Troutman Council discusses facade changes to new town building, plans to ramp up code enforcement
Troutman Council looks at facade renderings for downtown building update
BY DEBBIE PAGE
During its pre-agenda meeting on Monday, Troutman Town Council members looked over facade design ideas from two organizations, discussed code enforcement, and received an update on the Iredell County Economic Development Corporation’s search for a new director.
The council examined facade designs for its recently purchased 153A/147 Wagner Street building submitted by Buzz Bizzell Design and the NC Main Street and Rural Planning Center.
The Bizzell design features a collaborative workspace building featuring a deeper entry way, large glass front window updates with black trim complementing the history of the 1920s era building, and new windows on the second floor.
The design has large letters on a darkened brick outline to identify the space as “858 Union” and cursive style letters for “Collaborative Workspace” just above the entry.
The proposed collaborative workspace, according to Bizzell, would allow the town to “rescue a downtown building and provide a productive environment for new business to develop.” The proposal noted that as the small businesses grew, these companies would likely expand into other nearby buildings in the downtown area.
The proposal added, “The double bonus for this option is we will be providing a template for better building renovation design.”
Bizzell warned that “the downfall of many small town main streets is the improper use of residential materials, windows, and doors. By setting a quality example, we can show potential investors what can be done to existing buildings to create a charming streetscape and stronger business opportunities.”
The Main Street proposal was less dramatic, adding green awnings and a gray-blue wood trim design package and wood door for the front entry area. New entry lighting and upper-level windows completed its frontage ideas.
The rear of the building would also feature repairs, paint, lighting, a new wood door, and possible window replacement.
Council member Judy Jablonski noted that sidewalk and entryway repairs would also be needed. Council member Jan Huffman also questioned whether the historic building would have to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Council member Paul Bryant was concerned that the Main Street proposal lacked a “wow factor.” Council member Paul Henkel concurred, saying that the facade needed to be a model to inspire other downtown building owners to pursue similar updates.
The council instructed Longino to seek available grant funding to help finance any facade changes the town eventually decides to pursue.
John Ganus, Troutman’s new code enforcement officer contracted through N-Focus, was introduced to the council. Ganus has decades of experience in code enforcement and will work for the town for 26 hours per month.
N-Focus specializes in working with small towns, according to Ganus. He pledged to “meld with the staff and do what’s necessary to enforce your ordinances.” He is currently reviewing the town’s ordinances and learning his way around town.
Bryant encouraged him to document all issues in the town’s 311 system for record-keeping purposes. Henkel also asked for a monthly report of pending and completed issues to update the council.
Though the town now operates mostly on a complaint basis, Ganus pledged to beef up enforcement and be more proactive in areas where there are more complaints. He also noted that if properties neighboring a complaint also exhibited violations, he would pursue action against them as well.
Henkel agreed that Ganus must be “as fair and equitable as possible” in code enforcement.
Ganus hopes to do some work remotely, noting that if residents or town staff upload pictures of complaints, he can go ahead and research the problems and send notice letters so that he can act once he returns to town.
Interim director Crystal Gettys of the Iredell County Economic Development Corporation updated council members on the search for a new CEO to replace Russ Rogerson, who is leaving to pursue another job opportunity.
Gettys is a consultant for Sanford Holshouser Economic Development Consulting, which is conducting the search. Getty has toured the area with Rogerson to familiarize herself with the area. She will be working for ICEDC three days per week for the next three months until a permanent replacement is found.
COMING UP THURSDAY NIGHT
- Selection of the 2019 Citizen of the Year
- Selection of the 2019 Organization of the Year
- Presentation of the 2017-18 Budget Year Audit.
- Consideration of a text amendment to the town’s Unified Development Ordinance clarifying inn, hotel, motel, and bed and breakfast distinctions.
- Consideration of mandated disaster debris management monitoring and removal contracts.
- Consideration of an ordinance regulating “Small Wireless Infrastructure.”
- Business Spotlight: Piedmont Dental Associates
- Education Spotlight: South Iredell High School
- J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library monthly report
- Troutman Parks and Recreation monthly report
- Troutman ABC Store quarterly report
- Consider reappointment recommendations to the Iredell County Board of Commissioners for ETJ Planning and Zoning Board members Barry General and Randy Farmer for three-year terms and Troutman Board of Adjustment ETJ member Helen Byers for a three-year term.