Signage for the forthcoming Holly Springs downtown area the city is working to create may soon showcase to residents, visitors and potential business owners where the town center is slated to be located.
Councilmember Mike Zenchuk, the council’s representative on the Holly Springs Downtown Development Authority, brought the idea to the council’s work session Monday night held at 7 p.m. at Holly Springs City Hall.
Councilmember Dee Phillips was the only councilmember absent.
While recognizing that creating a downtown will take the city a substantial amount of time, Zenchuk said he wanted to get the ball rolling on having an appropriate designation for the area.
“(There’s) a lot of time between now and when the ground is going to be turned to start the first building,” Zenchuk said. “And in the meantime, there’s really no distinction of what the downtown area looks like and where it is.”
Zenchuk said the goal of the signage is to attract new businesses to the downtown area prior to beginning construction, but not to necessarily be used as permanent signage.
“The tough part is, you don’t want to put a lot of dollars in the signs that may or may not be there a year from now, two years from now,” Zenchuk said. “For now, just something to distinguish this is the downtown area.”
Mayor Timothy Downing said the city has already established a style with its signage, but it is up to council whether or not to continue with it or go with something different.
Zenchuk and Councilmember Kyle Whitaker discussed lightpost signage as one possibility. Downing agreed the lightpost banners may be the most appropriate choice, as they are not as expensive as other signage choices and do not have to be permanent.
“When we get to the point where the downtown has really set itself apart, then we can stop using them,” Downing said.
The proposed downtown area is zoned as a town center district with its geographic center at the intersection of Hickory Road, Holly Street and Holly Springs Parkway.
Logan said the city’s downtown streetscape project is being funding by a Livable Centers Initiative grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission, so city officials are looking for the signage to stay in compliance with the planning grant.
He added redevelopment of the area zoned to become the city’s downtown is still in the preliminary stages.
“We’re going to have to do some more land acquisition before moving forward,” Logan said. “It will probably be six to nine months before we know which direction we’re taking.”
In other business, City Manager Rob Logan said the city received three bids for asbestos abatement for 155 Hickory Road. Logan recommended the council approve the low bidder, Southern Environmental Services, Inc., in the amount of $3,930 for removing and disposing of the roof flashing, wallboard and joint compound and the exterior window caulking.
Logan added that representatives from Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services would like to burn the home for use in a practice home burning for firefighter training.
Downing said demolishing the home in that way would be a great opportunity for the fire department and save the city the cost of demolition.
Additionally, the council reviewed proposed changes to the city’s personnel manual. In addition to proposed amendments, Logan said staff is looking at additional benefits for staff, adding additional verbage to the drug-free workplace section to address random drug testing and will also reformat much of the manual.
“Most of these policies are already in place but we wanted to pull all of these documents together for (greater) ease,” Logan said.
The council also:
* Discussed proposed amendments to the take home vehicle program, included in the Holly Springs Police Department’s operations manual;
* Discussed a health and wellness policy for the police department, which is voluntary all current staff but required for all new staff members. Chief Ken Ball said the department already has 100 percent participation in the program;
* Discussed a rezoning request for Christian Praise Center, located at 1358 Sixes Road, from R-40 single family residential Estate to office/institutional. When the property was annexed in the 1990’s, Logan said it was not properly zoned and a business owner is interested in reserving a space in the church for a driving school, which is not permitted under R40; and
* Discussed a conditional use permit for a massage therapy license at 5341 Old Highway 5, Suite 202.