BY DEBBIE PAGE
The Troutman Town Council met on Monday afternoon to discuss revenue updates, parade plans, property acquisition process and to review the agenda for Thursday night’s regular meeting.
The council will meet all day Tuesday, May 11, for a 2021-2022 budget planning session, beginning at 9 a.m.
April sales tax numbers continued to be strong, reaching $81,075, a 33 percent increase over the same month in 2020. Water and sewer billing also improved after being down for most of the past year, reaching $168,361, a $13,000 increase over the April 2020 number.
Parks and Recreation Director Emily Watson announced that 50 entries are signed up to participate in the annual Troutman Independence Day Parade on July 3 at 11 a.m. She is also lining up three or four food trucks to provide festival type foods for spectators along the parade route.
Town Manager Ron Wyatt said that the staff is planning for multiple scenarios possible in this pandemic era so they can hopefully anticipate any necessary changes, noting that COVID-19 numbers can turn in the wrong direction in as little as a week.
Wyatt thanked Watson, the staff, and the Troutman Police Department for their assistance in creating parade plans. He also noted the need for volunteers to assist with the parade and fireworks, asking those interested to contact Watson.
The town is also leasing a float for Town Council members and their families this year.
The annual fireworks display is scheduled for full dark, around 9:30 p.m. at the Iredell County Fairgrounds. There will be no pre-fireworks festival this year.
Changes in the parade route are also made to accommodate access to businesses, facilitate traffic flow, and reduce staffing needs. The parade will now start from the CATS campus, move down Old Murdock Road, and enter Highway 21, moving south to Troutman Elementary School.
This change will keep the heavily traveled Old Mountain/Murdock Road intersection open and allow access to the Fairgrounds and Food Lion shopping centers during the parade time.
Watson also said the Troutman Farmers Market will begin Tuesday, May 11, after being delayed because of inclement weather last week. The market currently has 14 vendors, with more expected to come on as the growing season progresses.
The market hours are 4 to 7 p.m. each Tuesday through September 28.
Wyatt said acquisition of property across from Town Hall at the corner of Scroggs Street, Eastway, and North Avenue is proceeding, with closing planned for the next day, though it might be delayed because of scheduling issues.
The closing on two houses on Wagner Street is also on track, though one acquisition is proceeding more slowly because the homeowner is not a U.S. citizen, which requires more legal diligence.
WATER AND SEWER COSTS RISING?
After Statesville City Manager Ron Smith recommended a nearly 10 percent increase in the city’s property tax rate and a 20 percent hike in water and sewer fees in the city’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021-2022, Wyatt told council members that he is investigating how this might impact Troutman’s budget for next year.
Wyatt said he had emailed Smith to ask about how this will affect rates for Troutman, which he believes is Statesville’s largest water and sewer customer.
CHARTER UPDATE COMMITTEE
Mayor Teross Young created a committee to work with Town Attorney Gary Thomas to revise and rewrite the Troutman Town Charter, which has not been updated since 1981. Council members George Harris and Sally Williams agreed to serve on the project, with Paul Henkel agreeing to serve as an alternate.
Thomas has gathered charters from several towns to review and inform the committee’s work as they begin the rewriting process.
Thomas said the revised charter would need approval by the state legislature, which will probably not be possible until the 2023 long session since new legislation is no longer possible this year and the body does not normally address charters in its even year short sessions.
THURSDAY NIGHT AGENDA ITEMS
♦ Presentation of “Town of Troutman Citizens of the Year” to Jimmy and Betty Jean Troutman.
♦ Presentation of “Organization of the Year” to Troutman Fire and Rescue.
♦ Presentation of ABC Store quarterly report by ABC Board Chair Layton Getsinger.
♦ Consider a text amendment to the Town of Troutman Unified Development Ordinance (TA-21-02) for the implementation of N.C.G.S. 160D requirements.
♦ Set public hearing date regarding issuance of debt for property acquisition on North Eastway Drive.
♦ Consider approval of a resolution approving financing terms with Truist Bank.
♦ Consider approval of a budget amendment for property acquisition of three parcels located on North Eastway Drive.
♦ Set hearing dates for annexation requests for 34.69 acres at the end of Winecoff Street., 113.44 acres at 380 Westmoreland Road, and 3.68 acres at 386 Murdock Road.
♦ Consider adoption of resolutions approving the Town of Troutman local water supply plan and supporting the continuation of natural gas as a sustainable energy source.