BY DEBBIE PAGE
The Troutman Town Council approved regulations for political signs and rules for the new splash pad during its February 13 meeting. The council also chose appointees for several board and committees.
The council voted 4-0 — Councilman Eddie Nau was absent — to pass a text amendment regulating the size and placement of political signs within the town limits. A September 2016 ordinance regulating the size of political signs in various town zoning areas was omitted in the new Unified Development Ordinance.
With primary and general elections fast approaching, town officials wanted to get the provision back in place quickly.
The ordinance limited campaign signs to 4 square feet in area and 42 inches in height in residential areas within the town’s corporate limits.
Commercial and non-residential properties and “gateway” roads (Highway 21, Wagner Street, Old Mountain Road, Murdock Road, and Talley Street) could have signs up to 32 square feet in area and no more than 6 feet in height. All signs must be removed within seven days of the election.
No signs can be placed on town property, including along the Richardson Greenway system.
Parks and Recreation Director Emily Watson presented the rules and regulations for the Iredell County Lodge #10 Fraternal Order of Police splash pad for final council approval. The splash pad, which cannot be reserved for private party use, will be open from Memorial Day to Labor Day
Watson explained that patrons must activate water sprayers by pressing a black foot pedal in the middle of the splash pad. They should be aware that concrete areas may be slippery when wet and that no lifeguards will be on duty. Adult supervision is required, and use of splash pad is at patrons’ own risk.
All children who are not potty trained must wear swim diapers, and no cloth diapers are permitted. Diapers should be checked often and changed only in a restroom. Patrons should also avoid drinking the water.
Climbing, pulling, or hanging on equipment is also prohibited.
No running or rough play, food or drinks, glass containers, pets, skateboards, roller blades, bicycles, or motorized vehicles are allowed on the splash pad.
All participants must conduct themselves in a courteous, safe, and family-oriented manner. All other park rules also apply.
Use of splash pad is prohibited during inclement weather. Users should vacate splash pad at first sound of thunder or sign of lightning. The splash pad may close at any time due to weather danger.
The council unanimously approved the rules as presented.
The council wants all Troutman citizens are counted in the 2020 US Census to ensure the town receives all the state and federal funding to which it is entitled to best serve its citizens. The information is also vital to increasing the area’s economic development and employment opportunities.
All information provided to the census is confidential.
The council approved a proclamation encouraging all Troutman residents to participate in events and initiatives to raise census awareness and participation in the local community.
The J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library will have an information session on the census on Tuesday, February 25, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for those interested in learning more.
J. HOYT HAYES MEMORIAL TROUTMAN LIBRARY
Branch Manager Kelli Goodwin reported that the Iredell County Public Library system strategic master plan process is in its final stages. This five-year plan will help the library focus programs, services, and spending in the areas that community input indicated.
After the county commissioners approve it, the plan will be shared with the public.
The library’s Teen Advisory Board, in conjunction with South Iredell High School and faculty member Karen Van Vliet, is working on a service project for patrons. The teens are raising money and purchasing books desired by a senior citizen book club that meets at the Troutman library. The books can be kept by book club members or donated back to the library after use.
Goodwin also announced a special Gray Seal Puppets show entitled “A Show of Virtues” on Tuesday, March 3, at 4 p.m. The show is inspired by “The Children’s Book of Virtues” and features entertaining and enlightening stories from around the world, including “The Little Hero of Holland,” “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “Please,” and “Why Frog and Snake Never Play Together.”
In the show, a traveling salesman opens his large, battered sample case and exhibits various containers filled with virtues. His sample case transforms into a puppet stage that brings each story of courage, perseverance, politeness, and tolerance to life. The salesman helps the audience realize that virtues are priceless and must be practiced to be earned.
The library will also celebrate Dr. Seuss Week March 2-7 with special activities.
The council appointed several community members to various boards and committees:
♦ Former council member Jan Huffman was appointed to the Board of Adjustment as an inside alternate member. Huffman previously served as chair of this board prior to joining the council in January of last year.
♦ Brent Tedder was recommended for approval to the Iredell County Board of Commissioners for the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) alternate position on the Planning and Zoning Board.
♦ Tonya Bartlett and Michael Barker, both members of the original Parks and Recreation Committee that existed prior to the hiring of the town’s full-time Parks and Recreation Director, were named as community representatives on the recently revamped Troutman Parks and Recreation Committee. Other members are Troutman Recreation Director Emily Watson, Iredell County Parks and Recreation Director Michelle Hepler, ESC representative Jan Comer, Troutman Youth Athletic Association President Jimmy Mattingly, and Town Council member Sally Williams (non-voting).
The council also:
♦ Approved a sanitary sewer easement deed to be sent to Iredell County commissioners for consideration at its February 18 meeting so the town can run a new sewer line across the Iredell County Fairgrounds property. The new gravity sewer line, running from Legend Lane to C.R. Onsrud on Murdock Road, would eliminate a problematic 50-year-old pump station behind the Fairgrounds Shopping Center.
♦ Approved $49,102 to purchase a new police vehicle.
♦ Approved $14,000 for Petway, Mills and Pearson, PA to perform the state required annual town audit.
♦ Approved the investigation of an annexation request for 12.356 acres at Oswalt Amity Road and South Main Street for the Redwood Living project. The public hearing will be at the March 12 Town Council Meeting.
♦ Retroactively recognized “School Choice Week” January 26 through February 1 in Troutman “because “educational variety not only helps to diversify our economy but also enhances the vibrancy of our community.”
♦ Voted 4-0 to add former mayor Ron Wyatt to the committee negotiating annexation boundary and wastewater capacity issues with the City of Statesville and planned to hold a annexation/wastewater committee work session in response to Statesville’s recent annexation boundary proposal. The committee will thoroughly discuss the important issues involved and then report back to council before the next meeting with Statesville reps on this issue.
♦ The Town Council Annual Retreat will be Friday, February 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Lake Norman State Park auditorium.
♦ Proposed topics include ETJ expansion and annexation agreement, sewer capacity, the Lytton Street Extension project, municipal fire protection costs, the town’s Wagner Street building plan, Small Town Main Street, and Troutman Business Council, Town Hall and staff expansion, the town’s SRO policy, ESC Park development and master plan, and electronic/remote participation policy for town meetings.