City Manager’s Report
Interim City Manager Terry A. Shelton
The City of Eden’s annual Citizens Academy will not be held this fall. The unpredictability of social distancing and capacity restrictions for the rest of the year have affected scheduling for the City along with the rest of the country.
Interim City Manager Terry Shelton said it was a difficult decision to make. “The Citizens Academy is one of the most effective tools we have to help increase citizen knowledge about the workings of local government,” he said. “Graduates of the academy have become members of City Council, as well as other boards and commissions. It has been a tremendously effective educational and outreach resource for employees and citizens and we regret having to pause it, even temporarily.”
The City encourages anyone interested to stay tuned. Plans to restart the academy will be in place as soon as it is safe to do so.
The City of Eden has hired Jon Mendenhall, most recently Town Administrator of Carolina Shores, N.C., as its new City Manager effective August 17. The City Council had conducted an exhaustive nationwide search since December of 2019 to find the right individual to lead the City. “We are very pleased to have Mr. Mendenhall as our new City Manager,” stated Eden Mayor Neville Hall. “He brings a wealth of experience in planning, engineering, finance and economic development that will serve Eden residents well.”
“I am truly honored to be selected as the next City Manager for Eden,” said Mendenhall. “I look forward to serving the residents, supporting the staff, and working to achieve the vision of the Mayor and Council. I have told many that Eden has a hometown feel and everyone is gracious and friendly. I look forward to working with the strong team of residents, elected officials, and a solid group of employees.”
A High Point native, Mendenhall has served as Town Administrator of Carolina Shores, N.C. since 2014 and previously served as County Manager of Gates County, N.C. He has 16 years of local government experience, having started his career in Stanly County, N.C. as a Planner. Mendenhall earned his Masters of Science degree in Technology Systems with a concentration in quality control from East Carolina University, a certificate in Project Management from N.C. State University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in History from UNC Chapel Hill. He is a current board member of the North Carolina Resource Conservation and Development Association and Cape Fear Resource Conservation and Development, non-profits engaged in economic development and resource conservation in predominantly rural North Carolina. As an ICMA Credentialed Manager, Mendenhall is committed to professional and quality principles in local government.
Mendenhall will succeed Interim City Manager Terry Shelton. “Both the City Council and I wish to extend a great deal of thanks to Mr. Shelton who guided the City through the transition period to a new City Manager,” stated Hall.
“At the end of the day, each resident, employee, and economic development prospect are all customers and we must emphasize an approach to customer service that adds value to our relationship with that customer,” Mendenhall remarked. “We must consistently communicate that value in order to be the very best version of ourselves.”
Mendenhall will reside in Eden. His starting salary is $130,000 plus benefits.
Matrimony Creek Nature Trail
The Matrimony Creek Nature Trail will remain closed at least another month. Currently, staff is working on a repair plan for the flood-damaged areas to address exposure of sewer lines that have been uncovered, as well as wash out of some of the trail surfaces. We have been in contact with inspectors from DENR & Land Quality Management and DEQ to find out exactly what the City can do to reinforce protecting the sewer lines on the upper end of the trail. We hope to have answers and a plan to bring before Council at the August 18 City Council meeting.
This Eden company is hiring 10-15 full-time employees including machine operators, assemblers, material handlers, and paint operators. Visit www.weil-mclain.com/careers to apply and learn more information about these jobs.
Night Owl National Contractors
This company is a granite and quartz fabrication center located in the former K-Mart building on Meadow Road. They are hiring electricians, electricians’ helpers, granite polishers, CNC machine operators, forklift operators, finish carpenters, sheetrock workers, and framers.
Visit www.noncstoneworks.com/careers or call 888-283-6303 for more information.
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
Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP)
The MVP project remains on go and is not to be confused with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) that Duke Energy cancelled this week because of lawsuits from environmental groups and escalating costs it incurred with the project. MVP will hire a significant number of construction workers who will bolster the local economy while they are completing the Eden and Rockingham County portion of the project.
Business NC reported that the ACP was a major economic blow for eastern NC. The 600- mile pipeline was to generate about $680 million in revenue during the 18-24 months construction phase, creating 4,000 construction jobs.
Former Eden Mall
In the near future, you will see improvements to this former mall facility. The new owner will repaint the exterior, improve the parking lot, and clean up the shrubbery. Look for new signage on leasing opportunities in the near future. The goal is to lease to professional businesses, not retail.
Builders Mart-New Ownership
This business is now under new ownership with plans to expand product offerings.
Eden is Budget Friendly for Renters
Eden has been nationally recognized by LendEDU as one of the most budget-friendly cities in the country for renters. The company licensed real estate data deriving from the U.S. Census Bureau on over 25,000 American cities. Each city was ranked according to its rent-to-income ratio, or the proportion of a city’s median household income that goes to annual rent costs (including utilities). A lower percentage was more favorable.
Specifically, Eden had an average annual rent cost of $8,004 and a median household income of $37,384 for a rent-to-income ratio of 21.41%. It is generally recommended that a renter’s rent should cost no more than 30% of their annual income, so these numbers speak to Eden’s proximity to high-paying jobs relative to the affordable housing in the area. Eden’s low rent-to-income ratio ranked #1,146 in the country and #42 in the state of North Carolina.
Rockingham County Sales Tax
Rockingham County reported that April 2020 sales were 4.5% below sales of April 2019.
The state had predicted sales tax losses of up to 20% for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year. Thus, sales tax revenue, while below last year, was not as bad as initially expected.
Tourism and Special Events
Gordon Allen Photos
Gordon Allen took a series of gorgeous photos of the Smith River Greenway Butterfly Trail. Check them out on our Explore Eden Facebook page! Thanks Gordon!
Make sure you visit the trail and see the beautiful butterfly art for yourself! While you’re there make sure you see the Otter Sculpture located down the steps and to the left near the Island Ford river access. Enjoy!
Traveling Vietnam Wall
We will not be bringing in the Traveling Vietnam Wall to Freedom Park in October. Because of COVID-19 and wanting to keep everyone safe, we have rescheduled for 2021.
Klyce Street Landing
You might notice a new directional sign located on Washington Street directing you to the Klyce Street Landing. In the next couple of weeks you will also see a new entrance sign at the end of Klyce Street, along with picnic tables and a directional kiosk at the landing.
A huge thanks to the Street Department for the installation of the Otter Holt along the Smith River. This has been an exciting joint project between the City of Eden and the Dan River Basin Association. We will be installing a camera that we will call the “Otter Cam.” You will be able to see the activity on our website: ExploreEdenNC.com. We hope to welcome otter pups to Eden next spring!
Come enjoy Grogan Park and walk in the shade under the beautiful trees! You can enjoy public art, lots of seating, a swing, wind chimes, a walking path, and picnic tables. Bring your lunch, your family, or a good book and enjoy this beautiful setting located on the City Hall campus at 308 E. Stadium Drive!
Great River Race – September 19
Get those creative homemade vessels ready! More detailed information coming soon.
2020-21 Street Resurfacing Contract
The bid opening for the FY 2020-21 Street Resurfacing Contract was held on February 20. A total of four responsive bids were received for the project. The successful low bidder was Waugh Asphalt, Inc. in the amount of $486,376.61. Sectors of the following streets are included in the contract: Kemp Street, Oakwood Drive, Westwood Drive, Fagg Drive, Spruce Street, Greenwood Street, Morehead Street, James Street, John Street, Pine Lane, Panther Lane, Carpenter Road, Hairston Street, Ridge Avenue, Delaware Avenue, Maryland Avenue, and South Avenue. Construction is scheduled to start in August.
Waterline Replacement Projects Update
A crew from Citty’s Plumbing & Pools, Inc. started pipe installation on the eastern leg of the Ample Storage WL reroute on June 9, with three bends and roughly forty feet of 8-inch diameter ductile iron pipe placed, along with thrust blocks poured at the bends. Pipe installation continued to the south, with the crew spotting the existing 8” PVC water main off of the north side of Oleander Drive on June 12. Hydrostatic pressure testing on roughly 262 feet of new water main for the eastern leg was passed on June 17. Good bacteriological test results were received on June 24 for this section of new water main. The applicant certification form was sent to Borum, Wade and Associates on July 1.
A small shipment of water pipe, valves, and fittings ordered for use with the Jackson Street Pressure Zone project was delivered by Fortiline on June 26. Delivery of the duplex skid booster pump system manufactured by Carolina Pumpworks took place a few days later. Stakeout and clearing of the proposed pump station site should take place by early August.
Parks and Recreation
All Parks and Recreation facilities, except for the indoor Parks & Recreation facilities, are open in a limited capacity due to COVID-19. Additional amenities hope to be opened when Phase III of the Governor’s Executive Order goes into effect.
Planning & Inspections
All code enforcement fees assessed since July 1, 2019, have been transferred to the Rockingham County Tax Department to be collected with the 2020 property tax bills. These totaled $71,984.00 and the City received $1,980.00 in payments during the month of June.
Applications will continue to be received until July 30.
The Annual Boundary and Annexation Survey, Group Quarters Population Survey, and New Residential Construction and Mobile Home Survey were completed and submitted to the N.C. Office of State Budget and Management.
We continue to evaluate the sewer data and fill in field attribute information needed for manholes.
Unified Development Ordinance
We have received all of the proposed text of the UDO, except for the definitions. Staff has a conference call planned to discuss Module 3 and will schedule a remote meeting with the Steering Committee (Planning Board). We plan to present the text to the Council at the regular August Council meeting.
Boards and Commissions
Meetings remain suspended for all of our boards and commissions, except those that receive requests that cannot be delayed, such as Planning Board and the Strategic Planning Commission. The Board of Adjustment has not had any applications since the beginning of COVID-19. There will possibly be one in August.
We were able to send two officers to the NCJA in Salemburg for General Instructor training. Detective Brandon Buckner and Detective Anthony Lovings are in line to be our future firearms instructors to replace the two firearms instructors who recently left our agency. This is a lengthy process and may take 18 to 24 months to complete. They began their two week General Instructor training on July 15. It should be noted that due to COVID-19, this is the only class being held in person on the NCJA campus and thus, we were lucky to get them in this training.
While COVID-19 has greatly reduced the availability of training being offered to law enforcement, we have been fortunate to be able to send our officers to some great training. Reidsville Police Department brought in some instructors for Field Force Training (riot-type training), Norse Tactical Training (SWAT training), and Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and invited our agency to send some of our officers to attend this valuable training, which we did, and are greatly appreciative of them offering these opportunities to us.
We have re-scheduled our spring in-service mandatory training for August 10, 17, 24 and 31. This training consists of daytime firearms qualification requirements, Bloodborne Pathogens training, and HAZMAT training.