Town council makes a motion to widen Monroe Road in sections
Concerned that widening Old Monroe Road could require a tax increase for Stallings residents, the town council has floated a proposal to widen the road in segments – and avoid higher taxes.
The Stallings town board made clear Tuesday, Feb. 15 they aren’t ready to spend town dollars on the road widening project.
The N.C. Department of Transportation has been pressing Stallings and Indian Trail to make a decision as soon as possible regarding the $60 million project, for which the towns will have to pay more than half.
The two towns are discussing pooling money designated for other road construction in each town to widen Monroe Road, instead, from the county line to its intersection with Wesley Chapel-Stouts Road. The entire project is 6.5 miles long, including 2.5 miles in Stallings.
But haggling has bogged down the joint effort. Indian Trail only has about $9 million in state funds to the project, while Stallings has more than $14 million. However, because Stallings’ part of the project is considerably smaller, the town has not been eager to provide more money for less road.
At Tuesday’s Stallings town council meeting, Mayor Lynda Paxton said the town can give the funds to either Monroe Road or Chestnut Lane. Council members agreed that Monroe Road is more important.
The approximately $23 million in state funds the towns have would almost pay to widen Monroe Road from Interstate 485 to Indian Trail Road.
Stallings town council member Wayne Dunn proposed Tuesday that the Department of Transportation segment the project, using the money already available to widen Monroe to Indian Trail Road.
Dunn’s motion said the rest of the project would have to wait until more state money becomes available, and he specified that Stallings does not intend to use town funds or bonds to finance construction.
The council approved his proposal unanimously.
Members of the council stressed the need for a back-up plan in case state officials reject Stallings’ idea, and Dunn suggested the town spend the $14 million on intersection improvements, an idea which would ultimately have to be approved by the state. Council members also approved that proposal unanimously.
Council members said they don’t think Stallings’ citizens should have to pay for a project that benefits them the least. “We have thought about looking at bonds, but we’re not sure our citizens would approve of this,” Paxton said.
If state officials adopt Dunn’s proposal, Stallings residents avoid higher tax bills. “We need to make it clear to the DOT that we’re not willing to put any town funds into this” project, Town Manager Brian Matthews said.
Stallings officials said they hope Indian Trail will support their proposal since Stallings is willing to commit its $14 million to the first segment.
“The two towns (of Stallings and Indian Trail) must be united on this,” Paxton said. “I believe the board of Indian Trail is united on the issue of Monroe Road.”