01/05/14 — Council expected to take next step on bond

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Council expected to take next step on bond

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on January 5, 2014 1:50 AM


The Goldsboro City Council is expected to approve a resolution supporting an $18.9 million bond referendum for Parks and Recreation projects at its meeting Monday night.

If approved, the resolution will empower city officials to proceed with preparations to have the bond ready for a vote in May.

The council meeting will start with a work session at 5:30 p.m. prior to the regular meeting, which starts at 7.

If the bond passes, the money from its sales would go to fund a new W.A. Foster Recreation Center, a multi-sports complex, renovations to Herman Park and Herman Park Center and the paving of greenways throughout the city.

The city property tax would increase by three cents to 68 cents per $100 worth of property to serve as collateral for the bond. Each cent of the tax brings in about $200,000 in revenue for the city, meaning a three-cent increase would bring in more than $600,000 a year.

The resolution gives city Finance Director Kaye Scott permission to file a statement of debt with the Local Government Commission, authorizes the bond and sets a public hearing for Feb. 3.

In other business, the Council will discuss a pilot program to remove rusty fencing along U.S. 70 near Wayne Memorial Drive in favor of concrete controlled access monuments.

The monuments stick out of the ground 18 inches instead of having a fence barrier.

Public Works Director Jose Martinez said the fencing does not stop vehicles from passing through.

The fencing will not be removed on private land or in front of residential properties to prevent children from wandering onto the highway.

The monuments are made in house by the Public Works Department and the fencing is recycled to offset the cost.

If approved, the work would continue to other sections of U.S. 70.

Also up for discussion during the work session is the contract for the architect set to design the GATEWAY transfer center going in next to Goldsboro Union Station as part of a $10 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant.

Two resolutions approving the city's portion of planning funds for two transportation plans through the Goldsboro Metropolitan Planning Organization are expected to be approved. The MPO recommended Alta/Greenways, which worked on the Mountains to Sea Trail, to plan out the city's greenway system for $226,000.

The city's 20 percent match for the planning will be $43,000 with $11,000 being paid through a community transformation grant. The state Department of Transportation will pay the remaining $172,000.

In addition to the greenway plan, the MPO will hire URS, a Morrisville transportation planning firm, to update the city's transportation plan at a cost of almost $200,000.

Goldsboro will cover about $40,000 of the cost, with DOT picking up the rest of the bill.

The Council also will consider four zoning requests.

The city Planning Commission recommended approval of the requests, including a place of entertainment with no ABC permit in the former Party Central location on Corporate Drive.

The city Police Department expressed opposition to the proposed use at a public hearing in December.

The application was first brought before the City Council for a conditional use permit in September with an ABC permit, but it was denied in October based on the Police Department's argument that the use would pose a risk to public safety risk, based on past criminal activity at the location.

The application was denied without prejudice to allow the applicant, Jerald Huffman, who owns multiple Goldsboro clubs, to bring the application back without the ABC permit.

Despite the police objections, the Planning Commission recommended approval of the use.