Tuesday, July 10, City Council meeting, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall
Items of interest on the agenda included:
- Recognition of the local Montford Point Marines who recently received the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.
- An ordinance to increase the maximum number of licenses for limousines for hire from 30 to 50, to allow limos that are more than 10 years old to continue operating, and to add a taxicab cleanup fee of no more than $100.
- An ordinance accepting a $219,308 grant from the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund for the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail. The funds will be used to build a multi-use path and two boardwalks through Autumn Hall. This will complete the portion of the trail running through Autumn Hall, stretching from the bridge over the Bradley Creek Floodway to connect with the existing path on Rogersville Road. The grant required a matching amount from the city, which is funded by the Parks Bond.
- An ordinance appropriating $216,302 in parking funds for a six-month operating budget for the city’s newly purchased Water Street parking facility. The funds will cover immediate expenses, including a structural review and negotiations with Lanier Parking to add the facility to the city’s existing parking management contract. A related ordinance will add the Water Street facility’s rates to the city’s fee structure. The city is honoring the current contract rate for existing customers, as well as the current posted rates for the next six months.
- Three resolutions related to a proposed baseball stadium, including the possible consideration of a bond referendum to pay for a stadium. Even though City Council has not yet made a decision about a stadium, they need to take these steps as outlined in state statutes in order to issue bonds for the project and meet timelines to put the question on the ballot in November.
The agenda materials make clear that an agreement has not been reached with Mandalay/Braves and without final figures, several cost scenarios for a potential bond referendum are being provided. The cost scenarios range from 3.5 cents per $100 assessed valuation for a $42 million referendum with the city paying most of the costs – which City Council has indicated they will not support – to 2.1 cents for a $33 million referendum that would include greater financial contributions by Mandalay/Braves and/or other stakeholders that have not yet been identified.
One resolution includes a request for a special City Council meeting on July 24 to set a public hearing date on Aug. 7 to give final approval on the bond. The meetings are being held in this sequence to comply with state statutes. If Council does decide to move forward, the referendum amount could be less than $42 million, depending on what would be included if a deal is finalized.
The City Clerk has notified City Council that the baseball petition has been reviewed and that there are some questions, which have been submitted to the New Hanover County Board of Elections for a response. Following a response by the BOE and further review by the City Clerk, a final determination about the sufficiency of the petition can be made.
Watch the entire meeting.
The next Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 24. The agenda for the next meeting will be posted on the city's website on Friday, July 20.
Meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, which is located on the second floor of City Hall at 102 North 3rd Street. Parking is available in the Thalian Hall parking lot or in the city parking deck located directly across from City Hall. Meetings are also broadcast on GTV (Time Warner Cable channel 8) or simulcast by clicking "Online Videos" on the city's website.