BY KARISSA MILLER

Iredell County commissioners want more information before deciding whether to allocate funds to two volunteer fire departments to purchase land for new stations and for a third to pay off a loan for land already purchased for a future station.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the board asked Fire Services and Emergency Management Director Kent Greene to do a feasibility study about the requests and costs.

The Fire Tax Oversight Committee is recommending the following:

♦ Appropriating $200,000 to West Iredell VFD to purchase six acres of land for a future station at the corner of Island Ford and Lippard Farm Road;
♦ Appropriating $200,000 to Central VFD to purchase 10 acres of land across from their current station; and
♦ Allocating $109,692.67 to Monticello VFD to pay off a loan for land purchased for a future station beside their current station.

Funding would come from the countywide fire district’s unassigned fund balance.

Greene will look at those locations again to make sure they best serve the county’s needs in terms of growth projections and other patterns. Commissioners also directed him to look into seeing if they could purchase the land for the best price possible.

Greene said as the county continues to grow, fire service demand continues to increase.

“The need to put people in the station whether they be employees of the nonprofit or in the future employees of Iredell County — we need a place to put them. We don’t currently have the space to put them,” Greene said during the pre-agenda briefing.

Vice Chairman Tommy Bowles said that these are the only three fire departments that have not had major renovations in the last 10 to 15 years and are all 60 year or older buildings.

Commissioner Ken Robertson said that the board needs to make sure it is getting the best price possible on land because it is taxpayer money.

“Being a county commissioner isn’t about choosing between crappy and good projects. That ship sailed a long time ago. We make the decision between have-to-have projects and good projects,” Robertson said.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other matters:

♦ The board conducted a public hearing regarding two rezoning request. The first request is from Harold C. Mash Sr. for rezoning 25.9 acres off Eagles Refuge Drive for a mobile home. The second is from William Clay Wooten for 4.76 acres of farmland along West Memorial Highway.

♦ County Attorney Lisa Valdez said that because Commissioner Marvin Norman was participating remotely, it constituted a remote meeting for the board. Therefore, decisions regarding the rezoning requests could not be approved at Tuesday’s meeting (due to rules regarding COVID-19 and remote meeting participation). The board will vote on those requests at its December 1 meeting.

♦ The board approved a request from Iredell-Statesville Schools to apply to the Local Government Commission to issue debt not to exceed $9 million.

♦ The board approved a request and from Iredell Parks and Recreation to accept $58,500 in reimbursement grant funding from the NC Alliance for YMCAs.

♦ The board approved a request from Charlotte Water for approval to extend water to the Davidson Pointe neighborhood.

♦ The board approved a request from the Health Department to write off $39,958.71 in uncollected patient account debt.

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