City Manager’s Report – January 2019
Audited Financial Statements for Period Ending June 30, 2018– Brief Summary
The audit report for the financial period ending June 30, 2018 as prepared by our independent auditing firm of Rouse, Rouse, Penn and Rouse, L.L.P. has been approved by the Local Government Commission (LGC). Mr. Rex Rouse, CPA and Mrs. Judy Rouse, CPA will formally present their audit findings to the City Council during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting that will be held on January 15, 2019. A very brief summary of the audit report includes the following:
The General Fund is the general operating fund of the City. The General Fund accounts for all financial resources except those that are required to be accounted for in another fund.
The fund balance in the General Fund increased from $8,722,152 to $9,408,745, an increase of $686,593 or approximately 7.87% from June 30, 2017 to June 30, 2018. The fund balance on June 30, 2000 was equal to $4,157,472. This represents an increase of $5,251,273 or 126.31% since that time.
After accounting for funds being reserved for specific purposes, otherwise restricted, the fund balance available for appropriations, or called the “unassigned” fund balance equals $6,612,247. This is an increase of $53,677 or approximately 0.82% when compared to the June 30, 2017 total of $6,558,570. This is despite the fact that $500,000 is listed under “Subsequent Year Expenditures” for June 30, 2018 compared to $0 for June 30, 2017. This reflects the $500,000 in “unassigned” fund balance allocated in the current budget for FY 2018-19. There was no “unassigned” fund balance allocated to the budget for FY 2017-18. In addition, $4,106 is listed under “Streets-Powell Bill” for June 30, 2018 compared with $93,207 for June 30, 2017. Furthermore, $1,928,746 is listed under “Restricted – Stabilization by State Statute” for June 30, 2018 compared with $1,726,840 for June 30, 2017.
As some of you may be aware, the City Council voted back in 1998-99 to keep an unassigned fund balance, equal to at least three months operating expenses. The total expenditures during FY 2017-18 for the General Fund amounted to $16,596,728. One-twelfth of that amount is $1,383,061. As such, three months operating expenses would equal $4,149,183. The amount unassigned at June 30, 2018 of $6,612,247 is actually $2,463,064 over that threshold. This $2,463,064 is the amount of money that would be available for use if desired by the City Council.
In the current June 30, 2018 financial statements, it indicates that revenues for the General Fund were up from the prior year by $292,103 or approximately 1.99%.
As stated previously, the total expenditures during FY 2017-18 for the General Fund equaled $16,596,728. This compares favorably with the total budgeted expenditures for the year, which was $17,774,600. This was a favorable variance of $1,177,872 or approximately 6.63%. Overall, the expenditures for the General Fund were up from the prior year by $1,460,491 or approximately 9.65% from $15,136,237 in 2017 to $16,596,728 in 2018. One of the main reasons for this increase can be found on page 103 of the audit document under “Street Resurfacing – Contracted Services”. There was an increase of $1,098,159, ($0 to $1,098,159) for the additional street resurfacing projects that were included in the FY 2017-18 budget. In addition, there is a combined increase of $523,590 or approximately 389.01% under “Capital Outlay” for the Solid Waste Division from $134,597 being spent during 2017 to $658,187 being spent during 2018 for the replacement of two solid waste vehicles, replacement of the trash compactor at the recycling/transfer station and improvements to the recycling/transfer station. Without these capital outlay related expenditures, our total actual expenditures for the General Fund would have been less than the previous year.
I am very pleased to report that there was no department/division within the General Fund that exceeded the appropriated amount of funds.
Capital Project Funds
Capital Project Funds are used to account for the proceeds and expenses of specific projects that are active/developed over the course of at least two fiscal years. The City had one (1) Capital Project Fund related to the General Fund during FY 2017-18: Fire Training Facility Capital Project Fund. Information concerning the Fire Training Facility Capital Project Fund, which had a June 30, 2018 fund balance of $8.972, can be found in the financial statements. This fund was created during FY 2017-18.
Special Revenue Funds
Special Revenue Funds are used to account for the proceeds of specific revenue sources (other than special assessments, expendable trusts or major capital projects) that are legally restricted to expenditures for special purposes. The City had one (1) Special Revenue Fund during FY 2017-18: Municipal Service District Tax Fund.
The Municipal Service District Tax Fund includes the tax that was voted on by the Washington Street and Draper Merchants and is designated for various projects within those areas. It had a June 30, 2018 fund balance of $26,334, which is an increase of $2,319 or approximately 9.66% when compared to the June 30, 2017 fund balance of $24,015.
Water and Sewer Fund – Enterprise Fund
The Water and Sewer Fund is used to account for the City’s water and sewer operation. The Water and Sewer Fund is an enterprise fund, which means the revenues being generated on an annual basis within the Water and Sewer Fund should be sufficient to pay for all of our annual expenses related to the Water and Sewer Fund.
The Fund Balance in the Water and Sewer Fund for the period ending June 30, 2018 was $5,875,129. This is a decrease of $1,079,127 or approximately 15.52% when compared to the June 30, 2017 total of $6,954,256. However, some of you may remember that the City Council voted to transfer $500,000 to the Mega Park Waterline Project Fund and $2,059,600 to the newly created EPA Administrative Order Consent (AOC) Sewer Project Fund during the course of FY 2016-17. During FY 2017-18, an additional $1,000,000 was allocated to the EPA Administrative Order Consent (AOC) Sewer Project Fund. The financial statements indicate a June 30, 2018 fund balance of $366,049 for the Mega Park Waterline Project Fund and a June 30, 2018 fund balance of $857,953 for the EPA AOC Sewer Project Fund. Combined, the $366,049 and $857,953 on hand on June 30, 2018 equal $1,224,002. If you take this $1,224,002 and add it back to the $5,875,129 that represents the fund balance in the Water and Sewer Fund for the period ending June 30, 2018 then the total water and sewer fund balance figure that includes the Water and Sewer Fund, the Mega Park Waterline Project Fund and the EPA AOC Sewer Project Fund would be $7,099,131 or a decrease of $1,524,395 or approximately 17.68% when compared to the June 30, 2017 combined Water and Sewer fund balance figure of $8,623,526.
On June 30, 2011, the Fund Balance in the Water and Sewer Fund equaled $11,333,437. Due to insufficient revenues to meet our ongoing capital improvement needs, including the EPA mandate placed on the City, we have used a total of $4,234,306 in fund balance during just the past seven years ($11,333,437 down to $7,099,131) within the Water and Sewer Fund and the two Water and Sewer related project funds. This is a reduction of approximately 37.36% in the past seven years.
Despite our recent challenges due to the loss of several water/sewer intensive industries, the various regulatory mandates, and other capital improvement projects, the fund balance in the Water and Sewer Fund has increased from a total of $4,345,594 on June 30, 2000, to $7,099,131. This is an increase of $2,754,537 or approximately 63.36%.
The Income Statement for the Water & Sewer Fund indicates our “Total Operating Revenue” amounted to $10,241,441 for FY 2017-18 compared to $9,690,519 for the prior year. This is an increase of $550,922 or approximately 5.69%. This was due primarily to $858,160 in revenues received from Duke Energy for the treatment of their leachate.
The combined, “Water Sales” and “Sewer Charges” increased by $504,417 or approximately 5.27% from $9,567,599 in FY 2016-17 to $10,072,016 for FY 2017-18. However, without the $858,160 in revenues received from Duke Energy for the treatment of their leachate there would have been a year-to-year combined reduction of $353,743 or approximately 3.70% from $9,567,599 in 2017 to just $9,213,856 for 2018. During the past year, we had a combined reduction of $360,046 in water/sewer revenues from three industries and an additional reduction of $109,780 in water/sewer revenues from one business. The combined reductions from these four accounts equaled $469,826.
Our “Total Capital Outlay” expenses increased by $456,689 or approximately 56.23% from $812,203 during FY 2016-17 to $1,268,892 during FY 2017-18. Our Capital Outlay spending for various Water and Sewer related expenditures will be increasing significantly over the course of the next few years as a result of the work that must be completed to remain in compliance with the mandate from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in reference to the Administrative Order Consent (AOC) and our Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) as well as the proposed waterline extension to the Mega Park.
Our future planning will require us to be mindful about the reduced usage patterns and actions that may be needed to make sure the revenues being generated on an annual basis are sufficient to pay for all of our annual expenses. As an enterprise fund, it is imperative that our water and sewer rate structures be established to generate the level of revenues that are necessary on an annual basis to cover all of our operational, capital and debt related costs.
The “Debt Service” expenses within the Water & Sewer Fund increased by $56,908 or approximately 2.94% from $1,937,985 during FY 2016-17 to $1,994,893 during FY 2017-18.
I am very pleased to report that there was no department/division within the Water & Fund that exceeded the appropriated amount of funds.
Mega Park Waterline Project Fund
Information concerning the Mega Park Waterline Project Fund can be found in the audited financial statements. On March 21, 2017, City Council approved the creation of the Mega Park Waterline Project Fund. It was noted that the funding for this project at that point in time would include:
Drinking Water State Reserve Grant $ 1,886,700
Loan @ 0% $ 3,000,000
Loan @ 1.53% (maximum rate) $12,002,900
City of Eden Funds $ 1,600,000
As noted previously, the City Council voted to transfer $500,000 to this newly created project fund and on June 30, 2018, it had an existing fund balance of $366,049.
On November 20, 2018, the City Council approved an amendment to the amounts previously authorized. Due to a reduction in the size of the proposed waterline and additional grants that have now been awarded, the projected cost and funding sources for this project have changed as follows:
Revised Estimated Project Cost as of November 2018: $7,072,900
Projected Funding Sources as of November 2018:
- Drinking Water Reserve Grant $1,018,225
- Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grant $2,000,000
- NC General Assembly Legislative Grant $1,000,000
- Loan @ 0% Interest $3,000,000
- Loan @ 1.53% (maximum rate) $ 54,675
EPA AOC Sewer Project Fund
Information concerning the EPA AOC Sewer Project Fund can be found in the audited financial statements. On March 21, 2017, City Council approved the creation of the EPA AOC Sewer Project Fund. It was noted that as of January 31, 2017, a total of $15,391,673 had already been spent on this unfunded mandate and the funding to date had included:
0% and low interest loans $10,961,507
Principal forgiveness loans $ 4,034,000
City of Eden Funds $ 396,166
It was also noted that the remaining work had a projected cost of $33,725,600 at that point in time, and thanks to the NC Connect Bond, funding for the remainder of this work would come from the following:
NC Connect Bond grant $16,666,000
NC Connect Bond loan @ 0% $15,000,000
City of Eden Funds $ 1,600,000
As noted previously, the City Council voted initially to transfer $2,059,600 to this newly created project fund and an additional $1,000,000 contribution was budgeted for and received from the Water and Sewer Fund during the past year. On June 30, 2018, this Capital Project Fund had an existing fund balance of $857,953.
Funding Sources for Capital Project Funds & Future Debt Service Payments
- The Mega Park Waterline Capital Project Fund and the EPA AOC Sewer Capital Project Fund have a combined total cost of $56,190,173. A total of $15,391,673 had been spent on the EPA AOC Sewer Projects prior to March 2017 leaving a combined remaining total cost of 40,798,500.
- We are very pleased that $20,684,225 ($16,666,000 EPA AOC and $4,018,225 Mega Park Waterline) or approximately 50.70% of this total cost is expected to be received in the form of grants. An additional $18,000,000 or approximately 44.12% is expected to be received in the form of 0% interest forgiveness loans and $54,675 or approximately 0.13% is expected to be received in the form of a loan with a maximum interest rate of 1.53%. This leaves a balance of $2,059,600 or approximately 5.05% to be funded from the Water and Sewer Fund.
- The City of Eden is currently making a combined principal/interest payment of $1,251,000 on $14,375,755 in loans that were taken out during 2007 and 2008 with an average interest rate of 3.73%. These loans will be paid in full at the conclusion of FY 2021-22.
- One of the funding strategies we identified several years ago and still intend to pursue, is to roll-over this existing $1,251,000 in debt service payments that is already built into our existing rate structure and will become available for re-appropriation in FY 2022-23.
- This will be sufficient to cover the future debt service payments related to the loans associated with the EPA AOC Sewer Capital Project and the Mega Park Waterline Capital Project.
- The $15,000,000 loan for the EPA AOC Sewer Capital Project will be paid back over a period of 20 years with an interest rate of 0% and an annual debt service payment of $750,000. The $3,000,000 loan for the Mega Park Waterline Capital Project will be paid back over a period of 20 years with an interest rate of 0% and an annual debt service payment of $150,000. The $54,675 loan for the Mega Park Waterline Capital Project will be paid back over a period of 20 years with a maximum interest rate of 1.53% and an annual maximum debt service payment of $3,194. Combined, the future annual debt service payments associated with these three loans will equal $903,194.
Self-Insurance Fund – Internal Service Fund
On July 1, 1995, the City began its self-insured insurance coverage program. The City carries a reinsurance policy for payment on all specific claims in excess of $55,000 once the one-time aggregating specific corridor of $155,000 has been met. Once the one-time aggregating specific corridor has been met, the reinsurance carrier reimburses any excess above $55,000 claimed on any individual to the City unless the reinsurance carrier has assigned a pre-determined laser on a specific individual due to an existing condition. In the comparative balance sheet of the Self-Insurance Fund, it indicates the retained earnings (“Fund Equities”) showed an increase of $26,841 or approximately 15.61% from $171,973 in 2017 to $198,814 in 2018. Insurance Claims increased during FY 2017-18 from $2,549,078 in FY 2016-17 to $2,553,221 in FY 2017-18 for an increase of just $4,143 or approximately 0.16% while Group Insurance Fixed Costs decreased by $10,568 or approximately 2.17% from $487,884 in FY 2016-17 to $477,316 in FY 2017-18.
The audit document indicates that $0 ($0 General Fund and $0 Water & Sewer Fund) was used in FY 2017-18 in order to balance the Self Insurance Fund. This is a significant improvement when compared to the $450,000 ($250,000 GF and $200,000 WSF) that was utilized during FY 2016-17.
Law Enforcement Officers Special Separation Allowance – Actuarial Study
The Law Enforcement Officers Special Separation Allowance is a public employee retiree system pension plan that provides retirement benefits to the City’s qualified sworn law enforcement officers. The separation allowance is equal to .85 percent of the annual equivalent of the base rate of compensation most recently applicable to the officer for each year of creditable service.
As of December 31, 2017, the actuarial accrued liability for benefits was $2,258,738. This represents an increase of $356,195 or approximately 18.72% when compared to the previous year total of $1,902,543. The audited financial statements indicate that for the year ended June 30, 2018, the City recognized pension expense of $192,604 for our retired police officers.
It is important to note that most municipalities fund their separation allowance on a pay as you go basis and this is what we have been doing. The City continues to be committed to funding this ongoing obligation on an annual pay as you go basis.
Fiduciary Funds account for assets held by the City in a trustee capacity or as an agent for individuals, private organizations, other governmental units, and/or other funds. The City maintains one fiduciary fund: The Agency Fund - Runabout Travel Club Fund.
The Agency Fund – Run-About Travel Club Fund is custodial in nature and does not involve the measurement of operating results. The Run-About Travel Club Fund accounts for money deposited with the City of Eden Parks and Recreation Department for those individuals participating in the programs of its department sponsored club. The fund balance on June 30, 2018 equaled $19,533, which is an increase of $2,262 or approximately 13.10% from the amount on hand as of June 30, 2017, which was $17,271. Again, this is merely a fund for its members who contribute monies for scheduled activities and trips.
On June 30, 2018, the combined total outstanding principal and interest debt for the City was equal to $19,292,177. This is an increase of $30,869 or approximately 0.16% compared to the total of $19,261,308 on June 30, 2017.
The information concerning specific installment purchases, capital lease purchases and other projects is also included in the audited financial statements and indicates that four of the obligations with a total annual principal payment of $53,634 will be paid off prior to June 30, 2019, eleven additional obligations with a total annual principal payment of $230,128 will be paid off prior to June 30, 2020, and one additional obligation with a total annual principal payment of $26,924 will be paid off prior to June 30, 2021.
The legal debt margin for the City as of June 30, 2018 equaled $71,374,122 up from $70,903,339 on June 30, 2017. As you may be aware, the N. C. General Statutes limits the amount of general obligation debt that a unit of government can issue to eight (8) percent of the total assessed value of taxable property located within the government’s boundaries.
Analysis of Current Tax Levy
The total property tax valuation for FY 2017-18 was $892,176,523. This is higher than the total property tax valuation for FY 2016-17, which was $886,291,739.
The current year tax collection rate dropped slightly to 98.21% compared to the 2017 rate of 98.64%. The property excluding registered motor vehicles collection rate equaled 97.97% and is down slightly from last year’s rate that was 98.49%. The reductions were because SGRTEX failed to pay their taxes due prior to June 30, 2018. Finally, the registered motor vehicles collection rate equaled a perfect 100% for the third consecutive year.
The $162,564 in interest income earned on investments during FY 2017-18 has increased from last year’s total of $64,959 by $97,605 or approximately 150.26%.
As I traditionally do, I have prepared a more detailed synopsis of the audited financial statements for the period ending June 30, 2018 for use by the Mayor and City Council in an effort to assist them with their annual review. If anyone would like a copy of this synopsis please email, me at email@example.com and I will be glad to share a copy with you.
Economic & Tourism Development Department
Greensboro, NC based D. H. Griffin purchased the former MillerCoors site on December 31, 2018 for approximately $2.7 million. City officials will meet with the new owners soon to determine their plans for the site. D.H Griffin has a business development arm of its company. Several commercial brokers have speculated that the 1,600-acre property would be an ideal “mega site” due to its abundant utilities and other resources, such as rail.
The price paid for the facility has raised questions within the economic development community. Pabst offered MillerCoors $100 million for the Eden site in 2015 but was told it was worth $750 million. This was curious since MillerCoors purchased the Eden site from Miller Brewing Company for approximately $53 million in 2008 when the joint venture between the two companies began. Some have speculated that MillerCoors did not want to assist Pabst by providing it with the Eden brewing capacity. Like other traditional light lager beer producers, MillerCoors is under intense competitive pressure from the craft beer segment as well as steadily increasing wine sales. One wonders why the company would settle for 2.7% of the original offer for the facility unless this was done by design.
Mr. Nick Freitag, Gildan Vice-President of Wholesale Distribution—Printwear will retire from his position effective February 1, 2019. Since coming to Eden in 2008, Frietag has overseen several company expansions, contributed annual T-shirts to the Get Fit Eden and Rockingham programs, sponsored Eden events, has encouraged his management employees to serve on local Boards and Commissions, and was the 2016 recipient of the Eden Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen Award. Nick and his wife Cindy will be honored by the Eden City Council at its January 15, 2019 meeting. The Freitags will retire to Pilot Mountain, NC.
The Receiver appointed to oversee the sale of this facility continues to show it to potential purchasers. Recently, he advertised the site in Textile News, an industry publication, to generate continued interest in the building and its machinery.
Southern Virginia Mega Site at Berry Hill
On December 19, NC Senator Phil Berger, VA General Assemblyman Danny Marshall, Rockingham County Board of Commissioners Chair Reece Pyrtle, Eden Mayor Neville Hall, Eden Director of Economic Development Mike Dougherty, Rockingham County Economic Development Assistant Director Ken Allen and Ted Lord of the Golden Leaf Foundation met with their counterparts from Danville and Pittsylvania County to discuss the developments at the Mega Park and workforce development efforts. The meeting was held at the Danville Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.
Danville Community College (DCC) and the Institute have helped create an excellent workforce development program, assisted by sponsorships from Gene Hass and other companies who supply equipment. The Danville Economic Development Director dedicated $1.6 million of his budget to the local school system to encourage students to become part of the precision machining and other programs at the college and Institute. Four companies from the United Kingdom have moved to Danville because of its workforce development program. A $25 million project will be coming soon to the Institute campus. Since RCC is beginning the process to program the new workforce development center, it seems beneficial to consult with our northern neighbors about programs that would complement what they are providing. They want to create an unsurpassed workforce development program that will help this region be very attractive to industry. Workforce Development is the main concern for most companies so if we have an excellent program in place, it will help us attract industry here.
The first action item resulting from this meeting is for RCC President and staff to meet to determine what training can be included in the RCC Workforce Development Center to complement what is offered in Danville and Martinsville. The goal is to create a regional workforce development initiative to help lure companies to this area. In addition, the Mega Site was featured in the March 2018 issue of Site Selector’s Magazine.
Eden’s Own Journal
Publisher Lisa Griffith, her husband David and her daughter Liza Doss were among the family members honored at the December 2018 Eden City Council meeting for their 20th Anniversary. A special plaque was presented by Mayor Neville Hall at the beginning of the meeting. Griffith started the newspaper in 1998 and has expanded its reach over the years so it now is a countywide publication. Griffith expressed gratitude for the advertisers who have supported her over the years and made this publication possible.
63rd Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner
This event will take place on Tuesday, January 29 at the Wright Memorial Event Center, 184 Slaydon Road in Eden with the reception at 6:00 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Morehead High School’s dynamic new Principal, Ryan Moody. In addition, this event is where the Distinguished Citizen of 2018 and the recipient of the John E. Grogan Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced among other award winners. This is also a great time to hear about the Chamber of Commerce’s plans for 2019. Tickets are $35 per person. Please RSVP by Friday January 25, 2019 at 336-623-3336 or email President Angela Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also stop by the Chamber office at 678 S. Van Buren Road.
622 Washington Street
The sale of the 622 Washington Street to high bidder Trey Wyatt is complete. He plans to open a locally owned craft beer and wine restaurant featuring a delicious American tapas menu in a fun and entertaining environment. He hopes to be open in time for Riverfest which is scheduled for September 20-21, 2019.
Fieldcrest Road Public Space
Corrugated sliding metal doors, a window package and benches for the Fieldcrest Public Space have been ordered. The benches have a ship date of January 31 and the doors should be completed by the end of February. Windows will need final measurements to proceed. The lighting installation has been hampered by record rainfall but will be completed in the near future.
Bridge Street Municipal Parking Lot
A larger new parking lot sign has been ordered for this site. The Home Trust Endowment grant that has been awarded for this beautification project is still being held at the Stadium Drive branch waiting for the official corporate release date. Additional research is being conducted from other Main Street communities on parking guidelines that encourage a pedestrian friendly downtown.
Plans are being made for an Entrepreneurship program that would feed into a future local SCORE chapter involving the city, Eden Chamber, and county partners. This program would assist with our objectives found for economic development in the Positively Eden Strategic Plan.
The Boulevard Merchants Association
The Boulevard Merchants Association held their annual Christmas Party at 241 events. They are currently planning their second annual Food Truck Rodeo for April 13, 2019. Proceeds from their fundraisers are used for their beautification efforts.
Leaksville Merchants Association
The Leaksville Merchants Association have agreed to donate their excess snowflake street pole decorations to the Boulevard Merchants Association. With some additional fundraising, we could see the Boulevard fully decorated during November – December, 2019.
Eden Downtown Development Inc. (EDDI)
The Eden Downtown Development Corporation cancelled their December meeting due to snow. The agenda items will carry over for discussion during their January 14 meeting. Work to pursue the restoration of the Balmar Theater will be tabled, as the current owner has no interest in such a project. The EDDI was recently notified of its 2019 state accreditation from NC Main Street Center staff.
Public Art Project
A public art project supporting painting fire hydrants has been announced. Hydrants in our downtown areas have been identified as priorities and several local artists have volunteered to take on the project initially. This is open to the public. Please contact Randy Hunt, Main Street Manager at email@example.com for more information.
Wire Animal Public Art Project
Our artist Josh Cote has completed all six of the animal art pieces. He will be joining us in Eden from Bakersville, North Carolina on Saturday, January 19 to help position the art pieces in Grogan Park. Installation will take place the following week. We will then announce a dedication date that we hope all of you will attend. This has been a very exciting project and we think you are going to be very proud of what has been created for our community to enjoy for many years to come. Stay tuned!
2019 Event Dates
Mark your calendars now because you do not want to miss any of our signature events here in Eden this year!
- May 11 – Oink & Ale
- June 1 – Piedmont Pottery Festival
- July 20 – Shaggin’ on Fieldcrest
- August 15 – Grown & Gathered
- August 24 – Touch –A-Truck
- September 20 & 21 – RiverFest
We will also host smaller events such as Movies under the Stars, Hispanic Heritage Day, the Veterans Day Celebration, WinterFest and more.
Piedmont Pottery Festival
Calling all potters! Our Piedmont Pottery Festival date is set for Saturday, June 1. We would love to have a big group of our talented Rockingham County potters participate this year. Applications will be available online on February 1 at www.ExploreEdenNC.com.
Oink & Ale Barbecue Cookers
Oink & Ale will take place Saturday, May 11. We will be featuring the band ON THE BORDER – THE ULTIMATE EAGLES TRIBUTE and are expecting a large crowd. We would love to feature some of our local barbecue cookers that day as well. Please call Cindy Adams at 336-612-8049 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being a part of this fun event.
Explore Downtown Newsletter
You can get information about upcoming local events by email through our monthly Explore Downtown newsletter. If you want to subscribe, please send your email address to email@example.com.
“A Few Minutes with the Mayor”
Tune in to WGSR Star News the last Thursday of every month at 6:15 p.m. and spend 15 minutes with Mayor Neville Hall.
Explore Eden Facebook Page
Please join our Explore Eden Facebook page as another way to stay up to date on what to do in Eden! We have over 7,300 followers!
Street Resurfacing Projects:
The bid opening for the FY 2018-19 Street Resurfacing Contract, No. 2 was held on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at Eden City Hall. The following bids were received: Waugh Asphalt, Inc. $398,792.94; Turner Asphalt $480,107.80; Adams Construction $491,314.80 and Triangle Grading & Paving $592,317.00. Waugh Asphalt was the low bidder. A request to award will be presented at the upcoming city council meeting.
Restriping of Country Club Drive
Triad Road Maintenance has been delayed on several projects due to the recent bad weather. This work is still scheduled to be completed as soon as the contractor can work it in.
Waterline Replacement Projects Update
Workers from Citty’s Plumbing and Pools, Inc. were able to spot existing utilities and make a wet tap for the new water main for Ridge Avenue on December 27. Due to holidays and wet weather, work continued with one good day a week until the last of the new 2-inch diameter PVC water main was installed on January 7. The new pipe passed the hydrostatic testing the next day, with additional testing scheduled before new water taps can be made for some of the residents west of N. Hale Street.
Joyce Backhoe Services, Inc., low bidder for the Morehead Street waterline replacement project, still plans to start the installation of the 6-inch diameter ductile iron water main between Glovenia Street and Hollingsworth Street around the later part of January, or early February 2019.
Citty’s Plumbing and Pools, Inc., the lowest bidder for the Jackson Street and W. Moore Street waterline replacement project, has submitted bonds and other required documents that are being reviewed. The installation of up to 905 feet of 6-inch diameter ductile iron water main along Jackson Street north of W. Moore Street could also begin at the end of January 2019.
During 2018, the Eden Fire Department conducted 27 fire and life safety programs throughout the city. A total of 57.5 hours of material was presented on various safety topics. Listed below is the age break down with the number of participates:
- 0-4 years 213
- 5-10 years 799
- 11-13 years 120
- 14-18 years 178
- 19-61 years 643
- 62+ years 36
Total Number 1989
The fire department distributed 20 smoke detectors and installed 19 batteries. We offer a free smoke detector for citizens who own their home. If you or anyone you know, is in need of a smoke detector please call Eden Fire Station 4 @ 336 623-9820 for more details.
Tax season is upon us. Which means IRS scam season is also here. Between January and April, we always see an increase in the amount of phishing e-mails that either claim to be from the IRS, your bank, or employer. The Center for Internet Security (https://cisecurity.org) recommends these three tips to help you avoid scams this tax season:
- File your taxes as early as you can
- By filing your taxes early, scammers aiming to use your personal information to file a fraudulent return in your name will be unable to do so. They can’t file if you beat them to it!
- Never click a link in an email notifying you of available tax documents
- Always go to your browser and type in your company’s online W-2 or tax document retrieval service URL to avoid many common phishing scams. This will ensure you go to the right website and get your documents safely.
- Avoid IRS impersonation scams
- The IRS will never contact you over the phone or email to ask for payment of an overdue tax bill. Criminals frequently make such calls and can request payment by normal means or by prepaid gift cards, and any contact like this should be ignored.To report tax fraud:
The IRS encourages taxpayers to send suspicious emails related to tax fraud to firstname.lastname@example.org. Other forms of tax fraud can be reported by following the instructions on this site:
Municipal Services Department
Code Red Notification System
The City of Eden has a Code Red Notification System to help make residents aware of changes to garbage collection due to weather or holiday closings, missing persons and any road closures. The system is also used for other public service and emergency related announcements. If you are not receiving the notifications and are interested in being included, please contact Georgette Spence at 336-623-2110 option 3 and have your name and number(s) added to the Code Red notification list. If you are an Eden resident, there is no cost to receive these notifications.
Reminder Concerning Snow Events
During snow events, our Municipal Services Department requests that all residents avoid parking their car(s) on the roadway. Please park any and all cars OFF the roadway, if possible. This would allow better access for the snowplows to clear the roadway in a timelier and efficient manner, thereby allowing all residents access to clear roads much faster. Thank you so much for your assistance.
Reminder: Collection of Leaves is Now Underway
The City of Eden is in the process of collecting leaves for leaf season. Residents should place their leaves behind the curb or edge of the road, and leaves must be separated from brush. During heavy rain events, leaves may not be picked up on schedule due to water damaging the leaf machine. However, leaves will be picked up when they dry out. The City will be collecting leaves on a regular basis until February.
Parks, Recreation & Facility Maintenance Department
Community Accents Program & Parks & Recreation Radio Program
Staff will be participating in the Community Accents Program with WLOE (Wonderful Land of Eden) radio on January 11. In addition, staff participated in the Parks & Recreation Radio Program with WLOE on December 27 and will be participating in the same program again on January 23 to update the public on our recreational program offerings during the months of January, February and March. We remain involved in these community outreach efforts in an effort to update residents about the programs being offered by our Parks & Recreation Department.
Be Healthy Rockingham County
Staff continues to be involved with Be Healthy Rockingham County initiative. They will attend the Be Healthy Rockingham County meetings scheduled for January 9 and February 13.
Santa Calling Program & Santa Visits
Parks & Recreation staff conducted the Santa Calling Program and Visits by Santa during the month of December 2018.
Dixie Youth Ozone State Baseball Championship
The City of Eden has been selected as the host City for the 2019 Dixie Youth Ozone State Baseball Championship that will take place from July 12-18, 2019 at Freedom Park.
Freedom Park Splash Pad Update
Cirrus Construction is in the process of preparing construction documents and currently plans on initiating construction at some point this month, weather permitting. VORTEX is continuing their work on the construction documents for the splash pad component and they too are currently planning to begin construction at some point this month, weather permitting.
Matrimony Creek Greenway Parking Lot – Update
The City Council authorized the paving of the Matrimony Creek Greenway Nature Trail Parking Lot at their meeting on September 18, using funds from the Positively Eden Strategic Plan Funds for FY 2018-19. Prices were received for this project and a P.O. was issued, but this project was put on hold until the spring of 2019 due to the repairs and restoration work needed due to the damage from Tropical Storm Michael.
Freedom Park Walking Track and Road Repairs
Road repairs and crack sealing was done to the parking lots and walking track at Freedom Park during the week of November 26-30. The walking track and stripping will be completed in the spring of 2019.
Chiller & Cooling Tower for Eden Municipal Building
The installation of the new Chiller and Cooling Tower that was previously approved by the Eden City Council is scheduled to begin in late February or early March and will be completed by mid-April.
Planning & Inspections Department
Stadium Drive Sidewalk
We have finally been given the go ahead to start the survey work and procurement of a surveyor and designer for this project. A meeting representatives from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, is the next step. Once that meeting is held, we will put out a Request for Proposals for an Engineering firm to design the project according to NCDOT standards. A survey will need to be done and any necessary easements procured.
At the November 2018 regular City Council meeting, the City Council approved the demolition of seven properties.
31 local code inspections were made since the last report. The breakdown of types are as follows: 1 for a building violation, 2 for high grass, 12 for junk cars, 12 for junk storage, and 4 for miscellaneous inspections. Miscellaneous inspections would include, but are not limited to, sight obstructions, sewer discharge on to the ground, and rats. In addition, 6 notices have been mailed by certified mail and first class mail. The number of properties affected are as follows: 1 for a building violation, 4 for junk, and 1 for a junk car.
In an effort to identify property owners, our Staff regularly consults with the Clerk of Superior Court of Rockingham County, North Carolina, regarding deceased property owners and with the Medicaid Estates Recovery Department in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to determine if they plan to seek action to collect funds.
Statements were mailed out the last week of November to all property owners with an outstanding balance. The City received payments in the amount of $215.00. December is usually a slower month for collections.
During 2018, the City of Eden and Rockingham County have worked together toward our collection efforts for local code abatement fees owed to the city. The decision was made that each June, the fees from the most recent year that remain due for local code enforcement will be sent to Rockingham County to be placed on the tax bills that will come out in August. Since the tax bills were mailed in August of 2018, the City has received $4,083.54 from Rockingham County on code enforcement fees that were billed with the property taxes.
If delinquent taxes are due on a property as well as local code enforcement fees, the County has agreed that the city can use the tax foreclosure process for collections. We will have to pay taxes with proceeds that we receive, but using this style of foreclosure will allow the resulting property to be sold free of all liens except federal tax liens. This will make it much easier to sell the properties and get them back on the active tax rolls.
On January 3, the board met to discuss a text amendment that would allow recycling centers in I-2. This type use was moved to I-3 when our industrial districts were overhauled. While the request was a text amendment, the focus is still on the property on Friendly Road that used to be a junkyard. The Planning Board recommended denial of the request as did staff.
For the next regular meeting of the Board, we have received a zoning map amendment request from the owners of the former Fieldcrest filter plant on Meadow Road. They are working toward a micro-brewery on the site. We are also taking a staff generated zoning ordinance amendment to the Board about disabled vehicles.
Planning Organization Boards and Commissions
Boards and Commissions during January and February will be discussing their goals and objectives for the next budget year.
Strategic Plan Project Proposal – Residential Improvement Grant
Staff is currently developing a proposal for a Residential Improvement Grant and we intend to ask the Positively Eden Strategic Plan Commission to fund the first year of the project if we receive approval from the City Council. We will select seven neighborhoods and allow both owners and landlords of single family residential structures to apply for a maximum of $10,000 for the following improvement categories.
- Life Safety issues
- Energy Conservation
- Appearance and General Upgrades
We plan to model the program after both our Downtown Improvement Grant (DIG) program and the old Single Family Rehab grant programs from the State. We will include the same protections (Deed of Trust) to prevent us giving grants and then owners taking the windfall and selling. In addition, there will provisions to prevent landlords from upping rents based on city-sponsored improvements.
Due to the re-assignment of Officer Elizabeth Tilley to the Downtown Business District Officer, an interview panel was formed for the vacant School Resource Officer position at Holmes Middle School. Congratulations to Officer Jay Parker for being selected for this re-assignment.
On January 22 – 23, the police department administration and supervisors will receive training on Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS). This training integrates location based crime and traffic data to establish effective and efficient methods for deploying law enforcement and other resources. Using GIS mapping to identify areas that have high incidences of crime and crashes, DDACTS uses traffic enforcement strategies that play a dual role in fighting crime and reducing crashes and traffic violations.
We have a student from ECU majoring in Criminal Justice working on his internship. Brock Fox, an Eden resident, is doing an internship and shadowing officers and other staff to complete more than 500 hours of required time to complete his internship. Brock will observe many of the day-to-day operations as well as the behind the scenes operations.
The Eden Police Department would like to continue to encourage the citizens of our community to utilize the Eden Police Department’s Facebook page for updates and information concerning our community, as well as Crimestoppers, to provide anonymous information concerning illegal activity to keep our community safe.