Questions raised about Davie, Bermuda Run watershed allocations

Published 1:26 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

By Jim Buice

Enterprise Record

BERMUDA RUN – For the town council, it was a rare opportunity to get what Mayor Rick Cross called a “2-for” – as in two meetings in one.

That was the case Tuesday night after the regular July monthly meeting was continued and combined – for the most part – with the Aug. 8 meeting.

However, the most anticipated part of last month’s meeting, which resulted in it not being held on July 11, was the realization of an overflow crowd and not enough room in town hall for two public hearings involving the Hal-Walker Development – and then it was originally going to be combined with the Aug. 8 meeting in a larger venue.

That involved a petition for annexation of the Hall Walker Lane and Yadkin Valley River Road parcels and a 10/70 provision request with 57.14 acres for the proposed mixed-use residential development within the Yadkin River watershed.

Since then, questions were raised concerning the calculation of 10/70 allocation amounts in Davie County and Bermuda Run, prompting an inquiry to the N.C. Department of Environment Quality and concluding the town deciding to take no action until the NCDEQ audit results are provided. The 10/70 rules apply to watersheds where drinking water originates, and limits the amount of land that can be developed.

So while the other parts of the July meeting were continued, the Hall Walker Development items including annexation and the 10/70 provision request public hearings was rescheduled, with proper notice, at a date and location to be determined.

Cross reviewed the timeline over the past month in last Tuesday night’s meeting.

“With the overflow crowd, we made the decision that we were going to continue that meeting (on July 11) with the plans to hold the scheduled public hearings tonight in a different location,” he said. “But subsequent to that, on July 25th at our council agenda meeting, the staff recommended that with the discussion with the Department of Environmental Quality, a 10/70 audit would be performed. So we paused on the public hearings relative to those items that were on the agenda for July 11, and council concurred with that.”

Also in last Tuesday night’s meeting, Melissa Parker, elections director for Davie County, gave an overview of the functions, services and responsibilities of the Board of Elections.

She also gave an update on the upcoming Bermuda Run municipal election, which includes a required primary for the council race.

Town Manager Andrew Meadwell provided the explanation behind the need to have a primary, which will be held on Oct. 10 at Hillsdale Baptist Church.

“The town follows NC GS 163-294 for the election method as outlined in the Town Charter,” Meadwell said. “A primary is required when there are more than two candidates for a single office or the number of candidates for a single office or the number candidates for a group of offices exceeds twice the number of positions to be filled.”

That applies in Bermuda Run after five candidates  – Dave Gilpin, Rod Guthrie, Rae Nelson, Jeff Tedder and Marty Wilson – filed to run for two spots on the council.

Parker said that in the primary, voters will select two names on the ballot –  with the top four vote-getters advancing to the Nov. 7 general election.

Incumbent council members Heather Coleman and Curtis Capps did not file for re-election.

Mike Brannon, a current council member, is running unopposed for mayor.

Parker reminded those in attendance at Town Hall that this will be the first year where Voter ID is in effect.

She also offered an interesting stat regarding the increase in voter registration totals over the years, stating there were 21,679 registered voters in Davie County in 2004 and 31,874 in 2023.

“Over last 19 years, we gained around about 10,000 voters,” Parker said. “That’s just fascinating to me.”

In another item, Cross said that the upcoming Town Hall special called meeting will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. at WinMock with residents asked to submit questions in advance by Friday, Aug. 18, at noon – with a focus on the following topics.

“We believe things like annexation, 10/70 provisions, zoning and future land use in the Comprehensive Plan are the things we are hearing the most about,” Cross said. “This is something I’ve been passionate about for the time I have been in this role – meeting with people across the community and talking about issues. This is kind of our chance to kind of level it up.”

In other highlights from the combined meetings, the council:

• Appointed Mike Czarnecki to a three-year term on the Triad Municipal ABC Board. He replaces Talmadge Brown, whose term ended on June 30. The Triad ABC Board governs the ABC stores and operations in Winston-Salem and the towns of Clemmons, Lewisville, Kernersville, Yadkinville and Oak Ridge in addition to Bermuda Run. There are nine members on the board – three from Winston-Salem and one for each of the six municipalities. The annual budget is $55 to $60 million.

• Heard from Cross, who attended the ribbon cutting for EMS Station No. 4 on Cornatzer Road. “Wow, what a wonderful facility and a great addition for Davie County and especially on this end of the county.”