Here is a summary of local government meetings in the Lake Norman region for the end of May. Check with each town to verify if their meetings are being held according to the pre-COVID-19 calendars. We are supplying links so you may view the streaming video from these meetings at their actual times or after the meetings. Please note our reports do not include the full content of the meetings. —EH Stafford, Managing Editor
MONDAY, MAY 18th:
Merit raises for town employees:
While staff raises are still an integral part of the 2020-2021 fiscal year budget, Town Manager Andrew Grant wants to delay the planned merit-based raises for several months due to the hardships brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The raises average 3%. The raises could be eliminated entirely if the shortcomings due to COVID-19 are more significant than currently expected.
Timing of purchases:
Due to the unknown financial circumstances the town faces during fiscal year 2020-2021, Town Manager Andrew Grant said he would consider waiting until the second half of the fiscal year to purchase some of the more expensive items in the budget such as a new fire truck and new police vehicles.
One casualty of COVID-19 will be $200,000 typically available from the state from Powell Bill funds. The state will be slicing the payment by an estimated 25%.
Dipping into reserves:
Even with the cost-cutting measures, the town still faces a deficit but will make up the shortfall by using fund balance reserves. This will likely result in in the proposed tax rate remaining consistent with the 0.22 cents for $100 assessed value. Town taxes represent an estimated third of the total tax bill for Cornelius residents. The budget will be presented to the board in a virtual town board meeting on Monday, June 1. A public hearing will begin on June 1. The public hearing will continue into the June 15 meeting, in what will hopefully be an in-person meeting. The budget must be adopted by June 30. Depending on reactions to the town’s financial plan, the town may need to call a special meeting between June 15-30 to adopt the budget.
Cornelius Town Board meets the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 7pm in the Assembly Room at Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Avenue, Cornelius, NC 28031. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. You can view current and past agendas as well as video streaming of the meetings on the Cornelius Town Hall website.
On Tuesday, May 19, the Davidson board of commissioners held a special virtual meeting to consider the possibility of implementing stricter regulations than those outlined in phase 2. During the 3-and-a-half hour meeting, the board reviewed possible options to impose stricter mask-wearing requirements and prohibit some of the activities and openings that would be allowed under Governor Roy Cooper’s phase 2 order — the bottom line is that the safety of Davidson residents was the ultimate objective of commissioners. In the end, a formal board request was approved that local business owners require employees wear masks at all times while working, and patrons of those business should also wear masks when visiting those establishments.
At the regular Davidson board of commissioners meeting held on Tuesday, May 26, commissioners approved a $80,150 investment addressing community safety and commercial interests. Of the $80,150, commissioners unanimously agreed to spend $42,750 on a town-wide health and safety initiative and $37,400 to make improvements to facilities that have outdoor seating capability. The town board hopes this will encourage residents to patronize local businesses.
Health & Safety
Health and safety expenses will include $27,500 for the acquisition, installation, and annual maintenance for 23 hand sanitizer stations the town and $7,500 for a thermal imaging camera at the entrance to town hall. A public service campaign featuring signs promoting mask-wearing as well as social distancing, and a bulk purchase of masks for distribution are also part of those health expenditures. As far as business promotion expenditures, outdoor tables, benches, umbrellas, fencing, and trash/recycling receptacles will be placed at various locations to provide additional seating for customers of Davidson businesses.
Davidson Town Board meetings occur on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. The agenda, meeting minutes, and links to audio and video recordings of the meetings can be viewed on the town’s website. See exact meeting dates and times on the calendar. Contact information for Davidson’s mayor and board of commissioners is available in the staff directory .
On Monday, May 18, the Huntersville board of commissioners held a virtual public hearing during the regular town board meeting to allow the public to offer input on the fiscal 2020-2021 budget.
Huntersville Town Board meets the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 6pm in the Huntersville Town Hall, 101 Huntersville-Concord Road, Huntersville, NC 28078. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. You can view meetings on the Town of Huntersville’s Facebook page.
MONDAY, MAY 25TH:
Town Board Discusses Next Steps in Reopening the Town:
While some town-operated facilities have re-opened, many remain closed. Those that have re-opened include Town Hall, the Police Department, and the Public Operations Center. All facilities that have re-opened in the town are opened with modified access. All fire stations, indoor recreation centers, the Charles Mack Citizen Center (CMCC), the Mooresville Skate Park, playgrounds, and the War Memorial pool remain closed.
According to Town Manager Randy Hemann, town officials are looking at the financial implications associated with safely re-opening additional town facilities. Many parents have questions about whether town-operated summer camps will take place, and if so, what that might look like. Assistant Town Manager Beau Falgout said the town hoped to possibly offer summer camps and open the War Memorial pool around July.
In terms of restaurants being able to offer outside seating to compensate for reduced dining, Town Manager Randy Hemann said restaurants will have that flexibility. Downtown restaurants should contact the Mooresville Downtown Commission for guidance. Other restaurants should contact Hemann or Falgout.
Recommended 2020-2021 Budget Presented:
Town Manager Randy Hemann presented his recommended $126.5 million budget to the board. The proposed budget maintains the current property tax rate of 58 cents per valuation and does not include water or sewer rate hikes. A public hearing will be held on the proposed budget on June 1, and the board will vote on it later in the month. A decision on whether the public hearing will be held virtually, or in-person has not been made.
Governor Cooper Announces Revised Phase 2 Reopening Plan:
NC Governor Roy Cooper announced a scaled back phase 2 plan that will take effect beginning Friday, May 22 at 5:00 p.m. The order is slated to last until June 26, but Governor Cooper has the authority to change the expiration date of his phase 2 plan. Phase 2 is being scaled back from what was originally outlined because North Carolina’s overall key indicators remain stable, while the increases in COVID-19 cases show the need to take a more modest step forward in phase 2 than originally planned.
Restaurant dining rooms will be permitted to open to 50% capacity as will personal care facilities (salons and barbershops), swimming pools, and overnight and day camps (with safety precautions in place).
Establishments that must remained closed during phase 2 include:
- bingo parlors
- bowling alleys
- indoor exercise and fitness facilities
- health clubs
- movie theaters
- skating rinks
- reception venues
- night clubs
- amusement parks
Still, no more than ten people are permitted to gather indoors, while no more than 25 people are permitted to gather at outdoor facilities including event venues, conference centers, stadiums, arenas, amphitheaters, parks, and beaches. Anything that is permitted to reopen in phase 2 will do so under strict protocols aimed at keeping customers and staff safe.
Mooresville Town Board meets the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 6pm in the Executive Board Room at Mooresville Town Hall, 413 North Main Street, Mooresville, NC 28115. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. View current/past agendas and video of the board meetings.
Photos courtesy Pixabay.com
A lifelong Mooresville native, and a library associate at the Mooresville Public Library. I am in charge of marketing and promoting events taking place at the library. An avid sports fanatic. I especially love Davidson Wildcats basketball, Atlanta Braves baseball, and NASCAR.
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