CityLink

Entries for June 2015

26

Did you know?
Did you know the City of Concord and Cabarrus County are in the final stages of creating a streamlined permitting and plan review process? By the end of the year, customers will be able to complete all city and county permitting and plan review processes through a single online portal, or by visiting either location in person without making a trip across downtown. Visit concordnc.gov to explore the variety of City zoning services that will soon be streamlined.

City to observe Independence Day
In observance of Independence Day, City of Concord offices will be closed on Friday, July 3. Garbage, recycling, and bulky waste collection by Waste Pro will operate on a normal schedule next week. However, all customers are asked to place yard waste at the curb by 6 a.m. on Monday, June 29. All yard waste will be collected by the end of the day Thursday, July 2. As a reminder, items set out after 6:00 a.m. on your collection day may not be located and miss collection. For more information about the holiday schedule, visit concordnc.gov or call the Customer Care Center at 704-920-5555.

A note from the Finance Department about the business privilege license
S.L. 2014-3/House Bill 1050 states that effective July 1, 2015, North Carolina local governments no longer have authority to levy the privilege license tax. Any new or existing business will no longer be required to obtain or renew a privilege license. In accordance, renewal notices will not be mailed for current year licenses expiring on June 30, 2015. To learn about the impacts of this change beyond a $1 million revenue loss, visit concordnc.gov.

City Council to consider budget during special meeting
The Concord City Council will hold a special meeting on Monday, June 29 at 5:00 p.m. to consider adopting the FY16 City budget and other items. City Manager Brian Hiatt presented his budget recommendation on May 26. The budget was developed in a particularly unclear revenue environment for Concord and other local governments. The North Carolina General Assembly is considering negative changes in local government revenues as part of the still unknown outcome of the state budget process. These impacts would be on top of the anticipated loss of over $1 million in Privilege License revenues beginning July 1. A budget workshop was held on June 9, and a public hearing on the budget was held on June 11. To learn more about the FY16 budget, visit concordnc.gov or concordnc.gov/budget.

We must all do our part to save the drops

The record-setting heat with little rain is beginning to resemble conditions Concord has not encountered in a few years. It is essential to follow all City water use guidelines before drought conditions escalate. Even when there are no drought conditions, lawn irrigation using the City of Concord's water system is only permitted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Responsible water use all year, and particularly in periods without rain, helps us keep water supplies adequate and avoid more restrictive conditions. Visit
concordnc.gov/savethedrops for more information.

Parks and Recreation highlights
Please see the
Summer 2015 issue of Leisure Times for a full list of programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Fall youth baseball registration starts July 1
Youth baseball registration for kids ages 7-16 is available during the entire month of July. The playing season runs from August through October. Register at concordparksandrec.org or any of the recreation centers (Academy: 147 Academy Ave NW; Hartsell: 60 Hartsell School Road SW; Logan: 184 Booker Drive SW). Call 704-920-5600 for more information.

Cool off at the McInnis Aquatics Center
Join in the fun at the John F. McInnis Aquatics Center. Located at 151 Academy Avenue NW, the Aquatics Center offers both child and adult swimming lessons, water aerobics, and public swim. Swimming is open to the general public. Patrons must purchase a Privilege Pass I.D. in order to swim, City-resident discounts available. Find public swim hours and fees at
concordparksandrec.org or call 704-785-8105.

City of Concord upcoming meetings

Unless otherwise noted, location is second floor of Municipal Building, 26 Union Street, S.

June
29 at 5:00 p.m. City Council special meeting

July
7 at 4:00 p.m. City Council work session
9 at 6:00 p.m.
City Council regular session
16 at 7:00 p.m.
Historic Preservation Commission
21 at 6:00 p.m. Planning and Zoning Commission

Stay Connected!

Visit the City's website for the latest information and updates at concordnc.gov. Check out our page on Facebook and our other interactive features!

19

Did you know?
Did you know limited commercial air service is available to several destinations in Florida from Concord Regional Airport? Allegiant Air currently provides nonstop service to the Sanford/Orlando/Daytona, St. Pete/Clearwater/Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale areas from Concord. Learn more at concordnc.gov and click here to preview the convenient experience of flying from Concord Regional Airport.

Sales tax redistribution plan part of Senate budget
The Senate's revised sales tax redistribution plan -- which was unveiled last week as House Bill 117 and described in last week's CityLink Newsletter -- was incorporated into the state budget that passed out of the chamber this week. That means that HB 117 is now unlikely to move on its own and that, if the House fails to concur with the Senate budget (at it appears likely to do), the issue of sales tax redistribution will be part of House and Senate budget negotiations.

The sales tax redistribution provisions in the budget remain unchanged from HB 117. The budget would convert sales tax distribution in the state from the current 75%/25% point of sale/per capita split to an 80%/20% per capita/point of sale split, resulting in some counties and cities gaining money while others are projected to lose revenue. While the numbers presented appear less harmful to Concord revenues than original projections, they most likely do not reflect reality. This is because the sales tax growth rate used state-wide in this model is less than the historical growth rate for Cabarrus County and other revenue generating localities. Although cities would be unable to share in the proceeds, the model also assumes revenues from optional County sales taxes that have yet to be requested or authorized in a public referendum.

City officials continue to be concerned that there is a lack of understanding of the cost of local government services needed to support the growth experienced in Concord and elsewhere. Sales taxes are being collected by businesses all over Concord, but many people naturally think of the Concord Mills/Speedway area. The cost to provide Fire and Police emergency response services in the Concord Mills/Speedway area in 2014 was $3,862,497, based on actual calls for service. The City has invested $4.5 million to build a new fire station now under construction, purchased or will purchase $1.35 million in equipment, and will eventually have $1.5 million in annual personnel costs to meet the need for Fire and First Responder services in the Concord Mills area.  This does not include the millions of local tax dollars spent to construct streets or match NCDOT funds for future improvements at Exit 49, nor the recreation projects currently underway in this area.

The City of Concord remains concerned about the impact of this proposal on future revenues and the ability to deliver services. The issue of sales tax redistribution will now likely be decided in the conference committee charged with reaching a budget agreement between the two chambers. Click here to contact Concord's local delegation and inform them what the bill would mean to you.

Operation Fan provides heat relief to seniors and disabled
With this week's sweltering weather and a similar forecast ahead, it is critical we make sure our disabled friends and neighbors have access to relief from the heat. If you know of a senior or disabled individual who is in need of a portable fan, please let them know one is available at no cost through Operation Fan--Heat Relief. The summer program helps provide a more-comfortable living environment for them, with the intent of reducing heat-related illnesses. To qualify, recipients must be at least 60 years of age or disabled, live in Cabarrus County, and not have central air-conditioning. Visit cabarruscounty.us to learn more or call the Cabarrus County Department of Human Services to request a fan at 704-920-1400.

Remember to save the drops!
The heat and lack of rain make people, pets, and plants need water, and it is essential to follow all City water use guidelines if you plan to water lawns. Lawn irrigation using the City's water system is only permitted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Responsible water use all year and particularly in periods without rain, helps us keep water supplies adequate and avoid more restrictive conditions. Visit concordnc.gov/savethedrops for more information.


Concord approaches a milestone of professional management
In his most recent column, Mayor Scott Padgett takes a moment to reflect on 50 years of professional local government management in Concord. Perhaps the most important decision for a local elected officials to make, all 100 counties and all municipalities of substantial size in North Carolina employ a professional local government manager to serve as the CEO of the government's organization. This person brings the professional knowledge, skills, and abilities to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization, handle all personnel matters, recommend a balanced budget each year, and serve as the chief advisor to the elected officials. This allows the elected officials to focus on high level decisions such as establishing levels of funding, the scope of an organization's services, and annual goals and priorities. The manager then executes these decisions, working directly with departments and by design keeping the "politics" out of the way cities hire people and provide services. To read the full column, visit concordnc.gov or see page 3 of the Summer 2015 City Circular.

Vietnam Veterans ceremony video now available on demand
On May 14, the community honored local veterans and their families with a series of events as part of the national 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Concord and Cabarrus County have both joined the Commemorative Partner Program and are hosting multiple events and activities to thank and honor Vietnam veterans, highlight their service, and pay tribute to the contributions of those on the home front. If you were not able to attend or if you want to enjoy it again, you can now watch a video of the ceremony on Cabarrus County's YouTube Channel or TWC Channel 22. Visit the City's Flickr photostream for images, and learn more at vietnamwar50th.com.

Stay informed with Blackboard Connect
The City’s Blackboard Connect system is in place to help keep the public up-to-date about service changes or other updates via voice, text, and email messages. However, only residents and businesses with a published landline phone number are already in the system. Residents and businesses may add additional contact information through the Blackboard Connect Portal. Click here to update your information now, and click here for more information about Blackboard Connect.

Parks and Recreation highlights
Please see the
Summer 2015 issue of Leisure Times for a full list of programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Cool off at the McInnis Aquatics Center
Join in the fun at the John F. McInnis Aquatics Center. Located at 151 Academy Avenue NW, the Aquatics Center offers both child and adult swimming lessons, water aerobics, and public swim. Swimming is open to the general public. Patrons must purchase a Privilege Pass I.D. in order to swim, City-resident discounts available. Find public swim hours and fees at
concordparksandrec.org or call 704-785-8105.

Sign up now for Youth Soccer
Soccer registration is open through June 30 for the fall season. Children ages 3-15 are invited to participate. The registration fee for City residents is $30, non-City residents is $50.  Register weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at one of the recreation centers, online anytime at
concordparksandrec.org, or at Academy Sports in Kannapolis on June 27 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Streetlight 5K and Frolic coming soon
The annual Streetlight 5K and Frolic will take place on Friday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Historic Downtown Concord. Pre-registration is $15 and available through July 2 at the Academy Recreation Center or by July 3 at
concordparksandrec.org. Race day registration will be $20. All pre-registered runners are guaranteed goodie bags and t-shirts. This event is family friendly, and will include activities for children and music from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m.

City of Concord upcoming meetings

Unless otherwise noted, location is second floor of Municipal Building, 26 Union Street, S.

June
29 at 5:00 p.m. City Council special meeting

July
7 at 4:00 p.m. City Council work session
9 at 6:00 p.m.
City Council regular session
16 at 7:00 p.m.
Historic Preservation Commission
21 at 6:00 p.m. Planning and Zoning Commission

Stay Connected!

Visit the City's website for the latest information and updates at concordnc.gov. Check out our page on Facebook and our other interactive features!

12

Did you know?
Did you know the City of Concord has reduced the fuel consumption of its fleet each year for the past five years? The City now uses eight percent or 41,000 gallons less fuel each year than it did five years ago. We attribute these fuel and cost savings to smaller and more efficient vehicles, alternative fuels, a no-idling policy, and working smarter. The savings are just half the story, with another major benefit of placing emissions in the air, helping to improve our regional air quality. Learn more about Fleet Services air quality and environmental sustainability efforts at concordnc.gov.

Highlights of the June 11 City Council Meeting
Please visit concordnc.gov to see the Council Agenda in its entirety.

Presented a retirement plaque to Keith Smith, 20 years of service, Police.

Received the 2015 Clean Cities Region of Excellence Award.

Conducted a public hearing and approved a Land Use Plan amendment for properties located at 2501, 2463, 2431, 2411, 2355, and 2301 Eva Drive from "Residential" to "Commercial."

Received public input and adopted a resolution supporting the designation of NCDOT's Bridge 266 on Cabarrus Avenue in honor of Allen T. Small.

Conducted a public hearing pursuant to N.C. General Statute 159-12 to consider public comments relative to the proposed FY 2015-2016 budget.

Received an update from Concord Sister Cities Association Co-President John Dunlap and adopted a resolution inviting Siena, Italy to become a Sister City with the City of Concord.

Adopting a resolution authorizing the Concord Downtown Development Corporation to administer the North Carolina Main Street program requirements for the City of Concord.

Adopted an ordinance amending the City of Concord Code of Ordinances, Section 46-2 to establish a warning and citation procedure for violation of the requirement that approved solid waste rollout carts shall not be curbside before 5:00 p.m. of the evening prior to the collection day and shall be removed no later than 9:00 p.m. the evening of collection day.

Approved an inter-local agreement with Cabarrus County for the pass-through of State 911 Secondary PSAP funding.

Adopted rules pertaining to time limits and conduct at public hearings before City Council.

Gary Gacek to serve as chief of police
City Manager Brian Hiatt has announced the hiring of Gary Gacek as Concord's chief of police. Gacek comes to Concord from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and brings with him extensive law enforcement and police management experience. Citing Concord's established community oriented policing philosophy, Gacek plans to build on the work already accomplished by the Concord Police Department in this area. He considers interaction between police and the community essential, and feels open lines of communication will assist in making sure Concord’s strategies, tactics, and interventions are procedurally just and supported by the community. He will begin work in Concord in July, and the City will plan an event to introduce him to the community. Learn more at concordnc.gov.

Senate reveals revised sales tax redistribution plan
After weeks of waiting, the NC Senate unveiled a revised version of its sales tax redistribution plan this week. While the numbers presented appear less harmful to City revenues than original projections, they most likely do not reflect reality. This is because the sales tax growth rate used state-wide in this model is less than the historical growth rate for Cabarrus County and other revenue generating localities. Although cities would be unable to share in the proceeds, the model also assumes revenues from optional County sales taxes that have yet to be requested or authorized in a public referendum. The City of Concord remains concerned about the impact of this proposal on future revenues and the ability to deliver services.
Click here to contact Concord's local delegation.

NCDOT reopens Wilshire Avenue bridge
The NC Department of Transportation has completed the project to replace the Wilshire Avenue bridge over Irish Buffalo Creek. In addition to needed improvements for vehicles, the now open bridge better accommodates bicyclists and pedestrians through the City of Concord's participation. For more information, please contact NCDOT at 980-523-0080.

Daytime lane closure planned on Church Street
Construction work will require a daytime lane closure and traffic shift Monday, June 15 through Wednesday, June 17 on Church Street in Downtown Concord. As part of the ongoing renovation of the historic Bell and Harris-Maxwell Brothers Furniture Store building at 29 Cabarrus Avenue East, the right lane on Church Street NE approaching Cabarrus Avenue E will be closed beginning at Killarney Avenue NE. All traffic will be guided into the left lane, which will be converted to allow all movements instead of the typical left turn only. The closure will accommodate crews working between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to install windows and replace the downspouts on the elevation adjacent to Church Street. Visit concordnc.gov to find out more.

Arts all around this weekend
Cabarrus Arts Council's first Art Walk of the year begins tonight at 6:00 p.m. Galleries and shops display visual art and host artist demonstrations. Live music, refreshments, and artists make these downtown evenings fun for all ages. Visit cabarrusartscouncil.org to find out more about tonight's event.

Tomorrow, June 13, the artists of ClearWater Artist Studios invite the community to their new "open studios." From 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. the second Saturday of each month, the artists at ClearWater will be present and working in their studios and open to questions, conversation, and observation. Free and ample parking is available. For more information, call 704-784-9535 or visit
clearwaterartists.com.

Union Street Live concert and block party, featuring two stages in June
Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the free, outdoor Union Street Live concerts the third Thursday of every month through August. On June 18, the Concord Downtown Development Corporation has arranged for two stages of live music to start off the weekend. Regional favorite Too Much Sylvia will perform on the main stage beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Means Avenue, next to the historic Cabarrus County Courthouse. Local band The Kodiak Brotherhood will begin playing on the north stage at 7:00 p.m., located on Union Street North in front of the library. In between the stages, have fun at the Union Street Live Block Party! During concert nights Union Street will be closed from the Concord Library to Corban Avenue. Walk Union Street to enjoy outside dining, games, shopping, and more! For more information, visit concorddowntown.com or call 704-784-4208.

Parks and Recreation highlights
Please see the
Summer 2015 issue of Leisure Times for a full list of programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Boot Camp Mondays
This indoor group workout uses a combination of strength, cardio, muscle endurance, flexibility, core, and more functional movements. Each class varies, so you will never get the same workout twice. Join the group at Academy Recreation Center from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m. starting Monday, June 15 for the next six week session. Registration is $25 ($5 City resident discount available). Learn more or sign up now at concordparksandrec.org.

Sign up now for Youth Soccer
Soccer Registration open now through June 30 for the playing season that runs August through November. Children ages 3-15 are invited to participate. The registration fee for City residents is $30, non-City residents is $50.  Register Monday-Friday 8-5 at our recreation centers, online anytime at concordparksandrec.org, or at Academy Sports in Kannapolis on June 27 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Streetlight 5K and Frolic coming soon
The annual Streetlight 5K and Frolic will take place on Friday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Historic Downtown Concord. Pre-registration is $15 and available through July 2 at the Academy Recreation Center or by July 3 a
concordparksandrec.org. Race day registration will be $20. All pre-registered runners are guaranteed goodie bags and t-shirts. This event is family friendly, and will include activities for children and music from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m.

City of Concord upcoming meetings

Unless otherwise noted, location is second floor of Municipal Building, 26 Union Street, S.

June
16 at 6:00 p.m.
Planning and Zoning Commission
18 at 7:00 p.m. Historic Preservation Commission
29 at 5:00 p.m. City Council special meeting

July
7 at 4:00 p.m. City Council work session
9 at 6:00 p.m.
City Council regular session

Stay Connected!

Visit the City's website for the latest information and updates at
concordnc.gov. Check out our page on Facebook and our other interactive features!

05

Did you know?
Did you know citizens have the opportunity to weigh in on the FY16 recommended budget at the public hearing scheduled for next Thursday night’s City Council meeting? Attending the public hearing is a great way to participate in the budget process and voice your thoughts on the various ways the City allocates its resources. The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. on June 11 in the Council Chambers at 26 Union Street S. For more information on the City’s FY16 recommended budget, please visit concordnc.gov/budget.

General Assembly's sales tax redistribution plans remain unknown
Despite the deadline passing for North Carolina's local government budget recommendations to be presented to elected officials, and the July 1 statutory adoption deadline quickly approaching, the North Carolina General Assembly has yet to reveal its plans that could impact millions of dollars in sales taxes for Concord and other cities. The General Assembly is considering several bills that could negatively affect local government revenues in addition to the unknown outcome of the state budget process. These impacts would be on top of the anticipated loss of over $1 million in Privilege License revenues beginning July 1. Rumors swirled this week that a revised sales tax redistribution plan would roll out in the Senate, possibly as part of the chamber's budget or part of a bill that has already passed the House, but as the week came to a close no such plan had yet been made public. Visit nclm.org to learn more about this important issue and click here to contact Concord's local delegation.

Public input requested on proposal to honor the late Allen T. Small
At its June meeting, the Concord City Council will receive public input on a request to honor the late Allen. T Small. Following the public input, the City Council will consider a resolution supporting the designation of NCDOT's Bridge 266 on Cabarrus Avenue West over the Norfolk Southern Railroad in his honor and memory. NCDOT is in the final months of a project to replace the bridge, with the City participating in the project to provide decorative and pedestrian enhancements. This bridge is an entrance to the community where Small lived and worked, as well as a gateway to Historic Downtown Concord, to which he frequently referred as "the heart of the community" and "the core of the apple."

Allen Thurmond Small was born in Pittsboro in 1932, and dedicated his life to public service and education at an early age. He spent over three decades in public education, coming to Concord in 1958 and remaining here since. Small focused throughout his life on ensuring that all citizens have an opportunity to live, work, and play without discrimination. Small served as a member of City Council from December 1997 until his passing on June 7, 2006. He posthumously received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in August, 2006. Those interested in providing feedback on the proposal can speak at the City Council meeting, scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 11 in the Council Chambers at 26 Union Street S. Learn more about the proposal and Allen Small at concordnc.gov.

Norfolk Southern plans rail crossing maintenance
Norfolk Southern has advised the City of Concord that crews will be performing maintenance work on two railroad crossings in the area on Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9. The railroad crossings on McGill Avenue NW and East Winecoff School Road will be closed while maintenance crews replace asphalt and make other improvements. Motorists are advised to exercise caution and follow posted detour routes during the closures. Exact closure times are unknown but could take place most of the day on Monday, and potentially Tuesday if additional time is needed. For more information, please contact Greg Bishop with RoadSafe Rail at 304-755-1200 or gbishop@roadsafetraffic.com.

Check out the Summer 2015 City Circular and Leisure times digital editions
If you have not yet, you'll be receiving the latest issues of the City Circular and Leisure Times in the mail soon. The Summer 2015 City Circular digital edition is available now, where you can read all the articles on your screen of choice. Looking for something from a recent issue? It’s in the digital archives, too – every story, every photo, and every page. You can also access the Summer 2015 Leisure Times online.

What's happening at ClearWater Artist Studios
Imagine Caribbean steel drum music, traditional Island food and punch, and crowds milling to view giant canvasses portraying feather-bedecked Carnival dancers in simmering colors. Concord’s Clearwater Artist Studios will host ‘I’m Painting Mas,’ a Caribbean-themed party and debut of one local artist’s work, in its Gallery this Saturday, June 6, from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m. ClearWater is located at 223 Crowell Drive NW.

Next weekend, the artists invite the community to their new "open studios" the second Saturday of each month. From 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., the artists at ClearWater will be present and working in their studios and open to questions, conversation, and observation. Free and ample parking is available. The next open studio date is June 13.

For more information, call 704-784-9535 or visit
clearwaterartists.com.

Parks and Recreation highlights
Please see the
Summer 2015 issue of Leisure Times for a full list of programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Streetlight 5K and Frolic coming soon
The annual Streetlight 5K and Frolic will take place on Friday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Historic Downtown Concord. Pre-registration is $15 and available through July 2 at the Academy Recreation Center or by July 3 at
concordparksandrec.org. Race day registration will be $20. All pre-registered runners are guaranteed a goodie bag and t-shirt. This event is family friendly, and will include activities for children and music from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m.

City of Concord upcoming meetings

Unless otherwise noted, location is second floor of Municipal Building, 26 Union Street, S.

June
9 at 4:00 p.m. City Council work session and budget workshop
11 at 6:00 p.m.
City Council regular session
16 at 6:00 p.m.
Planning and Zoning Commission
18 at 7:00 p.m. Historic Preservation Commission

Stay Connected!

Visit the City's website for the latest information and updates at concordnc.gov. Check out our page on Facebook and our other interactive features!