster, a retired fire chief, wondered what would have happened if there was a major accident blocking access. He said the Police Department needs to develop an action plan.

“It’s going to happen again,” he said.

Oldtimers remember when U.S. 70 came through downtown. Traffic was so bad during summer months that downtown workers either left work early or waited until the evening to get home.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Community issues, Traffic

March 13th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Six months after it made landfall, Hurricane Florence’s impacts on New Bern’s economy are still being felt throughout the city, but a new development may delay full recovery for some time.

Hurricane-damaged DoubleTree Riverfront hotel is closed indefinitely over insurance coverage issues related to the hurricane. Downtown New Bern will continue to face its worst economic crisis since 2008-10, when access to downtown was crippled by a bridge replacement and road construction projects.

“Business is definitely down,” said Lynne Harakal, director of Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corporation, said about Hurricane Florence recovery. “The best information I can provide is revenues are down about 15-20 percent since the hurricane. In retail, that’s a very large hit. Most small retailers have a profit margin of about 10 percent at the end of the year, so if these percentages continue many of our retailers could be in jeopardy.

“Not having the DoubleTree makes this situation even more ominous. Our downtown businesses need the DoubleTree operational. Furthermore, they need the Conventional Center up and running and a thriving Farmers Market to draw customers to our shops and restaurants.”

New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, a top venue for activities ranging from Marine Corps Birthday balls to corporate shareholder meetings, occupies about 3 acres of the downtown frontage on the banks of the Trent River.

The Convention Center was badly damaged during the hurricane, but is aiming to reopen in the fall. A big piece of its marketing plan has been the presence of a full-service hotel right next door—the DoubleTree Riverfront by Hilton.

Sources said there have already been two cancelled bookings at the Convention Center because of the DoubleTree being closed.

The Convention Center and DoubleTree Riverfront occupy a space previously known as Bicentennial Park and, before that, New Bern’s busy waterfront dating to the 1700s. More

Why does the DoubleTree matter? After all, there are two other hotels downtown, and several others elsewhere in the city.

Downtown’s two operating hotels are the Courtyard by Marriott, overlooking the Neuse River, with 100 rooms, and the Bridgepointe Hotel and Marina across the Trent River with 115 rooms. Both the Courtyard and the Bridgepointe are locally owned.

DoubleTree Riverfront, with 171 rooms, is by far the city’s largest hotel. More importantly, it is New Bern’s only full-service hotel. A full-service hotel offers full service accommodations, an on-site restaurant, and personalized service, such as a concierge, room service, and clothes pressing staff.

The DoubleTree was the hotel Alpha in New Bern, occupying the premiere location along the Trent River between the Convention Center and the N.C. History Center.

The DoubleTree is owned RPG Hospitality and managed by Singh Investment Group of Augusta, Georgia. More

Once a full-fledged Hilton and, before that, a Sheraton, the $12 million property in New Bern has been operating under Hilton’s DoubleTree flag for several years.

Singh Investment Group owns one other hotel property in North Carolina (all others are in Georgia), the DoubleTree Oceanfront by Hilton in Atlantic Beach. It, too, was severely damaged by Hurricane Florence and remains closed.

Singh Investment has not answered a request to be interviewed by New Bern Post, and local officials say they have not answered their inquiries since January.

In mid-February, the hotel’s general manager attended a Tourism Development Agency meeting and said that due to litigation with the hotel’s insurance carrier over whether it covered damage from wind-driven rain, the hotel might remain closed.

The hotel owners transferred the general manager and two weeks later laid off the entire staff except the sales manager and a couple of maintenance workers. The sales manager worked to cancel remaining bookings.

This puts downtown New Bern in a bad spot. Take the New Bern Grand Marina, for example. It is under separate ownership, but it partnered with DoubleTree to provide amenities to the marina including showers and laundry.

Then, of course, its impacts on Convention Center bookings, and a large hotel staff that has been laid off.

Then there are other effects. A vast, empty parking lot beside a large hotel is not a good indicator of a thriving downtown.

In short, it puts downtown growth and prosperity at serious risk.

Moreover, the longer DoubleTree remains closed, the harder it will be to bring it back into operation. The DoubleTree may very well go from being one of Downtown New Bern’s crown jewels, to a major liability.

It’s sort of like what the Days Hotel did in Five Points. The Days Hotel went from being in business to derelict to being razed over an eight-year span.

Alderman Sabrina Bengel, when asked what the city could do about the hotel, said, “Nothing. It’s private property.”

She equates DoubleTree with the beleaguered SkySail condominiums right next door to the DoubleTrees and the long-vacant Elks Building smack dab in the middle of Downtown New Bern. They, too, are major properties in the downtown that seek solutions and remain vacant or underutilized.

She said DoubleTree’s owners said they are not interested in selling the hotel, and continue to seek a resolution from the insurance carrier.

Meanwhile, the hotel has not reached the level of nuisance abatement, and is current on its taxes, which total just over $120,000 per year.

While it is true that the hotel is private property, current on taxes, and may not have reached a point where it is a public safety hazard, it is demonstrably true that a vacant and empty hotel has an adverse economic impact on the city.

Cities have used that argument to justify employing eminent domain, the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation.

Whether the city has the stomach for that kind of nuclear option depends on how severe impacts become as the DoubleTree Riverfront remains closed.

Posted in Board of Aldermen, Boating, Business, Craven County Board of Commissioners, Downtown New Bern, Economy, Economy and Employment, FEMA, Hurricane, Infrastructure, New Bern, New Bern business and commerce

February 23rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

CITY OF NEW BERN
BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
FEBRUARY 26, 2019 – 6:00P.M.
CITY HALL COURTROOM
300 POLLOCK STREET

 

1. Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw. Prayer Coordinated by Mayor Outlaw. Pledge of Allegiance.

2. Roll Call

 

Consent Agenda

3. Consider adopting a Resolution Calling for a Public Hearing to Rezone 4526 US Highway 17 South.

John Thomas of Thomas Engineering has requested 2.40+/- acres located at 4526 US Highway 17 South be rezoned from R-20 Residential District to C-3 Commercial District. The property is further identified as Tax Parcel 8-206-079, which is located in the City’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. It is requested a public hearing be held on March 12, 2019 at 6 p.m. to consider this request. A memo from Morgan Potts, City Planner, is attached.

4. Approve Minutes.

Minutes from the February 12, 2019 work session and February 12, 2019 regular meeting are provided for review and approval.

____________

5. Presentation of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Copies of the Comprehensive Annual Finance Report (“CAFR”) and Auditor’s Discussion and Analysis were previously distributed to the Board. A representative from Mauldin & Jenkins, the firm that performed the City’s audit, will be present to discuss the findings of the CAFR and audit. This report will also be made available on the City’s website on February 27, 2019.

6. Update on Resiliency Plan.

The City Manager will provide an update on the City’s efforts with respect to a resiliency plan and the hiring of a consultant.

7. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Initiate the Upset Bid Process for 1620 National Avenue.

(Ward 1) In July of 2016, after being vacated by Parks and Recreation’s administrative staff, the Board declared the City’s property at 1620 National Avenue as surplus property. A minimum reserve bid of $85,000 was established. The property has since received substantial damage as a result of Hurricane Florence. An insurance payout is anticipated in the amount of $65,833. Freddie Mercer has submitted an offer of $15,000 to purchase the property in its current condition. If this resolution is approved, the offer will be duly advertised as required by state statute. If no upset bids are received and the property is sold for $15,000, the City will receive approximately $80,833 from the proceeds of the sale and the insurance funds.

8. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving a Contract with James L. Cayton Utilities, Inc. of New Bern, NC for Infrastructure Improvements.

(Ward 1) Aging water and sewer infrastructure is being replaced on Johnson Street between Craven and East Front Streets and King Street between Craven Street and Edgerton Drive. Once the infrastructure has been replaced, the streets will be resurfaced. The improvements will eliminate deteriorated mains and service lines, increase the reliability of the domestic water supply, reduce the potential for sewer backups, and improve drainage in the project area. Bids for this project were sought and obtained. After reviewing the bids, James L. Cayton Utilities, Inc. of New Bern, NC had the lowest bid at $635,320. It is requested the contract be awarded to this bidder.

9. Consider Adopting an Ordinance Amendment to Division 2 (Police Civil Service Board) of Article IV of Chapter 2 of the Code of Ordinances.

The City’s charter was amended in 2016, at which time changes were made in part to the section regarding the Police Civil Service Board. It has since been discovered the ordinance addressing the Police Civil Service Board was not amended to reflect the charter changes. By adopting this ordinance, the charter and Code of Ordinances will be consistent.

10. Appointment(s).

    1. Raymond Layton’s second term on the Planning and Zoning Board has expired, and he is ineligible for reappointment. Alderman Kinsey is requested to make a new appointment to fill this vacancy. The new appointee shall serve a three­ year term.
    2. Carol Williams’ second term on the Planning and Zoning Board has expired, and she is ineligible for reappointment. Alderwoman Harris is requested to make a new appointment to fill this vacancy. The new appointee shall serve a three­ year term.
    3. Rose Williams’ appointment on the New Bern Appearance Commission expired February 8, 2019. She is eligible for reappointment, or a new appointment can be made to allow others an opportunity to serve. Mayor Outlaw is asked to make an appointment to serve a three-year term. The ordinance provides appointees shall be residents of the City’s planning and zoning jurisdiction and shall, when possible, have had special training or experience in a design field such as architecture, landscape design, horticulture, city planning, or a closely­ related field.
    4. Mattie Tatum’s appointment on the New Bern Appearance Commission will expire February 22, 2019. She is eligible for reappointment, or a new appointment can be made to allow others an opportunity to serve. Alderman Bengel is asked to make an appointment to serve a three-year term. The ordinance provides appointees shall be residents of the City’s planning and zoning jurisdiction and shall, when possible, have had special training or experience in a design field such as architecture, landscape design, horticulture, city planning, or a closely-related field.

11. Attorney’s Report.

12. City Manager’s Report.

13. New Business.

14. Closed Session.

15. Adjourn.

 

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor

February 12th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Request will be made at Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting

New Bern community members and non-local activists will urge the New Bern Board of Aldermen to “Ban the Box” for hiring city employees at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

“Ban the Box” is a hiring practice that encourages employers to identify potential hires with the best skills and experience and delay asking applicants about their criminal records until after a conditional offer is made.

Durham and Carrboro are among cities in North Carolina that have already adopted this “fair chance” hiring practice.

Ban the Box is a movement started in the early 2000s by All of Us or None, a national organization created and led by individuals directly impacted by incarceration and the criminal legal system.

People who have been involved in the criminal justice system often face collateral consequences, difficulties people face in finding housing, education, and employment because of a criminal record.  

Trouble finding employment is one of the most common collateral consequences that people face upon release. Those who have a record and disclose it on their initial job application are 50 percent less likely to receive a callback than their peers without a record.

Ban the Box programs do not prevent employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal record, but rather calls for employers to remove the initial question about criminal records from job applications (“the box”) and delay any related questions until after a conditional offer is made. This process ensures the best person is being hired for the job and also allows the employer to continue to make decisions about the relevancy of the record to the job.

What: Public comments on ‘Ban the Box’ at New Bern Board of Alderman meeting

When: Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.

Where: City Hall Courtroom, 300 Pollock St., New Bern

Who: New Bern community members and representatives from All of Us or None – NC and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice Clean Slate Project

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Community, Community issues, Crime, Economy, Economy and Employment, Housing, Mayor, New Bern

February 9th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

The Board of Aldermen meets Tuesday for two separate sessions, a regular meeting starting at 6 p.m. and a work session covering utility rates starting at 3 p.m.

During Tuesday’s regular meeting, here are some of the more interesting agenda items:

10. Presentation on NC Global TransPark Authority.

Allen Thomas, Director of the North Carolina Global TransPark (“GTP”), was scheduled to make a presentation before the Board last July, but cancelled due to illness. He has rescheduled that presentation for this meeting.

11. Presentation by Craven County Board of Elections.

Melani Wray, Director of the Craven County Board of Elections, will make a presentation that covers a cost analysis of the City’s election process. She will also discuss the advantages of changing from a nonpartisan election/runoff method to a nonpartisan plurality election.

12. Presentation on Downtown Parking Update.

(Ward 1) Billy Faulkenberry and Lynn Harakal, Executive Director of Swiss Bear, will update the Board on the downtown parking enforcement.

15. Presentation on Ban-the-Box.

Whitley Carpenter, Staff Attorney with The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, will be joined by Corey Purdie and Angaza Laughinghouse to make a presentation on the Ban-the-Box movement.

Ban the Box is the name of an international campaign by civil rights groups and advocates for ex-offenders, aimed at persuading employers to remove from their hiring applications the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record.

18. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving a License/Use Agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

(Ward 5) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) has requested to lease office space at the old Water Resources building located at 2825 Neuse Boulevard. The proposed agreement provides for their use of the building through June 30, 2019 at no cost. FEMA will be using the office space to serve the citizens of New Bern and surrounding areas following the devastation from Hurricane Florence. 

Here is the full agenda:

CITY OF NEW BERN, 300 Pollock Street, P.O. Box 1129 New Bern, NC 28563-1129 . (252) 636-4000

Dana E. Outlaw Mayor

Mark A. Stephens City Manager

Memo to: Mayor and Board of Aldermen From: Mark A. Stephens, City Manager Date: February 8, 2019

Re: February 12, 2019 Agenda Explanations

1. Meeting  opened  by Mayor  Dana E. Outlaw. Prayer Coordinated by Mayor Outlaw. Pledge of Allegiance.

2. Roll Call.

3. Request and Petition of Citizens.

This section of the Agenda is titled Requests and Petitions of Citizens. This is an opportunity for public comment, and we thank you for coming to the Board of Aldermen meeting tonight to share your views. We value all citizen input.

Speaker comments are limited to a maximum of 4 minutes during the public comment period. At the conclusion of 4 minutes, each speaker shall leave the podium. Comments will be directed to the full board, not to an individual board member or staff member. Although the board is interested in hearing your comments, speakers should not expect any comments, action or deliberation from the board on any issue raised during the public comment period.

In the board’s discretion, it may refer issues to the appropriate city officials or staff for further investigation. If an organized group is present to speak on a common issue, please designate one person to present the group’s comment, which shall be limited to a maximum of 4 minutes.

Consent Agenda

4. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Close Specific Streets for the Neuse River Bridge Run.

(Ward 1) The Neuse River Bridge Run is slated for March 23, 2019. Accordingly, John Serumgard, Race Director, the event, has requested the 200 block of East Front Street be closed from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the 200 block of South Front Street be closed from 5 a.m. until 1 p.m. The organizers also plan to hold a “Super Kids Run” on March 22, 2019 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Union Point Park, and the Director of Parks and Recreation has authorized the closure of the park streets during this time. A memo from Foster Hughes, Director of Parks and Recreation, is attached.

5. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Close Specific Streets for the Great Glow Run.

(Ward 1) Kathy Lewis, Officer Manager for Easter Seals UCP, has requested specific streets be closed on April 13, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. for the annual Great Glow Run. The streets to be closed are the 200-700 blocks of East Front Street, a portion of the 800 block of North Craven Street, 700-800 blocks of Howard Street, 100-600 blocks of Queen Street, and 600-800 blocks of George Street. This Easter Seals fundraiser also promotes awareness. A memo from Mr. Hughes is attached.

6. Consider Adopting a Revised Resolution to Close Specific Streets for the Black History Month Parade.

(Ward 1) After receiving a request from Victor Taylor with Vision Forward, the Board adopted a resolution on January 22, 2019 to close specific streets on February 16, 2019 for the annual Black history Month Parade. That resolution failed to include approval of the requested rain date of February 23, 2019. The resolution has been revised to include this date, and all other information remains the same with respect to the affected streets. A memo from Mr. Hughes is attached along with copies of the application, a map of the parade route, and the resolution approved in January.

7. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Portions of Spencer Avenue for the Ghent Neighborhood Mardi Gras Parade.

(Ward 1) Michael Genest, President of the Ghent Neighborhood Association, has requested the 1400-2000 blocks of Spencer Avenue be closed to vehicular traffic on March 2, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for the association’s annual Mardi Gras Parade and block party. A memo from Mr. Hughes, a copy of the application and a parade map are included in the backup documentation.

8. Approve Minutes.

Minutes from the January 15, 2019 special meeting, January 22, 2019 regular

meeting, January 26, 2019 special meeting, and January 26, 2019 annual retreat are provided for review and approval.

______

9. Presentation of Longevity Certificates.

Employment service is recognized at five-year increments. A roster is enclosed of all employees who are eligible to receive a service certificate for the period of July­ December 2018. Some of these employees will be present at the meeting, and certificates will be on hand for the Mayor to present. Sharon Koprowski, Assistant Director of Human Resources, will be available to assist with the presentation. The Board is asked to extend a handshake of appreciation to the employees.

10. Presentation on NC Global TransPark Authority.

Allen Thomas, Director of the North Carolina Global TransPark (“GTP”), was scheduled to make a presentation before the Board last July, but cancelled due to illness. He has rescheduled that presentation for this meeting.

11. Presentation by Craven County Board of Elections.

Melani Wray, Director of the Craven County Board of Elections, will make a presentation that covers a cost analysis of the City’s election process. She will also discuss the advantages of changing from a nonpartisan election/runoff method to a nonpartisan plurality election.

12. Presentation on Downtown Parking Update.

(Ward 1) Billy Faulkenberry and Lynn Harakal, Executive Director of Swiss Bear, will update the Board on the downtown parking enforcement.

13. Presentation on African American Heritage & Cultural Center of New Bern Project.

(Ward 1) Carol Becton, a representative with the African American Heritage & Cultural Center, will make a presentation on the center’s vision, as well as its plans to celebrate Juneteenth in 2019.

14. Presentation on Reliable Public Power.

Charles Bauschard, Director of Public Utilities, will make a presentation regarding the City’s application for the American Public Power Association’s designation as a Reliable Public Power Provider (“RP3”).

15. Presentation on Ban-the-Box.

Whitley Carpenter, Staff Attorney with The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, will be joined by Corey Purdie and Angaza Laughinghouse to make a presentation on the Ban-the-Box movement.

16. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving a Human Resources Policy.

As a follow-up to the previous presentation, a Resolution approving a Human Resources Policy is proposed.

17. Receive Public Comment and Consider Adopting a Resolution Naming a Currently Unnamed Street as Sheryl Drive.

(Ward 4) In the area of Glenburnie Road, an unnamed street connects Elizabeth Avenue and Amhurst Boulevard. In 2013 and 2015, a proposed development named Quail Forest was reviewed and the right-of-way for this roadway dedicated, but not officially named. The proposed name, Sheryl Drive, was reviewed and approved by E911. Staff has met with adjacent property owners regarding the name proposal. It is requested the Board receive public comments on this naming and then consider adopting a resolution to establish the name.

18. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving a License/Use Agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

(Ward 5) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) has requested to lease office space at the old Water Resources building located at 2825 Neuse Boulevard. The proposed agreement provides for their use of the building through June 30, 2019 at no cost. FEMA will be using the office space to serve the citizens of New Bern and surrounding areas following the devastation from Hurricane Florence.

19. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Accept a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure of Tax Lien.

(Ward 1) Craven County pursued foreclosure on 209 Lawson Street for delinquent ad valorem taxes owed to the County. At the time of the foreclosure, there were also delinquent taxes owed to the City. A commissioner’s deed was recorded on August 18, 2018 conveying the property to the County, which resulted in the City’s tax liens remaining intact. In order to avoid foreclosure by the City to collect those taxes, the County proposes a deed to convey the property to the City and County jointly, with the deed specifying the amount of both the County and City’s taxes, interest, liens, fees and costs as of August 18, 2018. The resolution authorizes the recording of the proposed deed and accepts the same in lieu of foreclosure of the City’s tax lien.

20. Consider Adopting a Resolution Authorizing the Installation of Additional Street Lights.

(Ward 5) Time McKean of 2800 Millinder Lane has requested additional street lighting at the intersection of South Glenburnie Road and Millinder Lane. The Department of Public Utilities evaluated the area and determined the current lighting does not meet the City’s light standard. The installation of one street light will cost approximately $574.96, and the monthly utility charge for service will be $8.44. A memo from Charles Bauschard, Director of Public Utilities, is attached along with other supporting documentation.

21. Appointment(s).

  1. Raymond Layton’s second term on the Planning and Zoning Board has expired, and he is ineligible for reappointment. Alderman Kinsey is requested to make a new appointment to fill this vacancy. The new appointee shall serve a three­ year term.
  2. Sonny Aluzzo’s first term on the Planning and Zoning Board has expired, and he is eligible for reappointment. Alderman Aster is asked to consider reappointing Mr. Aluzzo or make a new appointment for a three-year term.
  3. Jerry Walker’s first term on the Planning and Zoning Board has expired, and he is eligible for reappointment. Alderman Bengel is asked to consider reappointing Mr. Walker or make a new appointment for a three-year term.
  4. Carol Williams’ second term on the Planning and Zoning Board has expired, and she is ineligible for reappointment. Alderwoman Harris is requested to make a new appointment to fill this vacancy. The new appointee shall serve a three­ year term.
  5. Joseph Anderson has resigned from the Historic Preservation Commission. Alderman Bengel is asked to make an appointment to fill the remainder of Mr. Anderson’s term, which expires on June 13, 2019.
  6. Rose Williams’ appointment on the New Bern Appearance Commission expired February 8, 2019. She is eligible for reappointment, or a new appointment can be made to allow others an opportunity to serve. The appointee will serve a three-year term. The ordinance provides appointees shall be residents of the City’s planning and zoning jurisdiction and shall, when possible, have had special training or experience in a design field such as architecture, landscape design, horticulture, city planning, or a closely-related field.
  7. Mattie Tatum’s appointment on the New Bern Appearance Commission will expire February 22, 2019. She is eligible for reappointment, or a new appointment can be made to allow others an opportunity to serve. The appointee will serve a three-year term. The ordinance provides appointees shall be residents of the City’s planning and zoning jurisdiction and shall, when possible, have had special training or experience in a design field such as architecture, landscape design, horticulture, city planning, or a closely-related field.

22. Attorney’s Report.

23. City Manager’s Report. 

24. New Business.

25. Closed Session.

26. Adjourn.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Downtown New Bern, Economy, Economy and Employment, Elections, FEMA, Infrastructure, Mayor, New Bern, New Bern business and commerce, Planning and Zoning

February 9th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

The Board of Aldermen meets Tuesday to consider the adjustment. 

Here is the background information:

 

CITY OF NEW BERN BOARD OF ALDERMEN

WORK SESSION FEBRUARY 12, 2019- 3:00 P.M.

CITY HALL COURTROOM 300 POLLOCK STREET

 

 

  1. Discussion and Consideration of Wholesale Electric Cost

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES REQUIRING SPECIAL ASSISTANCE SHOULD CALL 639-7501 NO LATER THAN 3 P.M. THE DATE OF THE MEETING

 

Background

 

ELECTRICITIES  I N O R T H C A R O L I N A, I N C,

To: North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency Board of Commissioners and Alternates

FROM: Kathy L. Moyer, Vice President, Operations

DATE: January 28, 2019

SUBJECT: DAY NOTICE OF NCEMPA WHOLESALE RATE CHANGE

 The Board of Directors adopted, at its meeting on January 25, 2019, the following changes to NCEMPA’s wholesale power service rates based on the recommendations of the NCEMPA Rate Committee and the NCEMPA Board of Commissioners:

  1. A 1.2% increase to Full Requirements rate effective April 1, 2019 through Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply Schedule FR-4;
  2. Continued suspension of Rider 1 through September 2019 to retain the 2017 FRPPA true-up credit of $4.4M within working capital.

These changes were reviewed in detail by the NCEMPA Rate Committee at its meeting on January 10, 2019, and a summary of the information was presented to the NCEMPA Board of Commissioners at its January 23, 2019 meeting. 

In accordance  with the North Carolina General Statutes, Section 159B-10, the changes  to  the rate schedules adopted by the Board of Directors will become effective unless rejected within 30 days by the vote of 2/3 in number of the NCEMPA Board of Commissioners.

Thus, if the Board of Commissioners  desires to  reject the rates adopted by the Board of Directors, it must take action prior to February 27, 2019. If the Board of Commissioners takes no action, the rate schedule and riders adopted will become effective as noted.

Please contact me at (919) 760-6225 if you wish to discuss further these wholesale rate changes as adopted by the Board of Directors.

The attachments include an explanation of these rate changes together with marked copies of the rate schedule and riders listed.

Attachments

cc:  NCEMPA City Managers NCEMPA Utility Directors NCEMPA Finance Directors

Gary Brunault, GOS Sr. Management Staff

ElectriCities Board of Directors

KM/ts                                                                                                      919.760.6000

1427 Meadow Wood Blvd.

Raleigh, North Carolina 27604               www.electricities.com

North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency Wholesale Power Service Rate Changes

Approved by the ElectriCities Board of Directors on January 25, 2019

The Board of Directors adopted, at its meeting on January 25, 2019, the following changes to NCEMPA’s wholesale power service rates based on the recommendations of the NCEMPA Rate Committee and the NCEMPA Board of Commissioners.

SUMMARY OF WHOLESALE POWER SERVICE RATE CHANGES:

  1. A 1.2% increase to Full Requirements rate effective April 1, 2019 through Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply Schedule FR-4;
  2. Continued suspension of Rider No. 1 through September 2019 to retain the 2017 FRPPA true-up credit of $4.4M within working

Each item is described in more detail below:

FULL REQUIREMENTS RATE REVISION

The Rate Committee met on January 10, 2019 to review updated cost projections for NCEMPA. The 2019-2023 DEP Production System Projections were generally in-line with previous projections reviewed in September 2018. Due to the net effect of the updated cost projections and to maintain target working capital levels, the Rate Committee recommends a 1.2% rate increase effective April 1, 2019. The Demand and Energy rates will be adjusted to align the FR rate structure with DEP’s updated cost projections. Beyond 2019, the rate path includes a projected 3.0% rate increase in 2020. The updated FR-4 rate is proposed to be effective April 1, 2019.

RIDERNO. l,FRPPA TRUE-UP CHARGE/CREDIT

The Rate Committee recommends continued suspension of Rider No. 1 through September 2019 to retain the 2017 FRPPA true-up credit of $4.4M within working capital. Rider No. 1 allows for the suspension and reinstatement of Rider No. 1 on a year-to-year basis upon the recommendation of Board of Commissioners and approval of Board of Directors. In September 2018, the Board of Directors approved suspension of Rider No. 1, keeping the $4.4M FRPPA true-up credit in working capital until the January 2019 Rate Committee meeting to provide for planning flexibility.

Effective: April 1, 2012.&

 NORTH CAROLINA EASTERN MUNICIPAL POWER AGENCY MEMBER ELECTRIC RATE SCHEDULE

FULL REQUIREMENTS BULK POWER SUPPLY SCHEDULE FR-

  1. APPLICABILITY

Service under this Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply Rate Schedule is applicable to all Members as defined in the Full Requirements Power Sales Agreement between North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (“Power Agency”) and its Members, dated as of April 24, 2015 (the “FRPSA”), and is subject to the provisions of the FRPSA and the Debt Service Support Contract between Power Agency and its Members, dated as of April 24, 2015 (the “DSSC”). This rate schedule, as supplemented and amended, is applicable for the sale of Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply, as defined in the FRPSA, for use and resale from existing facilities of adequate type and service. This rate schedule is applicable commencing with the billing month of April, 201&2. to be billed in May, 201&.2_.

.      2. FULL REQUIREMENTS MONTHLY CHARGES

Full Requirements Monthly Charges shall consist of the following Demand Charge and Energy Charge:

Demand Charge:

$ 22.4 per  kW of  Billing Demand Energy Charge:

2.530M94 ¢ per kWh of Billing Energy

  • DETERMINATION OF BILLING DEMAND AND BILLING ENERGY
    1. Determination of Billing Demand

Billing Demand for each Member shall be the average kW measured at the Delivery Point, as such term is defined in the FRPSA, in the 60-minute interval during the current billing month, which is coincident with Duke Energy Progress’s (“DEP”) Monthly Peak Demand, as such term is defined in the Full Requirements Power Purchase Agreement between Power Agency and DEP, dated as of September 5, 2014 (the “FRPPA”), less any capacity allocation, in kW, from the Southeastern Power Administration (“SEPA”) at such point of delivery, but not less than zero.

           2,Determination of Billing Energy

Billing Energy shall be the total energy measured during the current billing month at the Delivery Point, in kWh, less any energy allocation, in kWh, from SEPA at such point of delivery.

  1. GENERAL

Pursuant to the FRPSA and the DSSC, the Monthly Bill will include the Full Requirements Monthly Charges, specified above, and amounts calculated in accordance with the applicable Rider(s) to this Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply Rate Schedule, which are incorporated herein and made a part hereof. Nothing in this Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply Rate Schedule shall be construed to prevent Power Agency from reviewing and amending this Rate Schedule or the Riders hereto and the charges contained herein from time to time.

Posted in Board of Aldermen, Utilities, Utilities

February 3rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin
Kidsville Park, shown before demolition. City of New Bern photo

A sentimental favorite among parents and children past and present, Kidsville playground is no more. At least for now.

Last week, the city announcement was posted on its Facebook page:
“Kidsville, located at Seth West Parrott Park, was torn down today. This unique playground served the community well for 24 years. In April of 2018, the structure was closed due to extensive maintenance issues and safety concerns. All sponsor signage and name pickets were removed prior to demolition.

This photo provided by the City of New Bern shows Kidsville playground following demolition.

“We are now preparing for the construction of Kidsville 2.0. Construction is scheduled to begin later this spring. Stay tuned for information on how you can be a part of the new playground, which will have a similar look and feel to the original.”

Image shows Kidsville 2.0. The city is budgeting $300,000 for the project, half of which it hopes will come from donations.

Kidsville playground was 24 years old, four years older than its intended life expectancy, according to city documents provided in response to a New Bern Post Freedom of Information Act request.

According to a report from Playgrounds by Leathers, “The original materials used in the playground were pressure treated wood posts and framing. The original wood was treated with CCA. It is apparent from its condition that this playground is a well-used
attraction in the area. There is a strong emotional connection with the community and the playground.”

According to audits by Leathers in 2018 and a risk assessment of the playground conducted in 2015, the condition of the park had degraded to the point where some safety hazards were severe.

I can attest. I hit my head hard several years ago climbing on the structure while playing with my son. It nearly knocked me out. I was lucky. In April 2018, a man lost his finger when his ring was caught in an opening and he lost his balance. The city closed the park three days after learning of that incident.

Leathers said, “Due the structures age and condition, we have provided an estimated cost to replace the playground with a new design utilizing all of today’s latest materials (no wood). Today’s playgrounds are expected to last minimally 30 years with minimal maintenance needs. A custom designed community built replacement estimate is around $250,000-275,000 for a playground with similar square footage as your existing playground. This includes engineered wood fiber as the ground cover. If poured in place rubber is wanted in the tot lot as currently designed, this cost will be determined upon final design. This cost estimate is based on utilizing our community built model. It’s anticipated that the work can be completed in five (5) days. While a renovation is an option, consideration should be given to the total amount budgeted vs. the expected longevity of each option. Also, yearly maintenance cost and needs for upkeep must be kept in mind.”

The replacement estimate did not include demolition.

The cost to renovate the park was put at $200,000. The cost to build anew with modern materials and safety features, plus an expected 30-year lifespan, is $250,000, City Parks and Recreation Director Foster Hughes said in an early report to the Board of Aldermen.

A social media survey conducted by the city resulted in 2,700 votes, 86 percent of which preferred something similar to Kidsville as a replacement, rather than more conventional playground designs found elsewhere in the city and county.

Article by Randy Foster / New Bern Post

Posted in Board of Aldermen, Parks and Recreation

December 10th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

CITY OF NEW BERN BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
DECEMBER 11, 2018 — 6:00 P. M.
CITY HALL COURTROOM, 300 POLLOCK STREET

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES REQUIRING SPECIAL ASSISTANCE SHOULD CALL 639-7501 NO LATER THAN 3 P. M. THE DATE OF THE MEETING

1. Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw. Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Best. Pledge of

2. Roll

3. Request and Petition of Citizens 

This section of the Agenda is titled Requests and Petitions of Citizens. This is an opportunity for public comment, and we thank you for coming to the Board of Aldermen meeting tonight to share your views. We value all citizen input.

Speaker comments are limited to a maximum of 4 minutes during the public comment period. At the conclusion of 4 minutes, each speaker shall leave the podium. Comments will be directed to the full board, not to an individual board member or staff member. Although the board is interested in hearing your comments, speakers should not expect any comments, action or deliberation from the board on any issue raised during the public comment period.

In the board’s discretion, it may refer issues to the appropriate city officials or staff for further investigation. If an organized group is present to speak on a common issue, please designate one person to present the group’s comment, which shall be limited to a maximum of 4 minutes.

Consent Agenda

4. Consider Adopting a Resolution Closing Specific Streets for Christ Episcopal Church Community Christmas

 (Ward 1) John Haroldson, Event Coordinator, has requested the 300 block of Pollock Street be closed on December 20, 2018 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for Christ Episcopal Church’s community Christmas caroling. A memo from Foster Hughes, Director of Parks and Recreation, is attached.

5. Consider Adopting a Revised Resolution Closing Specific Streets for the Beary Merry Christmas Sledding Shopping Event.

 (Ward 1) On November 13, 2018, the Board adopted a resolution to close streets and authorize the use of City-owned lots for the Beary Merry Christmas Sledding Shopping event on December 9, 2018. The weather forecast for December 9th calls for rain. As a result, Amanda Banks, Event Chair, has requested the event be moved to December 22, 2018. Additionally, she has asked that the 300 block of South Front Street be closed instead of the original location at the 200 block of Craven Street. A memo from Foster Hughes is attached.

6. Approve Minutes.

Minutes from the November 27, 2018 regular meeting are provided for review and approval.

***********

7. Presentation of School Essay Contest Winners

The New Bern Police Department and Craven County Schools held its 7th Annual Essay Contest. One of the contest winners will be in attendance to read their essay, and all winners in attendance will be acknowledged and extended a handshake of appreciation from the Governing Board.

8. Appointment of Mayor Pro Tempore for 2019 and Administration of Oath.

 Section 2.4 of the City’s Charter provides that at the first meeting in December, the Board of Aldermen will choose one of its members as Mayor Pro Tempore to serve a one-year term. The mayor pro tempore shall perform the duties of the Mayor during his absence or disability as prescribed by the Charter and the General Statutes.

9. Conduct a Public Hearing, Consider Adopting a Statement of Zoning Consistency, and Consider Adopting an Ordinance to Rezone Three Tracts of Land Identified as Tax Parcels 7-105-17001, 7-105-15000 and 7-105-15001 from A-5 Agricultural District to R-8 Residential.

(Ward 3) Thomas Engineering, agent for Nolan Commercial Contractors, LLC, has requested to have three tracts of property identified as tax parcels 7-105-17001, 7- 105-15000 and 7-105-15001 rezoned from A-5 Agricultural District to R-8 Residential. The property is located to the west of Old Airport Road and to the south of Bettye Gresham Road and jointly consist of approximately 72.23 acres. The Planning and Zoning Board voted unanimously 7-0 on November 13, 2018 to approve the request. State statute and local ordinance require the Governing Board to hold a public hearing to receive comments on rezoning requests, and this hearing

has been duly advertised. After conducting the hearing, the Board is requested to adopt a statement of zoning consistency and then consider approving the ordinance to rezone the property. A memo from Morgan Potts, City Planner, is attached along with a map of the subject property.

10. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving a lease Agreement with NC Coastal land Trust for Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden.

(Ward 2) On August 27, 2013, the Board adopted a resolution approving a 64- month lease with the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust for 1.21 acres of Henderson Park, which is located at 940 Chapman Street. The land has been utilized by the Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden to operate a community garden. The garden assists disabled veterans through the use of horticulture therapy, and it assists disadvantaged or homeless veterans with transitional employment. The lease expired on November 30, 2018, and Lovay Wallace-Singleton, Executive Director of the Garden, is seeking another lease for a 60-month term at a rate of $1.00 per year. The intent to consider the lease has been duly advertised as required by state statute.

11. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving the Sale of 570 NC Hwy.

(Ward 5) An offer of $6,750.00 was received from Edwin B. Franklin, Sr. for the purchase of 570 NC Hwy. 55 W. The offer was advertised as required by law, but no additional bids were received. The parcel is a vacant lot with a tax value of

$13,500.00, and Mr. Franklin’s offer represents 50% of that value. The property was acquired jointly by the City and Craven County through tax foreclosure in May of 2017. The total taxes due to both taxing authorities was $4,860.56. In December 2017, the County transferred its interest in the property to the City. The City subsequently demolished a structure that was on the property due to its deteriorated state and asbestos contamination. As the sole property owner, the cost of $7,354.00 for demolition was paid by the City. If the sale of the property is approved, the City will receive full proceeds less the cost of advertising the offer. A memo from Brenda Blanco, City Clerk, is attached.

12. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving a Supplemental Agreement with NC Department of Transportation Regarding Improvements on Trent

(Ward 2) In 1995, the City and NCDOT entered into an agreement whereby certain state-owned roads would be turned over to the City. One of those roads included Trent Road. As part of the agreement, NCDOT was to complete specific improvements and resurface the road. At this time, NCDOT has completed all of the drainage improvements, but has not completed the resurfacing. The agreement provides NCDOT will pay the City a lump sum of $44,714 in lieu of resurfacing approximately 1,000 linear feet of Trent Road. Public Works has reviewed this offer and feels the lump sum payment is sufficient to cover the cost of resurfacing the area. A memo from Matt Montanye, Director of Public Works, is attached.

13. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving an Audit Contract Amendment for Fiscal Year Ending June 30,

 On May 8, 2018, the Board approved a contract with Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC to perform the City’s audit for Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2018. The terms of the contract provided the audit report would be due on October 31, 2018. Since Hurricane Florence, City staff has been working on recovery efforts and with FEMA on claims arising from the hurricane. Staff has also been in the middle of an ERP conversion. While the City did not lose any records, the hurricane and ERP conversion have prevented staff from finalizing schedules to complete the audit. The Board is asked to consider approving an amendment to the contract to extend the audit due date to December 31, 2018. A memo from J.R. Sabatelli, Director of Finance, is attached.

14. Consider Adopting a Budget Ordinance Amendment for the FY2018-19 Operating Budget.

This budget amendment appropriates $266,460 to the Police Department for upgrades to the New Word computer-aided dispatch software. The Emergency Telephone System Fund has already appropriated $60,000 toward the cost, which brings the total estimated project to $326,460. The additional $266,460 will be paid by an increase in debt proceeds. Additionally, the budget amendment appropriates

$66,000 to E911 for the upgrade to the 911 call-recording system. This appropriation will be offset by an increase in fund balance appropriated. A memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached.

15. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving a Declaration of Intent to Reimburse for FY2018-19 Capital Purchases.

The adopted budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19 included the purchase of several capital items. As a result, the Board adopted a resolution approving a Declaration of Intent to Reimburse on July 10, 2018 for an amount not to exceed $1,149,075. However, the amount has increased by $266,460 for the upgrade to the Police Department’s computer-aided dispatch system. The declaration of intent has been revised to reflect a new total of $1,415,535. A memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached.

16. Consider Adopting an Amendment to the Grant Project Ordinance for the Hurricane Florence Fund.

On October 9, 2018, the Hurricane Florence grant fund was established with an initial budget of $4.4 million. As recovery efforts, repairs, replacements and mitigation costs continue to increase, additional funding may be needed. At this time, an additional $3.6 million is required to allow the recovery efforts to continue. A memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached.

17. Appointment(s).

Esther Hardin’s term on the New Bern-Craven County Public Library expired on December 1, 2018. Ms. Hardin has moved out of the area and is not interested in reappointment. The Board is asked to make an appointment to fill this seat. The appointee will serve a six-year term.

18. Attorney’s Report.

19. City Manager’s

20. New Business

21. Closed

Adjourn

Posted in Board of Aldermen

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