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Evan Day started out the summer as an international studies major at Appalachian State University; but after his summer internship with the City of Statesville, he has decided to pursue a career in public administration. Spending several days a week in one of each City department “was one of the best things I’ve ever done,” according to the 20-year old rising ASU senior. City Manager Ron Smith also made a great impression on Day, who says his ultimate career goal now is to be a city manager. “Being a city manager is a culmination of all the elements of what I saw as an intern. It’s a balance of politics and management. But you have to get things done. You have to move things forward,” he explained. Smith agreed that the internship with Day has been a great experience. “Evan is a bright, young man who inquired with me about the possibility of a summer internship. He ultimately spent ten weeks with our organization, shadowing and learning about every department, experiencing firsthand the variety that comes with being in local government. What started out as a way to help him gain summer credits ended up potentially changing the direction of his education.” While sharing some of his experiences from the summer, Day said that spending time with the police department and riding with an officer “was so valuable to me … With all that is going on and being said about the police right now, I learned so much about the actual work that is done by these officers. Officer (Harold) Sexton provided me with so much valuable information about his job and advice on leadership skills.” Day also said the time with the Planning Department “really stuck out to me. How exciting to work and plan out the City’s future. It was very interesting.” A native of Statesville (“I’ve lived in the same house all my life”) and graduate of the Iredell-Statesville Schools’ Crossroads Arts and Science Early College program, Day entered ASU last year with an associates degree from Mitchell Community College. The plan for now is to graduate in the spring and begin work on his Masters of Public Administration degree. “We thoroughly enjoyed having him with us. We’ll be watching his career with great interest,” added Smith.
Posted by ndavis  On Jul 20, 2021 at 4:41 PM
  
The ElectriCities Annual Report highlighted Statesville's efforts to provide a safe, reliable and affordable power supply.  DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE ARTICLE or read it here: Not too long ago, Jared Wiles, business development specialist for Statesville, drove outside the city limits and found a good vantage point to view the glow from the city. Instead of the orange glow from old bulbs, he saw something completely different – and inspiring. Bright, white lighting from the 7,500+ LED bulbs that Statesville Electric Utilities installed across the city. Statesville Electric Utilities’ LED replacement project started in January of 2019 and all but wrapped up early in 2021. Crews have been working diligently to replace the old lights with energy-efficient LED bulbs. They are now within 200 lights from completion. The power cost savings are phenomenal. The replacement program cut the wattage on the city’s streetlights from 100 to 50 watts. Larger bulbs were cut from 250 to 135 watts, nearly halving power use. While a firm estimate on savings is still in process, other public power communities have reported saving up to 50% on power costs due to similar switchovers to LED. Jared reports that customers are very happy with the changes. Not only is the light brighter and sharper, but also much more affordable for customers. For example, customers can expect to see monthly costs on security lights decrease, with the most common light being reduced from $11 per month to $7 per month. “ElectriCities provided us with the System Betterment Grant, which can be used for anything we choose, but for the past couple of years we’ve used it on our LED project. The ElectriCities marketing staff also designed graphics for us to print, hand out, and use on our website to help spread the word of LED benefits among customers,” Jared says. Statesville Electric Utilities is also focused on load management. By encouraging industrial and commercial customers to either decrease usage or cut production during high demand periods, they significantly reduce their power costs. Jared mentioned that a local restaurant has implemented a time-of-use plan based on recommendations from the utility, saving them and the whole system money. “It’s a beautiful sight to see LED lights glowing over Statesville,” Jared says. “I hope this is the beginning of transforming our city to a greener, more affordable and sustainable place to live.” We hope so, too! INFORMATION ON STATESVILLE'S SECURITY LIGHT PROGRAM
Posted by ndavis  On Jul 01, 2021 at 4:47 PM
  
Statesville City Council approved a $115.69 million budget for 2021-2022 at its June 21 meeting. This budget does not include a tax rate increase, but does contain the $120 annual Solid Waste Fee (SWF) and a 20% increase in water/sewer rates. Before approving the budget, Council again discussed the future of the Solid Waste Fee, which was implemented in 2016 to generate additional revenue after the State eliminated the Business License Fee. City Manager Ron Smith recommended in his proposed 2021-2022 budget that the City replace the SWF with a 3.22-cent tax increase. Deciding against any tax increase, the majority of Council agreed to leave the SWF on the property tax bill. The matter came back up at Monday night’s meeting. Council member C.O. Johnson argued that the fee should be placed on the utility bill, but after Council discussion, made a motion to abolish the SWF completely and make up the lost revenue by using $1.2 million of the City reserves. This motion failed 5-4, with Mayor Costi Kutteh breaking the tie and voting against the proposal. Council members Fred Foster, C.O. Johnson, Steve Johnson and John Staford voted in favor of the motion, with members Doris Allison, David Jones, Amy Lawton and William Morgan voting against it. A follow-up motion by C.O. Johnson to bill for the fee on the utility bill failed 6-2. Council also voted 6-1 to hold the City’s election in March, 2022. Because of a delay in receiving the 2020 census data, any changes in the City’s ward boundaries would not be finalized before the scheduled October 5, 2021, election. State legislation could allow local governments to go ahead and hold their at-large elections in October. The question for Statesville was whether it should have an election for mayor and its two at-large seats in October and then conduct an election for Wards 2, 3 and 5 in March as part of the state primary election. The majority of Council believed it was less confusing and more beneficial to hold one election in March, 2021, with all the candidates on one ballot. More information on filing dates and new ward boundaries will be released as it becomes available. In other business, Council approved a change in the City’s sewer rates for all residential and commercial sewer-only customers. Currently, there are about 56 residents and five businesses who are charged a flat rate for their sewer services from the City. Because of new residential construction in areas where the City does not provide water and electric services, there are an additional 700 customers with sewer-only that receive sewer bills based on their water usage from another utility. To simplify the process, make it more cost-effective and support the City’s transition to AMI, staff evaluated recent billing and proposed a new flat rate schedule for sewer-only customers. Council approved the new monthly rates: Residential Inside customers will be billed $43.02; Residential Outside customers will be billed $123.50. Commercial Inside customers will be billed $165.83; Commercial Outside customers will be billed $594.41. The fees will go into effect on the July billing period. Recently, Statesville discovered that Harris Park, located on Lerain Court was actually owned by the Iredell-Statesville Schools. The property is used by the City Recreation and Parks Department as a public park and playground. Council agreed to purchase the property from I-SS for $30,6000. There is only one Council meeting in July, scheduled for Monday, July 19, 2021.
Posted by ndavis  On Jun 23, 2021 at 1:18 PM
  
The City of Statesville has released its 2020 Water Quality Report and results show the City's drinking water meets or exceeds every health standard developed by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Statesville’s Water Quality Report is prepared by the City's Water Resources Department to meet the EPA's National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR). It details drinking water sources, the testing methodology, the substances detected in the water and the levels of those substances. It can be viewed online at statesvillenc.net/waterreport and hard copies can be obtained by calling 704-878-3441.  The report gives the background on Statesville’s water system, explains the testing and many of the terms used in the information, and provides a variety of useful charts. "We are very proud of our success in providing Statesville with a reliable supply of safe and affordable drinking water," said Harry Hull, Statesville’s Water Resources Plant Supervisor. "Our mission is to support public safety and public health and to enhance regional economic development. That means ensuring our water continues to be a good value." Protection of drinking water, however, is everyone’s responsibility. Simple ways to protect our drinking water sources is to dispose of chemicals properly and take used motor oil to a recycling center. Protecting our storm drains is a very beneficial way to protect our water sources. Resident can also help by keeping debris away from the drains and reporting any issues with storm drains to 866-4-1-STORM. Statesville has been serving water to the community for many decades and is committed to providing its customers with water that meets more than 150 state and federal drinking water standards. The City draws its source water from the Catawba River Basin on Lookout Shoals Lake and has a backup source from South Yadkin River. The city also has a few interconnects with other close municipalities for emergency or regular use if needed. Statesville Water Resources
Posted by ndavis  On Apr 16, 2021 at 11:45 AM
  
Statesville firefighters recently completed the necessary training for their new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), purchased with the help of a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).  Following the completion of the classroom training, the firefighters completed an air consumption course to determine their air consumption capacities while going through a series of strenuous exercises. The training took place at the Fire Training Grounds where the firefighters climbed a series of stairs, hoisted fire hose 3-stories, climbed out of the tower using a ladder and then hustle to an area where they used a Kiser Sled to simulate additional work .  Their air consumption and blood pressure numbers were monitored. “Each person has different capacities and it’s important to know their limitations before they enter a hazard area wearing their SCBA,” said Deputy Chief Glen Kurfees. The old SCBA equipment is 10 years old and no longer meets current standards. The new equipment will increase firefighter safety, effectiveness, and efficiency, allowing for improved community service.   The total cost for the new equipment is $413,410; the FEMA AFG grant provided $375,827 and City Council approved the 10 percent matching funds of $37,582.  
Posted by ndavis  On Apr 07, 2021 at 8:40 AM
  
Focus on Infrastructure: One of the City’s hottest topics is “infrastructure”. It’s always been around, but because Statesville is growing, expect it to be brought up more frequently during Council meetings, budget sessions and in the local media as updates on these important, and expensive, projects begin to impact and improve Statesville’s quality of life. Here is a review of some of the projects, starting with two of the biggest infrastructure projects happening underground. WATERLINE INSTALLATION: Under construction is a $2.3 million water line extension, primarily built to serve Larkin Commerce Park, located on Amity Hill Rd. at exit 45 off I-77. The installation of the line at Larkin has been completed. Drivers along Amity Hill Rd. on the west side of I-77 will see the installation continue along Amity Hill Rd. to the Pine Forest subdivision. The line will also extend to Moose Club Rd. These water line extensions will tie into the City’s existing water system and help in economic development efforts in Statesville’s southern end. SEWER REHABILITATION: Another major infrastructure project underway involves sewer line rehabilitation in the Sullivan Rd. and Margaret Drive (off Salisbury Rd.) areas. A camera was used to explore the existing sewer lines to determine which sections will need replacing and where it will be possible to insert a new lining into the older pipe. This is a $2.1 million project that will involve lane closures and traffic rerouting during the day. Customers will not experience any disruption in their sewer service during construction. While initially funded from the Water/Sewer fund balance, the City has applied for a loan to pay for both projects. INFRASTRUCTURE PRIORITIES The City keeps a running list of important infrastructure projects it hopes to tackle in the future. To balance the project needs vs. available resources (staff and funds), staff and City Council continue to prioritize them according to necessity, balancing how quickly it needs to be done versus what funds are available. On the list are areas where aging water/sewer lines need replacing, where stream erosion is threatening City infrastructure, and where lines need to be extended or enlarged to serve growing areas around the City. Although NCDOT handles most of Statesville’s road construction projects, the City does try to provide a significant financial share of the projects in order to accelerate the project. Recently, the City received word from NCDOT that the following road projects were being funded: The City has committed to help fund the construction of the Brookdale Drive connector from Brookdale Drive to US 21 (Sullivan Rd.) and the relocation of Bethlehem Rd. at the Statesville airport. The City’s total match for both projects is about $3.5 million. ABOVE GROUND INFRASTRUCTURE Not all infrastructure projects are under ground. Currently, the City is developing plans to build a new fire station on Wilson Lee Blvd to replace Station 1 on Meeting St. Plans for a new Operations Center are also being developed. This project involves expanding and refurbishing the current facility on Winston Ave. that houses Electric Utilities, Sanitation, Streets, Water/Sewer, and Fleet Maintenance. We’ll keep you updated on these and other projects as Statesville continues to grow!
Posted by ndavis  On Mar 26, 2021 at 10:38 AM
  
Human Resources Director Mildred Minor is retiring this month following more than 48 years of public service with the City of Statesville. Right out of college, Mildred Minor took a job in 1972 with the City’s Community Development Department as the Assistant Director and worked there until the program was abolished in 1983. That’s when she was hired as the Human Resources Director by then City Manager Dale Emerson. Recently married and anxious to impress her new colleagues at her first department head meeting, Minor nervously introduced herself using her maiden name. “There I was trying to make a good first impression and I couldn’t even get my name right,” Minor recalls. Working under eight different city managers and having numerous office locations, Minor has seen many changes in the City’s employee policies and processes. But through it all, “I’ve benefitted most from being able to make a difference in someone’s life. I have been able to sit down with employees and help them understand why things happened the way they happened. I have sat and listened and walked them through the different processes,” she explained. “It’s been very rewarding.” Minor has seen a number of changes in the human resources profession during her tenure. “Technological advancements associated with the way we do things in HR,” have been challenging, she said. “Also there have been many changes in market conditions, HR laws and regulations. I have been an advocate for the need to stay competitive in the job market in regard to pay. That has been a huge challenge.” But Minor said she has “always enjoyed the opportunities to engage and develop lasting relationships with employees from all levels within the organization as well as being afforded the opportunities to establish relationships with external groups. And I know I will take them with me into retirement.” Retirement for Minor means more time for teaching piano lessons and sharing her musical talents with her church, Logan Presbyterian Church, USA, where she serves as minister of music. “And of course, I’m going to spend more time with family. I’ll be driving my car up and down interstate 40,” she added, referring to visits with her son, Trevor, and grandson, Skyler. Minor is a Statesville native, who attended N.C. A&T, UNC-Charlotte and Mitchell Community College. She is a member of the N.C International Personnel Manager’s Association, the International Personnel Manager’s Association, Organizational Manager’s Personnel Association and has served on the Iredell United Way, Employment Security Commission’s Advisory Committee and Iredell County Personnel Association. City Manager Ron Smith said he has enjoyed working with Minor and considers her an “important part of the City’s management team. I appreciate her perspective and understanding of the human resources department. Her leadership will be missed.” Minor was honored at Monday night’s Council meeting with a special proclamation (see attached). Her last day is March 31, 2021. Smith will announce the new Human Resources Director next week.
Posted by ndavis  On Mar 16, 2021 at 2:14 PM
  
2020 Annual Crime Report Presented by Statesville Police Chief David Addison
Posted by ndavis  On Mar 04, 2021 at 11:10 AM
  
Statesville’s city-wide election scheduled for October 5, 2021, as well as dozens of other North Carolina municipalities, are likely to be impacted by the anticipated delay of the 2020 census data. Because Statesville’s election system includes six voting districts, there are several guidelines it must follow: (1) If the census shows a 5% increase or decrease in population, by law, Statesville’s districts must be redrawn. (2) The populations in each district must be comparatively even, with the population in the largest district no more than 10% of the population of the smallest district. (3) A directive specific to Statesville is that there must be two wards with a population that contains a majority of minority citizens. As it stands now, Statesville and other municipalities with voting districts are waiting for more information on the timeframe for receiving the 2020 Census data. It is not known if the N.C. General Assembly will take up the matter and make any changes to the state laws that guide municipal elections. By state law, most municipal elections are held in off-years. There are several alternatives; Statesville holds its election on the first Tuesday in October, followed by a runoff, if necessary, on the first Tuesday in November. The requisite for having two majority minority wards was issued in 1985 when the City’s method of electing members of the City Council was declared a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Federal Court. The Statesville NAACP began the efforts to change the system around 1984, and many community organizations – including the Statesville Chamber of Commerce – supported the endeavor. The Federal Court and City officials were able to agree on a method and it went into effect for the 1985 election. Prior to that time, the City was divided into six wards, with a Council member representing each ward. This ward system determined the residency of the candidate, but the candidates were elected by all the City’s qualified voters. The Federal order amended this system and required that there be six single-member wards where the candidates for each ward seat must be a resident of the ward in which they seek election, and voted upon only by qualified voters of the ward to which seat they were seeking election. It also allowed for two at-large seats that would be elected by all the voters. This is when Council went from six to eight members and when holding staggered two-year elections began, with some seats open for election at different times. Wards 1, 4, 6 are held one year and wards 2, 3, 5, plus the two at-large members and mayor are held two years later. In 1985, the ward boundaries were redrawn, making wards three and six the majority minority wards. They have retained that designation since that time.
Posted by ndavis  On Mar 03, 2021 at 2:06 PM
  
By Ron Smith Statesville City Manager rsmith@statesvillenc.net Big decisions and projects take time. That’s why the best way to describe City Council’s most recent actions is “progress”. The decision to move forward with redeveloping the Vance Hotel, the approval of a location to house a new fire station one, and the authorization to finance two major utility projects are important actions that indicate Statesville is moving in the right direction on the future growth of the City. The Vance Hotel, the keystone of our beautiful downtown, has needed redevelopment for many years. There has been much interest in the hotel, and the City has received proposals with merit, but for various reasons have not made it to the point of execution. The redevelopment of a 100-year-old hotel is not an easy one, and the progress toward that redevelopment has been painfully slow. Over the last two years the City has been working toward a development agreement with a third party that will bring life back to the building. City Council approved that agreement at their last meeting. Is it perfect? Nothing is, but it is progress and my hope is that this project contributes to the betterment of Statesville. “The Rock”, or Fire Station 1, is located on Meeting Street downtown and is almost 70 years old. The engines and associated companies in that building run the most fire and medical calls of all four stations, but the building is tired and in need of major renovation. The City has been examining replacement options for several years, and at times it has been a contentious process. However, after reviewing several potential locations, one site has come to the top that will provide the best replacement coverage for Station 1. City Council unanimously voted to move forward with that project and we hope to have a new Station 1 within the next 18 months to two years. Finally, but not least importantly, the City Council moved forward with the financing of two major utility projects. The first is a major infrastructure project which includes updating the sewer lines along Sullivan Road and a portion of Salisbury Road. This overhaul is needed to fix longstanding problems with those lines. The second is an economic development project, which will finance the extension of a water line to serve the Larkin Commerce Park. This project will bring investment and jobs to Statesville, and hopefully kickstart this development that originally was annexed into the City some twelve years ago. Of course, there have been many past actions that have helped Statesville move forward. But it seems that these three major decisions, coming all in one meeting, are worthy of noting. They are the result of multi-month - and in some cases – multi-year efforts and will have long term impacts on the City’s future.
Posted by ndavis  On Mar 01, 2021 at 4:11 PM
  
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