City Manager’s Report
Interim City Manager Terry A. Shelton
Eden Youth Council
The City is currently accepting applications for the 2020-21 City of Eden Youth Council. Membership is open to individuals who live in the Morehead High School Attendance Zone (MHS, college, homeschool, or private school students) and are between the ages of 14 and 20.
This experience provides our youth with:
• Service opportunities
• Development of leadership and professional skills
• Networking amongst civic leaders
• Coordinating opportunities for Eden youth
• Great experience to list on resumes and college applications
Applications are available at Eden City Hall - Administration, Morehead High School Student Affairs Office, and online on the City’s website.
Southern Virginia Mega Site at Berry Hill
The water line project is moving very quickly and will be completed much earlier than the August 2020 initial completion date projection. It could be completed as early as April of this year. There has been significant activity by parties interested in locating at the park.
Envision Career Expo
This event will take place on Thursday, April 2 at Rockingham Community College. Seventh-graders from across the county will see area companies exhibit what they do in their individual businesses. The goal of this event is to show students the careers they can seek at Rockingham County industries and small businesses. This will be an annual event facilitated by the Rockingham County Economic Development Department and its partners, including the City of Eden Economic Development Department.
At a February 17 meeting, RCC President Mark Kinlaw gave a presentation on the current state of the college and the workforce development center. Enrollment is up considerably as seen in the following:
- Fall enrollment has increased 7.68% since 2015
- Spring enrollment has increased 16.5% in 2020 vs. 2019
- 35.4% of Rockingham County School students attend RCC (21.6% in 2015)
- Distance education has grown from 9.8% in 2013 to 31.05% in 2019
- GED students have grown from 72 in 2013 to 101 in 2019
- Continuing education is up 18.2% (246 in 2015 and 291 in 2019)
The new workforce building is in the process of being designed. It is not scheduled to open until March 2023. Because of the NC Connect Bond funding, almost all of the community colleges obtained funding for capital improvements. These projects have to go through the state construction office, which has delayed plan approval significantly.
Morehead High School
Eden officials participated in a mock interview session at the high school on March 3. In one area, students seeking scholarship funding were asked to make the case why they were deserving of this funding. Facilitators saw very focused, dedicated, and admirable students during the 2.5 hours spent interviewing them. Some examples:
- One student acts as a mentor to his peers by tutoring them during his lunch period. He often “counsels” those having problems as well.
- A Rock-A-Top Apprenticeship student is currently working half days while completing his high school degree. He offered to speak on behalf of the Rock-A-Top apprenticeship program to help other students who may have an interest in participating because of the great experience he has had with the program.
- One young man won the MHS and Rockingham County science fair award and went on to compete at the state level.
- Several National Honor Society students, who are also leaders on the Student Council, participated. One student also partakes in Meals on Wheels. Many are concerned with our environment and want to work toward improving their community.
There are many good things taking place at MHS, thanks to Principal Ryan Moody and the dedicated staff that work diligently for their students to succeed.
The building is now on Atlantic Retail’s website with demographic and spec information. A “For Sale” sign is up on the site, but no price. The company is leaving the price open to negotiation. The new broker has had several inquiries about the site.
This restaurant reopened the second week in March. There was much excitement concerning this reopening after the store was demolished in the summer of 2019 as a result of a gas explosion. Everyone wishes them the very best as they continue serving the Eden community.
Ample Storage/Zip’s Car Wash
Considerable work is being done in the former Walmart building to accommodate this new business. The car wash is being plagued by the wet weather, but continues to progress.
Gordman’s Department Store-Grand Opening next month!
All 45 new Gordman’s stores will open concurrently at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7. The new Eden Gordman’s store will be located in the former Peeble’s location in Kingsway Plaza next to Dollar Tree.
Eden Downtown Development Inc.
The inaugural date for the Entrepreneurship Eden program is April 30 in Pace-Stone’s upstairs gallery. The program is a joint effort of the Eden Downtown Development Corporation, Rockingham Community College Small Business Center, Rockingham County Economic Development Department, and the Eden Chamber of Commerce. Representatives from NC Idea and the NC Rural Center will assist as the ‘Who Owns the Ice House’ curriculum is explored. The event will showcase Eden’s entrepreneur support network and introduce new and exciting mindset techniques for entrepreneurs to recognize opportunity. Seating is limited and registration will be coordinated through RCC’s Small Business Center. A citywide yard sale is planned for May 2 in conjunction with the Eden Boys and Girls Club. The event will kick off with a scavenger hunt at the club. We hope that Eden residents will coordinate their own yard sale that day. If you would like to rent a space at the Boys and Girls Club at 1026 Harris Street, call them at 336-627-7960.
Leaksville Commercial District
Upper floor apartments are now available downtown at 620 Washington Street. The building will also house a coffee shop and has a pedestrian alley to connect with the Bridge Street parking lot. Coming soon to 624 Washington Street is more upper floor residential living space above an Italian restaurant. With the addition of Dollar General moving into the former Family Video store, Eden will have a more vibrant walkable downtown.
Boulevard Merchants Association
The merchants have begun using a logo from the Positively Eden branding study on the street’s planters as they prepare for upcoming events. An Adult Easter Egg Hunt will be held April 11 and a Food Truck Rodeo on April 18. The Three Rivers chapter of the AACA will host a car show at Tractor Supply featuring the Boulevard Merchant’s signature Low Country Crab Boil.
Tourism and Special Events
Calling all potters! Our 17th Annual Piedmont Pottery Festival is set for Saturday, June 6 at First Presbyterian Church. Potter applications are ready and can be obtained by calling 336-612-8049 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See you there!
Grown & Gathered
Our Spring Grown & Gathered event will be held along the Canal at the Spray Mercantile on Thursday, May 21. Please mark your calendars. We will begin taking reservations very soon. Seating is limited to 100!
Butterfly Trail Unveiling
We are so excited to announce the unveiling of the Smith River Butterfly Trail! It will be at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8. We will gather at the shelter at the Meadow Road entrance of the Smith River Greenway. Join us and please bring the kids!
Over 40 of our Canadian golfer friends will arrive in Eden on April 11 for a week long of golf and fellowship. If you meet any of them during their stay, give them a big Eden welcome! They have been choosing Eden as a destination for nearly 20 years!
Eden is the featured city in the March issue of Showcase Magazine out of Danville, Va. It is a beautiful issue highlighting some of the great things about our city! Pick up a copy and see for yourself!
Fine Arts Festival
The Fine Arts Festival will once again be held in Eden here at City Hall this year! Music and Literature entries will be taken March 31 from 2 to 6 p.m., all other 2D and 3D entries will be taken on April 14 from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.. The opening of the show and awards ceremony will be held in Council Chambers on Sunday, April 26 at 3 p.m.. Make sure you visit the exhibit and see all the great talent we have in Rockingham County!
Our new and exciting tourism website will launch the first week of April! It is full of beautiful photos, videos and information! We can’t wait to share it with you.
Waterline Replacement Projects Update
A bid opening was held March 11 for the Primitive, Spring and George Streets 2” WL Replacement projects. Sam W. Smith, Inc., is the apparent low bidder for the Primitive and Spring Street section of proposed 2” PVC water main installation at a base bid of $64,300. Sam W. Smith, Inc., is also the apparent low bidder for the proposed installation of about 560 LF of 2” PVC water main along George Street, at a base bid of $57,644. Construction should start in the near future after the bids are verified, bonds obtained, and agreements executed by all parties.
Pressure Boosting System
Revised plans prepared by Stoltzfus Engineering, Inc., for a proposed pressure boosting system to serve a portion of Jackson Street are being reviewed, and information needed for a report required by the Public Water Supply Section of NC DEQ is being obtained. An application for electrical service needed by the small packaged pump station will be made in the near future.
Free Mulch and Compost Sale
Starting the first Saturday in April and continuing each Saturday while supplies last (weather permitting). 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the end of West Avenue (off Washington Street) at the City’s fenced lot. Compost is: pick-up truck load - $5; tandem axle trailer - $15; large dump truck - $25. For more information, call 336-627-7783, ext. 106.
Free Cleanup Week: March 30 – April 3
Household residents only, no contractors or commercial waste. All items must be at the curb by 7 a.m. on your scheduled collection day and not obstructed in any way. We will be picking up bulk waste items, demolition debris, brush and yard waste (leaves, grass clippings, twigs smaller than 6 inches), which should be separated by type (brush, yard waste, leaves and grass clippings, bulk waste, white goods/scrap metal).
No household garbage should be at the curb – it needs to be bagged and in your city trash container. No tires, wood pallets, TVs or computer equipment will be picked up; however, all city residents can take 5 tires per household, TVs and computer equipment to the county landfill at no charge. No toxic or liquid hazardous waste such as containers of oil, paint, gasoline, batteries or pesticides will be picked up. For more information, please call 336-627-7783, ext. 106.
Parks and Recreation
Freedom Park Events
Freedom Park will be very busy again in 2020 with local leagues playing weekdays as well as weekend tournaments scheduled until the middle of December. Concerts in the Park/Cruise-Ins are scheduled the last Saturday of each month at 5 p.m. beginning in April and going through October. There are also special events scheduled on a regular basis, such as the Citywide Easter Egg Hunt, Funfest and the Fall Festival. There are already 50 events scheduled for 2020, not including the reservations for use of the two shelters at the park, which are rented out almost every Saturday and Sunday through November.
Registration for the Youth Baseball and Youth Softball programs is now available at either the Bridge Street or Mill Avenue recreation centers or Parks & Recreation at City Hall.
Registration for the Rockingham County Senior Games is taking place now and you can register at the Garden of Eden Senior Center to participate. The Senior Games will begin on April 14 and run through May 16. Local winners will advance to the N.C. Senior Games later this summer.
Matrimony Creek Nature Trail
The Matrimony Creek Nature Trail is still being repaired due to the flooding that occurred in February. Staff hopes to have the repairs completed and this site available to the public in the next few weeks.
On Feb. 3, the Department delivered letters to each sweepstakes establishment in the City advising the establishment owners that on and after March 4, we would begin to enforce statutes related to sweepstakes/casinos. As of March 6, all sweepstakes establishments inside the city limits have closed.
New K-9 Officer
As a result of K-9 Sadie retiring after nine years of service, we selected K-9 Saga, from Highland K-9. Officer Eric Gann has been selected to be the next K-9 handler. The four-week handler school begins March 16.