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Council Preview: Jan. 13

by Lisa Ellison

City council will hold its first meeting of the year at 6 p.m. Monday (Jan. 13) at City Hall.

city hallItems on the consent agenda, which will all be voted on together without discussion (unless individual items are pulled from it for consideration) include a two-year extension of the city’s contract with Greenville-Pitt Public Access Television.

GPAT is requesting $33,000 from the city for the 2014-2015 fiscal year (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015) to continue airing local, original programming, training and serving nonprofits and other agencies though the Pitt Resource Connection series. Other sources of income are state funds ($32,000), Pitt County ($8,000), fundraising ($2,000) and taping/editing Fees ($200). GPAT’s total projected income of $75,200 matches its total expenses, the greatest of which are the station manager’s $40,563 salary and $9,600 for rent.

Council will also decide whether to collaborate with the Pitt County Arts Council (PCAC) in applying for a $150,000 National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant. The NEA would provide a $75,000 match to local funding, $25,000 of which would come from the Arts Council, with another $50,000 approved by the Redevelopment Commission. The latter funds were previously earmarked for public art at the Evans Street Gateway project, and would still be spent there if the grant is not approved.

PCAC and the city have a history of successful public arts projects. The city is trying to foster the development of an Uptown arts corridor along Evans Street between Tenth and First. If the grant is okayed, the arts council will hire an artist-in-residence for a two-year period, and will provide for the creation of new public artwork to be installed as part of the “Evans Street gateway” project at Tenth and Evans.

Also on the consent agenda:

  • Minutes to be approved from the February 25, June 10, August 5, and December 9, 2013 city council meetings;

  • A request to submit an application to the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) to provide deferred, forgiven loans of up to $8,000 for emergency repairs and modifications to low and very-low income residents;

  • An ordinance establishing a $1.5 million budget for moving electric lines for the Tenth Street Connector project.

  • An amendment to the 2013-2014 City of Greenville budget to fund animal cruelty prevention ($2,628), to re-appropriate grant money for the police department that went unspent last year ($24,841), and to establish the Enterprise Resource Planning Capital Project Fund. This would track costs for replacing the city’s business financial software at an estimated cost of $2.5 million.

  • Approval of various tax refunds over $100, totaling $2,537.44.

In new business, city council will determine the fair market value of 17 city-owned lots in Lincoln Park, a West Greenville neighborhood. Once that is determined, staff will request proposals for affordable housing development, a project they hope will serve as a catalyst for neighborhood redevelopment. Andy Piner, a state appraiser (Moore and Piner, LLC) estimated the values between $8,000 and $11,500 for each property, which range from 6,014-12,850 square feet.

In response to recent criminal activity, Police Chief Hassan Aden will report on the his department’s strategy and effectiveness, at the request of Mayor Allen Thomas.

Council will consider waiving fees for nonprofit veteran organizations at patriotic holiday events.

FountainWorks, a North Carolina management and facilitation consultation firm, will present its plan and process for council’s Strategic Planning Session (January 24-25). The plan is based on consultations with department and select division heads, along with phone interviews with each city councilor.

The Environmental Advisory Commission and the Pitt-Greenville Airport Authority will give annual reports.

Thirty minutes are allotted for public comment, during which any member of the public can address council for three minutes.

Thomas will deliver the invocation when the meeting opens.

View the full agenda here.

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