Monday, June 23, 2014

Service Line Warranties of America Has City's Stamp of Approval

Many residents have received letters from Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA), but aren't sure whether the company and its services are legitimate.

The good news: SLWA is a trustworthy company that has been vetted by the National League of Cities (NLC). The company provides water/sewer line warranty services to residents across the nation. It has been in business for more than 10 years and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Because SLWA has the NLC's support, the City of Sanford authorized it to educate Sanford residents about their water/sewer line obligations and to offer warranty services.

Important: The City's stamp of approval does not mean that residents must opt into the program. Each resident should weigh the risks and benefits and make the decision that is right for them. SLWA will manage all claims and provide all services. The City of Sanford will in no way supervise or benefit from the program.

Learn more about SLWA on their website or call 866-922-9006. For more details about the warranty program, visit our website.

Downey Named New Planning Director

Marshall Downey, who has served as the assistant director of Planning and Community Development for the past eleven years, has been selected as the department’s director.

As director, Downey will oversee planning and development administration, inspections services, code enforcement, strategic services, community enhancement, community development, and zoning. He has served as interim director for the past two months following long-time director Robert ‘Bob’ Bridwell’s retirement from the position.

Downey is a driving force behind updating the Sanford/Lee County Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to modernize the city-county’s land use regulations and make our corridors more attractive to potential investors. He will work closely with the Department of Public Works to implement the city’s $14.5 million bond projects.

However, Downey’s new role isn’t the only change facing the Planning and Community Development department. Althea Thompson will now serve as Zoning Administrator and will be the final authority on all zoning decisions. She will also serve as gate keeper of the city-county UDO.

Amy McNeill will now serve as Design Review Coordinator. She will supervise and coordinate review and zoning approval for all commercial and multi-family development proposals/site plans for Sanford, Lee County, and Broadway.

Thompson and McNeill will work together to provide primary staff support for the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment for Sanford, Lee County, and Broadway.

With these changes, the department will be smaller and more efficient, making it better able to coordinate services and integrate with other agencies. “With Mr. Bridwell’s retirement, we are restructuring the Planning and Community Development department by not filling the Assistant Director position,” says Hal Hegwer, city manager. “I am pleased to have very talented and experienced staff that can fill that void seamlessly.”

Downey, Thompson, and McNeill will assume their new positions effective immediately.

Friday, June 20, 2014

East Weatherspoon Street Closed Next Week

East Weatherspoon Street will be closed from the Sanford Municipal Center to Hawkins Avenue next week for critical sewer maintenance.

Crews will close both lanes of the street starting at 8am on Tuesday, June 24 for the remainder of the week.

Drivers needing to access East Weatherspoon Street from Hawkins Avenue or Horner Boulevard can detour around the closure using Charlotte Avenue and Third Street (view a detour map).

For more information about the closure, contact the City of Sanford’s engineering department at 919-777-1122.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Horner Blvd Resurfacing To Start June 19

The NC Department of Transportation (DOT) will close portions of Horner Boulevard from Fields Drive to Main Street for resurfacing starting June 22.

However, portions of that stretch of road will be closed starting Thursday, June 19 as work crews prepare the road for resurfacing. From June 19 through June 22, crews will adjust manholes and water valves, cut pavement joints, and mill asphalt.

Important: Both the preliminary and resurfacing work will require lanes to be narrowed or closed from 8pm to 7am each day. Lanes will not be closed between 7am and 8pm on any of those days.

This project is part of a $4 million contract that includes resurfacing sections of US 15-501 and nine sections of secondary roads in Chatham and Lee counties. Included in the scope of work is resurfacing of 15-501 from US Hwy 1 to the Moore County line, which will be done at a later time.

The Horner Boulevard project will be completed by June 30.

For more information about the project, the DOT contact is Gary Phillips, resident engineer, at 919-776-9623.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Community Tours the Sanford Police Department

National Night Out used to be something that happened once night in August, but not anymore.

On Thursday night, community leaders and residents came out to the Sanford Police Department to learn more about National Night Out and their local department.

See more photos from the tour here.

There are two more NNO pre-cursor events. On July 10, the Sanford Fire Department will host a community tour, and on July 19, Black Belt Leadership Academy is hosting a self-defense session for families.

Update: We have added a fourth event. The Central Carolina Jaycees will show The Sandlot in Depot Park on August 1 to support National Night Out. The movie will begin at dusk (8:30pm).

Friday, June 6, 2014

US Open Wayfinding Site in Sanford

For the next few weeks, Sanford is home to one of only six painted wayfinding sites for the U.S. Open, which is happening in Pinehurst this month.

Funded by the N.C. Department of Transportation, our site is located at the Spring Lane exit on U.S. Hwy 1 S. It was painted this week and will be touched up until after the women's open in mid-June. After, the site will be mowed to remove the paint.

Other painted sites in North Carolina are located at:
  • 1-40 at Exit 291 on Cary Towne Blvd;
  • US 1 at Walnut Street in Raleigh;
  • I-73/74 at NC 211 in Candor;
  • 1-74/74 Rest Area in Randolph County; and
  • 1-73/74 and Hwy 64 in Asheboro
Only the Candor site features a putting green and white arrow. The rest have white arrows only.

See photos of the DOT creating the site on our Facebook page.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Blell Named Public Works Employee Of The Year

Matthew Blell, Lead Utility Maintenance Worker for the Sewer Construction and Maintenance Division of the City of Sanford Public Works Department has been named 2014 Public Works Employee of the Year, according to Laura Spivey, Public Works Administrator.

This award is presented to the employee who is considered to have best represented the Public Works Department over the last year.

Blell has worked for the City since November 2011, is a native of Sanford, and lives in Sanford. Blell was presented the award on Thursday, May 22 by Public Works Director Victor Czar (pictured right) and Fedd Walker, City Sewer Superintendent.

Blell was nominated and elected to this honor from a pool of approximately 127 Public Works employees at the City. Blell received nominations from his peers, and then was awarded the honor based on the final vote by the Public Works Superintendents.

 Blell is married to wife Annette and they have two boys, Mason 4 and Brody 1.

How does it feel to be the Employee of the Year? “Shocking! I am honored and humbled by it, I feel blessed!” says Blell.

What do you like most about your job? “I like the mobility of the job and working with other City employees. All my coworkers are friendly and easy to work with. I feel blessed to work for the City of Sanford where I am well taken care of,” he says.

Council Appoints Byron Buckels For Ward 4

Long-time Sanford resident Byron Buckels was sworn into the Sanford City Council at the May 28 Law and Finance Committee meeting. Buckels will represent Ward 4 – filling the seat previously held for 33 consecutive years by Walter McNeil, Jr.

Buckels is a veteran of the U.S. Army and served during Operation Desert Storm. He has served in the ministry for the past 21 years, during which he coordinated and served on mission trips both nationally and internationally to countries such as Japan, Bahamas, and Kenya, Africa.

A community activist, Buckels is a co-founder of The Nation of Big Brothers, an organization comprised of men that mentor young boys and provide positive influences for adult males. He has been instrumental in writing and securing grants for after school programs that continue to serve youth in our community.

Buckels was nominated to fill the Ward 4 seat by Billie McNeil, widow of Walter McNeil, Jr. He was chosen because he represents “the best of the old and the best of the new,” said Mayor Chet Mann during the meeting.

“McNeil has what I call hall-of-fame status,” Buckels told The Sanford Herald. “It can’t really be compared to. To be chosen [to fill his seat], it means a lot. Words can’t really say it.”

Read more about Buckels and his swearing in the May 29 edition of The Sanford Herald.