BY DEBBIE PAGE
The Troutman Town Council on Thursday approved a conditional mixed residential zoning request by Nest Homes for the 134-unit River Rock townhome development planned for an 11.52-acre site at the northeast corner of Perth Road and Autumn Leaf Road.
The current highway business zoning allows multifamily rental apartments, which were originally planned for the site. The proposed three- and four-bedroom townhomes, ranging from 1,500 to 2,200 square feet, will be offered in the $350,000 price range.
The 24 buildings will contain from three to eight units. The traffic impact study findings, conducted for the previous apartment project, are being reduced because of the townhome project’s lower impact.
The council voted 4-1 to approve the project, with council member Nick Jaroszynski dissenting.
Commercial developments approved
The council unanimously approved an annexation and rezoning request by C2C Land Development for 7.822 acres at 1250 Charlotte Highway from Iredell County residential agricultural highway business for commercial development.
An annexation and rezoning request by the Troutman ABC Board for 7.67 acres at 1270 Charlotte Highway from Iredell County residential agricultural to highway business was also approved for a future ABC store site..
An annexation Request from BBC Rocky Creek, LLC, for 19.511 located off Byers Road, received unanimous approval. The site was previously rezoned to conditional mixed use.
REMOTE PARTICIPATION POLICY
Council member Paul Henkel proposed that Town Attorney Gary Thomas prepare an amendment to the council policy for remote participation to be considered at the March agenda briefing and Town Council meeting.
He proposed that remote participation be allowed for a maximum of two meetings per per year and that those attending remotely be allowed to vote on rezoning cases. He also requested that the part of the policy which requires another in-person vote the next month if the remote member is the deciding vote on a rezoning case be eliminated.
Thomas agreed to create the policy amendment but warned the council that voting on rezoning cases remotely could open the council to legal challenges.
The council also approved requests for additional 2023-2024 budget amendments, expected to be covered by incoming revenues, according to Finance Director Justin Mundy:
♦ Cost of the town’s building renovations – $750,000
♦ Purchase of the Dollar General Building – $1,500,000
♦ East Church paving and restriping Lines – $130,000
♦ Additional election cost – $1,130
♦ Additional insurance cost of town property – $10,000
♦ Additional Parks & Rec supplies – $25,000
♦ Building expenditures at the Passport Office- $15,000
♦ Departmental supplies and contracted services for the Police Department – $20,000
♦ Additional police vehicles – $150,000
♦ Equipment for Public Works (UF) – $150,000
♦ Sewer inspections of town lines by KRG Utility (UF) – $182, 430
♦ Settlement litigation (UF) – $10,425
♦ Additional cost of water meters – $100,000
♦ Additional Cost of water – $150,000
The Master Service Agreement for on-call transportation services between the Town and Kimley Horn and Associates Inc. was also approved. Compensation is set at 1.15 times the cost of conducting each individual project order (IPO).
With this “on-call’ assistance, the traffic impact analysis process would change. The traffic study team would now be working for the town instead of the developer, though the services are still paid for by the developer.
This change would put more emphasis on ensuring town ordinances and interests (greenway, future land use map, bike/ped plans) are considered, which the NCDOT does not require.
Tonya Bartlett was appointed to an inside voting member seat on the Planning and Zoning Board, filling the unexpired term of Kenneth Reid through May and also a new full 3-year term running through May 14, 2027.
A public hearing date of March 14 for annexation of 4.135 acres at 398 Hemi Drive was also set.
SIHS COACH HONORED
South Iredell High School wrestling coach Bill Mayhew was honored by the council for his extraordinary career. His former SIHS colleague, Brent Bustle, heaped praises on the successful coach.
“For the last 60 years, Bill Mayhew has been the coach of South Iredell High School’s wrestling team. Along with him on his sixty-year journey is his wonderful wife, Mary Mayhew.
“Bill Mayhew is a coach for all the ages because of all he has done for his wrestlers, the school and his community. He is everything a great coach strives to be,” Bustle said.
“I’ve had a great honor to work alongside him for 27 years at South Iredell, and I’ve learned to be a better person because of his values and his strong Christian witness.”
“He is a great husband, father, grandfather, and father figure for many whose lives he has touched. He is a role model for all young men and for coaches.”
Coach Mayhew broke the record of the most dual match wins in North Carolina history, which happened with his 900th win on December 16 at East Wilkes High School. He now has 923 wins.
Other achievements for Coach Mayhew are the South Iredell High School Hall of Fame, the Mooresville High School Hall of Fame, the Iredell County Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame, North Carolina Coaches Hall of Fame, and the National Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame.
Mayhew thanked Bustle and the town for the honor, saying he taught many of them. He praised the staff for being so nice and welcoming to the community and himself.
Mayor Teross Young expressed his appreciation for all Mayhew has done for the community and for being a role model for so many young men.
TOWN EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
Jessica Davidson was honored by her supervisor, Town Finance Director Justin Mundy, as the January Employee of the Month. Davidson works as a customer service representative and utility billing specialist. She has worked for the town since April 2023.
“When Jessica started, we threw a lot on her plate. She began working up front with the customer service role and helping there while also learning the passport process. During this time, we also told her we wanted her to learn how to be a back up to the town clerk,” Mundy said.
“This was a lot to throw on a new employee in a growing town with a fast-paced environment. Jessica never complained and has always come to work with a positive attitude. She always has a smile in her face and is in a cheerful mood.”
Mundy said Davidson is “a joy to work with, and she has a positive impact on her citizens as well as co-workers,” adding that she is dependable.
“We are lucky to have her on our team,” he added.
Miss Iredell County Jamie Logan and Miss Iredell County Teen Piper Pollard appeared before the council to explain a little bit about their community service projects this year.
Logan chose sports-related organizations and activities as her community project, including Girls on the Run, Special Olympics and a sports day with the Iredell County Recreation Department.
Pollard’s project is helping children cope with stress. She created a program called “We Tai Chi.” She has been teaching elementary-age children how to practice tai chi to reduce their stress levels.
TROUTMAN FIRE AND RESCUE
Troutman Fire and Rescue Chief Wesley Morris presented the department’s quarterly report to the council. He said calls rose again in 2023, with 3,254 calls being performed by his staff members. The staff also logged 7,749 training hours during the past year.
At the beginning of January, the department underwent its five-year rescue inspection and passed successfully to retain its rescue status. The department is certified for heavy, basic life support, high angle, trench, water and swift water, and vehicle rescue.
The department is working on its certification in agriculture and machinery rescue, which will be helpful for responding to industrial and construction accidents.
Morris also announced that the Station 3 renovation is finally finished and the certificate of occupancy issued. The project included remodeling the kitchen and living quarters and the addition of two bays and sleeping quarters.
Station 3 now has three full-time firefighters per shift and runs Engine 1 out of that station. A new fire engine is set for an April delivery.
Morris said that the department is short three full-time firefighters with interviews underway. He hopes that all all three positions will be filled by March. Staffing includes four full-time firefighters at Station 1 and three each at station 2 and 3.
Troutman Library Director Tamara Hicks reported that children’s programming, including story time, Discovery Club steam activities, teen programs, and monthly family programs are going well. The library also has book club and other programming activities for adults.
During the last four months, 23,000 visitors have come through the library doors, keeping the staff very busy. HIcks invited the community members with young children to come to the Saturday Story Time, during which they will hear a story, do a craft, and other programming.
Hicks said the holiday party, which featured the Monday Night Pickers, had over 200 people attend.
The Troutman Friends of the Library is re-organizing under new elected officers. They have created a new logo and pamphlet and also have developed some merchandise with sales proceeds helping fund library programs. FOL membership is $10 and community members are invited to join.
Hicks also announced the library will be closed on March 22 for annual staff development for all county library employees
On February 21, from 4 to 5 p.m., the library is hosting an African folk program and invites the community to attend. From the desert lands of the Sahara to the plains of the Serengeti to Mount Kilimanjaro and beyond – join a variety of characters from a wide range of cultures in stories that celebrate the various folk tale traditions of the continent of Africa.
Register for the presentation, which is limited to 40, at https://iredell.lib.nc.us/Activities/Activity/Detail/Troutman-Library-Family-Programs-305.
The library is also participating in the NC Reads program (https://www.iredell.lib.nc.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1816 ) through the North Carolina Humanities Department. In March participants will read “Poster Girl” and in May will read “The Violin Conspiracy.”
Hicks noted the need for library expansion because some patrons have complained about the volume of noise during children’s programming. Troutman is growing and the space is needed, but they are doing the best they can with the space they now have, said Hicks.
To learn more about programming at the Troutman branch, visit https://www.iredell.lib.nc.us/calendar.aspx?CID=29,35,34.
Layton Getsinger, chairman of the Troutman ABC board, gave the quarterly report for the store. In addition to providing the quarterly sales statistics, he noted that since the store opened on December 1, 2016, the store has $17,429,000 in total net sales.
Required distributions over the seven years of store operation include $380,843 to the town and its designated nonprofit entities, $86,520 in education funds to the Drug-Alcohol Coalition of Iredell, and $61,800 to law enforcement, for a total of $490,758 in distributions into the town and the community since it opened.
The store made a net profit of $1,188,630 (after distributions) since it opened, which was used to pay for the first location of the store, the warehouse addition, and to purchase land for a second store. The store now carries no debt and is currently building its savings for a second location, with savings amounting to $316,000.
Getsinger will send a final report and information needed for approval of a second store to the ABC commission. The board is getting plans and permissions completed so that when the members decide to start the second store, they will be prepared to issue requests for proposals, get bids from builders, and go through the design/review process with the town.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Parks and Recreation Director Emily Watson said that a new patio and seating area on the right side of the ESC Park splash pad is now complete. The amenity was in use about 20 minutes after completion.
She also announced that the vendor spaces for the April 6 Spring Chart Expo at South Iredell High School’s gyms are full. Twice the number of vendors will be at the second annual event.
Watson said the March sewing class is already full, but there were still some spaces for knitting and scrapbooking classes. Sign up at https://secure.rec1.com/NC/troutman-nc/catalog.
The Sprint Into Spring 5K/10K registration is open at www.runsignup.com. The March 10 event is at 3 p.m. at Town Hall.
A baseball clinic on March 16 this filling up for first through eighth graders which will be run by the South Iredell High School coaching staff. Sign up at https://secure.rec1.com/NC/troutman-nc/catalog.
Watson also said that June 29 Independence Parade participant registration is now open at https://secure.rec1.com/NC/troutman-nc/catalog.
To sign up for any activity through Troutman Parks and Recreation, registrants must first create an account.