Harold’s Blog: Cary’s Economic Forecast, Town Manager’s Report and More

Cary, NC — This is my first post in two weeks due to the holiday break. Most of that time was spent gathering information for my State of Cary address which I will deliver for the first time in late January.

Friday – Cary Chamber Economic Forecast

My only event this week was Friday morning where I listened to the Economic Forecast delivered by Dr. Michael Walden from NC State. Dr. Walden’s responsibilities at NCSU include areas of consumer economics, economic outlook, and public policy. He has published twelve books and over 300 articles and reports and has served on several local and state level commissions, including the Governor’s Welfare Reform Task Force, the School Capital Construction Legislative Study Commission, and the Blue-Ribbon Committee for the Future of Wake County, and on the staffs of the State and Local Fiscal Modernization Study Commission and the UNC Tomorrow Commission.

Dr. Walden’s overall message was that this year’s economic forecast looks good with many positive trends. However, he did hedge saying that actions overseas and here at home create a lot of uncertainty. To read a good summary of his talk go to https://carycitizenarchive.com/2020/01/03/positive-trends-but-lots-of-unknowns-at-yearly-economic-forecast/.

Town Manager’s Report

The town manager’s report for this week includes:

311 Launched

1/2/20…Houston, we have launch! Culminating a multi-year, multi-departmental effort, 311 transitioned from a project to a service on Thursday, January 2. The 311 number works within Cary town limits from all major wireless and landline phones; outside of Cary, citizens may dial (919) 469-4000. Over 130 edits were made to our website to feature 311, including the addition of www.townofcary.org/311. The first official call into the Town of Cary made using the digits “311” happened this morning by visitors from Charlotte who, familiar with 311 service, were calling for information. In the coming weeks, the 311 team will be visiting with boards and commissions for 311 Q&A. The Town Clerk’s Office will help make arrangements for Town Council members who want to visit the 311 Center in person.

Holly Brook Pays Utility Fees

At the request of residents, the Holly Brook subdivision was legislatively annexed into Cary in 2015. After annexation, property owners submitted a petition for utility service which was subsequently approved by Council. In 2018, water and sewer infrastructure were extended to all three phases of the Holly Brook Subdivision.

Payment of water and sewer development fees, connection fees, permit fees and meter fees are generally required prior to installation of infrastructure. This payment, however, would have been very difficult for the Holly Brook residents, so staff worked with the residents and the HOA to find a solution. Working collaboratively and creatively, the solution was for the HOA to offer a parcel of adjacent land as collateral for the required fees. This collateral was secured by a promissory note that called for the fees to be paid when the parcel was sold. That closing occurred on December 19, 2019, and the complete payment of $340,967 for all fees was delivered to the Town the following day. This represented a win-win made possible by working together to employ creative and equitable solutions to solve complex problems.

First Walk

The Greenway Committee and Teen Council helped residents kick off 2020 on the right foot with Cary’s annual First Walk. On January 1, 90 participants explored the Hinshaw Greenway starting at Marla Dorrel Park. Hinshaw Greenway crosses US1 and connects two parks, allowing families with younger kids the opportunity to enjoy some playtime while others continued the full walk to Maynard Road and back.

Separate BUD Mailing

Utility billing staff worked diligently through the holiday season to maintain the routine utility billing schedule for our citizens. However, due to a shipping error with the BUD newsletter, approximately 9,000 citizens in southern Cary who receive paper bills will not receive the BUD newsletter this week. The newsletter will be mailed separately to the affected citizens no later than Monday, January 13. In the meantime, citizens have access to this newsletter through the website and through DigiPay, the online payment portal.

Road Renaming Meeting

A community meeting is scheduled for January 7, 2020 from 4:30 to 7:00 pm at Cary Fire Station 7 at 6900 Carpenter Fire Station Road to hear from residents and nearby property owners about the proposed renaming of portions of Horton Creek Road to Highcroft Drive. Staff will be available to answer questions.

Rezoning Meetings

Neighborhood meetings provide an opportunity for applicants to present information on new rezoning requests and receive feedback from nearby property owners prior to the public hearing. The next Rezoning Neighborhood Meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, January 8 at 6:30 pm at Town Hall. Two cases are on the agenda:

  • 19-REZ-25 Piney Plains Multi-Family – request to rezone approximately 31 acres located at 1900 and 2006 Piney Plains Road to allow up to 360 multi-family dwelling units
  • 19-REZ-26 Mt. Pisgah Rezoning – request to rezone approximately 95 acres located at the southeast corner of the New Hope Church Road and Mt. Pisgah Church Road intersection to allow detached dwellings at up to 1.8 dwelling units per acre.

For more information, visit the Rezoning Cases webpage.

Advisory Board Meetings

Information Services Advisory Board

Mon, Jan 6, 6pm

Town Hall Conf Rm 10035

Athletic Committee

Mon, Jan 6, 6pm

Town Hall Conf Rm 11130

Historic Preservation Commission

Wed, Jan 8, 6:30pm

Town Hall Conf Rm 10035

Emails From Citizens

Emails from citizens this week include:

  • Complaints about RDUAA’s fence in Umstead Park
  • A complaint about Cary Tennis Park
  • Concerns about multi-family on Piney Plains Road

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a phone interview with ABC11, a meeting with representatives from Triangle Land Conservancy, and the first regularly scheduled council meeting of the year.

Get In Touch

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 12th.  Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. Photos courtesy of Harold Weinbrecht and Hal Goodtree.