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Government Outreach
Meeting Report

April 6, 2024

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One goal of the Government Outreach committee is to inform the HDRA membership of relevant issues affecting Ward 1.

Below are the notes from the first of our planned quarterly meetings with City Manager Foster Hughes, and Alderman Prill. Our next meeting is scheduled for June 12th, 2024.

Meeting with Foster Hughes and Rick Prill
March 6th Meeting Follow Up Notes

Railroad – the North Carolina Railroad (NCRR) continues to have discussions with the City of New Bern.  
Historic Train Depot - ultimately, NCRR would like to move the depot-their concerns include safety and proximity to the tracks. There is a possibility of a Town Hall and collaboration with the New Bern Preservation Foundation.

Municipal Service District (MSD) – During the April 2nd Work Session, a formal motion was made by the MSD Advisory Committee to utilize $90,000.00 of MSD monies for the deferred maintenance of the New Bern Farmers Market, including re-evaluation of the current lease after its expiration. This recommendation will be brought before the New Bern Board of Aldermen (BOA) for consideration. In addition, a vote by the BOA to possibly allow for public comment during City advisory board meetings is pending.  

Strategic Plan – The City of New Bern is partnering with the UNC School of Government (SOG) to implement a Strategic Plan. City departments are currently providing SOG with their information to begin to formalize goals and objectives for the City’s strategic plan. These include the areas of Economic Development and Public Safety.

Pepsi Museum - negotiations in progress (Wells Fargo Bank Building). (Update May 2024: The WF building sale was completed.)

Days Inn Property/Hancock and South Front Street Property - The City of New Bern received a grant through East Carolina Council of Governments (ECC) to work with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to evaluate these two properties to determine highest and best use for future potential development - this process will include conducting focus groups comprised of community stakeholders.  

Fishing Pier – a phased project –The City is moving forward with plans to build a 250 ft public access fishing pier at the end of Broad Street and the Neuse River.  Aldermen Aster (Ward 3) has committed $117,000.00 of his AARP funding towards the construction of the pier; the City is now awaiting additional grant monies from the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and other entities.  Once funds have been secured, the city will apply for the appropriate permitting through CAMA. Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) is legislation to protect the unique natural resources of the North Carolina coastal areas.

Traffic Light – construction of a traffic light at the intersections of Broad and Middle Streets will begin late summer of 2024 with completion targeted for the end of October 2024. This will also include a cross-walk equipped with LED lighting. Construction costs =$300,000.00.

MetroNet - the internet service provider is coming to the Downtown-installing their infrastructure has proven to be challenging.  Telly Whitfield, Govt Affairs Dir for Metronet (910-813-0085) wrote: "Please feel free to contact me if there are ever issues or concerns that I can mitigate. In the interim, our staff can also keep you up to date on our progress as we move forward. Thanks again for the interest, advocacy, and partnership."

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