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New park among items on packed agenda


Shannon Keith

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Land for a new city park is among items on a packed agenda for the Greenville City Council as the board decided to combine business that was to be discussed on Monday with items scheduled for its meeting tonight.

The Monday meeting was canceled because of icy road conditions. The council will meet at 6 p.m. on the third floor of City Hall, 200 W. Fifth St. The meeting will include a public comment period, four public hearings and discussion on more than a dozen other items of new and old business.

Among other items, the council will discuss purchasing about 6.2 acres of land to build a park in the Westpointe area. The property on Stantonsburg Road is priced at $225,000.

Greenville’s Recreation and Parks Director Gary Fenton said that area of the city was identified as being deficient in neighborhood parks. “That area really needs a park,” Fenton said. “Some of that area doesn’t even look or feel like it is part of the city. I think this park will be a wonderful addition for people living over there.”

City staff said development in the area west of the hospital district is projected to increase during the next five years, and the park will be developed to provide recreation opportunities to future residents.

“We have been pursuing this for some time,” Fenton said. “I’m excited to get things going in that part of the city.”

Funding for the purchase was included in the city’s 2016-17 fiscal year budget. The budget allocated about $271,000 for the project. The remaining funds will be used to develop a master plan for the park and be put towards future construction costs.

Also at tonight’s meeting, the City Council will consider a request from East Carolina University to rezone a historic home at 601 E. Fifth St. from residential-single family to office-residential. The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved the request during its December meeting.

The house — known as the Proctor-Yongue House — is among five houses in Greenville’s College View Historic District that were scheduled to be demolished or relocated as part of a future expansion project at the chancellor’s residence at 603 E. Fifth St.

During the June meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission, ECU officially submitted certificate of appropriateness (COA) applications to demolish or relocate the five houses that surround the chancellor’s residence. COAs must be issued if a home within a historical district is moved or demolished.

ECU later withdrew the COA request for the Proctor-Yongue House after the commission asked if the university would consider leaving it at its current location. The university agreed to leave the house on the property if it could be rezoned for use as an office space.

Also at tonight’s meeting, the City Council is scheduled to:

• Discuss the results of the 2016 Citizens Survey, which was administered by mail, phone and online from Oct. 1 to Dec. 9. The survey, which is the first sent out in Greenville since 2013, asked participants to give opinions about the quality of city services, including police, fire-rescue and sanitation; the quality of the city’s parks and recreation facilities; the quality of the city’s streets and sidewalks; the management of traffic flow within the city; the condition of municipal buildings; and what areas should the city spend more or less money on. Results of the survey were weighted by race/ethnicity and age to ensure the demographics of the survey sample were comparable to the actual demographics of Greenville's population. City staff said the results of the survey will be used by the City Council during its annual planning retreat on Jan. 27-28.  

• Approve a contract with ECU to conduct a biased-based policing study for the Greenville Police Department. The study, which will cost $9,900, will analyze information that the police department has gathered regarding biased-based policing for accreditation purposes. The study will help guide city officials when developing crime control policies and practices in Greenville. 

Go to www.greenvillenc.gov for access to the full City Council agenda packet.

Contact Shannon Keith at skeith@reflector.com and 252-329-9575.