Message from Mayor Rick Cross
It seems we were just celebrating the year-end holidays, and now we are fast approaching mid-year 2023. I don’t know if the passage of time is speeding up or if I am getting older. I suspect it is the latter. As I have shared with residents, our town businesses, and other groups with whom I engage, there are many things occurring across our town. I want to take the opportunity to share a few highlights.
The Town Council recently approved the update to our Town of Bermuda Run Comprehensive Plan. A huge thanks to all who have been a part of this process - our Planning Board who served as the steering team throughout this effort, our Town Staff, our Town Council, and most important, the many residents who took time to complete the on-line survey, attended the information/education session, and who continuously provided real-time input along the way. This Comprehensive Plan is our roadmap to the future. It is intended to provide inspiration as we look to our town’s future. Take a few minutes to look through the updated Town of Bermuda Run Comprehensive Plan. Also, please know that we continue to seek your feedback and input.
Among our other duties, we will continue to focus time and attention on future land use across our town, pedestrian connectivity (trails, greenways, sidewalks, and recreation areas), and infrastructure.
While mentioning infrastructure, I want to update you on progress with the Highway 801/US 158 intersection. During the next few months, we continue to work toward adding a lane on northbound Highway 801 at the intersection, which will allow for two thru-lanes versus the current single thru-lane. Working with NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) on this project, they will provide us with specific dates so we can notify travelers in advance of any traffic disruptions. As we get closer, we will keep you informed.
I also want to let you know that we continue to work with our state legislators - including State Representative Julia Howard and State Senator Steve Jarvis - as well as NCDOT and our county partners, to advocate for funding and prioritization of our infrastructure needs. This includes a more complete solution for traffic management at the Highway 801/US 158 intersection.
As I have shared before, the new interchange at Baltimore Road and I-40 continues to proceed. As with any large project, it will be a few years before it is complete and we experience the benefits. Once concluded, it will create a positive impact at the Highway 801/US 158 intersection.
We are nearing the opening the first phase of our Blue Heron Trail - from the Roundabout at US 158 to the Pedestrian Tunnel at Lakeside Crossing in Kinderton Village. If you’ve been by the area lately, you have likely seen the pathway lights on as they are being tested. The areas along the trail have been seeded with grass to hold the soil while we work on longer-term landscaping and amenities. We will also be placing appropriate signage and markings along the trail to help ensure safety for all who will be enjoying it.
I know there has been some discussion about the use of golf carts on the trail. Golf carts will not be permitted on the trail. The trail is not wide enough to safely accommodate vehicles of that size along with walkers, runners, and cyclists. I expect this will be a disappointment to some, but it is important that we ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone who will be using the trail.
We are excited to get the trail open so it can be enjoyed by all. And rest assured that we are already hard at work on the continuation of our trails/greenways/sidewalks as we make our town a truly connected community. Stay tuned!
We continue to have businesses and organizations who want to be a part our community by investing their resources and time to be here. Sometimes in smaller ways by expanding their existing business, or in larger ways by becoming a new part of our community.
There is growth across our town, and in areas outside of our town limits. The new Ariston Apartments, directly south of Walgreens on Highway 801 will likely begin leasing in early 2024. The new Chick-fil-A in the Lowe’s Foods Shopping Center will likely open later this month. We have also had businesses and organizations repurpose existing property. An example of this is the Davie Habitat-for-Humanity soon opening their ReStore in the Bermuda Quay Shopping Center. You may remember this long-vacant space was previously occupied by Food Lion many years ago.
Our Council, staff, and I work closely with our county partners to make sure all requirements are met for development, and we will continue to work hard on behalf of our community in any and all development related activities.
Exciting News! Davie County, including our towns, has been selected as a finalist for this year’s All-America City Award. The award is for towns, counties, or organizations. The National Civic League’s All-America City Award has celebrated the best in American civic innovation since 1949. The award recognizes the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government leaders.
This year’s theme for the All-America City Award is “Creating Thriving Communities through Youth Engagement.” Our application focuses on youth programs that build the civic capacity of young people, increases job readiness and provides leadership opportunities. The final presentation will be made in Denver, Colorado, in early June.
We are thrilled to be part of this process, and we’re also excited as we send a group of our county’s young people to represent our community. They will be highlighting IGNITE DAVIE, Davie Works (Career & Technical Education, C.T.E), S.U.R.F. Board Grantmakers, and Davie Respect Initiative. It is an opportunity not only to showcase the amazing opportunities we collectively provide students in Davie County, but also an incredible forum for us to learn and bring back best practices from across the country!
Our Town Council members and I are often asked by residents how they can become more involved with activities across our town. It may sometimes seem like a complicated question, but it can be quite simple. Formally, we have our Planning Board, Bermuda Run Vision Committee, Town Council, and Mayor positions. Beyond that, there are 19 Homeowner’s Associations in many of the neighborhoods across our town. Additionally, there are many civic and community organizations (I hesitate to begin listing them for fear that I will inadvertently miss some).
Resulting from last fall’s notice in our newsletter, we have recently installed four new members onto our Planning Board. I was very happy with the response we received when we put the word out, and am thrilled that Dylan Hines, LeighAnn Joyce, Sharon Anderson, and Howard Rush have agreed to join our town’s Planning Board chaired by Rod Guthrie.
Our Bermuda Run Vision Committee, which focuses on community-building efforts, has been extremely busy. You may best know this group by their efforts to bring us Christmas in The Town of Bermuda Run and the Tree Lighting atop Davie Medical Center. They are diligently working on a community project that will bring the U.S., North Carolina, and Town of Bermuda Run flags to an area on the new Blue Heron Trail. They will soon have more to share on this exciting community effort. This committee is also collaborating on things like greater use of our Town Green, the on-going look and feel of our growing trail/greenway system. This group, led by Christy Shafer and Sharon Reid, are always on the lookout for those who would like to be involved across our community.
If you live in a neighborhood served by a Homeowner’s Association, please make sure you know your HOA Board members. Having interacted with these representatives during the past several years, I know first-hand that, to a person, they are community-minded, service-oriented, and extremely hard-working volunteers. The boards they serve on and the neighbors they serve, as well as our town as a whole, benefit greatly from their service.
I am sometimes asked about the Municipal Election process - How, When, Where. Well, here goes a bit of a civics lesson - Many of the cities/towns across North Carolina hold their municipal elections during odd years. In Bermuda Run (as well as the towns around us), our municipal elections are carried out with this schedule. In other words, our town elections are held in years 2019, 2021, 2023, 2025,…
This is an election year for the Town of Bermuda Run. Although nowhere in this, or any other town sponsored communication, will there be any campaigning or solicitations for any elected office, I do want to share the process in an effort to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to engage in the process.
A few key points about this year’s election:
- Our town has five Town Council Members and a Mayor, all elected at-large. By statute, these positions are non-partisan.
- Our town charter stipulates that all Council positions and Mayor position are elected for 4-year terms.
The terms of office are staggered as follows:
- In 2019, the Mayor and two Council positions were elected to 4-year terms (Cross, Coleman, Capps)
- In 2021, three Council positions were elected to 4-year terms (Ernst, Szeliga, Brannon)
- In 2023, the Mayor and two Council positions will be up for election.
This year’s election will be held on Tuesday, November 7th.
NOTE - Previously, election day voting for our town has been held at Hillsdale Baptist Church at 4815 US Highway 158 West. In what I hope will be good news for our residents, we are working to move ELECTION DAY voting to Calvary West Campus at 136 Medical Drive in Bermuda Run. We will keep you posted as we get closer to election day.
Please remember that for early voting in this year’s election, you will need to go to the Board of Elections Office. Early voting will run from October 19 through November 4.
For those interested in running for one of our town’s elected positions, candidate filing period runs from noon July 7 through noon July 21. Click the Davie County Board of Elections link for more information.
At this point, I want to make a personal comment. I will not be running for the role of Mayor this year. Although serving as Mayor for the Town of Bermuda Run, and the various roles in which I served previously, continues to be a source of gratification, energy, and inspiration for me, I have made the deeply personal decision not to run again this year. I am committed to serving our town and will continue to do so. I will continue to serve energetically as Mayor until after this year’s elections.
I want to say a brief word about our Town Council and staff. To a person, they are committed to serving our community every day. Those who have been elected to serve do so energetically and with the utmost in integrity and consideration for what is best for our town. I have a great deal of confidence and admiration for each of them as they work on our behalf.
If you have considered getting involved in any way across our town, please reach out to me. I would enjoy having a conversation. Those of you that know me well, know that I am passionate and committed to our community. I look forward to the succession of our town leaders, and am excited for the future of this town we call our home.
Each time I have reached out across our community, in person and in writing, I always end with a plea that we continue to engage. I ask that you reach out to me - my phone/text is 336.391.1992 and my email address is email@example.com.
I look forward to seeing everyone soon. If not before, I hope to see you at the first of our Summer Concert Series events on May 27th. I’m excited that, again this year, we will kick off the concert series with ENVISION! See you there.