Indian Trail sets itself on new path

by Mike Parks

INDIAN TRAIL – A few weeks after approving a 4-cent tax increase in Indian Trail, town leaders talked this week about a plan to use that cash for the Pathway to Progress.

The plan, detailed Tuesday night, July 10, by town manager Joe Fivas, involves a number of projects that would help establish an investment district in town and the “Indian Trail Pathway” that would help get people easily around town to all the new hot spots. Such a pathway would include Old Monroe, Wesley Chapel-Stouts and Faith Church roads and the Chestnut Parkway, which could eventually connect U.S. 74 with Old Monroe.

The four roads will wrap around the planned investment district, that could, among other things, hold a new cultural arts center and municipal complex for the town – including a town hall – and connect to Crossing Paths Park, a potential new park on 51 acres off Old Monroe Road and maybe even another park for 147 acres a little further north.

Pathways to Progress would include improvements to area roads like Wesley Chapel-Stouts, with council agreeing Tuesday night that much of the focus in the immediate future of the plan should be on improving roads.

As of now, the plan just touches on some possible projects with little details about what work would actually be done in Indian Trail. Council asked Fivas to come back soon with a plan with more details about what would go into the individual projects, and the town will soon start making trips to civic groups and homeowner associations to discuss the plan in more detail with residents.

These discussions come about after council voted last month to approve increasing the town’s tax rate to 18.5 cents per $100 of taxable property. It’s the first property tax increase for the town since a 5-cent increase in the 2007-08 fiscal budget. The increase gives Indian Trail around $1.18 million extra in the budget per year.

In other town news:
• Leaders approved the new solid waste service contract with Waste Pro. Services under the new contract beginning Sept. 1, and will include a number of upgrades for residents.

People will get new 96-gallon closable recycling roll-out containers to replace the bins residents currently use. Recycling will be picked up every two weeks. There also will be bi-weekly yard waste removal, and curb-side bulk pick-up and E-waste pick-up, like for televisions and computers, three times a year. Leaf pick-up will occur in the fall and winter.

Included in the contract is a deal for new trash carts, along with the recycling carts, as well as a recycling program for schools in Indian Trail, a new education program for community recycling and more. The company will buy the town’s old carts and have a local facility.

By signing the agreement, the town effectively is putting a burn ban in place for Indian Trail, which caused some concern at Tuesday’s meeting. State law dictates that towns can’t allow burning of yard waste if pick-up is offered, meaning the town likely will soon develop a burn ordinance that falls in line with that state rule in the near future.

Councilman David Waddell worried that puts a burden on homeowners with a large plot of land who will now have to bag all those leaves instead of just pushing them into a pile and burning them. The rest of council voted to approve the contract as is.

• Construction will start soon on the Poplin Road sidewalk project. Council approved the contract for the work, which will connect the Fieldstone Farm, Annandale and Bonterra neighborhoods with nearby Poplin Elementary School.

“We’ve had a significant number of concerns about the safety of walking and driving to school in this Poplin Road area. We are confident that these safety improvements will enhance these areas,” said Indian Trail Mayor Michael Alvarez in a news release about the project.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation will install some traffic-calming measures to insure pedestrian safety in the area, as well.

Construction will start in the next few weeks and should be done before school starts back. Future sidewalk projects will start soon on Chestnut, Unionville-Indian Trail, Sardis and Rogers roads.

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9 Responses

  1. Let’s move IT forward!!!!!!

    • Sure, Mr. Faulkenberry, we will move forward!
      Um, just one question though. Before we go forward, what direction are we headed? What does “forward” look like?

  2. Will the yard waste waste pickups still cost extra ($65.00 this year), or is it included at no extra charge?

    • Jim, there will be no extra cost for the pick up of yard waste. Crews will pick up the waste bi-weekly (or every two weeks) for all residential homes.

      • Thank you! That’s good to hear. It helps offset some of the tax increase, at least for those of us who paid extra for that service in the past.

        • Indian Trail is deficient in parks and recreation considering it is the largest town in Union County and the town leadership is currently addressing the issue. People are not intended to live side by side in a development on their .5 acre lots without a safety valve. The bond issue approach is an appropriate manner to solve the park shortage without a serious drain on the cash reserves of the town.

          The 4 cent tax passed this year is nothing more than a necessary step to increase the town reserve for potential future emergency issues.

          The town citizens should commend the town council for recognizing the issue and taking proper monetary means to solve the problem.

          Indian Trail citizens are paying the lowest tax rate compared to other similar sized NC communities. Let’s not worry about a potential increase in the cost of debris removal but be pragmatic in view and recognize the collective needs of the community are more important than individual needs.

          Indian Trail with its current recreation system is nothing more than rows of housing that provide sleeping areas for the wage earners that trudge forth every weekday morning to their Charlotte jobs. Let’s make sure there are open spaces for these persons to blow off steam on the weekends. Let’s reintroduce our kids to nature and pull them away from the computer screen and enjoy a concert, baseball game, or a long walk in the park.

          • Why just improve upon the park shortage and not other issues Indian Trail is in need of simultaneously with INFRASTRUCTURE improvements !!!!

            Why are ALL efforts concentrated on only one issue at a time when we have very capable Council members who can bring suggestions to the table for other concerns and needs for the town to get the ball rolling?

          • Well said. Some have criticized the town council for actually doing something positive for residents of the town. Instead of sitting on their hands and being a do-nothing council, they are acting proactively to improve the quality of life for a rapidly growing town by trying to improve roads, intersections, side walks, parks, economic development, Carolina Courts, culture and arts, entertainment, etc. Well done, I say!

            It shows our leaders have their eye on the future of Indian Trail and can chew gum and lead at the same time.

  3. Maybe town officials haven’t heard that wages are declining to global standards, thanks to global communication and shipping.
    How do you raise taxes (and fixed costs) at this time which will make us less competitive globally? Stagnant wages and increasing costs-that is our future.
    Irresponsible government.