Town Council receives check from Troutman ABC Board, amends animal ordinance
Troutman ABC Board member Jeff Hall, chairman Layton Getsinger and store manager Evelyn Walls presented town officials with a check for $9,795 on Thursday night.
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Troutman Town Council quickly dispatched with a light agenda at its regular meeting on Thursday night, hearing a report from the Troutman ABC Board chairman and passing an amendment to its animal ordinances. Council members also viewed a sample of recently ordered signage for the town’s wayfinding program.
ABC BOARD DISTRIBUTION
Troutman ABC Board Chairman Layton Getsinger, accompanied by board member Jeff Hall and store manager Evelyn Walls, presented a check for $9,795 to the Town Council as its first quarterly distribution since opening the store in December of 2016.
Though the store was not expected to reach profitability for the first three years, it turned a $50,936 net profit, in addition to meeting its goal of building $158,694 of its $182,887 working capital in its first 12 months of operation.
Part of the check will go to recipients designated by the Troutman Council in its 2014 distribution plan, which designated 50 percent of any ABC profits for the J. Hoyt Hayes Troutman Library, ESC Park, and Troutman Elementary and Middle Schools, as well as CATS and South Iredell High School.
The store had $1,240,923 in sales in its first full year of operation, much stronger than the $770,000 forecast in its three-year business plan.
For the past quarter, the store had $370,456 in net sales, with a 13 percent increase in sales over December of 2016, its first month of operation, despite having two fewer days of operation this year since Christmas fell on a Sunday that year. Getsinger noted that over half the state’s ABC stores had lower sales in December, making the increase even more impressive.
After a delivery next week, the store will be back up to $148,000 in inventory to replenish its stock after strong holiday sales. The store initially started with $90,000 in inventory, and Getsinger noted that the board reinvested money throughout the year to slowly build liquor stock toward the board’s goal of the $150,000 range.
Getsinger was also pleased to add a mixed-drink establishment, Cedar Stump Pub, to the store’s customers since mixed-drink sales really boost the store’s bottom line.
Getsinger believed the store’s location was key to its profitability, with 17,000 people ages 21 or older living within a five-mile radius of the store.
“You and the board have done a great job of managing this asset that our boards have entrusted you with,” said Mayor Teross Young. “You have a great manager, and we really appreciate the work that you all do.”
“This being the first distribution, I think the agencies that we established will really appreciate it,” Young added.
The council approved an ordinance amendment regarding control of dogs, regulating both handling of waste and off-leash animals after citizens expressed concern to members on both issues.
Under the new rules, all pet waste must be collected immediately in a sealed container or bag and then deposited in a closed receptacle. (This requirement does not apply to disabled individuals who are unable to comply.)
The ordinance also requires dogs to be under the control of their owners (on a leash of no more than 15 feet) when off the owner’s personal property.
The proposed ordinance mandates a warning for a first offense, followed by a $75 fine for a second offense, $150 for a third offense, and $500 for a fourth offense. For a subsequent offense, Iredell County Animal Control will confiscate the dog, along with filing a misdemeanor charge on the owner.
Citizens who want to report unleashed dogs or waste on their property should call the Troutman Police Department at 704-528-7610 (Ext. 1) to report the issue. The violation will also be added to the town’s 311 system for citizen reporting purposes.
The town will attach additional information about the new ordinance requirements and fines on existing greenway and park signage.
Before making a motion to pass the amendment, council member Paul Bryant said, “There’s been a number of complaints around the town for several months in regards to the need for this ordinance. This would certainly seem to address it and hopefully take care of these issues going forward, helping us to have a better, more hygienic town.”
WAYFINDING SIGNAGE ON THE WAY
Town Planner Erika Martin (pictured, at right) presented a one-quarter size mock up of one of the signs that have been ordered as part of Troutman’s three-year wayfinding plan to make Troutman a more user-friendly and attractive destination for the thousands of folks who pass through each day.
Creating a memorable brand for a small town requires a unique perspective. During the initial stages of the project, a steering committee worked to create the wayfinding vision.
The committee met several times to develop “imagery that connects to the visitor, identifies with its largest community assets, and projects an image that is obtainable as our Main Street grows into a destination attracting visitors, new residents, and economic investment opportunities,” consultant Buzz Bizzell told the council last year.
The signs are the “most efficient way to convey your community’s brand,” according to Bizzell.
He cited the 750,000 visitors to Lake Norman State Park as an untapped market for the town. He also believes that the images of the past in murals and vintage design of the wayfinding signs will appeal to millennials.
As people enter Troutman from every main road, Bizzell said, “These signs will direct a person where to stop, stay, and eat. They will provide a great preview of the community’s assets and help with safety issues with parking.”
The committee also decided what signs should call attention to in the town and where they would be most effectively placed. The group selected rustic and natural visuals to show the mix of Troutman’s offerings to create “a compelling brand story,” said Bizzell.
To attract those traveling north on Highway 21/115 from Mooresville, the committee suggested eight wayfinding signs, beginning just south of Exit 42 and ending 50 feet south of Church Street. For those coming south from Statesville, five signs will greet visitors, starting in Barium Springs. Two signs will direct visitors coming into town from Old Mountain Road, with three directing northward traveling visitors from the Perth/State Park Road area.
The council passed a preliminary budget for the wayfinding project last February, allocating approximately $96,100 for installation of one mural ($7,000), three parking area signs ($7,300), 18 destination signs ($72,200), and two large billboard signs ($9,600) in phases through 2019.
• The council voted 5-0 to accept the lease and memorandum of understanding on the water tower on Murdock Road with Cellco, in partnership with Verizon Wireless, for use as a cell tower. The five-year lease, which pays the town $25,000 per year, specifies the right to install necessary communications equipment and access to the tower at all times for monitoring and repairs.
• The council approved a budget amendment that will add $24,500 in grant funds to the police department’s budget. The department received the grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission to purchase mobile data terminals.