The Triangle Community Coalition had another successful Coffee Chat with the Town of Fuquay-Varina Elected Officials and Staff on January 18, 2017
Joining our members in an informal chat were Mayor John Byrne, Commissioner Blake Massengill, Commissioner Marilyn Gardner, Town Manager Adam Mitchell, Assistant Town Manager Mark Matthews, Planning Director Samantha Smith, Planning Dept. Mike Sorensen, Communications Director Susan Weis, Public Works Director Arthur Mouberry, Town Engineer Tracy Stephenson, Economic Development Director Jim Seymour, Public Utilities Director Jay Meyers, Inspections Director Chris Hinnant, and Police Chief Laura Fahnestock.
We provided the Town of Fuquay-Varina with a better perspective of the Triangle Community Coalition's goal to be a proactive partner in growth and land use issues and to work with senior staff and elected officials to develop policies, regulations, and procedures to encourage economic development, produce predictable (yet flexible) outcomes for all stakeholders, and protect the community's interests.
The town appreciated the TCC’s ability to offer objective facts and information in efforts to improve public policy debates and create effective working relationships between the business community and local government. We had some great interaction with the TCC membership in attendance and had opportunity to talk about the following:
Mayor John Byrne
· Talked about focusing on partnerships for future growth.
· Finding a balanced approach to taxes and fees
· AAA Bond Rating – FV is the smallest town in NC with this rating
Commissioner Marilyn Gardner
· Grew up south of Fuquay-Varina
· Wants to ensure that Fuquay-Varina does not lose its identity as a small town
Town Manager Adam Mitchell
· Sees TCC as a partner – takes a team to grow
· Unprecedented growth in the area
· The meeting was held in the new public works facility recently opened and consolidated several facilities/functions
· In the process of updating land use plan and will be engaging the public during the process
· February the council and staff will hold their planning retreat
ü Growth & quality of life are the focus
ü So far in January, 53 new single family building permits have been issues.
ü Both last year and in 2015 the Town issued approximately 700 building permits
ü 540 on the horizon. The Town needs to begin planning for it now.
ü Growth brings challenges
§ Traffic congestion, can’t rely on NCDOT
§ Passed $21M bond referendum to include Judd Parkway - 2020 completion
§ Bass Lake/Sunset Road/Hilltop Needmore interchange improved
· FV has more parks acres per capita than any other town in NC
· The waste water treatment plant is currently undergoing a $34M expansion that will increase its capacity from 1 million gallons/day to 3 million and will be expandable to 6 million.
· Water – planning today for the future
· Development spreading outward towards NC42
· 2016 received $6M in government money and in 2017 $4.5M so far, for roads
· Has clear vision for the Town’s future
Assistant Town Manager Mark Matthews
· Key projects in 2017
ü Fleming Loop Park – $2.7M to invest into park
ü Downtown Art Center
ü New Library approved
ü New schools – High School adjacent to South Lakes; sites for new middle and elementary schools acquired.
Communications Susan Weis
· Using social media
· New brand - “A Dash More”
Planning Department Samantha Smith
· New land development ordinance – flexibility
· Updating transportation plan which is 10 years old
· Will be applying to Wake County for ETJ expansion
· 35 commercial & residential projects are currently in review
· Currently tax base is 74% residential and 26% commercial. Goal is to be closer to 65/35
Public Utilities Jay Meyers
· WWTP expansion – on time and under budget
· Water – FV buys water and is looking at possibility of producing its own water
· Town interested in public/private partnership to leverage town funds
· Water line replacement program is in place
· Moving toward remote water meter recording capabilities
Economic Development Jim Seymour
· In December 2014 Town adopted new economic development plan
· Looking to expand beyond residential – high end retail/commercial
· 2015 Study – more capacity for development in the downtown areas
· Proximity of Campbell University and Fort Bragg are benefits for FV
· 2015 incentive plan/policy put in place. Bob Baker Company was the 1st to use and created 42 new jobs
· Town website – includes an interactive development map
· Expanding fiber network for town facilities
Police Chief Laura Fahnestock
· 2016 report on policing – implementing the President’s 21st Century Policing Policy in Fuquay
· Trainingon crisis intervention and de-escalation
· Opioid epidemic is focus
· In 2016 – year over year - 26% reduction in violent crime and 6% reduction in property crimes
· Community engagement : “Coffee with Cops” proactive not reactive
· Fully staffed – 41 officers, half live in FV
Craig Duerr, Pulte Group: Development community looking for flexibility and predictability, some challenges for a growing community
If you are interested in participating in future meetings with Town of Fuquay-Varina or future Coffee Chats, watch for notices or contact the TCC offices at 919 812-7785 or Charlene Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot!
These programs are a great way for you, as an exclusive benefit as a TCC member, to become active and help the TCC strengthen our relationships with local jurisdictions throughout the Triangle.