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City Council will meet Tuesday, April 4, in a business session and two work sessions. The three sessions are open to the public, except for a portion of the first work session. That portion will be closed to allow for discussion of unannounced economic development projects.
The first work session will begin at 5:30 p.m. The business session will begin at 7 p.m., followed by a second work session.
The business session will be held in the Council Chambers on the fourth floor of the Municipal Building, which is located at 427 Patton St. Work sessions are held on the same floor, but across the hall in the Council Conference Room. In work sessions, Council reviews non-routine matters that will be voted upon in future business meetings.
During the business session, City Council will vote on the transfer of $1.5 million from reserve funds for the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) to purchase the White Mill property. The property consists of eight parcels, which are considered critical tracts of land for strategic redevelopment of the River District as a world class riverfront.
A public hearing will precede the vote.
The redevelopment includes a planned Riverfront Park that would help attract businesses and industry to the property. The park would be built on four acres between the White Mill and the King Memorial Bridge.
The transfer would be the first payment made toward the purchase of the property. According to a purchase agreement, the IDA would make a $1.5 million payment in the current fiscal year and a $1.5 million payment in the following fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The parcels are currently owned by White Mill Development LLC, a subsidiary of Spartanburg, South Carolina-based Gibbs International. The total purchase price of the eight parcels was $2.4 million plus closing costs. In addition, Gibbs spent $1.5 million to abate asbestos and lead paint in the White Mill itself and other structures that were eventually demolished.
The agenda also includes two matters related to the proposed Williams Community Resource Center. As proposed, the center would be located at 407 Holbrook St. and would house two dwelling units on the upper level and two offices, a conference room and exhibit hall on the lower level. The Danville chapter of the NAACP and the Danville branch of Legal Aid would occupy the lower level offices.
Before that work can take place, City Council must rezone the property from residential to office commercial. Once rezoned as a commercial structure, City Council must approve a special use permit to allow residential apartments as an ancillary use.
Public hearings will be held preceding the votes.
The structure is currently a vacant, single-family dwelling. Last month, City Council voted to accept a grant of $413,269 to renovate the house for the center.
City Council also is scheduled to vote on two other matters:
In addition to these votes, City Council will hold a first reading on a budget amendment for the receipt and appropriation of a $25,000 grant from the Danville Regional Foundation to develop a master plan for Westmoreland Park.
A first reading is an introductory step required by City code before certain matters can be voted upon by City Council. This step serves to provide public notice of pending action. Council cannot vote on the budget amendment Tuesday. The earliest vote that can take place will be the April 18 City Council meeting.
During the work sessions, City Council will continue its budget review process for the next fiscal year. The departments under review will be economic development, community development and fire. Last week, Council reviewed parks and recreation, public works, social services, transportation and utilities.
Public hearings will be scheduled later in the budget process. Final adoption must take place no later than June 30. The final budget will serve as a blueprint for city operations from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.
For the second work session, the agenda also includes the following items:
A closed meeting as allowed by state law to discuss a prospective business or industry and to discuss acquisition of real property or disposition of publicly held real property.
River City TV, the city’s government access channel, will air the business session. Watch it live on cable (Comcast channel 10 and Gamewood channel 122) or streaming on the River City TV Facebook page.
River City TV does not air work sessions, but they are open to the public.