July 2016 Highlights

National Night Out takes place this Tuesday, August 2.


Southwest Area Plan final public hearing Aug. 1:     The final public hearing and adoption vote on the Southwest Area Plan Update will take place at the City Council meeting this Monday, August 1, starting at 7 p.m. at City Hall.  Small area plans are city planning documents used for non-binding guidance to city boards and departments in making zoning and infrastructure planning decisions.  This small area plan includes the Ardmore and Hanestown neighborhoods, both hospital complexes, and adjacent commercial areas including Thruway.  Public input has been collected at a series of briefing and comment meetings, and the proposed update has been recommended unanimously by the Planning Board and the City Council’s Community Development, Housing, and General Government Committee.  The proposed final plan update can be seen here:  http://www.cityofws.org/Departments/Planning/Area-Plans/Southwest 


National Night Out:     The annual evening event celebrating the partnership of police departments and neighborhood groups in promoting community safety will be held this Tuesday, August 2, in Winston-Salem and around the nation.  There will be cookouts, block parties, youth activities, flashlight walks, and other community activities at dozens of locations in our city and thousands of communities nationwide.  I’ll attend the citywide opening ceremony at 6 p.m. (this year at First Baptist Church, 500 N. Highland Ave.), and then head to as many neighborhood events in the Southwest Ward as I can reach before 9.  Neighborhood events in the Southwest Ward include Healy Towers, Seasons Chase, Harwick-Bridgeport, Ardmore Terrace/Cloverdale, Sandersted, and Burlwood Drive.  For more information, see http://www.cityofws.org/Departments/Police/Crime-Prevention/Neighborhood-Watch/National-Night-Out-Registration     


‘Black & Blue’ Community-Police Town Hall:     Another community event of importance to Winston-Salem’s ongoing work for community safety will take place this coming month.  A discussion forum titled ‘Black & Blue Community-Police Town Hall’, sponsored by the Winston-Salem Urban League, will be held Thursday, August 18, starting at 6 p.m., at the Urban League offices at 201 W. 5th Street.  The event will feature conversation on contemporary issues and tensions affecting police-community relations.  Participating organizations will include the Winston-Salem Police Department, N.A.A.C.P., United Way of Forsyth County, Black Chamber of Commerce, Winston-Salem Foundation, Institute for Dismantling Racism, and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.  Full details are at http://www.wsurban.org/community-partners-host-community-police-town-hall-series/.


Winston Lake Aquatic Park groundbreaking:     The latest groundbreaking for a city bonds-funded project was held July 22 for the new Winston Lake Aquatic Park.  Construction should begin this summer and be completed next year.  The new facility will have a swimming pool, splash ground, water slide, and lazy river.  Plan to take the family and enjoy a walk around (perhaps a picnic at) beautiful Winston Lake itself while you’re there.  For those who have not visited this gem of our city parks system (or who haven’t visited recently), it’s located on Waterworks Road, just off New Walkertown Road.  In addition to the lake, just across Waterworks Road you will find the trailhead for the start of the Newell/Massey—Brushy Fork Greenway. 

You can check on the progress of any 2014 bond project here:  http://www.cityofws.org/2014bonds 


Regional Transportation Advisory Committee approves road priorities:    The Winston-Salem Urban Area Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), on which I serve as Winston-Salem city representative and vice-chair, met July 21 and adopted our recommendations for the major state highway and bridge projects in our region.  Of particular interest to many Southwest Ward residents, our priority recommendations included upgrading the bridge and interchange of Jonestown Road across U.S. 421.  As regular users of that bridge know, it is often highly congested, and does not include any means for safe pedestrian/cyclist crossing.  Caveat:  Don’t get too excited yet—our recommendation is just that—we won’t know if the NC Board of Transportation will include this in their projects to be funded for several months.  The project cost is an estimated $106 million.  As always, there is a lot of competition for the funding. 


Enviro-Station hours changing:     The recycling facility that handles household hazardous wastes for residents of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County is changing its public hours.  The 3RC Forsyth County’s Enviro-Station, at 1401 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, will have new operating hours beginning Wednesday, August 3.  The new hours will be Wednesday—Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (holidays and holiday weekends excluded).  The Enviro-Station accepts drop-offs without charge from Forsyth County residents of household hazardous waste materials such as paint, flammable liquids, pesticides and herbicides.  More information can be found at www.cityofws.org/departments/utilities/residential-services/household-hazardous-waste-disposal.  


Convention:     I work to keep my explicitly political activities separate from my work as your city council representative, so I won’t go into details here in my Southwest Ward Update.  For those of you who may find it of interest, however, I’ll note briefly that I spent most of the last week of July as a delegate from North Carolina to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.  It was a fascinating experience, and if you have any questions about it, please feel welcome to email and ask.   


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