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02/21/2001 SP e e e e CITY OF MONROE CITY COUNCIL PLANNING RETREAT Grandover Resort and Conference Center One Thousand Club Road, Greensboro, NC 27407 February 21, 22 and 23, 2001 AGENDA Wednesday. February 21. 2001 1. Welcome and Agenda Overview 2. Education Improvement Plan Thursday. February 22. 2001 3. City Manager Overview and Community Outreach Initiatives 4. Summary of Major City Accomplishments Over Past Five Years 5. Customer Service Update 6. Information Technology Strategic Plan 7. Economic Development Update and Downtown Monroe Initiatives 8. Water Resources Issues 9. Transportation Issues: Priorities, Streetscape, Street Resurfacing 10. Solid Waste Contract I Issues 11. Police Department I Fire Department Separation 12. Parks and Recreation Issues 13. Energy Services Department ~ Utilities Overview 14. Electric Deregulation Overview - Senator Dan Clodfelter Friday. February 23. 2001 15. Budget Forecast 16. City Council Discussion . 17. Closed Session - Legal Issues Update: (Heaston v. City of Monroe, Yellow Cab vs. City of Monroe, Bostic Packaging vs. City of Monroe, Kling vs. City of Monroe) 03-21-0Ir 17 e . e e e CITY OF MONROE CITY COUNCIL PLANNING RETREAT FEBRUARY 21, 22 and 23, 2001 MINUTES The City Council of the City of Monroe, North Carolina, met in a Special City Council Planning Retreat at the Grandover Conference Center, One Thousand Club Road, Greensboro, NC 27407 on February 21 - 23, 2001. Meeting times varied (February 21 - 3:00 p.m. - 5: 15 p.m.; February 22 - 8:00 a.m. - 5:50 p.m.; and February 23 - 8:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.). Mayor Judy L. Davis presided. Present: Mayor Judy L. Davis, Mayor Pro Tern P. E. Bazemore, Councilmembers Phil Hargett, Billy A. Jordan, Lynn A. Keziah, Bobby G. Kilgore, Robert J. Smith, City Manager S. Douglas Spell, City Attorney John R. Milliken, City Clerk Jeanne M. Deese Absent: None Visitors: Dr. Tom Batchelor, Senator Dan Clodfelter, Cheryl Brown, Russ Colbath, Mike Courtney, Mark Donham, Ron Fowler, Bobby Haulk, John Jones, Jim Loyd, Don Mitchell, Chris Platé, Carol Rhea, Sonia Vizcaino Mayor Davis called the Special City Council Planning Retreat of February 21-23, 2001 to order at 3:00 p.m. A quorum was present. Wednesday. February 21. 2001 Item No.1. Welcome and Al!enda Overview. Mayor Davis reviewed the Agenda and introduced Dr. Tom Batchelor. Item No.2. Education Improvement Plan. Dr. Tom Batchelor, the City's consultant to facilitate education improvements within the City of Monroe, briefed Council on educational improvement initiatives. He reviewed a number of initiatives within the State and Federal government which he thinks will impact what schools can and cannot do in the future throughout the State. He briefed Council on the North Carolina Partnership for Children and 18 e e e e e the "Smart Start" program in Union County funded through the Union County Partnership for Children, Vision 20/20, and "Closing the Gap," an initiative of Union County Public Schools. Discussion also included the "English as a Second Language" (ESL) program for Hispanic families, a mentoring program, after-school tutorial programs, and special classroom involvement. Dr. Batchelor will be visiting other school systems who have successful programs to seek programs that may be helpful in Monroe. Dr. Batchelor will report to City Council on initiatives the City may become involved in to support education as they are developed. Mayor Davis recessed the meeting at 4:45 p.m., to reconvene at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2001. Thursdav. Februarv 22. 2001 Mayor Davis reconvened the City Council Planning Retreat at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2001. A quorum was present. Item No.3. City Manal!er Overview and Community Outreach Initiatives. City Manager Spell presented an overview of the retreat agenda, and upcoming initiatives, including adoption of a Mission Statement and Core Values. He also discussed employee recognition initiatives, customer service initiatives, community outreach initiatives, budget issues, and future issues. Item No.4. Summary of Major City Accomplishments Over Past Five Years. Assistant City Manager Donham reviewed the major accomplishments of the City over the past five years. The review included financial management, customer service initiatives, the Neighborhood Improvement Program, service delivery enhancements, infrastructure improvements, governance, and economic development. Item No.5. Customer Service Update. Planning Director Rhea reviewed customer service enhancements that have been initiated in the Planning and Development Department, process changes, community outreach, customer feedback, Building Inspections program, and future initiatives and challenges. Director of Finance and Administration Vizcaino presented an update of the HTE software implementation, current initiatives related to customer service, and future initiatives to offer citizens opportunities to utilize the Internet for services. Human Resources Director Brown gave an update of recent customer service training programs and upcoming customer service training for all City employees. Item No.6. Information Technolo~ Strate¡:ÎC Plannin¡: Process. Information Systems Director Jones briefed Council on the process of developing a strategic plan to address technology needs for the City of Monroe. He reviewed the objectives, approach, benefits, and 19 e e e e e planning assumptions. He also discussed software and hardware strategies, as well as delivery strategies and telecommunications need and the budget impact to fund these needs. Item No.7. Economic Development Update and Downtown Monroe Initiatives. Director of Economic Development Platé reviewed economic development successes over the past year, changes in the incentive grant program, and development of a Cost Benefit Analysis Program. Mr. Platé also summarized results of the recent strategic planning session, including strengths, weaknesses, areas for improvement, targeted industry, marketing initiatives, and short and long term goals. Mr. Platé also updated Council on the consolidation of Downtown Momoe, Inc. and the Momoe Economic Development Department. He reviewed strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities as identified in the Downtown Momoe Strategic Planning 2000, new and existing programs, and future goals. Item No.8. Water Resources Issues. Water Resources Director Colbath presented an overview of Water Resources issues, including water quality improvements, water supply improvements and future supply studies, wastewater issues, customer service enhancements, and a summary of future actions. Item No.9. Transportation Issues: Priorities. Streetscape. Street Resurfacinç. Director of Engineering Loyd briefed Council on transportation issues. He discussed a comprehensive sidewalk construction/rehabilitation program and funding sources, resurfacing of roadways, stormwater regulations and possible funding sources, and Streetscape. City Council discussed the possibility of the City participating with the State on right of way acquisition for the Dickerson Boulevard Extension if it would move up the construction timetable significantly. Item No. 10. Solid Waste Contract / Issues. Planning Director Rhea advised that staff would like to get a consensus from Council for the direction to go insofar as securing a new solid waste contract. She reviewed the history related to the current solid waste contract and the current fee schedule for solid waste services. She advised that the current contract with Allied/BFI expires on June 30, 2001, with no provisions for additional extensions. Allied/BFI has offered a new proposal to the City for solid waste services which Ms. Rhea reviewed with Council. The Environment and Water Resources Committee and staff recommended accepting the current proposal of Allied/BFI for a four year contract plus a one year extension at the then current rate plus consumer price index adjustment, and two one-year extensions at a negotiated rate, keeping white goods on a call-in basis, and offering commercial cardboard recycling on a voluntary basis. City Manager Spell explained that staff feels that Allied/BFI are trained on customer service and it would be detrimental to take proposals and go with another vendor with what has been accomplished during the current contract. He also reported that while in the past, complaints have been routed to Allied/BFI to handle, the City wants to bring complaint tracking back in-house in order to enhance the level of customer service. Ms. Rhea reported that in surveying other communities, the Allied/BFI proposed rates are right in line and the City is getting a lot of service for the rates. 20 · e e e e Following discussion, unanimous consensus of City Council was that it would be in the best interest of the City to negotiate the new contract with Allied/BFI. Ms. Rhea also reviewed the goals for the next five years, including increasing recycling participation, reducing the amount of illegal dumping, improving communication with customers, meeting goals of the City's Solid Waste Plan, updating the Solid Waste Plan as required by law, and working closely with neighborhood leadership. Item No. 11. Police Department / Fire Department Separation. A. Fire Deoartment. Fire Chief Ron Fowler presented an update of current projects, including the separation of police and fire, upcoming Phase II (48 Plan) of the transition, major capital needs, proposed new National Fire Protection Association standards, Insurance Classification Grading (ISO) changes, and registration for Fire Department accreditation through the Commission on Fire Service Accreditation International. B. Police Department. Police Chief Bobby Haulk presented an update on the separation of Police and Fire, Community Policing overview, training initiatives, and budget issues. He is researching the use of red light cameras to decrease motorists running red lights and the accidents caused thereby. Item No. 12. Parks and Recreation Issues. Director of Parks and Recreation Courtney advised that the last Parks and Recreation Master Plan was completed in 1992, with the major emphasis being on updating existing park and facilities over a five year time period. The recommended improvements on that plan were completed in just over 3 years. The Aquatics & Fitness Center was the one new facility recommended in the Master Plan and has proven to be a major success. Mr. Courtney recommended the completion of a new Master Plan by January 2002. Mr. Courtney also updated Council on the proposed Civic Center, reviewing statistics from other cities who have built civic centers or similar facilities in recent years, and discussed possible funding sources. He also discussed future budget issues, including stabilization of the Old Armory building, transportation for the after-school program, and needs of the Hispanic Adult Soccer League. Mr. Courtney also hopes to have a new Schools/Parks Agreement for consideration of Council later this year. Councilmember Smith asked if the City should begin to look at public transportation. City Manager Spell noted that one neighboring municipality started a shuttle service, and if there is an interest in our area, staff could talk with other neighboring local governments to see if there is an interest in public transportation in this area. Councilmember Smith also noted that there were some transfer of property issues which the City Attorney and School Board Attorney need to work out. 21 e . e . Item No. 13. Enerey Services Department - Utilities Overview. Energy Services Director Mitchell presented an overview of utility issues, including natural gas prices, a need for a new Natural Gas Rate Study, electric power supply, assessment of strategic initiatives, and budget issues. Mr. Mitchell advised that Booth & Associates made a presentation at the Council Planning Retreat last year to develop a business plan for diversification of the electric business in light of upcoming deregulation. He asked that Council approve the proposal from Booth & Associates to proceed with developing the business plan. Funds are available for the project. Councilmember Keziah moved to go forward with Booth & Associates development of a business plan. Councilmember Smith seconded the motion, which passed unanimously with the following votes: AYES: Councilmembers Hargett, Jordan, Keziah, Kilgore, Smith, Mayor Pro Tern Bazemore, and Mayor Davis None NAYS: City Manager Spell advised that staff will move forward to execute the contract and begin the project. Booth & Associates will present their report and market study to Council upon completion. Item No. 14. Electric Dereeulation Overview - Senator Dan Clodfelter. Senator Clodfelter, a member of the Legislative Study Commission on Deregulation, presented a brief overview of deregulation in North Carolina from the Study Commission's perspective. He reviewed the work of the Study Commission and their conclusions at this point. In light of the problems California is having with deregulation, the Study Commission spent a number of sessions in the late spring studying California. Senator Clodfelter stated that the Study Commission probably won't do anything during this session, and it is unlikely this issue will be back on the agenda until the Fall. A time of discussion followed in which Senator Clodfelter answered questions of Council and staff. Senator Clodfelter also spoke briefly about the reimbursements due to cities in April which the Governor has frozen. He advised that there are some ideas floating around, one being the possibility that States will discontinue reimbursements permanently and give local governments a substitute in the way of additional revenue sources. Mayor Davis recessed the meeting at 5:50 p.m., to be reconvened at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 23, 2001. Friday. February 23. 2001 Mayor Davis reconvened the Special City Council Planning Retreat on Friday, February 23, e 2001 at 8:00 a.m. A quorum was present. 22 . e e e . Item No. 15. Bud2et Forecast. Director of Finance and Administration Vizcaino briefed Council on the very beginning stages of the budget forecast. She reviewed the top eight general fund revenues, with graphs: property tax, local option sales tax, recreational fees, refuse collection fees, utility franchise tax, Powell bill, investment earnings, and inventory tax reimbursement. Ms. Vizcaino reviewed graphs indicating the effect on the tax rate of these revenues. Council discussed possible alternatives should the State not reimburse the inventory tax reimbursement due in April 2001. Ms. Vizcaino reviewed other options that may be considered should the State discontinue this reimbursement permanently. Item No. 16. City Council Discussion. City Council Members spent some time sharing ideas, thoughts, projects and hopes for the future of the City of Monroe. Discussion included a number of topics as outlined below: A. Old Armory Preservation Committee. Discussion included the historic significance and preservation of the Old Armory building. Mayor Davis appointed an Old Armory Preservation Committee, with Councilmember Kilgore as Chairman, City Manager Spell, Assistant City Manager Donham, and Planning Development Director Rhea, to work toward preservation of the building. B. Five Points Intersection Beautification. City Engineer Loyd advised that the Landscaping Agreement has been received from the State. As soon as the Encroachment Agreement is received, work on the project will continue. Two property owners are agreeable at this time, and the third property owner is still being consulted. C. Stop Li2ht for Monroe Mall/Dickerson Boulevard Intersection. City Engineer Loyd will follow with the NCDOT again on progress toward installing a light at Commerce Drive as a crossover from the Mall to the Union Square Shopping Center. D. Skyway Drive Beautification. Councilmember Hargett reported areas coming off Highway 74 onto Skyway Drive that need some attention. He suggested that trimming of bushes, overgrowth against the bridges, etc. would enhance the area. Parks and Recreation Director Courtney will look into this and get authority from the State to make whatever improvements will be helpful. E. Monroe/Union County Community Development Corporation (CDC) / Habitat for Humanitv. Mayor Pro Tern Bazemore advised that the North Carolina Community Development is a nonprofit organization that funds most of the local CDC office. These funds are going to be shortchanged this year and the CDC's across the State will suffer accordingly. He advised that the local CDC will be shortchanged considerably over what they have received in the past. If the local CDC is going to keep moving forward, another way must be found to make up this shortfall. Councilmember Smith asked if some properties could also be available for use by Habitat for Humanity. Mayor Pro Tern Bazemore advised that lots are available to either CDC or Habitat, and that Habitat has received some City-owned lots in the past. 23 e e e e . F. Education Priorities. Councilmember Smith asked if the City Council might be an advocate for increased class offerings at South Piedmont Community College. It appears to him in reviewing their catalog that there is a lack of such classes as real estate brokers, appraisers, and continuing education curriculum subjects. Mayor Pro Tem Bazemore suggested the City take a strong look at ways to partner with the Union County School Board of Education and Partnership for Children, to bridge the gap for minority and disadvantaged children. There should be grants available for funding, and the City could step up to the plate to help bring such a program to fruition. Councilmember Hargett would like to see the Chamber of Commerce take an active role in getting the business community involved in donating computers, wiring, etc. for school projects to further education. Councilmember Smith would like to see additional work stations set up at Community centers, the Library, Mall, and any public facilities that would be applicable to allow citizens access to the Internet for City services, such as paying bills and making service inquiries. G. Outside A~encv Committee. City Council discussed outside agency requests and the most efficient way to handle such funding requests. Following discussion, Mayor Davis appointed the Outside Agency Committee, consisting of Councilmember Jordan as Chairman, and Councilmembers Kilgore and Smith. The Committee will hear all agency funding requests and bring a recommendation to City Council. H. Other Business. City Manager Spell reviewed a number of initiatives which will be coming to Council over the next few months. A budget amendment will be needed for renovations at City Hall prior to July 1, 2001 to accommodate the Building Inspections Program. Parks and Recreation will have a recommendation for a maintenance building. Staff is presently identifying all City-owned property, and will have a recommendation for disposing of those properties that have no long term use by the City. City Manager Spell will plan a Legislative Breakfast to provide an opportunity for City Council to address pressing and future needs with the Legislators. Item No. 17. Closed Session. Councilmember Jordan made a motion to go into Closed Session to consult with the City Attorney on matters requiring confidentiality, and litigation: Heaston vs. City of Monroe, SMD Enterprises, Inc. dba Yellow Cab vs. City of Monroe, Bostic Packaging vs. City of Monroe and Kling vs. City of Monroe. Councilmember Smith seconded the motion, which passed unanimously with the following votes: AYES: Councilmembers Hargett, Jordan, Keziah, Kilgore, Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Bazemore, and Mayor Davis None NAYS: 24 - - e - - Upon return from Closed Session, and there being no further business, Councilmember Kilgore moved to adjourn. Councilmember Keziah seconded the motion, which passed unanimously with the following votes: AYES: Councilmembers Hargett, Jordan, Keziah, Kilgore, Smith, Mayor Pro Tern Bazemore, and Mayor Davis None NAYS: The City Council Planning Retreat of February 21 - 23, 2001 adjourned on February 23, 2001 at 10:45 a.m. Attest: ~YY)!0~ Jeanne M. Deese, Cay Clerk 02-21-0Ir 25