Bless our hearts as Edmund Burke quoted: The only thing necessary for the triump of evil is for good men(and women) to...

City council formally sets goal, priorities


By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Greenville City Council unanimously approved its 2018-2020 goals and priorities at Thursday’s regular meeting. The list included city staff’s recommended action steps to accomplishing the priorities. 

The council first mapped out goals and priorities during a two-day planning session in January. City staff added actionable steps to accomplish each priority.

The amended priorities were approved unanimously by council, with an added direction to incorporate an emphasis on community-police relations, as recommended by District 1 Councilwoman Kandie Smith. 

The goals are:

■ Be a safe community.

■ Build great places that thrive by creating and sustaining complete neighborhoods, growing a green, resilient, healthy, and vibrant city on both sides of the river.

■ Grow the economic hub of eastern North Carolina through the proactive recruitment of businesses.

■ Enhance accessible transportation networks, public building and public infrastructure development.

■ Build a high-performing organization and govern with transparency and fiscal responsibility

In addition to the goals, the council provided nine priorities for the city to focus on during their tenure. The priorities include actionable steps the city staff is encouraged to pursue in accomplishing each priority. 

■ Develop a proactive economic development program.

Action Step 1: Explore a formal economic development partnership.

Action Step 2: Explore creating “shovel-ready” industrial sites and/or park and shell buildings. Action Step 3: Revise and expand the outdoor dining policy.

Action Step 4: Consider parking study recommendations.

Action Step 5: Develop programs to support small businesses.

Action Step 6: Modernize the permitting and plan review process.

Action Step 7: Consider the job creation grant.

■ Continue to maintain and construct core infrastructure in the city

Action Step 1: Complete the GTAC intermodal facility.

Action Step 2: Continue with the final two years of the 5-year roadway resurfacing plan. Begin the development of the next 5-year roadway resurfacing plan.

Action Step 3: Design and construct the final phase of Arlington Boulevard between Red Banks Road and Hooker Road.

Action Step 4: Initiate construction of the Safe Routes to School sidewalk construction project. Action Step 5: Initiate design for Fire/Rescue Station No. 7.

Action Step 6: Begin construction of the South Tar River Greenway between Pitt Street and Nash Street.

Action Step 7: Coordinate with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to initiate the next phase of the signal timing optimization project.

Action Step 8: Coordinate with NCDOT on roadway projects.

■ Partner with area groups to build a thriving arts and entertainment scene.

Action Step 1: Convene local arts groups to partner on visual as well as performing arts events.Action Step 2: Continue efforts to activate the Town Common with concerts, activities, and programs.

Action Step 3: Work with partners to publish a single, annual directory of all local arts organizations and the arts and events opportunities they provide for residents and visitors.

Action Step 4: Meet with leadership of the recently renovated Uptown Theater regarding possible partnerships and promotional initiatives.

Action Step 5: Explore the development of an arts district.

Action Step 6: Develop opportunities for visual arts classes to be hosted outside at the Town Common.

Action Step 7: Investigate partnering with others to establish annual Food Truck Rodeo (“Food on First”) with music, contests, games and entertainment at the Town Common

■ Ensure the cleanliness of the city and beautify entrances to our community.

Action Step 1: Develop a plan to enhance city entrances and gateways including litter removal, mowing, and additional landscaping.

Action Step 2: Work with the NCDOT to implement the gateway program.

Action Step 3: Market and attract additional partners to adopt city streets through the Adopt-a-
City-Street program.

Action Step 4: Conduct a public information campaign to encourage a clean city and litter removal by neighborhoods and businesses.

■ Develop and implement a comprehensive approach to stormwater management.

Action Step 1: Continue to support the work of the Storm Water Advisory Committee (SWAC) through their review of ordinances, levels of service, revenues, and capital projects.

Action Step 2: Once the SWAC makes recommendations, provide a presentation to the City Council for final deliberations.

Action Step 3: Begin the construction of the Town Creek Culvert project. Action Step 4: Complete the FY18 Storm Water Repair Project.

Action Step 5: Initiate design for the following priority storm water projects: St Andrews Stabilization Project; Elm Street between 4th Street and Tar River outfall; Arlington Boulevard crossings between Evans Street and Hooker Road; Harding Street and 1st Street systems.

■ Continue to implement the Town Common Master Plan.

Action Step 1: Complete and dedicate the Sycamore Hill Gateway Project at the Town Common.

Action Step 2: Continue efforts to have a watercraft rental company/companies available on site at the Town Common.

Action Step 3: Develop a plan for more programming and activities at the Town Common.

Action Step 4: Create and issue an RFP for a restaurant/event space to be developed in the 1.46 acres of the Town Common which does not have development restrictions.

■ Continue to implement the Tar River Legacy Plan including river access and Tar River vantage points.

Action Step 1: Explore the acquisition of riverside lake lands as recommended in the Tar River Legacy Plan.

Action Step 2: Develop mountain bike trails connecting to the greenway and river overlook. Action Step 3: Investigate the creation of a gravel trail around the Beech Street connector pond along with fishing access.

Action Step 4: Identify a site for establishing an additional overlook and river access along the Tar River, design overlook and simultaneously seek no rise certification from the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Action Step 5: Seek grant opportunities to expand trails and greenways along the river.

■ Enhance public safety through street lighting and cameras.

Action Step 1: Establish a 5-year street lighting plan with GUC to include expectations, priorities,responsibilities, and costs regarding the scope of the citywide lighting project. Action Step 2: Establish a 5-year conversion plan converting 1,000 lights per year.

Action Step 3: Assess and implement the installation of new poles/lights in areas where the LED lighting conversion has been completed with the goal of eliminating any remaining areas that are under lit.

Action Step 4: Leverage technology to [remotely] adapt the lighting level for public safety needs on an ongoing/recurring basis.

Action Step 5: Continue the expansion of the public safety camera network and the exploration of a neighborhood partnership program.

Action Step 6: Install new street lights and poles on major thoroughfares within the city not covered in the citywide LED conversion 5-year plan.

■ Build a high-performing organization.

Action Step 1: Provide “at market” pay and benefits to attract and retain top talent by allowing funds in budget to provide for market-based increases in pay and benefits.

Action Step 2: Offer internal and external opportunities for professional growth and development, through training, education, and mentoring.

Action Step 3: Expand efforts to make City government reflect the diversity of Greenville to effectively meet the needs of all citizens, by having diverse panels for every new-hire or promotional process.

Action Step 4: Expand the City’s Wellness program to enhance and maintain the optimal health of employees and retirees by increasing incentives.

Action Step 5: Expand the scope of services of the employee health clinic to enhance the health and wellbeing of employees and retirees on the plan.

Action Step 6: Provide employees with access to information regarding upcoming City initiatives and events.

Action Step 7: Sponsor annual teambuilding exercises for each work group including the department heads and City Council.