Sarah Kate Purnell
The Greensboro City Council met on Tuesday, Feb 7 to discuss city projects and bond usage.
The meeting began with Greensboro Police Foundation special presentation of a mobile command unit.
The Greensboro Police Foundation is a local community that assists in outfitting Greensboro officers and made Greensboro one of the first cities in the country to provide body cams.
Invested in by fundraising over the years, the new mobile command center will replace the outdated one the department currently has.
The new mobile command center features amenities such as: two slide-outs, restrooms, updated technology and a larger floor space by about six feet.
The GPF presented this to the Council to ask for approval of vehicle receipt and work out delivery and title arrangements. The Council passed this motion eight to one.
The Council also discussed the Department of Parks and Recreations project to improve Spencer Love tennis courts. This project is a public and private partnership.
There was also much debate over where a $200,000 funding originated from in a 2006 bond for a Parks and Recreations Van Dyke Performance Art Space.
Councilman Wilkins and Councilwoman Hightower both questioned city manager Jim Westmoreland on whether there were shortages in other projects and how bonds are subject to be used within a ten year time frame.
Jim Westmoreland stated he would update the Council on how much money was left in the 2006 bond, however, some would already be appointed to pending projects.
A three year Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated project was also discussed and presented to the Council on Tuesday evening.
The company is looking to implement a 130,000 sq. ft. distribution center in Greensboro, which will be an investment of $10 million. This project will retain the 230 jobs currently in the Greensboro area with Coca-Cola, as well as add 60 more jobs to the city. These jobs will pay of about $40,000 salary with benefits.
The meeting closed with Council comments. Councilwoman Hightower expressed her disturbance at an email sent out by the City Manager, regarding a letter rejecting further professional training and standards review for police in reference to the Travis Cole incident.
“That is helping to add more transparency to the process we’ve been talking about.” Councilwoman Hightower stated in support of recertification training.
Greensboro officer Travis Cole was pressed with charges during fall 2016 upon investigation into his forceful arrest on a black citizen.
The City Council Members also presented the idea to hire a lobbyist to represent Greensboro in Raleigh as legislation moves quickly and not every member can be there to keep track of it. The Council expressed their desire to look into local firms for someone who not only knew Raleigh, but knew Greensboro and would well-represent the community there.
The next Greensboro City Council Meeting will occur on Tuesday, February 14 at the Greensboro City Hall at 5:30 p.m., and will be open to the public.