Transfer of library expected at city council meeting

May. 11, 2013 @ 02:49 PM

The City of Henderson will own Perry Memorial Library building free and clear of any debt and have usage rights to a new performing arts center under the ownership of a private foundation when built, according to a draft agreement proposed for city council approval on Monday.

The council will also work through an agenda of 18 additional pending matters, including water extension questions for Vance-Granville Community College at one end of the county and a small area into Warren County on the other.

Funding an engineering report for solving a sewer system bottleneck, paying $21,362 to the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, a $288,000 radio meter-reader contract and renewing the outside lawn watering credit for 2013 are some of the additional matters pending.

The proposed agreement between Henderson and the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation makes sense, according to City Manager Ray Griffin.

“This is the logical continuation of the process,” Griffin said.

He added that the city has had the right to claim ownership of all the library and performing arts center property, but has not done so while there has been an outstanding debt on the work to build the library.

The main points of the proposed agreement are:

• The library reverts to city ownership once it is demonstrated that all debt and encumbrances are satisfied.

• The city waives rights of property reversion for McGregor Hall and the performing arts center.

• Easements would allow city use of McGregor Hall as the library entrance and performing arts center use of a closet on the library side of the hall.

• Easements would allow both entities use of the parking areas associated with the facilities.

Griffin said that part of signing on to the agreement is the understanding that the Embassy foundation is not requesting the city to help fund the construction or operation of the performing arts center.

One of the water service extension issues is accepting into the city-run system 540 linear feet built to serve a school expansion at VGCC that the city confirmed was built according to construction standards with a one-year warranty.

The other is a proposal requested by water partner Vance County to amend the water deal contract between the city and the county so the county can build 2,500 linear feet into a Warren County community. Griffin said he sees the extension there as a sensible plan to help some residents in need.

“Our approval would be contingent on Vance and Warren counties agreeing,” Griffin said. “It makes sense to provide the water to those people this way because the Vance line is so close. It’s right there.”

Griffin said that word from Warren County is positive about the plan because there are no options on the horizon to get water out to that area any other way.

• A $19,300 contract is on the table for McGill Associates to conduct an engineering report for a sewer outfall project in the area of Elmwood Cemetery. The city has tentative approval for a $1.8 million funding plan for solving a sewer flow bottleneck problem there.

• Council members will consider a $21,362 additional assessment for the closing fiscal year to fund the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments for payment of funds owed to a revolving loan fund.

• Sole Source is the supplier on deck to gain a contract for city purchase of 1,300 Neptune brand radio-read water meters for $288,000 plus $5,879 in closing costs, funded by a 20-year, zero-percent loan approved for $294,000. The city has already replaced more than 2,000 Neptune brand meters as old-system replacements that use new meter-reading technology by radio.

• City administrators recommend providing sewer-bill credit again, from June 1 through Oct. 31, for residential outside watering because the water used outside on lawns and gardens is not returned into the sewer system. Specific rules are provided for customers to claim the credit.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.