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Posted on: October 16, 2020

City Manager's Report

City Manager Report Cover Page

City Manager’s Report
October 2020
 
City Manager Jon Mendenhall

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Industry
Nestle Purina Comes to Eden
On September 30, it was announced that Nestle Purina would be coming to Eden bringing 300 jobs and a record $450 million in investment to the former MillerCoors facility. This is the largest investment in Rockingham County history and one of the largest in the state. This announcement marked the end of a process that encumbered more than six months of work. All of those who contributed to bringing Nestle Purina to Eden deserve thanks and include: N.C. Senator Phil Berger and N.C. Department of Commerce who helped support the project with state incentives.

  • Eden City Council and Rockingham County Commissioners who supported the project with local incentives. 
  • Rockingham County Economic Development Director Leigh Cockram and Existing Industry Manager Kerry Taylor, along with Eden Economic Development. 
  • 770 Ventures, owners of the former MillerCoors property. After purchasing the facility in January of 2019, they pledged to bring jobs back to the facility and thus, have fulfilled that promise. Specifically, David and Deven Griffin deserve special thanks. If DH Griffin was not part of the process, it would not have happened.
  • Drew Lucas, of One Environmental Group and a former MillerCoors employee, was always willing to show the property during the four years it was vacant and was invaluable to the Nestle Purina due diligence team. 
  • City of Eden staff including City Manager Jon Mendenhall, former Interim City Manager Terry Shelton, City Attorney Erin Gilley, Planning and Inspections Director Kelly Stultz, Chief Inspector Bob Vincent, Director of Engineering Bev O’Dell, Public Works Director Paul Dishmon, Water and Sewer Construction Projects Manager Mark Bullins and the Facilities and Maintenance Department employees led by Superintendent Ray Thomas. 
  • City of Eden staff Coordinator of Special Events and Tourism Cindy Adams, Assistant Director of Finance Amy Winn, Assistant Director of Human Resources Teri Sentiff, Billing & Collections Clerk Amy Lusk, City Clerk Deanna Hunt and Administrative Assistant Blair Barker all contributed to a celebratory event following the announcement. 
  • Draper Rural Fire Department will jointly work with the City of Eden in providing fire protection coverage to the facility. We appreciate their partnership.

Finally, we thank Nestle Purina for selecting Eden for its first N.C. facility. They are returning jobs, investment and optimism to Eden. We look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with this company for many years to come.

Night Owl National Stoneworks 
On October 1, Night Owl National Stoneworks celebrated its grand opening and ribbon cutting in its East Meadow Road facility. Owner Ron Hutchins has brought new life to the former K-Mart building for his quartz, granite and ceramic countertop fabrication operation. All of the many Night Owl employees helped celebrate this special day. Special thanks goes to Director of Operations and Eden native Marty White who was the reason this facility located in Eden. 

Now Hiring!
Weil-McLain    
Hiring 10-15 full time employees, including machine operator, assembler, material handler and paint operator. Visit www.weil-mclain.com/careers for more information.

Armor Express
Openings for a ballistic sewer, carrier and ballistic spread and cut, packout clerk, customer service representative, customer service supervisor, ballistic pad prep, warehouse clerk, carrier sewer and ballistic material handler. Applicants should apply by visiting armorexpress.com under Resources

Josh Smith Auto Repair
Looking to hire an automotive technician. If interested, you may apply and submit your resume in person during their regular business hours of Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or email it to joshsmithauto536@yahoo.com. They are offering a referral reward: if you refer an applicant and they are hired, you will receive a $200 reward!

Blow Molded Solutions
Immediate openings for machine operators at Blow Molded Solutions in Mayodan! They offer 12-hour shifts (day or night) and up to $11.75/hour. Contact AmeriStaff at www.ameristaff.com or 336-623-6252 for more information. Applications may be filled out onsite Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Henniges
Openings for a quality engineer, quality systems coordinator, industrial engineer, engineer and HR generalist. You may submit your resumes to dana.huskey@hennigesautomotive.com

Royalty Adult & Home Care
They are now hiring CNA's. For more information, call 336-623-2547; visit their website at www.royaltyhwr.com; or email angela@royaltyhwr.com.

Workforce Unlimited
Hiring for positions in Blairs, V.A.; Martinsville, V.A.; Eden, N.C. and Reidsville, N.C. They have openings for order picker, packaging and general laborer positions in all shifts. For more information, call the Reidsville branch at 336-347-7783 or visit wfunlimited.com.

Tourism and Special Events   
Halloween Treats
There are three great opportunities for kids to have some Halloween fun and get some delicious treats. Three of our business districts have created some super fun events for Halloween weekend!

  • Treat Street – The Uptown Eden merchants along Washington & Monroe Streets invite kids to dress up and trick-or-treat with participating merchants identified with a Treat Street flyer in their windows from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Friday, October 30. The Annual Costume Contest will begin at 6 p.m. in the Washington Street Park located at the corner of Washington & Henry Streets.
  • Halloween Trunk-or-Treat on Fieldcrest – The Friends of Draper invite kids to dress up and come enjoy hotdogs, beverages and CANDY on Saturday, October 31 from 4 - 6 p.m. along Fieldcrest Road.  
  • Trick-or-Treat on the Boo-Levard – The Boulevard Merchants invite kids to trick-or-treat up and down the Boulevard Saturday, October 31 from 4 - 6 p.m. There will be individual treat bags for each child. The street will be closed to traffic.

Photo Contest
GIVE US YOUR BEST SHOT! We invite you to enter our Fall Rivers & Trails Photo Contest that runs through October 31. The top three photo entries featuring Eden’s BIG OUTDOORS will win prizes! Top photos will also be featured on our social media platforms, websites and printed materials. Enter by sending your best photos to cadams@edennc.us. Please include your name and phone number.

PARKS AND RECREATION

COVID-19 Updates-Phase 3
All Parks and Recreation facilities are open in a limited capacity due to Governor Roy Cooper’s Phase 3 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 Thursday from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. and on Fridays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. 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 is closed for the season. 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. 

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.
City staff began making improvements on the first three-quarter mile of the Matrimony Creek Nature Trail and hopes to have that portion open for public use by October 17.

PLANNING & INSPECTIONS

Projects Underway
The apartments at 624 Washington Street are now complete.
The Ray Commons project (formerly Central Hotel) is well underway. All rough-ins on the fourth floor are complete and trim-out has begun. The third floor rough-ins are expected to be completed by October 17.
The Ample Storage project has a target completion date of October 15.

GIS
The City’s GIS maps are regularly updated with information provided by staff members, including but not limited to, Director of Transportation Engineering Tammy Amos, Engineering Technician Kevin London and Collections & Distribution Crew Leader Michael Vernon. Learning the new systems available to the City is also a continuous effort by Planning & Inspections Coordinator Debra Madison to improve the resources available to City staff in their day-to-day jobs.
Maps have been built and provided to various members of staff including the City Manager and Director of Economic Development Mike Dougherty.

Boards and Commissions
Meetings remain suspended for all of the 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 pandemic began.

Strategic Planning Commission
City staff is assisting the SPC with a work session meeting on October 16. Dr. Kenny Scott, of Rockingham County Schools, has agreed to be the facilitator of the work session.

Board of Adjustment
The Board of Adjustment approved a special use permit request for a major home occupation for dog grooming on Hamilton Street at their September 17 special meeting, which was their first meeting of 2020.

Draper CDBG
The applications were rated by our consultant, Withers Ravenel, where they were then sent to the Housing Selection Committee and confirmed for environmental review. As soon as the environmental reviews are completed, the applicants will be notified if they are chosen as a recipient or an alternate, if they did not rate high enough to receive grant assistance, or if they did not qualify for the grant. The top ten recipients and the six alternates chosen will be instructed to provide documentation of their income as reported on the applications.

Unified Development Ordinance
A public hearing on the text of the UDO will be held at the October regular meeting of the City Council.
The Public Workshop on the proposed maps was held on September 10. The Planning Board reviewed the Proposed Zoning Map, Watershed Map and the Outdoor Advertising Overly Map at their regular meeting on September 22. They are recommending that the City Council approve and adopt these maps at their regular City Council meeting on November 17.

COVID-19 CDBG Assistance to Low and Moderate Income Citizens Grant
The City is partnering with the Rockingham County United Way to apply for $900,000 to assist its citizens with utilities, rent and mortgage payments that are delinquent due to issues incurred throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include payments of bills owed to the City of Eden for water, sewer and garbage fees.

Assistance to Firefighters Grants
Fire Department staff and Planning Department staff met concerning funding of reimbursements for COVID-19 expenses. There is a grant that is similar to the COPS grants, called SAFER, that both departments have researched. They hope to submit an application in the next cycle.   

POLICE

Job Vacancies
The City currently has four vacancies for police officers. Staff conducted interviews and are in the process of completing background investigations on individuals to fill three of the vacancies. They are still accepting applications.

Halloween Events
The Police Department will be working traffic and security on October 31 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fieldcrest Road for their annual Trunk-or-Treat event.
As usual, they will have additional officers out working on October 31 for Halloween.

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