Town Council Recap – June 14

Story and photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – Last week, Cary Town Council held their mid-month meeting for June and a number of interesting items were on the agenda. Here’s a recap of the highlights.

Where Do You Get Your Info?

I always enjoy reading the blogs of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and Council Members Don Frantz and Lori Bush. It’s where I get my information.

Town of Cary publishes information like the Action Agenda but it’s pretty dry. Can’t say I’m a fan of Bud TV or Cary Matters, either. Please let me know in the comments if you agree (or disagree).

And, of course, the Cary News is not to be trusted, as Mayor Weinbrecht frequently notes in his blog.

So, this month, I’m going to give you my own personal recap of interesting and perhaps important actions taken by our elected officials in Cary.

Cary Town Council – June 14, 2012

The June 14 meeting of Cary Town Council was called to order at 6:30 PM in Council Chambers at Town Hall.

Many of the items at each session are procedural, like accepting minutes from the previous meeting. I’ll skip over those and just highlight a few of the more interesting votes.

You can see the official, unabridged information on the latest Town Council Action Agenda.

Electronic Gaming Parlors

Like the lottery? Well, you may have more opportunities to gamble right here in Cary.

Internet gaming cafes are seen by many as an attempt to skirt the laws banning video poker and other forms of online gambling. The whole issue is working its way through the NC court system. In the meantime, internet cafe entrepreneurs are testing the limits of what’s allowed while many municipalities are trying to limit or curtail the practice. Star News in Wilmington has an informative story on the issue.

On Thursday, Town Council voted to have a Public Hearing on Internet Cafes, set for Thursday, June 28.

Multifamily Developments Must Contribute to Parks & Rec

The Land Development Ordinance, also known as the LDO, regulates how land can be developed in Cary. It is a much revised document. The latest change requires multi-family developments to set aside land or make a payment to support Cary Parks and recreation.

Town Buys 3 Properties on Walnut Street

Town Council approved the purchase of three properties on Walnut Street – #105, 109 and 113.  All three properties are across from Cary Arts Center and adjacent to a larger piece of land called “the Opportunity Site.” Future plans call for development of the Opportunity Site as a downtown park or other community attraction.

The three sites on Walnut have houses which will be demolished. Council approved $1,950,000 for acquisition and demolition.

Infrastructure & Operations

Town Council approved a raft of infrastructure improvements and operational items across town. Each item is in a different part of the “process” – recommendations by advisory Boards, staff work and contractor bidding. But here are some projects that are moving ahead through the process:

Higgins Greenway Extension – Committee unanimously recommended appropriating $387,366  to the Pamlico Drive – Higgins Greenway Extension for completion of construction. Town of Cary says “Higgins is one of Cary’s oldest greenways and it has excellent Old Growth Trees along the trail that provide for cooler temperatures during the summer months.” It is just inside the Maynard loop near the intersection of West Chatham and can be accessed from Danforth Drive. See the Town’s Bike & Hike Map.

Wastewater Treatment – Council approved three contracts related to the Western Wake Water Reclamation Facility:

  1. Wastewater Management Facilities – Committee unanimously recommended awarding the Management Facilities project to Garney Construction for $22,349,425.
  2. Solids Treatment Facility – Committee unanimously recommended awarding the Solids Handling Facility project to Encore Construction Company for $26,637,000.
  3. Effluent Pump Station – Committee unanimously recommended awarding the Effluent Pump Station project to Crowder Construction Company for $5,622,000.

As staff always notes, “the recommendation of award by Council represents a preliminary determination as to the qualifications of the bidder and no legally binding acceptance of the bid or offer occurs until the Town has executed a written agreement.”

Old Apex Road Sidewalk Improvement – Committee unanimously recommended approval and execution of condemnation resolutions associated with the Old Apex Road Sidewalk Project.

Management Contract for Booth Amphitheatre – Committee unanimously recommended exercising the extension provision in the amended SMG contract to extend SMG’s management of the Koka Booth Amphitheatre for two more years, through the 2014 season.

Donating Surplus Equipment to the Town of Benson – Committee unanimously recommended adopting a resolution to donate surplus computer equipment to the Town of Benson, North Carolina.

Public Hearings

Last week’s Council meetings also held Public Hearings on a number of items, including the 2013 Budget, a proposed Downtown Business Improvement District (also know as a BID) and a proposed park near Bailey Park Lane and Evans Road.

Meeting Adjourned

The Council discussed a few other items, old and new business and adjourned at 8:30 PM.

Good Recap?

I’d love to hear if this story has value for CaryCitizen readers.

If you are on a board or commission (or are just a keen observer of town government), let me know if I accurately portrayed the latest Council meeting. Any corrections or additions appreciated.

Or, if you are like me – not deeply involved in the nuances of town government – let me know if you find this recap helpful.

Share your thoughts in the comments to this story or drop me a note:

8 replies
  1. Marilyn
    Marilyn says:

    Thanks Hal for your concise recap of Counsel meeting matters and agendas. You certainly have made it easy for us to stay up-to-date on issues being decided on our behalf, and for that I am grateful. Sometimes information is a little difficult (and tedious) to come by. I’ll continue to read your blog, and will recommend your site to our HOA for inclusion in our newsletter. Thanks again for your time and effort.

  2. Tom McKee
    Tom McKee says:

    I’ve only been reading the Cary Citizen for about a month now, but I have come to value it. Thank you for the effort that it requires.

    Except for the bit about not being able to watch Bud TV I pretty much echo Ian Henshaw’s comment above.

    The next time I send a messsage to our small HOA I will include a link to the Cary Citizen. Perhaps it will get you a few more readers.

    • Lindsey Chester
      Lindsey Chester says:

      Thanks Tom for offering to share our publication. It is just such recommendations and referrals that help us grow organically with Cary’s residents.

  3. Rick Ross
    Rick Ross says:

    I enjoyed your recap, Hal. It’s good to have a “cut to the chase” summary of what happened from a credible voice that isn’t part of the government apparatus.

  4. Ian Henshaw
    Ian Henshaw says:

    Hal – I like your recap, as it shows some details about many of the action items that make them understandable rather than the brief summary that tends to hide the item unless it is something you are involved with. I agree with you that the Councilor’s blogs are very helpful in understanding what is going on.

    I don’t watch BudTV as we don’t have cable (or satellite for that matter) so I have no comment on that, but I think that the few Cary Matters that I have seen on the Town website feel very clumsy and don’t put a positive light on our elected officials…

    What if we could get the Town Council action agenda to have time stamps for when items are discussed? Then we could easily watch the parts of the Council meetings that are of interest to us instead of poking around to try and find them.

    I hope that your Council meeting recap will become a regular feature!

Comments are closed.