BY DEBBIE PAGE
debbiepage.iredellfreenews@gmail.com

The Troutman Town Council voted unanimously to delay consideration of a contract with Davenport-Lawrence to conduct a study about the creation of a municipal fire department in partnership with Troutman Fire and Rescue.

The council received a letter from the TFR Board of Directors on Monday asking the council to delay consideration at this time. The board wants to complete the process of joining the new county-wide fire district and have a period of time to evaluate its effectiveness before deciding on the municipal option.

Mayor Teross Young and council member Paul Henkel supported a more narrow study that would assist TFR Chief Wesley Morris in the transition to the county district.

“I think there are some items that we need to have some clarity around so if there was a relationship, what would that look like,” said Young. “I don’t think any of us really understands fully what it means to have a municipal fire department.”

COVID-19 MONITORING

Mayor Young urged citizens to be attentive to Gov. Roy Copper’s comments urging North Carolinians to follow CDC guidelines to protect personal and community safety in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would instruct the public to pay close attention to the North Carolina Public Health page and the Governor’s website as well as lots of good information on the CDC website.”

“We are just asking people to be diligent about things that we really should already be doing — washing our hands, not touching our faces, one of the hardest things for people not to do.”

Interim Town Manager Jim Freeman and the town staff are monitoring the issue closely, Young said.

WATER AND SEWER PLANNING SERVICES CONTRACT APPROVED

The council voted unanimously to approve a contract with West Consultants to provide extra engineering services that will facilitate important planning for the growth and improvement of the town’s water and sewer services to prepare for residential growth and to meet new state requirements.

The approximately $38,000 worth of services would look at sewer design flow analysis, increasing pump station capacity, updating the town’s Water and Sewer Capital Improvement plan, performing a state-required system development fee analysis, conducting a Statesville annexation boundary analysis, assisting in possible amendments to the bulk wastewater agreement with Mooresville, and looking at increasing sewer flow to the Mooresville receiving point.

The money for the contract will come from the town’s utility fund.

“I think this is one of the most important things that we have going forward in our town,” said Councilman Paul Bryant.

The study, Bryant added, will “make sure that our water and sewer system is not only functioning properly on a day-to-day basis but that we are looking out to the future and that we are building and expanding our capacity to allow us to fulfill the requests and needs that we know will be here based on the future growth of our town, both commercial and residential.”

J. HOYT HAYES MEMORIAL TROUTMAN LIBRARY REPORT

Branch Manager Kelli Goodwin noted the library is still open and operating as usual.

Goodwin reported that over 100 kindergarten through fifth-grade Iredell Charter Academy students participated in the Young Authors Night on Thursday evening. Students shared some of their original work with their friends and parents during the event.

The library plans a St. Patrick’s Day Escape Room activity on Thursday, March 19, from 4 to 5 p.m. Join staff for an escape room with a special St. Patrick’s Day twist. Bring some luck of the Irish to find the clues and solve the puzzles. This event is geared toward ages 11 through 17.

The Troutman Friends of the Library plans a road cleanup of its assigned area, followed by its 5:30 quarterly meeting. Any community members interested in supporting the library are invited to attend.

Learn to crochet on Monday, March 30, at two sessions for all ages. A session for kids and teens will be offered at 4 p.m., followed by an adult class at 5 p.m.

Goodwin informed council that the staff will no longer do phone notifications for overdue books. Instead patrons will receive email or text notifications. Goodwin asked patrons to update their contact information to ensure they receive these reminders.

In April, the library will have its annual month-long Love Your Library campaign, in conjunction with National Library Week. Staff will place donation request “ornaments” on the tree which patrons can select and then bring to the library on their next visit.

VOTE DELAYS

The council delayed several planned votes because notices for the public hearings were not published ten days prior to Thursday’s meeting.

The council will address the Redwood Living annexation and rezoning request and the UDO Truck Parking and Maintenance text amendment at a called meeting on Monday, March 30, at 5 p.m.

OTHER BUSINESS

♦ Troutman Police Chief Tina Fleming introduced new part-time officer Gina Cranford to the council.

♦ The council voted 5-0 to accept a $30,000 offer to purchase on a piece of property on Massey Street.

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