Category: Mayor

October 10th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

3202 Neuse Blvd., the Howling Dog Saloon. Google Street View photo

The Board of Aldermen gave City Attorney Scott Davis direction to file a lawsuit if necessary that would permanently close down a New Bern bar that has been the location of shootings and fights.

The bar, the Howling Dog Saloon at 3202 Neuse Blvd., was the location of two shooting incidents, one in June that wounded two, and one in May 2017 that left one dead and two injured. A fight in August 2016 left a woman with a severe facial laceration.

ABC recently revoked the bar’s licenses. Davis sought permission to file a lawsuit that would not only permanently close Howling Dog Saloon, but would prevent 3202 Neuse Blvd. from being used as a bar in the future and prevent the operator of the Howling Dog Saloon from operating a bar elsewhere in the city.

Davis said the city has attempted to work with the owner to keep the peace at the location, without success.

The Howling Dog Saloon is also known as Flyers 69. The owner had also owned Flyers 70 at 4310 Highway 70 East (just outside city limits) and Flyers 55 on Highway 55 East in Pamlico County. Both of those bars are no longer in business.

The 3202 Neuse Blvd. location has been a neighborhood bar since it was built in 1965, according to county tax records. Davis said the owner of the building rents it to the bar operator, who he did not identify.

Posted in Aldermen, Beer, Board of Aldermen, Business, Crime, Mayor

October 9th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Despite earlier obstacles, a storm-stricken New Bern Housing Authority appears headed toward buying acreage off of Carolina Avenue to build apartments that would replace flood-prone tenements at Trent Court.

City Manager Mark Stephens and his staff are preparing paperwork to sell 8 acres between the Pembroke community and Trent Road, and U.S. 70 and Carolina Avenue. A decision is expected at the next Board of Aldermen meeting later this month.

Kathy Adolph

During the public comments portion of the meeting, New Bern resident Kathy Adolph, a retired teacher and school principal, urged the city to give the Housing Authority the parcel, saying that Trent Court is substandard and prone to frequent flooding.

The Housing Authority, which is independent of the city, wants to build an 80-unit apartment complex off Carolina Avenue that would house some Trent Court residents. That would empty out 80 units in Trent Court that would be razed and replaced.

The Housing Authority had offered $200,000 for the 8-acre parcel. Aldermen voted 6-1 in July to have the parcel appraised.

The Carolina Avenue property sought for purchase by the New Bern Housing Authority is shown boxed in yellow. The Pembroke Community is above and to the right of the lake shown in this aerial view.

The motion was made by Ward 6 Alderman Jeffrey Odham and seconded by Ward 3 Alderman Bobby Aster. What’s interesting was that it was a break from tradition. Motions are usually made by the alderman in whose ward a project is located.

But Ward 2 Alderwoman Jameesha Harris, whose ward includes the Pembroke community, has opposed the plan.

A lot has happened while the appraisal wound its way through city bureaucracy, namely Hurricane Florence.

Housing Authority Executive Director Martin Blaney gave a bleak report about Trent Court during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

Blaney said Trent Court lost 108 out of 218 apartments due to the storm. He said five or six of the most severely damaged buildings should not be reopened. The storm also destroyed the New Bern Housing Authority administration building on South Front Street.

Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Chairman Joseph Anderson, left, and Executive Director Martin Blaney update the New Bern Board of Aldermen about Trent Court flooding. Photo by Randy Foster / New Bern Post

New Bern Towers, located near Trent Court and also owned by the Housing Authority, weathered the hurricane fairly well and will not be replaced.

In order to qualify for competitive funding to help pay for the apartment complex, the Housing Authority has to beat a January deadline to have a fully fleshed-out plan in place.

The ultimate plan is to remove most or all of the old Trent Court tenements and replace them with a combination of green space and mixed-income housing that is less susceptible to flood damage. That housing would be managed by a third party, much like Craven Terrace has been operating for a couple of years.

Most residents of the flood-damaged Trent Court apartment buildings have found temporary housing or have moved to Housing Authority facilities in nearby counties, Blaney said. A couple of Trent Court families are staying at the emergency shelter at West New Bern Recreation Center, while a handful have moved back into Trent Court, despite warnings that doing so puts their health at risk.

Meanwhile, in an effort to address housing shortages in flood-stricken communities like New Bern, FEMA has announced plans to roll out temporary housing for those most in need.



Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, FEMA, Housing, Mayor, New Bern Housing Authority

October 8th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Tune in to Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, when officials with the New Bern Housing Authority will give an update about the status of Trent Court.

Trent Court was hit hard by Hurricane Florence. Alderwoman Jameesha Harris and several other volunteers braved rising floodwaters to evacuate residents who had sheltered in their homes during the storm.

Several feet of water flooded the rows of apartments closest to Lawson Creek, and recovery has been a question, especially considering what has been said in the past about Trent Court’s future.

The Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) plan calls for Trent Court to be razed and replaced with mixed-income housing and green space.

The New Bern Housing Authority has been shopping for acreage to build a new apartment building that would be used to house displaced Trent Court residents during the transition, and Housing Authority officials said the displaced residents would have the opportunity to move back once newly constructed units become available in the future development formerly known as Trent Court.

However, the Housing Authority has been having difficulty finding suitable land for an offsite apartment complex. One location off Carolina Avenue (which is between Trent Road and the Pembroke community) is attractive — located close to shopping and services and is owned by the city — but Alderwoman Harris has raised objections from Pembroke residents who don’t want Trent Court residents to move into their back yard.

Meanwhile, many Trent Court residents don’t want to leave Trent Court.

Next up, however, is Hurricane Florence. Housing Authority officials have said for several years that no more money would be spent to renovate flood-damaged buildings at Trent Court. If that’s the same story now, the race is on to find affected Trent Court residents places to live so that the storm-damaged apartments can be torn down.

Housing Authority Executive Director Martin Blaney did not answer a request to be interviewed by the Post. Granted, he has had a lot on his plate.

Steve Strickland, a member of the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, said, “The exact outcome is still to be determined. We’re working every possible option right now, alongside our efforts to get the current places as habitable as possible as soon as possible for those with no other short-term options.”

When asked if the storm was an opportunity to kickstart the CNI plan by housing South Front Street / Walt Bellamy Drive residents elsewhere so that the buildings most damaged can be razed and replaced, Strickland replied, “Possibly.”


Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, FEMA, Housing, Hurricane, Mayor, New Bern Housing Authority

October 5th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The original plan for Craven Thirty included a large, robust area for commercial and light industrial development.

Remember back in  2012, all the buzz about Craven Thirty? All that sweet, sweet new retail space, a multiplex theater, and new neighborhoods? You probably also remember how last year Craven Thirty morphed into West Craven, with less focus on business and more focus on residential.

Now, more than a year later, West Craven has emerged into the public eye again. Its developer, Weyerhaeuser NR Company, is asking for the city to enter into a development agreement. It is on the Board of Aldermen’s agenda for next Tuesday, when the board is expected to set a date for a public hearing.

And this latest version of West Craven looks a lot like the original Craven Thirty, but with even more commercial space.

Zoning codes are: C-3 commercial, R-6 residential, I-2 light industrial, A-5F agriculture district.

The city entered into a development agreement with Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Development Company in September 2010 for what was to become Craven Thirty. The city annexed the 550-acres Craven Thirty property in December 2012.

A ribbon cutting was conducted by then-Gov. Bev Perdue, and construction was announced to begin in spring 2013. Some streets were put in, along with other infrastructure, but nothing else was built during he intervening six years. Blame the economy.

The revised and renamed project would include just under 250 acres for residential development, just under 250 acres of commercial development, just over 47 acres for light industrial, and just over 27 acres of agriculture forestry district with low-density residential uses.

The plan calls for a total of 1,500 residential units phased in over 15 years, 500,000 square feet of non-residential space, a 150-room hotel sometime during the first five years, and 10 acres for a private school, also during the first five years.

The agreement establishes the development phasing sequences for the project, establishes a Master Development Plan and development review process that can accommodate the timing, phasing and flexibility of the project, coordinates the construction and design of infrastructure that will serve the project and the community at large, confirms the dedication and/or provision of public amenities by the developer, and provides assurances to the developer that it may proceed with the project in accordance with the approved original zoning and the terms of this agreement without encountering future changes in ordinances, regulations, technical standards or policies that would affect its ability to develop the relevant parcels under the approved zoning and the terms hereof.

The project will include small neighborhoods, a walkable village area, and connections to open space that will “support and reinforce the City of New Bern as an attractive place to live, work and recreate.” The size and scale of the project requires a long-term commitment of both public and private resources and requires careful integration between the programming of public capital facilities, the phasing of development and the development review and approval process.

The West Craven site is well suited for access from all parts of New Bern, or it will be. It is located at the intersection of U.S. 70 and the N.C. 43 connector. There are plans to extend the N.C. 43 connector from where it now ends just west of U.S. 70, all the way through to U.S. 17.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Business, Community, Mayor, New Bern, New Bern business and commerce, Planning and Zoning

September 27th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Cleanup, rebuilding, and housing are now the city’s focus in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, officials said during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

It was the first routine meeting of the board since before Hurricane Florence.

Jordan Hughes, city engineer, was filling in for City Manager Mark Stephens during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

Stephens and Alderman Jeffrey Odham were out of town on business, including a meeting with U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-Winterville.

Alderman Johnnie Ray Kinsey was not at Tuesday’s meeting.

Hughes described the city’s initial response to Hurricane Florence as outstanding.

The city started preparing for a disaster such as Florence back in the spring, when it began contracting with different companies and agencies to provide the myriad services necessary in a disaster.

Once Florence reached New Bern, it was essentially all hands on deck with city staff, Hughes said.

“We found a lot of creative roles for people to fill way outside their normal duties,” he said.

Firefighters responded to emergencies that included one full-on structure fire in Olde Towne, where a two-story house was destroyed due to a portable generator malfunction.

During the storm, there were 800 swift water rescues, city officials reported.

“Going through Irene in 2011 and getting through that with the city, … we’ve made monumental improvements in our emergency planning, how we bulk up our resources before the storm, everybody understanding what their role is during the storm, and you really can see that come together,” Hughes said. “I think we put it through a pretty good test over the last couple of weeks, and I’ll tell you it’s a darn good plan at this point.”

Now the city’s full focus is on recovery and rebuilding of the community, he said.

Every department and offices are fully open except those facilities temporarily closed.

Closed facilities include Parks and Rec admin center, which was flooded and moved to, ironically, the Aquatics Center. West New Bern Recreation Center gym and game room being used as an evacuation shelter. City boat launches, Stanley White Rec Center, Union Point Park, Lawson Creek Park, Glenburnie Park, Dog Park and Bear Plaza are all closed.

A few customers are still without power due to damage to specific services. They can call 252-636-4070 for help and information, Hughes said.

Other items related to Hurricane Florence

Storm debris

Trash pickup resuming normal schedule. Debris collection is underway.

The recycling plant in Jacksonville is out of power. Recycling service in New Bern is suspended as a result. The county’s Convenience Centers are open, for anyone who has recycling they need to dispose of. Absent that, anything that goes to the curb will be picked up, Matt Montanye, public works director, said.

“We spent most of last week preparing the removal sites to receive debris,” he said. The city started removing debris on Friday. As of Tuesday morning, city workers had moved 126 loads, or 3,700 cubic yards, of vegetative debris, 101 tons of construction debris, and were working on fallen and falling trees.

Removing construction debris will be the biggest problem, he said. Ten city trucks are picking up debris. Supplementing that  are truck crews from Wilson, Garner, Rocky Mount, and Greenville. They are all working on commercial debris, from Batts Hill to North Glenburnie Road.

Meanwhile, 31 teams picking up vegetative debris spread throughout the city.

“The city has 188 miles of streets. Please be patient. We will get to you,” he said.

In all, close to 100 people are picking up debris.

The city asks citizens to separate construction debris and furniture in one pile, and appliances and vegetative debris in their own separate piles.

Citizens need to put their debris piles near the street, but not on the street.

“If it is out there, we are going to pick it up,” he said.


Curfew was working really well, said Mayor Dana Outlaw, who ordered the curfew. One evening while trying to make his way downtown on city business, he was denied entrance to the downtown area because of the curfew.


There have been no announcements regarding whether public schools will resume on Monday. Workers were moving evacuation centers from several elementary schools to other locations so that school can resume. School has been out since noon Tuesday, Sept. 11. Expect something to be announced on Friday about whether school will resume on Monday. Onslow County Schools will not be open next week.

Programs are suspended

Parks and Recreation Director Foster Hughes said there was 2-feet of water in Stanley White Recreation Center. The gymnasium floor is ruined, and it will take several months before the facility can be back in shape.

Elsewhere, all city boat launches are destroyed.

“It’s going to take some time for us to get those things together,” he said.

Meanwhile, West New Bern Recreation Center is closed for recreation purposes. It is being used as a consolidated evacuation center, taking in evacuees who had been staying at Brinson Elementary School and Ben D. Quinn Elementary School.

Paying for it all

Getting reimbursed from the federal government can be a tedious, time-consuming process. Said Alderman Bobby Aster, the city has not finished with reimbursements from FEMA for Hurricanes Irene and Matthew.

The city may hire a consultant to shepherd the city’s way through the complexities of reimbursement. The good news is, the consultant fees are reimbursable.

Aster, who was New Bern’s fire chief before he retired, said damage from Hurricane Florence is quadruple that of Irene, which struck New Bern in August 2011.

Alderman Sabrina Bengel pointed out that the reason the city maintains a healthy fund balance is for situations just like Hurricane Florence. The city may get reimbursed for most of its storm-related expenses, but meanwhile, it has to pay those costs up-front.

The King’s English

Alderman Bobby Aster, who has a great deal of experience dealing with disasters, is well-versed in FEMA jargon. During Tuesday’s meeting, he asked Jerry Haney, Area 3 division supervisor for FEMA Region 4, about numerous things using a variety of acronyms. “When will the PA on site, for the PA people,” Aster asked, for example.

After a few more exchanges like that, Alderwoman Jameesha Harris asked if they could use more common terms.

“You guys are like best friends having a conversation and we’re just sitting here …” she said.

How long is this going to take?

FEMA’s Jerry Haney said he hopes to be home by Thanksgiving.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Craven County, Hurricane, Mayor, New Bern

August 30th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The city will fund six school resource officers, some costs of which will be covered by a state grant, although aldermen and the mayor grumbled that the county ought to be putting up some of the money to fund the positions.

The resource officers are posted at New Bern High School, H.J. McDonald Middle School, and Grover C. Fields Middle School. New this year will be resource officers posted at Oaks Road Elementary School and J.T. Barbour Elementary School.

No one argues against posting school resource officers at the schools. The sticking point is that three of the schools — New Bern High and the two middle schools — have students who don’t live inside city limits. Some aldermen think the county should chip in to cover its share of the enrollment.

The resource officers cost about $81,000 per year for salary, benefits, and equipment. They are available for regular police duties during two summer months when school is out of session, said New Bern Police Chief Toussaint Summers.

State grant money covers $39,000 per resource officer for the high school and middle schools, with the city paying the balance.

New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw said the county, the school district, and cities in Craven County need to get together to find an equitable way to cover the cost of school resource officers.

Meanwhile, he said, he’ll “old my nose and vote for this.”

“In today’s society, you can’t not have a resource officers in these schools,” Outlaw said.

Alderman Sabrina Bengel said she feels bullied into a decision. “I don’t like the political nature of this,” she said.

Alderwoman Jameesha Harris said “This is a tax burden I would like to have in order to have my children be safe.”

Chief Summers said the benefits of the city providing resource officers to the schools outweighs the costs. The officers spend the school year getting to know teenagers in the community, and during the summertime, a “very busy time” for the Police Department, the officers are available for patrol duty and to hold youth summer camps.

In addition, should an incident occur on campus, resource officers there could facilitate the arrival of other law enforcement as they arrive.

At present, the New Bern Police Department has 86 personnel, plus two trainees and one vacancy. He said on average NBPD has a 10 percent turnover rate.

To the question of whether to fund resource officers for New Bern High School and the two middle schools, aldermen voted 6-1, with Alderman Barbara Best voting against it. To the question of whether to add one resource officer each to J.T. Barbour and Oaks Road elementary schools, the vote was 5-2, with Best and Bengal voting against it.

In a memo to aldermen, Chief Summers provided information supporting the addition of resource officers to the two elementary schools. Three other elementary schools inside city limits would not have resource officers.

Craven County has budgeted $99,000 for these two positions, leaving the city of New Bern with $10,000 in costs.

“(The two) elementary schools have been identified as having students with limited positive interaction with police officers. Assigning School Resource Officers would facilitate a safe learning environment, encourage positive relationships with law enforcement and reduce the number of violent acts within our schools. If approved, the newly inducted School Resource Officers would promote anti-bullying initiatives, lead drug and crime prevention programs, provide a safe and secure campus for both the students and the teaching staff during regular school hours and at after-school activities.”

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Craven County Board of Commissioners, Craven County Schools, Mayor

June 22nd, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

JUNE 26, 2018 –  6 P.M.

Download Agenda with Backup Materials


Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor

June 13th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin
Mayor Dana Outlaw declares the first and second motions dead based on lack of seconds. Alderman Sabrina Bengel promptly followed up with another motion that passed on a 4-1 vote.


Newly elected aldermen outvoted their more senior colleagues on Tuesday, initiating a more lenient utility rate deposit policy that takes effect July 1 but is not retroactive.

On Alderman Sabrina Bengel’s motion and Alderman Jameesha Harris’ second, the board voted 4-3 for the revised policy, which states:

  • Per fiscal year, deposits will not be assessed on the first payment arrangement.  Payment arrangements may be billed as installments.  No late penalties or fees will be assessed if the payment plan is adhered to as agreed upon.
  • Per fiscal year, deposits will not be assessed for the first check returned for insufficient funds.
  • New customers may pay deposits in installments with 50 percent due at the time service is established and the balance payable over four billing cycles.  Payment arrangements are not permitted until the deposit is paid.
  • New residential deposits shall not exceed $500.

Bengel, Harris, and Alderman Barbara Best drafted the policy revisions and were expected to vote for it. The only question was whether there would be a forth vote necessary to pass it.

But Best had new concerns about deposit refunds. At present, security deposits are returned after 18 months of good payments. Even with the revised policy, one payment arrangement would restart the 18 month period before the deposit is refunded to the customer.

Best argued that one payment arrangement should not prevent a customer from receiving a refund after one 18-month period.

Harris went the entire opposite direction. She said by reducing the security deposit to $500, it puts the city at further financial risk. She argued that security deposits should be returned only when a customer leaves the city.

Alderman Bobby Aster, a potential swing vote, questioned whether that would be fair, saying the city would then be holding onto deposits for years or decades.

Harris made the initial motion, which did not get a second, mainly because of wording issues.

Bengel made a second motion that would have allowed customers to have their security deposit refunded after 18 months even if during that time they had made one payment arrangement, provided they completed the payment arrangement during that 18 months.

Harris said she would not support that motion, saying the city should not refund security deposits except when a customer leaves the city.

Perhaps seeing an opportunity to stall the revision of a policy that he implemented during his first term as mayor, Mayor Dana Outlaw declared the two motions dead for lack of being seconded.

He suggested that the board wait before changing the policy. The city has not fully rolled out its advanced utility metering system or a program that allows customers to prepay their bills, he said. The city also has a new utilities director who has not had a chance to weigh in on the issue.

Alderman Jeffrey Odham agreed, saying that changing the policy would be jumping the gun.

Alderman Johnnie Ray Kinsey, who at first said he liked the Bengel/Harris/Best plan, agreed with Outlaw and Odham.

Undeterred, with Best’s permission, Bengel made another motion, this one free of any mention of deposit refunds, guaranteeing at least the three votes from the committee that drafted the policy revisions. That motion passed, 4-1, with Astor casting the deciding vote.

The financial impact on the city is that it puts up to $72,000 at risk if customers default.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor, Utilities

June 8th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

New Bern aldermen on Tuesday will consider a proposal to lessen the severity of the city’s utility deposit policy that has sometimes resulted in four-figure deposits for new customers with less than stellar credit, and soften other rules aimed at existing customers who fall behind in paying their bill.

The recommendations cap the deposit at $500 for new residents, rather than the sum of the two highest bills rung up by the previous resident. It also won’t kick in the first time when a customer who has fallen behind asks for a payment arrangement, or the first time a customer’s check bounces.

Payments could also be billed as installments.

The city’s utility deposit has been controversial from the start (it was instituted in 2014), putting low- and moderate-income individuals and small businesses struggling to make ends meet in further financial distress. However, it has helped the city reduce the rate of bad debt write-offs, and earned the city a coveted top rating from an agency that virtually no one in New Bern outside city hall cares about.

At its May 8, meeting, the Governing Board established a working group consisting of aldermen Sabrina Bengel, Jameesha Harris and Barbara Best to meet with the Director of Finance to discuss the utility deposit.

As a result of the group’s discussions, the following changes are recommended for residential customers effective July 1:

  • Per fiscal year, deposits will not be assessed on the first payment arrangement.  Payment arrangements may be billed as installments.  No late penalties or fees will be assessed if the payment plan is adhered to as agreed upon.
  • Per fiscal year, deposits will not be assessed for the first check returned for insufficient funds.
  • New customers may pay deposits in installments with 50 percent due at the time service is established and the balance payable over four billing cycles.  Payment arrangements are not permitted until the deposit is paid.
  • New residential deposits shall not exceed $500.
  • These changes are not retroactive.A memo from J.R. Sabatelli, Director of Finance is attached and provides additional, pertinent information. (See Backup)

The agenda item calls for a discussion, and it takes four votes of the seven-member board to pass an item that has been moved for consideration.

Assuming that Bengel, Harris, and Best vote for the policy (since they are the ones who proposed it), it would need only one more vote to pass. It is doubtful that Alderman Jeffrey Odham or Mayor Dana Outlaw would vote for it, since they were the ones who pushed for the existing policy back in 2014. Alderman Johnnie Ray Kinsey was also on the board that approved the existing policy, but he has shown more willingness to vote with new board members and against the previous status quo.

It is unknown how new Alderman Bobby Aster will vote.

Previous coverage:

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor

June 8th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Note: Links expire when next agenda is posted

JUNE 12, 2018 – 6:00 P.M.

1. Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw.  Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Odham.  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. Approve Minutes.
Minutes from the May 14, 2018 budget work session and May 22, 2018 regular meeting are provided for review and approval.


5. Recognition of Graduates of Police Academy.
Graduates of the recent Citizens Police Academy will be in attendance to give an overview of their experience.  The latest academy marked the 22nd session that has been held. (See Backup)

6. Discussion of Utility Deposits.
At its May 8, 2018 meeting, the Governing Board established a working group consisting of Aldermen Bengel, Harris and Best to meet with the Director of Finance to discuss the utility deposit.  As a result of the group’s discussions, the following changes are recommended for residential customers effective July 1st:

• Per fiscal year, deposits will not be assessed on the first payment arrangement.  Payment arrangements may be billed as installments.  No late penalties or fees will be assessed if the payment plan is adhered to as agreed upon.

• Per fiscal year, deposits will not be assessed for the first check returned for insufficient funds.

• New customers may pay deposits in installments with 50% due at the time service is established and the balance payable over four billing cycles.  Payment arrangements are not permitted until the deposit is paid.

• New residential deposits shall not exceed $500.

• These changes are not retroactive.A memo from J.R. Sabatelli, Director of Finance is attached and provides additional, pertinent information. (See Backup)

7. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving Financing Terms for the Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) Project.
The Board established the ERP Project Fund on November 21, 2017 and adopted a Declaration of Official Intent to Reimburse at that time.  Requests for financing proposals were issued, and the Director of Finance recommends First Citizens Bank be utilized.  While their interest rate of 3.22% is slightly higher than that offered by SunTrust (3.17%), First Citizens allows the loan to be prepaid with no penalty or other fees.  A memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached. (See Backup)

8. Consider Adopting a Resolution in Support of the Highway 43 Connector Project.
(Ward 6) At the May 22, 2018 Board meeting, Alderman Odham reported on a recent meeting held by the NC Department of Transportation with respect to plans for the Highway 43 Connector.  The proposed resolution relays the City’s support of the DOT plan identified as Alternate #2.  It also requests DOT give consideration to the sound impact on the existing residential neighborhoods of Trent Creek, Arcadia Village and Craeberne Forest. (See Backup)

9. Consider Adopting a Resolution in Support of Changing the Alfred Cunningham Memorial Bridge Schedule.
(Ward 1) Citizens and merchants have expressed concerns about the Alfred Cunningham drawbridge schedule.  The current schedule allows the bridge to open at will or on demand two to three times per hour.  This not only creates traffic congestion, but it is also an inconvenience to motorists, local residents and businesses in and around downtown.  The resolution proposes the schedule be altered to open only on the half hour of every hour. (See Backup)

10. Consider Adopting a Budget Ordinance Amendment for the FY2017-18 Grants Fund.
The Fire Department has received a $2,000 grant from Petco Foundation for the care of the department’s arson dog.  The budget amendment acknowledges receipt of the grant funds, which requires no match.  A brief memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached. (See Backup)

11. Consider Adopting an Ordinance Amendment to the 2017 Roadway Improvements Project Fund.
The 2017 Roadway Improvements Project Fund was established on July 11, 2017.  On March 13, 2018, the Board approved an agreement with NCDOT to accept ownership and maintenance of sections of Old Airport Road between Taberna Circle and County Line Road.  This budget ordinance will appropriate $1,700,000 for the Old Airport Road project and $800,000 for resurfacing Oaks Road.  Funds for the Old Airport Road project will derive of $687,000 from DOT and $1,013,000 from borrowing proceeds. A memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached. (See Backup)

12. Consider Adopting an Amendment to the Declaration of Intent to Reimburse the 2017 Roadway Improvements Project Fund.
The Board adopted resolutions and Declarations of Intent to Reimburse for the 2017 Roadway Improvements Project Fund on July 11, 2017 in the amount of $250,000 and on September 26, 2017 in the amount of $1,050,000.  Since that time, the Board has further increased the project by an additional $1,813,000.  The total of the project is $2,863,000, and the Declaration of Intent needs to be updated to reflect this amount.  A memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached. (See Backup)

13. Consider Adopting an Ordinance to Amend Article III. City Water and Sewerage Systems of Chapter 74 “Utilities”.
House Bill 436 was passed by the NC General Assembly in July 2017 to amend Chapter 162A of the General Statutes to add Article 8, System Development Fees.  This amendment provides for uniform authority to implement system development fees for public water and sewer systems in the State.  The City’s Code of Ordinances needs to be amended to establish the water and sewer system development fees and provide the City authority to charge such fees.  A memo from Jordan Hughes, City Engineer, is attached. (See Backup)

14. Consider Adopting an Ordinance to Establish the Schedule of System Development Fees and Connection Fees for Water and Sewer Customers.
This relates to the previous item.  Upon its adoption, the proposed ordinance will establish the Schedule of System Development Fees and Connection Fees for water and sewer.  A memo from Jordan Hughes, City Engineer, is attached. (See Backup)

15. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving the Classification Pay Plan for Fiscal Year 2018-19.
Annually, the Board adopts a Classification Pay Plan.  In the past, the pay plan was adopted as part of the annual budget ordinance.  After conferring with Attorney Davis, it has been determined the pay plan should be adopted in the format of a resolution and separate from the budget ordinance.  A memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached. (See Backup)

16. Consider Adopting an Ordinance Amending the Schedule of Fees and Charges.
As part of the budget process, the Board annually adopts an Amended Schedule of Fees and Charges to, in part, identify in one place all of the fees charged by the City.  The fees identified in the schedule are included in the revenue projections for Fiscal Year 2018-19 and will be effective July 1, 2018.Please note two schedules are presented for consideration.  One schedule does not reference the utility deposit cap of $500 identified during the discussion on the utility deposit.  The other scheduled does include the deposit cap. A memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached. (See Backup 1) (See Backup 2) (See Backup 3)

17. Consider Adopting the Budget Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2018-19.
After extensive review of the Manager’s recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19, several budget workshops, and an extended public hearing, the changes expressed by the Board have been incorporated into the final budget ordinance for Fiscal Year 2018-19.  A memo from Mr. Sabatelli outlines the changes made to the recommended budget. (See Backup)

18. Appointment(s).
(a)  On May 22, 2018, Alderman Kinsey appointed John Leys to fill the seat previously held by Nancy Gray on the Historic Preservation Commission.  Mr. Leys is unable to accept the appointment, and Alderman Kinsey is asked to make a new appointment.  The appointee will serve a three-year term. (See Backup)

(b)  The first tenure of the Community Development Advisory Committee (“CDAC”) is coming to an end, and the members’ terms will expire on June 30, 2018.  Some have expressed a desire to be reappointed, while others have not.  Appointments or reappointments have been made for Wards 1, 2 and 6.  The following appointments are still needed, and the list provided simply reflects the current appointees:

Ward 3:        Marshall Williams

Ward 4:        Vernon Guion (interested in reappointment)

Ward 5:        Dell Simmons (See Backup)

(c)   Charles Bauschard, Director of Public Utilities, began work on May 29, 2018.  The previous director was appointed as the City’s Commissioner on the NC Eastern Municipal Power Agency.  The Board is asked to consider appointing Mr. Bauschard to fill this vacancy.  Of note, the City Manager serves as the first alternate commissioner, and Alderwoman Harris serves as the second alternate commissioner. (See Backup)

19. Attorney’s Report.
20. City Manager’s Report.
21. New Business.
22. Closed Session.
23. Adjourn

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor, New Bern

%d bloggers like this: