Town Manager Jamie Justice

Manager’s Report: March 22, 2016

All supporting documents for the March 22 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:

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 March 22 pre-meeting (4:00 p.m.):

Planning Board Chair Mickey Pettus gave an update to the Davidson Board of Commissioners on their public engagement guidelines and work related to the planning ordinance. They look forward to working on the comprehensive plan in the next fiscal year. He discussed the importance of their communication to and with the commissioners on projects as part of the decision-making process.

Livability Board Chair Marty Metzker gave an update to the Davidson Board of Commissioners on the progress they’ve made on implementing the 2013 Walks & Rolls Active Transportation Plan and 2014 Parks & Recreation Master plan. Their sub-committee structure is very effectively tackling action items. Priorities for FY2017 are the new Bailey Springs park, a joint-use agreement with our neighboring towns’ facilities, the new North Mecklenburg Recreational Center, and updating Section 9 of the planning ordinance (tree preservation, landscaping and screening).

Davidson Public Art Commission (DPAC) Chair Sherry Malushizky gave an update on their accomplishments, including the installation of the Dance of Life sculpture last April and their public art master plan. The Davidson Board of Commissioners will be asked to vote on the master plan and rules of procedure for the DPAC at their April 12 board meeting. 

Deputy Fire Chief Joel Cherry gave an update on Fire Station #2. It will be a 5,000 square foot building located to the east side of Historic Beaver Dam with an estimated cost of $1,200,000. It will enable us to better serve our citizens on the eastern part of town. The Design Review Board will see the design at their April 20 meeting. The Davidson Board of Commissioners will consider approving the financing and contractor for the new station at a meeting this fall. Work could conceivably start in October.   

Joel Cherry photo
Deputy Fire Chief Joel Cherry presents plans for Fire Station #2

A summary of the March 22 work session (6:00 p.m.):

Commissioner Reports:
•    Commissioner Stacey Anderson: Arts & Science Council (ASC): They are doing a public art tour on April 6 in Charlotte. They are getting ready to launch the local advisory council in April. Davidson representatives on the council are Lynn Henderson and Stephen Liadis. Sherry Malushizky is a cultural partner representing Davidson College on the council.
•    Commissioner Beth Cashion: Visit Lake Norman (VLN): There are a lot of events (tournaments, competitions, conferences) going on in our area that will positively affect Davidson from an economic development and visitor spending perspective. 
•    Commissioner Jim Fuller: The Ada Jenkins Center is in the middle of a capital development plan for their expansive programs that reach so many citizens in our community. He encourages everyone to visit their website at http://www.adajenkins.org/. The Citizens Police Officer Relief Fund committee met this week. He encourages citizens and businesses to contribute to this fund. 
•    Commissioner Brian Jenest: Lake Norman Transportation Commission (LNTC): We’re getting a traffic light and turn lanes at the intersection of Ramah Church Road and Hwy 73 through NCDOT’s Spot Safety Funds. We’re getting a flashing beacon for the crosswalk at Davidson-Concord Road and Apollinaire Drive. There are many projects in the works that will provide traffic relief in our North Mecklenburg region. The state has $35M in directly attributable dollars with a 20% town match that can go toward small road improvements, bike and pedestrian enhancements, and greenways in Davidson. We will discuss our needs and place a request.
•    Mayor John Woods: Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC): Work continues in Charlotte on the blue line extension from uptown Charlotte to the university area. The Gateway Station will house local, commuter, light rail, streetcar and buses on a 17-acre tract of land in Charlotte. They mayor will go to Denver, CO to review their Union Station as a model for this new station. He will attend the Next Century Cities broadband conference to represent Davidson.

Kim Fleming
Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming 


Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming gave an update on the Downtown Catalyst Feasibility Study. The Town of Davidson contracted with UNC's School of Government Development Finance Initiative (DFI) in August 2014 to study the 3.5 acres of town-owned property that includes Davidson Town Hall and four surface parking lots. DFI is providing specialized finance and development expertise to the Town of Davidson to determine the potential for a partnership to develop the area.

Citizens of the Town of Davidson have worked on many plans that include developing the downtown area dating back to 1993. DFI studied the market demand for retail, office, and multi-family housing in the downtown Davidson area and reported strong demand for all three market segments.

Throughout this process, the town and DFI have solicited public input on the study by meeting with local stakeholders and hosting four interactive public sessions providing opportunities for public feedback and discussion with hundreds of citizens.
DFI presented an initial rendering of proposed development on the catalyst site on October 20, 2015. After that presentation, the town realized that we needed to gather more citizen input on the potential project. In February, we hosted four roundtable discussions to gather citizen feedback on the Downtown Catalyst Feasibility Study. We hosted two more sessions in March to incorporate the current Civics 101 participants. In total we received feedback from 277 citizens. All of the notes from the sessions and the presentation from the March 22 are on our website at www.townofdavidson.org/catalyst. 

Next steps will be for the Davidson Mayor and Commissioners to provide direction on what they would like to see on the site, so we can request new plans and financial information from DFI.

Affordable Housing Manager Cindy Reid gave an update on the work being done by the affordable housing steering committee. The next steps will be for the Davidson Mayor and Commissioners to review the recommendations and discuss the town’s responsibility at a future meeting.

At the February 23 work session, I presented a draft of our capital needs and estimated costs. The Davidson Board of Commissioners requested information on how to finance these capital projects. On March 22 Finance Director Pieter Swart and I outlined the various financing methods available to us and scenarios for us to examine. The Davidson Board of Commissioners directed town staff to select and work with a financial advisor to research the options available, so First Tryon presented specifics on credit ratings and answered questions. Public Information Officer Cristina Shaul reviewed our communication strategy to illustrate the importance of educating our citizens and seeking feedback from them throughout this process. The Davidson Mayor and Commissioners will provide guidance on which capital needs they would like us to focus and which methods of financing they would like us to pursue. We will discuss at a future meeting.


Pedestrian safety improvements
Our Department of Public Works worked with NC Department of Transportation to install pedestrian crossing signals at the intersections of Main Street and Chairman Blake Lane and South Street to improve pedestrian safety. We are pleased to announce that we installed a 10-foot-wide sidewalk along Jackson Street from Main Street to Griffith Street. This will enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety along Jackson Street.

April is for Arts
•    Gallery Crawl: Friday, April 15 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
•    Sculpture Tour: Friday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m.
•    Art on the Green Festival: Saturday, April 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 17 from noon until 4:00 p.m.
•    Concert on the Green: Sunday, April 17 at 6:00 p.m. featuring the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble

We are currently making improvements to Roosevelt Wilson Park by replacing the uneven asphalt paths with pavers and installing new landscaping in the northeast section of the park. The boardwalks, playground, and restrooms are still open while work is in progress. More information is available at http://www.townofdavidson.org/816/Roosevelt-Wilson-Park

The Town of Davidson has begun the planning process for a new park on the parcel of land in the southeast corner of Bailey Springs. The purpose of the project is to add active athletic facilities for the community as identified in the 2014 Town of Davidson Parks and Recreation Master Plan. All citizens are invited to an open house to learn more about potential amenities at Historic Beaver Dam: Sunday, April 10, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. or Thursday, April 14, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Parks and Recreation Director Kathryn Spatz at kspatz@townofdavidson.org or 704-940-9625.  

Next meeting
The Davidson Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, April 12 at 4:00 p.m. (pre-meeting) and 6:00 p.m. (regular meeting) in the Davidson Town Hall Board Room. Please join us.

Jamie Justice's signature

Jamie Justice

Town Manager
Town of Davidson
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