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Old 09-14-2017, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
2,078 posts, read 5,047,749 times
Reputation: 1160

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Asphalt is going down on the Southwest Bypass.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Danville, VA
4,674 posts, read 3,065,858 times
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Council to consider Town Common project - Daily Reflector

Health department moves ahead with update of records system - Daily Reflector
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:21 AM
 
1,022 posts, read 1,006,211 times
Reputation: 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Bret Wickstrom View Post
Sell it. Tax dollars are not to be used for marketing, what ends up being a publicly funded business. If it fails the people paying the bill pay the price and the people making the decisions have little accountability. As far as Connelly wanting a local place to do the marketing... I get that it's nice to keep the money in the city but if it continues to fail it's just a money pit with our tax dollars. Other concerns include the potential for "favors" being offered between the local marketing firm and council members. The only way to avoid these issue is to get the local government out of the golf club business. If the people in the area want and can afford this amenity than a private investor can supply it when there is a demand. Otherwise, this is an inappropriate investment of tax dollars.
Not to get too deep into a "tax if theft" debate with you Dr. Bret , but aren't all of the parks/recreation items a money pit anyway? There are thousands of people in Greenville that haven't stepped foot on River Park North, or taken their kids to the splash park , or gone to a single Sunday in the Park, yet are all paying towards the costs of operation of the parks. 99% of the parks don't generate any income to help ease the tax burden. But nobody bats an eye at that.

I have both a nephew & younger brother that have been a part of the youth programs at Bradford Creek and they have enjoyed them very much. Honestly, without the option and lower cost, my family wouldn't have been able to afford similar programs at Ironwood, Brook Valley, or GCC. I think Bradford Creek serves a purpose.

Yes it is a bad thing that the course isn't at least breaking even, and something should be done to help get it to that point. Maybe raising rates by a couple of bucks would help. Maybe changing the course to only 9 holes (to help with maintenance costs) and using the remaining space for another project. Maybe something else will help. But I think we can all agree that our parks/rec facilities are important to our city and any city and must be funded in some way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil A. Delphia View Post
Sounds like a great trick to try to get a gym built. I suggest we try this same trick to get a baseball stadium and/or arena built uptown! "Trump, We need this 5,000 seat stadium and fallout shelter for the nuclear apocalypse!!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Martin View Post
Asphalt is going down on the Southwest Bypass.
Awesome news!

Last edited by michealbond; 09-14-2017 at 08:07 AM..
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
1,070 posts, read 987,605 times
Reputation: 591
The old Lowe's Foods is being gutted. I forgot who was moving in there but it must be coming soon.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
1,070 posts, read 987,605 times
Reputation: 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by michealbond View Post
Not to get too deep into a "tax if theft" debate with you Dr. Bret , but aren't all of the parks/recreation items a money pit anyway? There are thousands of people in Greenville that haven't stepped foot on River Park North, or taken their kids to the splash park , or gone to a single Sunday in the Park, yet are all paying towards the costs of operation of the parks. 99% of the parks don't generate any income to help ease the tax burden. But nobody bats an eye at that.

I have both a nephew & younger brother that have been a part of the youth programs at Bradford Creek and they have enjoyed them very much. Honestly, without the option and lower cost, my family wouldn't have been able to afford similar programs at Ironwood, Brook Valley, or GCC. I think Bradford Creek serves a purpose.

Yes it is a bad thing that the course isn't at least breaking even, and something should be done to help get it to that point. Maybe raising rates by a couple of bucks would help. Maybe changing the course to only 9 holes (to help with maintenance costs) and using the remaining space for another project. Maybe something else will help. But I think we can all agree that our parks/rec facilities are important to our city and any city and must be funded in some way.
My only problem is that it doesn't cost city residents an extra fee to go to the other parks yet the golf course does charge the same whether you're paying taxes into it or not. Charging out of towners more to make up the shortfall is an option that I believe should be explored.

The sport in general is dying. It behooves them to get younger people in and Bradford Creek (and especially its manager, Mike Cato) has done a lot to that end.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Winterville
181 posts, read 215,369 times
Reputation: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by michealbond View Post
Not to get too deep into a "tax if theft" debate with you Dr. Bret , but aren't all of the parks/recreation items a money pit anyway? There are thousands of people in Greenville that haven't stepped foot on River Park North, or taken their kids to the splash park , or gone to a single Sunday in the Park, yet are all paying towards the costs of operation of the parks. 99% of the parks don't generate any income to help ease the tax burden. But nobody bats an eye at that.

I have both a nephew & younger brother that have been a part of the youth programs at Bradford Creek and they have enjoyed them very much. Honestly, without the option and lower cost, my family wouldn't have been able to afford similar programs at Ironwood, Brook Valley, or GCC. I think Bradford Creek serves a purpose.

Yes it is a bad thing that the course isn't at least breaking even, and something should be done to help get it to that point. Maybe raising rates by a couple of bucks would help. Maybe changing the course to only 9 holes (to help with maintenance costs) and using the remaining space for another project. Maybe something else will help. But I think we can all agree that our parks/rec facilities are important to our city and any city and must be funded in some way.
You are absolutely right all parks are supported by theft and a vast majority of those facilities are never used by many citizens. I'm not really for forcing people to pay for anything without their consent. Sadly that is not the world we live in so I do my best to advocate for not wasting or gambling as many of these resources as possible or at least putting them towards things that will benefit the most people. I.e. infrastructure.

To be honest I do bat an eye and grumble lightly when I see taxes being shoveled into parks. I don't really agree that "our parks/rec facilities are important to our city and any city and must be funded in some way". The most recent addition to the city park at Town Commons, in my understanding, was paid for by private donors. I'm not saying these parks or facilities don't add to the city. I just don't agree that the ONLY way a city can have these amenities is through taxation. If people want to voluntarily pay to build a park, gym, shelter pool etc., more power to them. Paying for any one of these to utilize a marketing group doesn't change the lack of consent from many people who don't want to pay for something they won't use. Even if it does turn a profit ZERO of those dollars will go back to the people that funded it.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:24 PM
 
1,022 posts, read 1,006,211 times
Reputation: 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Bret Wickstrom View Post
You are absolutely right all parks are supported by theft and a vast majority of those facilities are never used by many citizens. I'm not really for forcing people to pay for anything without their consent. Sadly that is not the world we live in so I do my best to advocate for not wasting or gambling as many of these resources as possible or at least putting them towards things that will benefit the most people. I.e. infrastructure.

To be honest I do bat an eye and grumble lightly when I see taxes being shoveled into parks. I don't really agree that "our parks/rec facilities are important to our city and any city and must be funded in some way". The most recent addition to the city park at Town Commons, in my understanding, was paid for by private donors. I'm not saying these parks or facilities don't add to the city. I just don't agree that the ONLY way a city can have these amenities is through taxation. If people want to voluntarily pay to build a park, gym, shelter pool etc., more power to them. Paying for any one of these to utilize a marketing group doesn't change the lack of consent from many people who don't want to pay for something they won't use. Even if it does turn a profit ZERO of those dollars will go back to the people that funded it.
Fair points. I didn't mean to suggest taxation as the ONLY means of funding things in the city. I understand Trillium contributed quite a bit for playground. I am fine with the idea of "paid" private parks. If someone wants to buy up a bunch of land and build a amphitheater or a water park or a baseball stadium or a nature park and charge people to come visit, I'm all for it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GarnetAndBlack View Post
My only problem is that it doesn't cost city residents an extra fee to go to the other parks yet the golf course does charge the same whether you're paying taxes into it or not. Charging out of towners more to make up the shortfall is an option that I believe should be explored.

The sport in general is dying. It behooves them to get younger people in and Bradford Creek (and especially its manager, Mike Cato) has done a lot to that end.
I'd agree with that. The city charges higher fees for non-Greenville residents for many other services, I'm not sure why they have decided not to do it with Bradford Creek.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:21 AM
 
1,022 posts, read 1,006,211 times
Reputation: 367
Council OKs Sycamore Hill memorial

Quote:
The Greenville City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a $2 million development to serve as a historical gateway to the Town Common and recall the church and neighborhood that once stood there.

Though the council voted unanimously for the Sycamore Hill Gateway Plaza, heavy and heated discussion preceded the vote, with council members concerned about lack of communication, delays in the projects, citizen participation and overall price.
Initial discussions for a memorial began nearly a decade ago as part of long-range planning for the First Street park. Two final designs for the project were unveiled during an Aug. 11 public input session; most participants supported the “Walls” concept, inspired by the idea of music and the former layout of the church.

Before the presentation by representatives of the design firm Perkins and Will, several community members spoke at the public comment period in support of the project. All of those who spoke were concerned with the amount of time it has taken for the project to get underway.

All council members were in general support of the design and funding of the project but some raised concerns about the process. District 5 Councilman P.J. Connelly said there was a lack of communication between the staff and council. He said the council had approved a concept earlier in the summer — a modern style replica of the church tower — only to learn at an Aug. 2 briefing of the concepts to be presented at the public meeting. He said he was disappointed in the city staff for not alerting the council to a radical change in direction and concept for the project.

“I think the Sycamore Hil Baptist Church memorial is a great thing for Town Common, listening to the history, reading about it, it’s great. I just don’t understand what’s going on with our staff — I mean I really, really don’t,” said Connelly. “I don’t understand why, we leave June 8, and then I walk into a meeting on Aug. 2 and it’s different. I mean, hello, that’s a significant amount of time we didn’t hear anything, then there was a completely different design. Part of me says, now we know why it took nine years to do this. I mean honestly, that’s my gut instinct. I just don’t understand.”

District 3 Councilman McLean Godley also spoke in concern about the lack of control and awareness he thought the council had over the project. He also said he was concerned about the public input for the project and suggested that more public meetings or an online survey were necessary before approving the project. Godley said because of the $2 million price of the project everyone in the city should have input, not just those with direct connections to Sycamore Hill and the Shore Drive Neighborhood.

“The budget is up to $2 million for the project,” Godley said. “I think understanding that, we need to hear what the rest of the general public wants to say. If there’s going to be $2 million for this public project, by public funding, I think we should have also listened to what the rest of the public had to say.”

The project was conceived to commemorate the history of the former Shore Drive neighborhood and Sycamore Hill Baptist Church. The homes in the neighborhood were razed during an urban renewal project, and the church was demolished after an arson in 1970. Since the Aug. 11 input session, no changes have been made to the overall design, and council was presented the same as those in attendance during that meeting.

Funding for the project was included in the Town Common Master Plan, a phased effort to update park facilities. The contract to implement the plan awarded to Rhodeside and Harwell, which developed an initial design then hired Perkins and Will to complete the work. Perkins and Will designed the National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C., Emancipation Park in Houston and similar projects in Charlotte and Raleigh.

Mayor Kandie Smith said she did not want to delay the vote any more. Smith said the city was causing the former residents of the neighborhood more pain by constantly subjecting them to more input sessions and asking them to speak about the history of the site. Smith said the city had spent too much time already and she thought it was time to officially make progress.

“It has taken nine years which is nine years too long. There’s been many projects throughout this city, and it has never taken nine years. I know government is slow but it should not be that slow ever,” said Smith. “We’re having hesitation over $2 million, but there was no hesitation when church was burning down, when the school was burned down, the graveyard was relocated, the bodies were moved with no markers, the community was split up, and eminent domain was taking place. The land was taken from those citizens and not only was it taken but there was nothing built on the Town Commons.”

After a long discussion between council, they voted unanimously to fund the project up to $2 million, based on the ‘Walls’ concept. Designer Michael Stevenson with Perkins and Will said the design team found an old floor plan of the church and tried to create a design reminiscent of that plan.

The design mimics the entryway of the church, the central community area where pews once stood and the altar and choir area near the back. Interspersed throughout this design would be walls of varying height and width, on which the story of Sycamore Hill would be presented.

The “Walls” concept has a tower in the former location of the original bell tower. The modern recreation, which could feature stained glass, is meant to evoke the sense spirituality and prominence the towers once played, Stevenson said.
The designs also incorporate 22 walls, benches or elements in homage to the 22 original founders of the church, as well as a terrace viewing area that faces the river.
Bradford Creek on hold

The council tabled a decision on seeking a private firm to market Bradford Creek Public Golf Course after a long discussion.
The city currently is negotiating with Billy Casper Golf to take over management of the facility from the Recreation and Parks Department. The council voted to consider private management after Connelly raised concerns about operating expenses in excess of revenues.

During a briefing on negotiations last month, Connelly asked for a discussion about hiring a third-party marketing firm instead.

Over the course of an hour Thursday, council and staff discussed the possibility of hiring a marketing firm and allowing the city to maintain control of the course.

The staff reported they did not have enough information to give great detail on the capabilities of marketing firms without putting out a request for proposals. The council decided to table the discussion based on City Manager Ann E. Wall’s recommendation that they let the city staff gather more information about the marketing options.

The council did not want to put out an official RFP because of concerns that Billy Casper would leave negotiations if they felt the city was making official movements away from a contract. Staff is set to return at the Oct. 9 meeting.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Danville, VA
4,674 posts, read 3,065,858 times
Reputation: 2929
ECU rural prosperity initiative unveiled - Daily Reflector

Action cleared for structures on ECU campus - Daily Reflector
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:54 AM
 
378 posts, read 253,618 times
Reputation: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Martin View Post
Asphalt is going down on the Southwest Bypass.
Hopefully they open the first phase going from us 13 to 264.
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