Idols Industrial Park Update

Prepared by: Scott Buffkin, Village Manager

Date: February 12, 2018

WHY YOU ARE RECEIVING THIS UPDATE

Upon request by Mayor Wait, the Village Manager will make a report at each Council meeting going forward as a means to keep Council fully up to date with all communications between the Village and the County about the Idols Road Industrial Park Project. Very little has changed since last Council meeting so I felt a good report at this point would be a quick review for Council on the Village’s efforts to date to work in regard to the project.

WHERE THIS PROJECT STARTED

As County Manger Watts reported at our January 22, 2018 Council meeting, County and Village staff members have met on multiple occasions to discuss and attempt to work through our mutual concerns about the project. On April 10, 2017 Village staff, County staff including planning staff and Utilities Commission staff met.  Among the items of discussion were development standards, traffic analyses, the nature and amount of upgrades that the Village is being asked to contribute to, etc.  Utilities Commission staff members confirmed their understanding that the funds being requested are contained within the Clemmons reserve fund which was created to fund utility extensions and improvements.  These funds are considered restricted revenues and they may only be used for that purpose.  (The balance of that fund at the end of 2017 = $3,689,601.73.)

Over the next few months Village and County staff met to try to address Council concerns expressed at the annual retreat about traffic generation, design standards, zoning approvals, etc. On May 8, 2017 Mr. Kornelis presented a draft interlocal agreement which would maintain County approval of the zoning approval with annexation of each parcel conditioned as a deed restriction for any new or subsequent owner.  At that time Council did not agree to a proposal that would not include annexation of the entire property from the beginning.  However, Village staff were directed to continue working with County staff to explore all possible resolutions.

In June Village staff delivered an interlocal that we felt was more likely to receive favorable consideration by the Village Council. Among other things it included annexation up front, addressed the need for traffic analyses, development standards and zoning.  County staff reviewed the draft proposal and later replied that they could not agree to many of the provisions contained therein.

On August 17, 2017 the Village Council in it’s entirely conducted a special meeting with Commissioners Plyler and Martin to continue discussions. At this meeting the Commissioners and Council members each had an opportunity to express concerns.  The Commissioners agreed on the importance of continued open dialogue and working together moving forward.

WHERE WE ARE AT NOW

Since that time staff members have held a number of conversations and Village staff has shared the scope of traffic impact analyses, design standards, etc. that would be required if the project were within the Village. The County has continued to move forward on the project as evidenced by their participation in the regional sewer lift station and continued negotiations with the first prospective tenant of the park.

 

THOUGHTS AND MOVING FORWARD – Michelle Barson, Feb 13, 2018

As of now the county took out a loan to handle the sewage costs for their industrial park. The cost is approximately 1.2 million, which is well within the money that the Village has earmarked for such expenses. The question is why don’t we want this deal. The deal previously laid out provided annexation to Clemmons, but only after the industrial park was built and not adhering to Clemmons design standards (as well as some other finer points that just didn’t feel like a good deal for Clemmons). It would also take a number of years (just how many is being looked into currently) to recoup our investment into the industrial park via tax revenue.  The benefit of annexation would be future control of the industrial park and the tax revenue from it.

If this park is going to happen no matter what the council needs to see if we can’t come to a better agreement. First, two questions to have answered.

  1. How long would it take to recoup our investment?

(I’ve heard three different numbers for this)

2. What other sewage projects are vying for those same dollars?

(Great question by Mayor Wait)

Once answered, we will have to weigh what is best for Clemmons – after all, this industrial park will sits across from one of our largest residential developments (Clemmons West), is next to our crown jewel (Tanglewood Park) and would appear as though in Clemmons to any passerby.

 

Author: Michelle Barson

Trying my best everyday.

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