2019 STATE OF THE VILLAGE
Happy New Year! I want to thank my fellow Council members, Leslie Frusco, Don Boito, Jon Sedlak, and Ed Howze. They are great to work with and their dedication to the Village is admirable. I also want to thank the many other volunteers that operate the Village, the Planning and Zoning Board, the Appearance Commission, and the Board of Adjustment, and those that volunteer to monitor the Yard Waste facility and those that answer the call for other projects in and around the Village. Thanks to an initiative by the Appearance Commission our street signs have been rejuvenated and are looking great again. Our Planning and Zoning Board has done tons of work again this past year to refine and update our ordinances. We operate here largely on volunteerism, so I hope you’ll continue to participate and if you aren’t active please consider getting involved in 2019. Thank you to our Village Clerk, Lisa Kivett and our Deputy Finance Officer, Sharon Sanchez. It is their expertise and hard work that make the Village function.
The grand opening of our new Village Hall was in August and we are very pleased with both the construction and design of the new facility. Even better is the monthly payment for the Town Hall; it is 0 dollars and 0 cents.
For the first time this past year we did not use lifeguards at the Village pool. Things went well and attendance was up, so we will continue to use pool attendants to operate the pool and guests will swim at their own risk. You may have noticed that the old pool house is gone. After a lot of years of service it was past time for a new facility. So please consider joining the pool this summer and enjoy the new facilities. By the way, the monthly payment on that building will be 0 dollars and 0 cents.
In November the Council endorsed the Moore County Comprehensive Transportation Plan, a multi-modal concept plan for transportation looking out to the year 2040. Now we’ll stay involved in the years to come to ensure that the best decisions are made when implementing the plan. Our number one goal was to prevent Hoffman Road from becoming a four lane divided highway and I’m happy to report that is not a part of the plan.
In 2016 we issued 16 certificates of occupancy for new homes. In 2017 we issued 14 certificates of occupancy; and in 2018 we issued 25. Foxfire continues to grow and last year was a significant increase in the pace of growth.
The Village was affected by two major storms in 2018, Florence and Michael. We prepared well, and our Police and Fire departments responded to incidents rapidly; but we were lucky and I want to stress the need for individuals to always be prepared to care for themselves for several days of sheltering in place, without power.
Current plans for the large tract of Village owned land along Woodland Circle call for a survey of the property (already underway) in order to sub-divide a portion of the property for 1.5 to 2 acre estate lots. The Village will retain the remainder of the tract for future use or disposition.
We are remodeling the former Town Hall to accommodate the Police Department. The remodel will provide separate office space and other needs for the PD. The remodel was made possible through the initiative of Chief Chad Shue who applied for and received a grant of funds from the State. We received the good news about the grant funds the same week that the PD earned $10,000 worth of equipment through their participation in the Governor’s Highway Safety program. We’re getting a great police force at a bargain price thanks to the leadership of Chief Shue and the dedication of Corporal Ritter and Corporal Garner.
The West End Fire and Rescue Department did a major renovation of the Fire Station last year providing the fire fighters with a new kitchen facility, sleeping quarters, and office space. They also made improvements to the garage bays. The Station conducted an Open House on the same day we had the Town Hall Open House in August. Our Fire Station is now officially designated as Station 65. West End also received a new engine and that meant that the Village received a much newer, 2015 engine for our station. After Hurricane Florence the Fire Dept took the initiative to go above and beyond their mission set to assist residents by pumping water from a number of residential crawl spaces and basements. The Department responded to 840 calls this past year, some 118 of them in response to Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael.
The major street projects in 2018 were the resurfacing of a portion of South Shamrock and Town Hall Drive. A number of other roads were crack sealed and received spot repairs. Additionally, the Village has commissioned an engineering study of surface drainage throughout the Village.
For a few years now we have been looking for an additional water well site without success. As our Village grows we need to ensure that we have an adequate water supply for the future, and we are exploring a connection with the Moore County water system. The ability to receive water from a source other than our own wells is critical for the long term and we are also looking at the pros and cons of the different agreements we might make with the county, those include divesting ourselves of our own system and having Moore County own and operate the system, or simply purchasing water from the county when needed, or perhaps a hybrid of owning our system but having the County operate it. There are a lot of things to consider and we welcome and invite community input.
Please avail yourself of the information and convenience of our Village website, Code Red, and email alerts. If you want to know more about what is available, please contact The Village Clerk, Lisa Kivett.
E.M. McCue III, Mayor