This was one of the slowest weeks I have had in a while.
Town Manager One-On-One
Monday afternoon I talked with the town manager for our weekly one-on-one. We talked about the Cary Tennis Park, other future parks, and ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) funding. Our meeting lasted about 15 minutes.
Later Monday I joined the town manager in a virtual meeting with representatives from Wake Med Cary. They talked about the lacking facilities and resources for mental health and how the mental health crisis has gotten much worse since the pandemic. They are in the process of asking each municipality to help with funding some of these needs. Our discussion lasted about an hour.
Cary is Safe and Most Affordable According to SmartAsset
Tuesday I was notified that Cary had again been named as one of the safest places in the U.S. In a new study from SmartAsset, Cary ranked No. 7 among the 200 largest cities in the country. To find the safest cities, SmartAsset compared 200 of the largest U.S. cities across various metrics, including violent crime rate, property crime rate and vehicular mortality rate.
Cary ranked No. 1 for affordability among the 200 cities included in the analysis. Median annual housing costs ($17,304) in the town are just 16.28 percent of the median household income ($106,304), the study found.
Thursday I joined the town manager, deputy town manager, planning director, and a representative from the Fenton to discuss their most recent rezoning proposal and possibly future changes. The purpose of the meeting was to make sure all of us had the same information and understanding. Our meeting lasted about half an hour.
Town Manager’s Report
The town manager’s report for this week included:
Chief Development Officer Scot Berry shared that Apple’s presence in Cary at the MetLife campus is moving forward. Building permits have been issued to begin renovation of the MetLife Building 3 at 301 MetLife Way. These initial building permits are for renovations to floors two through six. Building permits for floors one and seven are currently under review. Once the renovations are complete, Apple will be the new tenant for the entire building. We are excited to have them in Cary.
As a reminder, most staffed facilities, including Town Hall, will be closed Friday, in observance of the Town holiday.
Have a nice weekend.
NTC Expansion Ceremony
The USA Baseball National Training Complex (NTC) Expansion Ceremony was hosted this past weekend just prior to the Championship Game for the National High School Invitational (NHSI).
Mayor Weinbrecht kicked off the ceremony by sharing what the new space entails and what it means to Cary citizens. USA Baseball Board Member, George Grande, also one of the original TV broadcasters for ESPN spoke on behalf of USA Baseball and gave the following impactful remarks, “We (USAB) never had a home…but then we found Cary and Cary found us”. Council member Ya Liu provided some additional highlights, including the use of solar panels and EV charging stations, paving a greener, sustainable future for Cary.
The ceremony was attended by Town Council, Town Manager Sean R. Stegall, PRCR Director Doug McRainey, Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance Executive Director Scott Dupree, and two Wake County Commissioners. Wake County contributed $2.5 million towards the project in hotel occupancy tax.
Wake Tech Letter of Support
Cary provided a letter to its federal delegation in support of Wake Technical Community College’s (Wake Tech) application to the Community Project program entitled Grid to Plug to Wheels: Technician training for safe and efficient electric vehicle power utilization and maintenance. As electric vehicles become more prominent, it is important to have readily available job training programs to build a skilled workforce prepared to install and maintain the EV grid, as well as service electric vehicles on the road. Wake Tech has a long history of providing excellent and affordable job training to Wake County citizens and we are pleased to support their application for funding.
USTA Celebrates Tennis in Cary
On Saturday, USTA (United States Tennis Association) hosted a tennis appreciation event at Prestonwood Country Club to show appreciation for Cary and area private and public tennis facilities and icons that have made tennis what it is in Cary. Mayor Weinbrecht attended and spoke highly of the Cary Tennis Park as well as the private clubs in Cary. You have heard the phrase “a rising tide raises all ships” and this is truly the case with tennis based on all the growth over the past 10 years.
On Sunday, USTA also conducted a Professional Development Day at Cary Tennis Park for seasoned pros to earn on-court continuing education credits and for aspiring new pros/instructors to learn more about growing tennis.
Water Main Construction Update
Water main construction is set to commence in southern Cary along Stephenson Road and Smith Road on April 18. The new water main will start at Lily Orchard Way and Stephenson Road, and continue along Smith Road, stopping just short of Ten Ten Road. Traffic may be reduced to one lane in alternating directions while this work is ongoing weekdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Construction is anticipated to be complete by fall 2022.
April Downtown Chowdown
On Sunday, Cary hosted its first Downtown Chowdown in over two years with attendance topping 8,000 people, eclipsing previous years’ attendance of 6,000. The increased crowds translated to success for participating vendors as well, with many reporting record sales. Local breweries Fortnight and Bond Brothers reportedly sold more beer than at any previous Chowdown event, and food truck Mama Nem’s more than doubled its record for sales at any event. Crowds remained steady for the duration of the event, as citizens enjoyed the deejay, new lawn games, public art, and sunny spring weather.
Hippity Hoppity Easter Egg Hung
The Easter Bunny delivered eggs to Middle Creek High School football stadium and Alston Ridge Middle School football field on Saturday. Close to 700 kids and their families attended this fun event where they enjoyed pre-hunt entertainment by stilt walkers, jugglers, magicians, hoop artists, a mime and of course the Easter Bunny.
Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meetings
Neighborhood meetings will be held virtually on WebEx from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on May 4. The following cases will be discussed:
- 22-REZ-08 Aerial Center Spectrum
- 22-REZ-09 Optimist Farm Road
For more information and to register visit the Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting page.
Emails from citizens this week included:
- Invitations to events.
- A request for a proclamation
- A concern about an Apex apartment proposal and how it will impact Cary
- Thanks for changes in downtown
It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Fellas Bond, the wife of former mayor Fred Bond. As with all great mayors there is a great first lady and Fellas was certainly that. In addition, she was my aunt and like a second mother to me when I was young. Please extend your thoughts and prayers to her remaining children Mark, Tim, and Lisa. Rest in Peace Fellas.
(I apologize in advance to those that might be offended with “first lady”. I am sure the “first gentleman” will be just as influential when Cary has its first female mayor.)
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a Wake County Mayors Association meeting, a Cary Council candidate forum, a HOA meeting, a grant announcement ceremony with Congresswoman Ross, a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organizations Executive board, an Elected Officials Reception, and the Cary Chamber’s President reception.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Saturday, April 23rd. 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.