CityLink

Entries for May 2010

28

Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice

The City of Concord remembers all those who died in military service throughout our Country’s history. All are encouraged to actively remember our ancestors, our family members, our loved ones, our neighbors, and our friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice by:

         visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes
         visiting memorials
         flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon
        flying the POW/MIA Flag
        by participating in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day
       by renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of the fallen, and to aid the disabled veterans
 
City offices will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 31.
 
Garbage, recycling, building materials and bulky waste will be collected on a one-day delay (Monday’s on Tuesday, etc.) with Friday route collected on Saturday. 
 
All Monday through Friday yard waste customers are requested to place all their yard waste by the curb before 7 am on Tuesday. Yardwaste crews will be working extra hours to finish all routes by Friday.
 
For more information, contact the Customer Care Center at 704-920-5555.
 
City Manager presents FY2010-11 budget recommendation
Tuesday night City Manager Brian Hiatt presented his Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget recommendation to the Concord City Council at a special meeting. The budget, including all the various municipal funds, totals $195,146,632, a 1.9 percent increase from the current year adopted budget due to increases in purchased power (electric) costs, federally funded firefighter positions to establish an additional ladder company in western Concord, and a change in the way the City accounts for recycling expenses. However the City budget was reduced for FY 2009-10 by 3.2 percent (or $6.42 million), and the decrease in operational items was 17 percent. These cuts all carry over into the new fiscal year.
 
“The City took preventative measures in the past to avoid going into a crisis mode during the economic downturn” said Hiatt. “While we have had to cut expenditures, be aggressive to find ways to be even more efficient, and eliminate the funding for targeted vacant positions, we have been able to meet the City Council’s goal of continuing the basic municipal services needed to support the community.”
 
The proposal calls for no property tax increase, with the rate remaining at $.42, one of the lowest tax rates among North Carolina full-service municipalities above 35,000 in population. The primary focus of the budget is maintaining basic levels of service during the economic downturn and while experiencing the decline of revenues from the closure of Philip Morris, the City’s single largest taxpayer.
 
Water rates are not recommended to increase in FY 2010-11, but due to the loss of revenues from Philip Morris, wastewater rates cannot cover the cost of basic needs without an increase. Even with an increase, staff will have to postpone some key capital projects. The recommended increase would raise the average customer’s wastewater bill by 96 cents per month.
 
The City Council will hold at least one budget workshop on June 8, 2010 and a public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 10, 2010 during the regular City Council meeting. Interested individuals can view the City Manager’s recommended budget on the City of Concord’s website and also through the City Clerk’s office.
 
Concord welcomes NASCAR fans
The 2010 Spring race weeks continue this weekend in the City of Concord with Windstream Pole Night on Thursday May 27, the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 on Saturday May 29, and the world famous Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 30.
 
Parks and Recreation highlights
Please see the Summer 2010 issue of Leisure Times (click here) for a full list of programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Department. 
 
Park Ranger Pat Merritt is implementing a Park Watch Program for McGee Park and McEachern Greenway. The City of Concord Parks & Recreation Department is seeking volunteers to attend an orientation meeting on Monday, June 7 at 5:00pm at McGee Park.  If the pilot program in this location is successful, the department will evaluate how to refine and expand to other locations throughout the City.
 
The Park Watch Program is similar to a typical Neighborhood Watch Program, with the idea of volunteers keeping their eyes open for suspicious activity in the parks and greenway trail. If any suspicious activity is seen, the volunteers will be instructed to call 911. They will also be instructed to stay uninvolved and to not confront anyone before calling 911. 
 
A “job description” will be distributed by Park Ranger Pat Merritt at the orientation meeting along with a Park Watch t-shirt for the volunteer. Participants are encouraged but not required to wear the t-shirt while walking the greenway trail and parks.
 
Those interesting in volunteering for the Park Watch Program are invited to the orientation meeting at the picnic shelter at McGee Park. The park is located at 219 Corban Avenue, East in Concord. Refreshments will be served.
 
Detour planned on Corban Avenue
Corban Avenue will be closed at near the intersection with Bell Street SW (near Barber-Scotia College) from June 14-28, 2010 for the installation of the final piece of a new sewer line to serve the new Cabarrus County Detention Facility. Motorists will be detoured through Cabarrus Avenue, and nearby streets will be open to local traffic only. For more information please visit the Concord Interactive Traffic Map or call 704-920-5403. 
 
Two films in production around Concord
Various locations around the City will be seen in two upcoming films. A Box for Rob, by Moving Box Entertainment in association with Uptone Pictures, will be an action-thriller set in Concord. For more information visit aboxforrob.com or their page on Facebook. Witness Insecurity is also in production in the City and elsewhere in the region. It is a mystery-thriller by Cascade Pictures. For more information visit witnessinsecurity.com.
 
Water Restrictions reminder
City of Concord water customers continue to demonstrate leadership in water conservation and environmental protection. We thank our business and residential customers for being mindful of how their use impacts this vital natural resource. 
 
Concord and Kannapolis are committed to environmentally sustainable water use practices 365 days a year during normal conditions and periods of drought. Irrigation creates the single largest demand for water during spring and summer months. Lawn irrigation is allowed on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Those who violate the specified lawn irrigation days watering rule will receive written notice of the violation and the appropriate fee will be assessed. All customers are allowed to use pressure washing devices.
 
The following activities are permitted at anytime:
        The filling, operation, or topping off of ornamental fountains.
         Residential car washing will be allowed using a hand-held hose or pressure washer, both equipped with a spring-loaded nozzle.
         Residential use of water for wash down of outside areas using a hand-held hose or pressure washer, both equipped with a spring-loaded nozzle.
        Watering of trees, flowers, shrubs, ornamental plants and vegetable gardens for plant preservation.
        Automated irrigation services may be installed and activated.
         Filling of swimming pools by permit. Topping off of previously filled pools is still acceptable at any time.
 
In order to continue protecting our natural resources, the cities and the communities they serve are maintaining restrictions on days of irrigation and also using water pricing to promote further conservation.
 
Research shows that properly maintained lawns only need 1 inch of water per week to thrive, and it is best to water during evening and early morning hours.
 
The aforementioned water use restrictions do not apply to those customers using wells or ponds for irrigation purposes. However, all users are encouraged to remain diligent in their conservation efforts regardless of the water source.
 
Union Street Live
Third Thursday of each Month May – August
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Historic Courthouse Lawn
The event is free to the public. For more information about this event, call Concord Downtown Development Corporation at (704) 784-4208.
2010 Schedule
May 20 Tim Clark Band
June 17 Mark Roberts and Breeze
July 15 Shakers
August 19 Big Sam
September 16 Band of Oz
 
City of Concord upcoming meetings
Unless otherwise noted, location is second floor of Municipal Building, 26 Union Street, S.
June
6/08/2010 at 4:00 p.m. City Council Worksession and Budget Workshop
6/10/2010 at 6:00 p.m. City Council Regular Session
6/10/2010 at 7:00 p.m. City Council Public Hearings (includes a public hearing on the FY11 recommended budget)
20
Concord welcomes NASCAR fans
The 2010 Spring race weeks begin this weekend in the City of Concord with the NC Education Lottery 200 on Friday May 21 and the Sprint All-Star Race Saturday May 22 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The events continue next week with Windstream Pole Night on Thursday May 27, the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 on Saturday May 29, and the world famous Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 30.
 
National Public Works Week May 16th to May 22nd
National Public Works week began in 1960 as an educational campaign by the American Public Works Association to recognize the men and women whose jobs keep our cities and towns moving. Mayor Padgett and the City Council have designated May 16-22 as Public Works Week in the City of Concord. National Public Works Week is held each year during the third week of May. 
 
The City of Concords public works departments include Buildings and Grounds, Fleet Services, Transportation, Water Resources, Wastewater, Electric Systems, Engineering, Solid Waste and Recycling Services, and Stormwater Services. These are the men and women who quietly roll up their sleeves and work behind the scenes to provide well-kept public areas, clean water, electricity, garbage and recycling disposal, and a healthy environment all while helping to protect public health & safety.
 
While the men and women in these departments work for the good of our City doing vital and sometimes dangerous jobs, they often receive little recognition. It is important that we celebrate and honor them by understanding and appreciating the services they provide. Please visit the City of Concord’s website to learn more about the public works departments that help keep Concord moving!
 
Quarterly Shining Star Award winner - Officer Mike Drake
At the May 13 City Council Meeting, Council had the opportunity to recognize the Quarterly Shining Star Award winner - Officer Mike Drake. City Manager Brian Hiatt asks the community to join him in congratulating Office Drake for this well deserved honor. Here is the description of the event that led to the original nomination.
 
"On Feb 04, 2010 the Police Department was dispatched to a call of a house fire at approx. 03:30 at 721 Harris St. Information came in through the communications center that some residents were possibly still inside. Officer Drake was the first unit to arrive. The front of the residence was totally engulfed in flames so Officer Drake quickly decided to go to the back of the residence and see if he could wake anyone up or see if they needed assistance. When he got around the back of the residence he could see a male subject lying on the enclosed back porch near the door leading to the kitchen. The subject appeared intoxicated and was trying to get his dog out. There area was smoke filled. Officer Drake tried to talk the subject into coming out but he continued to try to find his dog. Officer Drake, without hesitation, went up into the enclosed back porch and dragged the subject out of the burning dwelling. At this point the whole house was engulfed in flames. Officer Drake got the man out into the back yard and turned him over to Officer Medlin. Officer Drake then went back to the porch and attempted to locate the dog but was forced out due to the flames. The dog was unable to be saved.  Officer Drake showed exceptional courage, regardless of his own safety, in order to save the man's life."
 
The Shining Star Award concept was developed by the Customer Service Design Team to recognize coworkers who go above and beyond in customer service. Several of the Design Team members were present Thursday night as Team Member Sgt. Lisa Linker of the Police Department presented the award. Special thanks to Team Member Phillip Kingsland in Engineering for communicating these achievements to our organization. 
 
Parks and Recreation highlights
Please see the Summer 2010 issue of Leisure Times (click here) for a full list of programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Department. 
 
PUBLIC SWIM
Swimming open to the general public. Patrons must purchase a Privilege Pass I.D. in order to swim. The Aquatics Center will open for Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 29 - Monday, May 31 and will open daily on Friday June 4 - Saturday August 21. The pool will be closed Tuesday June 1 - Thursday, June 3.
Hours for public swimming:
Mon. - Thurs.: 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 11:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Adult Swim 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Sat.: 12:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Sun.: 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Fees:
$10 Individual Privilege Pass; $ 5 city resident discount
$30 Family Privilege Pass; $15 city resident discount
Daily Swim Fee: $1.50 Youth; $2.50 Adults
 
SWIMMING LESSONS
Group lessons are offered for ages 18 months and up. Lessons are divided from Parent/Child though Level 6. More specific information regarding levels are on our website at www.concordparksandrec.org or by calling Ryan Jones at 704-920-5619. We use the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program. Group lessons will be offered Monday - Thursday morning and evening with each session lasting 2 weeks except parent/child which are one week.
Sessions begin 6/7 and end 8/19. No classes the week of 7/5 - 7/9.
Fee: $40; $5 city resident discount (different fee for parent/child lessons)
 
Parent/Child lessons are for children 18 months through 2 years of age.
Parents will be in the water with their children. Classes meet for 30 minutes
Monday - Thursday for one week.
Fee: $20; $5 city resident discount
 
Individual lessons are also offered and will be scheduled on an individual
basis. They will last 30 minutes. For more information or to schedule a lesson
contact the pool manager after 5/29 at 704-920-5604.
Fee: $20 per person per lesson; $5 city resident discount
 
Adult lessons will be on Tuesday and Thursdays from 7:00 - 7:45 p.m. for
two sessions, 6/8 - 7/1 and 7/13 - 8/5.
Fee: $40; $5 city resident discount
 
Water Restrictions reminder
City of Concord water customers continue to demonstrate leadership in water conservation and environmental protection. We thank our business and residential customers for being mindful of how their use impacts this vital natural resource. 
 
Concord and Kannapolis are committed to environmentally sustainable water use practices 365 days a year during normal conditions and periods of drought. Irrigation creates the single largest demand for water during spring and summer months. Lawn irrigation is allowed on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Those who violate the specified lawn irrigation days watering rule will receive written notice of the violation and the appropriate fee will be assessed. All customers are allowed to use pressure washing devices.
 
The following activities are permitted at anytime:
  • The filling, operation, or topping off of ornamental fountains.
  • Residential car washing will be allowed using a hand-held hose or pressure washer, both equipped with a spring-loaded nozzle.
  • Residential use of water for wash down of outside areas using a hand-held hose or pressure washer, both equipped with a spring-loaded nozzle.
  • Watering of trees, flowers, shrubs, ornamental plants and vegetable gardens for plant preservation.
  • Automated irrigation services may be installed and activated.
  • Filling of swimming pools by permit. Topping off of previously filled pools is still acceptable at any time.
 
In order to continue protecting our natural resources, the cities and the communities they serve are maintaining restrictions on days of irrigation and also using water pricing to promote further conservation.
 
Research shows that properly maintained lawns only need 1 inch of water per week to thrive, and it is best to water during evening and early morning hours.
 
The aforementioned water use restrictions do not apply to those customers using wells or ponds for irrigation purposes. However, all users are encouraged to remain diligent in their conservation efforts regardless of the water source.
 
Union Street Live
Third Thursday of each Month May – August
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Historic Courthouse Lawn
The event is free to the public. For more information about this event, call Concord Downtown Development Corporation at (704) 784-4208.
2010 Schedule
May 20 Tim Clark Band
June 17 Mark Roberts and Breeze
July 15 Shakers
August 19 Big Sam
September 16 Band of Oz
 
Booker Drive Street Realignment Project
The City of Concord is proceeding with the Booker Drive realignment project at the intersection with Salem Street. The project will improve the intersection and adjust other infrastructure in the area.
 
There will be a traffic detour and limited access during the construction period, and efforts will be made to minimize inconveniences to the extent possible.  Stakes have been positioned to define the future road and erosion control is in place.
 
This project is partially funded with Federal stimulus funds received through the Community Development Block Grant program and is designed to improve the safety and functionality of this intersection. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Engineering Construction Inspection Division at 704-920-5404 during regular working hours.
 
City of Concord upcoming meetings
Unless otherwise noted, location is second floor of Municipal Building, 26 Union Street, S.
May
5/25/2010 at 5:00 p.m. City Manager’s FY11 Budget Recommendation to City Council
5/25/2010 at 6:00 p.m. Board of Adjustment Meeting
June
6/08/2010 at 4:00 p.m. City Council Worksession and Budget Workshop
6/10/2010 at 6:00 p.m. City Council Regular Session
6/10/2010 at 7:00 p.m. City Council Public Hearings (includes a public hearing on the FY11 recommended budget)
 
14

1. Presented a proclamation to the Concord High School Boys Basketball team for their achievements in the 2009-2010 season.  The team was runner-up in the State 3-A Championship.
 
2. Presented the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for period ending June 30, 2009 to the Finance Department. The City of Concord has participated in the Government Finance Officer's Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) award program for several years and again has been successful in meeting  the requirements for the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the period ending June 30, 2009. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. The City has received this award for 21 consecutive years.
 
3. Presented the 2010 Jo Atwater Continuous Core Values Award.
Jo Atwater's life is synonymous with heartfelt service to others in our community and the highest dedication to our organizational core values. Jo worked for the City from 1994-2004. During this time, she became a respected friend and inspirational teammate to all co-workers. This award continues Jo's vibrant spirit and valued legacy by annually recognizing one co-worker that embodies our organizational core values and commitment to serving others in the community. Allen Scott, Director of Solid Waste was nominated by coworkers to be this year's recipient of the award based on his numerous activities to help people in distressed communities.
 
4. Presented a plaque from the American Public Power Association recognizing the City of Concord Electric Systems Department for receiving the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation. Concord is one of 94 of the nation's more than 2,000 public power utilities to earn Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3®) recognition from the American Public Power Association for providing consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service. The RP3 recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.
 
5. Approved  the request of Grant Conversano of Boy Scouts Of America Troop 128 to install a flag pole in McGee Park as his Leadership Service Project in pursuit of the rank of Eagle Scout. Grant would secure the funding and have installed a 30' flag pole and provide the city an American Flag and a NC State Flag as his Eagle Scout Service Project.
 
6. Authorized the Parks and Recreation Department to apply for a USTA grant to reimburse the City for the painting of tennis court lines. The Parks and Recreation Department requested to apply for a grant from the United States Tennis Association for reimbursement of 75% ($1,425) of the total cost ($1,900) to paint additional lines on eight tennis courts. These lines will enable P&R to continue with efforts to develop the VIBE and QuickStart Tennis Program. This program's focus is on the neighborhoods of Logan, Hartsell and Gibson Village and will allow us to reach younger children on courts by providing an identified smaller playing area. The VIBE Tennis program currently uses the Logan Gym.
 
7. Amended a contract with Cabarrus County  for the Concord Rural Fire Protection District Inter-local agreement. In July of 1991 the City entered into an agreement with the Pitts Volunteer Fire Department to provide fire protection in their fire protection district after the dissolution of their Fire Department. In 2004 the City and County entered into an agreement to form the Concord Rural Fire Protection District to better define the boundaries of the old Pitts VFD fire district. It has come to the attention of Cabarrus County that there are several small parcels in close proximity to the Concord Rural District that are not covered by a formal agreement for fire protection services. These parcels are north of I-85 on the Cabarrus / Mecklenburg County line. The amended contract calls for both parties to cooperate to do what is necessary or required to create and impose a fire district tax for all properties in the Concord Rural Fire District. Currently the City provides fire protection at no cost based on the 1991 agreement with the former Pitts VFD.
 
8. Supported the City of Concord's implementation of the NC Department of Labor Apprenticeship program. Apprentices will be given supervised, on-the-job training by qualified co-workers as approved and registered by the Apprenticeship and Training Bureau of the North Carolina Department of Labor. The City will work in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Labor and the Department of Veteran  Affairs on this effort.
 
9. Received a report on this year's Justice Assistance Grant and authorized staff to apply for this grant. The Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) is a non-competitive grant from the Department of Justice. JAG award amounts are predetermined based on Part I offenses. Cabarrus is considered a "disparate" county which means funds from Concord and Kannapolis must be shared with the Sheriff's Office as they house our arrested offenders. The total received by Concord will then be $26,009. The total for Kannapolis will be $18,014 and Cabarrus County will be $7,770.
 
10. Established a schedule for consideration of Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget. Under the North Carolina Fiscal Control Act, the City Manager must present a balanced budget to Council by June 1st of every year. City Council must adopt the budget by July 1. City Council decided to hold a special meeting to hear the City Manager's budget presentation on Tuesday, May 25 at 5:00 PM, a budget workshop after the Council Work Session on Tuesday, June 8 and the required public hearing during the regular meeting on Thursday, June 10. Additional review meetings may be scheduled by Council as necessary.
 
 
 

14

Water Restrictions Reminder
City of Concord water customers continue to demonstrate leadership in water conservation and environmental protection.   We thank our business and residential customers for being mindful of how their use impacts this vital natural resource. 
Concord and Kannapolis are committed to environmentally sustainable water use practices 365 days a year during normal conditions and periods of drought. Irrigation creates the single largest demand for water during spring and summer months.
 Lawn irrigation is allowed on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
.Those who violate the specified lawn irrigation days watering rule will receive written notice of the violation and the appropriate fee will be assessed.
 .All customers are allowed to use pressure washing devices.
 The following activities are permitted at anytime:
.The filling, operation, or topping off of ornamental fountains.
.Residential car washing will be allowed using a hand-held hose or pressure washer, both equipped with a spring-loaded nozzle.
.Residential use of water for wash down of outside areas using a hand-held hose or pressure washer, both equipped with a spring-loaded nozzle.
.Watering of trees, flowers, shrubs, ornamental plants and vegetable gardens for plant preservation.
.Automated irrigation services may be installed and activated.
.Filling of swimming pools by permit. Topping off of previously filled pools is still acceptable at any time.
In order to continue protecting our natural resources, the cities and the communities they serve are maintaining restrictions on days of irrigation and also use water pricing to promote further conservation.
 
Research shows that properly maintained lawns only need 1 inch of water per week to thrive, and it is best to water during evening and early morning hours.
 
The aforementioned water use restrictions do not apply to those customers using wells or ponds for irrigation purposes. However, all users are encouraged to remain diligent in their conservation efforts regardless of the water source.
 
National Public Works Week May 16th to May 22nd
National Public Works week began in 1960 as an educational campaign by the American Public Works Association to recognize the men and women whose jobs keep our cities and towns moving.    Mayor Padgett and the City Council have designated May 16th through the 22nd as Public Works Week in the City of Concord. National Public Works Week is held each year during the third week of May. 
The City of Concords public works departments include Buildings and Grounds, Fleet Services, Transportation, Water Resources, Wastewater, Electric Systems, Engineering, Solid Waste and Recycling Services and Stormwater Services.  These are the men and women who quietly roll up their sleeves and work behind the scenes to provide well-kept public areas, clean water, electricity, garbage and recycling disposal and a healthy environment all while helping to protect public health & safety.
While the men and women in these departments work for the good of our city doing vital and sometimes dangerous jobs, they often receive little recognition.  And, it is important that we celebrate and honor them by understanding and appreciating the services they provide for our city.
Please visit the City of Concords website (www.concordnc.gov) to learn more about the public works departments that help keep Concord moving!

 
Spring Into Arts Festival
Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010 Time: 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
The "Spring Into Arts" Festival showcases talent from great local artists and provides a full day of entertainment for the whole family. The event is held on Union Street in beautiful Historic Downtown Concord. Artwork includes paintings, pottery, basketry, wood crafting and many other arts and crafts. All are available for sale. In addition to great arts & crafts, the event features great entertainment from local bands, a children's activity area, roving entertainers, a beer and wine garden and a wide variety of food vendors.
The event is held by the Concord Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) and is free to the public.
For information call the CDDC at 704-784-4208. www.springintoarts.com
 
Union Street Live
Third Thursday of each Month May - August 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Historic Courthouse Lawn
The event is free to the public. For more information about this event, call Concord Downtown Development Corporation at (704) 784-4208.

2010 Schedule
May 20 Tim Clark Band
June 17 Mark Roberts and Breeze
July 15 Shakers
August 19  Big Sam
September 16 Band of Oz

 
Booker Drive Street Realignment Project Starting in April, 2010
The City of Concord is proceeding with the Booker Drive realignment project at the intersection with Salem Street.  The project  involves improvements to the intersection along with adjustments to other infrastructure.
 
There will be a traffic detour and limited access during the construction period, and efforts will be made to minimize inconveniences to the extent possible. The stakes have been placed to define the future road and erosion control is in place. Crews will be on the site Monday, May 10th to start construction.
This project is partially funded with Federal stimulus funds received through the Community Development Block Grant program and is designed to improve the safety and functionality of this intersection.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Engineering Construction Inspection Division at 704.920.5404 during regular working hours.
 

City of Concord Upcoming Meetings
Public Hearings Held in the Municipal Building, 26 Union Street, S.
May Meetings
5/18/2010 at 6:00 p.m. Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting
5/20/2010 at 7:00 p.m. Historic Preservation Commission Meeting
5/25/2010 at 6:00 p.m. Board of Adjustment Meeting
 

13

Common Sense about Incentives/Industrial Grants

 
With current unemployment rates and the need for jobs, I would like to comment on one aspect of economic development--incentives. Using incentives to create jobs is controversial and often misunderstood. Most every elected official I know will say they would prefer not to have to deal with incentives, and I am one of them. But the reality is that we are competing for jobs and economic development with other cities and states. With unemployment at a record high, the stakes are greater than ever. Our neighboring states are willing to provide extreme amounts of money and land to lure jobs. Is this a fair or good system? I would emphatically answer no. On the other hand, it is today’s reality. Let’s look at a few recent examples of incentive grants in Concord. The following table shows the investments made by the business in their facilities, their annual payrolls, and the number of jobs created. It is clear that incentives are bringing millions of dollars and thousands of jobs into our local economy.

 
There is at least one elected official in a neighboring governing body who believes that incentives have no impact on bringing jobs to Concord and Cabarrus County, and uses the Embassy Suites Hotel and Concord Convention Center as an example. He states that the project was built with no incentives. That is simply untrue. The fact is that it was built after the City donated the land on which the hotel is constructed and leased the parcel for the Convention Center and parking. Had the City not made this small investment combined with a federal Economic Development Administration grant for infrastructure, hundreds of jobs and income for our local economy would not be here. We have been paid back our incentive investment many times over. I believe it is a case where it is accurate to say, “but for the incentive, this would not have been built.” The facility has been open and successful for three years now, but business recruitment efforts remain as crucial as ever.
 
Incentives are an investment, a tool to create jobs, and the investment helps keep taxes low for everyone. I would point out that our tax rate of forty-two cents per one hundred dollars of valuation is much lower than some of our neighboring cities who have not been as fortunate in recruiting efforts. A few simple facts will help you understand why incentives are a low-risk tool when carefully applied:
-       An incentive is typically a partial rebate of the business’ taxes for a short period of time.
-       This tax revenue did not exist before the business came.
-       The City rebates a set percentage of paid taxes and keeps the rest.
-       The rebate is given if and only if 1) taxes are paid in full and 2) the recipient meets performance requirements, otherwise the business would get no rebate.
-       There is always a net gain in taxes but most importantly jobs.
 
It is fair to ask—how do these incentives affect the community? Jobs are added to the economy, and the benefit spreads to other businesses in the community who provide goods and services to those employees. For example, an unemployed person gets a job with Celgard and is able to buy a house after living with family. The sale of that home alone benefits the sellers, the real estate agent, the furniture store, the appliance store, and so on…not to mention all the other businesses the family is able to support with their income. After the rebate period is over, the community still has the jobs along with the full impact of the tax revenues to support public services. It is a win-win for everyone.
 
As you can see from the above table, Concord has used incentives to increase investment but most importantly to provide much-needed jobs. In the case of Celgard, it was a team effort from Congressman Kissell, Senators Burr and Hagan, the NC Department of Commerce, Cabarrus County Economic Development Commission, Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners, and Concord City Council. To date we have not lost one dime but have gained jobs and tax base. To compete for jobs we will need to continue to be aggressive. We owe this to our citizens.
07

Water Restrictions Reminder
Concord and Kannapolis are committed to environmentally sustainable water use practices 365 days a year during normal conditions and periods of drought.   Irrigation creates the single largest demand for water during spring and summer months.
 Lawn irrigation is allowed on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
.Those who violate the specified lawn irrigation days watering rule will receive written notice of the violation and the appropriate fee will be assessed.
 .All customers are allowed to use pressure washing devices.
 The following activities are permitted at anytime:
.The filling, operation, or topping off of ornamental fountains.
.Residential car washing will be allowed using a hand-held hose or pressure washer, both equipped with a spring-loaded nozzle.
.Residential use of water for wash down of outside areas using a hand-held hose or pressure washer, both equipped with a spring-loaded nozzle.
.Watering of trees, flowers, shrubs, ornamental plants and vegetable gardens for plant preservation.
.Automated irrigation services may be installed and activated.
.Filling of swimming pools by permit. Topping off of previously filled pools is still acceptable at any time.
In order to continue protecting our natural resources, the cities and the communities they serve are maintaining restrictions on days of irrigation and also use water pricing to promote further conservation.
 
Research shows that properly maintained lawns only need 1 inch of water per week to thrive, and it is best to water during evening and early morning hours.
 
We thank our customers for reducing their demand and assisting us with water conservation efforts. Our businesses and residents continue to demonstrate leadership in water conservation and environmental protection. 


Spring Into Arts Festival
Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010 Time: 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.


The "Spring Into Arts" Festival showcases talent from great local artists and provides a full day of entertainment for the whole family. The event is held on Union Street in beautiful Historic Downtown Concord. Artwork includes paintings, pottery, basketry, wood crafting and many other arts and crafts. All are available for sale. In addition to great arts & crafts, the event features great entertainment from local bands, a children's activity area, roving entertainers, a beer and wine garden and a wide variety of food vendors.
The event is held by the Concord Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) and is free to the public.

For information call the CDDC at 704-784-4208. www.springintoarts.com
 

Union Street Live
Third Thursday of each Month May - August 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Historic Courthouse Lawn.

The event is free to the public. For more information about this event, call Concord Downtown Development Corporation at (704) 784-4208.

2010 Schedule
May 20 Tim Clark Band
June 17 Mark Roberts and Breeze
July 15 Shakers
August 19  Big Sam
September 16 Band of Oz

 
Booker Drive Street Realignment Project Starting in April, 2010
The City of Concord will be proceeding with the Booker Drive realignment project at the intersection with Salem Street.  The project  involves improvements to the intersection along with adjustments to other infrastructure.
 
There will be a traffic detour and limited access during the construction period, and efforts will be made to minimize inconveniences to the extent possible. The stakes have been placed to define the future road and erosion control is in place. Crews will be on the site Monday, May 10th to start construction.
This project is partially funded with Federal stimulus funds received through the Community Development Block Grant program and is designed to improve the safety and functionality of this intersection.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Engineering Construction Inspection Division at 704.920.5404 during regular working hours.


City of Concord Upcoming Meetings
Public Hearings Held in the Municipal Building, 26 Union Street, S.
May Meetings

5/13/2010 at 6:00 p.m. City Council Meeting
5/18/2010 at 6:00 p.m. Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting
5/20/2010 at 7:00 p.m. Historic Preservation Commission Meeting
5/25/2010 at 6:00 p.m. Board of Adjustment Meeting