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Posted on: September 11, 2020

City Manager's Report

City Manager Report Cover Page

City Manager’s Report
September 2020
City Manager Jon Mendenhall

 ADMINISTRATION 

Eden Youth Council 
The new members of the Eden Youth Council will be sworn in at the City Council meeting on September 15. We are pleased to welcome 13 new members for this term, bringing our council to full capacity. We are very excited to provide our participants with service opportunities, development of leadership and professional skills, networking amongst civic leaders, coordinated opportunities for Eden youth, and a great experience to list on resumes and college applications.

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.

Night Owl National Stoneworks
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.

Eden Venture Business Park
The former Eden Mall is now the Eden Venture Business Park. The building exterior has been painted and outside appearance improved dramatically. The new owner is seeking professional and light industrial tenants. They will build to suit your needs. Visit www.edenventurebusinesspark.com for more information and to apply.

Commercial
Divine Nutrition
This new business has opened at 403 W. Kings Highway, Suite B (next to Allstate Insurance). They offer healthy smoothies and energy drinks plus personal coaching. Hours are 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 336-512-9699 for more information or visit http://Nutritionbychrissy.goherbalife.com

Planet Fitness-Now Open!
This Kingsway Plaza business is now open after several months of being closed as a result of Executive Order No. 141. Planet Fitness will help you keep in shape after months of being idle. You can visit them at 220 W. Kings Highway or call 336-279-5603 for more information.

MJ’s Barbeque-New Downtown Draper Business
Local resident John Moore opened the former Jerry’s Restaurant, located at 121 N. Fieldcrest Road in the downtown Draper area, the week of August 17. They are open Tuesday through Saturday. Call 336-635-2575 for pick up or dine in.

Proper Pour Events
This company has 21 years of award-winning experience providing a unique, custom curated bartending service for any and all events. They cater to all of your beverage needs throughout N.C. and surrounding areas. They consult with their clients to cover every detail of weddings, birthdays, corporate events, engagements and parties. Choose from any one of their unique mobile bars to elevate your event. They customize their services to your event needs. There are several mobile bar options.
Owner Will Combs brought his Proper Pour Events to the recent Central Hotel unveiling. They did an excellent job supplying the event’s needs. This is a great way to add some class to your event. Visit www.properpourevents.com or call 336-456-4891 for more information.

The Blissful Palette Catering & Events
Owner Jarrett Nykamp offers a full catering menu and can help plan your event from start to finish. Great taste and a great experience is the name of the game and they are committed to stepping up to the plate to provide a memorable event with delicious and blissful options. All meals are prepared with fresh ingredients and an artistic flare. If you are looking for someone to provide food at your next event, they will cater both large and small events, including business lunches, weddings, cocktail receptions and more. Call Jarrett at 336-520-0121 or visit www.TheBlissfulPalette.com for more information.

COVID-19
Legal Protections 
A recent webinar sponsored by the N.C. Economic Development Association was held concerning legal protections against COVID-19 related lawsuits provided to N.C. businesses under SB 704 and HB 118. If businesses are diligent in posting masking, social distancing and cleanliness procedures, as well as pick-up options for retailers and restaurants, they will not be exposed to lawsuits. Only those companies that are blatantly negligent are not covered by this legislation.

Main Street
634-638 Washington Street
Initial drawings for new retail spaces and apartments at 634-638 Washington Street have been proposed.  The former Leaksville Hardware and Belk building could start construction as early as late fall.

624 Washington Street
Finishing work continues on the apartments located at 624 Washington Street as workers touch up exterior details, apply stucco and paint the building. Equipment has been ordered to outfit the downstairs restaurant, as well as large roll up glass doors for the front façade.

Central Hotel 
The renovation of the Central Hotel located at 625 Washington Street is moving forward with the majority of interior demolition complete. The upper floor has been framed enabling plumbing and wiring to begin while multiple crews continue working on alternating floors.

Merrick’s Collision and Restoration Service
Merrick’s Collision and Restoration Service located at 259 The Boulevard is having extensive improvements made to their showroom and façade. New lighting, flooring and a lounge are being installed.

Historic Eden Merchant Association 
The Historic Eden Merchant Association has begun to meet again. They are proposing adding new identifying information to be incorporated into existing logos that were created by the City’s branding study. The partnership is part of the City’s original Strategic Plan and follows its rollout timeline.

Tourism and Special Events     
Otter Holt/Sculpture Celebration
What a great morning! It was very exciting to see so many folks come out. Thank you to Brian Williams, Tiffany Haworth and all of DRBA for their great partnership on the Otter Holt Project. Another huge thanks to Municipal Services, Street Department and Facilities & Grounds for all of their help with both projects and the morning of the event. These are two very cool projects that really make Eden unique.

Great River Race
There is still time to enter the great River Race on September 19. Call Jennifer at the Eden Chamber of Commerce and get registered: 336-623-3336.
We will launch at the Klyce Street Landing at 9 a.m. and finish 1.07 miles down the beautiful Dan River at the Leaksville Landing. Lots of fun!

Readers’ Choice
Thanks to everyone who voted for our fun events and beautiful trails in Rockingham Now’s Readers’ Choice 2020 Best of Rockingham County. RiverFest, Oink & Ale, Grogan Park, Smith River Greenway Butterfly Trail and the Matrimony Creek Nature Trail were all winners!

Eden Trails & Tracks
Cooler temps are ahead that make for great walking and jogging weather! Check out all of Eden’s beautiful trails and walking tracks located all over the City!

Our State Magazine Article
Eden’s music heritage is part of an article in the September issue of Our State Magazine entitled ‘Music at the Crossroads.’ Check it out!

ENGINEERING

FY 2020-21 Street Resurfacing Contract
Waugh Asphalt, Inc. completed the construction on the FY 2020-21 Street Resurfacing Contract on September 8. Sectors of the following streets were included in this year’s resurfacing 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.

Kings Highway – NCDOT Road Resurfacing
The N.C. Department of Transportation has scheduled to resurface Kings Highway from Fagg Drive to Boone Road over the next several weeks. APAC-Atlantic, Inc. will be the primary contractor. The work is scheduled to be completed during daytime hours, so traffic delays should be expected.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Cybersecurity Awareness
It is no secret that Americans’ online presence has grown exponentially over the past two decades. It’s almost an expectation that every business you deal with will have an online presence. From banking, to shopping, to even exercise, our life is increasingly online. As a result, a billion-dollar criminal industry has grown up around us gaining access to online accounts and information. Identity theft, ransomware, phishing and a wide variety of other scams from fake tech support to advance fee scams make the internet feel like a minefield full of dangers.
The month of October was established as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It was started by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance in 2004 with the goal to help the nation’s citizens to be safer online. Over the years, the month has had a series of themes. This year, the theme is “Do your part. #BeCyberSmart.” Each week of October will focus on a different area of cyber security. StaySafeOnline.org breaks down the month’s themes thusly:
Week of October 5 (Week 1): If You Connect It, Protect It
Week of October 12 (Week 2): Securing Devices at Home and Work
Week of October 19 (Week 3): Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
Week of October 26 (Week 4): The Future of Connected Devices

Many organizations across the US participate in Cybersecurity Month each year and the City of Eden is no different. Our IT department will be providing our employees with training in line with this year’s theme. Citizens can also do their part to #BeCyberSmart. Here are some online resources with tips and tricks to make your online life safer:
www.staysafeonline.org
www.cisa.gov/cyber-safety
www.eff.org/pages/tools
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7WDL7qZPwQ (From the SANS Institute, a trusted leader in security training)
This October, let’s all do our part and #BeCyberSmart!

MUNICIPAL SERVICES 

Matrimony Creek Nature Trail Repair Update
Eden’s greenways and trails are typically built on sewer line outfalls that run along creeks and rivers. They have multiple uses, such as walking, jogging, biking and horseback riding, which make for a great environment to be out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
Municipal Services is currently looking at the cost to repair and open the first three-quarter mile of the Matrimony Creek Nature Trail for citizens to once again use and enjoy. The remaining one-quarter mile is awaiting plan approval from the Army Corps of Engineers, at which point the City will estimate costs and seek City Council approval to begin making the necessary repairs. Plans include measures to help control flooding and erosion of the trail. All work will be completed in house by City of Eden employees. 

PARKS AND RECREATION 

COVID-19 Updates-Phase 2.5
All Parks and Recreation facilities are open in a limited capacity due to Governor Roy Cooper’s Phase 2.5 regarding COVID-19. Please note, at all open indoor facilities, staff will have participants sign in and answer questions regarding symptoms of COVID-19 before they are allowed into the facility. Staff will also sanitize the facility before, during and at the end of each evening.

Bridge Street & Mill Avenue Recreation Centers
These two facilities will be open Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. to give children a place to go while school is being conducted remotely and to assist with homework. There will be a maximum of 25 participants allowed at any given time.

Citywide Playgrounds
All playgrounds are open.

Eden City Hall 
City Hall is now open to individuals needing to conduct business within the Finance Department. In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, we ask that you wear a mask and remain six feet apart from others as there will be markings in the lobby appropriately spaced.
Staff from other departments within City Hall can meet with individuals in the lobby or in the front Conference Room if needed.

Facility Rentals
There will continue to be no facility rentals due to the limited number of individuals allowed in a facility only being 25.

Freedom Park
The park will continue to operate by maintaining social distancing during the use of the park by citizens. This includes the walking track, basketball courts, skateboard park, nature trail and dog park. The Splash Pad will continue to operate with a maximum of 25 users at a time through September or until the weather turns cool. However, there will continue to be no shelter rentals at this time.
The Freedom Park Softball Complex and Multi-Purpose Field will continue to operate as it did in Phase 2 with no weekend tournaments being held.

Garden of Eden Center
This facility is operating with a limited capacity of 25 participants at any given time and will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

PLANNING & INSPECTIONS

GIS
Staff is continuing to work with ESRI representatives to train for the new services that are now available to the City. ESRI has provided Python scripts to help develop routes for the Solid Waste division to use with mobile devices for navigation directions.
Engineering staff, as well as a member of the Collections and Distribution department, are providing locations and data for sewer manholes, gravity main lines and water valves that will be added to the City’s maps. 

Unified Development Ordinance
A public meeting will be held in Grogan Park on Thursday, September 10 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.  A public hearing will be held at the October regular meeting of the City Council to consider the text of the proposed ordinance. A public hearing on proposed zoning and other maps will be held at the November regular meeting of the City Council.
One of the new requirements of Chapter 160D is that all local governments are required to have a Technical Review Committee (TRC). The statutes require that all applications for development must be reviewed by the TRC before they are taken before any of the City of Eden’s Boards and Commissions. This committee will consist of department heads with the meetings being considered public meetings. Applicants and their representatives will be allowed to be in attendance. City projects will be included.

Stadium Drive Sidewalk
The design phase of this project is nearing completion. NCDOT staff assures the City that the project’s construction will begin in the spring of 2021. Previously, all such work was stopped, but now projects are beginning to move forward with improved NCDOT funding. 

Draper CDBG
We plan to either meet with the committee in person or virtually. While the list has been ranked, staff needs to obtain further information from the proposed applicants regarding their financial information, including copies of actual records. To date, the ranking has been based upon the applications submitted and not hard data. Additionally, inspections of the homes will further determine eligibility and necessary repairs. Conformance with state and local codes will be required.

NC CDBG CV 2020 (COVID-19) 
The State recently released data regarding the COVID-19 CDBG funding cycle. In July, they sent a recommendation of potential eligible activities for the expected funds, at which time the federal government narrowed the opportunities down. It was determined that it would be in the best interest of Eden citizens if the City proceeded with an application that would assist low and moderate income households within the corporate limits. This would include Eden utility bills, rent, mortgage payments, electric bills, gas bills and the like. The maximum amount the City is eligible for is $900,000.

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, Board of Adjustment and the Strategic Planning Commission. 

Board of Adjustment Special Use Permit
The Board of Adjustment is set to meet on September 17 in the Eden Room to discuss a special use permit application for a dog grooming business as a home occupation.

Eden Drive-In Annexation
We received an application for annexation of the Eden Drive-In. The City is working with the property owner regarding the outdoor theater and operating hours. The property is already connected to city water and sewer.

Business Remodel/Rehab/Construction Updates
The final sealed set of drawings for the 625 Washington Street project (Central Hotel) have been received and the plan review will be completed by September 11. The project at 624 Washington Street (624 Lofts) is nearing completion with four units already finished and occupied. The Wendy’s remodel project should be completed by September 11. Zip’s carwash has been issued a C.O. and the opening date is unknown at this time due to software issues. The Ample Storage project is in the final stages of construction; however, a completion date is unknown at this time. Burger King is closed due to the degraded original cast iron DWV system (drain, waste & vent) that must be completely replaced.

POLICE 

Job Vacancies
The department currently has three vacancies for police officers. They will be conducting interviews on September 22.

PUBLIC UTILITIES 

Construction of the new buildings and equipment is almost complete. The City is waiting on a flow meter that was part of a change order. Once that is delivered, the contractor will come back to install it, at which point the project will be considered complete.

Our NPDES permit expired April 30, 2018. The draft permit was received on August 28, giving the City 30 days to respond with any questions. Because the City performed so well over the last several years, they reduced the monitoring requirements, which will save the City a considerable amount of money for contract lab analysis.

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