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Rock Hill’s 25 Quality Practices

February 2016


Rock Hill’s 25 Quality Practices

cityofrockhill.com


MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR: Rock Hill is a community that is committed to quality. With the help of engaged citizens, diligent elected officials, dedicated employees, and devoted community partners, the City of Rock Hill strives to provide quality services, develop quality places, and foster a quality community. Over the years, with the help of partner agencies and individuals, we have supported and implemented numerous programs and initiatives that have contributed positively to the quality of life in Rock Hill; this booklet highlights 25 of those “Quality Practices.� I hope that sharing these practices will make you proud of our great city and that it encourages us as we continue our mutual quest to ensure that Rock Hill remains a quality community. A. Douglas Echols Mayor, City of Rock Hill, South Carolina

CITY OF ROCK HILL LEADERSHIP MAYOR A. Douglas Echols CITY COUNCIL John A. Black III Sandra Oborokumo

Kathy Pender James Reno Kevin Sutton Ann Williamson CITY MANAGER David B. Vehaun


Rock Hill’s 25 Quality Practices

Quality Places Quality Services

13

Sports Venues

1

Strategic Plan

14

Knowledge Park

2

Always On

15

Technology Incubator

3

City Website & TV Channel

16

Glencairn Garden

4

Ranking Rock Hill

17

Community Art

5

Fiscal Prudence

6

Grants

18

Community Learning

7

Financial Dashboard

19

Inside Rock Hill

8

Business Friendly Initiatives

20

Citizen Leaders Engagement

9

Green Fleet

21

Youth Focus

10

Wi-Fi System

22

Therapeutic Recreation Program

11

CrimeView

23

Neighborhood Development

12

Recycling Efforts

24

Proactive Code Enforcement

25

Festivals

Quality Community


Quality Services

Strategic Plan OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill has a vision for the future. In order to make this vision a reality, City Council and City staff work together to create a Strategic Plan. Each update to the Strategic Plan begins with the administration of a citizens’ survey in which residents are randomly selected to provide satisfaction ratings regarding the City’s delivery of a variety of services. City Council and staff use this information to draft the Strategic Plan which serves as a blueprint for the City’s future. The Strategic Plan defines ambitions, sets priorities, and provides performance targets to ensure adequate progress toward making the vision a reality. Twice a year the City produces a report detailing the City’s performance at meeting the goals within the Strategic Plan.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES The Strategic Plan and semiannual performance reports promote accountability and transparency. The City also has a performance dashboard on its transparency website that provides timely performance updates. Rock Hill’s Strategic Plan has earned several awards including the International City/County Managers Association’s Strategic Leadership & Governance Award and the Government Finance Officers Association’s Award for Excellence.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Banners highlighting the Strategic Plan around City Hall

Lisa Brown, Strategy & Performance Manager City Management 803-326-3814 Lisa.Brown@cityofrockhill.com website: cityofrockhill.com/transparency


Quality Services

Always on OVERVIEW The City's strategic plan focuses on Rock Hill's efforts to provide quality services, develop quality places, and foster a quality community. The Always on campaign is designed to help citizens associate the City as a good neighbor, and City employees as a major factor in that success. Key messages of the campaign are:  City employees understand the values of being a good neighbor and strive to incorporate those values into every service the City offers, 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year.  City employees are people working hard every day to do the best they can for the community.  The City of Rock Hill is made up of hundreds of City employees who are dedicated to serving the Rock Hill community, both on and off the job.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES The City logo is tagged with the words "Always on." across the bottom right corner at an angle in a design that resembles handwriting; this symbolizes the City’s promise that it’s always on. Employee training about the campaign was completed. Wraps on highly visible City vehicles (such as sanitation trucks) feature good neighbor messages and City employees. The campaign has been successful in reenergizing customer service commitment and communicating this commitment to the community.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Katie Quinn, Communications Manager City Management 803-326-3791 Katie.Quinn@cityofrockhill.com

Samples of wraps featured on City vehicles


Quality Services

City Website & TV Channel

OVERVIEW In today’s society, a good website is imperative for any company or organization. Rock Hill’s website provides access to valuable information ranging from applications and forms to financial and audit information. Additionally, live streaming of public meetings is available on the City’s website. Residents also use the website to conveniently report service outages, pay monthly utility bills, and to provide customer service feedback. In addition to the website, the Rock Hill Government Television Channel (RHTV) provides the citizens of Rock Hill transparent coverage of their City government's policies, procedures, priorities, and issues. The City also places valuable video content on its YouTube Channel.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES

Samples of the City’s website and YouTube channel

The City’s website averages over 500,000 visits and over 1.5 million page views annually. Rock Hill’s website received an "A+" transparency grade from the Sunshine Review, a nonprofit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. Rock Hill’s website, television channel, and YouTube channel continue to serve as valuable tools for making information accessible to the public.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Max Watson, Media Services Administrator City Management 803-329-7234 Max.Watson@cityofrockhill.com website: cityofrockhill.com


Quality Services

Ranking Rock Hill

OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill is committed to providing quality, efficient, and effective services. One of the many ways the City evaluates its performance is by comparing Rock Hill to other jurisdictions in the state and region. These comparisons are shared on a webpage, RankingRockHill.com, that is dedicated solely to sharing performance comparisons.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES With the use of graphs and tables, the public is able to see how Rock Hill compares to other jurisdictions in a variety of areas including: crime rates, financial bond ratings, commute times, fire protection coverage, staffing levels, utility rates, property taxes, and so on.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Lisa Brown, Strategy & Performance Manager City Management 803-326-3814 Lisa.Brown@cityofrockhill.com website: RankingRockHill.com

Samples of Ranking Rock Hill comparisons


Quality Services

Fiscal Prudence

OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill has a strong tradition of fiscal prudence. The City maintains active and robust programs to ensure the City’s financial well-being. These initiatives include a grants program, evaluating services for outsourcing when appropriate, public/private financing partnerships, and effective revenue collection and management practices. As the electric, water, and wastewater provider, Rock Hill ensures that it appropriately maintains crucial capital infrastructure, such as the water and wastewater treatment plants, by creating long-term financial models to help inform annual decision making.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES Moody's and Standard and Poor's rating agencies recognize the City's strong financial standing. The City's general fund credit rating with Moody’s AA3 and utility system credit rating is A3. All ratings in the A category are defined by Moody’s as “above average creditworthiness”. The City of Rock Hill enjoys bond ratings (similar to personal credit scores) that are higher than many well-known private companies. Additionally, Rock Hill’s commitment to prudent financial management allows the City to maintain very competitive tax and utility rates. To see how the City’s tax, utility rates, and bond ratings compare to others, please visit RankingRockHill.com. The City has received 25 Distinguished Budget Awards and 23 Certificates of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Awards

FOR MORE INFORMATION Anne Harty, Chief Financial Officer Finance Department 803-329-8764 Anne.Harty@cityofrockhill.com


Quality Services

Grants

OVERVIEW

Year

Grant Activity

2002

$

1,935,082

2003

$

2,314,309

2004

$

2,408,643

2005

$

1,999,539

2006

$

6,578,596

2007

$

5,282,003

In the past 12 years, the City of Rock Hill has secured more than $47 million in grant funding. These grants have been used to hire police officers, clean up old mill sites, construct affordable housing, and complete road improvements.

2008

$

2,753,476

2009

$

6,842,861

2010

$

4,605,971

2011

$

3,480,891

The City believes its strong focus on grant compliance is a key contributing factor to its success in securing grant awards.

2012

$

2,511,026

2013

$

2,363,628

2014

$

5,171,727

2015

$

In 2002, the City formalized its grants efforts. The Grants Division focuses on researching, applying for, and managing grants. Grant funding helps to leverage local dollars and assist with the City being able to meet service and community goals.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES

FOR MORE INFORMATION Jeremy Winkler, Intergovernmental Manager City Management 803-326-3850 Jeremy.Winkler@cityofrockhill.com

Total

3,289,820

$51,096,672

Years prior to 2007 reflect only federal grant expenditures; all other years reflect both federal and state grants received


Quality Services

Financial Dashboard

OVERVIEW Often times an organization’s financial details are viewed as being mysterious information that only a handful of privileged people are able to access. Keeping with the City’s commitment to transparency, the City of Rock Hill has a financial dashboard available on the City’s website that uses easy to understand graphs to provide monthly updates on revenues by source (e.g., property taxes, water and sewer revenue) and expenditures by department (e.g., police, public works, fire). Both revenue and expenditure data are compared to budgeted amounts, making it easy to know when a department is over budget or when revenues are underperforming.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES With the continuation of the “internet age” and technological advances, the public’s appetite for accessible information will continue to grow. Rock Hill’s financial dashboard is a proactive response to providing information in an accessible and visually appealing manner.

Revenue and Expense Dashboards are updated on a monthly basis

FOR MORE INFORMATION Lori Thomas, Finance and Insurance Manager Finance Department 803-329-7071 Lori.Thomas@cityofrockhill.com website: cityofrockhill.com/transparency


Quality Services

Business Friendly Initiatives

OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill is committed to cultivating a business friendly environment. In recent years, the City has implemented various initiatives to further this commitment. The Open for Business program streamlines service delivery by providing personal assistance to small businesses seeking to build or expand their business locations in Rock Hill. Additionally, the City maintains open dialogue with local developers and small business owners by holding recurring focus groups and meetings.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES Since 2013, the Open for Business program has assisted more than 750 businesses with various services. In 2011, the City reduced its already competitively low business license fees by 15% for businesses that paid on time. Today this initiative continues as a 10% reduction for businesses that pay their business license fees on time. Savings to local businesses exceed $700,000 annually.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Bill Meyer, Planning & Development Director Planning & Development Department 803-326-3879 Bill.Meyer@cityofrockhill.com website: cityofrockhill.com/openforbusiness

Open for Business has assisted over 2,400 businesses since 2012


Quality Services

Green Fleet

OVERVIEW From police patrol cars to sanitation trucks, many of the services the City provides require the use of vehicles and equipment. The City of Rock Hill strives to provide these services with minimal negative impact to the environment. One way in which the City achieves this is by using alternative fuels. The City of Rock Hill began using compressed natural gas (CNG) in 1995 and has had electric vehicles in its fleet since 1993.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES The City currently has 3 sanitation trucks, 4 dump trucks, and 2 cars that use CNG

Today all of the City’s diesel vehicles run on a biodiesel blend (B20), and the City has its own ethanol blend (E85) fueling station for the 100+ ethanol fueled vehicles in its fleet. Additionally, electric charging stations are available free of charge for public use 24 hours a day at City Hall, the City’s Operations Center, the municipal parking garage, airport, and many of the City’s parks. The City also has a CNG fueling station at its Operations Center which is also available to the public. In 2010, Rock Hill received the Palmetto State Clean Fuels Coalition’s first-ever Greenest Fleet Award.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tracy Smith, Fleet & Purchasing Manager General Services Department 803-326-3837 Tracy.Smith@cityofrockhill.com


Quality Services

Wi-Fi System

OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill’s Wi-Fi system was completed in 2008. The system is one of the largest municipally owned wireless networks in the Southeast. The system includes over 1,300 routers and covers an area larger than the city limits. Mobile routers are installed in City fire, police, and utility vehicles.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES The Wi-Fi system improves service delivery in several ways. For example, while in their vehicles, police officers can access the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles’ interstate traffic cameras and live camera systems from apartment complexes and stores. The Fire Department uses the network to look up building plans to identify entrances, exits, and locations of hazardous materials on the way to the scene. The ability for public safety professionals to easily access realtime information during crisis situations is invaluable. Free Wi-Fi services are broadcast at many of the City’s parks, allowing parents to work and check e-mail while their children play and attend practices. Additionally, the City uses the Wi-Fi network to attract sports Free wi-fi services are found on the tourism events to the area. Tourists enjoy having internet access and the ‘RockHillRocks’ network ability to upload team scores and view tournament results. Wi-Fi throughout the City services give Rock Hill an advantage in recruiting sporting events, bringing tourism dollars to the community.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Melissa Davis, IT Senior Network Administrator Information Technology Services 803-329-7200 Melissa.Davis@cityofrockhill.com


Quality Services

CrimeView

OVERVIEW The Rock Hill Police Department uses data to provide proactive police services. CrimeView is an initiative in which the Police Department’s crime analyst identifies physical addresses that have had several calls for service related to disorderly conduct, criminal domestic violence, assaults, or drug calls. These addresses are flagged for CrimeView, and a team of police officers and a victim’s advocate visit the address. The Police Department also partners with Catawba Mental Health and Keystone Substance Abuse and Prevention; both agencies send representatives along with the team as needed. The team discusses the calls for service with the residents and provides them with information about appropriate services, such as domestic abuse counseling, drug rehabilitation centers, and mental health resources. If the residents refuse the information, the address is flagged as a zero tolerance address which means if police officers are called to the address in the future, and there is enough information or evidence to warrant an arrest, the arrest will be made — no warnings are given.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES Visits are made to specific locations normally twice per month until problems are resolved

CrimeView is designed to address the root cause of calls for service by empowering residents to seek assistance for addressing their problems. During 2015, there was a 45% reduction in calls at 15 different locations throughout our community.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tim Ayers, Community Services Lieutenant Rock Hill Police Department 803-329-7262 Tim.Ayers@cityofrockhill.com


Quality Services

Recycling Efforts

OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill provides curbside recycling collection services to residential and commercial customers. Each year the City picks up recycling from nearly 180 businesses and over 9,000 residential homes. On average, the City collects approximately 20,000 tons of recycling annually. Rock Hill has an environmental educator on staff who manages the City’s environmental education efforts. The environmental educator is assisted by the Rock Hill Clean and Green Committee, an all-volunteer 15-member Keep America Beautiful affiliate.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES In 2012, the City began collecting recycling from the Rock Hill School District. Through an innovative program the City collects the recycling, records the weight of the material for each school, and provides those numbers to each school. This allows schools to track their progress and use the information in classroom activities and learning projects. Recycling diverts waste from the landfill and saves the City, on average, $750,000 each year in landfill tipping fees. Rock Hill’s recycling efforts have won numerous awards and recognitions including winning the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Outstanding Municipal Recycling Program Award and the Carolinas Recycling Association’s Outstanding Municipal Recycling Program Award. In addition, the City’s environmental educator has earned the Carolinas Recycling Association’s Recycler of the Year Award for North and South Carolina.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Elizabeth Morgan, Environmental Educator General Services Department 803-329-7027 Elizabeth.Morgan@cityofrockhill.com

Elizabeth Morgan giving an environmental education presentation to students


Quality Places

Sports Venues

OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill offers a host of sports venues that are used for both local residents’ enjoyment and sports tourism events.

Cherry Park

Cherry Park is Rock Hill’s premier softball/baseball facility. Cherry Park was the second sports venue to be inducted into the National Softball Association’s Hall of Fame. Manchester Meadows is a 70 acre park that offers high quality soccer fields and pavilions. The Rock Hill Tennis Center provides a top notch facility for local tennis enthusiasts and tournament play. The Center provides lighted, regulation hard courts along with other amenities. The world-class Giordana Velodrome is part of the Rock Hill Outdoor Center at Riverwalk; it offers track cycling to both experts and novices. The Novant Health BMX Supercross Track, also located at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center at Riverwalk, is the only Olympic-caliber BMX training facility on the East coast. The facility has both an amateur and an elite supercross ramp.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES Giordana Velodrome

Rock Hill’s sports venues have hosted national, regional, and local tournaments. The tournaments bring visitors who stay in hotels, eat at local restaurants, and shop locally. Since 2009, the City of Rock Hill’s sports tourism efforts have averaged over $18 million in direct economic impact to the community per year.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Manchester Meadows

Mark Sexton, Operations Supervisor Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department 803-329-8777 Mark.Sexton@cityofrockhill.com


Quality Places

Knowledge Park

OVERVIEW The Knowledge Park concept was developed in 2012 when the City of Rock Hill, Winthrop University and many other public and private leaders joined together to implement the redevelopment of Rock Hill’s urban core from Winthrop University, through the former Textile Corridor, and into downtown. Knowledge Park is designed to be home to knowledge economy businesses and jobs; it will be technologically advanced, yet rooted in the city’s rich history. The attraction and growth of knowledge economy businesses and employment will be aided by specific competitive advantages including gigabit broadband service provided by Comporium, office space at below-market rates, and access to a deep and diverse talent pool. Conceptual Bleachery Master Plan

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES A key community asset within Knowledge Park is Fountain Park. Fountain Park has transformed a rarely used parking lot into a community treasure. In addition to providing beautiful green space, Fountain Park is home to one of the largest fountains in the state of South Carolina. A master plan has been created to redevelop the entire Bleachery property on West White Street. The urban, mixed-use plan contains 19 buildings with 1.3 million square feet of space. The first projects to be undertaken by the project’s master developer in 2016 will be to revitalize the former Lowenstein Building into new student housing.

FOR MORE INFORMATION David Lawrence, Knowledge Park Development Manager Economic & Urban Development Department 803-326-3827 David.Lawrence@cityofrockhill.com website: KnowledgeParkRockHill.com

Fountain Park


Quality Places

Technology Incubator @ Knowledge Park

OVERVIEW The Technology Incubator at Knowledge Park (the TI Center) is designed to support the development and formation of technology companies in Rock Hill. Led by the Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation, the City of Rock Hill, Winthrop University, and York Technical College, the Technology Incubator operates in association with the Clemson University Technology Villages program. The technology incubator program combines hands-on consulting support, resource identification, and educational and technical assistance to improve an entrepreneur’s prospects for success and create new knowledge based jobs.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES To date, the TI Center has graduated four companies, and eight client companies are licensed into the TI Center. During Global Entrepreneurship Week in November 2015, the TI Center planned and conducted entrepreneurship events at the Applied Technology Center, at Winthrop University and one in the TI Center. In an ongoing effort, the TI Center hosts monthly Business Growth Workshops for local businesses.

Collaborative workspace at the Technology Incubator

Additionally, the TI Center is conducting its second annual student Business Model Competition in February 2016 involving all Rock Hill middle schools, high schools and colleges.

FOR MORE INFORMATION David Warner, Technology Incubator Director Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation 803-329-8721 David.Warner@cityofrockhill.com


Quality Places

Glencairn Garden

OVERVIEW Glencairn Garden is located in the heart of Rock Hill’s Old Town. The Garden began as the six acre backyard of Dr. David and Hazel Bigger, and in 1959 it was transformed into a beautiful public space by renowned landscape architect Robert Marvin. Glencairn also includes the Veterans Garden, a tribute to veterans past, present, and future. While the peak bloom period is the last week of March through mid-April, there is something beautiful to behold at Glencairn Garden yearround.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES Glencairn is the birthplace of Rock Hill’s annual Come-See-Me festival and remains a popular location for weddings, events, and concerts. The Learning Center provides space for educational programs for residents of all ages.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Rhea Faris, Parks Division Supervisor Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department 803-329-5567 Rhea.Faris@cityofrockhill.com

Glencairn Garden at full bloom


Quality Places

Community Art

OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill recognizes the ability of art to transform spaces into community treasures. The City has sought to encourage the inclusion of art throughout the community.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES Civitas at the Gateway

The Civitas statues are beautiful 22 foot-tall sculptures that stand at the intersection of Dave Lyle Boulevard and Gateway Boulevard and in the rotunda of City Hall. The Civitas, which is Latin for “civic pride”, reflects the spirit of Rock Hill’s textile heritage in the clothing and hair, which suggest billowing ribbons of material. That material transforms into wings representing the fact that Rock Hill’s textile history provided the texture and foundation that gave the City wings to move forward. The Gateway intersection where the four Civitas statues stand is circular to symbolize unity, teamwork, and togetherness.

Art on the municipal parking garage pays homage to the City’s past local automobile manufacturers: Rock Hill Buggy Company 18921926 and Anderson Motor Company 1916-1925.

Currently, the Rock Hill Designs Initiative began work on its first project: the Woolworth Walkway. The conceptual plan is the result of work from three local artists, student workshops, and a community event. Construction is scheduled to be complete in June 2016.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Stephen Turner, Economic & Urban Development Director Economic & Urban Development Department 803-329-7090 Stephen.Turner@cityofrockhill.com Woolworth Walkway conceptual plans


Quality Community

Community Learning

OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill, Rock Hill Schools, York County Library, and other community organizations joined together to promote the importance of reading for all ages. Rock Hill Reads is a community-wide initiative that encourages every Rock Hill citizen to read for at least 20 minutes each day. The collaboration between the City of Rock Hill and Rock Hill School District for the iRock initiative leverages the talents of 800+ City employees, 17,400 student citizens, and 1,450 teachers/administrators to create viable solutions to community challenges. As part of iRock, students work with City employees to address community projects. These projects provide the students real world opportunities to demonstrate learning.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES In 2013, the City collected over 800 books to donate to children in Rock Hill. The City also includes reading tips in its employee newsletter and utility inserts that is sent to some 40,000 homes in Rock Hill. There have been many successful iRock projects. One iRock project involved fifth grade history students studying Rock Hill’s connections to national history. The students found WWII lookout points in Rock Hill, an old fallout shelter during the time of the Cold War, and much more. Students created a historic walking tour with staff from the City of Rock Hill.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Janet Carswell, Mayor’s Assistant City Management 803-329-8717 Janet.Carswell@cityofrockhill.com

City employees and Rock Hill School District students working on an iRock project.


Quality Community

Inside Rock Hill

OVERVIEW Inside Rock Hill is a popular 10-week civics course offered to residents of the City of Rock Hill. This course offers residents an in-depth understanding of how the City operates so they will be able to access services necessary to maintain and improve their quality of life. The course is offered during the spring and fall. During the course, City representatives provide interactive presentations to attendees to provide them hands-on information about how the City functions. Additionally, Inside Rock Hill participants attend City Council meetings in order to see first-hand how elected leaders take official action on City matters. Participants who successfully complete the requirements “graduate� from the program and are recognized by City Council.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES

Inside Rock Hill groups are very active throughout our community

Inside Rock Hill has been extremely successful at enhancing citizen engagement. Over 400 residents have graduated from Inside Rock Hill. With nearly 50 of the graduates either currently serving or having previously served on City of Rock Hill Boards and Commissions, Inside Rock Hill graduates prove to be valuable resources to the community. The graduates have formed an advisory board and publish a bi-monthly newsletter exclusively for graduates to keep them informed of City happenings and events.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Dorene Boular, Weed & Seed Coordinator Housing & Neighborhood Services 803-325-2527 Dorene.Boular@cityofrockhill.com


Quality Community

Citizen Leaders Engagement

OVERVIEW In 2006, Mayor Doug Echols began meeting with small groups of civic, government, business, and education leaders to discuss projects, initiatives, and the future of the community. In addition to providing the City with valuable insight, these meetings have provided community leaders with an opportunity to engage one another in informal settings.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES In 2012, Mayor Echols assembled over 100 community leaders, who had previously met in small groups, to discuss one subject - Rock Hill. During the event, Mayor Echols challenged attendees to think about and share their thoughts on the future of the community. Through the use of small table exercises, attendees discussed the future they wanted for Rock Hill. They talked about jobs, technology, arts, the importance of education, future transportation needs, and so on. The topics were varied and meaningful. A follow-up Citizen Leaders breakfast was held in 2015. Key words were solicited for each of the focus areas and word clouds were created to visually demonstrate their importance to the larger groups. Participants then provided over 1,500 comments that addressed how we as a community can work towards our future, together. The feedback gained from these meetings, as well as past Citizen Leaders meetings, continues to influence and guide the City’s strategic, business, and operational plans.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Janet Carswell, Mayor’s Assistant City Management 803-329-8717 Janet.Carswell@cityofrockhill.com

The Quality Services word cloud

Table discussion during the 2015 citizen leaders meeting


Quality Community

Youth Focus

OVERVIEW The Rock Hill Youth Council provides high school students (public, private, and homeschooled) an active role in addressing youth related issues, encourages positive youth development, promotes public awareness of the strengths and abilities of youth, and provides opportunities for participation in community projects. The Youth Service League teaches teens and pre-teens about the benefits of volunteerism and leadership through actual volunteer experience. Each year, these students give more than 2,000 hours of volunteer time to the community. Rock Hill Youth Service Day

In 2006, Rock Hill’s Commission for Children and Youth adopted an awareness campaign called “The #1 Question: Is It Good For the Children?” The campaign encourages everyone to make this question part of their daily language: in homes, in neighborhood activities, at work, in board rooms, in places of worship, in schools, and in every corner of the community where decisions are made. By asking “Is It Good For the Children?” whenever a decision is made, Rock Hill can improve life for its young people.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES Rock Hill’s focus on engaging youth and its commitment to providing them with leadership and volunteer opportunities have impacted countless young people. Additionally, the community’s efforts have won several awards and recognitions including being named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by the America’s Promise Alliance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Patti Panetti, Program Coordinator Parks, Recreation & Tourism 803-329-5625 Patti.Panetti@cityofrockhill.com


Quality Community

Therapeutic Recreation Program

OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill’s Therapeutic Recreation programs focus on providing meaningful experiences through leisure activities for children and adults who have intellectual disabilities. Children and teenagers in special education classes participate in programs during school hours through a partnership with Rock Hill Schools. Adults participate in programs and fun social events throughout the year. Therapeutic Art Programs (TAP) offer activities in the areas of photography, acrylic and watercolor painting, pottery and dance. The artists showcase their work at the TAP Into the Arts show which is held annually. In 1970, a group of citizens from various civic organizations created the community’s first residential camp for intellectually disabled children and adults. In 1997, Camp Arc grew to include children who are not disabled. Camp Arc currently serves York County with eight weeks of day camp and one residential session each summer. Rock Hill Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department and its partner, Special Olympics South Carolina - Area Eleven, provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in many Special Olympics sports.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES The Therapeutic Recreation programs, Camp Arc and Special Olympics serve over 2,800 people with intellectual disabilities annually. The TAP Into the Arts show is a wonderful community event that showcases the exceptionally talented artists who participate in the therapeutic art programs.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Wendy Waddle, Special Population Supervisor Parks, Recreation & Tourism 803-329-5659 Wendy.Waddle@cityofrockhill.com

Special Olympics Awards Ceremony


Quality Community

Neighborhood Development OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill is committed to ensuring that every citizen living within the city limits inhabits a dwelling that is decent, safe, and sanitary. The City’s Neighborhood Development Division is actively involved in efforts to promote this philosophy with its First-Time Homebuyers, Foreclosure Prevention and Housing Rehabilitation Programs. Through the First-Time Homebuyers Program, eligible first-time homebuyers may receive down payment and closing cost assistance. Prior to receiving assistance, potential homebuyers must complete a homebuyer education course. The City’s foreclosure prevention program assists homeowners in negotiating with lenders and accessing resources to retain their homes and prevent foreclosure. This program also makes regular referrals to SC HELP (South Carolina Homeownership and Employment Lending Program). The City also maintains a Housing Rehabilitation Program that provides funding assistance to repair single-family, owner-occupied homes with eligible housing deficiencies. Owners must meet income limit requirements.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES

Volunteers work to improve a home

Since 2006, the First Time Homebuyers Program has provided assistance for over 200 homebuyer closings. The City strives to complete at least 45 homeowner occupied rehabilitations each year through partnerships with the World Changers program and other faith-based organizations. Rock Hill has a history of working with community partners to encourage homeownership. In 2015, a total of 13 units of housing were improved in partnership with these organizations, impacting a total of 23 individuals with a combined total of 5,146 volunteer man hours.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Dawn Willingham, Neighborhood Development Coordinator Housing & Neighborhood Services 803-326-3793 Dawn.Willingham@cityofrockhill.com


Quality Community

Proactive Code Enforcement OVERVIEW Historically, the code enforcement operated on a complaint-driven basis; in September 2014, the Neighborhood Inspections Division began shifting to a more pro-active model. Utilizing Mobile 311® technology, inspectors are now able to conduct a comprehensive windshield survey, documenting both structural and non-structural violations such as overgrown grass, tree debris, inoperable/unregistered vehicles, accumulations of trash and other debris and exterior building issues such as peeling paint, rotting boards, and unsafe conditions. Property owners and/or tenants are then notified by an inspector in writing of exactly what the violation is, what is necessary to correct it, and are given a deadline in which corrective measures are required. Inspections staff work with those who show a good faith effort to comply. A variety of programs, such as Rolling in Rock Hill, housing rehab, and voluntary demolition are offered to qualified owners.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES The Proactive Code Enforcement Program began as an outgrowth of the Weed & Seed Initiative in the City’s historic urban core, and the “seeding” components of the program, providing a variety of social and human services to the community, are still active and underway. In 2015, the City of Rock Hill, in partnership with the Housing Development Corporation of Rock Hill, received a $630,000 award through the Neighborhood Initiative Program. The funding, provided by the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority, is designed to stabilize property values and prevent foreclosures by removing blighted properties in strategically targeted areas. The City is using funds to purchase vacant and blighted residential properties, and demolish structures to convert to green space.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Robin Joas, Inspections Coordinator Housing & Neighborhood Services 803-325-3819 Robin.Joas@cityofrockhill.com

Neighborhood clean-up event


Quality Community

Festivals

OVERVIEW The City of Rock Hill recognizes the role that festivals and events play in creating a sense of community. The City routinely partners with the Arts Council of York County and other community agencies to provide residents the opportunity to attend exciting local events. ChristmasVille entertainment

Downtown sets the stage for the annual ChristmasVille event which turns Old Town Rock Hill into a charming, picturesque holiday village and outdoor art festival. Since 1962, Come-See-Me has been the place to celebrate spring and to showcase Rock Hill. Come-See-Me offers 10 days of family-friendly events including: the Mayor’s Frog Jump, Sundaes with Glen and Mother Goose, Glencairn Garden concerts series, Broadway Nights, and the Barbeque Cook-Off at Winthrop Lake.

Come-See-Me poster

Boo-HaHa, a safe alternative to trick or treating, occurs in downtown Rock Hill every Halloween. Red, White and Boom, held on July 3 rd on Black Street, brings thousands to downtown for a free concert and family friendly fun. Other popular events include a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and Oktoberfest.

INITIATIVES & OUTCOMES ChristmasVille has been named Event of the Year for six consecutive years by the North Carolina and/or South Carolina Festival and Events Associations. Sponsorship opportunities for events remain very popular and contributions continue to increase each year.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Pictures taken from Boo-HaHa

Cathy Murphy, Downtown Development Manager Economic & Urban Development Department 803-329-8756 Cathy.Murphy@cityofrockhill.com


ward-winning Community Our community has received a number of prestigious awards. A few of these awards are listed in order to recognize the dedication and hard work of community leaders and partners, citizens, and City staff. International City/County Management Association (ICMA) 2013 Strategic Leadership Governance Award The City’s performance management efforts earned this award which recognizes innovative local government programs or processes that have significantly affected a local government organization’s culture or strategic direction. 2015 Certification of Excellence Received the highest designation of the ICMA performance management award— Certificate of Excellence. KaBOOM! 2015 Playful City Community Honors communities taking bold steps to ensure ease of access to a balance of active play in their communities. South Carolina Library Association Teen Partnership Award Recognized the RHPD’s partnership with the York County Library and the Teen vs. Cops Chess Club and Video Game events.

America’s Promise Alliance 100 Best Communities for Young People Award Five-time award winner, recognizes communities making extraordinary efforts to provide outstanding services and support to youth. American Public Power Association RP3 Rock Hill received this 3 year designation from 2015 to 2018. RP2 program recognizes utilities that demonstrate high proficiency in reliability, safety, work force development, and system improvement.


Award-winning Community Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award Honoring local government’s budget documents that reflect both the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting and the GFOA’s best practices on budgeting.

Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Established to encourage and assist local government to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure. SC DHEC Area Wide Optimization Program Award to Water Filter Plant Awarded for the water filter plant’s turbidity performance and commitment to excellence. North Carolina Association of Festivals & Events Event of the Year, Director of the Year, Volunteer of the Year Three different awards were received for ChristmasVille. South Carolina Association of Festivals & Events Collector’s Guide, Best Merchandise, Best Print Media, Best Website Four awards earned by ChristmasVille. South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association

2014 SCRPA Parks Excellence Award Recognized the Rock Hill Outdoor Center and its commitment and contributions to parks and recreation in South Carolina. Workplace Dynamics 2015 Top Workplace in Charlotte This designation ranks our organization among the best of the best. The companies included in this category were selected from the results of an employee survey.


City of Rock Hill 155 Johnston St. Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730 www.cityofrockhill.com

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