Pittsboro Commissioners Discuss Bike Paths, Tax Income and Time Capsule at Assembly
By Adrianne Cleven, Chatham News + Record Correspondent
Problems with accessibility and adaptability embodied the Pittsboro City Board of Commissioners assembly Monday, because the group mentioned proposed bike paths throughout city, obtained an replace on Pittsboro’s better-than-expected municipal gross sales tax income and reviewed updates to guidelines that might enable extra flexibility in planning board conferences.
The city’s governing board additionally formally swore in new city clerk Cassie Bullock, heard information of a proposed time capsule and mentioned modifications to Pittsboro’s traditional vacation celebrations in mild of COVID-19.
Early within the assembly — held nearly over the video platform Zoom — the board voted unanimously to approve the city’s 2020 Bicycle and Pedestrian plan, pending a couple of minor modifications that Commissioner Michael Fiocco dropped at the board’s consideration. Commissioners Kyle Shipp and Fiocco each emphasised the significance of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee as advised by the report.
“We’d actually do nicely to get a really devoted group of oldsters to (its) advisory committee,” Fiocco stated.
The 174-page report, made doable by a 2018 matching grant from the N.C. Dept. of Transportation, presents options to make Pittsboro friendlier to cyclists and pedestrians. Pittsboro city workers, a steering committee and consultants labored to assist create the plan, which suggests “creating protected, linked, and comfy locations for bicycling and strolling.”
There’s no bike pedestrian advisory committee but, however the commissioners advisable one be fashioned.
In monetary information, newly appointed city supervisor Chris Kennedy relayed that the revenues from Pittsboro’s municipal gross sales tax within the 2019-2020 fiscal 12 months exceeded projections by 30%. “We had July’s numbers in; we simply received these in right now. And we have been up $29,000 only for July alone,” he added.
“These revenues are projected conservatively 12 months to 12 months and have been regarded as tremendously threatened as soon as COVID-19 struck and companies have been shuttered,” Kennedy later stated in an e mail. “Nonetheless, the revenues for (FY 2019-2020) confirmed constructive progress in our native economic system.”
Nonetheless it’s not all excellent news: The city’s utilities franchise charges “are down $6,000,” Kennedy stated.
“In order that’s not nice, however total the online impact of our economic system and all these revenues are going rather well,” he stated. “… Everybody was clearly conservative and somewhat extra anxious about how COVID-19 would have an effect on a few of these issues, and we’re nonetheless seeing some results of it. However hopefully our numbers keep sturdy.”
Whereas Kennedy retains a watch on day-to-day financial indicators, Mayor Jim Nass advised a manner for the city to look far into the long run: by making a time capsule characterizing the neighborhood’s tumultuous previous few months. The suggestion got here to Nass by the use of an eighth-grade pupil at Horton Center College.
“(He) informed me that there have been an terrible lot of issues happening this 12 months with COVID, and college altering, and never having the ability to do the identical issues that we’ve performed earlier than, and among the issues which are happening within the nation that he watches on the information,” Nass stated. “And he puzzled if it may be one thing we’d be serious about … if we’d put collectively a time capsule and we buried it; placing issues in there that highlighted this unusual 12 months inside the city of Pittsboro.”
“I wrote him again and I stated I believed it was a really advantageous thought,” Nass added.
Commissioner Fiocco delivered a number of updates from the Principal Road Pittsboro program, a nonprofit designed to create “financial growth inside the context of historic preservation.”
“The welcome heart is full and prepared for occupancy, and we hope to open within the fall,” Fiocco stated. “Actually, we’d love to do it in October if doable, however we’re all enjoying plenty of issues by ear by what’s doable.”
And should you’ve been pining for chilly climate, cookies and eggnog after a tough few months of financial uncertainty and quarantine, relaxation assured that Pittsboro’s management is waiting for the vacations, too.
Principal Road Pittsboro, in line with Fiocco, is collaborating with the Pittsboro Enterprise Affiliation in town’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, even amid uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. A neighborhood farmer has already agreed to donate a tree for this 12 months’s celebration that Fiocco stated will measure 16 to twenty toes tall.
“The city and the PBA and Principal Road are type of working collectively to see if we will get the parade, the tree lighting and these items to happen; figuring out that, odds are, it gained’t be the standard manner that we’ve performed it earlier than, however discovering artistic methods to nonetheless make it a really useful expertise,” Fiocco stated.
Pittsboro’s yearly traditions — as an illustration, the annual Christmas parade, sometimes held on the second Sunday in December — may not look the identical as in years previous due to the virus. Nonetheless, Kennedy thinks adapting native traditions might nonetheless foster a way of neighborhood amidst an unpredictable season.
“The vacation season is such a homey time,” Kennedy stated. “You concentrate on being a toddler; you consider being with household; you consider procuring; these are all these items that may deliver folks to our downtown. So I believe if we will discover some strategy to deliver some normalcy to it … I believe this 12 months goes to check our creativity, and we’ll see the way it goes.”
The board additionally mentioned a change to permit for extra flexibility in selecting the dates and instances of the board conferences yearly in December, however took no motion.
“We have been actually making an attempt to simply present some flexibility to the board,” Kennedy stated. “There was some actually, I’ll name it, stringent language inside (the ordinance) that specified the conferences needed to be at city corridor they usually needed to be at 7:30 they usually needed to be on the second and fourth Monday. It might be my suggestion to the board to permit every sitting board and the those that straight elected you to warn you because the time goes on: What’s one of the best for our board of commissioners? When they need to meet? The place they need to meet?”
The board meets once more on Sept. 28.
Chapelboro.com has partnered with the Chatham Information + Document in an effort to deliver extra Chatham-focused tales to our viewers.
The Chatham News + Record is Chatham County’s supply for native information and journalism. The Chatham Information, established in 1924, and the Chatham Document, based in 1878, have come collectively to raised serve the Chatham neighborhood because the Chatham Information + Document. Overlaying information, enterprise, sports activities and extra, the Information + Document is working to strengthen neighborhood ties by way of compelling protection of life in Chatham County.