Follow-up retreat approaching before next regular council meeting: Clemmons will review priorities brought up earlier this year; culvert projects approved

Published 12:10 am Thursday, August 31, 2023

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By Jim Buice

With the arrival of COVID-19 in March 2020, the Village of Clemmons decided one retreat wasn’t enough with all the upheaval in all aspects of life during the rest of the year.

So, with all the changes that impacted Clemmons after what was the usual annual gathering earlier in the year, the village decided to add a fall retreat in November to gauge how priorities may have been altered and where things stood going into a new year.

John Wait, who was the mayor at the time, said that the special session provided a chance to “come up for air from COVID” and get back to things that were discussed earlier in the spring, resulting in a very productive session.

And even though things have turned around since the relentless pandemic, the Clemmons Village Council has continued the new format — with a special meeting, a follow-up retreat, scheduled for Monday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m. at Village Hall.

That announcement was made in Monday night’s council meeting, where in business action items on the agenda, it was a night to talk about — and approve two culvert replacement bids and work improvements for a pair of other projects — as stormwater issues continue to be addressed.

Village Manager Mike Gunnell said in the last meeting that the Doublegate culvert replacement project didn’t receive enough bids and would have to be put out for rebid, which was the case. Gunnell recommended that the council accept the low bid of $397,420 from Mountaineer Contractors Inc., which was approved.

Next was the Lismore Street culvert replacement project, where Fleming Land Management’s bid was the lowest submitted by four bidders. Gunnell again recommended that the council accept the low bid of $106,902, which includes a 20 percent contingency, which was also approved.

In a statement of work approvals, LBJ Engineering PC was selected for both the Bridle Path culvert replacement project (with a contract amount of $40,000) and the North Lakeshore culvert replacement project (also with a contract amount of $40,000).

Gunnell said that both of these projects, which were also approved, were the result of grant funding received from the Golden LEAF Foundation’s Flood Mitigation Program in June.
As for the upcoming retreat, it will be a time to review a number of topics that were discussed earlier this year, including influencing growth outside of the village’s borders, updating the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) and adding personnel.

One of the hot-button issues during the late January two-day retreat held just across the Yadkin River at the WinMock at Kinderton in Bermuda Run was the approval by the Forsyth County Commissioners of Riverwalk, a 500-home development on more than 300 acres off of Idols Road where all that traffic will flow “outside our borders” through already overloaded roads in the jurisdiction of Clemmons.

“There’s not much we can do with most stuff in the county,” Gunnell said. “We don’t really have an ETJ (extra-territorial jurisdiction), so that’s basically what we need.”

Gunnell said that a discussion centered on looking at possible developments, like Riverwalk, where the village voiced its concerns later in the process before approval, and getting involved earlier, which was part of a presentation by council member Mike Combest.

He stated that study and experience show the impact of growth outside the borders of Clemmons is going to be one of the most consequential challenges the village will face in the foreseeable future and the benefit of being involved from start to finish.

Much of the mammoth task of rewriting the ordinances has coincided with the arrival of Doug Moore, the new planner who was hired in December 2022 — bringing 30 years of local government and nonprofit experience in planning, zoning and development reviews.

It was also announced in Monday night’s meeting that the Village of Clemmons will closed for Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 4, with trash pickup being delayed one day (pickups will be Tuesday through Saturday).