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Old 06-07-2016, 07:21 AM
Location: Greenville, NC
839 posts, read 1,040,413 times
Reputation: 176


so was anything decided with the budget or just more back & forth bickering?
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:09 AM
Location: Greenville, NC
839 posts, read 1,040,413 times
Reputation: 176
Never mind - I answered my own question:

1. Looks like they put back in the purchase of the old Imperial Warehouse site. --- I was hoping for this and really saw no negatives of this purchase in the long run especially since they have the money available & should get it back if they

2. A small increase in the tax rate 52.1 cent instead of the revenue neutral 51.3 cent tax. Along with a $10 increase in car registration fees. I'm not thrilled about the car registration fee increase, but if it will assist with the following like they say, I'm ok with contributing $10 more a year, especially for added police officers...though I wonder what 'street maintenance' includes.

The extra income will assist with:
* Funding an additional 2-4 positions in the Greenville Police Department;* Additional funding for street maintenance in the city;
* Additional funding for street lighting and safety cameras in the city.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The future of the city’s 2016-17 fiscal year budget came down to a tie-breaking vote from Mayor Allen Thomas during Monday’s Greenville City Council meeting.
The City Council voted 4-3 to direct staff to draft a budget based on a property tax rate of 52.1 cents per $100 valuation and includes the purchase of the Imperial Warehouse site.
At-Large Councilman Calvin Mercer, District 2 Councilwoman Rose Glover and District 4 Councilman Rick Smiley voted in favor of adjusting the budget. District 1 Councilwoman and Mayor Pro-Tem Kandie Smith, District 3 Councilman McLean Godley and District 5 Councilman P.J. Connelly voted against the changes. Thomas broke the tie in favor of changing the proposed budget.
During Monday’s meeting, Assistant City Manager Michael Cowin presented the proposed budget, which sets the city’s general fund — Greenville’s primary operating fund — at $80,780,885 for the 2016-17 fiscal year. An earlier draft — which set the city’s general fund at $81,840,606 — was based on maintaining the city’s property tax rate of 53 cents per $100 of valuation, which city staff said would produce approximately $1.05 million more in revenues next year.
The City Council voted against maintaining the current rate during its May 9 meeting and directed staff to draft a budget based on a revenue-neutral property tax rate of 51.3 cents per $100 of valuation. In addition to adjusting the property tax rate, the council also directed staff to take the $1.04 million purchase of the Imperial Warehouse site out of the budget and decrease a 3 percent merit pay increase for city employees — which was recommended in the proposed budget — to 2 percent.
More than a dozen people voiced their opinions about the changes during Monday’s public hearing on the proposed budget. Greenville resident Nancy Colville spoke in favor of the push by Godley and Connelly for a revenue neutral tax rate.
“This City Council inherited a hell of a mess,” Colville said. ”I am supporting what our newest council members are trying to do.”
Local real estate developer Tom Taft questioned the council’s decision to reduce the merit pay increase for city employees to cover shortfalls in a revenue neutral budget.
“These are the people that come out to our neighborhoods during a storm to remove fallen trees or run into a burning home to save lives,” Taft said. ”We should not balance the budget on their backs. They are not expendable.”
Prior to Monday’s meeting, Thomas requested that staff present council members with additional budget scenarios based on a property tax rate of 52.1 cents per $100 of valuation and a $10 increase to the city’s motor vehicle fee.
Increasing the property tax rate to 52.1 cents per $100 of valuation would generate an additional $498,692 in revenue in the 2016-17 fiscal year, and raising the motor vehicle fee from $20 to $30 would generate an additional $494,500.
Smiley made a motion during on Monday to adopt the scenario, which would add $993,192 in revenues to next year’s budget.
Smiley suggested the additional revenue be used for:
* Funding new debt service related to the voter-approved 2015 General Obligation Bond;
* Funding an additional 2-4 positions in the Greenville Police Department;
* Additional funding for street maintenance in the city;
* Additional funding for street lighting and safety cameras in the city.
The motion also puts the $1.04 million purchase of the Imperial warehouse site back into next year’s budget. Funds for the property’s purchase will be taken from Greenville’s general fund balance. During the council’s May 23 meeting, City Manager Barbara Lipscomb reported that the city has about $4 million in excess fund balance that is available for the purchase.
The motion to adjust the budget generated much debate during Monday’s meeting.
Thomas said a revenue-neutral budget does not provide adequate funding for road repairs in the city.
“This budget leaves us $1.5 million short of what we need for road maintenance,” Thomas said. ”For the last few decades, we’ve been kicking the can down the road.
“We can’t wait any longer,” Thomas said. ”Now is the time to invest in our city’s infrastructure.”
Glover spoke in favor of providing additional funding for streetlight improvements and safety cameras.
“It makes me sad when I drive though our city’s neighborhoods and see how dark they are,” Glover said. ”We need to take a closer look at this budget.”
Connelly said he was against adjusting the tax rate because property values were disproportionately increased during the county’s property revaluation.
”Some people are seeing a 5 or 10 percent increase in property value while others are seeing as much as 50 percent,” Connelly said. ”Some people’s property value actually went down and they will be paying less next year.
“It’s not an even tax ... it’s not a fair tax,” he said. ”I’m all for investing in the city, but you can’t place that burden on just a few.”
Connelly referenced a section of the city’s revised financial policy guidelines — which were discussed during Monday’s meeting — that states: “The City shall endeavor to reduce its reliance on property tax revenues by revenue diversification, implementation of user fees, and economic development. The City shall also strive to minimize the property tax burden on Greenville residents.”
“How can we make that statement and then raise the tax rate?” Connelly asked. ”That’s just talking out of both sides of your mouth.”
The final vote on the budget will be held during the Greenville City Council’s June 16 meeting at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:26 AM
Location: Greenville, NC
839 posts, read 1,040,413 times
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Small construction update:

The Pugh's station is slowly starting to come down ... clearing of the site has begun to make way for the new housing complex. I guess the old train station will be next.

The final business at the small shopping strip on 10th street has been closed & the property has been roped off, they have also torn down another building next to the frat house. Progress towards the new apartment complex there as well can finally start to be seen. I'm not sure how long until they relocate the frat & tear down the other small brick apartments:

Additionally, they have finally started work on the ECU Student Center, dump trucks have been rolling in & work is on going..took long enough.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:50 AM
1,022 posts, read 1,005,562 times
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It appears the Carolina BBQ festival at the Town Commons that was supposed to happen on Saturday June 11th, has been moved to June 18th.


Last edited by michealbond; 06-08-2016 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:20 AM
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A little more detail on the pocket park on 4th street.

It took years, but a small gravel parking lot on West Fourth Street has been transformed into a tiny park for children and adults in downtown Greenville.

On Thursday, officials cut a green ribbon to announce the official opening of the Live United Courtyard, a park along the sidewalk near Merchant’s Alley with sunflower gates, whispering morning glories and hopscotch squares.

The park, just a half block west of Evans Street, was a combined effort of the City of Greenville and its public works department, the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge, Uptown Greenville and the United Way.

Bianca Shoneman, president of Uptown Greenville, said she remembers seeing early schematic drawings for the park from 2008, but it was in 2013 that things really got going when the United Way encouraged Uptown Greenville to apply for a United Way grant, and it won $30,000 from the organization. Then the Redevelopment Commission gave the group another $15,000, she said.
Rivers and Associates, a Greenville company, also contributed design services in the park development.
The Arts Council, which helped design the park, arranged for sculptor Jim Gallucci to create and make two sunflower gates, along with lavender whispering morning glories along the fence. Someone whispering into one large metal morning glory can be heard down the vine if they put their ear to another morning glory.

“He did this at a very discounted rate,” said Kevin Mulligan, director of the Public Works Department.
“The whole idea was to create the idea of a pocket park for the community to relax and play,” said Holly Garriott, executive director of the Arts Council.

The United Way added some of its signs for the start of the Born Learning Trail, which will eventually link a number of pocket parks. They’ve designed activities for parents and caretakers to do with their children, designed to improve vocabulary and communication.

When all the pocket parks are open, parents can follow the Born Learning Trail from park to park, engaging their children in the various activities.

Children involved in summer art camps at Emerge, located just around the corner, come out to play in the park during their breaks, Garriott said.The city’s public works department put it all together and will maintain the park, which is owned by the city.

“It’s open any time,” Shoneman said. “Anybody can walk in at any time, enjoy their lunch, read a book, have a meeting, play hopscotch, hula hoop.”
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:49 AM
1,022 posts, read 1,005,562 times
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Another organization moving their headquarters downtown.

Monday, June 13, 2016
A new regional office for Preservation North Carolina recently opened in downtown Greenville, and its new director is already busy on the job.
The old office that served the northeastern region of North Carolina was located in Edenton, and its director of 18 years recently retired.

Preservation North Carolina then decided to expand the office to become the Eastern Regional Office and move it to Greenville. It will serve to find, protect and preserve historic properties, including homes and commercial buildings, in 31 counties in eastern North Carolina.

Some of the buildings have been on the verge of being demolished, and Preservation NC has been able to step in and save them.
The new office is located at 315 Evans Street in the same building as Uptown Greenville.

Locating the office in Greenville is a great opportunity to be centrally located among the 31 counties and be associated with Uptown Greenville, which is working to revitalize downtown Greenville, Gregg said.

Gregg, who lives in Tarboro, has previously lived in Greenville and will be spending time in the downtown office but will also be on the road a lot.
On Friday, she was in Edenton to show a historic property there.

A former real estate agent, she also studied Historic Preservation at Edgecombe Community College.Preservation NC is not a real estate firm but rather works with citizens, businesses, and real estate agents to list, promote and find buyers for historical properties that range from old farm houses in the country, stately Victorians a block or two from the downtowns of some of Eastern North Carolina’s sweetest small towns to old waterfront mills and abandoned downtown buildings.

There is no specific set of qualifications that makes a building eligible for preservation, but the organization hopes to find and save buildings that have kept their historic characteristics that can be preserved for modern usage, Gregg said. Currently, Greenville does not have any homes or buildings listed on Preservation NC’s list, but Gregg hopes that will change.
“Most of the time we are made aware [of buildings that need protecting] by concerned citizens that call and let us know what’s going on,” Gregg said.

Gregg is excited about her new job.
“I was very lucky to be given the opportunity,” she said. “This truly is my dream job.”
Preservation NC has saved more than 700 endangered historic properties in the state, generating an estimated $350 million in private properties.
For more information, go to Home | Preservation NC.

Interesting stuff. Good to see movement like this in uptown.
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:25 PM
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I saw signage up for the new mini golf on 10th street near Andy's/Hastings Ford area but didn't have time to snap a picture. Anyone know more details on name or opening date?
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:58 PM
Location: Greenville, NC
208 posts, read 325,759 times
Reputation: 55
EC PHO restaurant is moving from the Kmart center location. The business is moving up Greenville Boulevard across from Precision Tune.
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:15 AM
2,401 posts, read 3,364,833 times
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More construction going on downtown...

1) Looks like a roof is being replaced on one of the old warehouses on ECU's Millennial campus

2) Building across from DAP House on Dickinson was painted and looks good...not sure about possible tenant.

3) Office Building on corner of 5th and Pitt across from Pugh's site is being demolished starting around back.
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:49 AM
112 posts, read 103,078 times
Reputation: 41
They've started putting up the traffic signals at copper beech today.
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