City Manager report: Utility disconnections, city leases, building permits, and more
One innovation to come with the tenure of interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers is a written report that is produced once a month to address items that come up at City Council. He also read from the report at the beginning of last night’s meeting and provided an update on the city’s current pause on issuing new building permits. No new inspections or permits will take place through June 13. (read the report)
“We have made multiple offers for a new building official and have to restart the process again with the most recent candidate changing their mind about relocating here at the last minute after we thought they accepted the position,” Rogers said. “We had previously contracted with a firm to help us with the inspections to offset our shortage. The two employees signed by that firm also left us recently so we are scrambling to catch up.”
In his written report, Rogers said the city is working with the University of Virginia on a solution.
Rogers also said an award should be made soon for a firm to help the city write a collective bargaining ordinance and that should be before Council in September with a draft ready in August.
The interim city manager also reported that the city has been once again awarded a AAA bond rating from both S&P and Moody’s. A $26 million sale of bonds to fund capital projects is expected to be made today.
Council also got an update on the city’s resumption in April of disconnecting utility customers for non-payment. A moratorium was in place for nearly two years due to the pandemic.
“The utility billing office notified 282 accounts of pending disconnections by hanging cards on their doors,” said Deputy City Manager Ashley Marshall. “To date, 246 of those accounts have made payment arrangements.”
The written report contains several other pieces of information that touch on previous stories:
- The June 21 Council work session will resume the discussion of city-owned properties and whether the city is getting the most out of current arrangements
- A request for proposals for $178,394 in remaining Community Development Block Grants will be released this week
- Final design of a parking and pedestrian access for the Dogwood Memorial in McIntire Park has been reviewed and a budget and scope of work is being drafted, as well as a fundraising plan
Rogers’ employment by the city is through a contract with the Robert Bobb Group, and Council extended that contract until the end of this year.
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