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Paving bids save $100,000 over estimate

By Jim Buice

The Clemmons Courier

By the time the final numbers were in, Clemmons ended up saving nearly $100,000 for the first phase of the Market Center Drive project.

Yadkin Valley Paving Inc. was the low bidder for the project, but it still came in over budget at $793,514. However, Public Works Director Mike Gunnell negotiated a modified amount of $752,513.

That was revealed in the earlier March meeting of the Clemmons Village Council along with an objection to paying a line item of $57,000, which was provided in a grant from the Department of Commerce, for having decorative stamping with the Clemmons logo on the street.

After tabling taking any action in that meeting to see if those funds could be reallocated and that line item removed, Village Manager Scott Buffkin said in Monday night’s meeting that the Department of Commerce agreed to apply those funds for other needs in the project, reducing the final price tag to $695,391.

The council then voted to accept the low bid from Yadkin Valley Paving and approved three budget amendments – transferring $65,000 to Capital Projects and $51,000 from the Stormwater Fund for storm drainage for Phase 1 along with amending the Lewisville-Clemmons Road Connectivity Project for confirmation of the Department of Commerce Grant and related appropriations in the amount of $25,000.

When this long-standing project was initiated, a committee of business owners along this corridor was appointed to review Lewisville-Clemmons Road and provide options for redevelopment, transportation-related improvements and building façade upgrades.

This was part of the Comprehensive Plan and the first of many phases of providing public access either through existing shopping centers or new connections of public streets continuing south down the corridor from Ramada Drive.

Also in Monday night’s meeting, councilwoman Michelle Barson provided an update on some of the elevation concerns for the new library, stating that Forsyth County had put a “cost-sharing opportunity to the Village of Clemmons to chip in on the dirt.”

She asked the council if it would be OK for staff to explore if there might be any “free or low-cost dirt in the community.”

Buffkin said at the last meeting that the building, as it’s currently designed, will be seven feet below the road grade of Stadium Drive.

Barson said that she believes the county thinks the Village just wants it for aesthetic purposes, although that is part of it, “so there’s been a bit of disagreement about the level of necessity right now.”

She said another meeting is planned this week and some follow-ups after that “to get a better handle on the decisions that are being made by the county and how they’re communicating with us.”

In another item, Buffkin provided an update on the Idols Road Industrial Park, saying the county commissioners had officially changed the name to Tanglewood Industrial Park.

He added the county would vote on protective convenants this week and that a draft of the study of the traffic impact analysis would be received next week. Also, Buffkin said that the Beaufurn closing had been pushed back to May 10.

The council also held a brief discussion of the so-called “brunch bill,” which went into effect in the state last June. It allows cities and counties to pass local ordinances to allow alcohol sales starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday instead of noon. Since that time, many local government boards have lined up to join the party.

Although there haven’t been any private citizens inquiring about it, Buffkin said he had heard from some local businesses.

“I have had a number of the supermarkets ask if we have, and if not, when we might,” he said of the brunch bill. “I’ve had, I think, only two other businesses that have onsite permits that inquired.”

Forsyth County has passed the bill (but it doesn’t apply in local municipalities such as Clemmons without approval), and nearby Bermuda Run gave its approval last August.

The Clemmons council decided to put it on the agenda for the April 10 meeting with an opportunity for public comments to go with the discussion. In other business, the council:

• Announced a special meeting in a joint session with the Planning Board on Tuesday, April 17, at 5:30 p.m. for a Comprehensive Plan Review at Village Hall, and a community input session on Tuesday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. for a Comprehensive Plan Review at River Oaks Community Church (coffee bar).

• Dicusssed an ordinance declaring a speed limit modification (from 35 mph to 25 mph) for Blue Bonnet Lane (west of Kinnamon Road) after receiving signatures from a petition with more than 75 percent approval from residents on the street. A vote will be taken in the next meeting.

• Decided to do a trial run of providing access to the trash compactors and mulch at Public Works on a couple of Saturday mornings each month starting in April.

• Heard from planner Megan Ledbetter regarding an updated timeline for a review of the traffic analysis section in the Unified Development Ordinance and procedural manual. She said that a staff review and draft can be completed in May, followed by taking it to the Planning Board in June and then holding a council review and public hearing in July. • Heard from Mayor John Wait regarding last week’s council retreat, saying “we covered a lot of items, and it was a really good session.”

• Heard from Barson, who said she had a recent meeting with a community officer regarding the annual Tanglewood Festival of Lights and learned that the Village hasn’t been a part of meetings before and after the event each year. She asked if Buffkin could check and see about Clemmons having a representative in the future and that she would be glad to serve.

• Heard from Buffkin, who said he would be running an advertisement for any possible openings for the citizen boards – Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment and Stormwater Advisory Board.

• Heard from Buffkin in the marketing report that the recent Family Fishing Fun had more than 100 participants.