Council adds parking restrictions near high school
BY DEBBIE PAGE
The Troutman Town Council dispatched with a short agenda at its regular meeting on Thursday night, approving a new parking ordinance and an amended distribution plan for ABC funds. The council also delayed action on a Planning and Zoning Board request to rebalance its membership to reflect changing demographics in the town and extraterritorial jurisdiction area.
NEW PARKING ORDINANCE
Council members voted unanimously to prohibit parking on a street across from South Iredell High School to alleviate traffic and safety concerns.
Residents of Barium Seasons Village have experienced longtime problems with parents parking in the first block of April Showers to the Autumn Frost intersection to pick up their children from SIHS rather than use the school’s pick-up lane.
Debara Splendario, president of the neighborhood’s HOA, told council members that residents experience dangerous conditions each day from cars and large trucks parked along both sides of the street, some even encroaching on the residents’ grass.
The narrowed street availability and blocked vision have caused many near accidents, and one student has been hit while crossing the busy Old Mountain Road. Splendario said the community is also working with the Troutman Police Department on speeding problems resulting from students cutting through to other subdivisions.
The HOA voted to request that the town forbid on-street parking, stopping, or standing to wait for a ride in this problem area of the neighborhood.
In addition to traffic concerns, Police Chief Matthew Selves added that public safety is endangered since fire trucks or ambulances would have difficulty navigating through the traffic-narrowed streets.
ABC STORE DISTRIBUTION
Council members formally approved a new distribution of funds resolution for ABC Store proceeds after learning at its Monday pre-agenda meeting that the current plan, which called for the town to distribute store profits to designated recipients, does not meet state ABC Commission rules.
Instead, the commission requested that the town authorize the Troutman ABC Board to distribute the funds since the town cannot give money to schools under state statute.
Council also learned that money could not be given directly to the J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library but only to the county library system. However, money could be given to the local library’s non-profit auxiliary group, Troutman Friends of the Library, to keep the funds within Troutman as intended.
Parks and Recreation Director Emily Watson also expressed concern that the money allocated to recreation was designated to go only to ESC Park, which might limit using the proceeds to fund recreational additions such as pocket parks or other facilities in the future.
Council members voted unanimously to amend its Distribution of Proceeds Resolution by designating the ABC Board as the disbursing agent and allocating 12.5 percent of store profits to Troutman Parks and Recreation, 12.5 percent to Troutman Friends of the Library, and 12.5 percent divided among the four Troutman Iredell-Statesville Schools: Troutman Elementary, Troutman Middle, South Iredell High, and CATS.
The remaining 62.5 percent goes to the town’s general fund for uses approved by the Town Council.
P & Z BOARD REALIGNMENT DELAYED
The council delayed a decision on a request by the Planning and Zoning Board to change its composition. Members decided at Monday’s pre-agenda meeting to seek Town Attorney Gary Thomas’s advice and to further research a state statute, which appears to exempt some boards from this requirement, to determine if this change is necessary.
The issue arose as the town has worked with consultants to update its Unified Development Ordinance. In the process, Town Planner Erika Martin questioned whether the town’s Planning and Zoning Board is out of balance, according to state statute, because of population changes as developments have sprung up in Troutman’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) areas.
According to Iredell County’s geographic information system (GIS), the population within the town limits is now 2,962, with the ETJ standing at 4,897 people. Based on this data, the board must reduce the number of town limit, or “inside,” members.
The board currently has 4 inside and 3 ETJ “outside” members, with both alternate positions currently vacant.
Because recruiting ETJ members has proved difficult, town staff recommended that the planning board reduce its membership to 2 inside members and keep the 3 current ETJ members, while still seeking an alternate for both types.
Staff had recommended to the planning board that the most junior inside member, Louis Weeks, be removed and the second most junior member, Karen Van Vliet, become the inside alternate, leaving just the ETJ alternate position to be filled.
Council members tabled the planning board’s request until updates to the UDO are complete later this year.
Council members recognized Iredell Charter Academy students, nominated by their teachers, for their achievements in music, technology, art, Spanish, and PE. Principal Andrea Lopresti and Principal-in-Training Jennifer Wilson introduced the students and detailed their accomplishments.
Music students honored were Mallory Newton, Kaitlin Protain, Melina Gutierrez, Emma Moore, and Mya Belew . Four of the honorees also displayed their talents at the meeting’s opening by singing the national anthem.
Technology whizzes Bentley Bowe, Torin Ammons, Daron Kennedy, Rodney Livingston, Tristen Berner, Tyrese Livingston, and Lanaya Kirby were also recognized.
Council also commended five students for their artistic efforts, including Hallie Moose, Kayla Lawrence, Drake Sorrells, Emma Lucas, and Camelia Brantley. These students were also winners in a recent Lions Club art contest.
Several students were also lauded for their talents in various sports. Malachi Lindon and Mack Privott received praise for their basketball skills, while Cameron Flinkingshelt excelled in both snow and wake boarding. Henry Parisi shined in hockey, and Haley Reichart performed outstandingly in gymnastics.
Spanish scholars included Erion Jones, Viviene West, Sam Gladden, Annalise Passant, and Hope Edwards.
All received patches and handshakes from council members to commemorate the occasion.
- Council members held a closed session on economic development with no action taken.
- The council delayed a decision on the Sutter’s Mill 2 plat at the request of Tom Kelley, a representative of True Homes, until the town’s engineer can be consulted to resolve an access road issue.
- Mark Taylor was unanimously approved for recommendation to the Iredell County Board of Commissioners as an ETJ alternate member on the Planning and Zoning Board.
- Town Manager Justin Longino reminded council and attendees of several upcoming events:
Town Open House - Tuesday, February 13, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Town Council Retreat - Friday, February 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Troutman ESC Park Community Meeting - Monday, February 19, from 4 to 7 p.m.
C.R. Onsrud Ribbon Cutting - Wednesday, February 28, at 9 a.m.
Sprint into Spring 5K/10 K/1 Mile Fun Run - Saturday, March 3, at 8 a.m.