Relief funding coming to village

Published 11:07 am Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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Clemmons holds annual retreat

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

If it seems like it wasn’t that long ago since the Clemmons Village Council and staff had its last retreat, it’s because there were actually two retreats in 2020 — because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A second “fall” retreat was added last November to assess all of the changes that impacted Clemmons and to see how priorities may have changed after what was thought to be the “annual” retreat in March.

Hopefully in 2021, as restrictions have been eased, there will only need to be one retreat, which was held March 30 in village hall.

One potential positive financial development that was revealed during this year’s retreat involved the proposed $6.1 million in relief funding — American Rescue Plan — coming to Clemmons (half of the funds this year and half next year).

Village Manager Scott Buffkin said that the village is awaiting guidelines on how the funds can be utilized, adding that Clemmons won’t be able to match other federal funds with these funds.

“We just need to get more information on what we’re going to be able to use this stimulus money for,” Buffkin said, “and that may cause us to get together to identify projects. Right now, they haven’t issued any guidance on what exactly does this mean. Supposedly, the money has to be distributed by the end of June.”

Council consensus from the retreat was to direct staff to be working on a priority list of projects until the guidelines become available, at which time council can call a special meeting, if needed, to discuss.

The day-long session included a variety of topics, including stormwater and a discussion involving fees and structure.

Wes Kimbrell, stormwater engineer, noted that changes for residential and commercial would need to be made to meet the demand and issues that are now being encountered.

Kimbrell said that if the village had followed the scheduled increase when the stormwater program was implemented that the rate would be at $120, which would allow for new programs, additional staff, the completion of two projects per year and the capability to reserve funds for upcoming projects.

Council consensus was to direct staff to use a $90 stormwater fee with a tiered structure for budget calculation purposes and preparation.

In other action items, it was decided:

• To do away with the grass collection program beginning in 2022 and directing staff to utilize the remainder of this year to notify the community of this change.

• To direct staff to create a prioritized list of projects for infrastructure maintenance and a plan for Public Works for their review.

• To approve Budget Amendment 21-G-6 for the VC3 Service Advantage Contract in the amount of $14,118.

• To direct staff to explore options for converting the HVAC system to natural gas and bring to council for consideration.

• For Buffkin to research the Forsyth County board and report back to council along with finding out about the group from the Town of Lewisville that deals with environmental impact issues.

• To get planner Nasser Rahimzadeh to obtain a quote from Urban 3 for data analysis of undeveloped land in Clemmons.

• To not reach out Forsyth County at this time regarding Tanglewood Business Park.

In other highlights from Monday night’s meeting, the council:

• Approved the site plan review for the Tyler Merriman Property at 3711 Clemmons Road — located between village hall and Piedmont Federal Savings Bank — with the condition of closing a second driveway closest to Lewisville-Clemmons Road after the property owner agreed to that request from staff.

• Approved Ordinance 2021-05 for the village’s participation in drainage projects across private property in a 50-50 cost-share program. It was noted this would go into effect with the start of the new budget year on July 1.

• Discussed a Clemmons Rotary Club sponsorship request. Village Manager Scott Buffkin said that there were some items that staff felt were somewhat deficient in what the current policy requests and that the suggestion would be for in-kind assistance but not necessarily financial assistance. This was in reference to an upcoming Rotary Club event on May 18 for a drive-by lunch in recognition of “heroes who are working in our community” and a request for a monetary donation and/or something in kind.

• Heard from Shannon Ford, marketing and communications director, that the pop-up market on Easter weekend had 27 vendors and 550 customers. “We had a lot of our vendors to actually sell out, which was a great thing,” Ford said. Opening day for the weekly Saturday morning Farmers Market at the Jerry Long Family YMCA is May 8. “We’re looking forward to a really big season,” she said. “Last year we had six seasonal vendors. This year we have 24 seasonal vendors, and we have a waiting list for people who are wanting to do some of the same products. So we’ll see how much the market can support. That’s not including our dailies or our artisans that we have each week.”

• Also heard from Ford regarding the new Clemmons Quaran-Clean program, which provides individuals or groups the opportunity to volunteer to help pick up trash along the roadways of Clemmons. She said that more than 100 bags of trash have been picked up during this specific time frame going until the end of May with more than 100 participants. She added that the Adopt-A-Street Program, including the application, is now on the village website. “A lot of these people are very fortunate who are signing up for a street because it was recently cleaned or it’s on the list to be cleaned by a group for the Quaran-Clean,” Ford said. “We’ll work to coordinate that to see when we can actually get the adoptees to start cleaning their own streets.”

• Heard that the E-Recycle is scheduled for Saturday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Public Works facility.