City Manager’s Report
Interim City Manager Terry A. Shelton
Eden Youth Council
Our youth council members found a way to spread positivity and cheer during the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. Owner Lynda Burnette volunteered the side of her building on Washington Street to be used for the project. Youth council members took turns putting their creative touch on the building by painting a rainbow and words of encouragement while also practicing social distancing. The message has brought hope to everyone that passes by and serves as a reminder that “Hope Flows Through Eden!”
Building Reuse Grant
In April, an Eden industry was awarded a $250,000 building reuse grant to renovate the building in which they are located by the NC Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA). Pam Cundiff, owner of Travel Consultants, is an RIA Board member and a great supporter of Eden projects. The City of Eden and Rockingham County Economic Development Departments applied for this grant on the company’s behalf. While work is on-going in the company’s facility, the official opening has been delayed by COVID-19 and no exact date for their formal announcement has been determined.
Remaining Eden Industries
The COVID-19 shutdown has caused several Eden industries to close temporarily, reduce their workforces, or furlough employees. With the partial reopening of the economy starting on May 8, we remain hopeful that these industries will resume operations and return to some sense of normalcy. Because most industry supplies consumer products, full recovery will require consumer spending to resume to normal levels.
Micro Business Impact Grant
Because of the generosity of the Rockingham County Citizens for Economic Development, the Reidsville Area Foundation, Reidsville and Eden Rotary Clubs, The Wright Company and Sylvia Grogan — as well as those individuals who have contributed to the Go Fund Me page set up by Randy Hunt through the Eden Downtown Development Inc. — more than 20 Eden businesses have received grants to help them with expenses during the COVID-19 shutdown. Thanks to those organizations and individuals who helped these small business owners.
Go Fund Me Page
Many organizations and individuals have donated to the Rockingham County Small Business Relief Fund to provide grants to struggling small businesses during this shutdown. Hair and nail salons remain closed, and inside dining remains prohibited for restaurants. A recent survey of NC restaurant owners revealed that 77% of their respondents have suffered losses of up to 70% of normal sales. The goal is $10,000 and more than $1,000 has already been raised.
If you wish to donate, please click: here.
This restaurant is undergoing an interior dining room renovation while they are unable to have dine-in customers.
Due to COVID-19, this company is permanently consolidating their Eden and Reidsville store locations at our Eden store located at 234 East Meadow Road. They can be reached at 336-623-1511. They want to thank their Reidsville and Eden customers for their loyalty and support over the years and appreciate their business. Robin Wyatt, their excellent staff, and jeweler will be available at our Eden store to assist Rockingham and adjoining county customers with all of their jewelry and repair needs.
Big banks are closing antiquated branches at a record pace, but they are also opening smaller and more digitally-focused ones to better serve their customers, according to research from Jones Long LaSalle’s Branch Banking 2020. After peaking at 100,000 branches in 2009, the number of bank branches has plunged by 13,200. A few years ago, it was reported that banks could have closed 10,000 branches because their customers were not using them as more digital programs displaced traditional banking functions. This has been seen in Eden. Since 2015, Home Trust Banking, FNB Southeast, Bank of America, and Carter Bank and Trust have closed branches. Yet, each remaining institution remains dedicated to helping local customers both at their bank branches and through on-line services.
Mountain Valley Pipeline
This organization has donated $5,000 to the Rockingham County Salvation Army to help them continue to serve area citizens in need. Their generosity is greatly appreciated.
Small Business Impact
Concerns of COVID-19 have caused many Eden businesses to close or restrict operations. Business support information is being shared throughout the City and through the three merchants’ associations to share best practices, grant, and loan information. Many businesses have received the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Some businesses have received the county’s micro business grant. Unfortunately, other businesses have received no relief.
The City’s Planning & Inspections Department received new guidelines from the state about how businesses can social distance. Now, a business can have 15 people for every 1,000 square feet.
Many businesses reopened May 11 as part of the Governor’s phased reopening process. Many businesses are still forced to stay closed.
A new business to Eden, Simply MK, at 571-A Bridge Street had a soft opening Saturday with an official opening Monday, May 11. They carry clothing, home décor, children’s items, and much more.
The owners of Jerry’s Restaurant have set up a food truck in the parking lot of the restaurant. The food truck will operate 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Rockingham Community College GED classroom that was on Washington Street will move by June 30 to the front meeting space at 241 Events on the Boulevard. RCC ensures the area will have adequate power to operate the computers, monitors, and projectors.
Tourism and Special Events
Butterfly Trail at Smith River Greenway
Our latest addition to the Butterfly Trail is a large head board for photo opportunities located near the Rotary Observation Deck. Kids and adults alike enjoy putting their heads through the oversized butterfly board. HAVE FUN!
Landscaping at Matrimony Creek Nature Trail
Beautiful landscaping is underway at Matrimony Creek Nature Trail and there is more to come! Gorgeous trees are going to be planted along the entrance path leading to the trail and more plants will be placed at the trailhead sign. Come walk this great trail and see all the improvements! Thank you to the crew of Facility & Grounds and Josh Woodall for making this happen!
Amenities at Klyce Street Landing
COMING SOON! New amenities are being planned for the new Klyce Street Landing. Stay tuned!
Freedom Park Nature Trail Upgrades
In addition to the unique and beautiful boulder entrance signs and landscaping, more improvements are going to be made to the trail itself in the near future. Stay tuned for more details.
Sunflower Field at Smith River Greenway
The sunflower field at the Smith River Greenway has been planted and there are signs of sprouts already! We can’t wait!
As you are exploring our trails, pay attention to new signage. Near the otter sculpture there has been a sign placed entitled “Otters on the Smith River” and a new sign has been placed in the kiosk at the Matrimony Creek Nature Trail. Once the last portion of the trail is open, there will be educational signs showing fascinating information about the old grist mill that once stood there and another sign highlighting life in the creek. A huge thank you to Brian Williams of the Dan River Basin Association for helping us make this happen!
Our new tourism site is LIVE and full of great information. Check it out! If you have any great outdoor activity or nature pictures you would like to share to be placed on the site, please submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow the Art
Check out our new Follow the Art flyer on our Explore Eden Facebook page and web page that highlights all the public art projects in our beautiful City. We are having some great weather that allows everyone to get out and Explore Eden!
Waterline Replacement Projects Update
A Sam W. Smith, Inc. crew installed new water services off the 2-inch diameter schedule 80 PVC water main along Spring Street on April 15. New water taps for customers along N. Primitive Street were completed the following two days. The crew returned on April 21 to kill out the old 2” galvanized water main at the intersection of Spring and Dameron streets. Problems with at least one valve not holding resulted in this work taking longer than expected. The crew was able to complete asphalt patching of pavement cuts the next day, as well as final seeding and restoration work.
A Sam W. Smith, Inc. crew began installing 2-inch diameter schedule 80 PVC water main along the south side of George Street on April 23. Installation work to replace an old 2” galvanized water main continued through April 29, when the new water main was first filled with water and pressurized. The required hydrostatic pressure test passed on April 30. The crew returned on May 4 to pump in a high test hypochlorite (HTH) solution to continue the rest of the required testing. After repeating the flushing and chlorinating procedures, good results from the bacteriological testing were received on May 8, allowing for connection of customers to the new water main. Two customers were switched over to the new PVC water main on May 11. The old galvanized water main will be cut and plugged at the intersection of Clark Street and George Street after the other customers are connected to the new PVC water main.
The approval package from the Public Water Supply Section was received on April 24 for the Jackson Street Pressure Zone project, based on plans submitted by Stoltzfus Engineering Inc. Information has been shared with various individuals to obtain additional permits and agreements, as well as a revised quote for the approved package booster pump system. A meeting is scheduled to discuss electrical service to the small pump station on May 12.
Parks and Recreation
All Parks and Recreation facilities, except for the Matrimony Creek Nature Trail, Smith River Greenway, Grogan Park, Bridge Street walking track, Mill Avenue walking track, Peter Hill Park walking track, Freedom Park walking track and the City’s river access sites are closed due to COVID-19. The first three-quarters mile of the Matrimony Creek Nature Trail has been repaired and is open to the public. The City hopes to open additional amenities after May 22 when the Governor allows Phase II to go into effect.
Planning & Inspections
Water meters are continuing to be located for active water accounts that are not on the City’s GIS maps. Data for gravity main lines and manholes provided by W.K. Dickson was reviewed and corrected in the system. Preparation is being made for the City’s Enterprise Agreement with ESRI.
Stadium Drive Sidewalk
The surveying has been completed.
Unified Development Ordinance
Nearly all of the sections of Module 2 of the UDO have been received. A Steering Committee meeting along with the Planning Board will likely meet at the end of the month.
Boards and Commissions
The Strategic Planning Commission met online this past month, but the rest of the Boards and Commissions have not been meeting at this time. There will likely be a Planning Board meeting via online for May as there is a 10/70 Watershed request to consider and a rezoning on Gilley Road.
Operations & Procedures
When someone calls the Eden Police Department, we know the incident they are reporting is important to them and we will continue to provide our services. Due to COVID-19, officers are taking some reports by telephone when feasible. The reports taken by phone are incidents where the crime is a misdemeanor, no assault or threats have occurred, and/or the suspect is no longer on scene. Detectives in the investigative unit are also working the reported incidents and interviewing by phone when appropriate and practicable depending on the type and seriousness of the case. We ask for the public’s patience as this procedure is for their safety as well as ours. We will respond to all serious and ongoing calls as usual. This procedure is only utilized when it is appropriate. We are in this together and encourage all citizens to abide by Governor Cooper’s Executive Order by social distancing of six feet or more and ask that the public not participate in gatherings of more than 10 people.