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After Second Public Hearing, City to Move Forward With Coronavirus Grant Application

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Henderson City Manager E. Terrell Blackmon provided WIZS with the following summary of the City’s second public hearing regarding the submission of a Coronavirus-related Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV). The hearing was held Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

There was no one present to speak for or against the City’s proposed Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Application (CDBG-CV) at Wednesday’s second public hearing on the matter.

The purpose of the hearing, very similar to the first, was to receive citizen input regarding the City’s intent to apply for Community Development Block Grant CDBG Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds from the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division (REDD).  The North Carolina CDBG-CV Program is designed to help non-entitlement municipalities or counties to prepare, prevent, or respond to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

As noted by Governor Roy Cooper, “efforts to support families, small business, and economic recovery remain critical” during the COVID-19 pandemic. In support of these public health and economic recovery goals, North Carolina CDBG-CV Program projects must incorporate at least one of the following as an area of focus:

  • Support families and communities through telehealth support and other public services.
  • Protect the most vulnerable and high-risk populations.
  • Assist small businesses with economic recovery.
  • Address testing, tracing, and trends.

The State has established the following funding priorities by eligible activity:

  • Public Service: The priority in this category is subsistence payments to prevent evictions and utility disconnections. Food distribution, testing and diagnosis, and employment training for health care workers on the frontlines are also prioritized.
  • Public Facilities: The priority in this category is broadband services and enhancing internet access that supports increased connectivity to schools, jobs, and healthcare.

The City of Henderson is proposing to utilize the funds primarily to address eligible activities in the Public Service category, such as subsistence payments to prevent evictions and utility disconnections. In addition, broadband services and enhancing internet falls under the Public facilities category.

The maximum grant is $900,000, which the City intends to apply for, and the grant period is 30 months or less. Applications are being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis as of September 1, 2020, and there is $26.55 million available in funding.

Now that the City has met the public hearing requirements, its plan is to finalize and submit an application to the State by the end of September, but no later than early October.

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City of Henderson Reports Recent Bypass of Untreated Water

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NOTICE OF BYPASS OF UNTREATED WASTEWATER

The City of Henderson’s Sewer Collection System bypassed approximately 391,900 gallons of untreated water on September 18, 2020, due to inflow/infiltration from heavy rain.

The overflows occurred at Sandy Creek Pump Station, Redbud Pump Station, and several manholes including Neatherly Street, the intersection of Pinkston Street/Farrar Avenue, the intersection of Alexander Avenue/S. Elizabeth Street, and the intersection of Alexander Avenue/Willow Lane.

Approximately 342,450 gallons of untreated water entered a tributary to Sandy Creek. Approximately 46,000 gallons of untreated water entered a tributary to Red Bud Creek. Approximately 3,450 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 Joey Long Jr – Collection System ORC at (252) 226-4492, Christy Lipscomb – HWRF Interim Director/ORC at (252) 430-9387, or Public Works Director Andy Perkinson at (252) 431-6117.

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Downtown Director Kathy Walters Resigns From City of Henderson

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Kathy Walters, director of the Henderson-Vance Downtown Development Commission (DDC), has submitted her resignation to the City of Henderson effective September 30, 2020.

In a statement to WIZS News, Walters said she has “decided to retire and simplify my life.”

With approximately 10 years of prior experience working for the City of Henderson, including a turn as DDC director in the ‘90s, Walters returned to the role at full-time status in September 2019.

Henderson City Manager E. Terrell Blackmon said, “Kathy Walters chose to resign from her position, as she has several years of prior government service with the State of North Carolina. In the short while that I have been here, she has been a valuable member of my team and was instrumental in the City of Henderson regaining its status as a Main Street Community.”

A part of the Main Street Program from the mid-1980s until approximately 2010, a time that included Walters’ first tenure as director, a lapse in the completion of requirements cost the downtown area the coveted distinction.

The DDC announced last month that after a lengthy recertification process, the N.C. Main Street and Rural Planning Center has officially renamed Henderson a designated N.C. Main Street Community. Benefits of Main Street status include technical assistance with building restoration and access to grant money – perks that can help attract new businesses and breathe new life into downtown.

Dr. Stephen Pearson, chair of the DDC, said Walters was instrumental in the reestablishment of Henderson to Main Street status and was personally helpful with his new role.

“She did a fantastic job as executive director, and it’s been an absolute pleasure working with her,” Pearson said. “She was a great help to me transitioning into my position.”

Blackmon said the City will begin the recruitment process to name a new DDC director in the coming weeks. In the interim, Blackmon and Development Service Director Corey Williams will perform the day-to-day activities of Walters’ position.

McGregor Hall

Vance County Allocates $50,000 to McGregor Hall; City Considers Funding Request

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The Vance County Intergovernmental Committee (Taylor[C], Feimster & Kelly) met on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, to review a request from McGregor Hall for funding assistance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the County’s write-up of the meeting, the committee discussed the impact of COVID-19 on McGregor which includes a $100,000 overall decrease in revenue compared to last year (from March 16 – July 10) and recognized the County could not provide the requested funding level of $250,000.

The committee recognized the local economic impact of McGregor ($2.34 million according to a 2019 economic impact study) and discussed the importance of McGregor to the continued growth and success of downtown Henderson and Vance County.

The committee discussed a recommendation from Vance County Manager Jordan McMillen to allocate $50,000 in one-time funding to McGregor from the County’s Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF). Two of the three committee members were in agreement and recommended supporting McGregor with $50,000 in CRF funds. The third committee member mentioned a concern with allocating all of the remaining CRF funds and suggested providing $30,000 to McGregor.

According to McMillen, following the committee report, the Vance County Board of Commissioners approved the County’s updated plan for allocating the remaining CRF that came from the Federal Government through the state. The vote was 4-2 with Commissioners Dan Brummitt and Carolyn Faines voting against the final allocation of CRF. (Commissioner Yolanda Feimster was absent.)

McMillen said the $50,000 to McGregor Hall was one of the final allocations approved and funds will be distributed to the performing arts center over the next few months.

Henderson City Manager E. Terrell Blackmon said McGregor Hall reached out to the City to request a financial contribution at the same time they contacted Vance County, which was shortly after the City’s FY 2020-2021 budget had been adopted.

“Council does have an opportunity to consider making a contribution to McGregor Hall utilizing CARES Act funding similar to what Vance County Government has recently done,” Blackmon stated in correspondence with WIZS News. “The City’s pot of funds is much smaller than that of Vance County since we are only a sub-recipient of a portion of the County’s funds. Our first priority with the funding is to up-fit our facilities to make them more COVID-friendly, improve technology for virtual meetings/teleworking and purchase additional PPE. Up-fitting our facilities will take up the lion’s share of the $459,733 we received from Vance County. However, in my proposed budget activities, I have recommended that the Council consider a contribution to McGregor Hall.”

Blackmon stated that he could not provide a specific funding amount at this time, citing the need to await quotes and finalized numbers, but anticipates a final decision could be made at October’s City Council meeting after the presentation of the final CARES Act budget. Ultimately, he explained, the final decision of the City’s contributions to McGregor Hall’s funding request will be up to the Henderson City Council.

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City of Henderson’s Sewer System Bypassed 786,000 Gallons of Untreated Water

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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 786,000 gallons of untreated water on August 31, 2020, due to inflow/infiltration from the heavy rain.

The overflow occurred at Neatherly St, E Rockspring St, the intersection of Pinkston St. and Farrar Ave., Pinkston St. (Green Acres outfall), Alexander Ave., and Bridgers St.

Approximately 149,625 gallons of untreated water entered a tributary to Sandy Creek. Approximately 12,375 gallons were contained on the ground.

Two lift stations also had overflows due to inflow/infiltration: 1416 Rock Mill Road/Martins Creek overflowed approximately 72,000 gallons and 482 Rock Mill Road/Sandy Creek overflowed approximately 552,000 gallons both entering Sandy Creek.

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.

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City of Henderson Seeking Letters of Interest for Vacant Ward 4 Seat

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-Information courtesy the City of Henderson

Notice is hereby given that the City of Henderson’s Ward 4 Ward Seat is vacant and the City is seeking Letters of Interest.

Minimum qualifications:

  • Must be a resident of Ward 4;
  • Must be at least 18 years of age;
  • Must be a United States citizen;
  • Must not be a convicted felon; and
  • Must have full voting rights.

Individuals who meet the minimum qualifications may obtain Letter of Interest instructions by contacting the City Clerk at emccrackin@ci.henderson.nc.us or by calling (252) 430-5705.

Letters of Interest must be submitted as original copies with original signatures and must be received by the City Clerk, 134 Rose Avenue, Henderson, NC 27536, no later than 5 p.m., September 4, 2020.

Incomplete Letters of Interest and/or those not received by the aforementioned deadline will not be considered by the Henderson City Council. All Letters of Interest are considered public records.

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Franklin Co. Requests Additional 450,000 Gallons of Water Per Day From KLRWS

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Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington requested a Special Called Meeting of the Henderson City Council on Tuesday afternoon, August 18, 2020.

According to Ellington, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss a request from Franklin County for an additional 450,000 gallons of water per day from the Kerr Lake Regional Water System (KLRWS), of which the City of Henderson is a managing partner.

Discussions about the terms and if KLRWS and its partners will accept are on-going.

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Henderson Mayor Calls Special Meeting on Existing Water Contract

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-Information courtesy the City of Henderson

Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington has requested a Special Called Meeting of the Henderson City Council for Tuesday, August 18, 2020, at 12 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to amend an existing water contract.

This meeting will be held in Council Chambers, 134 Rose Avenue, Henderson, NC.  The public is welcome to observe.

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Failure at Sandy Creek Lift Station Results in Release of Untreated Water

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-Press Release, City of Henderson

The City of Henderson’s Sewer Collection System bypassed approximately 5,000 gallons of untreated water on July 30, 2020, due to a control system failure at Sandy Creek Lift Station. The overflow was approximately 5,000 gallons of untreated water that entered a tributary to Sandy Creek, and 500 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 Collection ORC Joey Long Jr at (252) 226-4492 or HWRF ORC Christy Lipscomb at (252) 430-9387.

Manganese Outbreak

Kerr Lake Regional Water Plant Reports Manganese Outbreak, Says Water is Safe

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-Press Release, City of Henderson

The Kerr Lake Regional Water Plant had a Manganese outbreak from the lake that was more than the current treatment process could control.

The outbreak has cleared at the plant, but some customers may see dingy water depending on the usage in their area. The water is safe to use.

If you have questions, please call Christy M. Lipscomb, Director/ORC Kerr Lake Regional Water Plant at (252) 438-2141 or email clipscomb@ci.henderson.nc.us.