2Q 2016 Quarterly Report to Council

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ADMINISTRATION The Cary Town Council approved its $319 million Fiscal year 2017 budget on June 27, which included a two-cent reduction in the property tax rate to 35 cents per $100 valuation. Council held two public hearings to receive citizen input and three budget work sessions to review the recommended budget. Council made two changes to the recommended budget by adding funding to build restrooms at MacDonald Woods Park and to develop a master plan for future phases of the Downtown Park. Notable new positions in the budget include three police officers, two emergency communication officers, new yard waste and recycling crews, and staff to improve technology services and data analysis. Significant capital projects in the budget include constructing Fire Station 9 on Walnut Street, resurfacing about five-percent of Town-maintained streets, and completing the White Oak Greenway. In April, the most recent stats available, the unemployment rate in Cary was 3.4 percent and Wake County was 4.2 percent. More information shows the NC rate at 4.5 percent and the U.S. rate at 4.5 percent in May. Town Council approved a three-year contract with the Cary Chamber for implementation of the economic development action plan. The Chamber will continue to promote Cary as a place to build and grow a business as well as a place to move or expand a business. The quality of life in Cary and the region is a major draw for recruitment efforts. Economic Development Legislative Update The "short session" truly was short this year as the General Assembly passed its budget and adjourned on July 1. Thanks to Cary's delegation, the Town was moderately successful in meeting its legislative goals. Two of the three requested charter amendments were included in the final version of S848. One amendment provides authority to streamline Town operations by authorizing the Town Manager to grant utility easements on Town-owned property. The other amendment allows the Town to convey property with covenants or deed restrictions, which provides the Town with another development tool while simultaneously protecting adjacent properties. S849 allows the Town to transfer ownership of retired K-9 service animals to their handlers. H550 provides the same authority across the state, and it passed shortly after S849 and is currently awaiting the governor's signature. While S848 and S849 were sponsored by Senators Barringer, Chaudhuri and Foushee, similar bills were sponsored in the House, and our entire delegation worked to ensure that they passed. A provision in S667 states that "It is the intent of the General Assembly to provide for even-numbered year municipal elections, effective with the 2020 election cycle." It then directs the Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee to study options to implement this change and report back before the 2017 long session. The Town has applied for $22 million in funding through the US Departemnt of Transportation's TIGER program for the Walker Street Extension. Our delegation supported this effort by sending a letter of support to Secretary Anthony Foxx. Award announcements are expected in the fall. Thanks to our entire delegation - Representatives Adcock, Avila, Dollar, Hall and Reives and Senators Barringer, Chaudhuri and Foushee for representing the interests of the Town and its citizens at the state level.

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