Memo to: Mayor and Board of Aldermen
From: Mark A. Stephens, City Manager
Date: March 21, 2017
Re: March 28, 2017 Agenda Explanations
1. Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw. Prayer Coordinated by Alderman White. Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Roll Call.
3. Approve Minutes.
Minutes from the March 14, 2017 regular meeting and March 21, 2017 work session are provided for review and approval.
On March 21, 2017, the City Clerk distributed closed session minutes for September 20, 2016, September 27, 2016, October 25, 2016, November 22, 2016, January 10, 2017, January 24, 2017, and February 14, 2017. These minutes are also to be considered for approval.
4. Conduct a Public Hearing and Consider Adopting a Resolution to Adopt Historic District Guidelines.
This public hearing on the final draft of the 2017 Historic Preservation Guidelines was appropriately called for at the March 14, 2017 meeting. The proposed changes will create a more concise handbook for both staff and the general public. The revised document will expand the list of minor works, remove redundancies and inconsistencies, and add definitions and architectural terms. Zoning-related matters have been removed since they are not in the purview of the Historic Preservation Commission (“HPC”). Changes to the Land-Use Ordinance require approval by the Board of Aldermen. Of note, public hearings on the new guidelines were held by the HPC and Planning & Zoning Board, and both unanimously recommended approval. Morgan Jethro, City Planner, has provided a brief memo, a copy of the proposed guidelines, and an index of changes. (See Backup: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Index of Changes, Power Point Presentation)
5. Presentation by United Way of Coastal Carolina on Proposed Park on City-Owned Property at 930 Queen Street.
(Ward 1) In observance of United Way of Coastal Carolina’s 60th anniversary, they are proposing to erect a small pocket park at 930 Queen Street, which is just off of Broad Street at the corner of Queen and Roundtree Streets. Sandra Phelps, Executive Director of United Way of Coastal Carolina, will share a PowerPoint presentation on the proposed park. This venture will require approval from the Board of Aldermen. Upon approval, the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan will be updated to incorporate the new park, and United Way may begin working with staff to facilitate implementation. (See Backup)
6. Presentation on Fiscal Year 2017-18 Funding Requests for Lobbying Not Contractual in Nature.
On behalf of Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (“ACT”) and the Highway 17 Transportation Association, Marc Finlayson will provide an update on the lobbying efforts of both organizations. The City has received requests for FY 2017-18 funding in the amount of $12,500 from Highway 17 Association and $14,200 from ACT. Copies of both organizations’ 990 Tax Returns are attached. (See Backup)
7. Annual Presentation of GIS Update.
Alice Wilson, GIS Coordinator, will show a PowerPoint presentation on the progress made since the Strategic GIS Plan was approved in March 2015. This presentation will satisfy the plan’s provision for an annual report to the Board of Aldermen. (See Backup)
8. Discuss Election Process and Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving a Municipal Agreement with Craven County Board of Elections.
A brief update will be presented on the status of the current proposed legislation being considered by the NC Legislature regarding municipal elections, as outlined in the attached memo.
As you are aware, the City utilizes Craven County Board of Elections to conduct its municipal elections. The proposed agreement with the County reiterates the City’s desires for the 2017 nonpartisan election to continue allowing for absentee voting and runoffs, if needed. The City will pay the actual costs associated with the election, including all expenses related to absentee voting. The estimated costs for the 2017 election is $74,703.87.
If the City operated its elections under the nonpartisan plurality method in the month of November, the County estimates a projected savings of $49,000 could be realized for the 2017 elections. Other scenarios for savings are to opt out of absentee voting, which would result in an estimated savings of $14,700 for 2017. Additional scenarios are outlined on the attached sheet entitled Election Costs Review. (See Backup)
9. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving a Professional Services Agreement with Eastern Carolina Council.
(Ward 1) An agreement is proposed with Eastern Carolina Council (“ECC”) for the administration of the Economic Development Administration (“EDA”) grant received for the creation of the Work Force Development Center at 205 First Street. As the City’s administrative agent, ECC will administer certain aspects of the project, including project reporting and support services. Under the agreement, the cost of these professional services shall not exceed $25,000, which is reimbursable through the grant proceeds. A memo from Cindy Blot, Community and Economic Development Manager, is provided. (See Backup)
10. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving the Revised Purchasing Policy.
At the Board’s February 28, 2017 meeting, a Purchasing Policy was presented for approval. Several questions arose during the discussion of the policy, and the Board elected to table the matter until those aldermen with questions were afforded an opportunity to further discuss the matter with staff. Some of the fundamental policy changes include making reference to the Assistant City Manager position, increasing the City Manager’s authority from $250,000 to $500,000 for approval of construction contracts and service and lease contracts, and additional language for multiyear contracts, bid protests, and Department Head delegation of formal contract approval. A memo from J.R. Sabatelli, Director of Finance, is attached. (See Backup)
11. Consider Adopting a Resolution Initiating the Upset Bid Process for Moore Avenue Property Bearing Tax Parcel ID 8-037-046.
(Ward 2) Carol Williams has offered $5,500.00 for the purchase of real property located on Moore Avenue and identified as tax parcel ID 8-037-046. This offer in excess of the $5,000.00 tax value. The property is a vacant lot owned jointly between Craven County and the City. It was acquired in April 2013 due to tax foreclosure. If the upset bid process is initiated, no additional bids are received, and the property is sold for the initial bid, the City would receive approximately $3,278.74 from the proceeds of the sale, and the County would receive approximately $2,221.26. A memo from Brenda Blanco, City Clerk, is attached along with a map of the property and a copy of the offer. (See Backup)
12. Consider Adopting a Resolution Initiating the Upset Bid Process for 1818 Greensboro Street.
(Ward 5) The City and Craven County jointly own real property located at 1818 Greensboro Street. Otis Woolard has offered $1,950.00 for the purchase of the property. The property is a vacant lot acquired in April 2015 due to tax foreclosure. The tax value of this vacant parcel is $7,800.00 and the offer represents 25% of the tax value. If the upset bid is initiated and no additional bids are received, the County will receive approximately $1,576.18, and the City will receive approximately $373.82. A memo from the City Clerk is attached along with a copy of the offer to purchase and tax card. (See Backup)
13. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving the Sale of 824 Chapman Street.
(Ward 1) On February 14, 2017, the Board adopted a resolution initiating the upset bid process for 824 Chapman Street after receiving an offer or $1,000.00 from Lovay Wallace-Singleton. The initial offer was advertised as required by state statute, but no upset bids were received. The vacant lot is owned jointly between Craven County and the City. It was acquired in April 2014 due to tax foreclosure. If the sale of the property is approved, the City will receive approximately $441.63 from the proceeds of the sale, and the County will receive approximately $558.37. A memo from the City Clerk is attached along with a map of the property and a copy of the offer. (See Backup)
14. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving the Installation of Additional Street Lights on Yarmouth Road, Hawks Pond Road, Tram Road, Batts Hill Road and Penn Street.
(Wards 2, 3 and 6) Residents have requested additional street lights on Yarmouth Road, Hawks Pond Road, Tram Road, Batts Hill Road and Penn Street. The Department of Public Utilities evaluated these requests and determined additional street lighting is necessary at these locations in order to meet the City’s street-lighting standard. Installation of the lights will cost $11,441.37, and the monthly utility charge will be $76.81. A memo from Jordan Hughes, Acting Director of Public Utilities, is attached along with maps outlining the location of the new lights. (See Backup)
15. Consider Adopting an Ordinance Amending the New Bern Appearance Commission.
The New Bern Appearance Commission was established by Ordinance on July 28, 1987, which was subsequently modified on August 25, 1998. The purpose of the Commission is to serve the Board of Aldermen in an advisory capacity with respect to facilitating the planning, growth, and protection of trees on public property and street rights-of-way, and to recommend programs to enhance and improve the visual quality and aesthetic characteristics of the City. The original ordinance provided for 11 members on the Commission. Over the years, it has been difficult to meet the needed quorum of 6 in order to conduct meetings. The proposed amendment will reduce the commission to 5 members, of which at least 3 shall have had special training or experience in a design field such as architecture, landscape design, horticulture, city planning, or a closely-related field. In addition, the amendment provides that nominations of members be made on a rotating basis among the Aldermen and Mayor, pointing out that such nominations are not restricted to the nominating alderman’s ward. Attached is a copy of the original Ordinance from 1987, the amendment from 1998, and a memo from Thurman Hardison, Director of Parks and Recreation regarding the changes currently proposed. (See Backup)
Alderman Taylor is requested to make an appointment to the Friends of New Bern Firemen’s Museum Board of Directors. This appointment will fill seat 2 which was vacated by the unfortunate passing of Betecher Bell. The new appointee will serve out the remainder of Mr. Bell’s term, which expires on April 22, 2019. (See Backup)
17. Attorney’s Report.
18. City Manager’s Report.
19. New Business.
20. Closed Session.
INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES REQUIRING SPECIAL ASSISTANCE SHOULD CALL
639-7501 NO LATER THAN 3 P.M. THE DATE OF THE MEETING