1. Meeting opened by Mayor Jeffrey T. Odham. Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Royal. Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Roll Call.
3. Approve Agenda.
4. Request and Petition of Citizens.
This section of the agenda is titled Requests and Petitions of Citizens. This is an opportunity for public comment, and we thank you for coming to the Board of Aldermen meeting tonight to share your views. We value all citizen input.
Speaker comments are limited to a maximum of 4 minutes during the public comment period. At the conclusion of 4 minutes, each speaker shall leave the podium. Comments will be directed to the full board, not to an individual board member or staff member. Although the board is interested in hearing your comments, speakers should not expect any comments, action, or deliberation from the board on any issue raised during the public comment period.
In the board’s discretion, it may refer issues to the appropriate city officials or staff for further investigation. If an organized group is present to speak on a common issue, please designate one person to present the group’s comment, which shall be limited to a maximum of 4 minutes.
* See note at bottom of agenda
5. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Close Specific Streets for the Ghent Neighborhood Mardi Gras Parade and Block Party.
(Ward 1) The Ghent Neighborhood Association has requested the 1400-1900 blocks of Spencer Ave. be closed to vehicular traffic on Feb. 18 from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the neighborhood’s annual Mardi Gras parade. It is also requested that the 1700-1900 blocks of Spencer Ave. be closed to vehicular traffic from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. for a block party. A memo from Kari Warren, Director of Parks and Recreation, is attached along with a copy of the event application and a map of the area.
6. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Close Specific Streets for Vision Forward’s Black History Month Parade.
(Wards 1 and 2) Victor Taylor with Vision Forward has requested the 400-600 blocks of Fort Totten Drive, 1300-1600 blocks of Trent Blvd., 400 block of First St. 700-1200 blocks of Broad St., and 400-600 blocks of George St. be closed to vehicular traffic on Feb.18 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for the annual Black History Month parade that will commence at 12 noon. In the event of inclement weather, a rain date of Feb. 25, 2023, has been requested. A memo from Mrs. Warren is attached along with copies of the application and a map of the parade route.
7. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Call for a Public Hearing to Amend the Ordinance for the Schedule of Fees and Charges Relative to Parking Rates.
At the Board’s retreat in November, a discussion was held about downtown parking and the City’s leased parking lots. The current monthly rate for limited leased parking Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. is $20 per space and unlimited leased parking is $30 per space. There has been no increase in these rates since at least 2011. Staff recommends adjusting the limited rate to $35 monthly and unlimited to $45 monthly. The increase would be effective April 01, 2023. A public hearing is sought for Jan. 24 to receive public input on the proposed increases.
8. Approve Minutes.
Minutes from the Oct. 25, 2022, Nov. 8 and Nov. 22 closed sessions and Dec. 13 regular meeting are provided for review and approval.
9. Conduct a Public Hearing on the Rezoning of 910 and 914 Bloomfield Street; and
a) Consider Adopting a Statement of Zoning Consistency or Inconsistency; and
b) Consider Adopting an Ordinance to Rezone 910 and 914 Bloomfield Street from R-6 Residential to C-4 Neighborhood Business District.
(Ward 5) The Redevelopment Commission has requested to rezone two parcels totaling 0.252 +/- acres from R-6 Residential to C-4 Neighborhood Business District. The parcels are located at 910 and 914 Bloomfield St. The Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the request at its Nov. 1 meeting. After conducting a public hearing, the Board is asked to consider adopting a statement of zoning consistency or inconsistency. If a statement of consistency is adopted, the Board is to then consider the adoption of an ordinance to rezone the property. A memo from Jessica Rhue, Director of Development Services, is attached along with a PowerPoint presentation detailing the request and providing pictures of the subject property.
10. Presentation by Redevelopment Commission on Proposed Housing Project.
Beth Walker, a Commissioner on the Redevelopment Commission, will share a presentation on a proposed housing project.
11. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Sale 2706 McKinley Avenue.
(Ward 2) After receiving an offer of $2,500 from Stephanie Coward-Leary for the purchase of 2706 McKinley Avenue, the Board adopted a resolution to initiate the upset bid process. The bid was advertised, but no additional bids received. If the property is sold for the initial offer, the City will receive $232.90, and the County will receive $2,267.10.
The tax value of the 0.12-acre lot is $4,500. The property was acquired jointly by the City and County through tax foreclosure in June of 2017. At that time, the city was owed $475.06 in liens, taxes, interest, penalties, fees, and costs. The County was owed $2,744.06 in taxes, interest, penalties, fees, and costs. A memo from Brenda Blanco, City Clerk, is attached.
12. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving Extended Constructions Hours for Cape Fear Construction at 4115 Dr. MLK Jr. Boulevard.
(Ward 6) Cape Fear Construction is building a 252-unit apartment complex at 4115 Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. known as The Proximity New Bern. City ordinances confine construction noise to the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. but provides that an exemption can be provided with approval of the Governing Board. Cape Fear has requested an exemption for the period of Feb. 1 through July 1 to allow for deliveries of concrete, running of generators, and other construction-related activities. The project site is not immediately surrounded by residences that may be impacted by the request. A memo from Ms. Blanco is attached along with the request for an exemption.
13. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving a Memorandum of Understanding with CarolinaEast Health System for EMS Housing and Ambulance Storage.
CarolinaEast Health System developed a contingency plan to provide for the strategic location and storage of ambulances and personnel in the event of an emergency that necessitates the evacuation of the center’s emergency medical services (“EMS”) facility. The proposed memorandum of understanding provides the city will house EMS personnel and store ambulances at its Fire-Rescue locations on Neuse Blvd. and Elizabeth Ave., to the extent of its ability. A memo from Fire Chief Robert Boyd is attached.
14. Consider Adopting an Ordinance for the Demolition of 1111 Cedar St.
(Ward 2) A letter of minimum housing deficiencies was sent to the owner of 1111 Cedar Street on April 21, 2020. Heirs subsequently expressed a desire to sell the property, but the home sustained major structural damage in a fire and never sold. A complaint was filed on May 9, 2022, alleging the structure unfit for human habitation. A hearing was scheduled for June 2, 2022, but none of the heirs attended. To date, there has been no further contact from the heirs, permits have not been obtained for the necessary repairs, and the structure remains noncompliant. Public Works estimates the cost of demolition at $10,909.50. Pictures of the property and a complete list of chronological events are attached along with a memo from Mrs. Rhue.
15. Consider Adopting a Budget Ordinance Amendment for FY2022-23.
This budget amendment will appropriate $55,000 from the Redevelopment Commission’s fund balance to its redevelopment fund as requested and approved by the Commission on Dec. 14, 2022. The funds will be used for expenses related to the rehabilitation of 911 Eubanks St., asbestos work at 908 Bloomfield St. (Mccotter House), the purchase of 910 and 914 Bloomfield St., and lastly the demolition of 908, 910 and 914 Bloomfield St. A memo from Kim Ostrom, Director of Finance, is attached.
a) Alderman Kinsey is asked to make an appointment to fill the remainder of Tony Bryant’s term on the Historic Preservation Commission, which expires June 30, 2024. Mr. Bryant resigned on Dec. 13, 2022. The new appointee will serve in Seat 4.
b) Alderman Best is asked to make an appointment to fill the remainder of Annette Stone’s term on the Historic Preservation Commission. Ms. Stone resigned Jan. 4, 2023 as she is no longer a resident of the City of New Bern. The new appointee will serve in Seat 5 through June 30, 2023.
17. Attorney’s Report.
18. City Manager’s Report.
19. New Business.
20. Closed Session.
Individuals with disabilities requiring special assistance should call 639-2931 no later than 3 p.m. the date of the meeting.
Read the full packet here.
By Brenda Blanco, City Clerk
* Editor’s Note: During the Petition of Citizens (POC), the board has two rules that have been troublesome to some who have voiced their opinions or would like to. One — the mayor asks people to state their name and address. In the past, former Alderman Bengel would talk about citizens and stated their addresses on her Internet/radio show. She received the information when they addressed the board during Petition of Citizens or a public hearing. This has been perceived as intimidating. The other pertains to addressing the board, “Comments will be directed to the full board, not to an individual board member or staff member.” The Board of Aldermen can have these rules in place, but they cannot enforce them because it would infringe on peoples’ First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
On May 10, 2021, I asked the BOA to consider changing the rules as outlined in this article. People want to participate but are apprehensive.
If you want to address the board tomorrow, sign up before the meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall located on the corner of Pollock and Craven Streets.
By Wendy Card, Editor