Harold’s Blog: July 7, 2019

Cary, NC – This week was a holiday week so there was not a lot going on.

Monday – Billboard Legislation

Monday our chief strategy officer was contacted by N.C. Senator Nickel’s office wanting a statement from Cary about the billboard legislation that the N.C. Senate was considering at the time. Here is the statement we issued:

The bill was passed by the Senate. While it looks like this legislation will not harm Cary we are still concerned about encroachments on local control by the legislature on other communities.

Tuesday – Vibe Co-Working

On Tuesday I joined council member Smith in a tour of Vibe Cary which is a new coworking community. The two cofounders, Leah Campbell and Nanette Mattox, recently renovated an 8,300 square foot space at Cary Towne Center formerly occupied by Spa by Mitchell’s. This space, once filled with hair styling booths and spa equipment, has been transformed and now is occupied by offices, meeting and event spaces, a podcast room, and even a lounge.

The goal of the cofounders was to create a place where they would like to work since both had the experience of the isolation of working out of the house. They believed other professionals would see the benefits of coworking that included collaboration and resource sharing, an increased productivity, as well social events and professional development activities.

Although Vibe is open to everyone, the focus was to create a space that would support other women in business. Since their March opening, they have hosted more 20 of these events.

Wednesday – Cary Matters with Lori Bush

Wednesday Mayor Pro-Tem Bush and I taped the next version of Cary Matters. This episode was about the approved budget which began on July 1st.

This $336.5 million dollar budget is 3.2% less than last year’s budget. And our tax rate remains the same which give us the lowest tax rate in Wake County. A designation we have held for over a decade.

Our taping was done in two takes and we were done in less than half an hour.

Thursday – July 4 at Booth Amphitheatre

Thursday I attended the July 4th celebration at Booth Amphitheater. Starting mid-afternoon there were thunderstorms which lasted until about 5 PM. Then it rained another hour. After that it was a great evening. The celebration at Booth amphitheater went on as planned with just a few changes. The Cary Town Band played fewer songs than normal.

After the Cary Town Band performance I gave welcome remarks and recognized former Mayor Koka Booth, Cary artist Jerry Miller, council members in attendance, retiring Cary Cultural Arts Director Lyman Collins, and of course those men and women who served or are serving in our military. God bless them all!

After my remarks I joined staff in a visit of the fireworks launch site while the symphony was warming up. I was able to talk with the man in charge of the fireworks who told me how everything worked. There was a lot of information about this business. For example, the fuses burn at 80 feet per second, and certain canisters cannot be used because the debris (paper mache) would reach the amphitheater or surrounding buildings.

The symphony was spectacular as usual and the night was capped off with a 25 minute firework display which is one of the best in the region. I hope everyone enjoyed their July 4th celebration.

Town Manager’s Report

The town manager’s report for this week includes:

Independence Day

I hope everyone had a great July 4 holiday. A full day of activities in Cary, including a children’s parade and games, started with the Olde Time Celebration at Bond Park.

Despite a somewhat soggy start, the celebration at Koka Booth Amphitheatre celebrated our nation’s birthday with festivities, fireworks and fun. A performance by the Cary Town Band was followed by the North Carolina Symphony’s annual patriotic concert. The new lighting system in place at the Amphitheatre allows us to highlight the architecture with appropriate colors. Mayor Weinbrecht welcomed the crowd and recognized former mayor and Amphitheatre namesake Koka Booth, who was joined by Cary artist Jerry Miller for the occasion. Another fireworks show followed tie game (1-1) of NCFC Men and the Charlotte Independence at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Class of 2020

A longstanding tradition continued this week with the annual change to the “Class of” date on the Maynard Tank. In past years, the Town has hired a contractor to paint the new date, but with the recent tank refurbishment, this year was a little different. The contractor painted Class of 2020 on the tank as part of the project, but since it wasn’t time yet to unveil the 2020, custom magnetic strips were made to cover the 20 with 19. On Tuesday morning, staff climbed the tank and removed the magnetic strips to reveal the new year. The Class of 2020 is now official!

AAA Bond Ratings Confirmed

Cary received AAA ratings from all three rating agencies for the upcoming general obligation bond sale to be held on July 16, 2019. Moody’sFitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s also affirmed their AAA ratings for the Town’s existing general obligation debt. Receiving the highest ratings possible results in a lower interest rate for the Town. The Town will be selling $16.05 million in bonds, the last of the 2012 Community Investment Bond referendum authority. S&P reports that “We view the town’s management as very strong, with strong financial policies and practices under our FMA methodology, indicating financials practices are strong, well embedded, and likely sustainable.”

Rezoning Update – Cary Towne Center

The Cary Towne Center Mall rezoning application (19-REZ-11) has been updated to include the Dillard’s parcel at 1105 Walnut Street. The addition of this 11-acre property will facilitate a more comprehensive redevelopment of the mall site. The applicant has revised their preliminary development plan to reflect this update.

Neighborhood Meetings

The July Rezoning Neighborhood Meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, July 10 at 6:30pm at Town Hall. Two cases are on the agenda.

Learning: Bike Facilities

Jerry Jensen, Juliet Andes, Todd Milan, Sandi Bailey and Luana Deans toured Charlotte’s bike facilities including the recently-opened Phase 1 of the 6th Street Cycle Track. The cycle track’s budget is $6.5 million which includes a physical barrier to be installed in Phase 2. Charlotte DOT led the tour showing staff different types of bike facilities including cycle tracks, buffered bike lanes, bike lanes, on-street paths, bike boxes, Charlotte’s Rail Trail and greenways. Many of the bike facilities in Charlotte were added to existing roads through road diets where the number of travel lanes, parking and/or lane widths are reduced, distributing this width to bike lanes, sidewalks and/or medians. Charlotte DOT has implemented 30 road diet projects. Charlotte staff shared the factors they consider when selecting the appropriate bike facility: a balance of traffic volumes, road speed, presence of on-street parking, available road space (aka potential for a road diet), number of driveways/intersections, percent of trucks, land use and implementation cost. This was a great opportunity to learn from another jurisdiction about their efforts and lessons learned when implementing new bike facilities.

Safety Town

Rising kindergarteners learned about safety and community helpers during the two activity-filled weeks of Cary’s annual Safety Town. It was a true team effort with multiple departments and the Cary Teen Council all working together to create a great experience for the 197 campers.

PHOENIX

Community safety is directly tied to how involved citizens are with helping keep it safe. Project PHOENIX is designed to help residents, owners and rental property managers keep drugs and other illegal activity off their property. Officer Jeff Morgan partners with residents and management to become involved in community affairs and tailor services to the unique characteristics and needs of the Hyde Park Community. According to Community Manager, Scott Marczewski, “It has been such a huge benefit partnering with Cary Police on Project PHOENIX.  It’s great to have someone you know on a personal level that you can reach out to with questions or concerns.  They always do their best to keep us informed about what is going on in the neighborhood.  We have had the pleasure of officers helping out with our events and interacting with our residents. It allows folks see that we are all just regular people.”

Glenridge Community Parade

Cary Police Corporal Brisco Gasperson, Officer Joel Pyland, and Officer Matthew Beale joined friends from the Glenridge Community for an Independence Day Bike Parade around the neighborhood.

Awards

The Knights of Columbus Assembly 2446 and Council 6650 held their 2nd Annual Heroes Dinner on June 28 at Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church “to recognize and acknowledge that all men and women who serve as police, fire fighters, telecommunicators or EMTs/AEMTs/Paramedics are heroes in our community.” After a nomination and selection process open to Morrisville, Apex and Cary agencies, Captain Chad Thomason of Cary’s Fire Department and ECO Shift Supervisor Lauren Paul were among those recognized at the Heroes Dinner. Chad Thomason (left) was recognized for special projects he has contributed to the Fire Department as well as his contributions to the Town, his family, home community and church. Lauren Paul (right) was recognized for providing life-saving CPR instructions to a caller who was then able to save her mother. Congratulations to Chad and Lauren.

Recognition

Senior Police Officer Troy Dotterman was assigned a call regarding a disabled vehicle on Interstate 40 on the morning of July 4.  Upon arrival, he learned that a mother and her three children, a toddler and two preschoolers, had fallen on hard times and lost their home the previous night.  While driving to a Raleigh shelter, they exhausted their fuel.  With no money, they were stranded. Troy not only reached out to Brace Towing who graciously hauled fuel to the scene free-of-charge, he and his team also purchased food and water for the family since none of them had eaten since the previous night.  On top of all that, the vehicle’s engine was difficult to start and killed the battery, so Troy used his personal “jump box” to assist them further, getting them on their way after having spent hours on the road’s shoulder. This team helped a family have a meal they otherwise would have missed. The children didn’t understand what was happening and were frightened, but because of the extra effort and generosity of these officers, some of their fears were eased, at least for a moment. There is no doubt this family will remember such a positive police interaction for years to come.  We will never truly know the totality of impact downstream. Thank you for exemplifying the Cary Way in a very special way.

Advisory Board Meetings

Environmental Advisory Board
Tuesday, 7/9, 6 p.m.
Town Hall Conf Room 10035

Historic Preservation Commission
Wednesday, 7/10, 6:30 p.m.
Town Hall Conf Room 10035

Greenway Committee
Thursday, 7/11, 6 p.m.
Town Hall Conf Room 11130

Emails

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Concerns about billboard legislation (Senate passed a version that would not harm Cary)
  • Questions about Google fiber installation (Staff will contact this person with information)

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, Diwali dance practice, and a meeting of the North Carolina Metro mayors.

Get in Touch

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, July 14th.  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 augustanat@mindspring.com.


From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. Photo by Hal Goodtree. 

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