- Administrative & Legal Services Department
Positively Eden! Strategic Plan – Update
The Steering Committee for the Positively Eden! Strategic Plan met with City staff on Friday, August 11 to receive final copies of the plan and to receive updates from City staff concerning implementation of the plan and the staffing responsibilities for each strategy.
Final copies of the plan will be distributed to the Mayor and members of City Council during the City Council meeting on August 15 and on August 16 a link to the final plan will be available on the home page of our website at www.edennc.us/. In addition, on August 16 unbound copies will be available for purchase by anyone interested at a cost of $15.00 from the Planning and Inspections Department.
Future updates on the implementation efforts related to each strategy will be provided periodically to the Steering Committee, City Council and then included in my monthly report and/or as a link on the home page of our website. An initial update from the five staff members overseeing the efforts to achieve the five strategies identified in the report that was provided to the Steering Committee on August 11 has been included at the end of this report for informational purposes.
Citizens Academy Update
The 2017 Citizen’s Academy is scheduled to get underway on August 17. We have 15 individuals that will be participating in the academy. They include:
Leialoha Autry, Gerri Hunt, Christy Ann Bailey, Mona Lisa McCorkle, James A. Bollengier, Deirdre Moyer, Teresa Bray, Patrick Reamy, LaTisha Brown, Michael Richardson, Sandra Brown, Aris Rosario, Barbara Rasine Garland, Sandy Williams and Jackie Hampton
The schedule for the 2017 academy is as follows:
- August 17: Welcome, Historical Background, Consolidation, Form of Government, City Structure & Roles of Mayor, City Council and Appointed Staff, Eden Youth Council, & Positively Eden! Strategic Plan
- August 24: Police Department & Information Technology Department
- August 31: Fire Department
- September 7: Public Utilities, Water Filtration Plant & Wastewater Treatment Plant
- September 14: Municipal Services Department (Streets, Solid Waste, Collection & Distribution, Fleet Maintenance, Facilities & Grounds) & Engineering Department
- September 21: Economic & Tourism Development Department
- September 28: Parks & Recreation Department
- October 5: Planning & Inspections Department
- October 12: Finance & Human Resources Department
- October 17: City Council Meeting - Graduation
Economic & Tourism Development Department
MillerCoors Site Update
Activity on this site has increased significantly since June of 2017. The City is working with a NC industrial broker on one of these projects. The persistent rumors of Pabst having already purchased the facility are not true as no offers had been made on the property as of mid-July. MillerCoors has made selling the property to a manufacturer a top priority because the company wants to replace the lost jobs at the brewery. The rumors that MillerCoors will not sell to another brewer are also untrue. The City of Eden, Rockingham County and NC Department of Commerce are working all potential leads on this site.
Building Rehabilitation Grant
The Positively Eden! Strategic Plan includes a strategy to “Broaden The Impact of Downtown Eden” and associated with this strategy is the goal to “expand private investment incentives to improve Downtown’s public space”. On August 15 Mr. Mike Dougherty, Director of Economic Development and Mr. Randy Hunt, Main Street Manager will be unveiling and presenting to the City Council the new Building Rehabilitation Grant (BRG) program. This program is designed to encourage rehabilitation of existing buildings or assist in building up fits for new businesses. The grants range from $500 to $5,000 and can cover up to 33.3% of rehabilitation costs, provided specific eligibility requirements are met. The grant program will be available to property and business owners in Eden’s traditional downtown areas of Historic Leaksville, Downtown Draper, The Boulevard and The Cook Block.
Berry Hill Mega Park Update
Work continues on our efforts to find additional grant funding for the water infrastructure needs of the Berry Hill Mega Park. It appears we are in good position to receive a $2.0 million EDA grant as long as we can get assurances from six property owners that they would be willing to negotiate an easement for the placement of the waterline. Efforts to secure the necessary assurances are currently underway. Travelers on Berry Hill Road can now see the cleared sites within this park and its potential for industrial development. The Commonwealth of Virginia and local Danville and Pittsylvania County developers are aggressively marketing the park, as economic development in “south side” Virginia is a top priority within that state. City staff here in Eden is continuing to work with Dewberry Engineering in reference to the water extension design/plans and we are eagerly awaiting the due diligence decisions by The Southern Company and Enviva, as well as progress with other prospective clients.
Guilford Apprenticeship Partners presented a program that has been running in Guilford County for the last few years and is now being implemented in Randolph County. They want Rockingham to be part of this program. The NC General Assembly has allocated $3.5 million to the program for the 2018-19 fiscal year. High School Juniors and Seniors spend ½ a day in class and ½ a day at a local company learning a skill. They spend 6,400 hours on the job and 1,600 hours at a community college. At the end of the apprenticeship they have earned a two- year degree, a Journeyman’s Certificate and are guaranteed a job. They are paid throughout this process. The process takes about a year to implement. Seven Rockingham County companies have expressed interest and more are being sought. An estimated 10 million skilled worker positions will be open within five years due to retirements. Apprenticeships offer a way to help fill these positions.
Main Street Statistics-Eden Exceeds $8 Million In Investment
Each July, statistics are compiled on activity within the downtown areas of Historic Leaksville and Downtown Draper as part of Eden’s participation in the NC Main Street program. Since August of 2016, the following has happened in these downtown areas:
Current Year Since 2003
Façade’s redone 5 59
Building Rehabs 3 67
Net New Jobs 10 189
Net New Businesses 0 63
Business Expansions 0 17
Public Investment $ 133,044 $1,623,704
Private Investment $ 959,659 $6,495,546
Total Investment $1,092,703 $8,120,300
The $959,659 is the single highest amount of private investment made in Eden’s downtown areas since our city became a NC Main Street community in 2003. Eden also passed a milestone with more than $8,120,300 in total investment in the downtown areas.
The City thanks those business and property owners who invested their time, resources and diligent work to make a difference in our downtown areas.
Downtown Commercial Updates
Central Hotel – Owner Jonathan Wise was contacted about the Central Hotel. He stated that he intends to reinstall the windows in the hotel soon.
Ashley Latham Photography – Interior upgrades on the Washington Street building that photographer Ashley Latham has renovated are about 90% complete and she has begun a façade installation. She expects to be operating in August.
Barbershop – The new barbershop at 658 Washington Street will open soon.
Full Moon Saloon – It appears that a sale is imminent on the former Full Moon Saloon building. What has been a dormant building for approximately 5 years will now be a renovated structure housing a future downtown business.
Formal Wear Shop – Owner Christian Cartolli is opening the new formal wear shop in the former Elaine’s Antique building at 647 Washington Street. She had a soft opening on August 5, which will be followed by a grand opening in the near future.
Other Commercial Updates
Mc Daniels Hair Supply and Fashion – This business is now open at 408 N. Van Buren Road just north of Cox Street.
Jo Jo’s Café – This is a new café opening in the former Yuki of Japan space at 403 W. Kings Hwy next to Allstate Insurance.
Dudley Products Salon – Owner Sabrina Gilleylen celebrated with a grand opening on July 28 at her 350-A W. King’s Highway location.
Eden Downtown Development, Inc. – Update
During the July meeting of the Eden Downtown Development, Inc. the following items were discussed:
- Randy Hunt, former President of the Eden Chamber of Commerce was formally introduced as the Eden Main Street Manager. He provided his background to the Board of Directors and his priorities for the new position.
- Due to structural issues at 622 Washington Street, the linear park that was previously discussed for this location will not take place. The City is considering restoration of the property to allow the building to be sold to accommodate a future business.
- An Urban Forestry Grant will be pursued to create a park in Downtown Draper if a property can be donated or acquired for this purpose.
- The Oink and Ale event went well despite the heat and competition from the Morehead High School graduation. It will be returned to its original mid-May date in 2018.
- The grant guidelines for the new Building Rehabilitation Grant were presented to the EDDC Board of Directors and they were informed that it would be presented to the Eden City Council for their consideration on August 15.
- It was discussed that one of the top priorities being pursued by the Main Street Manager is a microbrewery. Kotis Properties had purchased the National Guard Armory building with plans to create a production facility/tap room, but Greensboro projects have delayed this from happening. The City has been actively working with students of the RCC Center for Brewing Sciences on an Eden microbrewery project but no one has made a commitment yet.
Schedule Of Upcoming Special Events
- Touch-A-Truck – Saturday, August 19th (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) on Henry Street. Admission – a non-perishable food item for the Kids Backpack Food Program. This event will include food, ice cream, face painting, the Scooby Doo “Mystery Machine” Bouncy, walk around characters, and much more. At this point in time, we already have 45 different vehicles lined up that includes lots of equipment from our Municipal Services Department, fire trucks, Rescue Squad Air Boat, Asplund “Giraffe” vehicle, First Piedmont, Sheriff’s Department, Police Department, Interstate Battery, Duke Energy, Crane & Track Hoe from Sam W. Smith, Inc., Cement Mixer from Chandler Concrete and much more!
- Freedom Park Music & Cruz In @ Kiwanis Amphitheatre at Freedom Park. Cruz in starts at 5:30 p.m. and live music at 6:30 p.m. Event is open and FREE to the public. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy. Concessions available. 50/50 drawing, corn hole, door prizes and more. Upcoming sessions include:
Saturday, August 26th @ 6:30 p.m. – “Against the Nights” (Christian Blues music)
Saturday, September 30th @ 6:30 p.m. – The Impacts
Saturday, October 28th @ TBA – Fall Festival
- Live Beach Music – August 27th @ Wright Memorial Event Center – Gates open at 3:00 p.m. Entertainment is: Jacob Vaughan @ 4:15 p.m. and The Embers at 5:30 p.m. There will be door prizes, food, vendors, and Shaggin. Tickets can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com and at The Bette-R-Look Salon (Eden), Eden Chiropractic Office (Eden) and Roadside Gypsy (Eden).
- RiverFest 2017 is going to be FANTASTIC! – September 15th (5:00 – 10:00 p.m.) and September 16th (10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.) along Washington Street. Celebrating Eden’s 50th Anniversary! Some of the features already booked include:
- Paul Bunyon Lumberjack Show – 3 Performances
- Chainsaw Carver
- Trick Roper
- Knockerball and Archery Game
- Gem Sluice
- Carolina Raptor Center with a Bird Release
- Cold Blooded Encounters
- Dan River Basin Association – Kids Activities
- Three Rivers Outfitters – River Trips
- Music Lineup consists of 11 bands over two days. A Journey Tribute Band will headline Friday night and an Eagles Tribute Band will headline Saturday night. Several local bands will be performing on two stages all day Saturday.
- Strolling Magician
- Lots of Great Food
Shaggin’ On Fieldcrest Update
This event was well received. We had the biggest crowd ever and it was a great show by Jim Quick & Coastline. Jim and his band love Eden and want to come back again next year. The Shaggin’ on Fieldcrest committee is great to work with and helps get the job done very efficiently. A special THANK YOU goes out to Tim & Diana Biggs for allowing us to invade their restaurant and property and for bringing this great event idea to us 5 years ago!
New City Hall Sign Update
The stone on the large sign has been completed. Duke Energy is going to install a meter on the back of the sign and then the LED will be installed. “EDEN CITY HALL” lettering has been ordered. They will be 10” tall and in a dark bronze color.
50th Anniversary Update
- Staff is working with the Eden Museum on their display windows that will showcase 50th Anniversary pieces during RiverFest. A big unveiling is being planned for the week prior. People will also be dressed in 60’s attire and playing 60’s music during RiverFest.
- The Greensboro News & Record 50th Anniversary piece was in the paper on July 30.
- Staff is working on the RiverFest booth and is hoping to use the Eden Youth Council as volunteers.
- The time capsule commemorating our 50th Anniversary will be our next project.
- Ms. Sheralene Thompson, City Clerk has created a book that contains lots of historic information, pictures, newspaper clippings etc. that we are having bound and will soon be available for purchase. It is fantastic!
WFMY – News 2 Commercial
- Filming took place on August 1 for our “Road Trippin” commercial. It will air for two weeks. Ours is entitled “Diners, Downtown and Drive-Ins”. The commercial features the following:
- Eden Drive In
- Dick’s Drive In
- Mrs. Kitty’s
- Downtown Deli
- Belladona’s Antiques
- Front Porch
- Barbour Studio & Gallery
- Sweet Revenge
- Eden Historical Museum
- There are also cameo shots of the clock, park, etc.
The initial feedback has been well received and we hope to use it on various social media platforms and our website.
Rain Barrel Workshop
In conjunction with the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) we are offering a Rain Barrel Workshop in the Eden Room inside the Eden Municipal Building on Thursday, August 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. All supplies will be provided. The cost is $45. Please contact Ms. Cindy Adams, Coordinator of Tourism and Special Projects/Events if you are interested in participating and need more information. She can be reached at email@example.com and 336-623-2110.
River Clean Up Date
A river cleanup is planned for Friday morning August 18 from the Leaksville Landing to NC Wildlife Access. Please contact Ms. Cindy Adams, Coordinator of Tourism and Special Projects/Events through her contact information above if you are interested in participating and need more information.
Tourism Board – Update
The Eden Tourism Board met on Wednesday, July 26. Ms. Tiffany Hayworth, Executive Director for the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) made a presentation on a potential Otter Holt project that would be constructed on the Smith River near the Smith River Greenway.
Other business included event updates, a report on the Dixie Youth State Baseball Tournament, a niche group visit report, TDA grant report, Grogan Park update, Quilt Square Unveiling Report, Rivers & Trails Group report, and a discussion about nominations for new board members.
Occupancy Tax Collections Update
We are pleased to announce that FY 2016-17 yielded the highest annual occupancy tax year we have ever had in Eden. This is especially noteworthy in view of the losses we were anticipating from the closing of MillerCoors. In FY 2006-07 during our first full year of collections the occupancy tax collections equaled $59,619.00. During FY 2015-16 total collections equaled $77,483.93 and collections for FY 2016-17 increased by an additional 3.05% to $79,851.00.
Street Resurfacing Projects - Update
Construction of the FY 2017-18 Street Resurfacing Contract, No. 1 (see included list) is still in progress. All of the asphalt milling and structure adjustments have been completed. Waugh Asphalt has seven more streets to resurface which should be completed early next week. After that, the grade crew will be coming in to complete the stone shoulder reconstruction along the new asphalt pavement.
The FY 2017-18 Street Resurfacing Contract, No. 2 (see included list) has been completed. All eight street sections have been asphalt milled and overlaid.
The FY 2017-18 Street Resurfacing Contract, No. 3 (see included list) and the E. Harris Place Improvements/Southwood Drive Projects are tentatively scheduled to start mid-September or early October. The start of these projects will depend on the weather and the workload of the contractor.
|FOX RUN||SPOT REPAIR (70 FT)|
|HARRIS STREET||KLYCE TO ELM|
|KLYCE STREET||WASHINGTON TO HARRIS|
|TULLOCH STREET||HARRIS TO DEAD END|
|WESTWOOD DR. (PATCH ONLY)||WASHINGTON TO WEST|
|ASH STREET (PATCH ONLY)||SPRUCE TO CHESTNUT|
|BEARSLIDE COURT||W. ARBOR TO ROUNDABOUT|
|CAROLYN COURT||HIGHLAND PARK TO END|
|CHURCH STREET||JOHNSTON TO DEAD END|
|MOREHEAD STREET||GLOVENIA TO CHERRY|
|WILLIAMS STREET||CEDAR TO DEAD END|
|WILLOW STREET||CEDAR TO S. JOHNSTON|
|CLARKWAY DRIVE (PATCH ONLY)||HODGES TO CIRCLE|
|DAMERON STREET||EWELL TO THE DEAD END|
|FRANKLIN DRIVE (PATCH ONLY)||CIRCLE TO TENTH|
|GROVE STREET||MORGAN TO VICTOR|
|HUNTER STREET||HODGES TO OSBORNE|
|HUNTER STREET||OSBORNE TO CIRCLE|
|OSBORNE STREET||PITCHER TO CIRCLE|
|ORRELL STREET||EWELL TO LLOYD|
|VIRGINIA STREET||HAIZLIP TO CHATHAM|
|HARRY AKERS STREET||MEADOW TO DEAD END|
|ROOSEVELT STREET||CHATHAM TO FRIENDLY|
|BURGESS STREET||FIELDCREST TO FRONT|
|DEER PATH||OAK RIDGE TO CUL-DE-SAC|
|EDGEWOOD ROAD N.||FIELDCREST TO STADIUM|
|WOODVIEW DRIVE||STADIUM TO MARYLAND|
|WOODVIEW DRIVE||MARYLAND TO DEAD END|
|ASHBY STREET||HIGH TO CITY LIMIT LINE|
|OVERBY STREET||FIELDCREST TO HURD|
|POWELL DRIVE||STADIUM TO DEAD END|
|CITY HALL DRIVE (PATCH ONLY)||SPOT REPAIR (140 FT)|
Street Name Description
|GLOVENIA STREET||CHESTNUT TO TAYLOR|
|HENRY STREET||EARLY TO MONCURE|
|MOIR STREET||TAYLOR TO MONCURE|
|MONROE STREET||EARLY TO TAYLOR|
|MONROE STREET||TAYLOR TO (523) MONROE ST.|
|PATRICK STREET||EARLY TO LINDSAY|
|TAYLOR STREET||HENRY TO MONROE|
|DYER STREET||IRVING TO DEAD END|
Street Name Description
|BARNETT STREET||HARRIS TO TROGDON|
|BURTON STREET||MCCONNELL TO DEAD END|
|BURTON STREET||MCCONNELL TO WEST AVE|
|GALLOWAY STREET||PATTERSON TO ANDERSON|
|LAMBERT STREET||ELM TO TROGDON|
|LOFTUS STREET||WASHINGTON TO GALLOWAY|
|MANNING STREET||OAKWOOD TO DEAD END|
|MANNING STREET||KLYCE TO ELM|
|MARTIN STREET||WASHINGTON TO BURTON|
|MILLNER STREET||SEYMOUR TO DEAD END|
|SIMPSON STREET||KLYCE TO CUL-DE-SAC|
|GREENWOOD STREET||EARLY TO TAYLOR|
|HENRY STREET||WASHINGTON TO JAY|
|MOIR STREET||EARLY TO TAYLOR|
|CEDAR STREET||WILLIAMS TO WILLOW|
|ELLERBE COURT||PRICE TO MEREDITH|
|HENRY STREET||EARLY TO IRVING|
|IRVING AVENUE||BRIDGE TO BOULEVARD|
|MAPLE STREET||WILLIAMS TO WILLOW|
|MEREDITH COURT||ELLERBE TO CUL-DE-SAC|
|MOIR STREET||MANLEY TO OAK|
|SECOND STREET||OAKLAND TO BUCK|
|THE BOULEVARD||OAK TO GLOVENIA|
|THE BOULEVARD||GLOVENIA TO CARROLL|
|JEFFERSON STREET||PRESTON TO PARK RD|
|HALE STREET||MEADOW TO RR TRACKS|
|CENTER STREET N.||STADIUM TO RIDGE|
|DELAWARE AVENUE||HUNDLEY TO DEAD END|
|DELAWARE AVENUE||CENTER TO HUNDLEY|
|EISENHOWER COURT||MILL TO CUL-DE-SAC|
|HIGH STREET||STADIUM TO MILL|
|HUNDLEY DRIVE S.||SOUTH TO DEAD END|
|MILL AVENUE||FIELDCREST TO HIGH|
|RIDGE AVENUE||FIELDCREST TO HIGH|
|RIDGE AVENUE||HIGH TO BETHEL|
|WOODROW AVENUE||FIELDCREST TO DEAD END|
Waterline Replacement Projects Update
A subcontractor for Sam W. Smith, Inc. completed the installation of the 6-inch diameter ductile iron water main and 2-inch diameter PVC water main along Caleb Street, north of the Flinchum Street intersection on July 22. After all required testing was passed and final approval was received from the state regulatory agency, the process of switching customers over to the new water main began on August 4.
Stoltzfus Engineering, Inc. has been selected to prepare plans for replacing the Sunset Drive galvanized waterline. A 6-inch diameter water main will be installed between Conover Drive and Knollwood Drive.
A bid opening for the Victor Street waterline replacement project is set for August 24.
Tommy Underwood, Fire Chief and other staff members will meet with a representative from the North Carolina Department of Insurance Ratings and Inspections Division on September 13 to discuss our ISO (Insurance Service Office) rating and areas where the fire department can improve its score. ISO ratings can range from 1 to 10 with 1 being the best and 10 being considered no rating. Our last inspection was held in January of this year and we scored 67 which are 6.52 more points than our previous inspection in 2001. This resulted in us keeping a 4 rating. In fact, we are only 3 points away from achieving a 3 rating. The NCDOI (North Carolina Department of Insurance) has changed the way they currently rate departments across the state and that was one of the reasons our rating score improved. Ratings of 6 through 10 often have an impact on the insurance premiums residential property owners are required to pay for their homeowner insurance policy. Ratings of 5 and below often impact the insurance premiums for industries such as Gildan Activewear. The lower our ISO rating the more savings an industry often realizes through their insurance premiums. Obviously, this can be important when trying to attract new industry to the City and keep what we already have. We believe changes to our training requirements, call response requirements and staffing levels would help us to achieve a rating of 3. During this meeting we will be reviewing the specifics of our last inspection to identify additional action steps that can be taken to improve our rating.
Purchase of Turn Out Gear
A representative with Atlantic Emergency Solutions based out of Colfax North Carolina was at the fire department on August 8 to size and measure members of the fire department for the 12 sets of turn out gear that were approved in the current budget for replacement. We have been told the turnaround time for delivery will be approximately 10 weeks.
Municipal Services Department
Tornado Clean-Up Efforts & NC Emergency Management Update
Staff met with a representative of NC Emergency Management and a representative from Rockingham County Emergency Management on August 9 to review our documentation to date in relation to our response and cleanup efforts associated with the May 5 F1 tornado that struck our community. The final phase (and most expensive single component) of our cleanup effort is the grinding and hauling of the debris that we have collected that is now in our tornado related debris pile. We are currently in the process of preparing bid packages that will be distributed and advertised in the next week or two. Once we have completed all of our work we submit the appropriate documentation to NC Emergency Management for reimbursement of 75% of our eligible costs. The City of Eden will be responsible for the remaining 25% of costs.
Parks & Recreation Department
North Carolina Dixie Youth Baseball Ozone State Tournament Update
The 2017 North Carolina Dixie Youth Baseball Ozone State Tournament was held at Freedom Park July 14 - 20. There were 10 teams in the tournament, and 8 of those teams were from outside of Eden and Rockingham County. There were players, coaches, parents, and other relatives who spent many nights in local motels and ate many of their meals at local restaurants. This was the 8th State Tournament the City has hosted since 2007. This tournament was very successful and we hope to be awarded additional Dixie Youth Baseball State Tournaments in the future. In fact, we have already placed a bid for one of the 2018 State Tournaments and will be notified at some point in October or November if we have been selected as a host site for 2018.
Community Accents Program
Staff participated in the Community Accents Program with WLOE radio on August 11 and will be doing so again on September 8. We use these opportunities to update our residents and others about the Parks and Recreation programs that are happening during the month of August, September and the upcoming Fall/Winter seasons.
Dog Park and Splash Pad
The Director of Parks and Recreation and City Manager visited Dog Parks and Splash Pads in neighboring communities on August 10 and are working to determine how the City can make these types of facilities available at Freedom Park.
Freedom Park Nature Trail Improvements Project Update
Staff is planning to begin work on upgrading the Freedom Park Nature Trail and adding 10 camping sites for RVs at the back of Freedom Park. Work is expected to begin in the fall of this year so the sites will be ready for use in the Spring of 2018.
Be Healthy Rockingham County
Parks and Recreation staff attended a Be Healthy Rockingham County meeting in July and will be attending the upcoming meeting scheduled for September 6. This group is working on doing a survey of the County to determine what the needs of the County are as it relates to recreation and health related activities offered in the County. They are using the recently completed City of Eden Parks & Recreation Comprehensive Plan as a guide.
Parks & Recreation Advisory Board
Parks & Recreation staff will soon be assembling a list of names for submittal to the City Manager for City Council’s consideration and approval to serve on the City’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Planning & Inspections Department
Code Enforcement and Inspections Update
During the month of July staff completed 224 Inspections of all types. In addition, 45 letters were sent for local code violations and an additional 24 letters were sent under the name of the City Attorney in reference to various delinquent accounts.
Boards and Commissions Update
The Historic Preservation Commission met in July and focused their discussions on the Rhode Island Mill. The Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, Community Appearance Commission and Tree Board did not meet.
Current Construction Projects
The following construction projects are currently underway:
Ashton Way Apartments 153 Beech Tree Court
Lidl Grocery Store 519 Southwood Drive
Concession Stand at the YMCA 179 Laurel Wood Drive
Matrimony Creek Greenway
Documents have been sent to Stoltzfus Engineering Inc. for the engineering services that will be necessary for this project. On Thursday, July 20 the Eden Rivers and Trails Committee met at the Hampton Heights Baptist Church shelter and walked the proposed trail. The meeting was opened to the community and numerous representatives showed up including neighbors and citizens, representatives for the Rockingham County NAACP, City of Eden staff, landowners, Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Burnette, Councilwoman Angela Hampton, a representative from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and representatives from the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA). In all, approximately 25 people met and walked the trail. During the post-hike discussion several ideas were raised. These included:
- Places for elderly to gain access to the creek
- Access between the school and trail
- Exercise Stations
- Education, such as tree identification
- Primitive camping
- Picnic Area
- Emergency phones
- Water fountains
- Mountain biking
Also mentioned were programming ideas such as:
- Farmers Market location
- Community Events
- Opportunities for small businesses in conjunction with the trail users
There was a follow up stakeholder meeting on July 28 at St. John’s United Methodist Church with representatives from the church, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the City of Eden and DRBA to discuss ways to engage the community in the Matrimony Creek Greenway Project. The main focus of this meeting was on the property adjoining the trail near Ellerbe Court. Representatives from DRBA and other volunteers are planning to conduct a door-to-door survey in the neighborhood during the latter part of September to find out what they would like to see happen on a parcel involved in the project on Meredith Court and Lewis Street. There will then be a community meeting in mid-October and a final meeting to present the gathered information in November.
NCDOT Project No. FS-1707A – Express Design for US 29 Improvements from just South of Hicone Road (SR2565) in Guilford County to the Virginia State Line in Caswell County
Rockingham County, Eden, Reidsville, Stoneville, Madison, Mayodan and Wentworth are a part of the Piedmont Triad Rural Planning Organization. This is an organization that has been in operation for more than a decade and its purpose is to promote planning for and the achievement of transportation goals of rural areas. In effect, it gives rural areas the opportunity to better compete for NCDOT dollars. The Greensboro Northern Beltway/I840 being co-flagged as I785 has now made I785 reaching into Rockingham County a very feasible project both physically and financially. The City of Eden and the City of Reidsville are working together to try and get I785 designation as far north as the NC14/29 interchange in order for both cities to have connections with I785. It is now our plan to use the upcoming Piedmont Triad RPO Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) meeting and then the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting to reference the feasibility of this study, the ability to connect Rural Rockingham County to Urban Greensboro via I785, and the opportunity to provide Rural Rockingham County an interstate to assist with economic development efforts. Councilman Darryl Carter is the municipal representative on the TCC for Rockingham County and Kelly Stultz, Director of Planning and Inspections is the City’s representative on the TAC.
Community Outreach Efforts
The Eden Police Department participated in the National Night Out event at C Street Apartments on August 1. National Night Out is observed annually on the first Tuesday in August and has been celebrated throughout the United States since 1984. It was created to increase awareness about police programs in communities. In addition, the Police Department participated in the Touch-a-Truck event at Camp Carefree and Camp Jubilee. Both of these camps are for populations with special needs. Finally, the Police Department participated in the Paint-a-Rock event held at Freedom Park.
Public Utilities Department
The motorized valve for the chlorine line to the chloramine feed building has now been installed and programmed into the Water Plant SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) computers. The valve operation has been tested and has passed the test successfully. A new start-up date has been scheduled for Monday, August 14. Notification of the switch from chlorine to chloramine as the disinfectant for the distribution system will be announced through the Code Red notification system, the City of Eden web page and the City of Eden Facebook page prior to August 14. It should be noted that it will take several days before the chloramines are fully into the distribution system. City staff from both municipal services and the water plant will start flushing the distribution lines within a day or two of the chloramines coming on line to move the chlorinated water out of the lines and the chloraminated water in.
Annual Wastewater Report
The annual Wastewater Report is complete and on our website for viewing. A summary will also be included in next month’s edition of Eden’s Own Journal. The Wastewater plant again had no violations and the number of SSOs in the Collection system decreased from last year.
EPA Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) to Stop Sewer System Overflows Update
At this time, we are on or ahead of schedule for our projects and our documentation submittals to the EPA and water infrastructure for our grant and loan funding. Our engineering report was due on June 1, and this deadline was met. The Water Infrastructure Section of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources has completed their review of our Engineering Report for the EPA Administrative Order on Consent and they submitted questions to us. We now have 30 days to respond with comments and answers to their questions. Our first semiannual progress report that will be submitted to the EPA as a part of the Administrative Order on Consent is due November 1.
Meadow Greens and Covenant Branch Pump Stations Force Main Relief Project Update
This project will tie the Meadow Greens and Covenant Branch Sewer Pump Stations into the underutilized Railroad Pump Station Force Main to provide redundancy to the existing force mains serving these pump stations. Our contractor, Sam W. Smith, Inc. began work on July 31 and has been working steadily.
Positively Eden! Strategic Plan – Implementation Updates
Listed below are implementation updates concerning the 5 strategies identified in the Positively Eden! Strategic Plan:
Strategy 1: Broaden the Impact of Downtown: Randy Hunt, Main Street Manager
Mr. Randy Hunt, Main Street Manager submitted the following update information:
Goal 1: Re-energize Downtown Eden’s Main Street Program (Main Street is a national program that embraces a 4-point approach to downtown redevelopment: good design (develops space), and organization (develops partners) to do the work, events and materials for downtown promotion (develops markets), and economic vitality (develops businesses and uses) to harness the opportunity.
- Hire a full-time Main Street Manager.
This has been completed
- Invite staff from the NC Main Street Program to facilitate Main Street Program Action Plan.
A meeting, facilitated by NC Main Street Director Liz Parham, has been scheduled for September 5. The time and location have yet to be determined. Merchants and property owners from all of our traditional downtown areas will be invited to share their concerns and aspirations for the downtown areas.
- Report progress through annual “State of Downtown” luncheon to celebrate successes and share emerging opportunities.
Each September, this event will be held to share the recently completed Eden Main Street statistics from the previous August to July period. This will show the progress made in the downtown areas for the previous year.
Goal 2: Develop a Downtown Eden Branding and Marketing Strategy, with associated brands for Eden’s defined small areas (Leaksville, Draper, Spray, designated historic areas).
- Issue an RFP to and hire a professional branding and marketing firm.
An RFP (request for proposals) will be circulated by the end of August at the latest.
- Develop reflective “sub-brands” for the defined small areas.
The firm hired to assist us with the branding and marketing strategy will be asked to develop sub-brands of smaller commercial areas and assets that can be used as destination points in our branding and/or marketing strategies
Goal 3: Expand private investment incentives to improve Downtown’s public space.
- Consider other matching grants, such as a storefront signage matching grant, mini-streetscape improvements.
The façade grant has been renewed for the 2017-18 year and two downtown businesses have already qualified for grants. Storefront signage is already an approved use of the façade grant. Any streetscape improvements will have to be submitted as part of the 2018-19 budget year and will be pursued.
- Work with the Economic Restructuring Committee to identify other needs for which incentives and/or public private partnerships will improve downtown’s public space.
The City is researching ways in which incentives and partnerships can be developed to promote downtown investment. One project involves an artist who is interested in developing an artist’s school. The City is seeking a way to make this partnership workable for both parties.
- Fund a downtown incentive grant to help encourage building renovations.
The City of Eden Building Rehabilitation Grant (BRG) will be presented to Eden City Council for their formal consideration on August 15. Grants will range from $500 to $5,000 and $25,000 has already been included in the current budget for this purpose.
- Target coveted businesses specifically for downtown areas, such as microbreweries, restaurants and retail stores.
The Main Street Manager intends to work with local developers on targeting these businesses. There are some existing property owners who have already expressed an interest in seeking microbrewery and restaurant tenants. We will also recruit from neighboring areas for other coveted businesses.
Goal 4: Annually update and distribute Downtown Eden and other key area market data (retail sales and leakage, area income, available properties, etc.).
- Purchase and analyze ESRI market data to identify market opportunities to share with existing and potential business owners.
Each March, the City purchases ESRI data that reveals the retail marketplace potential for business categories within one, three and ten miles of the city. This information is then used in recruitment efforts. This information can be shared with existing and potential business owners.
Strategy 2: Increase Economic Vitality: Mike Dougherty, Director of Economic Development
Mr. Mike Dougherty, Director of Economic Development submitted the following update information:
Goal 1: Focus on quality of place as the core economic development strategy.
- Identify initiatives to improve attractiveness of the city, gathering spaces, outdoor recreation and trails.
The City pursued and received grants for two additional trails that will be created during the current budget year. The Matrimony Creek Greenway and Freedom Park Trail Improvements and Camping Project will be completed by May of 2018. An additional quality of place initiative will include improving landscaping and maintenance of our City entrances and highways since these make an important first impression to outsiders.
- Continue to support multi-cultural events and festivals.
The City initiated a highly successful Hispanic Heritage Festival in 2017 that will be repeated in 2018. Engaging the Hispanic community more extensively on the City’s Tourism Board is being pursued. In addition, events that place an emphasis on the African-American community will be pursued as well.
- Encourage more outside dining opportunities.
An ordinance allowing sidewalk tables in the downtown areas will be pursued this fall and restaurant owners will be encouraged to include outdoor dining in their development plans.
- Encourage public art projects.
An Asheville artist recently visited Eden and is considering locations for an art school. He plans to draw other artists to Eden and create public art projects. We are doing everything possible to encourage this person to move to the downtown.
- Explore the feasibility of creating an event center.
Sweet Revenge Bakery will have a small center to accommodate birthday parties, wedding/baby showers, etc. by the fall of 2017. The Eden Ball Room can accommodate up to 185 people. If the Nantucket Mill project materializes, an event space will be included in the plans. Event centers are very expensive and usually require subsidies. We previously pursued the Monroe Street post office as a special event center and will continue to explore the possibilities of converting this space into one if there is an opportunity to do so.
- Promote a “Pride in Eden” campaign to encourage citizens to stop littering and to improve their properties and neighborhoods (Ex: Peter Hill Park).
This is a necessity and badly needed. We believe we will need to elicit community partners in this to create an effective campaign. The Planning and Inspections Department, Economic and Tourism Development Department, Facilities & Grounds Division and Police Department will work together on a campaign to begin in the fall of 2017.
Goal 2: Increase Eden’s competitiveness in broader markets (region, state, nation, etc.)
- Continue working with county and regional partners on traditional economic development activities and initiatives.
This is being done on an on-going basis. Eden City officials were part of the March 2017 official ground breaking at the Berry Hill Mega Park. City staff speaks regularly with Dewberry Engineering of Danville and the Danville and Pittsylvania County economic development offices. We are eagerly awaiting the due diligence decisions by The Southern Company and Enviva as well as progress with other prospective clients.
- Enhance and develop additional business incentives, with prioritization on business startups and small, local, business.
The Development Incentive Grant has been approved and the Building Rehabilitation Grant will be considered by the City Council on August 15. The City is working with state partners on building reuse grants and micro-enterprise loans from the NC Rural Center.
- Support Rockingham County Economic Development for industrial development and recruitment efforts.
The City of Eden and the Rockingham County Economic Development Department work closely on all projects stemming from the Economic Development Partnership of NC, industrial brokers and the NC Department of Commerce. In addition, we make joint calls on existing industry for retention efforts and to identify potential expansion opportunities.
- Aggressively work with partners to ensure that Eden has an educated and skilled workforce.
This may be the most challenging of initiatives in the coming years. The City initiated a transportation program to take Morehead High School students to RCC for welding and automated systems training as part of their school curriculum. The City is helping bring an apprenticeship program to the county. Contacts have been made with Senator Phil Berger to encourage the NC Community College system to provide reciprocal tuition for border county students. This would allow Rockingham County students to attend Danville Community College and vice versa. The City is exploring how to bring a mobile STEM bus from the Danville Institute of Advanced Technology to Rockingham County to help students become familiar with potential career pathways. Reset Rockingham is an effort to provide better career and technical education to county students of which the city is part. The City has encouraged RCC graduates to become mentors to Holmes Middle School and Morehead High School students so they can see how RCC is a path to prosperity without college debt.
- Participate in local/regional efforts to expand broadband options.
The City will work with county partners on this much-needed initiative. It is unfortunate that the Rockingham County Business and Technology Center that previously spearheaded these efforts was dissolved.
Goal 3: Objectively weigh the opportunities or challenges of attracting industrial prospects to the City of Eden and its economic region.
- Using the industry targeting data provided, build the internal “business case” for attraction and additionally provide valuable facts for external marketing efforts.
One of the challenges Eden, Rockingham County and the region face are the lack of class “A” buildings. Up to 80% of prospects want an existing building. After the MillerCoors site, Eden is basically out of buildings to market. The City is participating in a real estate subcommittee with county partners to encourage speculative shell building investment by Triad area developers. Moreover, the City will work with other state partners in pushing House Bill 900 that approved a special sales tax to be used for economic development efforts. Texas employs such a tax and some communities, smaller than Eden, have annual economic development budgets in excess of $900,000. A ¼ cent sales tax in Rockingham County would generate more than $1.6 million. This would cover the debt service for multiple shell buildings during the time it requires to lease them.
Goal 4: Become an active partner to promote and support the performance of Rockingham County Schools and promote/support Rockingham Community College.
- Identify ways to promote Rockingham County School’s three strategic focus areas: 1. Graduation and beyond, 2. Safe, resources, supported and equipped schools, and 3. Stakeholder involvement and engagement.
The City, Rockingham County Schools and Rockingham Community College will partner to promote these strategic areas. It has to be a group effort that does not end at the schoolhouse steps. This community needs to value education and realize that successful education does not necessarily mean a four-year college degree. A recent statistic revealed that only 30% of jobs require a college degree.
- Link promotional materials (videos, anecdotes, success stories) and relevant materials to supplement Eden’s Economic Development web presence and promotional materials, including up-to-date data about school performance and initiatives.
This will be one of the projects undertaken by the Main Street Manager.
- Through joint marketing efforts, connect Eden’s Community Vitality/Quality of place initiatives to Rockingham County School’s teacher recruitment efforts (e.g. housing, things to do, events, etc.).
This really should be a school administration project, but the City will assist in these efforts.
- Add a section about schools/school performance to Eden’s Citizen Academy curriculum.
This could be added quite easily, provided a representative of the Rockingham County School District is willing to participate in the Academy.
- Work with the local community college and Rockingham County Schools to promote higher education and vocational training, especially our community college. Only 20% of county high school students enter RCC, a number that must increase if citizens are going to qualify for higher paying, skilled occupations. RCC needs to be considered the best, first option for higher education, not a fallback position.
As noted above, the City is encouraging RCC graduates to act as mentors to middle and high school students. More than 10 million skilled trade jobs will be available in the U.S. within five years because those tradesmen are retiring. Students must know that RCC can provide training to allow them to remain in this area and make a good living. Plumbers, electricians and HVAC technicians can often start their own businesses and are in high demand at all times.
- Appoint an elected official as a liaison to the Rockingham County School System.
This will be pursued in the fall of 2017.
Goal 5: Continue to make progress on major infrastructure projects.
- Continue to move forward with improving the City’s water extension to the Berry Hill Mega Park and correcting the sewer system per the EPA Administrative Order.
The City is working diligently on these projects. Funding has been secured for the EPA Administrative Order and additional grant funding sources are being sought for the water extension to the Berry Hill Mega Park.
- Continue to aggressively recruit a high-water user for the MillerCoors site.
Since June of 2017, the MillerCoors facility has been submitted for eight projects and the City is currently working with a Charlotte, NC industrial broker on a particular client.
- Continue to advocate for high-profile transportation projects through NCDOT’s SPOT process to improve access into and out of Eden, with a high priority on access to the Berry Hill Industrial Park/pursue transportation funding designed to four lane Route 14 from Eden to US 220 and offer support for transportation improvements in Virginia as it relates to the Berry Hill Mega Park.
VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) has agreed to Berry Hill Road improvements and the NCDOT (NC Department of Transportation) will be contacted about similar improvements on the NC side of the road. The Highway 14/King’s Highway intersection has been approved and funded for improvements in 2021. The Hwy 14 four-lane project will be pursued with NCDOT Division Engineer Mike Mills. In addition, staff is working with the City of Reidsville to try and get I785 designation as far north as the NC 14/29 interchange in order for both cities to have connections with I785.
Goal 6: Continue to improve Eden’s road and transportation infrastructure by implementing Eden’s repaving and road maintenance schedule.
- Remain aware on NCDOTs paving schedule and coordinate Eden’s repaving projects when appropriate.
These are handled by the City of Eden Engineering Department.
- Continued support and possible expansion of SKAT Bus.
The City has asked the Aging Disability and Transit System (ADTS) to expand operating hours so local workers can use the system for work. The system started in Eden and because of its local success was expanded to other areas of the county. The City will encourage the ADTS to expand where needed.
- Provide the required funding to maintain City roads, water and sewer systems, city properties and other infrastructure.
The City of Eden has been quite diligent in addressing water and sewer system problems that were neglected in the 1980’s and 1990’s, spending more than $56 million on improvements. This continues to be a top priority with the EPA Administrative Order and the water extension for the Berry Hill Mega Park. An additional $1.1 million has been allocated for street resurfacing needs during the upcoming year.
- Promote walkability through the maintenance and construction of additional sidewalk networks.
The City will consider all opportunities to fund such projects.
- Investigate the creation of bike paths/lanes.
The City will seek grant assistance in January of 2018 for bike lanes where possible.
Goal 7: Enhance the public realm by identifying and implementing small win projects (e.g. plantings, street furniture, pedestrian/bicyclist, parks improvements).
- Develop a public arts plan and aim for 1 public art project annually.
This will be a priority going forward.
- Seek out and apply for small grants, such as NC Forest Service Urban Forestry Grant.
An Urban Forestry Grant will be pursued for a selected property on Fieldcrest Road to create a pocket park. This grant is due in January of 2018.
- Incorporate quality of place projects (e.g. bicycle lanes, pedestrian crossings, streetscape improvements) with new infrastructure and maintenance projects (e.g. road resurfacing).
This will be a priority going forward.
Goal 8: Promote commercial areas as small business job centers.
- Identify, approach, and recruit retail and restaurant franchises appropriate for Eden.
Retail and restaurant recruitment is an on-going process. Eden has had a more difficult time with recruitment since the MillerCoors closing, but efforts continue. The new Lidl supermarket is the only one in Rockingham County. In the last year, four restaurant chains have been approached and shopping center owners work with the city to attract new businesses. One is definitely coming to Eden and another is still considering potential sites. One Eden restauranteur was matched with a potential buyer, but the terms were not reasonable for the buyer. The Eden Economic Development Department paired the Eden Ball Room operators with the facility owner for an Eden special events center.
- Cultivate through incentives, technical support, training, and promotions a broad range of independent/small business.
A SCORE chapter will be started in Eden and entrepreneurship support will be a top priority in the future. The City already assists small businesses in many ways.
- Develop promotional materials and an outreach strategy to share the business case for supporting small business (buy local) and the business case for building rehabilitation.
A Doing Business in Downtown brochure will be updated to include the building rehabilitation grant.
- Cross train key City departments to instill the value of small business/entrepreneurial support (e.g. permitting, police, streets).
The City permitting process is one of the easiest in the state. The Eden Police Department is very supportive of Eden businesses. The Street Department works to maintain streets, especially before and after special events.
- Form better links and increased involvement between the City’s big events and local businesses.
RiverFest is one of the best opportunities for merchants to take advantage of an influx of people into the city. Some do and some do not. The City cannot force people to remain open or be inviting to out of town potential customers. The Main Street Manager will work to establish more business-oriented events.
- Act as a connector to link local small businesses to the City’s (and region’s) big businesses.
Tri-City Glass is an example of how the City paired this local firm with Sheetz when the Eden store was being built. The result was the local Sheetz was supplied with Tri-City Glass and a relationship was built between both companies that helped Tri-City survive through the Great Recession. All such opportunities are explored.
- Host regular business owner round tables to generate ideas and respond to concerns.
This will be a priority in the future.
- Determine and meet the needs of existing businesses for retention and expansion.
The City has always done this and will continue to do so.
- Promote Eden as an entrepreneurial and business-friendly environment.
Eden has always been a business-friendly community. Our Planning and Inspections processes are timely and sensitive to business needs. In addition, Eden is exploring the Certified Entrepreneurial Community status via Creative Economic Development, Inc.
Goal 9: Foster and support a local community of developers.
- Connect skilled labor/trade training programs to local development projects.
This is more of a Planning and Inspections Department responsibility, but the Economic Development & Tourism Department will work closely with them on these priorities.
Strategy 3 – Neighborhoods & Housing (Kelly Stultz – Director of Planning & Inspections)
Ms. Kelly Stultz, Director of Planning & Inspections submitted the following update information:
Goal 1: Develop coordinated neighborhood (e.g. Leaksville, Spray, Draper) brands.
- In coordination with Eden’s overall branding effort, involve neighborhood to develop complementary identities.
Matrimony Creek Greenway: Our work on the Matrimony Creek Greenway is bringing public spaces to existing residential neighborhoods that have been under served with public recreation space. The greenway is to be located in or near several mid-twentieth century residential subdivisions, Douglass School and several churches. Hampton Heights and St. Johns are very involved with the project. Greenways play a significant role in the health of our citizens as well as their quality of life.
Downtown Projects: The Planning and Inspections Department is currently involved in projects aimed at two our traditional downtown areas. We are preparing to renovate a building owned by the City and create improved parking conditions and availability on public spaces. The more quality parking we make available that is safe, the more support of our local businesses.
Place Making: Place making that focuses on the niche of various areas, makes public spaces come. We are working toward connecting with public parking and a gathering space for the Draper traditional downtown area. Overtures to one property owner have not yet been successful and we are in the process of studying another site.
Ordinance Changes: Currently we are working on sign regulations with the idea in mind to make them reflect our community standard while allowing legitimate advertising and area acknowledgement.
Historic Identification: The potential for overlay zoning districts/historic districts for our various historic neighborhoods would preserve the identity and promote appropriate infill development.
Goal 2: Restore housing market demand in residential areas close to Downtown Eden and other neighborhoods (historic Spray and Draper).
- Aggressively use available code enforcement tools to improve neighborhood appearance.
Our ongoing efforts with local code enforcement are a part of both our current and long range planning program. A big part of that effort involves collections. The letters sent out under the signature of the City Attorney and subsequent collections activities are a part of our strategy toward the goals of the plan. In addition, staff plans to bring 6-8 cases to the City Council to authorize demolition in September and October.
Strategy 4: Integrate Recreation & Health: Johnny Farmer, Director of Parks & Recreation
Mr. Johnny Farmer, Director of Parks & Recreation submitted the following update information:
Goal 1: Rely on the 2017 Parks and Recreation Master Plan to guide recreation and greenways investments.
- Give higher priority to Parks and Recreation Master Plan items that have a greater impact on economic vitality (e.g. community members prioritized Freedom Park improvements).
The Director of Parks and Recreation and City Manager visited Splash Pads and Dog Parks in neighboring communities on August 10 and are working to determine how the City can make these types of facilities available at Freedom Park.
- Implement recommendations of the Park and Recreation Master Plan. Studies have shown that recreational amenities make a real difference.
As indicated above, City Staff has visited and will continue to visit other communities to see various facilities firsthand and how the various recreation facilities that were mentioned in the Parks & Recreation Master Plan are affecting these areas, and then to determine if they can be developed in the City of Eden.
- Pursue recreational offerings that will be attractive to all age groups.
The Parks and Recreation Department offers a wide variety of programs, services, and facilities to the citizens of Eden on a regular basis. The Department will continue to explore and offer new programming that is desired and will be looking into improving existing facilities and developing new facilities as recommended in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
Goal 2: Expand and enhance trails, greenways, and parks both as a health promotion and quality of place strategy.
- Pursue activities and gathering spaces on the Smith and Dan Rivers that will enhance Eden’s image as an ideal location for outdoor recreational activities.
Eden currently has the Island Ford Landing and Smith River Greenway along the Smith River as well as the Leaksville Landing and Draper Landing along the Dan River. Staff will continue to make improvements to these areas and will look into additional areas along these rivers that might be able to have public access.
- Promote the ongoing park activities within Freedom Park so people are aware of the popularity of this Eden facility and encourage more usage of its amenities.
Staff promotes Freedom Park on a consistent basis throughout the year. There are seasonal sports leagues, such as youth baseball, youth softball, youth football, adult softball, and adult flag football that are held at the Park each year. The City also scheduled 41 Weekend Tournaments, the Dixie Youth Baseball State Tournament, 6 Concerts in the Park, and 3 Special Events from February 2017 – December 2017. Staff will work diligently to keep doing this and add additional events that will attract the citizens and visitors to Freedom Park. There are also daily visits to the Park by the citizens and others, that enjoy the walking track, picnic shelters, skate park, nature trail, sand volleyball court, horse shoe pits, and outdoor basketball courts.
- Support the Eden Trails Group that has just been established.
Parks and Recreation Staff will be attending the Eden Trail Group meeting and will assist them in their efforts to upgrade existing trails and develop new trails.
- Continue seeking funds for trails.
Parks and Recreation Staff will continue to apply for grants to help upgrade and develop new trails within the City. A grant has been secured to upgrade the nature trail at Freedom Park, and this work will be completed by the Spring of 2018. The City has also received a grant to assist in the development of the Matrimony Creek Greenway Trail that is being designed at this time.
Goal 3: Tap in to Eden and Rockingham County’s existing health networks to implement strategies identified in the Health Impact Assessment.
- Create a City Healthy Living Initiative to promote greenways, parks and sidewalks.
City staff will continue to work with the Eden Chamber Commerce, Morehead Hospital, and local businesses in implementing the Get Fit Eden program that has been successful for many years
- Explore partnerships with Rockingham County, Morehead Hospital, and other organizations; and encourage and support the recruitment and retention of high quality healthcare professionals for local medical services.
City staff will meet and have discussions with the staff at Morehead Hospital, Rockingham County Health Department, and the Rockingham County Healthcare Alliance to see how Eden can partner with them in helping with the recruitment and retention of high quality healthcare professionals.
- Encourage and support the efforts of local medical facilities to improve the quality of medical services available.
City staff will meet with Morehead Hospital and initiate discussions on how the City can help to improve the quality of medical services they provide.
- Support a local farm-to-table food program (networking local growers with local restaurants, grocery stores and citizens).
City staff will meet with Cindy Adams, Coordinator for Tourism and Special Projects/Events and discuss this item because she intended to host an event similar to this recently but had to cancel due to the low number of reservations received. Perhaps a program can be developed that would allow local growers, local restaurants, grocery stores and citizens to work together on a regular basis.
Strategy 5: Engage Citizens: Cindy Adams, Coordinator for Tourism & Special Projects/Events
Ms. Cindy Adams, Coordinator for Tourism & Special Projects/Events submitted the following update information:
Goal 1: Create opportunities for everyone to participate.
- Identify 1-2 community placemaking projects annually to build an active citizen base.
City staff is in the process of discussing possible projects for consideration.
Goal 2: Continue to encourage youth and young adult involvement.
- Enlist the Youth Advisory Council and Young Adult members to participate in placemaking projects.
The Youth Council will be taking a lead role in manning the City’s 50th Anniversary booth at RiverFest. We plan to do some customer service training with the group before the event.
Goal 3: Develop and promote an Eden brand.
- Publicize in regional/state media.
We currently place ads in Our State Magazine and recently had our events listed in the AAA Magazine. We also place ads in the Destination Magazine that covers a wide area all the way to Charlotte.
Goal 4: Share information effectively and regularly with personal contact, using tools added with Eden’s 2016 website, and traditional methods.
- Crosspost information and ask other organizations to do the same (e.g. schools post City events, City posts school events) and share communication networks.
City staff is scheduling a meeting with Mable Scott of Rockingham County, Robin Yount of Rockingham County TDA and Karen Hyler of Rockingham County Schools to discuss how we can most effectively share information.
- Pursue innovative ways to communicate Eden initiatives to more effectively disseminate information. An example includes the installation of an electronic messaging sign at the corner of Stadium Drive and Pierce Street.
The LED Sign is well underway and should be completed by the end of the month. We are also exploring Text Message Marketing. This could be a very effective way to reach a large number of citizens and make them aware of meetings, festivals and other important information. National statistics for texts: 87% of all text messages are read within 90 seconds! This is a powerful tool to stay connected. We would have unlimited key words and unlimited texts. We are also working with Karismatic Marketing to learn new and innovative ways to reach our citizens through social media: Instagram, Pinterest, etc. We have a great following already on Facebook with over 6200 followers.
We currently utilize the following:
Monthly Eden City Hall Page in Eden’s Own Journal
Banners for Events on Highway 14 and Kings Highway
Advertise via TV, Radio, Print, Community Calendars, Posters, etc.
Manager’s Report at Monthly City Council Meetings that is also on website and printed in Eden’s Own Journal
- Focus on building Eden’s image telling Eden’s story and further defining its sense of place.
We are working with the Eden Historical Museum to create 50th Anniversary windows that will be unveiled a week before RiverFest. They will have lots of Eden information displayed. There will also be a TV showing lots of great photos, articles, etc. This certainly is a great way to begin telling our story.