Troutman Town Council members deadlocked Thursday on a request by Butch Bouwens to rezone 43 acres to light industrial rezoning in an effort to expand the nearly 90-acre North Fork Business Park on Murdock Road.

Council voted 2-2 on a motion to approved the rezoning. Council member George Harris and Mayor Teross Young were not present. 

Town Attorney Gary Thomas told the council that the tie meant the request failed.

Town Planner Lynne Hair said staff recommended approval of the the rezoning since because it fits the 2022 Future Land Use Map designation for the area as employment center-light industrial.

Real estate agent Sam Barnette, representing Bouwens, said the developers wanted to be good neighbors and requested light industrial uses to try to mitigate their concerns.

Barnette noted that the current tenants building in the park are from Troutman and Mooresville who will provide more jobs for the growing community. The light industrial “high end” warehouses would have low impact, with little traffic or noise, he said.

Barnette also noted their recent $1,500 donation to a Troutman Ruritan project to provide Thanksgiving meals for some Troutman Elementary families as an example of their desire to help the community and be good neighbors.

He also detailed plans for the preservation of the land’s history, with a bronze plaque honoring the Mills family and roads being named after family members.

But neighbors showed up in force to protest the rezoning, citing preservation of historic farmland as well as environmental, traffic, noise, light, pollution and groundwater concerns.

Neighbors also expressed distress about disruption to adjacent beef farms, the damage to their residential property values, and the already large size of the site.

Others protested the light industrial uses planned for the Murdock Road area on the 2022 Future Land Use Map, which was revised last fall but did not change the two-decade plan for industrial development along the corridor to Interstate 77.

Scott Murdock, in response to Barnette’s comment that neighbors did not offer to buy the land, pointed out the asking price far exceeded agricultural uses. Murdock, whose property is just outside town limits, told the council, “I can’t vote for for y’all, but you can ruin my life.”

Before the vote, council member Jerry Oxsher and Town Manager Ron Wyatt admonished some neighbors who made accusations of dishonesty on the part of the council and town.

Oxsher also pointed out that he served on the 2022 Future Lane Use Map revision committee last fall, and only one person protesting the development came to the several public meetings.

In November, the Planning and Zoning Board voted against the rezoning for the North Fork rezoning request because it was not conditional rezoning, which would allow the town more control and required a site plan.

Swearing-In Ceremony
Mooresville Mayor Chris Carney swears in Nicholas Jaroszynski and Eddie Nau, flanked by family.

Re-elected council member Eddie Nau and new council member Nicholas Jaroszynski were sworn in by Mooresville Mayor Chris Carney at the conclusion of Troutman Town Council meeting on Monday night.

The newly seated council chose Jerry Oxsher as mayor pro tem, replacing Paul Henkel who had long served in the position.

Felina Harris was voted as delegate and Nau as alternate to the Centralina Council of Governments, Oxsher as alternate to Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (Mayor Young is delegate), and Jaroszynski as delegate and Henkel as alternate to the Lake Norman Regional Transportation Commission.

2022-2023 AUDIT

Adam Thompson of Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams and Company, PA presented a clean audit of Troutman’s 2022-2023 fiscal year. The report showed no problems with the town’s accounting, expenditures, or use of funds.

The town had a total fund balance, or savings, of $5,342,471 (almost 66 percent of general fund expenditures), up almost $489,000 over the previous year. General fund expenditures to operate the town were $8,148,562, up $2,643,191 over FY 2021-2022.

The $4,272,339 unrestricted, available fund balance was just over 52 percent of general fund expenditures. The state requires 8 percent, though most municipalities aim for a 20 to 30 percent fund balance as a cushion during emergencies or economic downturns to ensure town functions continue.

FY 2022-2023 property tax valuation in Troutman is $801,469,423, with a tax levy (52 cents per $100) of $4,167,641 (a nearly $670,000 increase in collected property taxes over FY 2021-22).

Total general fund revenues were up nearly $2,728,000 in 2022-2023, mostly due to an increase in collected property taxes after higher property re-evaluations.


Sergeant Benge and Officer Miller honored for meritorious service.
Meritorious Service Awards

Troutman Police Department’s Sergeant Jamie Benge and Officer Michael Miller were honored with meritorious service awards for their quick action to apprehend a bank robbery suspect threatening the community.

The department criteria for the award include danger to the officer or where death, serious injury, or other extreme tragedy to another party existed.

Chief Josh Watson said the pair responded to an armed robbery on September 22 just after 9 a.m. The armed suspect fled on foot, pursued by Officer Miller, in the direction of Troutman Elementary, where students were playing on the playground.

Benge and Miller coordinated their actions to apprehend the suspect at the edge of campus, preventing possible life-threatening harm to students and staff.

“Their diligence and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of law enforcement and reflect great credit upon themselves and the Troutman Police Department,” said Watson.

Alma Reid, second from left, accepts resolution honoring her husband, along with other family members.
Recognition of Kenneth Reid’s Service

Kenneth Reid, Planning and Zoning Board member, passed away on November 27 after a period of declining health. Reid’s wife Alma and other family members accepted a resolution in his memory.

Kenneth Reid

Reid, a long-time resident of Troutman, was recognized for being a loving family man, a veteran, and an active church leader as well as for his eight years of service to the town.

“The Troutman Town Council is grateful for his past leadership, knowledge, and contributions to the town serving on the Planning Board,” Mayor Pro Tem Paul Henkel said.

Henkel, who worked with Reid on town business, said Reid had a “an amazing man with a wonderful personality” with whom he enjoyed serving.

“I was honored to know him and call him a friend.”


The council also:

♦ Presented a resolution honoring Pat Shannon for his Outstanding Service and Entertainment as WSIC radio host of the “Home Ad Show” and in honor of his retirement.

♦ Passed a resolution recognizing the Distinguished Service of George W. Harris to the Town of Troutman.

♦ Unanimously passed an Infrastructure Reimbursement Agreement between the Town of Troutman and BBC Wakefield, LLC.

♦ Unanimously passed an annexation and rezoning request from Iredell County residential agriculture to Town of Troutman conditional mixed residential to build 118 single family homes on behalf of Sunbeam Estates, LLC for 36.86 acres at 116/140/165 Royal Oaks Drive. The development is adjacent to the previously approved Rocky Creek Phase 1 and 2 (now called Norman Creek) and will also have a commercial outparcel on Highway 21.

♦ Unanimously approved an annexation request by Martin Ray Holdings for 1.19 acres on the corner of Maple Street and South Eastway Drive.

♦ Unanimously approved of an Incinerator Use Interlocal Agreement between the Town of Troutman, City of Statesville, and Town of Mooresville for disposal of outdated evidence, seized narcotics, and substances collected in medicine drop boxes.

♦ Unanimously approved of a fee in lieu of sidewalk for the O’Reilly Auto Parts (165 Julian Place).

♦ Unanimously approved the 2024 Council Meeting Schedule and the 2024 Parks and Recreation Event Schedule.

♦ Set a hearing date for an annexation request by BBC Rocky Creek, LLC, for 19.511 acres located off Byers Road on January 11, 2024.

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