NMCA President Dave Modeen participated in a webex organized by John DeWorken, District 1 Councilmember and supported by Assistant City Manager, Shannon Levrin, and City Communications Manager, Leslie Fletcher on May 15th. Key points were:
1. The city anticipates a reduction in this year’s General Fund of about $5-7 million on what is typically ~ $90 million budget. The City budget process continues as scheduled.
2. Asbestos remediation of the Bobby Pearse Center is complete. City Parks & Rec staff is awaiting response to its Request for Bids on a scope of work returning the Bobby Pearse Center to service, as well as improved parking, storm water drainage and access consistent with the American Disabilities Act requirements. John anticipates subsequent Council funding and contract approval to support work completion by end of year.
3. Partly in response to NMCA and other neighborhood association and citizen comments on last summer’s revisions to Sec. 19-6.2. – Landscaping, buffering, and screening, City Manager John McDonough, has prioritized the review and updating of two ordinances. One is to review and enhance Sec. 19-6.9. – Single-family residential infill standards. The other is Sec. 19-6.3. – Tree protection. The latter will be altered in scope, with a new title of Tree Protection and Removal. Assistant City Manager Levrin will lead both efforts, with the first City staff discussion starting this coming week. Interestingly. She noted a review of the tree canopy led by the City arborist identified that the City’s canopy has decreased from 43% in 2000, to 35% in 2010 and most recently under 30%.
Shannon noted Neighborhood Associations will be provided a resident survey request in June, as well as draft ordinance revisions in July for comment. The City Manager would like to have a “final” draft for Council review in August. Staff acknowledges it is an aggressive schedule, but reflects the importance.
Any specific comments or ideas from residents in the interim are welcome and can be provided via NMCA or directly to Shannon at Slavrin@greenvillesc.gov
4. Pedestrian Safety – the City is assessing the value and effectiveness of alternate cross walk signaling devices to enhance pedestrian safety and ensure more compliant driver behavior. Designs would include a pedestrian-initiated sequence with distinctive yellow and then red lighting, potential lowering of arms, such as at a railroad crossing, etc. A detailed description of one such approach is provided at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAWK_beacon.
5. City staffing – focused efforts are underway to hire an Economic Development Manager. The role is to provide a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship elements in the pursuit of corporations to locate or expand their presence in the City. John noted the progress in the hiring of a permanent Chief of Police.
Update on City Budget, BP Center and Infill Ordinance