I have been asked by several people to provide a summary of some of the town activities for 2021. Following is a summary of these activities.
- The Union County 2050 Comprehensive Plan was on the County website. Each citizen was asked to review the plan and make comments prior to the plan being finalized.
- Council had a resolution for Fairview School Choice Proclamation Week recognizing that Fairview Elementary is a school of choice.
- The first of three "Targeted Enforcements" on Highway 218 was completed by the Union County Sheriff's Department. There were 75 citations written.
- Council held their annual Planning Retreat. These have been held annually for the past several years. Although we call it a retreat, we actually meet in the town hall to discuss both short term and long-term planning for the town.
- The second of three "Targeted Enforcements" on Highway 218 was completed by the Union County Sheriff's Department. There were 66 citations written.
- Council updated the Fairview Land Use Ordinance required by state law 160D. We also removed all sections of the ordinance that referred to high density. Nothing denser than RA40 (basically one house per one acre) is now allowed in the Fairview ordinance.
- We thanked Andy Williams, Fire Chief, and the entire fire department for their work in upgrading the ISO town grade. The grade changed from 5/9 to 4/9 (effective 6-1-21). This change reduces the fire insurance cost for many Fairview residents.
- An AED was provided for the town hall by the fire department.
- We had a virtual presentation by Allison Drake, PE, Highway Group Leader with RS&H on the Highway 601 and Brief Road intersection. Allison, Bjorn Hansen, Union County Transportation Director and I met at Hot Mess on April 1 to discuss possible changes with the public. The public was invited to provide input as to whether a roundabout or turn lanes would be preferable from a safety standpoint. Council would vote in May on the preferred choice.
- We discussed an 8-house subdivision on Brief Road East and approved this for Brief Estates.
- Council held their budget workshop on April 27.
- Council approved the audit contract with JB Watson & Company. They have been our auditor (required by law) for the past several years and have gotten the audits done on time.
- Council discussed forming a Social Media Committee and approved the formation. (We only received one application however for this committee.)
- Park Cleanup Day was scheduled for April 24.
- An audit of the town's Flood Damage and Prevention Ordinance was performed by Terry Fox, NFIP Planner with the NC Emergency Management Risk Management Section. Only suggestions were minor wording changes.
- We approved an update fire suppression contract with the Fairview Fire Department.
- Council approved an update to the town Nuisance Ordinance.
- We also approved 2 speed limit changes recommended by NC DOT on Lester Mullis Road and West Duncan Road.
- We approved a Memorial Day proclamation to honor our men and women in the military who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
- We voted to approve the roundabout option for the Highway 601 and Brief Road intersection. The public recommended this option 3 to 1 over intersection turn lanes.
- Council did a resolution opposing SB349 and HB401. These laws, if passed, would have allowed duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes in ANY single-family zoning. We sent this resolution to several senators and representatives. We also asked residents to voice their opposition to these bills with their senators and representative. The bills died in committee.
- Council approved partnering with Union County on the Community Development Block Grants. These grants can be used to rehab wells with arsenic for resident below a certain income level.
- Park cleanup day was postponed until May 8. The Piedmont Band members participated.
- Budget for fiscal year 2021/2022 was discussed and approved. Tax rate was kept at $0.02 per $100 valuation.
- Ed Humphries, Teresa Gregorius met with two representatives from Congressman Dan Bishop's office. Our main topics of discussion were around broadband and grants. We invited them to speak at a future council meeting.
- The paperwork for the American Rescue Plan was filed by Darrell Baucom.
- The Solar Energy Ordinance was updated.
- Council provided $500 to Turning Point (shelter for battered women).
- Music in the park by the Catalinas was a great success! We received many positive comments.
- Council approved the purchase of 3.14 acres containing the newer of the school buildings at the old Fairview School site for $150,000. The entire site is 9.85 acres and is valued for tax purposes at $1,200,000. The fire department will purchase the rest of the property for $200,000 and will tear down the old school buildings to provide space for their new fire station. This site will be the municipal center for the town. We were able to purchase this building and acreage for much less than it would cost to build a similar facility. We have a building of 8100 sq ft plus that we paid $150,000 for that would easily cost us over a million dollars to replace.
- Council approved the updated Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (required to participate in the Federal Flood Insurance Program). Wording changes were recommended by the state because of the audit in May.
- The third Targeted Enforcement by the Sheriff's Department on Highway 218 netted 54 citations.
- Council asked citizens to participate in the NC Broadband survey. This survey was designed to see where problems occur in various areas of the state with respect to internet service.
- HB 401 and SB 349 are dead in this session of the legislature.
- Fairview population is now estimated at 4100 people.
- We held a 911 Remembrance at the park honoring past and present members of the Fairview Fire and Rescue. A memorial bench to honor these men and women will be installed at the flagpoles in the park.The Castaways provided excellent entertainment after the remembrance ceremony!
- The town received the first of two American Rescue Plan payments of $133,588.25. These payments come with strict guidelines on how the money may be used.
- Council did a proclamation on Domestic Violence Month.
- Some council members had the chance to meet with our legislators and county staff during the Elected Officials Reception in Monroe. I thanked the County Manager and 3 Assistant Managers for their help in obtaining the old Fairview School Property. Mark Watson, County Manager, stated that he wished the county could get the same kind of deal they gave to Fairview in obtaining the old school property. Contract has been signed by Mark Watson and me for the purchase. We closed on the property on October 14.
- We discussed hiring a new attorney, due to Joe McCollum's passing.
- Approved new HVAC system for the meeting room. This should make it easier for citizens in the back of the room to hear.
- Discussed and approved hiring of an engineer for the septic field (if needed).
- Council did a proclamation for Veteran's Day and recognized all veterans and those currently serving in the military.
- Council approved the contract with Melanie Cox, with the Cox Law Firm. She comes highly recommended, and currently works with two other Union County municipalities.
- Many people have asked if they could tour the old school before it is torn down. The Fire Department will allow this with a signed waiver (date to be announced by the Fire Department). Bricks will also be allowed to be taken. The Fire Department will have a memory wall in the new fire station that will have old pictures, mementoes, and history of the school and fire department.
- I met with the Arrow of Light and Webelo Dens of the scouts to discuss Fairview Government and function.
- The winter festival was a success, despite having the second portion rained out. Attendance was excellent, and we want to thank all the volunteers and participants.
- The town received a clean financial audit from our auditors, JB Watson and Company.
As always, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil Thomas, Mayor