April 9th, 2018 – Brunch Bill

I shared most of what occurred last night via my “project updates”. The most interesting thing going on in last nights meeting included the “Brunch Bill” and the Idols Road Industrial Park (now called Tanglewood Business Park). Here is a link to the full agenda.

TANGLEWOOD BUSINESS PARK

Let’s start with Tanglewood Business Park.  There’s not a whole lot to report on other than there appears to be an offer back on the table. The county had received a loan for the sewage, but they’re still interested in receiving the money for it from Clemmons (and repaying that loan immediately I suppose?). What we don’t know is what we will get in return. No matter what they exchange for it the numbers won’t add up in regard to getting back the money we put in so that angle is fruitless.

So why is this still worth considering?

One, the money we would spend on the sewage is earmarked for projects like that and the only other two projects that could request funds from that same source (in the foreseeable future) are much too large for Clemmons to take on, on our own. This means we have the money to give.

Two, perhaps control of the park and having it annexed to Clemmons has benefits.

  1. It would have to meet our building standards so it would be an attractive building with proper green space and potentially even greenway trails connecting to Tanglewood.
  2. The Village staff would work to ensure the property would be as least disruptive to the residents nearby as possible.  This could be accomplished by including berms, meeting our stormwater guidelines, etc.
  3. Annexation to Clemmons means we would have control of the property in the future and would receive the tax dollars generated from that property.

The Council believes the County wishes to build on this property. Wether it’s today or tomorrow that land will be developed and it is currently zoned for light and general industrial.  If we pass on this opportunity, which they are setting up as the last opportunity (though that’s been done before) perhaps we will lose any opportunity to have a say.

Staff is going to reach out and see if the original offer from a year-in-a-half ago is something that looks more agreeable to them now.  Once we find that out the Council can have a more constructive conversation around this issue. Mike Combest and I are also meeting with Don Martin (Forsyth County Commissioner) on Thursday in regard to the Clemmons Library and will ask for some insight on this project as well.  We will share with the rest of the Council what we learn.

BRUNCH BILL

Last night the Council voted 3-2 in favor of the Brunch Bill.  The “Brunch Bill” is a bill the state passed this past summer allowing the sales of alcohol on Sunday at 10am instead of 12pm. It’s a unique bill because each municipality gets to opt-in.

This issue was brought to us by a number of grocery stores and restaurants calling in to the Village Manager.  It was decided at the retreat to put it on the agenda.  At our last regular meeting Council decided to have a special public comments section regarding it and invite our local ABC Representative Eric Blanks to speak in regard to it. Blanks – Brunch Bill info can be found here. It is the document he provided Council with prior to the meeting and will be included in the final agenda publishing.

Eric Blanks spoke at the meeting and provided some background information on the bill, as well as some history on the sales of alcohol in our state.  I voted in favor for the following reasons:

  1. To attract more restaurants to our community similar to 2520 to better round out our dining-out opportunities.
  2. To show support of the grocery stores and restaurants that are here now and requested it.
  3. Higher sales at restaurants and groceries means more tax revenue for the community and perhaps even a demand for more employees.

There were two interesting arguments brought up against this bill.

  1. There was no one there to support it or fight it so why were we even discussing it?
  2. Who cares that government liaisons from the grocery chains are contacting the village. It should be the local managers.

Let me answer both. To the first, the businesses want it. The reason the businesses want it is because the interest is there from the people they serve.  They called us and therefore we should address it. Regardless of outcome it deserves being addressed as they are a stakeholder in our community too.

To the second, here’s how the process works for chain locations.

  1. Shoppers complain about not being able to purchase.
  2. Store managers tell corporate offices their sales could by higher if alcohol sales were available earlier.
  3. Corporate offices talk to their lobbyists / government liaisons about addressing this issue on their behalf.
  4. The government liaison contacts the appropriate body of government or elected official and asks them to consider their perspective on the issue.

There may even be something prohibiting managers of chain locations from contacting local government. Large corporations can often be restrictive on their employees in order to maintain continuity among their locations.

So I believe that the process that occurred is exactly the one that our society has put in place. Therefore whether or not a call came from down the street (as some of them did from our local restaurants) or across the country the weight it carries in our community on behalf of a business is equal. Certainly, they serve the same residents of Clemmons and surrounding areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Michelle Barson

Trying my best everyday.

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