Press Releases and News Items

City Council Presented with First Look at Parking Deck 

Parking Garage Concept BOn January 14, City Council Members received an update on a possible downtown parking deck planned for the corner of Church Street and Fifth Avenue. The five-story public parking deck would facilitate parking for a proposed hotel to be located at the Dogwood parking lot site as well as increase the amount of downtown visitor parking by several hundred spaces.

Throughout the day, representatives from Walker Consultants, a parking consulting firm, and ADW Architects presented options to elected officials and local media that would meet the increased parking demands spurred by a downtown hotel. The consultants provided design concepts, preliminary financial analysis, and made recommendations on implementing a system that would incorporate existing parking lots, on street parking, and the proposed deck into a cohesive and economically viable structure.

In terms of the look and design of the deck, presenters shared the goal of blending the parking garage into the downtown fabric of Hendersonville. Features like canopies, planters, and lighting fixtures, have been incorporated into concept designs to make the structure visually appealing.

During the presentation, two concepts with similar layouts were unveiled. The renderings show designs with brick exteriors intended to complement existing downtown architecture. Each design contained two towers at opposite ends of the structure containing the stairwells and elevator. The renderings differed slightly in aesthetic detail including articulation on the window areas and the appearance of the roof of the tower. Both tower options, 64 and 60-feet tall respectively, are below the existing downtown building height limit. Both designs showed the decks containing 323 spaces with entrances and exits on the Fifth Avenue and Church Street sides.

In order to introduce a parking deck into Hendersonville, consultants recommended looking at downtown as an entire parking system. The preliminary financial analysis shows a plan that would adjust on-street parking within the Main Street District to a rate of $1.50 an hour. Parking in the garage would be free for the first hour, followed by a $1.25 hourly rate with a $10 maximum for daily parkers. Portions of the garage would be reserved for monthly parkers, hotel parking, and rooftop parking offered at a discounted rate to serve downtown employees and residents. The economic model presented aims to move people into the deck, free up street parking, and provide revenue to offset the cost of building the deck. The preliminary findings showed construction, design, and soft costs totaling $8.2 million. The City would also need to purchase equipment and on-street parking kiosks.

City Manager John Connet explained Council Members would come together to discuss the parking garage proposal at their February meeting, but any final decisions would not occur until the hotel project was further along. The parking deck concepts are also being presented to downtown stakeholder groups and committees for their feedback.

 

Posted by Allison N 01/15/2020

Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades 

Treatment Plant FilterThere have been some important projects completed at the City's Wastewater Treatment Plant recently. Garret DeMoss, Wastewater Treatment Facility Manager, gave a presentation to Hendersonville City Council at the January Council Meeting on the latest upgrades aimed at improving efficiency and ensuring reliability.

Power outages at wastewater treatment plants can pose a high risk for illicit discharge of untreated wastewater. When the City's current Wastewater Treatment Plant was constructed in 2001, it did not include a generator. In 2019, a generator with automatic transfer switch was installed at the facility to provide power in the event of an outage. The 1500 kW Cummins diesel generator has the ability to accommodate future plant expansion and has the fuel capacity for 72 hours of run-time. Since its installation, the plant has lost power on two occasions and the generator has been a great asset in the continuity of operations.

The original plant utilized two sand filters that had a previous capacity of 12 million gallons per day. An AquaDiamond cloth media filter was installed to replace one of the aging sand filters. The new filter, on its own, has a capacity of 15 million gallons a day and is much more efficient. Staff has already seen improvement in the effluent water quality by using the cloth media filter. The remaining sand filter will be retained and used as a back-up when the cloth filter is undergoing maintenance.

These two projects are perfect examples of rate payers' investments in the plant and sanitary sewer system. The generator and filter enhance current operations and allow for future expanded capacity.

Generator
Generator Photos

Sand Filter Before
Sand filter that was replaced


New cloth media filter

Posted by Allison N 01/10/2020

Police Department Employee of the Quarter 

Morales EOQ awardOfficer Aldberto Morales received the following Letter of Commendation announcing him as Hendersonville Police Department’s most recent Employee of the Quarter. We congratulate Officer Morales on this well-deserved recognition.

Aldberto Morales
A Letter of Commendation 
In Recognition for Services as Set Forth Herein

We take great pleasure in recognizing you as the Hendersonville Police Department Employee of the Quarter, for the period of September 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. This selection was based on your demonstrated, sustained, superior performance in the execution of your duties during the period noted above.

In their recommendation of you for this award, your lieutenant and sergeant lauded you as a valuable asset to our department and the community. Other adjectives included a hard charging and highly motivated patrol officer. I can add that others, to include peers, other supervisors and members of our command staff recently mentioned “your growth and the settling” in your approach to policing while remaining highly proactive in serving and protecting our city. Overall, Aldberto, you have done an outstanding job in your two and a half years with us. In addition to this, for the past five years, you’ve continued to nobly serve our country as an active enlisted member of the United States Army Reserve.  

Your affable nature makes you an ideal fit for team two. And you have established yourself as a dedicated and dependable member of our police department. Your development and your personal determination reflect great credit upon yourself, the Hendersonville Police Department, and the City of Hendersonville.  

                                                            Herbert Blake                                                                                                  Barbara Volk 

                                                            Chief of Police                                                                                                 Mayor

Posted by Allison N 01/06/2020

Water & Sewer Annual Report 

Annual ReportHendersonville Water & Sewer is committed to earning and maintaining public trust. The utility strives to be open, ensure access, encourage involvement, and be accountable to customers. Please review the 2018-2019 Annual Report to learn about water and sewer services and view statistics, project highlights, and financial data. Customers will also receive a copy of the report in the mail.

Posted by Allison N 01/03/2020

Get Involved in 2020! 

Get Involved!As you prepare your list of New Year’s Resolutions, why not make one to get more involved with your local government and community?

 

Attend a City Council Meeting

One of the best ways to find out what is going on in your town is to attend council meetings. The Hendersonville City Council holds their regular meetings the first Thursday of each month at City Hall unless otherwise noted (The January meeting will be held on January 9.) If you have a desire to see local government in action, we encourage you to attend.

Serve on a Board or Committee

Local government relies on active participation of citizens willing to serve on boards and committees. These groups play an integral role in American local government and help plan the future of communities. The City of Hendersonville offers a wide variety of boards, commissions and committees that may align with your interests and passions. We currently have vacancies on the Business Advisory Committee, Walk of Fame Steering Committee, and the Downtown Advisory Committee.

Join Our Team
There are many types of jobs that keep the City of Hendersonville running. If you are looking for a fulfilling career in public service, join our team!

Get Connected
Utilize our City of Hendersonville website to access city information and resources. Connect with us on social media to stay up-to-date with City of Hendersonville news and events:

 

The City of Hendersonville wishes you a safe, happy and healthy new year!

Posted by Allison N 12/30/2019

2019 Year In Review 

year in review2019 was a big year in the City of Hendersonville!

2019 Year In Review Video

While this summary doesn't come close to covering all the projects, innovations, and advancements that took place during the year, we hope you will enjoy looking back on some of the highlights.

Thank you to our City Council, departments, staff, volunteers, board members, partnering organizations, and citizens for your collaboration!

We can't wait to see what 2020 will bring!

Posted by Allison N 12/30/2019

Hendersonville Fire Department Annual Awards 2019 

Firefighters Martin and MorganThe Hendersonville Fire Department announced the recipients of the 2019 Firefighter and Officer of the Year awards at their Christmas dinner held on December 14, 2019. Both honorees were nominated and selected by their peers. Interim Fire Chief James Miller and Fire Marshal Justin Ward presented the recipients with their awards during the ceremony. Their names will also be added to the Firefighter and Officer of the Year plaques displayed at Fire Station 2.

Engineer Terry Martin was awarded the Firefighter of the Year award. Engineer Martin began serving with the Hendersonville Fire Department in 1985 after holding a position in the City’s Public Works Department. He was selected for the award based on his willingness to share knowledge with other members and provide excellent service to citizens. One of Engineer Martin’s nomination forms explained a member’s sentiment that it was an honor to work with someone who had dedicated so many years to serving the community.

Lieutenant Jared Morgan was honored as this year’s Officer of the Year. Lt. Morgan has served the citizens of Hendersonville as a firefighter since 2007. He was selected based on his professionalism and the selfless leadership he shows daily. One of the nomination forms said the following of Lt. Morgan: “He always does his job with a smile and goes out of his way to be kind and courteous to the public. He can turn anyone’s bad day into an enjoyable one. The public benefits from his knowledge of the job, knowledge of the community, and dedication to the fire service.”

The City of Hendersonville congratulates these firefighters on their awards and the professional service they provide to the residents and visitors of Hendersonville.

Posted by Allison N 12/20/2019

City Council Considering Upgrades to Fire Station 1  

Station 1 TourCity Council is considering options to address space and safety concerns at Fire Station 1. The twenty-year-old building underwent a study by ADW Architects that assessed the existing building, outlined space needs, and provided potential options for renovation or replacement.

The study found Station 1 has needs that range from roof and building condition issues as well as a need to improve safety features like the creation of a dedicated decontamination room and fire pole shutters that limit carcinogens entering living spaces from the apparatus room. The facility is not meeting ADA standards and there are issues with paving outside the bays. The study outlined programmatic needs that include a need for larger kitchen, day room, additional bathrooms, and parking to accommodate vehicles, especially the number that are present during shift change.

The Hendersonville Fire Department is in the process of hiring an additional 12 firefighters made possible by the award of a $1.25 million SAFER grant. Adding the additional engine company and Battalion Chiefs will improve fire coverage throughout the city. The additional personnel could potentially be housed in the already crowded Station 1 until the future Station 3 is built on Old Spartanburg Road, but these are considerations to be made by City Council in the coming months.

City Council members received a copy of the study and have had the opportunity to tour Station 1 and meet with a representative from ADW Architects ahead of their January meeting when they will likely discuss options. Design opportunities include concepts that renovate or replace the station with alternatives for additional administrative space. The new construction concepts presented by the architect show drive-thru garage bays which are in line with modern fire station construction and would limit the hazards associated with firefighters backing the apparatus into the bays, as the current facility requires.

City Manager John Connet and Interim Fire Chief James Miller provided local media members with a tour of Fire Station 1 on December 18 to show some of the facility’s issues. Both highlighted the need to provide a safe and functional space for first responders.

Posted by Allison N 12/19/2019

New Council Members & Mayor Pro Tem Sworn In 

3 people being sworn inDuring the December 5, 2019 City Council meeting, Council Members Steve Caraker and Ron Stephens were recognized for their service to the City of Hendersonville and each honored with a Proclamation of Appreciation and Respect.

Council Member Jennifer Hensley was sworn in with the Oath of Office administered by Representative Chuck McGrady.

Council Member Lyndsey Simpson was sworn in with the Oath of Office administered by Mayor Barbara Volk.

Council Member Jerry Smith was elected Mayor Pro Tempore and sworn in by Mayor Barbara Volk.

The Council made nominations and voted to fill seats on the following committees and advisory boards:

  • Downtown Advisory Committee: Lyndsey Simpson
  • Firemen’s Relief Fund: Jerry Smith, Jennifer Hensley
  • Henderson County Transportation Advisory Committee, French Broad Metropolitan Planning Organization, Henderson County Technical Advisory Committee: Jennifer Hensley
  • Henderson County Public School Facilities Committee: Jerry Smith, Jeff Miller
  • Seventh Avenue Advisory Committee: Lyndsey Simpson
  • Land of Sky Regional Council Board of Delegates: Barbara Volk (Lyndsey Simpson - alternate)
  • Local Government Committee for Cooperative Action: Barbara Volk, Jerry Smith
  • Mills River Partnership: Jeff Miller
  • Water and Sewer Advisory Council: Jeff Miller
  • Business Advisory Council: Jennifer Hensley
Posted by Allison N 12/06/2019

Ten Employees Graduate from City of Hendersonville Academy 

COHA graduatesIn September 2019, the City of Hendersonville initiated a third session of the City of Hendersonville Academy (COHA). The goal of COHA is to provide employees with a greater comprehension of City operations, services, programs, and finances to enhance their job performance. Members participate in evening training sessions to learn and network with staff and guest speakers on topics such as City hierarchy, levels of government, budget, Human Resources topics, and local economy and growth. Employees volunteer to participate on their own time. Employees taking part in the program are interested in increasing their knowledge, understanding all levels of the City, improving their department, and becoming leaders in the organization. The participants were recognized at the December City Council meeting.

City Manager John Connet is shown with the 2019 COHA graduates.

Back row L to R: Cameron Womack (Fire Department), Sarah Wykle (Water & Sewer), City Manager John Connet, Holly Nourigat (Fire Department), Drew Finley (Water & Sewer), Kimberly Jackson (Public Works)
Front row L to R: Allison Nock (Admin), Ligia Guinea (Finance), Tamara Amin (Finance), Kaitland Finkle (Finance), Ashley Staton (Finance)

Posted by Allison N 12/06/2019

Artscape 2020 Accepting Sponsors and Artists 

paintingThe colorful ArtScape show of outdoor artwork in downtown Hendersonville will decorate the streets through the winter months.  Plans are underway now, however, for next year’s outstanding exhibit.  Artists and sponsors who want to participate in the 2020 exhibit are invited to sign up during December.  The deadline for all applications – artists and sponsors – is January 18, 2020.

Deadline for artists announced

A total of 40 artists will be chosen for the 2020 juried show, including four young artists.  Artists must live in Henderson County. The young artists will be chosen in the age categories of 6 to 11 years and 12 to 17 years old.  All other applicants must be 18 or older.  The deadline for all applications is January 18, 2020.  Details are available at www.artscapehvl.org.  Next year’s outdoor art gallery will be on exhibit in downtown Hendersonville April 2020-March 2021.

“The ArtScape Committee is planning next year’s exhibit, and exciting projects are already underway.  The opening reception is something art enthusiasts look forward to.  We’ll announce more about that soon.  An outstanding judge has been chosen for the juried show.  We are busy signing up sponsors and artists,” reported ArtScape chair Diane Dean.

Sponsors for banners should sign up now

Those wishing to sponsor one or more banners in the 2020 show will save on the cost of sponsorship by signing up before the end of this year.  A banner can be sponsored for $200 through December 31.  From January 1 to January 18, the cost is $225.  For more information visit www.artscapehvl.org.  Sponsors can be individuals, businesses, or organizations.  Sponsors names are shown on the banners.. 

ArtScape Hendersonville is a community-building project adding interest and color to the downtown area, showcasing locally created art and helping make the city an exciting and unique art destination. The annually changing selection of banners on Main Street, Seventh Avenue, and the downtown side streets creates a unique twist on an outdoor gallery experience.

For more information, contact Diane Dean at artist@dianedean.com or phone her at 843-247-1368. Visit www.artscapehvl.org or www.acofhc.org  for information about the ArtScape Banner Project. 

 

Photo: “Captured Fragrance” by Hendersonville artist John Anderson is on exhibit in the ArtScape Banner Project in downtown Hendersonville. 

Posted by Allison N 12/03/2019

Water Treatment Staff Complete Dredging Project at Bradley Creek 

bradley creek damIn September, the City of Hendersonville dredged the Bradley Creek Reservoir located deep within Pisgah National Forest. The reservoir, constructed in 1928, is one of the City’s three main water sources, drawing approximately 3 million gallons of raw water a day. The goal of the project was to add water storage volume to the reservoir by removing accumulated sediment and debris which were beginning to infringe on the intake structure and starting to affect water treatment operations.  

“Rather than contracting the work out, our water treatment staff were given the opportunity to take on this project,” said Water Treatment Facilities Manager Ricky Levi. “This work was far above the typical duties of operating a treatment plant, but our team came together to complete the project on time and under budget.”

The project consisted of installing a temporary diversion dam to divert creek flow around the reservoir, installing a temporary bridge, dewatering the reservoir, relocating stranded wildlife, excavating and removing 84 dump truck loads of accumulated sediment to an offsite location, repairing a broken bypass valve and restoring the work area. The work ensures proper operation and continued longevity of the water supply source, which has provided high-quality drinking water to the City and surrounding areas since the late 1920s.

“The sediment was all the way to the top of the dam, but after removing all those truckloads, we now we have a larger water storage capacity,” said Levi. He explained how his team was able to repair a gate valve and get it back in service. “That was really exciting for us because we got to look at something that no person has likely seen since it was installed.”

The team completing the project consisted of Ricky Levi, Keith Kirchner, Gary Norton, Rick Brown, Stephen Bell, George Reedy and Steven Warren. During a presentation on the project made to City Council on November 7, Ricky praised the group for their work and thanked the rest of his staff as well.

“We’ve got twelve folks that work at the Water Treatment Plant,” said Levi. “We treat all the water coming through the plant and we are the call center after hours. We maintain the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and we do it all with that amount of people.” He explained to council that the project left a great burden on the existing staff, but everyone pitched in and the outcome of the project was even better than expected.

“Our work was praised by the National Forest Service; that’s not an easy thing to have happen,” said Levi. During his presentation, he thanked the City Council, management and Utilities Director Lee Smith for trusting his team with the project. He also highlighted the work of Utilities Engineer Adam Steurer for his work on the project. “We have people in charge that care about our infrastructure.”


Project Photos

bradley creek before after
Early photo of Bradley vs. Today

diversion of the river
The diversion of the river

wildlife rescue
Wildlife rescue

dredging
The actual dredging process

release valve repair
Release valve repair

bradley dam before and after
Before and after

Posted by Allison N 11/15/2019

Downtown Public Restrooms Open Ahead of Small Business Saturday 

restroom opening flyerThe Downtown Economic Development Program has never been so excited about the sound of a toilet flushing! On Monday November 25, at 4:30 pm, the City of Hendersonville will be cutting the ribbon on brand new Public Restrooms in Downtown Hendersonville. Located just off Main Street at 125 Fifth Avenue West, the new facility addresses a long-discussed need for downtown. 

The result of a conversation between City Council and the Downtown Main Street Advisory Committee about the most pressing infrastructure needs for the district, public restroom facility options were presented to City Council in early 2018. The options were run through an assessment process guided by Council, the Advisory Committee and the Tourism Development Authority which created preferred location and design guidelines.  

In early July of 2018 the City, using the guidelines and financial support provided by community partners, closed on the property located at 125 Fifth Avenue West for the purpose of public restrooms and downtown program offices. Samsel Architects of Asheville were hired to develop the renovation plans for the existing 1920’s era building. Following a formal bidding process completed in the winter of 2019, Dunlap Construction of Hendersonville began work on the renovation in April. 

The ribbon cutting ceremony will also be accompanied by a mayoral proclamation recognizing small businesses and proclaiming Saturday, November 30 as Small Business Saturday in the City of Hendersonville.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, and many festive events occurring downtown, citizens are encouraged to shop local and recognize the contributions small businesses make to our local economy and community.  

City Council and City of Hendersonville staff invite the media, local merchants, and the public to join them in celebration of small businesses and the ‘First Flush’ of this new downtown amenity on Monday, November 25 at 4:30 pm.

Posted by Allison N 11/12/2019

Water Shortage Advisory Lifted 

water advisory liftedThe Stage 1 Water Shortage Advisory issued by the City of Hendersonville on September 28 has been lifted.

At the City Council meeting on November 7, City Manager John Connet announced the water shortage advisory would be lifted at midnight. The advisory consisted of voluntary conservation recommendations stemming from drought conditions and lower water levels in the Mills River.

The NC Drought Management Advisory Council downgraded Henderson County from the moderate drought category to abnormally dry indicated on the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor of North Carolina. That status change in combination with the forecast and predicted customer water usage prompted the City to rescind the advisory.

Hendersonville Water & Sewer encourages customers to be mindful of their water usage and employ conservation efforts when possible, however the official Water Shortage Advisory is no longer in effect. More information about water conservation can be found at https://www.hendersonvillenc.gov/water-conservation.

Posted by Allison N 11/08/2019

City of Hendersonville Top Ten List 

top ten listFind out the top ten things YOU can do to improve the City of Hendersonville by watching this video.

This list was shared by City staff during the City's Council Conversation meetings held throughout the area.

10. Trim trees and shrubs hanging over public sidewalks and those interfering with traffic sight triangles on your property. You can even mow the strip of grass in front of your property if you’re feeling ambitious.  

9. Move to the right when you see an emergency vehicle approaching with lights and siren; Stopping in the middle of the road creates a giant game of Frogger and the traffic on Four Seasons is already bad enough! 

8. Just because your Real Estate Agent said it was okay does not mean it really is. “I forgot to get a building permit” will cost you a lot of money. 

7. Keep grass clippings and leaves out of the street while mowing or raking your yard, otherwise, they end up in the storm drain. Bonus Point: Be a team player and clean out clogged storm drains to help prevent flooding!!! 

6. Use your brain and ‘don’t pour grease down the drain.’ Or even better - use less grease...your cardiologist will thank you. 

5. Don’t leave your garbage can in the street or on the sidewalk after it has been emptied. “Move your can, man!” 

4. Stop driving around barricades or through standing water – We don’t like to get wet! 

3. If you pay City taxes...then you live in the City! 

2. Slow down in town; Traffic lights and stop signs are NOT optional (even if you’re from out of state 😉) 

1. Flush only the 3-P's - Poop, Pee and (toilet) Paper - If it’s not one of these….DON’T flush it!!  

 

Posted by Allison N 11/05/2019
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