Cary, NC – This week was also impacted by Hurricane Florence.
Monday my scheduled agenda review for the CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) executive board was cancelled. In addition, the monthly meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association was cancelled even though there was very little damage in Wake County. My weekly meeting with the town manager was very brief and was held via phone. We talked about the storm damage (or lack thereof) and the pro tennis tournament held the previous week.
Tuesday the annual event for the advisory boards, commissions, and committees was cancelled. In addition, my Bollywood dance practice was cancelled.
Wednesday – Transportation and Hurricane Florence Repairs
Wednesday I chaired the monthly meeting of CAMPO’s executive board. Results of studies were presented to the board and included future plans for NC 98 and the Rolesville main street. The committee approved these studies. The committee also approved the latest revisions to SPOT 5 (Strategic Transportation Prioritization for the next 5 to 10 years). In that discussion NCDOT was questioned about whether repairs due to Hurricane Florence would impact transportation plans for the next 5 to 10 years. The answer was probably not because SPOT 5 is considered capital projects and the repairs are maintenance which comes out of different budgets. Repairs will be done by Federal and State Emergency funds and maintenance funds. Additional funds needed would have to be allocated by the General Assembly. The CAMPO meeting concluded after about an hour and a half.
Thursday – National Guard and Cary Tennis Championships
Thursday morning I said goodbye to my son-in-law who is in the National Guard and was deployed. He was staying with us along with my daughter after evacuating from Beaufort, NC. Like so many National Guard and Coast Guard men and women, they serve to help others even when their personal lives are impacted. That is, he will spend a week away from home serving while his house needs repairs. God bless them all!
Thursday evening I met with key stakeholders of the Cary Tennis Championships. The purpose of the meeting was to brainstorm on how to make the event better next year. We all agreed that making this a community event rather than just a tennis event is a high priority. It will be our goal in the next few months to find ways to get key people and businesses involved in next year’s event which hopefully will include a lot smaller events making it fun for the players and citizens.
Saturday – Dragon Boat Festival
Saturday I attended the 5th annual Dragon Boat festival at Booth Amphitheater. Also in attendance were the NC Superintendent, a Wake County Commissioner, 2 Apex council members, several Morrisville council members, and Cary council members George and Yerha.
The Dragon Boat festival is an event with cultural diverse activities, stage performances, ethnic foods, and dragon boat racing in Regency Lake. It is put on each year by Asian Focus whose mission is to promote and support programs to help Asian Americans. They strive to foster synergy and promote cultural exchanges for the betterment of tomorrow.
After a brief reception we were treated with a performance by people in dragon costumes. Then I provided welcome remarks along with County Commissioner Calabria. We were then escorted to the Dragon Boats for the dotting of the dragon’s eye ceremony on one of the boats. We posed for several pictures including one with me sitting in the drummer’s seat. Afterwards all the special guests were given a tour to meet all the vendors which took about an hour.
Sunday – Cary Unity Walk
Sunday I gave a welcome at the Cary Unity Walk. This was an event to celebrate citizens working together to support local first responders and create a safe, unified, and nurturing community for our youth and our future. It also benefits non-profit organizations in our community that serve those in need.
Sunday afternoon I attended the PRCR (Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources) volunteer picnic. This annual event is to show our appreciation for all those that help our parks system to be the best in the nation (Gold Medal Award winner). This year PRCR volunteers gave over 33,500 hours of service to our town. What a great group of volunteers.
Town Manager’s Report
The town manager’s report for this week included:
Agreeing on Fenton
I am glad to report the good news that we have a tentative development agreement for Fenton, one that meets all of Council’s parameters. Details will be forthcoming. Our goal is for Council to be able to take action on October 25. I want to thank all of the staff who worked incredibly hard on this, especially when it came to building trust and a shared vision for success between Columbia, the State, and so many other interested parties.
Cary Responds to Hurricane Florence
Fortunately, Cary was spared the bulk of the force Hurricane Florence brought to the Carolinas. Over the three days between 9/13-9/16, we received about six inches of rain, as recorded by the Town’s nine rain gauges. The highest total registered was 8.5 inches at the Western Wake Regional WRF. We had no reports of flooding and overall construction site erosion and sedimentation controls were effective with only a handful of localized corrections needed. We put together an after action summary with more detailed information related to our storm response, as well as an infographic highlighting the contact and communication with citizens throughout the storm.
I also want to recognize, in particular, Mike Bajorek and Chief Cain, for guiding us through the emergency management protocols of operating an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as we activated – for the first time – the unified Command Post for our storm response. This was a valuable learning opportunity all involved.
Without a doubt, the proactive response by our employees allowed us to be as prepared as possible for the storm. Our ability to band together to tackle challenges is truly impressive. I want to thank each individual that spent time away from their family in order to serve the Town and our citizens.
Employees Talk About How to be A Better Neighbor
Weathering the storm. Being a good neighbor. These two concepts have been front and center in a really personal way over the past week. But what do they mean, how do we do it, and how can we get better? For this month’s rap session, employees came together to share perspectives, successes, and failures that can help us all be a better friend and neighbor in our community.
Street Projects Around Town
Yesterday, we closed the innermost lanes of High House Road at the intersection of Cary Parkway as part of the intersection improvements project in this area. These lanes will be closed until about 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 26. This closure is necessary to allow crews to pour the new concrete medians and let the concrete cure for about three days. Right turn lanes built during phase one have been opened. Please follow all signs, traffic signals, and pavement markings.
Additionally, and weather permitting, we will be closing lanes and directing traffic around the vicinity of the roundabout of West Chatham Street and Old Apex Road on September 24-25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This will allow us to perform surveying and material testing on the existing asphalt and subgrade necessary for future repairs. To ensure safety, all traffic control signs and flaggers will be in place.
Cary Receives Several Accolades
Cary has received several accolades recently reaffirming what we already know: It’s great place to live, work, and play!
Cary Ranked #5 Best Place to Live in America
Technology Team Named 2018 Route Fifty Navigator Award
Cary Ranked 9th Safest City by SafeWise
Cary Designated a “Best Workplace for Commuters”
I am humbled, proud, and honored to work alongside so many talented public servants.
Green Level Church Rd Study Open House
An open house will be held on September 26 from 5:30-7:30pm at Fire Station #8 for the Green Level Church Rd. Study. This introductory meeting will inform stakeholders about the project and invite public comment and feedback on the study area. The goal of the study is to develop an overall vision for the corridor and recommend appropriate transportation solutions that can accommodate future transportation and greenway needs, serve motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, and fit the unique historic context of the area. There is currently no funding designated for design and construction of the future road improvements. More information and a link to submit online comments through October 26 can be found here.
Crabtree Creek Greenway is Complete
Everyone is now welcome to enjoy this 1.7-mile scenic trail along the south shore of Lake Crabtree between Black Creek Greenway and Evans Road. A new pedestrian traffic signal at the Evans Road crossing provides a safe connection to Morrisville’s 1.4 mile trail which currently ends at Cedar Forks District Park.
There are additional improvements planned for the coming months, including tree plantings along the trail. Five bench pads have been provided along the trail in anticipation of offers by members of the community to fund memorial benches.
Congratulations to Mayor Weinbrecht for being awarded Citizen of the Year by the Cary Chamber of Commerce last week.
I’d also like to recognize Mary Beth Huber for her appointment to the Government Finance Officers Association Committee. Twice a year for the next three years she will meet with 20 peers from across North America to formulate new recommended policies in government finance and raise professional standards via best practices. Her experience managing the Town’s investment portfolio of over $500 million dollars and her past leadership role in the North Carolina Local Government Investment Association contributed to this honor. This opportunity will provide Mary Beth exposure to national experts and strengthen her skills to further enhance the Town’s treasury management.
Emails From Citizens
Emails from citizens this week included:
- A complaint about storm runoff in Westpark.
- A complaint about the consultants/staff proposed path for Higgins greenway.
- Kudos for town employees removing a dangerous tree limb.
- A complaint about an “ugly trailer” parked on Green Level Church Road.
- Concerns about Wake County Public Schools proposed reassignment plan – draft 2.
Next week’s activities will include meetings with staff, the town manager, and park consultants. In addition, there will be a taping of Cary Matters, the annual advisory board event, Green Level West Road study meeting, Diwali dance rehearsal, and the last regularly scheduled council meeting of the month.
Get In Touch
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, September 30th. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. Photos courtesy of Harold Weinbrecht.