Lewisville joins neighbor in opposing bills: Town gears up for another busy events season, starting with Memorial Day concert

Published 12:10 am Thursday, May 18, 2023

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Just call it “neighbors helping neighbors.”

That was the case last Thursday night when the Lewisville Town Council joined the Village of Clemmons by approving a similar resolution opposing Senate Bill 374 and House Bill 409 in last Thursday night’s meeting.

According to Lewisville Mayor Mike Horn, at stake are concerns about the state legislature “passing bills that usurp our planning and zoning ability as municipalities.”
Horn said that Clemmons and Lewisville have been working together trying to understand these bills and what needs to be done to retain that authority while praising Mike Combest, a Clemmons council member, for his work on the response.

“Mike has done a lot of research on this and really has provided the foundation for us to draft our own resolutions stating why we’re in opposition,” Horn said. “It’s not that we are opposed to what the intent of the bills are. It’s the manner that the legislature is prescribing a remedy.

“In the last several years, Lewisville and Clemmons are collaborating more. We’re talking about the issues that impact both of us and trying to understand how to best deal with them, and I think we’re in a really good place now with our communities.”

When Clemmons first addressed the proposed legislation in early April, Combest called it an “egregious assault on municipal authority and responsibility,” adding, “This is legislation written for special interests by special interests. It jeopardizes our ability to fulfill our charter and our legal mandates to protect and promote the health and welfare of our residents and businesses.”

In a later April meeting, Clemmons council and staff also decided to reach out in a collective effort to other municipalities and mayors throughout the area and state in an attempt to keep these bills from becoming law.

In other items on last Thursday night’s Lewisville Town Council agenda, the council held a public hearing on the 2023-2024 budget, and there were two speakers. Both spoke in favor of funding for equipment and related items for one of the town’s advisory committees.

James Ayers, who took over as the new town manager last October, presented his first budget message in the April meeting — proposing a balanced budget while maintaining the current property tax rate of 17.7 cents per $100 of valuation while continuing current services and service levels.

Ayers said that the proposed general fund budget is $6,113,377 for fiscal year 2023-2024, adding that the town is projecting a fund balance appropriation of $332,107 for project-related costs that are not recurring operational expenses.

The budget vote will be on the agenda for council approval in the June 8 meeting at 7 p.m. in town hall.

In new business last Thursday, the council approved an interlocal agreement with Forsyth County and amended a town code chapter for a Voluntary Agricultural District program. A slideshow presented by Stacy Tolbert, assistant town manager and planning director, provided information on the benefits and requirements inherent in these districts.

They include recognition with signs identifying areas, increased protection from nuisance suits and complaints, deferment of water and sewer assessments, eligibility for preservation funds, and participation in agricultural tourism.

Eligible participants include those with qualified farmland of at least five acres and having farmed for the previous five years, along with agreeing to a non-binding conservation agreement with a minimum of 10 years.

“At least two property owners have requested support from the town in implementing these districts,” Ayers said, “and this collaboration between Forsyth County and the Town of Lewisville fulfills both the request for assistance as well as key elements of the town’s Comprehensive Plan.”

The council also approved awarding a contract to Fence Builders Inc. for $14,630 to relocate the entrance gate at Jack Warren Park.

It was announced that the Mary Alice Warren Community Center will receive the County Commissioners Award at the upcoming Community Appearance Commission awards ceremony on May 31 in Winston-Salem.

Upcoming events in Lewisville include the first Starlight Movie Night of the season — featuring “Top Gun: Maverick” — on Friday night at Shallowford Square. Admission is free, with concessions available to purchase, and the town encourages those attending to bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the movie under the stars.

On Friday, there also will be the annual ice cream social to thank the volunteers on the town’s boards and committees from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Mary Alice Warren Community Center.

Also on the schedule is the free Military Appreciation Concert on Memorial Day — Monday, May 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — at the Square featuring The Embers, including a segment honoring all veterans. Earlier in the day, there will be a special Memorial Day Tribute by American Legion Post 522 at 11 a.m., also at the Square.

The next concert at the Square will be Saturday, June 10, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the Camel City Yacht Club, bringing smooth rock of the ’70s and ’80s to the stage.