Clemmons receives $4.8 million from Appropriations Act: Mayor Mike Rogers makes announcement regarding funding from House Bill 259 in council meeting

Published 12:10 am Thursday, September 28, 2023

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CLEMMONS — It wasn’t on the agenda, but Mayor Mike Rogers had a big announcement to make in Monday night’s Clemmons Village Council meeting: “Clemmons has been awarded funding from the House Bill 259 Appropriations Act.”

Then, Rogers said he had several major points to make, including the amount.

“Clemmons will receive $4.8 million of state funding to use, for all intents and purposes, as the village best determines.”

Rogers said that the windfall is programmed to come in two installments of $2.4 million each, with the first part included in the recently approved budget for spending in the fiscal year 2023-2024 and the second part to be included in the 2024-2025 budget.

Next, Rogers said he wanted to highlight two important points about this funding.

“First, there are no requirements for matching local funds — none,” he said. “Second, the funds may be budgeted and used in the manner that Clemmons determines is best. We have a very wide range of options for applying this $4.8 million.”

Finally, Rogers said it was appropriate and important to express appreciation regarding how the village acquired this state funding.

“First, we must acknowledge the hard work that our state representative, Jeff Zenger, did,” Rogers said. “His commitment to supporting Clemmons’ continuing development and growth is made clear by his determined, successful efforts to get this Clemmons funding included in the 2023-2024 Appropriations Act to ensure that a decent, fair amount of the taxes that our residents and businesses send to Raleigh will be spent here in the village.

“Second, it’s important to recognize that securing this funding is a direct result of decisions the council made a year and a half ago when it unanimously chartered the mayor to, and I quote, ‘Serve as a key representative and spokesperson for the village … to routinely engage government and private agencies and offices … to be a key representative of the council to other government agencies and offices … and to advocate and advance village interests.’ ”

Rogers concluded: “Securing this $4.8 million is a clear, big, positive result of the council empowering elected and staff officials to routinely engage key organizations and persons to advance the village’s agenda.

In the manager’s report, the council voted in favor of a couple of building improvements for upgrades at Public Works by approving the staff’s recommended bid of $80,952 from Shelton Construction for the salt brine shed and approving the bid of $59,781 from Marvin’s Garage Doors for the leaf truck storage shed.

However, a third bid of $79,833 from Marvin’s Garage Doors for the vehicle shed was rejected — with council members agreeing that it didn’t meet the “high priority” status of the other two modifications.

Comparing the vehicle shed to the leaf truck storage shed, council member Chris Wrights said: “With the leaf truck one, you’ve got this computer equipment in there that can be damaged if it’s out in the cold. The only real issue with this one (vehicle shed) is the everyday trucks and furniture getting there and birds pooping on them. People park their cars outside all the time, and birds poop on them, and you just wash it. I don’t see that as an $80,000 problem.”

Also in Monday night’s meeting, Captain John Bracken, who is over the field services division of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office — which includes all patrol, community policing and community outreach programs — came to report on staffing shortages at the jail and the need to offset that by bringing in patrol officers to augment the staffing levels on 28-day rotations.

Bracken said that he hoped this was a short-term initiative, which started in September and is now is going to continue into October, but wanted to make Clemmons aware of the situation.

“Right now, hiring is hot and heavy for the jail and the sworn positions, but it does some time to get them in to get them trained up before we can truly get them to start working,” Bracken said.

Lt. Butch Moore, who is the direct supervisor in Clemmons and over all the community policing, also spoke.

“There are two things that we really want for Clemmons and all our townships,” said Moore, who lives in Clemmons. “No. 1, we want everyone in our community to feel safe and secure, and second, we want to have every community feel like we’re in control. This day and time, with all the crime that we have and have seen across our country, Clemmons is a very safe community. I think we have a great team out here. They do a fabulous job.”

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

  • Heard from Caroline Drake in the planning department regarding a Clemmons Community Garden Eagle Scout project and to recognize the work of Brandon Ruff, a senior at Forsyth Country Day School and a member of Troop 731, for his leadership in the construction of a new fence around the community garden. Drake said that Ruff called at the beginning of the summer and asked about any projects that needed to be done, and she told him that the village had just received grant money to replace the previous fence. Money also was raised from other sources, and Ruff completed the project. “It was perfect timing because if Brandon wasn’t able to do it, Public Works was going to, or we were going to have to figure out the next steps for that,” Drake said. “So thank you again to Brandon and the team for all the time, money and work that went into this project.”
  • Heard from Village Manager Mike Gunnell regarding the bid process for the Greendale Way culvert replacement project. Gunnell said there was a low bidder — Southeast Select Civil Construction LLC — but he learned last Friday that there was an error in the bid of $574,900 and that it needed to be withdrawn. Gunnell added that, based on state statutes, the village needs to have a hearing regarding the withdrawal and reject all the bids — and rebid the project in October. The council approved authorizing Gunnell to hold a hearing with Southeast Select Civil Construction and reject all bids.
  • Approved the resignation of Carl Davy Romano from the Zoning Board of Adjustment and then approved the appointment of David Corn as his replacement.