Clemmons gets approval on transfer of funding for sidewalk projects

Published 10:28 am Tuesday, July 26, 2022

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Southwest Athletics All-Stars recognized

Clemmons received good news in Monday night’s meeting from council member Mike Combest, the village’s Transportation Advisory Committee representative, that a proposal to adjust and transfer more than $2.1 million in grant funding for two sidewalks projects along Harper Road has been approved.
“It was a no-brainer,” Combest said of the action taken last Thursday by the TAC, which serves as a forum for cooperative transportation planning and decision-making for the Winston-Salem Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. “It was enthusiastically supported. You know, we don’t realize it, but this is a big deal. It was accomplished very quickly, very efficiently because of the quick action of our staff.”
Combest, who was appointed as the council’s TAC representative at the end of last year, attended a meeting in January and learned if the council decided it wanted to shift funds to a different study because the situation or priorities may have changed without losing those funds, it would be allowed to do so.
So when Mike Gunnell told the village council about several sidewalk projects that had been approved by the TAC in his first meeting after being named the new village manager in February — and reiterated funds could be moved from one project to another, Combest recommended proceeding with the two Harper Road sidewalk projects.
That came after Gunnell said he wanted to gauge the council’s pulse regarding what projects could be done and looking at moving funds from one project to another or possible delaying one of the projects.
That was in reference to the U.S. 158 sidewalk project, considering the DOT was then looking at doing a feasibility study for widening the busy road from Lewisville-Clemmons Road to Harper Road. Idols Road was the other sidewalk under consideration, and Combest’s motion at the time, which was approved unanimously, called for the two Harper Road projects first, and then Idols Road after they are completed – with U.S. 158 being the fourth priority.
In Monday night’s meeting, Combest provided details for the TAC’s approval of the Clemmons proposal to adjust grant funding (Surface Transportation Block Grant — Direct Attributable (STBG-DA) in the 2020-2029 Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program.
The village requested funding for two sidewalk projects along Harper Road – EB-5960 and EB-6040. The project scope includes the design and construction of a sidewalk from Morgan Elementary School to the Jerry Long Family YMCA and from Village Point Drive to east of the I-40 interchange.
The village proposed to transfer grant funding from Project U-4741PE (U.S. 158 Sidewalk and Yadkin River Greenway, Phase l) to those projects, and to transfer $738,640 in federal funds from U-4741PE to EB-6040 and $1,371,760 in federal funds from U-4741PE to EB-5960.
Proposed total federal funding amounts for EB-6040 and EB-5960 are $1,269,840 and $2,371,760, respectively.
Gunnell said that the village has received approval from the state for the contract.
“It will be presented to you at the next meeting for acceptance,” Gunnell said. “Once you approve the contract, we’ll execute the agreement, and then we can send out requests for letters of interest to engineering firms to do the design services.”
Gunnell said that to help the process as far as the timeline, “we went and had the survey done on both sections. The environmental assessment has been done on the first phase. The second phase, the environmental assessment is undergoing. It should be through by October. We anticipate to start design sometime in September.”
Also in Monday night’s meeting, the Southwest Athletics 12U All-Stars were recognized after capturing the Southeast Regional Championship and qualifying for the Cal Ripken Major-70 World Series in Branson, Missouri, Aug. 3-13.
This is the first team from Southwest Athletics to advance to a World Series since 2002.
The team was introduced, and photos were taken, and Mayor Mike Rogers also made a special presentation of a signed baseball by the Southwest Athletics All-Stars to Combest, who collects baseballs and was at the Major League All-Star game last week in Los Angeles.
Rogers called the team back up after the initial photos and showed a photo of Combest on the screen.
“When you go to a ballgame, you’re always wanting to get a foul ball from a professional player, a home run or a foul ball or even a player coming by tossing a ball to you,” Rogers told the players. “I’d like to show you something. What do you think about that? That’s our councilman Combest. Councilman Combest, ‘Where were you when you caught that ball?’ ”
“That ball was thrown to me by Alek Manoah (of the Toronto Blue Jays) at the All-Star game,” a grinning Combest replied, as the photo also showed.
To which, Rogers added, “No matter how old you get, you still have the kid look on your face.”
Rogers then wished the team good luck on the trip to Branson, Missouri, “and bring home the bacon, guys.”
In other highlights from Monday night’s meeting, the council:
• Approved a zoning text amendment to amend multiple sections in Chapter B Zoning Ordinance and Chapter C Environmental Ordinance of the Unified Development Ordinances (Zoning Docket C-UDO-87) after reviewing a final draft of the document.
• Received a Real Time Intelligence/Camera Registry update by Dep. Joey Culler from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. The program has been in place for about a year and a half, providing an extra level of security for residents throughout the county. Culler said that about 147 homes are currently registered, including 35 homes and five businesses in Clemmons.
• Recognized Matthew Moger (Zoning Board of Adjustment from 2019 through 2022) and David Orrell (planning board from 2016 through 2022) with certificates of appreciation for their service to Clemmons.
• Heard from Shannon Ford in the marketing/communications director’s report. She shared a copy of the first issue of “The Village Insider,” a quarterly newsletter that will be on the website and e-mailed to those on the email list. Printed copies will also be available around town.
• Heard from Elliot Fus in the attorney’s report. He wanted to make sure everyone understands the legal status of remote participation in meetings once the governor ends the state of emergency that has been in place for over two years.