BY DEBBIE PAGE
Troutman Mayor Teross Young and the Town Council honored local businessman and entrepreneur Vernon “Red” Overcash’s “tireless time and effort to our town” during Thursday’s council meeting.
The mayor presented a community service award to the family “for his many contributions to economic development and overall well-being of the Town of Troutman.”
Overcash, 83, passed away on October 11 after a battle with kidney disease. His wife of over 54 years, Jackie Torrence Overcash, accepted the plaque on behalf of the family. (Learn more about Mr. Overcash’s legacy HERE.)
“He would have been so honored, so happy. It would have meant a lot to him, and it definitely means a lot to our family,” Overcash said as she accepted the honor.
“He loved Troutman. He wanted Troutman to grow, not by leaps and bounds, but he did want it to grow. He started that in the early 60s before I even knew him.”
SAFETY AUDIT COMPLETED
Former Police Chief Matthew Selves returned to Troutman to present a plaque to commemorate completion of the Law Enforcement Risk Management Review by the town’s police department.
Now the Public Safety Risk Management Consultant for the N.C. League of Municipalities, Selves said the process involves a comprehensive agency review of the department’s “high-risk policies, operations, and practices and includes a detailed, on-site agency administrative and operations review, including equipment and facility inspections, officer interviews, and observation of operations, all to validate that practices align with policy and in turn with industry best practices.”
“We specifically look at those high liability areas within a department,” said Selves. Those areas include police vehicle operations, response to active resistance, evidence processing, employment practices and procedures, and training.
“I am proud to report this evening that the Troutman Police Department has successfully completed the Law Enforcement Risk Review process. The chief and the department’s staff prioritized this initiative,” acting in a “proactive and involved” manner.
“I want to personally thank Chief Tina Fleming and Command Staff for their leadership and their willingness to participate in this very important initiative. They were very open and transparent during the process.”
Noting his own 24 years in law enforcement, 12 of which were in Troutman, Selves concluded, “The officers that I worked with and observed demonstrate a high level of commitment to your community and in best practices to enhance professional policing and to positively impact our communities and relationships.”
NEW RUMPLE STREET ORDINANCE
To alleviate congestion and improve safety around Troutman Middle School, the council passed a new ordinance regulating and controlling vehicular traffic on Rumple Street during school opening and dismissal times.
When the regulation signs are in place on school days on Rumple Street, vehicles cannot turn left from Rumple Street onto East Thomas Street/the northern driveway entrance of TMS or left onto the southern driveway entrance of the campus during the hours of 7 to 9 a.m and 2 to 4 p.m.
Left turns from Leon Street onto Rumple are also prohibited when signs are up during those time periods.
Anyone violating the ordinance is subject to a fine of up to $50.
HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN APPROVED
Council also unanimously approved the Iredell-Rowan Hazard Mitigation Plan, a document that coordinates the two counties’ mitigation planning activities to reduce losses during times of natural disasters. All municipal and county governments within both counties must review and approve the plan every five years.
Iredell County Director of Emergency Management Kent Green said the 780-page document, required by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), helps counties identify risks, hazards, and vulnerabilities and then act to minimize their impacts.
He cited Thursday’s flood related damage in northern Iredell County as an example, saying the county develops plans and takes steps to mitigate future occurrences.
Green explained this plan must be in place to be eligible for FEMA assistance in times of natural disasters. For a municipality to qualify for FEMA funds, the town must apply for the assistance through Green’s office, and the repair cost must exceed 1 percent of its annual budget.
The town must first expend the repair funds and then apply for FEMA reimbursement.
Green said that for individuals to get FEMA assistance, at least 25 homes must be affected and the owners’ homes must be uninsured or underinsured.
NATIONAL DIABETES MONTH
The mayor also proclaimed November as National Diabetes Month in Troutman. The chronic disease is one of the leading cause of death and results in staggering health and financial costs for Americans.
The condition affects over 30 million Americans, about 193,000 of which are under age 20. The disease causes the immune system to attack the body’s insulin, which causes blood sugar levels to elevate.
Early diagnosis can prevent ill health effects, including vision loss, nerve damage, kidney and heart disease, and other problems.
Bryant asked that this proclamation be declared in honor of his 11-year-old grandson, who is battling this disorder.
J. HOYT HAYES MEMORIAL TROUTMAN LIBRARY
Kelli Goodwin reported the library is now open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday with a capacity of 12 people. Computers can be used for one hour and are sanitized between users. Returned books are also quarantined for three days prior to shelving, and staff is conducting frequent sanitation of high touch areas.
The county library system is offering some programming through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iredelllibrary) but still offers no in-person programming.
The library also offers an “Express Books” service in which patrons complete an interest survey and then staff pulls books that the patron may enjoy for check out. The Troutman library has filled 140 orders with that service so far.
Goodwin also announced that Tamra Hicks has joined the library a a part-time staff member. She is currently completing her Master’s in Library Science degree.
At the Troutman Friends of the Library October meeting, the group voted for current officers to stay in their current positions, including Maxine Hargus as president, Jodi Barkley as vice president, Karen Neilson as secretary, and Bruce Humes as treasurer
The group received $1,700 in memory of Paul Haughton, whose father-in-law was J. Hoyt Hayes. They also received $1,635 in memory of Winifred Powell. The group is reaching out to the families to plan memorials for each and ask if any remaining money can be put toward the library expansion fund.
The group will also place a brick in the courtyard in memory of former FOL officer Steve Rimmer, who passed away October 5.
The group also got a $500 grant from the Dowd Foundation to fund library programs.
The FOL special building account, funded by the Troutman ABC Store profits, stands at $12,461.
The next FOL meeting is Thursday, January 14, at 5 p.m. Anyone interested in joining the group is invited to attend.
PHASE 3 EXTENDED/NEW RESTRICTIONS
As COVID-19 numbers increase in Iredell County, Council Member George Harris reminded Troutman residents to wear a mask, to social distance six feet, and to wash their hands frequently to avoid infection.
Young reminded citizens that indoor gathering numbers drop from 25 to 10 people with Gov. Roy Cooper’s new executive order, which is in effect until December 4.
“I think that is difficult considering we have been in this for nine months. Thanksgiving is always that time for family to get together, coming in from out of state, and I hope everyone remains safe and you do all you can to keep your distance and wear a mask.”
“We don’t want to have any of residents contract this virus, and I appreciate all the support the community has done to protect themselves and others.”
♦ Council approved rezoning of 1.15 acres at 530 Hoover Road from rural preservation to suburban residential.
♦ Tamara Hatley was appointed to a two-year term to the Board of Adjustment and Steven Zittle was appointed to a three year term to the Design and Review Board.