Siler City’s Lynch prepping town for a big 2020

Posted 1/10/20

SILER CITY — With the start of the New Year, the News + Record discussed Siler City’s past year and goals for 2020 with Town Manager Roy Lynch.

New in the position

Lynch became the interim …

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Siler City’s Lynch prepping town for a big 2020

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Siler City Town Manager Roy Lynch officially began his duties on Sept. 4. Before assuming this role, Lynch was town finance director since 2017.
Siler City Town Manager Roy Lynch officially began his duties on Sept. 4. Before assuming this role, Lynch was town finance director since 2017.
Staff photo by David Bradley
Posted

SILER CITY — With the start of the New Year, the News + Record discussed Siler City’s past year and goals for 2020 with Town Manager Roy Lynch.

New in the position

Lynch became the interim town manager following the resignation of long-time Manager Bryan Thompson, who took the position of Chatham County’s assistant county manager in July. Lynch was formally named to the position early in September and previously served as Siler City’s finance director since June 2017, as well as Liberty’s town manager for five years before that.

“I am excited about the opportunity that has been afforded me,” Lynch said. “Working as finance director since 2017 allowed me to gain insight into the internal operations of the entire organization which prepared me for the transition. Since moving back into a manager’s position, I realize how much I missed serving in this role within local government.”

Siler City in 2019

Siler City saw a lot of big changes in 2019. The town completed renovations to the Wren Memorial Library which included the replacement of the roof, ceiling, internal painting and the front entry sidewalk. It also finished $1 million renovation and re-opened the Aquatic Center at Bray Park. Lynch also noted the importance of improvements to the town’s sports complex and other facilities, including the installation of new playground equipment.

The town finished the construction of the water line extension to the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing site which Lynch notes “increases the marketing potential for industries looking to locate to the site.” Lynch noted investments in the utilities department which included a new hook lift truck and two roll-off carts for “enhanced waste removal services.” The town also purchased property at the airport as “a part of its continued growth and clearance requirement for the approach pattern,” he said.

Lynch added that “maintaining fiscal responsibility” throughout the organization “while meeting departmental needs within the scope of the approved budget” were significant accomplishments for 2019. He noted the town was able to secure the finance package for the new fire engine that was added to the fleet in June 2019 as well as upgrading technology in the town hall courtroom for Siler City Board of Commissioners meetings, including an interactive display board used during presentations. Lynch was also pleased the town was able to hire his replacement, Tina Stroupe, in the finance director position.

Siler City in the New Year

Lynch noted Siler City has plenty of big items on its agenda for 2020.

“The town is making great progress in upgrading our water and sewer infrastructure and will continue to focus on the upgrades to the system,” he said. “The Public Works department is dedicated to maintaining our town streets and additional focus has been placed on paving and resurfacing of our much-needed distressed areas.”

The media replacement project for the filtration system at the water treatment plant will be completed mid-year — a $ 2 million endeavor to improve the quality of Siler City’s drinking water. The Siler City Municipal Airport will also begin a $225,000 paving rehabilitation project to improve its parking lot and taxiway, estimated to be completed this spring. Lynch also noted that the fire department will grow by hiring additional three full-time firefighters to compensate for the decline in volunteer personnel. The new firefighters started work this week.

City Hall, located at 311 N. 2nd Ave., will also be going through a complete renovation in the upcoming year at an estimated cost of about $300,000. This will include renovations on all three floors and will include the addition of office and meeting space, a minor redesign, and a new handicap accessible entry at the back of the building on the second level. The License Plate Agency will also have a new entrance separate from the Parks and Recreation on the lower level.

From Lynch’s perspective, securing grant funding for infrastructure projects is Siler City’s biggest challenge for the new year. While there are many opportunities to secure those types of funds, they are often tied to the state of North Carolina’s Tier system, where some state funding is determined based on the wealth within the county. While Siler City may be economically challenged in many ways, with a median income of about $25,000 less than the county average, Chatham County as a whole is viewed as prosperous and therefore eligible for less funding. That perceived prosperity and the financial guidelines of many grants are a situation that Lynch sees as “potentially impeding our opportunity for award.”

Siler City into the future

Lynch said wants to see Siler City “prosper and grow financially” so that it can “continue to provide the expected services which in turn leads to a desired quality of life that will attract new business, industry and residents.” He also said believes that the town should “continue to offer exceptional benefits to the staff so that it can retain the talent and individual knowledge needed for the sustainability and foundation of the town.”

“There is a lot to be accomplished in the coming months and years and with that brings challenges but having immensely qualified leaders and staff will make those challenges successful,” Lynch said.

Casey Mann can be reached at CaseyMann@Chathamnr.com.

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