Troutman Council approves Strategic Master Plan, noise ordinance
BY DEBBIE PAGE
The Troutman Town Council culminated nine months of work on Thursday night with a vote to approve the town's new Strategic Master Plan, which includes 50 action items and strategies to help manage the growth creeping up Interstate 77 from Charlotte.
The plan passed 4-0 -- Council Member Paul Henkel was absent -- with two revisions suggested by council member Paul Bryant: changing a Byers Road property currently zoned light industrial to medium residential in the Future Land Use portion and including the Lytton Street connector to Orchard Lane/Old Mountain Road, which has been under consideration since 2010 to alleviate Main Street/U.S. Highway 21 congestion.
Scott Lane of the Stantec consulting firm said the plan's creators listened to all of the stakeholders and created a plan that lists 10 actions the town could consider taking in the short term as well as others that could be added incrementally over time.
The plan also has numerous design ideas and artistic renderings to help leaders and the community visualize the town’s possibilities as well as an updated land-use map. The plan’s recommendations cover policy, physical changes and traffic-flow suggestions.
Town Planner Erika Martin thanked everyone involved in the process. “The plan before you this evening is something we as a community should be proud of as experts, politicians, staff, business leaders, appointed boards, and citizens who came together to build upon an already strong foundation.”
“This future land-use map should be Troutman's best hope for our future. When I take a step back and look at the entire tapestry, I see something pretty spectacular: a continued commitment to revitalize downtown and create a bustling Exit 42, a continued commitment to keep the rural landscapes from Troutman Farm Road to Talley Road, and continued support of our state park and school system.”
“I know this plan, like all plans, is not perfect and that there are lots of people within our community that have no idea this may get adopted tonight, but we've had public input from people throughout the planning boundary.”
“Sometimes this input hasn't aligned with technical opinions or opinions of neighbors, but it is evident to me that people continue to be passionate about this place, because Troutman is a place worth planning.”
In its consent agenda, the council voted 4-0 to approve a revised noise ordinance that limits construction noise to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in industrial, commercial and residential areas. The ordinance also now spells out civil penalties for violations, including $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second, and a misdemeanor charge for the third.
Afterwards, community members spoke out against the move in the public comment section, asking council members to reconsider the one hour earlier start time than agreed to in November in a temporary noise agreement with Kathy Godley, developer of the Troutman Industrial Park.
Alison Stroud said the 16-hour noise window was excessive and not in the best interest of the town or the ETJ areas.
Karen Davies also expressed “disappointment” at the council’s vote and its refusal to move the item from the consent agenda when Mayor Teross Young asked if council members desired to since several community members protested the ordinance changes after Monday’s pre-agenda meeting.
Davies also noted that Monday’s discussion focused on construction workers’ and roofers’ needs, not those of community members. She also cited research that indicated that children need nine to 10 hours of sleep and that their learning abilities are disrupted by consistent exposure to excessive noise.
PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY TABLED
After community members expressed concern about the quick consideration of a new public records request policy that seemed aimed to discourage requests, council members voted to table consideration of the policy.
Mayor Young asked Town Manager Justin Longino to investigate services that assist government entities in archival of their documents to facilitate public requests and free up staff time now being spent retrieving them.
The proposed policy changed the current 10 cents per copy charge to 25 cents, added a $5 charge for CDs, and allowed the town to charge $35 per hour for “custom” services, the definition of which Longino wanted to be left to the discretion of the Town Clerk as set forth in state statute N.C.G.S. 132-6(b).
The council now plans to explore possible archival services, as suggested by community members, before moving forward with enacting a new policy.
Bryant thanked Director Adam Lippard and his Public Works Department for its quick action to remove snow after the recent storm. He also commended McCoy Services for their extra effort to do an unscheduled Saturday leaf and limb pickup before the storm hit to avoid later plowing complications.
Country Boy was also commended by Finance Director Steve Shealy for its prompt clearing of streets for Troutman residents.
OTHER ITEMS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED
► Layton Getsinger as ABC Board chair for a three-year term.
►Town Council’s 2019 Meeting Schedule.
► Joint Economic Development Agreement with C.R. Onsrud, Inc.
►Alternative Façade for One Up Customs.
► ETJ Alternate Barry General to fill the Planning and Zoning Board unexpired term of resigning ETJ board member Layton Getsinger (expiring 6/7/19) and Grace Beasley as ETJ Alternate to fill the unexpired term of Barry General (expiring 6/30/20). Both of these nominations go to the Iredell County Board of Commissioners for final approval.
► Property Management Agreement with Royal Properties for 151 Wagner Street.
IREDELL COUNTY RECREATION DEPARTMENT
Iredell County Recreation Department Director Michelle Helper gave an update on the new Iredell County Recreation Center, which will partially open January 7 at the previous Barium Springs YMCA location. The Fitness Center will hopefully open by the end of January after installation of new equipment.
The center will also house a new location for Camp Iredell, which will feature an after-school and teacher work-day program as well as summer camps for local kids.
Hepler also announced that Town of Troutman employees will get the reduced senior citizen/military/first responder rate at the new recreation center.
TROUTMAN FIRE DEPARTMENT
Troutman Fire Department Chief Wesley Morris said the department is on track to handle 2,000 calls in 2018 as the third busiest department in the county behind the Statesville and Mooresville departments. His personnel have run 870 fire calls and 1,079 EMS related calls so far this year.
Morris also welcomed new Deputy Fire Chief Jimmy Kestler and Engineer Matt Baldwin, who both began work with the TFD on December 9.
Work on the long-delayed TFD facility is finally getting underway on January 1, according to Morris. The department received its loan on December 12, and the building permit has been approved.
Overnight staff will either stay at a rented house on Eastway Drive or at TFD Station 2 during the construction process.
J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library Branch Manager Kelli Goodwin announced that 220 community members attended Thursday afternoon’s Charlie Brown Christmas party.
She also reminded the community that the library will be closed December 24-26 and on New Year’s Day.
She invited the public to join the Troutman Friends of the Library at its quarterly meeting on January 17.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Troutman Parks and Recreation Coordinator Emily Watson noted the success of the recent Christmas parade and Jingle Run, despite uncooperative rainy weather.
She also praised the November 10 Holiday Craft Fair, which drew 98 vendors at its new location at the Iredell County Fairgrounds. The event will be held there again next fall.
SOUTH IREDELL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT RECOGNITION
PHOTO: SIHS students Ryan Oglietti, Danielle Heckler, Cailyn Suggs, Marianna Jacobs, Nazar Rush, Bao-Nhi Vu, and Noah Oglietti were recognized in the Educaton Spotlight at Troutman Town Council meeting.
The following South Iredell High School students were recognized during the meeting:
► Nazar Rush and Martina Vu were commended for their promotion of science, technology, engineering, and math in the community in the Education Spotlight.
► Ryan and Noah Oglietti were honored for their academic and athletic achievement, for their leadership as officers in Key Club, and for starting a club to provide Personal Project support to 10th-graders.
► Marianna Jacobs was honored for her academic scholarship, her leadership in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, her three years of service as a football trainer, and her tutoring at Powercross Ministries.
► For her scholarship, her 10 years of service to Operation Christmas Child, her various mission trips, and her service as a youth volleyball referee, Cailyn Suggs was also honored by her teachers.
► Danielle Heckler was also recognized for her interest in global and local issues, her interest in starting an ecologically friendly composting company, and her research to help combat global warming.