8/10/2015 7pm

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mrmtholly
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8/10/2015 7pm

Postby mrmtholly » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:32 am

  

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Scott L
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Re: 8/10/2015 7pm

Postby Scott L » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:54 pm

Who will attend the August 10th City Council meeting to ask council to define a truck route so that the Heavy Industrial zones (Freightliner, National Gypsum, etc.) should use Hwy 16 to access the interstate network? In other words, ask council to limit trucks off N. Main so that the repaving next year will last for decades.

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Re: 8/10/2015 7pm

Postby Scott L » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:41 am

This is what Council will be asked to consider:

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Re: 8/10/2015 7pm

Postby Scott L » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:26 pm

August 10, 2015
7:00 P.M.
CALL TO ORDER BY THE MAYOR
INVOCATION
Reverend Matt Hill, Mount Holly Fire Department Chaplin
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Boy Scout Troop 59
SET THE AGENDA
CONSENT AGENDA
1. Approval of Liens for Weeds and Grass
2. Appointment of Melanie Wilson to Planning Commission
3. Budget Amendment (Streets and Solid Waste and Parks and Recreation)
4. Call for a Public Hearing on the Financing of Two (2) Fire Trucks
5. Approval of the minutes from the July 13, 2015 Council Meeting
6. Approval of the minutes from the July 27, 2015 Work Session Meeting
PRESENTATIONS
1. Presentation of a Resolution Honoring Joe DePriest upon his Retirement for his Dedicated Years of Service Mayor Bryan Hough
2. Presentation of the Sharp Award to the Police Department Cherie Berry
PUBLIC HEARING
PUBLIC COMMENT – Three (3) Minute Limit
OLD BUSINESS
1. Update on the Strategic Visioning Plan Greg Beal
NEW BUSINESS
1. Discussion of Re-Routing Truck Traffic off of North Main Street Scott Lilly
OTHER BUSINESS
CLOSED SESSION
ADJOURN
  

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Scott L
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Re: 8/10/2015 7pm

Postby Scott L » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:28 am

(Disclaimer: All the below from memory. The official minutes will be more complete and accurate when it comes out.)

The council meeting went well all through public comment. I think 8 people signed up to speak. Four spoke on the matter of the heavy trucks. One spoke about civic duty. And at least two spoke about a potential halfway house in the community. When the meeting minutes are published, my public comment should be included verbatim. (which is posted below) There seemed to be at least 50 people in attendance - including the Belmont Banner News. There were several MyMtHolly.COM shirts in the audience.

On the matter of the Strategic Vision Plan, Mr. Beal gave an update. I'll wait to see what the public record reflects - but I think I would take issue with some of what Mr. Beal said/presented. For sure it should be a topic of discussion and I think it was a fluffed-up positive spin attempt at making things sound good. Nevertheless, having it put out there to be active again can and should be embraced.

Then the topic of heavy trucks was raised. Mr. Jackson stated that he and his staff have done all that is possible to help the situation and to help citizens in their concerns. He also stated that to do anything more, he would need direction from council. (Presumably for a strategic change or directive.) And after the meeting, I told Mr. Jackson that indeed I agreed with him and thanked him for doing as much as he has. Mr. Jackson mentioned a key point... this N. Main issue has been known for some time but this is the first time it has been on any council agenda to be considered for discussion.

Council called a representative of the NCDOT Division 12 to speak. They asked some tough questions about the road, it's scheduled repair, and its use. In my opinion, the NCDOT was not as prepared as they could have been -- but they represented their status, processes, and had a few take-aways. It seemed to me that indeed the NCDOT had the same style "grilling" that I saw council give to a developer. For that I am grateful. In the discussion, council recognized a few key points:

1) The problem has gotten worse recently -- the NCDOT might be implementing a repair solution in the next year that was designed for the problem when it was not as bad as it is today. They vowed to re-assess based on the problem today that has gotten worse.
2) They are aware that some unknown percentage of truck traffic is "cut through" traffic that seemingly has no business in Mt Holly -- It was mentioned that they might ask for patrols to "police" the trucks by the people who do such things.
3) The condition of N. Main is bad, the failed repairs are unacceptable, and the proposed method and of repairs and material to repair it will be scrutinized.
4) Truck traffic on Woodlawn/Noles was recently negotiated with Freighliner to be banished. (Going to Gaston Dye) Though after the meeting, some of the public was saying informally that even that day trucks still traveled Woodlawn/Noles.
5) Council tried to get NCDOT Div 12 to represent how long these repairs will last. NCDOT declined to give any estimate. In other words, to me it seemed that we're doing a best-effort repair and nobody will stake their job on it being an effective repair. Council I think responded to that realization asking "how do we have the (anticipated) failure more quickly fixed again next time instead of waiting another 6-7 years" to which the NCDOT had no real answer. [This really frustrates me. We are already anticipating what we should do when the repairs again fail. At least the dialog is open and we'll continue this conversation.]

There was a little part of the meeting where council recognized how much benefit Freightliner is to the community. It was said someone from Freightliner was there observing and interested in the discussion. It was also said that the responsiveness from National Gypsum was less than desirable.

There was just a little drama. One member of the public who obviously was concerned about the trucks and the road had so much frustration and excitement that he could not contain himself and had a few outbursts. The Mayor sharply scolded him once for speaking out of order, let him get away with a few grunts, and when he spoke out of order again was escorted from the room by the police chief in an orderly way. After the meeting those of us from the public in idle talk realized that we need our public meetings to be more inviting and educational. We need to explain what the process is and how the public should participate - or not. Of course the Mayor kept control of his meeting -- but it was done so with a style that likely chased away those that might have attended a council meeting for the first time and will not come again. When the mayor scolded the person speaking out of order, another member said "That was rude!" and walked out. Later in the meeting the Mayor seemed to recognize the need to explain things a little more when someone raised their hand to be recognized to speak -- something that isn't done in these kinds of meetings.

My Public Comment:

Council:

I attended last November’s council meeting where Councilman Hope stated from lessons learned, we are distrusting of developers promising things they won’t deliver. The council tried three times to implement a strategy that would protect residential zones up N. Main from Heavy Industrial traffic: The Northern Mount Holly Loop, the road along the rail road shown on the Strategic Vision Plan, and the agreement to use Hwy 16 and rail for industrial traffic that was never made enforceable. So it’s not a lack of strategy that is our problem today – but a lack of support from one or more government entities that has not implemented any of the three failed strategies that you defined. If our government were a developer, what would Councilman Hope tell them from lessons learned? Or if you councilpersons come over here and look at the six seats up there, would you wonder how that governing body isn’t more effective?

I’m standing here wondering that exact question. Representing us people well is how we voters judge your performance. Tonight I’ve done work for you. For almost a year I’ve studied “what is possible” and “what the public wants”. You know what I’ve found, not a single person wants a broken road. Not one member of the public told me they want Heavy Industrial freight trucks driving past their homes. And no citizen told me replacing N. Main with a 4-lane road is a good idea. Do you know what the most common response from citizens was on the issue? It was that council won’t do anything for the people so why even try. Feel free to validate my findings; but if you really represent the people of Mount Holly in overseeing our government, you’ll already know what I tell you. The question is: what will you do about it?

The strategy of allowing or not prohibiting truck traffic on N. Main will continue the blight problems that exist today. Left unchanged, we know where this will lead. The increase in traffic conflicts and congestion will pressure the NCDOT to improve N. Main into the 4-lane highway that was already requested by this council to the MPO. Once that process begins, it would be almost impossible to stop. And if you want to envision what that 4-lane highway would be to Mount Holly, one must only look as far as South Main to see how that will ruin a small town character and gateway entrance into the town.

North Main’s lack of foundation does not have the capacity to support heavy truck traffic. It does not have the capacity to support more volume of traffic from the thriving Heavy Industrial zones. It is not appropriate to use North Main to carry heavy industrial freight – some of which could be hazardous and a mere 50 feet from the front doors of homes. We have to manage the road we have – not the road we wish we had. You have a council-adopted document that describes the will of the people that says we want to preserve our small town character and gateway entrances into town. We citizens are here to oversee you council -- similarly as you oversee the developers wanting to make changes to an agreed upon plan. Please plan and manage our growth by routing heavily loaded trucks via Hwy 16. It is a safety concern, a capacity concern, and uniquely in your domain (that nobody else but voters can advise you) it is a strategic vision concern of what we want for our town.

Scott Lilly
420 N. Main

  

mrmtholly
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Re: 8/10/2015 7pm

Postby mrmtholly » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:41 am

Monday, August 10, 2015
Council Chambers
7:00 pm

Call to Order
Mayor Bryan Hough called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. The following were present:

Mayor Bryan Hough
Danny Jackson, City Manager
Mayor Pro Tem Perry Toomey
Jamie Guffey, Assistant City Manager
Councilman Jerry Bishop
Greg Beal, Planning Director
Councilwoman Carolyn Breyare
Ray Clemmer, Assistant Director of Utilities
Councilman J. Jason Gowen
Ryan Baker, Interim Fire Chief
Councilman Jim Hope
Brian Reagan, Deputy Chief of Police
Councilman David Moore
Dave Johnson, Utilities Director/City Engineer
Kemp Michael, City Attorney
Miles Braswell, Director of Streets and Solid Waste

Invocation
Reverend Matt Hill, Mount Holly Fire Department Chaplin gave the invocation.

Pledge of Allegiance
Boy Scout Troop 59 of the First United Methodist Church in Mount Holly led attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Set the Agenda
With no changes to the agenda, Councilman Gowen made a motion to approve the agenda as presented. Councilwoman Breyare seconded the motion. All Council Members present voted in favor. (Motion carried)

CONSENT AGENDA
1.Approval of Liens for Weeds and Grass
2.Appointment of Melanie Wilson to Planning Commission
3.Budget Amendment (Streets and Solid Waste, Parks and Recreation and General Fund)
4.Call for a Public Hearing on the Financing of Two (2) Fire Trucks
5.Approval of the minutes from the July 13, 2015 Council Meeting
6.Approval of the minutes from the July 27, 2015 Work Session Meeting
7.Councilman Bishop made a motion to approve the consent agenda. Councilman Moore seconded the motion. All Council
8.Members present voted in favor. (Motion carried)

PRESENTATIONS
1.Presentation of a Resolution Honoring Joe DePriest upon his Retirement for his Dedicated Years of Service
Mayor Hough and the City Council honored Joe DePriest upon his retirement for his dedication to the City of Mount Holly during his tenure with the Charlotte Observer. Mr. DePriest was very appreciative of this honor.


2.Presentation of the Sharp Award to the Police Department
Cherie Berry was present to recognize the Police Department for their safety efforts and present then with the Sharp Award. This award is given to entities that have an outstanding safety program.

PUBLIC COMMENT – Three (3) Minute Limit
•Scott Lilly
420 North Main Street
See attachment A. Comments submitted by Mr. Lilly for the record.


•Laura Lilly
420 North Main Street
Ms. Lilly advised that truck traffic has progressively gotten worse since she moved to her residence on North Main. Furthermore she spoke about rerouting the truck traffic around Highway 16.


•Klaus Schick
121 Shane Drive
Mr. Schick came before the City Council to introduce himself. He advised that he moved to Mount Holly 8 years ago and is speaking up today to applaud the City Council and Staff for making a difference in the community.


•Steve Conder
1114 North Main Street
Mr. Conder commented that truck traffic on Highway 273 has become a real problem. He advised the trucks shake his house when they come by and a few years ago a truck traveling by his property lost a tire and it came through his privacy fence and came within feet of hitting his daughter that was playing inside the fence. He further advised that most of the trucks that travel on Highway 273 are carrying too much freight and are overweight. The road needs to be repaved and are currently not made for the amount of truck traffic that travels the road.


•Joe Lankford
•119 Oak Trail
Mr. Lankford had concerns regarding the property in his neighborhood located on Ferstl and Belmont Mount Holly Road. He advised that the people in the neighborhood would like to get some type of idea what is going to be used for. It is rumored that all around the neighborhood that a halfway house is going into the existing structure on the property and the citizens in the area would like some answers.


•Kevin Oliver
2505 Court Drive
Gastonia, NC
Mr. Oliver spoke regarding the property on Ferstl and Belmont Mount Holly Road. He advised that the property will not be used as a halfway house but more so as a location Veteran's can move into to get themselves back into the community or people with some type of mental illness.


•Elena Frost
101 Cavin
Ms. Frost shared her concerns regarding the truck traffic on Highway 273 and the proposed halfway house.

OLD BUSINESS
Update on the Strategic Visioning Plan
Mr. Beal gave an update on the progress of the Strategic Visioning Plan. He advised that several aspects of the Strategic Visioning Plan have been met such as the greenway and the five concepts stated in the plan while others are still work in progress. Mr. Beal advised that he is constantly making contact with interested retailers and developers therefore meeting one of the overall goals of the plan in Economic Development. He advised that the RFQ submittals will be under staff review by the end of September and a recommendation will come before Council at the October Meeting for approval.

NEW BUSINESS
Discussion of Re-Routing Truck Traffic off of North Main Street
Mayor Hough advised that the City will not turn a blind eye to the problems reported on Highway 273 (North Main Street). Therefore Mr. Spangler with NCDOT was invited to come tonight and provide insight on the plans to repave North Main Street.
Mr. Spangler advised that NCDOT has plans to repave North Main from Nims to Lanier. The project is under contract to be completed no later than September 2016. The plans include 7 to 8 inches of milling and deeper in areas and complete resurfacing. He advised that a "C" mix will be put back which is a very sturdy mix. There was additional discussion regarding traffic counts and weight capacities. Mayor Hough advised that City Staff and Council will continue to look for ways to make improvements to the traffic and road conditions in that area. However, Freightliner has been very cooperative with the City, they employee over 2000 people and pay a huge amount of the tax base to the city. He advised that it is not all about money but we have to work on balancing it out. The city will start by contacting DMV and request more patrolling in the area and checking the truck weights. Then if future discussion is needed on this issue it can come back to Council at that time.

ADJOURN
With no additional items for discussion, Mayor Hough entertained a motion to adjourn. Councilman Gowen made the motion to adjourn the August 10, 2015 Council Meeting. Councilwoman Breyare seconded the motion. All Council members present voted in favor. (Motion carried)
The meeting adjourned at 8:26 p.m.
  

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Re: 8/10/2015 7pm

Postby Scott L » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:55 am

Regarding the new business item: "Discussion of Re-Routing Truck Traffic off of North Main Street", Mayor Hough said on the record that if Councilman Toomey brought forth a proposal to route truck traffic off N. Main Street, he would add it to the agenda. (Which he did in April 2015) When the agenda was published, in fact the item was added as promised.

During the meeting, the proposal that Councilman Toomey submitted for the council to consider was not made available to the public. Instead, it was only referenced vaguely while the conversation was manipulated into a "how the NCDOT will fix Main Street".

NCGS 143-318.13 says:
Acting by Reference. - The members of a public body shall not deliberate, vote, or otherwise take action upon any matter by reference to a letter, number or other designation, or other secret device or method, with the intention of making it impossible for persons attending a meeting of the public body to understand what is being deliberated, voted, or acted upon. However, this subsection does not prohibit a public body from deliberating, voting, or otherwise taking action by reference to an agenda, if copies of the agenda, sufficiently worded to enable the public to understand what is being deliberated, voted, or acted upon, are available for public inspection at the meeting. (1979, c. 655, s. 1.)

There were more than 50 people in attendance of the meeting. NONE that I questioned after the fact had any idea that the below proposal that Mr. Toomey sent to council to deliberate was what was being considered. This is a violation of Article 33 Open Meetings Laws. The purpose of public meetings is to have transparent discussion and deliberation. Even the public record minutes do not include any discussion about the item being deliberated.


***DRAFT RESOLUTION***

Mount Holly City Council
The State of North Carolina {Date}
Resolution to Designate Highway 273 north of Industrial Zones as a Truck Route

WHEREAS, the General Assembly has authorized municipalities to establish truck traffic routes within their corporate limits by NCGS 160A-77(b)(5); and

WHEREAS, the General Assembly has authorized the Department of Transportation to restrict or prohibit truck traffic on certain State highway roads by NCGS 20-116(h) so that whenever there exist two highways of the State highway system of approximately the same distance between two or more points, the Department of Transportation may, when in the opinion of the Department of Transportation, based upon engineering and traffic investigation, safety will be promoted or the public interest will be served, designate one of the highways the "truck route" between those points, and to prohibit the use of the other highway by heavy trucks or other vehicles of a gross vehicle weight or axle load limit in excess of a designated maximum. In such instances the highways selected for heavy vehicle traffic shall be designated as "truck routes" by signs conspicuously posted, and the highways upon which heavy vehicle traffic is prohibited shall likewise be designated by signs conspicuously posted showing the maximum gross vehicle weight or axle load limits authorized for those highways; and

WHEREAS, the City of Mount Holly has properly zoned the first approximately 2.5 miles of North Main Street “Residential” and the northern most approximately 2.5 miles of Highway 273 as “Industrial”, “Business”, and “Rural Agricultural”.

WHEREAS, the City of Mount Holly has a duty and intent to protect the public interest of properly zoned residential land uses by discouraging heavy or dangerous vehicular traffic when possible in residential areas.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City of Mount Holly City Council: (1) Declaration that Highway 273 south of the Industrial zoning on Highway 273 to be strategically important to the development and preservation of residential zoning along and near North Main Street so that industrial truck traffic should be encouraged not to use North Main Street as a Reasonable Access Route to the National Truck Network. (2) Using the authority of NCGS 160A-77(b)(5) establishes a truck route on Highway 273 north of Industrial zoning on Highway 273. (3) The Department of Transportation should approve the municipal truck route designation by concurring ordinance using NCGS 19A NCAC 02B.0213. (4) The Department of Transportation should consider a Truck Prohibited Route on Highway 273 south of the Industrial zoning.

Adopted this the xx day of mmm, 2015.
  


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