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Jamie
Town Manager Jamie Justice

Manager’s Report: September 27, 2016


All supporting documents for the September 27 board of commissioners’ meetings are available here: http://davidson.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/

If you are interested in watching a video of the meeting, please view it here:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/davidson-town-board-meetings. 

We live stream our board meetings and work sessions and encourage you to tune in to this link on meeting days if you are unable to attend in person. After each meeting, a video is saved to this link so you can watch when convenient to keep abreast of projects and issues.


A summary of the September 27 work session (4:00 p.m.):


Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming provided an update to the board of commissioners on the Davidson Farmer’s Market’s dog policy. In March, the board of commissioners voted to honor the market’s policy prohibiting dogs at the market. Attendance at the market has increased over past summers. The vendors are pleased that dogs are not soiling their booths or items. They have set up a specific area within the market where dogs are welcome. Their dog prohibition policy seems to be working out well; Kim will continue to monitor.


bus
Look for our Parks & Recreation bus and hop on!

The pilot test for the Saturday Shuttle as an alternative method to get to downtown Davidson on Saturdays in September and October is going well and is helping to alleviate parking issues downtown. It has two routes – one for the east side of town and one for the west. Ridership has been 45 to 68 (one-way trips) every Saturday, so this pilot program is attracting farmer’s market customers. More information is available at www.townofdavidson.org/SaturdayShuttle. Please ride it!
 
Parks and Recreation Director Kathryn Spatz gave an update on the county’s funds allocation for parks. The Town of Huntersville asked the Town of Davidson to ask the county to allocate the $300K originally slated to be used at our proposed South Street Park toward Bradford Regional Park. The board of commissioners agreed that allocating funds for Bradford Regional Park would benefit Davidson citizens because that park will provide additional field space for Davidson sports teams.
 
Planning Director Jason Burdette and Public Works Director Doug Wright gave an update on the proposed Antiquity Woods development on South Street in Cornelius. It is a conditional project requiring the approval of the Cornelius Board of Commissioners. The developer is currently conducting a traffic impact analysis. The project could possibly go to the Cornelius Planning Board in November and then could go before the Cornelius Board of Commissioners in December. Davidson citizens have approached the Davidson Board of Commissioners with concerns about this development, the potential construction traffic, and the potential for increased traffic ongoing. Our elected officials will continue to share our citizens’ concerns with Cornelius’s elected officials.
 
The Town of Cornelius secured grant funding for a Hwy115 Corridor Feasibility Study to make improvements in connectivity and decrease congestion. The Town of Davidson planning department was invited to learn more about it and provide feedback. Cornelius held a public information session and they are in the process of synthesizing citizen feedback. As our population grows, connectivity and alternative routes for traffic will become very important for mobility.


Kids crossing street

A summary of the September 27 meeting (6:00 p.m.):


Mayor John Woods read a proclamation on International Walk to School Day to take place on Wednesday, October 5. We encourage our children to walk or ride a bike to school that day (and any day).

Commissioner Reports:

•    Commissioner Jim Fuller: The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce is wrapping up their effort to re-register members and bring in new members. Its popular “Focus Friday” sessions will continue. For more information, please visit: https://www.lakenormanchamber.org/ 

•    Commissioner Beth Cashion: Visit Lake Norman (VLN) has been very active this summer and early fall with events and tournaments, bringing lots of people to our area. Please visit www.visitlakenorman.org for the extensive list of events in our area.
North Mecklenburg Alliance: The Town of Davidson will participate in this new group with Huntersville and Cornelius to discuss regional issues like transportation. We are creating a memorandum of understanding. They will meet the second Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at Cornelius Town Hall. 

•    I gave a transportation update

  • The Lake Norman Transportation Commission working to secure a state grant to help figure out a north-south connector east of  Hwy. 115, which will require a 20% match. Huntersville, Cornelius, Mooresville, Iredell County, and Davidson agreed to provide money to move the grant application process forward and we hope to get this project funded.
  • Potts/Sloan/Beaty corridor project – We are waiting for a municipal agreement from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). They are able to use state funding for this project, instead of federal funding. State funding would eliminate the need for Davidson to provide a 20% match. This state-funded approach, however, would mean that the project is funded at 80%. If project cost estimates are accurate, we would have a funding gap. We could seek additional funding from NCDOT or the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization, or we could shrink the scope of project. NCDOT will start the planning process with Kimley-Horn and Associates, a design consulting firm, on road alignment and the overall scope of the project. We are projected to start construction in FY 18-19.

•    Mayor John Woods shared that the Centralina Council of Government (CCOG) hosted a meeting in Statesville to discuss engaging more participants in the regional transit process. The Metropolitan Transit Commission is working on the Gateway Station in Charlotte to re-align existing tracks to the site of the proposed station. They are reviewing the Silver Line light rail extension from Charlotte to Matthews. Their focus will then change to the northern corridor of the county.  The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) will refurbish their in-town bus system. 


Presentations:
    

  • Davidson Police Chief Jeanne Miller and Public Information Officer Cristina Shaul gave an update on pedestrian safety, enforcement, and education. We encourage all motorists to drive defensively, pedestrians to walk defensively, and cyclists to bike defensively.


  • Fire Chief Bo Fitzgerald and Asst. Town Manager Dawn Blobaum gave an update on Fire Station #2 which will be constructed on Davidson-Concord Road next to Historic Beaver Dam to improve response times in the eastern part of our jurisdiction. They have selected a construction company and the board of commissioners will be asked to approve the contract at their October 11 meeting. Construction is scheduled to commence in mid-October.
MI-Connection
I gave an update on the status of MI-Connection, the communications company owned by the Towns of Mooresville and Davidson that serves residential and commercial customers in Mooresville, Davidson, and Cornelius. CEO David Auger will retire at the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2017), so the MI-Connection board of directors are in the process of searching for his replacement. 
 
Here’s a brief synopsis of our ownership and financing:

In 2007, the Towns of Mooresville and Davidson purchased the local network of the bankrupt Adelphia cable system to be able to better serve our citizens with telephone, cable, and internet service. 

The original loans to purchase this company taken out by Mooresville totaled $92.55M:
•    An $80 million Certificate of Participation (CoPS) loan issued in 2007
•    A $12.5 million loan to be paid via installment financing (2008/09)

In 2012, we revised our interlocal agreement with Mooresville so that Mooresville owns 70% of the company and Davidson owns 30%.  The new interlocal agreement also revised the debt payment provisions so Davidson pays $1 million annually toward the debt service, as long as a deficit of revenues versus expenses exists.  The $1 million amounts to approximately 10% of Davidson’s annual budget.  

Over the years, the year 2017 has been mentioned as the date when the towns would not incur certain additional penalties for selling the company.  This is not the case.

In 2015, the Town of Mooresville re-negotiated the debt to benefit both of the towns – they achieved a significant reduction in debt service for both CoPs and installment financing, and also negotiated an Extraordinary Optional Pre-Payment in Whole.

Under this Extraordinary Optional Pre-Payment in Whole clause, the new parameters allow us, if we were to receive an offer to buy MI-Connection, the ability to sell without full pre-payment penalty associated with the bonds.  There is a sliding scale depending on the year that outlines the costs to retire the debt early.  There is no longer a limiting factor on the potential sale of MI-Connection.  The refinancing erased the 2017 call date.  We don’t think the current value of the company exceeds the current debt at this time, but it is trending in the right direction to be able to sell, if that is an option that we choose to pursue.

The analysis of MI-Connection is an action item in the Davidson Game Plan.  MI-Connection is steadily growing the commercial side of their business and has many products and services to offer residential customers. We are focusing on the financial health of MI-Connection. 

Regardless of whether you believe we should own this business or not, we need to keep making this a viable company – we need to operate it well and support it with our business, so that MI-Connection will ultimately make a profit and become a more productive asset to give us the opportunity to better determine its future.

Davidson Depot property
Davidson Depot site

Davidson Depot
Miller-Valentine Group, the developer for the Davidson Depot project, plans to re-develop the Metrolina Warehouse site on Depot Street by constructing a 4-story building to include approximately 180 apartments. 

Miller-Valentine Group had originally planned to host a public information session this Thursday, September 29, but have made the decision to postpone it.  They hosted a meeting on September 15 specifically for adjacent property owners and received many comments and specific questions about the construction and environmental remediation process (the site contains underground asbestos). In order to give the questions raised the thought and consideration they deserve, the company decided to postpone the September 29 meeting in order to further investigate the state brownfields requirements and bring back answers and more details.  Miller-Valentine Group thinks it will be early 2017 before they are ready to conduct the public information session.

Status: 
The site plan has already been submitted to the planning department: 
•    It does not require board approval because what is being proposed is compliant with the Davidson Planning Ordinance (by right). 
•    There have been several plans over the past 20 years that call for re-development of this site. 
•    For many years, the vision for downtown and this site has been for more compact, walkable development that includes residential units.
•    The developer visited the Design Review Board in August for an initial “FYI” meeting and received some feedback on the design. They will officially present their updated designs to the DRB in the future. 

More information on this project is available at: www.townofdavidson.org/DavidsonDepot.

hotel site
Davidson Commons East site

Announcements:
 
Burney Award Nominations will be accepted through September 30 at www.townofdavidson.org/BurneyAward
 
Citizens are invited to a public input session, led by developer Beacon IMG, Inc., on the proposed conditional master plan amendment for a hotel at the corner of Griffith Street and Davidson Gateway Drive. The site is located at 127 Davidson Gateway Drive, consists of 2.1 acres, and currently serves as a surface parking lot.

The public input session will be held on Monday, October 3 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Davidson Town Hall board room. It will be an open house format with no formal presentation. The hotel developer and project team, along with members of the Davidson Planning Department, will be present to discuss the proposed development and answer any questions. All citizens are invited to review the initial plans and provide comment.

You may view additional information on the conditional master plan proposal at: www.townofdavidson.org/DavidsonCommonsEastHotel

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