August 2018 Highlights

In August, the city council approved several economic development investments.  First, here are important updates regarding the week of Labor Day and assorted road work.

Sanitations collections Labor Day week:     For Labor Day week (Sept. 3-8):
--Yard waste cart and recycling collection routes will be postponed one day.  (Monday routes will be collected Tuesday, etc.) 
--Garbage collection routes will follow their normal schedule. 

Business 40 work:     Ironically, it will be bypass I-40 which has extended traffic delays this month, as NC DOT is pushing forward projects for important repair work there.  The intent is to get all that work done before the full extended closure of Business 40 through downtown begins in November.  Please try to leave extra time or take alternative routes (or both) when traveling I-40 during this period.  For all the state highway work around Winston-Salem at this time, you can keep up with the latest on work schedules, planned lane closures, and other related information here:  www.business40nc.com 

Somerset Drive road work:     The utilities line connections work which has been underway on Somerset Drive this week has unfortunately had to be extended to next week as well.  Somerset will be open over the Labor Day weekend.  The daily work closures will re-start on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 9 a.m.  On Tuesday through Friday (Sept. 7), the road is scheduled to be closed between Osborne and Seasons Chase roads from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.  The marked detour will be open during that time.  Please continue to leave more time and be extra careful on the affected neighborhood streets.

 

National Guard deployment:     On Labor Day itself (Monday, Sept. 3), there will be a special National Guard Deployment Ceremony for the soldiers and families of NC Army National Guard Bravo Battery, 5th Battalion, 113th Field Artillery Regiment, based in Winston-Salem.  About 120 soldiers from this unit will be deployed to service in the Middle East region for about 9-12 months.  The deployment ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Hanesbrand Theatre at the Arts Center, 209 N. Spruce St., Winston-Salem.  Please keep our soldiers and their families in your thoughts during their deployment.

Economic development investments:     In August, the city council approved two new economic development incentives packages which should produce between $880,000 and $1.4 million net new city tax revenue over the next 10 years, as well as 600+ new local jobs.  As usual, the Winston-Salem incentives contracts will be written to ensure that annual incentives payments to a company are made only after the tax revenues have been received, and the incentives are scaled to vary downward if the tax revenues from a project fall short of estimates.  The contracts also include “clawback” provisions which guard taxpayers against loss if projects are not completed or jobs are relocated elsewhere.  One of the projects involves an anchor tenant for the redeveloping Whitaker Park industrial complex, and is expected to boost the recruitment of other employers to that development as an important added benefit.

Gun safety education:     The city council’s Public Safety Committee received an informative presentation on the “Be SMART” gun safety public education program sponsored by the Moms Demand Action group.  The program is designed to promote safe storage of firearms kept in the home, reducing the risks of gun accidents involving children as well as the tragedy of teen suicides using guns.  More information on this program is available at www.besmartforkids.org

“Think Orange” to combat hunger:     On August 17, I participated with the mayor and other city council members to kick off the city’s new “Think Orange” campaign to combat hunger and food insecurity in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.  Assisted by a federal grant and partnering with multiple community organizations, the program will include efforts such as expanding summer child meal programs at city recreation centers.  See more details here:  http://www.cityofws.org/News/ID/20789/Mayor-Joines-Announces-Citywide-Think-Orange-Campaign-to-Combat-Hunger

Citywide bicycle facilities plan:     Winston-Salem is developing a newly updated plan for making biking safer and more fun as transportation and recreation.  Have comments and suggestions?  Check out www.wsbikeplan.com and let us know what you think.

Campaign emails:     Most of you will have heard that I am running this fall for the NC House 75th District state legislative seat.  As always, I do not use my regular Southwest Ward email contact lists for campaign emails.  However, for anyone who receives these emails and would like to get my campaign emails as well, please just let me know by responding to this report.  I will add you to my separate campaign email list so that you receive those updates and information as well.  Neither my Southwest Ward email lists nor my campaign lists are maintained with city funds or resources. 

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

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