Troutman approves rezoning for new development
BY DEBBIE PAGE
On Thursday night, the Troutman Town Council bestowed several honors, received an award and several donations, and approved the annexation and rezoning of a 77-acre tract at Exit 42 slated for development by MI Homes. Council members also adopted the Parks and Recreation’s Adopt-A-Street program recommendation.
During the meeting, the council held public hearings and approved the annexation and rezoning of a 75-acre tract off Crosstie Lane near Iredell Charter School. MI Homes representative Scott Herr said the company, which builds about 500 homes per year in the Charlotte region, is excited to bring this new neighborhood to the Troutman area.
The 1,500- to 2,700-square-foot single family homes, ranging in price in the $200,000s, will have 15-year structural warranties and have Energy Star ratings. A park, pool, and gathering space is also planned for the neighborhood, which should break ground in about a year, according to Herr.
HONORS AND RECOGNITIONS
Layton Getsinger was recognized as Troutman Citizen of the Year for his outstanding service and leadership as both ABC and Planning and Zoning Board chairman. “Layton endeavors to inspire others and is a proven leader,” said Mayor Teross Young.
The Sign Shop also received Organization of the Year honors. “This is an organization that has clearly supported the town with signs, donations, and numerous items for the park. They are an organization that we have been able to count on,” said Young.
Young also proclaimed May 14-20 as National Police Week in Troutman as the council “publicly salutes the service of law enforcement officers in our community and in communities across the nation.”
In another special presentation, Police Chief Matthew Selves thanked Kay and Jack Cline for the donation of a bullet proof vest for the department’s 8-year-old canine Odin, who appeared with his handler, Officer Rusty Jones.
The council also receive a check for $8,500 from the Get Fit Iredell initiative, presented by Iredell County Parks and Recreation Director Michelle Hepler and United Way Director Brett Eckerman, to buy sunshades for the ESC Park playground equipment.
South Iredell football players Ethan Little and Haynes Ratcliff, along with team mom Wendy Ratcliff, presented a plaque to council members for their personal donations to help feed South Iredell’s 100 varsity and JV football players this past fall.
Council members also approved the Parks and Recreation Committee’s Adopt-A-Street program, which will focus on neighborhoods since most streets are short in length. The program encourages residents and local organizations to adopt residential areas (not maintained by the state) to keep them clean and litter-free.
Those adopting an area would commit to clean-ups at least three times a year to maintain a healthy environment that will instill pride in Troutman residents. The group or family will get a recognition panel installed in the area being maintained.
There is no fee associated with adopting an area. Participants can get gloves, safety vests, and trash bags at Troutman Town Hall. Recycling is encouraged where possible, and participants must dispose of collected garbage or contact the town for disposal arrangements.
Applications and sign design forms are available at Town Hall from Parks and Recreation Coordinator Emily Watson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
PARKS AND RECREATION
Parks and Recreation Committee Chair John Larew thanked Watson for her excellent work as the town’s Parks and Recreation Coordinator, especially for her efforts to organize this Saturday’s Front Porch Fest, which will feature 70 vendors, a KidsZone, music, local performers, a petting zoo, food, and fun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Watson and town officials believe the predicted rain will be gone by festival time and invite all to come out to join the festivities.
Larew said bee and yellow jacket traps have been put up at the park in response to citizen concerns. He also noted that new bulletin boards that provide information on rentals and park activities have recently been installed at the pavilion.
The Tuesday afternoon Farmer’s Market at ESC Park pavilion, which currently has 11 vendors selling a variety of local produce, honey, baked goods and other foods, and hand-crafted items, is also off to a good start, according to Larew. He reminded folks to stop by each Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. for produce, products, and fun activities.
Everyone is also invited to attend the ribbon cutting for the new dog park on May 23 at 5 p.m. Fencing and other preparations should be complete by mid-May, weather permitting.
The summer’s first Party in the Park is also scheduled for June 2 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., according to Larew.
J. HOYT HAYES MEMORIAL TROUTMAN LIBRARY
Council members also approved the installation of a second Little Library, donated by the Lions Club, at the Troutman Depot. The library, which will be stained to match the shelter, will be initially stocked by the library for this “get a book, give a book” sharing program.
Council also approved the Richardson Greenway story walk again this year to coincide with the library’s six-week summer reading program for children and teens. This year’s theme is “Build a Better World,” which Lopez will approach from both an engineering and philanthropic perspective as she plans this summer’s activities.
Lopez choose the book Kindness is Cooler by Margery Cuyler as this year’s story walk selection. She will post two pages of the story on both sides of the story board posters to accommodate readers from both directions on the greenway. The story will be there to enjoy from mid-June through July.
The library’s Geek Week (May 22 - 27) will also feature a week of fun and geeky activities for the community to enjoy.
In the public comment section, citizen Jim McNiff asked for an update on the sewer issues mentioned at the April meeting that have plagued neighbors at the end of Eastway Drive, bordered by Cedar, Plum and Field Streets. This area still has terra cotta sewer pipes installed in the 1930s, which are now invaded by roots and breaking with age.
Town Manager Justin Longino reported that the sewer lines in that area have been examined by with a camera, with the footage sent to the town’s engineer for evaluation. After the town gets his report, they will look at options and funding to fix the issues.
Charles Peet also voiced concerns about his water bill, which is running $172 per month in his home, which he says has no leaks. He feels the newly installed meter is not properly calibrated and asked for Public Works staff to check it.
Peet also complained about speeding on Stratford Road and asked that police officers work to reduce this hazardous situation before a child or other person is injured.
OPEN TOWN BOARD/COMMITTEE POSITIONS
Longino urged citizens to consider volunteering for several board and committee positions coming open in the near future. The Board of Adjustment has an inside town limits alternate position opening, and a position will open on the Planning and Zoning Board soon.
Several Parks and Recreation Committee slots will also come open in the coming months.
SOUTH IREDELL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT RECOGNITIONS
Council member Judy Jablonski recognized a number of South Iredell High School students, selected by school staff for their volunteer work, service, and academic excellence, including Taylor Kastor, Kailyn McKnight, Violet Beaty, Dorian Vazquez, Karleigh Sherrill, Mallory Simpson, Celeaha Swaim, Nadia Punt, Carson Shaw, Luke Swing, Florence Liu, Tushna Eduljee, Emily Lau, Simran Kolagad, Priya Patel, Jenna DeLisi, Gavin Mouat, Nathan Alexander, and Cecilia Yu.