May 2017 Highlights

Southwest Ward UpdateMay 2017
May 29, 2017
Southwest Ward Council Member Dan Besse
Ph. 722-1674;  Email:  danbesse@danbesse.org

In May, the city council approved the contract for Lockland Park repairs, saw continued progress on other capital projects, and received the city manager’s FY 2018 budget proposal.  First, here are some important notes on Memorial Day Week.

Memorial Day events and city service changes:     There will be at least three public Memorial Day events in Winston-Salem on Monday, May 29, to honor those who have given their lives in service to our nation:
--There will be a Memorial Tribute Display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Home and Garden Building of the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds.
--Harry/VCOS Veterans Outreach will host its annual Memorial Day Commemoration and Picnic from noon to 5 p.m. at Bolton Park.
--The Triad Vietnam Veterans Association will hold its annual Memorial Day Service at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 6 p.m.

Winston-Salem city offices will be closed on May 29 in commemoration of Memorial Day.  In sanitation services this week, there will be no change in garbage collection.  Both recycling (blue week) and yard waste routes will be collected one day late. 

City pools began opening this Memorial Day weekend.  The Bolton, Parkland, and Kimberly Park pools will be open from noon until 6 p.m. on Memorial Day.  Bolton will begin opening daily for the summer on June 3.  For information on the days and hours of operation for all Winston-Salem city pools, as well as information on free children’s and adults’ swimming lessons, see http://www.cityofws.org/News/ID/20278/City-Pools-Start-Opening-Memorial-Day-Weekend .

The Winston-Salem Cycling Classic weekend will conclude on Memorial Day with races through downtown and nearby areas south and west of downtown.  Be on the alert for road closures in the affected areas between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.  (Note for Southwest Ward residents:  None of the closed streets will be in the Southwest Ward.)  Detailed maps can be found at http://www.cityofws.org/Portals/0/pdf/1CBD/Permits/May%202017/WS%20Cycling%20Classic.pdf?ver=2017-05-15-085421-477.

Lockland Park drainage repair contract approved:     The sinkhole problems affecting Lockland Park are on track for a comprehensive repair now that we have approved a contract for the necessary drainage renovation work in the park and nearby.  When small sinkholes first appeared at the southern end of the park in January 2016, we had no idea how extensive the impacted drainage system—and necessary repair work—would be.  That required an engineering study of where the pipes ran and what would have to be done to fix the undersized and deteriorated old pipes in and downstream from the park, not just move the problems around.  The total work in the park and area north of the park is now under contract for just under $900,000.  Work plans have been developed to minimize damage to the park in the process.

Utility-damaged streets resurfacing in Ardmore:     Resurfacing work to repair utilities-damaged streets in the Ardmore sub-basin #1 began in May, and will continue until completed this summer.  If you live on one of the streets affected by this work and your street has not been reached yet, please keep an eye out for the notices of when work will be done on your street block.  If you are going to be out of town during this time, please make sure that your car is not left on the street without someone present who will get the notice and can move it.  Streets with blocks covered by this work include (in alphabetical order) Ainsworth, Belview, Collingwood, Fairway, Ford, Hawthorne, Hoyt, Jefferson, Lyndhurst, Magnolia, Maplewood, Melrose, Parkway, Walker, and Westover. 

Little Creek Park sprayground ribbon-cutting:     We held the official ribbon-cutting event for the sprayground water splash play area at Little Creek Park on May 5.  This great new amenity for families in our part of the city is just one of several such spraygrounds that are opening this year in parks around our city.  (These projects have been funded thanks to city voters’ approval of the recreation and parks bonds in 2014!)

WFU/BMC hospital zoning case:     The city council on May 1 approved with conditions the WFU/BMC request to rezone from commercial to “campus” use the old commercial area bordered by Miller Street, Cloverdale Avenue, and Medical Center Boulevard.  This zoning case did NOT include any of the residential property on Queen Street, which will remain residential only.  Conditions attached to the rezoning should ensure that it does not adversely affect the neighborhood.  These conditions include retaining and improving the buffer area between the homes on Queen Street and the rezoned area, as well as other conditions designed to address streetscape, pedestrian, traffic, and noise questions.  Another condition prevents any expansion of offsite “incidental” uses which might otherwise have come with the zoning change.  At the same meeting, the council asked Planning staff to prepare a zoning ordinance change that should keep such “incidental” uses associated with campus zoning elsewhere from becoming a problem in the future. 

Youth Citizens’ Police Academy:     The Winston-Salem Police Department is accepting applications through May 30 for the Youth Citizens’ Police Academy.  This free program is designed for young men and women, age 16 or older, who are interested in learning about the WSPD or a career in law enforcement.  Topics will include criminal investigations, forensic services, SWAT demonstration, canine demonstration, the firearms training simulator, and more.  It will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 26-30, here in Winston-Salem.  For more information, contact Officer Claudia Morgan at 336-408-8126 or via email at cmorgan@wspd.org.  Information is also available at http://www.cityofws.org/Departments/Police/News/ID/20238/Police-Accepting-Applications-for-Youth-Citizens-Police-Academy 

Other May notes:     The District 3 Police Station near the intersection of S. Stratford Road and Somerset Drive is nearing completion, but I do not have an opening date yet.  I’ll send out a notice when we have the ribbon-cutting event scheduled.  For parks and recreation fans, I’ll note that the new Muddy Creek Greenway trailhead and parking area on Robinhood Road now has an approved construction contract; the new Jamison Park (with dog park area) will officially open soon; and great progress is being made on the Rail-Trail greenway on the east side of downtown as well as the Waughtown Connector greenway through the new Quarry Park off Reynolds Park Road.  Stage 2 of the Miller Park renovations is planned for later this year, and should include the trail/footpath repairs and renovations.

City manager’s proposed budget:      The city manager has released his proposed budget for FY2018, and as promised it continues the effort of bringing our police officers and other underpaid city employees up to a more fair and competitive compensation level.  
The process of city council review, amendment, and approval of the budget will begin with public workshops by the Finance Committee at 4:30 p.m. on June 1, 6, and 12, and a public hearing at 7 p.m. on June 8, all at City Hall.  Summary information on the proposed budget can be found at http://www.cityofws.org/News/ID/20282/4822-Million-Dollar-Budget-Proposed-for-2017-2018  and a link to the full proposed budget document at http://www.cityofws.org/Budget.  The full city council is scheduled to approve a final city budget for FY2018 at our meeting starting at 7 p.m. on June 19 at City Hall.

That’s my report for May.  As always, you are welcome to email me at danbesse@danbesse.org with comments or questions.  Thanks!

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