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Henderson’s Sewer Collection System Bypasses 10,800 Gallons of Untreated Water

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-Press Release, City of Henderson

The City of Henderson’s Sewer Collection System bypassed approximately 10,800 gallons of untreated water on April 5, 2020, due to debris being placed in the sewer manhole.

The overflow occurred in the Fox Pond outfall. Approximately 6,000 gallons of untreated water entered a tributary to Rowland Pond and 4,800 gallons were contained on the ground.

North Carolina General Statutes Article 21 Chapter 143.215.1c requires a press release for all bypasses of 1,000 gallons or more that enter surface waters.

Questions concerning this matter should be directed to the Public Works ORC Joey Long, Jr. at 252-226-4492 or Andy Perkinson at 252-431-6117.

Henderson Residents Still Responsible for Water Bill During Disconnect Suspension

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-Information courtesy The City of Henderson

In response to the expanding COVID-19 public health emergency, the City of Henderson will suspend all water account disconnects due to non-payment of utility bills.

During this time, we want to ensure that all Henderson customers have access to clean drinking water and wastewater services. We will continue to monitor guidance from public health agencies and provide updates on this policy moving forward.

Payment of your account balance is still your responsibility and your account will continue to be billed as normal.

Even though the water will not be disconnected for non-payment during the next 30 days, you are still responsible for your account balance and any water used during this suspension time.

We encourage all customers to avoid paying bills in person and to utilize alternate payment methods, including by mail, our online portal, drop box, or by calling 866-270-5612.

Mayor Addresses Coronavirus; City Temporarily Suspends Water Disconnections

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-Press Release, Office of Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington

As communities begin to feel the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the City of Henderson would like to share with you the steps we are taking to help protect the health and safety of our citizens and employees, which is always our top priority.

We are closely monitoring local and national reports on the evolving impact of COVID-19. Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Vance County Department of Health and Human Services and other applicable public health agencies, we are taking the proper recommended precautions.

In all City facilities, we have added extra sanitation measures. We are encouraging frequent hand washing. We are considering social distancing policies and employee travel bans aimed at protecting the health and well-being of our teammates and the public. We are canceling all advisory boards and commissions meetings for the next thirty days.

We realize that you depend on us, and we are committed to serving our citizens. The City’s mission is simple, yet powerful: provide quality services to protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens.

We feel deeply for those who have been affected already. The City of Henderson is here to help in any way possible.  Again, the health and safety of our citizens and employees is our top priority, and we are committed to doing our part to keep Henderson safe.

To that end, the City of Henderson will temporarily suspend water disconnections.

During this time, we want to ensure all Henderson Water customers have access to clean drinking water and wastewater services. We will continue to monitor guidance from public health agencies and provide updates on this policy moving forward.

We encourage all customers to avoid paying bills in person and to utilize alternate payment methods, including by mail, drop box, online or by calling 866-270-5612.

Please reach out to the City Manager (252) 430-5701 if you have any questions or concerns.

City of Henderson Reports Nearly 300,000 Gallons of Bypassed Wastewater

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-Press Release, City of Henderson

NOTICE OF BYPASS OF UNTREATED WASTEWATER

The City of Henderson’s Sewer Collection System bypassed approximately 299,350 gallons of untreated water on February 6, 2020, and February 7, 2020, due to heavy rain. The areas that ran over were Red Bud outfall, Alexander Ave., Beckford Dr. outfall, Neatherly St., Pinkston St., Farrar Ave., and Willow Ln.

North Carolina General Statutes Article 21 Chapter 143.215.1c requires a press release for all bypasses of 1,000 gallons or more that enter surface waters.

Questions concerning this matter should be directed to the Public Services ORC Joey Long, Jr. at 252-226-4492 or Andy Perkinson at 252-431-6117.

Untreated Wastewater Bypassed at Sandy Creek, Redbud Pump Stations

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-Press Release, City of Henderson

NOTICE OF BYPASS OF UNTREATED WASTEWATER

The City of Henderson experienced heavy rains on February 6 and 7, 2020, that caused flooding throughout the area. The City had two discharges of untreated wastewater.

The first discharge of an estimated 36,000 gallons at the Sandy Creek Pump Station, located at 482 Rock Mill Road, was discharged into Sandy Creek. The second discharge of an estimated 14,850 gallons at Redbud Pump Station located at 51 Vance Academy Road was discharged into Redbud Stream. Both are part of the Tar Pamlico River Basin.

The Division of Water Resources was notified of the event on February 7, 2020, and is reviewing the matter. For more information, contact the City of Henderson Water Reclamation Facility at (252) 431-6080.

McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center Requests City, County Funding

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Mark Hopper, chair of the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation, provided WIZS News with additional information regarding Wednesday’s story on McGregor Hall’s funding request to local government:

McGregor Hall did not list a monetary amount in its funding request. We are hoping to have help with our debt service on the building, of which $18 million has already been paid privately ($12 million for construction of Perry Library and $6 million for construction of McGregor Hall). $2.9 million in debt remains and is financed through a low-interest USDA loan.

Letters and information packets were sent to both Jordan McMillen, County Manager, and Frank Frazier, City Manager in the first days of this year. Each letter was accompanied by the results of the study of McGregor Hall’s economic impact on Henderson and Vance County as prepared by the Municipal Research Lab at NC State University for the 12-month period preceding April 2019.

Important items:

  • McGregor Hall intentionally waited to submit this kind of funding request to the city and county until we could do so responsibly with proof that we are achieving our stated primary purpose of economic revitalization in downtown Henderson and Vance County. According to the Economic Impact Study:
    • McGregor Hall is directly responsible for injecting $2.4 million into the Henderson economy (scope of the study was limited to the City for manageability) during the 12 months in question.
    • McGregor Hall is directly responsible for 5.5% of all economic growth in Vance County over the past three years.
    • Of all of McGregor Hall’s direct revenue, over 39% comes from nonresident patrons and purchases, proving McGregor Hall’s status as a primary tourist magnet.
    • Major event days at McGregor create massive upticks in restaurant and hotel traffic.
  • McGregor Hall is the only performing arts center in the state we’ve identified with over 750 seats (McGregor is 1,000 seats) not connected with an educational institution that does not receive any kind of municipal or county funding.  We currently operate with one full-time employee (Technical Director) and three part-time employees with a combined 20 hours per week (two box office staff and janitor).  Our annual budget in 2018 was $491,839.
    • The Paramount Theater in Goldsboro has two full-time employees and 25 part-time employees.  The room seats 400. The City of Goldsboro handled all construction costs and is responsible for all debt service. Additionally, they receive $180,000 annually in combined city/county funding for operations to help fund their $480,000 annual budget.
    • The Theater at the Arts Center in Fuquay-Varina has two full-time employees and 14 part-time employees. The room seats 300. The facility’s construction costs were funded by the city. All of the facility’s upkeep and the entire annual budget of $725,000 is funded by the city.
    • The High Point Theater has six full-time employees and three part-time. It seats 750. The city funded its original construction in 1975 and has funded several additional renovations since. 100% of their $1.3 million annual budget is provided by the City of High Point, offset by an average of $800,000 in annual ticket sales.

There are many other examples, but these are representative of the norms.

There is no comparable model for what we are accomplishing with this facility through the sacrificial work of passionate volunteers and donors. We are defying the odds, writing a new playbook, and making Henderson way more than a punchline for the jokes of people in the Triangle. We are making life better for citizens in Vance County and helping to create and sustain businesses and their accompanying jobs.

What other current economic revitalization project in our town and county can prove that it’s making this kind of difference? What would happen if 5.5% of our economic growth in Vance County suddenly disappeared?

At the end of the day, we are a group of citizens trying to make where we live a better place, and asking nothing in return for it except help in achieving our goal.

Vance Co., City of Henderson Intergovernmental Committees to Meet Jan. 28

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-Information courtesy Kelly H. Grissom, Executive Assistant/Clerk to Board, Vance County Board of Commissioners

Vance County’s Intergovernmental Committee (Taylor, Feimster, Kelly) is scheduled to meet with the City’s Intergovernmental Committee on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at 2:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held in the Administrative Conference Room of the Vance County Administration Building located at 122 Young Street in Henderson. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to:

–       Review of Joint Programs

–       McGregor Hall funding request

–       Downtown Wi-Fi

Henderson Fire Study Recommends Building Third Station

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

In a follow-up on the Henderson City Council’s Public Safety Committee meeting held Wednesday afternoon, City Manager Frank Frazier and Henderson Fire Chief Steve Cordell provided WIZS News with more details on the City’s recently completed fire study.

Henderson is currently served by two fire stations located approximately one mile apart: Station #1 at 211 Dabney Drive and the over 100-year-old historic Station #2 at 205 N. Garnett Street in downtown Henderson.

“After a fair amount of annexations over the last few years, we felt like it was time to review our station distribution and coverage areas,” Frazier said. “Years ago, we looked at a third station, but we felt like a study was needed to see what the data shows.”

The study, conducted by Management Solutions for Emergency Services based out of Greenville, SC, began in August 2019 with the pulling of station files dating back to 2010 – almost a decade’s worth of data.

According to Cordell, the study indicated that a third fire station was recommended for city coverage, with a suggested location around the Dabney Drive, 158 Bypass area.

“According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), engines are supposed to be able to respond within a mile and a half; that’s what they look at when they do ISO ratings. It is two and a half miles for ladder truck companies,” said Cordell. “A new station in that vicinity would give us 92% for a mile and a half engine coverage in the city.”

The ISO (Insurance Services Office) sets ratings for fire departments on a scale of 1 to 10 based on a number of factors that impact response time and safety, Cordell explained. The lower the department’s ISO number, the less risky your house seems to insurance companies. This can equate to paying less for your homeowners insurance in the long-run.

The City’s current ISO rating is a 2, a feat that Frazier said is owed to the hard work and dedication of the fire department.

“Eventually, building another fire station could help us get to a 1; that’s a goal,” Frazier said.

Getting a third fire station built would be quite the process as Cordell estimated a $2 million price tag for the land and building, with an additional $600,000 annual operations cost for the study’s 12 recommend department staff and equipment.

Frazier said it is a large expense and the City would need to look at additional ways to fund the project, including any available USDA or FEMA assistance.

“It’s a lot of information to be absorbed and you’ve got to look at all the parameters,” said Frazier. “Everyone involved needs to review this study in-depth and decide how to proceed moving forward.”

With Frazier set to retire from the City at the end of January, he said this will be a major task moving forward for newly hired manager Edward Terrell Blackmon.

City of Henderson Selects New Manager

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-Press Release, City of Henderson

Mr. Edward Terrell Blackmon has been selected as Henderson’s new City Manager and will be sworn in during the City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, January 13, 2020, at 6 p.m. or shortly thereafter.

A native of Smithfield, NC, Mr. Blackmon is a seasoned nonprofit executive with prior municipal government experience. He has served as Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Chester in South Carolina, as well as holding various planning positions in the NC communities of Monroe, Raleigh, Garner and Tarboro.

Blackmon received his MBA from Montreat College and his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Mr. Blackmon is also a licensed Real Estate Broker in North & South Carolina, in addition to being recognized as a certified Housing Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council.

Mr. Blackmon’s community activities include the Beta Nu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Team Charlotte grassroots basketball program. He also serves as President of the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association’s Black Alumni Chapter.

Mayor Eddie Ellington made the following comment on Blackmon’s selection, saying:

The City Council and I look forward to working with Mr. Blackmon as we plan for and address the challenges and opportunities facing our municipality.

Mr. Blackmon possesses more than 25 years of community economic development experience and currently serves as Community and Economic Development Manager for the Town of Mooresville, NC where he is responsible for the Town’s housing, economic development and downtown redevelopment activities.

He is married to the former Akenna Vaught of Lenoir, NC and they have two adult sons: Edward Terrell Blackmon, II and Robert Kennan Blackmon.

Reminder: City of Henderson to Run Revised Sanitation Schedule for Holidays

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-Information courtesy Esther J. McCrackin, City Clerk, City of Henderson, NC

The City of Henderson’s sanitation schedule for the Christmas and New Year holidays are as follows:

Christmas week is a recycling collection week.

The schedule will be as follows for Recycling, Bulk Waste and Yard Debris:

Christmas Week

Monday, December 23 – Will collect Monday and Tuesday Routes

Tuesday, December 24 – Holiday, No collection

Wednesday, December 25 – Holiday, No collection

Thursday, December 26 – Will collect Wednesday and Thursday Routes

Friday, December 27 – No Change

 

New Year’s week is a non-recycling collection week.

The schedule will be as follows for Bulk Waste and Yard Debris:

New Year’s Week

Monday, December 30 – No Change

Tuesday, December 31 – Will collect Tuesday and Wednesday Routes

Wednesday, January 1 – Holiday, No collection

Thursday, January 2 – No Change

Friday, January 3 – No Change

Monday, January 6 – Back to normal operations

If you have any questions, please call the Assistant Public Works Director, Lee Owens at (252) 431-0419.