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Clayton High and NCDOT Presentations, Employee Introductions and More set for Monday's Work Session

08/18/2017

We hope you will join us Monday, Aug. 21 for the Clayton Town Council work session beginning 6:30 p.m. at The Clayton Center, 111 East Second Street in Downtown Clayton.

At the work session, the Council will set its agenda for the Sept. 5 meeting and take a first look at the matters up for consideration. While the Council isn't scheduled to vote on anything, the work session is used to receive special reports and introductions.

You can view the full agenda packet online here, or click here to download a PDF copy. Here are the highlights:

Clayton High School Update

Clayton High School Principal Bennett Jones will update the Council on his school's and students' accomplishments from the past year. 

Bennett has even greater goals and programs planned for the school, students, staff and community, and he will share that vision with the Council.

Employee Introductions

The Council will meet the Town's two newest hires, property maintenance workers Jeremy Riddle and Holden Blackmon. The Council will also hear from three recently promoted employees – utility coordinator Tim Callihan, utility compliance technician Brandon Carroll and electrical crew leader John Huber – to learn about their new roles with the Town.

NCDOT Synchronized Streets Presentation

James Dunlop, a congestion management engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation, will give the council a presentation on a type of intersection known as synchronized streets. The presentation is informational only and does not directly relate to any upcoming road projects.

Setting the Sept. 5 Consent Agenda

While the Council does not vote at work sessions, routine and otherwise uncontroversial items may be grouped together onto a Consent Agenda, which the Council approves together in a single vote at the following meeting. Here are the items up for placement on the Sept. 5 Consent Agenda:

Variable Credit Card Fees for Utilities

Staff proposes moving to a percentage-based convenience fee for customers who use a credit card to pay utility bills. The Town currently charges a flat fee of $3.95, which is no longer enough to cover the fees charged by our credit card processor.

The new fee would range from 3 percent to 5 percent of the total bill. The exact fee would be calculated instantly and shared with the customer before the payment had been completed. That way, if the customer felt the fee to be too high, he or she could choose to use another method of payment. The same fee structure would apply to debit cards.

Last September, the Council approved the same change for non-utility payments, such as permitting fees, parks and recreation programs and cemetery plot purchases. Staff has received no complaints since the change.

Simplifying Residential Utility Deposit Structure

In 2012, the Town tweaked its deposits schedule to encourage new residential utility customers to pay their bills using automatic bank drafting. 

In the past five years, that structure has confused customers and increased the staff time required for collections.

Staff proposes moving to a schedule where everyone pays the same deposits.

Two New Inspection Fees

Staff proposes adding two new fees: a $50 charge when an applicant changes contractors or subcontractors on a project; and a $75 to establish temporary utility services, such as electricity or gas.

Each of these processes requires considerable staff time, which the new fees would help to offset. In setting the proposed prices, staff looked at the fees charged by other municipalities and counties in our area.

Adding a Fifth Building Inspector

Staff requests budgeting $55,000 to add a fifth full-time building inspector position. As an incentive for Novo Nordisk's $1.8 billion expansion project, the Town agreed to provide the equivalent of a full-time inspector for that construction. The activity at Novo Nordisk has reached the point that requires the position.

Fire Advisory Board Annual Update

Clayton Fire Battalion Chief Matt Sutphin will give the Council an update on the Clayton Fire Department Advisory Board, which he chairs. Comprising residents of the Town of Clayton and the Claytex fire district, the board assists the Clayton fire chief with budgeting and provides a venue for open communication.

Setting Sept. 5 Public Hearings

The Town Council will take a first look at the following items and consider scheduling public hearings for them on the Sept. 5 agenda:

Rezoning Portions of Two Shopping Centers

Staff seeks to rezone 22.04 acres located in two separate shopping centers along U.S. 70 Business to B-3 Highway Business from B-3 SUD Highway Business Special-Use District. The land is owned separately by Eagledale Realty LLC and DDRM Clayton Corners. LLC.

In the Walmart-anchored Clayton Town Center shopping center, the rezoning would affect the western section of the complex, which includes The Dollar Tree and Fiesta Mexicana. In the Lowes Foods-anchored Clayton Corners shopping center, the rezoning would affect businesses stretching from St. George Subs to La Cocina.

Special-use districts require all potential uses to go through the special use process in order to operate, regardless of what the base zoning district permits. That extra step can take up to 90 days before a new tenant can open for business in the shopping centers.

In 2015, the Town Council directed staff to examine the locations of special-use districts and consider removing them on a case-by-case basis. The Planning Board recommended approval of the rezoning on July 24.

Development Agreement for 231 East Second Street

Last June, the Town posted a request for proposals seeking redevelopment of the historic brick building at 231 E. 2nd St., which has variously served the Town of Clayton as our town hall, public library, police station and fire station since its construction in 1928. The building has been underutilized since 2002, when Town Hall moved down Second Street to our current location in The Clayton Center.

On Monday, Town Attorney Katherine Ross will introduce a development agreement for the Council to consider.

The Council declared the property as surplus in May 2016 and rezoned it to B-1 Central Business in August 2016. On June 5, the Council granted staff authorization to transfer the building to the Clayton Downtown Development Association.

Capps Tract Rezoning

Withers Ravenel seeks rezoning of 36.318 acres of farm land owned by the Stella Puckett Capps Estate located north of the Comfort Suites, Biscuitville, Clayton Fitness and other business off U.S. 70 Business.

The request would rezone 34.885 acres to R-10 Residential-10 from R-E Residential-Estate; 0.601 acres to B-3 Highway Business from R-E Residential-Estate; 0.673 acres to R-10 Residential-10 from B-3 Highway Business; and 0.159 acres to R-10 Residential-10 from B-3 Highway Business. See the staff report for a detailed breakdown and map of the areas proposed for rezoning.

The rezoning request is in anticipation of a potential right-of-way abandonment and realignment of a portion of Enterprise Drive, as well as a potential future subdivision request. Neither of those plans has been submitted formally at this time. The Planning Board recommended approval of the rezoning on July 24.

Need More Info?

If you have any questions about the agenda or any other Town-related issues, please feel free to email Public Information Officer Stacy Beard or call her at 919-358-0348. You may also email Assistant Public Information Officer John Hamlin or call him at 919-480-0170.

Have a great weekend, and we hope to see you Monday night.

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