Council doles out $55,000

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Clemmons Village Council was certainly in a giving mood in Monday night’s regular meeting at Village Hall.

Three grant requests from community groups — the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Forsyth Little League and Village Inn Event Center — were approved unanimously with all receiving the full amount of their respective requests.

“Christmas is over now, right?” councilwoman Mary Cameron asked following the approvals, which totaled $55,000.

Dana Bryson, the owner of the Village Inn Event Center, got the OK for $25,000 from the Occupancy Tax Tourism Fund two weeks after her initial request was tabled.

Ironically, Bryson also represented the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce, which asked for $5,000 to help offset the costs to put together the fifth annual Clemmons Community Day.

This year’s event, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 26, will again be combined with the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day at the Jerry Long Family Y in Clemmons. Last year, more than 3,000 people attended the event with 80 businesses sponsoring booths.

“It’s a way to bring the community together,” said Bryson, who is the vice chairwoman of the chamber. “There is truly something for all ages.”

The other request of $25,000 from the Southwest Forsyth Little League to provide more than half the costs for lights at Wilson Park’s Field 2 was also approved.

Jon Marzano, a board member of the SWFLL, said that lighting another field will pave the way for another 100 games a year and another 7,000 more attendees at the complex.

Marzano said that the park was “at capacity” and this will be a boost in a year where the organization has a number of capital improvements scheduled for completion.

The estimated cost to install lights on the field is $40,000.

Last year, Marzano said that about 200,000 people, including all the players, coaches and others involved with each game, came to the complex in 2013 for the nine months where spring, fall and travel ball are played.

Dairi-O Zoning

In other business, the council approved a zoning map amendment of Village Point LLC and Gibraltar Commercial IV LLC from PB-S (Pedestrian Business – Special Use) to GB-S (General Business – Special Use to include Restaurant with Drive-Through).

Dairi-O, which opened its third restaurant last year off Peters Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem, plans to expand next in Clemmons at Lewisville-Clemmons Road near the intersection of Towncenter Drive and Allegacy Way. The local chain’s other restaurants are on the University Parkway in Winston-Salem and in King.

Planner Megan Ledbetter reviewed the site plan and said that petitioner had met and exceeded all the guidelines for the 5,300-square-foot restaurant.

Doug Stimmel of Stimmel Associates, who was representing Dairi-O and was the only person to speak in the public hearing, said that the new restaurant in the Village Point area, will be a great community partner.

“This is a local franchise,” Stimmel said. “I think something that is unique to Clemmons is the sense of community that this restaurant brings. This all goes well with Clemmons.”

The council also approved a zoning text amendment for the Zoning Board of Adjustment to comply with the new state requirements concerning the operating, variance and appeal procedures. No one spoke in the public hearing that preceded the vote.

The council also:

• Held a lengthy discussion of how to proceed with the possible website redesign. They eventually reached consensus on moving forward with a site that would be user-friendly and easy to maintain but also wanted to have a meeting where the public will invited to come and offer input.

• Talked about a marketing plan and decided to put together a collaborative group of those involved in requesting funds from the Tourism Fund with councilwoman Cameron to coordinate the effort.

• Heard from Ledbetter regarding the Farmers Market at Tanglewood. She said things are moving forward and emphasized that volunteers are needed to help with the effort. During her planner’s report, she added that the Village Point Greenway project is on track — “with no major hiccups” — with a notice to proceed in the April time frame.

• Appointed councilman Darrell Roark to talk with Public Works Director Larry Kirby about procedures involving leaf and limb pickup.

• Approved opening closed session minutes discussions from 2009 through 2013 by a 4-1 margin with Cameron opposed to the decision, saying that the village would lose creditability with some individuals who were involved in those discussions.

• Heard from Looper regarding issues involving the upcoming retreat and budget considerations, adding more information could be forthcoming about another grant to add a deputy if the council wanted to pursue it.

• Approved a new contract for attorney Warren Kasper.

• Heard from Pat Way, president of the Friends of the Clemmons Library, who said in the public comments portion of the meeting that the library’s annual request for financial support would be coming by the end of the month. She thanked the village for its support in the past and added no date had been set yet for a meeting to seek public input for a new library in Clemmons.

• Heard from Clemmons resident Kay Stocking, who commented on the last council meeting and the issue of posting the sign banning weapons in Village Hall. She said she was offended by the “bullying” tactics of a Grass Roots North Carolina representative “threatening my council, my community.” She also criticized councilman Bill Lawry for the manner in which he spoke against a gun ban, calling his comments “arrogant and disrespectful of anyone who didn’t see eye to eye with him. I don’t see this as just a difference or division of opinion but as something divisive.”