More residents give input into Bermuda Run plan
Published 1:08 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023
By Jim Buice
BERMUDA RUN – The final step in the more than year-long process involved in the 2023 town comprehensive plan update was met by unanimous approval from the xouncil in the April meeting.
This update, which included a lengthy list of steps before a public hearing in last Tuesday night’s meeting, incorporated a vision statement taking into account existing conditions and public input while accomplishing four goals – character and identity, economic development, land use, and infrastructure/services.
Council member Mike Brannon noted that he saw “a great trend” in looking back at history from responses in the initial adoption and then the first update.
“I’m a data person, and to see us going from 200-ish resident survey comments in 2012 to around 400 in 2017 and 585 this past year, that tells me that not only does this Comprehensive Plan reflect the feedback of the community, but the community has taken time to invest its time and energy to provide in providing that feedback,” Brannon said. “That ultimately creates what I believe probably the best possible outcome of a document like this is to ensure that it is representative of what we’ve heard from the community.”
Mayor Rick Cross said he always wants more input, more survey results and more interactions with such an important document.
“I’m never satisfied, never fully pleased, but I agree with Mr. Brannon on the continued progress,” he said. “The most important components in this were our residents and businesses and an interest in the town.”
Regarding businesses, council member Melinda Szeliga said that the Comprehensive Plan offers a guidebook for those considering coming to Bermuda Run.
“They want to know what our Comprehensive Plan says as well,” she said, “because they want to make sure for the business that they’re bringing in that what they’re doing is what the town and what people of the town want as well.”
While offering a different historical perspective, council member Curtis Capps said that looking at the Comprehensive Plan and where the town stands today is amazing.
“I have been a resident here since before we incorporated (in 1999),” he said. “To give you a little bit of history, I don’t know if it’s widely known or not, but our main reason for incorporating was we just wanted a liquor store. That’s a true story, but I would also like to add I don’t drink liquor. We never thought we’d have the cool little town that we got right now, and I promise you we are aware that growth is dangerous unless it’s controlled, and we’re trying our best.”
• Also in last Tuesday’s meeting, Town Manager Andrew Meadwell said he wanted to make sure the council knew about some recent bills that have been proposed by the state legislature and the possible impact on the control of local municipalities.
“From my perspective, I’d like to make copies of those just for informational purposes and have a brief synopsis of what those bills mean,” Meadwell said. “I think it’s vitally important that you’re aware of what’s going on down in Raleigh in regards to some of these Senate bills and House bills. The mayor and I will continued to stay on top of this by speaking with our local legislators.
Cross then added this: “With the House and Senate, a number of bills are working through the system that would pull some of the ordinance structure that we have for zoning ordinances and design ordinances from the municipalities back up to the state, and quite frankly we find that to be unacceptable. We have worked hard over the last 24 years to make sure that what’s important to us as a community is codified, it’s in keeping with what our residents and our businesses have said that they wanted and what our councils have stepped up to as government.
“We’ve got our eye on it and watching it closely. We will take whatever action is necessary to make sure we are speaking on behalf of the Town of Bermuda Run. If we believe there is something that is getting traction, we will want to make sure that this council acts appropriately.”
And Meadwell added, “and to be prepared to act appropriately.”
• Meadwell also provided an update on the Blue Heron Trail in the manager’s report, saying he would find out more on the official opening after a construction review meeting this week.
“We’re getting very close as most of you have seen,” he said. “We have finished some of the paving, some of the repair work, corrected some drainage, strawed and seeded and then came back out and seeded and strawed again. The eagerness to get out on the trail is there.”
In other Bermuda Run news, the council:
• Heard from Cross about attending the recent Lewisville-Clemmons Economic Forum with Meadwell. The panel including Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Commission.
“We happened to be sitting there, but most everything that was discussed from an economic development standpoint when they were talking about Lewisville and Clemmons also included Bermuda Run,” Cross said. “And you really can’t talk about one without talking about the others. The river that divides Clemmons and Bermuda Run is only important to a few people. Whether it’s Davie County or Forsyth County, it’s all the same. I say that to say that Bermuda Run is incredibly important to the vitality of the economy of this region, not just Bermuda Run but to Davie County and western Forsyth.”
• Approved the 2022-23 General Fund budget be amended to accept $800 from the Davie County Community Foundation as revenue and expend $800 for expenses related to the 2022 Christmas in the Town of Bermuda Run.
• Approved a proposed audit contract with Eddie Carrick, CPA, for the year ending June 30, 2023, with the audit fee of $7,500 and fee for major program at $2,000, and a proposed contract for Tourism Development Authority audit services for a fee of $1,500.