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Posted on: February 12, 2020

February City Manager's Report

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 City Manager’s Report
February 2020
Interim City Manager Terry A. Shelton

Administration 

New addition: City Hall’s Administration Department is pleased to welcome a familiar employee to our office – Blair Barker is transferring Feb. 18 from Finance to serve as an administrative assistant alongside the City Manager, Attorney and Clerk. Ms. Barker has nearly 12 years of dedicated experience working for the City. She is filling the position left vacant after Jennifer Woods took a position in December as Clerk to the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners.

 Economic Development 

Industry

Gildan Yarns: Gildan is seeking machine electricians, spinning and carding technicians, spinning and carding operators, and can haulers. There are some day shift positions, but the majority of these openings are on the night shift. Most positions are for 12-hour shifts on a 2-2-3 schedule. For more information, visit their 335 Summit Road facility.

Industrial/Commercial projects: Both the City and County economic development departments are finalizing two projects that should be announced by March. One is an innovative industrial process and the other a fabrication company.

Southern Virginia Mega Site at Berry Hill: The water line project is progressing quickly with the expected completion date to be closer to March than the original August date. Travelers can see the fire hydrants along Berry Hill Road to the Virginia state line. Our Virginia neighbors have extended the line from there to the park itself. This is another element in making the park more marketable to potential users.

Commercial

Family Dental Associates: The City will honor Dr. Michael Burleson and his staff for their more than 40 years in business at the March City Council meeting. Dr. Burleson started this practice with two additional dentists, Jim Eggleston retiring a few years ago.

Gordman’s Department Store: All 45 new Gordman’s stores will open concurrently at 9 a.m. on April 7. The new Eden Gordman’s will be located in the former Peeble’s location in Kingsway Plaza next to Dollar Tree.

Lidl building: Atlantic Retail of Charlotte has been contracted to market the facility. This company specializes in retail recruitment and is actively working on potential tenants. The City and broker have been working together on a national tenant that would be a good fit for this space.

News & Record/Rockingham Now: In early February, Berkshire Hathaway, owner of the Greensboro News & Record and Rockingham Now, announced it will sell its newspaper holdings to Lee Enterprises for $140 million. In addition to the Greensboro and Rockingham County newspapers, BH Media owns newspapers in Hickory, Statesville, Morganton and McDowell County. It also owns 10 daily papers in Virginia, including the papers in Danville, Martinsville, Roanoke, Lynchburg, Charlottesville and Richmond.

The Clock Doc: Owner Kevin Webb has spent 25 years as a horologist. He has been both a watch master and clock smith since 1993. They offer new product sales and service of both clocks and watches. They are located at 350 W. King’s Highway and can be reached at 336-627-3750.

Main Street

Boulevard Merchants Association: Merchants met to discuss how they can work together to promote retail and service-based business together. As The Boulevard continues to thrive, a need for more formal meetings has grown. A second February meeting is planned on the 17th. The merchants will affix the BLVD logo from the Positively Eden branding study to the street’s planters.

Duke Energy Water Resources Grant: Both Klyce Street and Draper landings held fast from the flooding that occurred over the February 7 weekend rains. Draper Landing was completely to the roof of the kiosk. At Klyce Street, the entire parking lot and landing ramp was flooded, but the unique design of the stairwell allowed the tops of the hand rails to stay visible.

Eden Downtown Development Inc.: Rhonda and David Price of David Price Auto Works were formally announced as Eden’s 2020 Main Street Champions. They will be honored at a ceremony at the closing of the N.C. Main Street Conference in New Bern this March; A citywide yard sale is planned for May 2 in conjunction with the Eden Boys and Girls Club. 

Leaksville Commercial District: The Danceware Boutique at 640 Washington St. was awarded a Building Rehabilitation Grant for renovations. The building has new HVAC, bathrooms, flooring and electrical work. Its facade is currently being painted. A new business is coming to 615 Washington Street. 615 was the former home to Tommy’s Barber Shop. It will now house boutique clothing and international home décor. 1405 Highway 770 will be the new location of The Blissful Palette Catering and Events. The new business plans to open in February. The Leaksville Merchant Association met February 11- event planning for 2020 and future leadership was addressed.

Main Street Program: The N.C. Main Street Center is recommending to the National Main Street Center that Eden Downtown Development again be a 2020 nationally accredited Main Street program.

Tourism & Special Events 

HGTV Submission: Eden is in the running to win the HGTV Home Town Takeover Contest! We submitted our application and video and have our fingers crossed! A huge thank you to everyone who played a part in this heartfelt community effort. A special thank you to Chase Nappier of CTT Productions for producing our video. We could not have done it without you! You can watch the video on our Explore Eden or City of Eden Facebook pages.

Otter Habitat: Work will begin soon on this project to be located near the Island Ford Landing at the Smith River Greenway. A Duke Energy grant will fund almost all of this project costs. Both the City of Eden and Dan River Basin Association are working together on the project to provide shelter for the otters who traverse the Smith River.

Shaggin’ on Fieldcrest: We have booked the CAT 5 BAND for our July 25  Shaggin’ on Fieldcrest!!! Make sure you mark your calendars!

Showcase Magazine: Showcase Magazine out of Danville, Va., is dedicating its March issue to EDEN! Make sure you pick up a copy.

Trails: Recent rainfall has caused significant damage to Eden riverside trails. For the safety of all residents, the City of Eden asks that citizens do not walk on these trails until repairs can be made. Your cooperation with this request is appreciated. Thank you.

Information Technology 

Wuhan Coronavirus scams: The Federal Trade Commission has issued the following alert concerning scams surrounding the Wuhan Coronavirus:

“Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. They’re setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take your money and get your personal information. The emails and posts may be promoting awareness and prevention tips, and fake information about cases in your neighborhood. They also may be asking you to donate to victims, offering advice on unproven treatments, or contain malicious email attachments.

Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:

  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. It could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads touting prevention, treatment, or cure claims for the Coronavirus, ask yourself: if there’s been a medical breakthrough, would you be hearing about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch?

Do your homework when it comes to donations. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.

Be alert to “investment opportunities.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.

If you come across any suspicious claims, report them to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.”

Planning & Inspections 

CDBG: The grant agreement and other documents have been received for signatures. The consultant has been contacted regarding moving forward with the grant. There are some conditions that have to be released before we can expend funds.

Code Enforcement: 35 notices were mailed that affect the following number of properties - 5 for violation of the Minimum Housing Code, 2 for violation of the Non-Residential Building Maintenance Standards, 3 for disabled vehicles, 4 for junk storage and 4 for zoning violations. The violations of the Non-Residential Building Maintenance Standards include the space occupied by Yono’s at 700 S. Van Buren Road and the “Covered Mall Building” at 201 E. Meadow Road.  The “Covered Mall Building” is for the common area and small rental spaces. It does not include the anchor stores of the former Belk building, former Peebles building and former K-Mart building. A hearing for the mall property is scheduled for February 20 at 8:30 a.m. The space occupied by Yono’s is currently being repaired by the property owner.

GIS: The City’s account representative with ESRI has been contacted about enhancing the City’s GIS capabilities including making the data available to the majority of the City staff. An appointment for a demonstration of the applications available has been scheduled for February 21.

Historic Preservation Commission: The Commission met on January 13 and adopted a resolution to present to City Council recommending that the Washington Street Park be renamed Jean Harrington Park in her honor.

Inspections projects of note: Zip’s Carwash is underway and the site utilities are almost completed. KFC is now in the trim out stage and should be finished by the end of February. The former Kmart building upfit is underway. Osborne Baptist Church has submitted plans for an 8,500 square foot classroom addition.

Pedestrian Planning Grant: Approval of the grant documents will be on the February regular agenda.

Stadium Drive sidewalk: Surveying on the project should begin in the next two weeks.

Unified Development Ordinance: We held 6 stakeholder meetings. They were extremely successful.  Information received will be posted on our website. The Steering Committee (aka the Planning Board) met on February 3. They received training on the process ahead and also served as a stakeholder group by offering their issues with our regulations and suggestions for changes. On February 10, we held a community meeting held in the Eden Room. Notice of the meeting was published, on the City Hall sign and our website.

Urgent Repair Grant: This grant application was submitted last week.

Vacant Commercial Property Registration: Second letters were sent to vacant downtown property owners who did not respond to first letter. Several property owners have responded.

Police 

Anti-Litter campaign: The Eden Police Department continues to post a public service announcement on our Facebook page asking citizens to stand against litter as part of the countywide campaign to aggressively enforce littering and illegal dumping violations. We will continue to replay the announcement each month and aggressively enforce littering and illegal dumping statutes.

Facebook: We encourage citizens to follow our 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. We all have to work together to keep our community safe.  

K-9: As a result of K-9 Sadie retiring after nine years of service, the department has selected Saga, from Highland K-9, as the replacement. Officer Eric Gann has been selected to be the next K-9 handler. We should be completing this process over the next several months. The four-week handler school is tentatively set in April.

Sweepstakes establishments in the City: The department delivered letters to each sweepstakes establishment in the City on Feb. 3. The letter advised establishment owners that on and after March 4, the department, in conjunction with NCALE, would begin to enforce statutes related to sweepstakes/casinos operating in the City. This letter was also delivered by each agency in Rockingham County in their respective jurisdictions in a joint operation to gain compliance in sweepstakes establishments. 

Public Utilities

Water Quality Report: The City’s Water Filtration Plant has released their 2019 Water Quality Report, detailing specific information pertaining to the quality of drinking water that it provides to its customers. As part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandate, water utilities across the country produce annual reports that are designed to educate and inform consumers. This report is an opportunity for the public to understand what is involved with making the water safe. You can find it on the City’s homepage under Latest News (edennc.us) or pick up a printed copy in the Billing and Collections Department at City Hall, 308 E. Stadium Drive.                   


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