Town manager to work out final details with Waste Pro for residential garbage collection

Photos Courtesy Town of Troutman

The Troutman Town Council has selected Donna Lambert of H.E.L.P. Ministries of Troutman as the Citizen of the Year and Lowe’s Home Improvement as the Organization of the Year.

Lambert is the unpaid president of H.E.L.P. Ministries and oversees approximately 40 volunteers and the collection of 1,200 to 2,000 pounds of food each week. The food is collected, weighed and separated before Lambert and volunteers get the food ready for delivery or pick up.

The ministry serves an average of 40 to 45 families totaling about 125 people. In addition to those families, up to 100 homeless people also get assistance. The organization partners with Second Harvest Food Bank, the Troutman Food Lion, local churches and numerous individuals who donate food items.

“This is, unfortunately, a great need. Donna is proving by her actions that helping people in our community without self-promotion is a blessing and labor of love for our neighbors,” said James Tabor, who nominated Lambert for the award.

Lowe’s Home Improvement was nominated by Parks and Recreation Director Emily Watson and Code Enforcement Officer Shane Harris because the company has been “a consistent community partner” to the town for years.

“They are always seeking ways to support, donate, volunteer, and/or collaborate,” said Watson

Some of the programs and activities Lowe’s has assisted with are town parades, the Pet Pantry Girl Scout project, the volleyball court renovations, K-9 unit kennels and doghouse donations, lights for the Walk of Heroes, Trails and Treats, and American flag donations for the Richardson Greenway.

Harris also mentioned Lowe’s help with the maintenance of the baseball and softball fields at Troutman Middle School by fixing drainage issues and supplying the equipment and resources needed to fix the problem.

The company also donated plants for the South Iredell High prom, a trailer for the DARE program, and new appliances to all the schools in the Troutman area.

“Lowe’s has ensured that we have the grass seed and field needs anticipated for sports play. We can’t thank them enough for all they have done to contribute to our community, our events, nonprofits, and projects that make our town a great place to live and work,” added Watson.


Town Manager Ron Wyatt asked the council to authorize him to proceed with completion of a contract with Waste Pro to provide solid waste and recycling collection services to town residents.

Several items are still to be worked out, including a system of notification for disruptions so citizens can be notified of schedule changes, the cost of optional extra cans requested by residents, the length of the term before the containers become town property, and the process and fee schedule for bulk pick up of larger items requested and paid for by individual citizens.

The cost of services is $18.52 per month, slightly more than the Republic bid, which did not include new 95-gallon blue trash and green recycling containers with the town logo or the option to become town property.

The staff contacted staff of several nearby municipalities who use Waste Pro services and confirmed that the company has positive feedback about their services. The start date for the new service will be the first week of July.

Wyatt said that Waste Pro has acquired customer addresses to start creating routes and is creating a Troutman-dedicated website for customer communication and information.

Several council members expressed concerns that the company will only pick up the new trash cans marked with the Town of Troutman logo. Wyatt said that after a one-month grace period, the company will only pick up the new Town of Troutman trash and recycling containers.

During traditionally heavy weeks, including Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day, additional pick up of items may be allowed.

The current trash bins are the property of the current trash service, and it’s up to the company to retrieve them, added Wyatt.


Town Engineer Benjamin Thomas presented the Town of Troutman Water and Sewer System Development Analysis report to the council. This report is required by state statute and will be posted 45 days publicly to get input from the community and town staff.

Thomas can then amend the report, reflecting the comments, before a public hearing and possible adoption of the analysis by the council in June.

Thomas said that for new construction or customers coming online, the town currently charges a $2,000 connection fee for water and $3,000 for sewer, plus tap and meter costs.

In the study, Thomas projected the town’s water and sewer capacity and infrastructure needs out 20 years, using the current rate of growth.

The purpose of the report is to justify that the town’s availability fees are offsetting its current costs and planning for future needs. The fees pay not only for sewer treatment and water capacity but also trunk lines, water tanks, pump stations, and other infrastructure.

This “buy-in” method ensures that each new home pays its fair share of benefit from the assets already in place as well as the cost of the future improvements and water and treatment capacity.

Looking at available land and the rate of growth, Thomas estimated the service needs of the area in 2044. He also considered density of development, asking the Planning Department for input, and used middle-of-the-road estimates to get an average of two residential units per available acre.

If all the projects on the books are built out, 6,500 housing units will need service. In calculating the water and sewer needs for those units as well as for other vacant property that could be developed, Thomas projected an additional 2.2 million gallons of water and sewer needs added to the system, which would require purchasing additional capacity and many new projects to meet these needs.

Thomas assumed that two-thirds of the growth will be residential, with the remaining one-third industrial.

The study indicated that the water fee could be raised to a maximum of $5,555 and the sewer fee to maximum $6,139.73 to recoup actual costs as well as to facilitate future needs. The council could set fees anywhere up to these maximum amounts.

Commercial projects that need larger lines and meters would be more expensive.

Wyatt said, based on current growth and available land, the town needs to raise fees in anticipation of normal growth the town is seeing at this time. If nobody sells their property and the growth does not occur, the town would not have to build these anticipated projects.

Wyatt also noted that higher fees may help deter development because of increased costs.

Thomas added that this analysis was to assist the council in setting rates for these one-time fees connecting new construction and customers to the town’s water and system infrastructure.

Wyatt noted that this report is not an update of fees at this point, but the report would allow a change in the schedule of fees in the future if it is approved in June. The report is simply to identify the needs of the infrastructure and water and sewer capacity if the town grows.

After the analysis section, Thomas included 19 projects that would be needed to upgrade the water and sewer infrastructure of the town if his projections are correct. The report also has several maps showing the undeveloped areas of Troutman as well as the locations of potential water and sewer infrastructure projects that may be needed. The report concludes with the 2017 state statute that mandates and governs this analysis.

Council member Paul Henkel was concerned about inflation, but Thomas said that the state suggested that the analysis be updated frequently, at the most every five years, in order to keep up with any increases.


Amber Ward, the special event coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department, was selected as the March Employee of the Month. Director Emily Watson described her as organized, punctual, financially responsible, and a good communicator.

In her six months in the department, Ward has fostered excellent relationships and blended well with the staff. She has also overseen several very successful events, including the recent spring craft show at South Iredell High School.

Ward is currently planning several spring and summer events, and her hard work and sincerity represent the recreation department well, added Watson.


Troutman resident Kevin Reed, who has been the crew chief for three years for Venturini Motorsports, was honored after the team won the 2023 ARCA Menards West Championship at the Daytona International Speedway on February 16.

Council member Eddie Nau commented on the excitingl finish of the race.

The resolution congratulated Reed on his wins and wished him success in his continued racing career and future endeavors.


Mayor Teross Young also read a National Child Abuse Prevention Month proclamation that stated in 2023, 3.9 million reports were made to child protective services in the U.S., demonstrating that child abuse and neglect are serious problems affecting every segment of the community and requires input and action from everyone to find solutions.

The proclamation noted the long-term psychological, emotional, and physical effects that have lasting consequences for children who are abuse victims.

The community can foster protective factors that reduce or eliminate risk and promote the social emotional and developmental well-being of children.

Effective child abuse prevention activities succeed because child welfare professionals as well as education, health, community, and faith-based organizations, businesses, law-enforcement, and families work together.

Young mentioned Troutman’s partners in this effort, including the Iredell County Department of Social Services, the Iredell County Guardian Ad Litem office, Pharos Parenting, Children’s Hope Alliance, Dove House, the Children’s Advocacy Center, and the Iredell County Partnership for Young Children.

Young said communities must make every effort to promote programs and activities that create strong and thriving children and families.


♦ The council approved Pauline Grant-Jones to be an inside voting member of the Board of Adjustment to replace the retiring Kenny Overcash. Lee Geiger, representing the ETJ, was reappointed to a new term.

♦ Karen VanVliet was reappointed as an inside member of the Planning and Zoning Board for another term. Lauren Cummings was appointed to the expiring ETJ term of Mark Taylor, effective June 30, contingent upon the approval of the Iredell County Board of Commissioners.

♦ The council also approved allowing the SAVE Club at South Iredell High School to put purple ribbons and signage on the designated tree on the Richardson Greenway in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month.