Steve Rao

August 27 Council Meeting

We had a very productive and interesting meeting on Tuesday.

Invocation was done by Turkish Diwan Center.

New Town Manager for Morrisville!    Martha Wheelock, from Winston Salem, was announced as our next Town Manager.   We welcome Martha to Morrisville and look forward to her first day being Sept 10th.

Transportation Quarterly Update
Transportation Quarterly Update was very informative with the main updates being the Morrisville Carpenter Road Project, which will begin in 2014.     The Morrisville Parkway Grade Separation and Hopson Road Grade Separation, are under way, and the Fiona Road.Barbee Circle sidewalk project is complete, with the Shiloh South and Shiloh North Projects, being completed as well.

Church street sidewalks are underway and the McCrimmon Extension (NC 54 Bypass) design phase process is under way.

The full Report is on the Morriville Town Council site.

Old Business 

Cotton Place Flexible Design Option:   Council unanimously approved the FDO for Cotton Place, adopting the new recreational amenities in lieu of a swimming pool.

Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding:    We approved the Commission although Vikki Scroggins Johnson did suggest that the Commission, have quarterly reports, and that the charter did include that fifty percent of the Task Force be comprised of Morrisville citizens and that the Task Force represent more of an evenly balanced representation across the Town.

Council voted to approve the Task Force and then we will have staff take input on amending the charter.

Board and Panel Members:  Congrats to all members reappointed to Parks and Rec, Public Safety, and to Michael Roberts, appointed, to the open slot for the Planning and Zoning Board.

Hotel/Motel Tax Opportunity:   Council has agreed to move this to the Sept. 10th meeting, when Staff will have a better idea on whether there may be an alternate site for the Private sports facility.   The challenge is that the facility would conflict with Transit Oriented Development and a station but they are working on another site.  Staff recommendation is to move forward with the Private facility, with the focus being to see if the developer and staff can agree to the alternate site.

RTP Park Recreation Facilities Contract:

Council unanimously approved the contract for RTP Park.   We look forward to this moving forward and I thank all of the citizens, who weighed in on this issue!

Open Data Discussion 

The evening ended with my discussion on Open Data.

I presented to Council, on the benefits of Open Data to the citizens, with the primary benefit, being that open data in machine readable format will enable citizens to create apps, which can bring efficiencies to the Town, make our lives easier.    Also, Open Data can fuel economic growth with a few projects, getting off the ground, by venture funding, creating jobs, and opportunities.

With our focus on Morrisiville, I presented what a Morrisville Open Data Portal would look, like, presented Open Data Sets with Campo Data and also presented the CIty of Chicago Open Data sets for transportation.    I cannot think of a better way for us to lead with a Transportation Task Force, if we can have an Open Data pilot, where citizens can use this type of data to provide feedback, arrive at solutions for transportation challenges we face.

Staff has been directed to deliver a briefing to Council, an Adminstrative Report, and I am in favor of the Town drafting an Open Data Resolution, funding a pilot, and join the growing list of cities, launching Open Data initiatives.

Thanks to Raleigh Open Data Manager and Morrisville citizen, Jason Hare for his assistance with the data and I look forward to his continued participation in this area.


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