Parks and Rec asks Mount Holly council to consider new signs

by Alan Hodge

Mount Holly Parks and Recreation officials say they want to revamp the city’s park system with new signs, but city council members seem weary of the price tag.

The council had previously approved for the Concord-based design and fabrication firm ACSM to come up with a new system of signs citywide, and during the council’s Oct. 24 work session Parks and Recreation Director Ed Smith suggested that the Concord-based design and fabrication firm be contracted to do the same for his department.

“It makes sense to coordinate with the city signage,” Smith told the Council. “It would be more efficient.”

Smith cited several reasons for new Parks and Recreation signs.

“It would give the park signs uniformity,” Smith said. “It would eliminate the hodgepodge of signs we have now.”

The cost for ACSM to do a sign study for the city’s park system would be $16,300, with an up-front cost of $7,000. However, the $16,300 price tag does not include the cost of new signs. Money for the Parks and Recreation signs would have to be appropriated into the 2011-12 city budget.

ACSM Principal Director Glen Nocik accompanied Smith to the work session.

“This will be a good chance to showcase the parks,” Nocik told the council. “We went to Tuck Park and saw a lot of opportunities to tie things like the trails and picnic area together with signs similar to, but separate from, the ones for the city.”

Council member Jim Hope questioned Nocik about the cost.

“Why do you need $7,000 now when you are already under contract with the city,” Hope said.

“We need to put time and effort into the study,” Nocik replied. “That’s pretty much how we run our business.”

Council member David Moore said he planned to bring up the sign issue at the Parks and Recreation Committee’s next meeting.

“This is just a preliminary proposal,” Smith said.

Water backflow devices

The board also heard discussion about the verbiage and timing of a possible letter from Utilities Director James Friday to water customers concerning backflow device installation for lawn irrigation and alternative water sources such as wells.

The backflow device would prevent water from siphoning back into the city water system as a result of lost pressure on the water main. It would require a separate water meter.

The first draft of the letter informs customers that they must install the backflow devices by Jan. 1, 2012, or water services will be discontinued. However, Friday said his department could be open to less stringent terms.

Cost to mail the letter would be $2,100.

Mayor Brian Hough asked Friday if the notice couldn’t be included in the City’s newsletter.

“Give us a heads up when it goes out,” Hough said.

Council Retreat

The Mount Holly City Council will be holding its annual retreat Feb. 2 to 3 at the Crowne Plaza in Hickory. Cost for the two-day event is estimated at $3,500 including rooms, meals, snacks and meeting space.

The council also considered Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock at an estimated cost of $5,000 and the Lodge on Lake Lure at $5,100.

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