This was one of the busiest weeks I have had in a while.
Council Meeting Prep
Monday I contacted council members to hear questions or concerns about the upcoming meeting agenda. Since the agenda was very short there were few comments. Later in the day I met with Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz and staff to go over the agenda items. Our meeting lasted just a few minutes.
Town Manager One-On-One
Monday evening I talked with the deputy town manager and the chief strategy officer. Our topics included Wake Med Cary, the RTA trip, and federal stimulus money spending.
Tour of the Fenton
Tuesday I joined council member Yerha and his wife in a tour of the Fenton. There is a LOT of activity ongoing. The streetscape and facade of all buildings in phase one are scheduled to be finished by the end of April. Several businesses will open at that time with a gradual opening of other businesses throughout the month of May. Early June will be the official grand opening so stay tuned.
State of Cary Address at Glenaire
Tuesday afternoon I gave the State of Cary address to the residents of Glenaire. There was a full auditorium. My message was preceded with a history moment by council member Yerha. This was the third time I have given the address since January. There were a few updates, but most of the slide deck remained the same. Since I speak from the slides each presentation is different.
Atlantic Tire Championship Board Meeting
Tuesday night I met with the board of the Atlantic Tire Championships. The interest in Cary Tennis Park for amateur and professional tournaments continues to increase. So improvements at the tennis park are timely. We expect this year’s tournament to be biggest yet.
State of Cary Address at MacGregor Rotary
Wednesday I presented the State of Cary address to the MacGregor Rotary Club. There were about three dozen people in attendance. I spoke from the same slide deck as the day before. One person who was at both presentations said this one was better. After the presentation I did not have time for questions, so I stuck around to talk with individuals about various issues.
Ed Yerha’s Campaign Kickoff
Later Wednesday I gave the introduction at Ed Yerha’s reelection campaign. Ed is not only a friend but has given so much to this town on and off the council. I wish him the best. While I support Ed, I am glad to talk and help any candidate for office.
Thursday the council held a regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting included appointments to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force, five consent items, and two public hearings.
The appointments to the task force were Susie Sliver (chair), Shuchi Gupta, Dev Hirji, Jessica MacDonald, Asheesh Projapati, Ness Shortly, Paula Smith, and Donna Davis. The group will serve two years or until the final report of findings from the Reimaging Policing Project is presented to Council whichever is later.
A public hearing for the Affordable Housing rezoning off Maynard Road had over two dozen speakers with about twenty of them in person. Proponents of the rezoning mostly are advocates for any type of affordable housing. Opponents of the rezoning were mostly residents of the adjacent neighborhood whose reasons were home values, traffic, and the loss of trees. Council will vote on this rezoning in a few months. The meeting concluded after about two hours and fifteen minutes.
Speaking to Highcroft Elementary’s 3rd Grade
Friday I spoke to the entire 3rd grade class at Highcroft Elementary School.
Upon arriving I was greeted with a welcome poster at the entrance. I spoke about my duties and how I was elected.
After several great questions, I posed with the classes in front of the Husky bulletin board. I was presented with a few of their favorite snacks before leaving. Thank you, 3rd graders! It was a great visit and I hope they invite me back in the future.
Howard Manning’s Memorial Service
Saturday morning I joined several hundred people in attended the memorial service for Howard Manning who was the Executive Director for Dorcas Ministries for the last 17 years. I was given the honor of being one of the speakers at his service. Howard spent most of his life making sure the least of us had food, clothing, and a place to live. We were blessed to have had him in our community. I believe our community is stronger and a much better place because of his mission. God bless you Howard! Rest in peace!
Celebration of Life
Saturday afternoon I attended a celebration of life for a 20-year-old college student. What a tragic loss. It was heart wrenching her parents living out my worst nightmare. Please hug you kids and tell them how much you love them. My thoughts and prayers go out to that family and all those who have suffered such a loss.
USA Baseball Expansion
Late Saturday afternoon I attended the expansion ceremony for USA Baseball. The facility opened in 2007 as the National Training Center. Since then more than 300 major events have been held with over 100,000 people visiting annually. The facility has gained recognition nationally and internationally as one of the best baseball facilities in the world.
The expansion will provide an indoor artificial turf space for baseball, softball, and other activities in addition to providing much needed office space for employees.
I was the emcee for the ceremony which included remarks from George Grande of the USA Baseball Board of Directors. He was also the first broadcaster for ESPN.
After his remarks USA Baseball presented a signed jersey from the silver medalist Olympians of last year. We will find a great place to display this amazing gift. Each council member was also presented a baseball bat with their name. How cool is that!
Council member Ya Liu’s also provided remarks included information about the 300 solar panels that will provide about half of the total power consumed by the facility. The facility will also include electric charging infrastructure. After her remarks she flipped a switch that launched a brief fireworks display.
I concluded the ceremony inviting all to watch the National High School Invitational Championship game that followed.
Before the beginning of the game, I was honored with throwing out the first pitch. I bounced it over the plate. Oh well, I guess I will need to practice before the next time I throw out a pitch. The championship game was between two teams from Florida with Stoneman Douglas taking down St. Johns Country Day 5-3.
USTA Appreciation Reception
Saturday night I gave welcoming remarks at a USTA (United States Tennis Association) appreciation reception. This reception was attended by tennis professionals and those vested in the tennis industry from the region.
Cary Tennis Park
Sunday I visited the Cary Tennis Park and participated in one of the USTA clinics to instruct the teaching professionals. It was interesting trying new things that may be incorporated into tennis lessons soon. I also toured the park to see the current renovations which allow seating on outer courts for events such as the ACC and professional tournaments.
Town Manager’s Report
The town manager’s report for this week included
I look forward to joining you all tomorrow to celebrate the expansion of the USA Baseball National Training Complex at Thomas Brooks Park. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear remarks from the Mayor and Council Member Ya Liu. William Davis will be waiting at the gate to ensure a seamless transition to the VIP area.
See you around 5 p.m.!
Development Pulse Report
The March 2022 Development Pulse Report is now available.
- Dave & Busters, 1111 Walnut Street: The certificate of compliance has been issued for the relocation of Dave & Busters from the Cary Towne Center Mall Building to the former Jump Street space along Walnut Street.
- A’ Verde Cocina and Tequila Bar, 2300 Walnut Street: The certification of compliance has been issued for a new restaurant to occupy the former Wild Wings Café within the Centrum Shopping Center.
- BBs Crispy Chicken, 1147 Parkside Main Street: The building permit for a new first time restaurant tenant has been approved within Parkside Town Commons.
April ZBOA Meeting
On Monday, the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBOA) unanimously approved two cases. The first case was a request for a variance to the platted setback for a residential property at 210 Meadow Drive. The second case was for a development plan amendment to remove a private trail from a previously approved development plan over 100 units for Shelbourne Cary, 7000 Regency Parkway.
Mayor Weinbrecht Visits Glenaire and Cary Rotary
This week, the Mayor presented the State of Cary to Glenaire residents and MacGregor Rotary Club members. Council Member Ed Yerha joined the Mayor at Glenaire to give a presentation about Cary’s history.
Project Phoenix Anniversary Event
On Wednesday, the Police Department’s Project PHOENIX unit celebrated 10 + 1 years of being a program in Cary. Delayed one year due to the pandemic, this anniversary celebration invited over 100 individuals to the Bond Park Senior Center to enjoy a presentation on how Project PHOENIX came about. Council Member Jack Smith expressed his appreciation for the program’s impact and read a proclamation to recognize its success. Town Council, staff, and several community partners were recognized for their contributions to Project PHOENIX events and initiatives over the years.
Breakfast with the Bunny
Breakfast with the Bunny returned on April 2 with families present to enjoy a continental breakfast with the Easter Bunny hosted by the Cary Teen Council. Afterwards, kids searched for the Easter Bunny’s hidden eggs at their own private egg hunt. Participants left with candy treats and an egg-cellent morning was had by all.
Bands, Bites, and Boats
The warm weather and spring breeze brought a crowd to the first Bands, Bites and Boats of 2022. Around 600 guests savored bites from a food truck and set-up lawn chairs to enjoy the music of 2DIGH4. Visitors rented boats in order to listen to the music from across the lake keeping the boathouse busy throughout the evening. The next event is scheduled for May 6.
2022 Annual Controlled Burn
In accordance with the long-term Natural Resource Management Plan of Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, the 2022 controlled burn was conducted on April 5. This controlled burn is completed through a partnership with preserve staff, NC Forest Service, NC State Parks, and Cary’s Fire Department. A total of 1 acre was burned along the Chestnut Oak Loop Trail. These burns are completed to reduce potential for fire and to protect adjacent neighborhoods as well as improve wildlife habitat.
Cary is Buzzing with more Pollinators
This week, staff installed two honeybee hives to help pollinate the new pollinator gardens and newly expanded orchard at the South Cary Water Reclamation Facility. These hives provide opportunities for staff and the community to learn more about how bees provide food and other benefits to Cary citizens. These hives join the 20 existing hives at Good Hope Farm, increasing Cary’s urban agriculture opportunities. In all, Cary’s beehives now provide approximately 1,320,000 wonderful, winged creatures, flying to pollinate gardens and flowers up to four miles away in surrounding neighborhoods.
Spring Litter Sweep 2022
Volunteers mobilized to keep our community clean and green through Spruce’s biannual Litter Sweep. Together 85 volunteers collected 3,650 pounds of litter from Cary’s streets, parks, and outdoor spaces. Held in conjunction with the Keep America Beautiful Big Sweep initiative, Spruce Litter Sweeps help to maintain healthy waterways in our region.
Tree Planting at Middle Creek
The final tree planting project of the season happened at Middle Creek Park. In our continuing effort to plant in open spaces and at facilities, staff added nine beautiful native trees to Middle Creek Park. A willow oak, red maple, fringe trees, and red buds will add beauty, economic, and environmental benefits of trees to the grounds for all to enjoy.
Central Pressure Zone Boundary Shift Complete
On Wednesday, the pressure zone modification was successfully completed in and around the Piper’s Crossing, Piper’s Grove, and Pritchett Farms Neighborhoods. With the completion of this operation, approximately 200 homes along the Holly Springs Road corridor have shifted from the Southern Pressure Zone to the Central Pressure Zone. There were no issues reported. The operation not only provides an increase of 10-20 psi in water pressure, but also affords greater operational flexibility and reliability in Cary’s water system.
The links provided below will direct you to helpful documents recently created by staff that may be of interest to Council.
Hybrid Environmental Advisory Board
Tuesday, April 12
Hybrid Public Art Advisory Board
Wed, April 13
Historic Preservation Commission
Wed, April 13
Thursday, April 14
Emails from citizens this week included:
- A request to review environmental policies in the Cary Community Plan (ongoing)
- Requests to deny and approve the town’s Affordable Housing Rezoning proposal
- Invitation to several events
- A request to fix and maintain sidewalks from Glenaire to downtown
- A concern about tennis programming at Dunham Park
- A concern about a Batchelor Road rezoning (this was a neighborhood meeting and council does not have information at this time)
- A concern about transportation in Western Cary
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a meeting on mental health, and a North Carolina Metro Mayors meeting.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Monday, April 18th. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to email@example.com.