BY KARISSA MILLER
The Iredell County Board of Commissioners issued a proclamation in recognition of Black History Month during Tuesday’s meeting.
“Black History Month affords special opportunity to become more knowledgeable about Black heritage, and to honor the many Black leaders who have contributed to the progress of our local government and throughout the nation,” Chairman James Mallory said, reading from the proclamation.
“Whereas, such knowledge can strengthen the insight of all our citizens regarding the issues of human rights, the great strides that have been made in the crusade to eliminate the barriers of equality for minority groups, and the continuing struggle against racial discrimination.”
The board also approved a Black History Month certificate of recognition of the service of Commissioner Marvin Norman, who attended the meeting virtually.
Norman became the first African-American county commissioners for Iredell County in 2002. He is now the longest serving member of the current board.
The certificate recognized Norman for serving his county in the U.S. Army and his leadership and vision for the community.
“I want to thank you on behalf of the rest of the board for the example that you have set for all of us,” Mallory said.
Mallory also presented Todd Scott, president of the Statesville NAACP Branch, with a copy of the Black History Month proclamation.
“From Statesville NAACP branch, thank you for this day with the proclamation. It means a lot to us,” Scott said.
In other business, the board heard an update on the Iredell County Transportation Master Plan.
Matthew Todd, planning director, said that in the next month or so there will be online public surveys posted on the county’s website for input.
Todd said the county used consultant group RS&H, which was funded through a grant.
Also helping to create the master plan is a project technical team that is comprised of county staff, representatives from local jurisdictions and Lake Norman Transportation Commission.
Todd said stakeholders, including the Economic Development Commission, ICATS, Parks and Recreation staff, Statesville Regional Airport, NCDOT and many others, have been interviewed.
The master plan is for the entire county, but will focus on unincorporated areas.
After the surveys are conducted, the consultant will start on some design ideas of traffic analysis on specific projects, Todd said.
In other matters, the board conducted a public hearing for the filing of an application with the Local Government Commission for an installment financing agreement for school improvements up to $8.86 million on behalf of Iredell-Statesville Schools.
I-SS is planning to use the money on energy efficient upgrades, such as LED lighting and other energy conservation measures, districtwide. The project also includes certain HVAC measures, controls and upgrades and air quality improvements.
The board held two public hearings for rezoning requests at their last meeting and approved the requests at their Tuesday meeting.
The first was a request to rezone around two acres along Beech Tree Road in Mooresville from Residential Agricultural/Neighborhood Business to Highway Business Conditional. The request was being made on behalf of Charlotte Ski Boats.
The second was a request to rezone approximately 1.3 acres along West Memorial Highway in Union Grove from Residential Agricultural to General Business.
Both of the rezoning requests were unanimously approved by the planning board. Additionally, there was no opposition expressed at the meeting.
Also, during the meeting, the board:
• Listened to comments from local resident Christine Harvey in support of keeping the Confederate monument. She also expressed concerns and opinions about division and racism that exists within the county.
• Approved a request from the National Balloon Rally Charities, Inc. (Balloonfest) for a 35-foot wide easement at the Fairgrounds and adjacent parking lot. The easement will start at the existing gravel driveway at the EMS base at Murdock Road, and continue north on the Fairgrounds property.
• Tabled a request from Planning and Development for approval to abandon state maintenance for a portion of SR 2630 (Ebony Circle). It will be discussed at a future date.
• Approved a request from the Iredell library to apply for the State Library of North Carolina for Library Services and Technology Act grant in the amount of $50,000.
• Approved a request from the Finance Department for approval of an audit contract for $67,300 with Martin Starnes and Associates, CPAs, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.