'We're trying hard': Fayetteville City Council analyzes city's goals

·4 min read
Fayetteville City Council members receive an update on its strategic plan at its Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, meeting.
Fayetteville City Council members receive an update on its strategic plan at its Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, meeting.

Fayetteville City Council members received an update to the city’s midyear strategic report Monday night that reflected on the city’s goals and whether they’ve been met.

The vision of the strategic plan is to evaluate community impact, said Rebecca Jackson, Fayetteville’s chief of staff and chief performance officer.

“It reminds us of where we want to be as a city, where we want to go,” Jackson said. “We want to be attractive, culturally diverse, inclusive, safe, prosperous, innovative and unified.”

In the current 2022 fiscal year, which started July 1 and continues through June 30, the city has “decreased its overall crime statistics” through crime reduction strategies, Jackson said.

Crimes against properties decreased during the city’s third quarter that covered January through Sept. 30, according to data that Chief Gina Hawkins presented to the council in November.

More: 'Transformational' investment: Murchison Road corridor gets millions in NC state budget

More: Fayetteville City Council approves $1.35 million to build more affordable housing

According to the data in November, crimes against persons and properties were at 10,771 for the time period, compared with 12,492 such cases in 2020.

However, homicides increased.

Jackson said the fire department was awarded reaccreditation; the city distributed $14 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding; and a Murchison Road choice neighborhood planning grant is “moving on, as is American Rescue Plan Act projects.

The Murchison Choice Neighborhood Plan was established in December 2020 in partnership with the Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority after the city was awarded grant funding through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The plan will redevelop townhouses on Murchison Road including 60 units of low-income housing.

Among other highlights for the current fiscal year, Jackson said Westover and Bailey Lake dog parks opened as did Gilmore and Honeycutt splash pads.

She said the city’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program is moving forward.

Reflecting on prior fiscal years, she said that in 2018, the city moved forward in its $35 million parks and recreation bonds, a pedestrian master plan was adopted and a local small business enterprise program was developed.

In fiscal year 2019, a downtown master plan was created, Segra Stadium opened and the city received a $1.5 million community development block grant for home investment.

In fiscal year 2020, the city developed its 2040 comprehensive land use plan and future land use map; conversations with Pathways for Prosperity about combating poverty elevated; the city added 20 bus shelters, eight benches, 24 Americans With Disabilities Act accessible bus stops; and 29 single-family homes were constructed with Habitat for Humanity.

Pathways for Prosperity was founded after a series of articles in The Fayetteville Observer in 2015 looked at extensive poverty in the community and the difficulties in breaking it.

In fiscal year 2021, Jackson said,Fayetteville was awarded HUD Choice Neighborhood revitalization grant for the Murchison Road area; the city approved a master service agreement to bring in a new internet service provider, MetroNet; biweekly recycling was implemented; a parks and recreation plan was adopted; and the council adopted an affordable housing plan and approved plans for a homeless day center.

Councilman Larry Wright said highlights that stood out to him during the past five years include the $35 million parks and recreation bond; implementation of a police academy; partnering with Pathways for Prosperity; the MetroNet agreement for a $70 million investment in the community; Murchison Road Choice Neighborhoods' focus; distributing $14 million in CARES Act funding; and seeing $11.4 million used to help more than 2,500 households through the rental assistance program.

Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Jensen agreed with Wright about using the update to present to residents.

"Government is working for them, and we're trying hard," Jensen said.

In other business Monday, council members:

• APPROVED an annexation request for two parcels of land along Ramsey Street and south of Tractor Road for 117.7 acres. The northern parcel of land is vacant, and the southern parcel has one single-family home and a few accessory structures. City planner Alicia Morris said the applicant, SRW Builders LLC and Pelican Property Holdings LLC have not submitted development plans for the area but intends to develop the area as a new residential subdivision of up to 250 single-family units.

• MOVED discussions about a citywide camera operating system update to an upcoming work session. During the council’s November meeting, Hawkins said 10 surveillance cameras are on a pole and the vendor that is installing the cameras was in the midst of a licensing process for the other cameras.

During a September meeting, the council approved allocating $100,000 toward public-private camera-feed technology as part of the city’s crime prevention strategies.

Police currently monitor 116 city-owned cameras or canvass communities for private surveillance footage during investigations.

The new technology allows residents and businesses to sign up and share their camera feeds with the city when a crime occurs in their area, Hawkins said.

Council documents from Monday night show that discussions were to include potential sites for the cameras.

Staff writer Rachael Riley can be reached at rriley@fayobserver.com or 910-486-3528.

Support local journalism with a subscription to The Fayetteville Observer. Click the "subscribe'' link at the top of this article.

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Fayetteville City Council reflects on whether city has met goals

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting