BY STACIE LETT CAIN
Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh began Monday night’s City Council meeting by honoring lifelong Statesville resident and former mayor Thomas A. Fanjoy.
“Tom was the mayor when I came back to Statesville as an adult,” Kutteh said. “I will never forget that. I hope someday someone remembers that I was mayor when they return to our city.”
Kutteh read a proclamation, accompanied by Fanjoy’s family, attesting to his love of his city, his honesty and integrity.
“Your dad and father-in-law meant a lot to us and this city,” Kutteh said to the family. “It is truly an honor to be able to do this today.”
Fanjoy, 89, died on September 21, 2020. A graduate of Princeton University, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps before returning to Statesville, where he had a successful business career and was engaged in community service.
Fanjoy served as the mayor of Statesville from 1973 to 1979 and served on the Board of Directors for Iredell Memorial Hospital, Mitchell Community College, Ruthie’s Daycare and First Union National Bank. He received the Statesville Outstanding Citizen Award in 1976.
In other business:
♦ The City Council passed a motion approving the closing of an unopened dedicated right of way in the Olde Statesville Subdivision. The road, planned in preparation for a second subdivision in that development, was never used because the second phase of the development never came to pass.
Now, Lennar Homes Project is preparing to build in that area and with the bond on that project coming up for renewal, is asking the city to release the requirement for the road.
“The staff recommends the passing of this resolution,” Planning Director Sherry Ashley explained. “The current proposal will call for connections to existing roadways and will not utilize this 80-foot right of way as a roadway, but instead would use the area for additional lots within the subdivision.”
Although councilmen Steve Johnson and John Staford voiced concern over the possibility of traffic issues if the roadway was not required, the council voted 6-2 to pass the resolution, with the understanding that the council maintained control of the development through the future need for rezoning and the approval of any future sketch plans for the development.
♦ Council also approved a first reading for a site-plan for Diamond Mini Storage at the intersection of Monroe and Wall streets. Council members Frederick Foster and Doris Allison conveyed appreciation for projects being built in the 5th and 6th wards, but Staford voiced aesthetic concerns over the fencing planned for the project.
“I’d like to see a little more attention being paid to the fencing around the project as opposed to the material being used on the buildings because the fencing is more visible as people enter our city from this area,” Staford explained. “It is going to be very visible and we are working to make this area more in tune with our streetscape plans.”
But Allison was less concerned with aesthetics and more concerned with safety.
“I think the focus needs to be on safety with people coming and going from this location because it is a 24-hour facility,” Allison explained. “I would ask the developers to make sure that the lighting is sufficient as well as staying with the original plan for chainlink fence to make sure people are safe while accessing this facility.”
♦ City Manager Ron Smith gave the council an update on city sales tax numbers and the news was better than expected.
“We are pleasantly surprised that we are seeing higher numbers this year than last, which is unexpected in the midst of a pandemic,” Smith explained. “We have held back capital purchases not sure of what we would be seeing in the sales tax revenues but we are planning to start releasing more capital purchases. We will be planning a work session soon and need to be aware that we are getting into the next budget season as well.”
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for December 7 at 7 p.m.