11/08/11 — Council sets road closures, talks about demolitions

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Council sets road closures, talks about demolitions

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on November 8, 2011 1:46 PM

A light agenda allowed the Goldsboro City Council to make quick work of its charges Monday night at the Council Chambers, with most of the regular meeting dominated with talk about Veterans Day festivities.

Each council member and Mayor Al King spoke about the importance of honoring veterans and encouraged all to attend the events planned for Friday, both of which were attached to street closure requests approved at the evening's meeting.

Walnut Street will be closed Friday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. from Ormond Avenue to William Street to provide a staging area for organizers leading up to the Veterans Memorial dedication scheduled for 12:45 p.m.

The rest of Walnut Street from John Street to George Street will be closed beginning at 8 a.m. for the Veterans Day Parade, which will begin at 11 a.m. Chestnut Street will also be closed from John Street to George Street, while Spruce, Pine and Mulberry streets will be closed from John Street to James Street.

Center Street will be closed between Elm Street and Ash Street as well as the outside, eastbound lane of Ash Street west of the traffic circle.

Along with Veterans Day, King also proclaimed this week to be Employ a Veteran Week in the city of Goldsboro, whereby employers are encouraged to consider veterans for employment.

During the work session, Finance Director Kaye Scott presented a report on the first quarter of the city's fiscal year from a budgetary standpoint which showed the city was behind by more than $200,000 in its tax revenue collections compared to 2010.

Mrs. Scott noted that the delay in getting tax forms out to residents was the main reason for the shortfall, which was also felt in the municipal service district where tax collections were down by $3,514. Collections into the utility fund and from occupancy tax were up in the first quarter by $129,708 and $17,523, respectively, in comparison to 2010 amounts.

Notable revenue decreases were also seen with permits and at the golf course, where a $1 increase in greens fees could not keep revenues on par with 2010 totals.

Mrs. Scott said high temperatures in July, the hurricane in August and fewer tournaments in September led to the decrease of $33,155.

While the number of permits issued in the first quarter was up, the projects taken on have been somewhat smaller, she said, as citizens are renovating their homes instead of building new ones.

A quarter of the way through the fiscal year, the general fund has spent 26.87 percent of its budget, down from 27.13 percent in 2010, while the occupancy tax fund budget is already 66.69 percent spent, mostly due to the payments made to acquire the former Arts Council of Wayne County building at 2406 E. Ash St.

Mrs. Scott also reported that the city was ahead in its quest to realize $1.186 million in attrition this year, as 38 vacancies have led to $335,161 in attrition -- $15,000 than what was budgeted.

Another work session item concerned the focus of the city's demolition boundary area. Planning Director Randy Guthrie asked the council where members would like to focus their demolition budget as the city seeks to remove dilapidated homes from the entranceways to Goldsboro.

After some discussion, the council decided to focus on the "northwest quadrant" of a map provided by Guthrie centered mainly on the city's historic district. The council wanted to see demolitions along Grantham Street and on the way into downtown before moving to the interior of the downtown area.

In other business at the meeting, council deferred a decision on the Franklin Baking Co. rezoning request until a future meeting and approved site and landscape plans and a subdivision request for The Highlands, a senior living facility at the terminus of West Lockhaven Drive between Wayne Memorial Drive and Norwood Avenue.

Council also approved a resolution supporting the state Department of Transportation in installing a right-lane turn lane on Country Day Road at Patetown Road, an agreement with CrossPoint Telecom and Consulting to seek out additional savings for the city and a budget amendment to allow additional allocations from the general fund into its line item for legal fees.

Other items on the consent agenda included a name clarification for the parks and recreation department, an appropriation back into the general fund for demolition funds not used, a state tax remittance and three drug forfeiture money deposits for the police department.

The council ended its session by going into closed session to discuss a litigation matter.