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Jamie
Town Manager Jamie Justice

Manager’s Report: September 12, 2017


All supporting documents for the September 12 board of commissioners’ meetings are available here:
https://davidson.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=576&MinutesMeetingID=274&doctype=Agenda
 
If you are interested in watching the video of the meetings, please view here: https://davidson.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=576&MinutesMeetingID=274&doctype=Agenda
 
 
SPECIAL NOTE: We are now live streaming our board meetings and work sessions via Novus Agenda (https://davidson.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/) and encourage you to tune in to the specific Novus Agenda meeting link on meeting days if you are unable to attend in person. To watch live, click the red circular camera icon to the left of the current meeting agenda to activate the video. You can also open up the online agenda to follow along with each presentation in another window. After each meeting (by the close of business on Wednesday), the video is saved to the Novus Agenda meeting link so you can watch when convenient to keep abreast of projects and issues. Click the “online agenda” with the red video arrow to open up the agenda. To watch the entire meeting, click the top “video” link on the left. To watch a video of a particular agenda item, please click the “video” link to the left of that item. To watch from a mobile phone, please use this link: https://davidson.novusagenda.com/AgendaPublic/meetingsresponsive.aspx
 

A summary of the September 12 work session (4:00 p.m.):

  • Planning Director Jason Burdette gave an overview of Smart Growth principles. He showed this video to illustrate some benefits. Davidson prides itself in striving to adhere to Smart Growth principles. Smart growth offers a variety of options to foster sustainable growth.

  •  Planning Director Jason Burdette discussed proposed text amendments to the Davidson Planning Ordinance. Per Mecklenburg County's recommendation, planning staff proposed changes to Section 17 (watershed) of the planning ordinance. Planning staff will draft language to be reviewed by the Davidson Planning Board; the proposed changes will ultimately be approved by the Davidson Board of Commissioners. Additionally, commissioners had asked staff to look into permitted building types in the Village Infill Planning Area, so Jason provided an explanation of what is currently allowed per the Davidson Planning Ordinance.


A summary of the September 12 regular meeting (6:00 p.m.):
 

  • Mayor John Woods recognized the efforts of the Brown family and their Barnstock concert fund raiser. We very much appreciate their contribution to the Davidson Fire Department.

  • Mayor John Woods proclaimed September 10-16 as National Suicide Prevention Week. We appreciate the work of Davidson LifeLine in supporting suicide prevention and mental health awareness in our community.

  • In order to provide voters with information about the three general obligation bond referenda on the November 7, 2017 ballot, the Town of Davidson created this video to explain the three bond referenda categories (mobility/transportation, greenway, and parks and recreation), the dollar amounts (up to $15 million), potential projects (list available at www.townofdavidson.org/ProposedBondProjects), and potential tax rate increase (a 3.62 cent tax increase to be phased in over a three-year period). For more information, please visit www.townofdavidson.org/GOBonds.

  • Multiple citizens spoke during the public comment period.  We appreciate their engagement in our town.  


Ken Joyner
Ken Joyner
  • Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor Ken Joyner shared the county’s 2019 Revaluation expectations for Davidson. They have processes in place that should provide accurate property value information. On average, property values will increase across Davidson.

  • The Davidson Board of Commissioners held a public hearing on the Davidson Commons East conditional master plan amendment. Multiple citizens spoke; we appreciate their input.


New Business:

  • The Davidson Board of Commissioners voted to approve the purchase of replacement radios for the police and fire departments for $192,000. These radios will soon become obsolete from a technology perspective.
Travis Johnson
Travis Johnson
  • Senior Planner Travis Johnson gave a report on the Davidson Mobility Plan to be undertaken by the planning department in the next six months to look at pedestrian, bicycle, vehicle, and transit issues in Davidson. After this plan is completed and adopted by the Davidson Board of Commissioners, Davidson will be able to seek funding for mobility/transportation projects to make improvements in town. Citizen input will be a part of this process, so please stay tuned for opportunities to participate.


MI-Connection

The Davidson Board of Commissioners asked me to give a quarterly update on MI-Connection so I provided the first of many to come. Since we get a lot of questions about MI-Connection, I thought the links to the presentation and video might be helpful. My presentation outlines the following points:

  1. The Town of Mooresville holds the debt for MI-Connection: In 2007 initial financing required a certificate of participation (COPs) loan of $80 million. In 2008, an additional $12.5 million in installment financing was required for system enhancements and operational needs.
  2. In 2015, the COPs loan was refinanced with a lower interest rate, elimination of the reserve fund, and a prepayment option. The $12.5 million installment loan was also refinanced with a lower rate.
  3. As of September 1, 2017, the current principal owed on the COPs loan is $61.135 million at an interest rate of 3.243%. This loan matures in 2033. The current principal installment loan is $6.185 million at an interest rate of 2.36% This loan matures in 2023.
  4. MI-Connection uses EBIDA, earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization, as a key metric to measure performance. FY 2017 did not reach MI-Connection’s original budget projections, however, they still grew their contribution toward debt. They had a slight decrease in revenue generating units and customers. In FY 2017, MI-Connection made a $2.9 million contribution toward debt and in FY 2018 are planning to make a $3.45 million contribution toward debt. In FY 2017, the Towns of Davidson and Mooresville made a $3.44 million contribution toward debt and are projected to make a $2.93 million contribution toward debt in FY 2018. This will be the first time that MI-Connection’s contribution toward debt payment will exceed the towns’ contribution toward debt payment.
  5. Per the interlocal agreement with the Town of Mooresville, Mooresville has a 70% interest in MI-Connection and Davidson has 30%. The Town of Davidson’s annual payment to Mooresville is capped at $1 million (9% of the town’s annual budget).
  6. MI-Connection has a board of directors that meets quarterly. I serve on the board with Mooresville’s town manager and several other voting and non-voting members. We monitor the system’s financials on a regular basis. We invite you to attend these meetings. The next one is scheduled for October 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Davidson Town Hall.
  7. MI-Connection recognizes that the broadband services it offers is the company’s key area for growth in the commercial and residential markets. They continue to upgrade technology and increase their service and product options. They look to extend service into new construction areas and penetrate existing service areas.
  8. Based on our current projections, Davidson’s deferred liability to Mooresville could be paid off in FY 2023. MI-Connection will likely not require contributions from the two towns starting in FY 2024.
  9. Currently the value of MI-Connection does not exceed the debt owed. Industry data show that 7-10x EBIDA is the metric for valuation of this type of company. Based on current projections, MI-Connection hopes to have a system value higher than the debt owed in 2-4 years and hopes to repay both of the towns for their investment in 7-10 years.
Closing remarks:        
  • Solid waste fee
Citizens are charged a solid waste removal fee via their tax bill. The elimination of this fee can be revisited in the future as the system continues to grow. 
  • Default on our obligations?
Defaulting on our obligations and walking away from MI-Connection would have severe consequences and financial implications; this course of action is not advisable.
  • Projected growth potential
With the commercial and residential growth projected in the Lake Norman area, there is room to grow the system with customers and revenue.
  • Holding our own with competition
There has been an increase in competition in the broadband/cable/telephone arena and MI-Connection has been successfully competing. MI-Connection will continue to compete with the capital investments and technology upgrades continually in the works. 
  • Managing $1M in existing Town of Davidson budget
The Town of Davidson’s $1 million annual payment to help fund the system (it is not bankrupt but still in debt) represents 9% in the budget. Of course we would prefer to use this $1 million for other town needs, however, our commitment is to paying our portion of the debt service for the system.  We are managing the $1 million payment in our budget with a healthy fund balance and a reserve fund.    
  • Other key priorities to serve our citizens
We can’t ignore other priorities needed to serve our citizens, so based on our financial model, the Davidson Board of Commissioners have asked us to continue to pursue other projects (Fire Station #2, public facilities improvements, etc.)    
  • Please be a part of the solution

In my view, regardless of your view of local governments owning and operating cable/internet companies, the citizens in the MI-Connection service area need to subscribe and be part of the solution. The more customers that subscribe, the better the revenues, which continues to create an upward financial trendline, thus providing us options for the future.

  • The Davidson Board of Commissioners voted to approve the renewal of my contract for another year. It’s an honor for me to serve the citizens of Davidson.
Other:
 
Agendas

All agendas are listed at this link: https://davidson.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/
Agendas for meetings held on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month are posted the Friday prior.
 
Quarterly Video
I create a video message every quarter. Please view the latest one here.
 
Exit 30 update
We learned yesterday from I-77 Mobility Partners that the work to install the new Exit 30 bridge and roundabouts will be completed during summer 2018 because of weather-related delays. In a few weeks, drivers will see traffic lane shifts as Sugar Creek Construction does work on the ramps and demolishing the old bridge. In order to ensure that our drivers are safe, we encourage you to sign up for I-77’s email updates at http://www.i77express.com/newsroom/newsletter-e-alerts/  The Town of Davidson will also alert drivers to lane changes and traffic flow changes in advance of when they occur. We appreciate your patience during this construction process and look forward to a new bridge with vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian lanes and new roundabouts that should improve traffic flow onto and off the highway.

ANNOUNCEMENTS


We are accepting applications for advisory board positions via our website through September 30.
 
The Mayor and Commissioners are hosting a Davidson Coffee Chat on Monday, September 18 at 9:00 a.m. in the Davidson Town Hall Board room. Matt Hayes, CMS North Learning Community Superintendent will be present to discuss the CMS bonds on the November 7 ballot and Davidson Finance Director Piet Swart will discuss Davidson’s three bond referenda.
 
 
Williams Place is hosting a Hurricane Fund Raiser Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, 9/16 from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Breakfast costs $10 and attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to go to the Ada Jenkins food pantry.
 
The Davidson Lands Conservancy’s Run for Green event is Saturday, 9/16. Expect road closures along South Street for a short period of time that morning.
 
The last Concert on the Green is Sunday, September 17 at 6:00 p.m. featuring the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble. Please join us!
 
The Davidson Police Department is hosting a “Meet & Greet” with new Police Chief Penny Dunn on Monday, September 25 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Ada Jenkins Center gym. Please stop by to meet the new chief, some of the other officers, and see a police cruiser.
 
There are many election forums that have been scheduled.  A list is available on our website.
 
We are accepting nominations for the Jack Burney Community Service Award through September 29. Please apply via our website or by filling out an application available at our front desk.
 
We are hiring a Landscaping Maintenance Technician in our public works department. To apply, please click here.
 
Please feel free to email me at jjustice@townofdavidson.org with any questions. I enjoy hearing from you.
 

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