Indian Trail holds public hearings, adopts orders, for bond referendum
The town of Indian Trail dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s during their Tuesday, July 12 meeting, finalizing preparations to add several bond questions to the November ballot. The town held required public hearings on the issue, then the council approved separate motions for each of the three bonds. Council member Robert Allen made a motion to adopt the resolution and the council voted unanimously to approve it, officially setting the voter referendum for November 8. The resolution also authorized the town clerk to publish the required notices and notify the Board of Elections to get the questions on the ballot. The council voted unanimously in favor of the motion. Council member Gary D’Onofrio was absent.
Citizens speak out on bonds during public hearing
A motion to adopt the Parks and Recreation Bonds was unanimously passed after some public discussion. Steven Long said he had originally lived in Lake Park and that there were many parks throughout the town and an atmosphere of safety. He said he wanted to have that atmosphere for Indian Trail.
“Let’s put things in neighborhoods where they need to be, where they don’t have,” he said.
Mayor John Quinn commented that the original plan recommended that parks be spread throughout the town and connected with trails and sidewalks, rather than “focus on a single park in the middle of town.” He raised concerns about additional liabilities with parks that might include water features – like Stallings is doing at its park – and questioned whether the bond would be enough for any additional security needed to adequately protect children.
Council member Darlene Luther said she was excited about the new parks and that she trusted staff’s recommendation on the funding.
“That’s the first time I’ve heard about a water slide,” she said. “But what I think that we’re trying to do in Indian Trail is to make it a destination that is a truly fantastic place for all residents of the town.” Luther said the proposed 51 acre park off Matthews-Indian Trail Road would be a gathering place for the community.
Luther acknowledged that some people might like to see the parks spread out but said that’s why they decided to make it a referendum. “Every registered voter can go out and vote on whether they want this or not,” Luther said. The council voted unanimously to approve the Parks and Recreation Bonds.
Town manager stresses partnering with neighbors, state for successful of projects
During discussion for the $7 Million Street Bonds, Joe Fivas, town manager, said that while they have been working with the state to get safety funds allocated for improvements like the intersection of Sardis and Unionville-Indian Trail Roads, “(The state’s) direct comment while talking was that if you can put in 10 percent, 20 percent it will move faster up the list and we’ll have more projects get done,” he said, “such as we got the road widened the last couple of weeks on Indian Trail-Fairview Road. That project would not have happened if we hadn’t partnered with them.”
Fivas pointed to Charlotte and other municipalities doing similar partnering with the state to get projects done.
Quinn lauded the cooperation that Fivas mentioned and expressed hope for the town to partner with neighbors and the state on more projects.
In the discussion about the $10 million Thoroughfare Bonds for widening Old Monroe Road Fivas said it probably wouldn’t be enough to finish the whole Old Monroe Road project, but that it could be used to leverage future funding to get one of the critical arteries completed.
Jim White of 1815 Green Tree Lane wanted to know if the voters approved the bond, and the widening of Monroe Road fell through, could the bond be used for other purposes?
Fivas answered that there were actually two projects for widening Old Monroe Road. He said the town was working with Stallings and the state on one to widen a section of Old Monroe Road between Indian Trail Road and I-485 in Stallings. “It’s on the MUMPO (Metrolina-Union County Metropolitan Planning Organization) list and is scheduled to be done in the next five or six years,” he said.
Fivas acknowledged that the Thoroughfare Bond funds for widening Old Monroe Road could be used on any sections of the project, from Indian Trail Road all the way to the town border near South Piedmont Community College.
Interviews of council candidates postponed
The council decided to pull the business item to interview candidates for the open council seat from the agenda due to the combination of D’Onofrio’s absence, the empty council seat vacated by John Hullinger, and the fact that Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Goodall wasn’t feeling well. After the primary business was finished for the evening, Goodall asked to be excused because he didn’t want anyone else to get sick. Town counsel Keith Merritt advised that Goodall’s departure for the evening would not allow a quorum for any further business and the meeting would need to end.
After the meeting, Fivas said the interviews for candidates to fill the open council seat would be held at a later date.