City Bulletin
16

As we come to the end of the year 2013 I would like to take a few minutes to reflect on the year in Statesville, North Carolina.

2013 was a year of great change in our senior management team. Larry Pressley became our City Manager, Dennis Hutchens our Fire Chief, and Kent Houpe our Electric Utilities Director. All of these men have a great deal of experience in their respective fields and have hit the ground running. It is great when we can hire existing employees to fill significant leadership positions.

Speaking of new folks, how about four new members of the Statesville City Council? We are proud of the work that John Gregory, Cecil Stallard, Ron Matthews and Bonita Eisele provided to the citizens, and we are also extremely excited of the work that will be done by Mike Schlesinger, Jarrod Phifer, William Morgan and Arnold Watt. We look forward to working together for the betterment of the community and have already seen evidence of the diligence that these four new members will exhibit in their service.

Economic Development continues to be one of our highest priorities. Probably the most exciting thing on the industrial recruitment front is the partnership that we created to build and develop a new 62,000 square foot shell building. In partnership with Pate Dawson Company, The Keith Corporation, Iredell County, and Statesville Regional Development, construction of the shell building is underway.  The first shell building attracted numerous lookers and finally landed Pate Dawson Company, which has expanded already to over 100,000 square feet of manufacturing facility. In an economic environment where the public sector is oftentimes being required to construct these buildings, we were privileged to have facilitated a project that will be completed with predominantly private dollars.

We awarded the contract for the expansion of the Third Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. This $20 million plus project will give us the ability to treat wastewater more efficiently and in larger quantities in the future.  An additional benefit is the interest rate of 1.93% per year that we were able to obtain.  Another example of our staff and Council’s diligence is the attainment of a $4.8 million loan at zero per cent interest to improve Fourth Creek Wastewater treatment plant.

The City received numerous awards during the year. The State Main Street organization gave us several major awards for the completion of our streetscape and City Hall. Centralina Council of Governments recognized the streetscape as well. For the 9th year out of the last 11, Statesville and Mooresville were named the #1 Micropolitan areas in the country among nearly 600 eligible areas. Our public power partner Electricities, gave awards to the City for Financial Stability, Service Excellence, Energy Efficiency, Competitive Business Environment.

We continue to focus a great deal of energy on our airport. The airport has been and continues to be a catalyst for economic growth in the community. We completed the acquisition of property for the South Parallel Taxiway and even had enough grant money to purchase additional property in the vicinity. We became familiar with terms such as apron expansion, blast pads, perimeter fencing and relocation expenses, all to attract even more aircraft to our wonderful airport. We are perched for additional growth and need to continue to seek federal and state funds to complete the South Parallel Taxiway to provide greater safety and opportunity for Lowe’s, Newell Rubbermaid, various race teams and others who house their aircraft at Statesville Regional Airport.

We have received numerous grants through the year, particularly in Fire and Police Department activities that have provided needed benefits for the citizens of Statesville. These grants allow us to offer everything from Smoke Alarms to Resource Officers in the public schools to assistance with eliminating domestic violence.

One accomplishment that is a source of great pride is the resurfacing of Commerce Boulevard. After considerable discussion, facilitated in part by the Statesville Chamber of Commerce, an agreement was reached between the landowners and the City to upgrade the road.

We continue our enthusiasm about the Streetscape project as the next phase continues. A committee to develop plans for the Highway 115 corridor has begun meeting regularly and plans are being made for the realignment of White Mill Road. I am hopeful that in the near future a new community Emergency Services will be located on that site, giving us a better opportunity to serve the Highway 115 corridor and areas to the south. We also are excited about the opportunities to extend the Streetscape in downtown Statesville on W. Broad Street from the square to Mitchell Community College. The acquisition of the parking lot on Meeting Street, with the assistance of the Downtown Statesville Development Corporation, will provide even more convenient parking. Essential improvements to water and wastewater lines will be made as part of the project.

A proposed “Love’s Truck Plaza” has dominated the press and the conversation around the City throughout the year. I have no idea when the matter may be resolved but it has created considerable interest and feelings on many sides of the issue. From the City’s perspective we have been diligent in doing everything within reason to make the site safer and more traffic friendly should the final determination be that the truck plaza may be located at the proposed site.

And how about those darn parking tickets? Who could have imagined the uproar? I hope that by processing all of our past due tickets, we can now monitor collection of all City-imposed fines in a more timely manner. Thanks to all who are helping us get through this process.

We continue to be official co-sponsor of a number of great events for our community including PumpkinFest, Statesville Criterium Bike Race, Friday after Five and the Carolina BalloonFest, which celebrated its 40th year with huge crowds and marvelous weather. We think our co-sponsorship of these community events is an important part of the quality of life in our City.

A return visit from Tom Marshburn was a source of great pride for all of us. He is a great American, a great astronaut, and most importantly, a great Statesvillian.

The Barn Quilt display on the side of the building facing Meeting Street above our downtown Farmers Market is magnificent. This week, a beautiful 'Statesville' sign will be unveiled and more quilts will go up soon. Money from successful Community Appearance Commission events paid for it all. What a wonderful way to dress up a gateway into our government center!

The most difficult part of giving a year in review report is balancing the information about the City’s accomplishments with my own comments about their success and significance.  So just let me say about all these items I mentioned …. they couldn’t have been done without the efforts of our 400 employees in the City and the work that they do every day to make this a better place for each of us to live. They are a hardworking, diligent, concerned group who strive to do their jobs and do them well. I am also grateful to the people who sit at this rostrum with me, several of whom are new to the job, but their efforts and interests are appreciated, along with those who have recently retired from service with the Statesville City Council.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to each of you. We hope that 2014 is the most prosperous year that you have experienced.

Posted in: Home Page

Nancy Davis
Public Affairs Director
704-878-3586
email Nancy