Money coming through to bolster force for town
INDIAN TRAIL – Officials in Indian Trail hope to have two more deputies roaming town streets by the end of the year thanks to cash from a state grant.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Grant will give Union County $251,950, which in turn will be used for two new Union County Sheriff’s Office deputies for Indian Trail. The town will pay for 15 percent of the program in its first year, with the grant covering 85 percent, with Indian Trail eventually taking on the full cost of the program by the fourth year. This year’s Indian Trail budget states the program will cost the town $197,046 over the next three years, and the deputies will be assigned to a new traffic enforcement team. Over the three years, the town will save more than $300,000 in taxes as opposed to Indian Trail paying for the entire program itself.
It’s money well spent, according to two town commissioners.
“Traffic enforcement will deter some dangerous driving, while enforcing the traffic laws when others aren’t deterred,” said Councilman David Waddell in an email to Union County Weekly, adding that he’s “very grateful” for the grant program and what it now allows Indian Trail to start. “The end result will hopefully be fewer accidents and safer roads. Also, in some cases when a wreck occurs there is a long wait time for the Highway Patrol to respond. I hope that a decrease in accidents will lead to a better response time for those who cannot avoid an accident due to less pressure on NCSHP. Think of it as a ‘prevention rather than cure’ approach.”
Added Councilman Chris King, “I feel the highest priority for any elected official is to make sure the people he or she represents feel safe in their community. So hiring two new deputies is always good news. But we can’t stop there; we still need to hire more deputies over the next two to three years. We also need to start looking at fire/rescue needs in the western and northern parts of Indian Trail.”
King originally was in favor of having the town pay for the deputies without applying for the grant, feeling Indian Trail wouldn’t be awarded the cash. But he says Mayor Pro Tem David Cohn pushed the council to apply, and along with the help of Lt. Chase Coble, the town now will save the extra cash.
“The way I see it, Cohn and Coble deserve all the credit in saving taxpayers a bunch of money and we get two new deputies out of it,” King said. “Just goes to show when good people work together, great things happen.”
The grant increases the amount of deputies covering Indian Trail to 21, once the deputies are hired. The town had 18, then added another spot in July with the new budget. Towns in Union County without their own police force, such as Indian Trail, are patrolled by the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
Indian Trail Town Manager Joe Fivas said he hopes to see the deputies hired before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the town is preparing for the Piedmont Cultural Arts Festival.
The festival is scheduled for Oct. 20, a Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Crossing Paths Park. The event will include art, music, food and drinks representing the mix of cultures and traditions found in the region. Artist and craft vendor booths will include homemade art.
There also will be games for children, and the Matt Stratford Band will perform from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. In between, at 2:30 p.m., Imagine Academy of Dance will perform.
Vendors must apply to be part of the festival by Friday, Oct. 5. Call Rebecca Carter with questions at 704-821-5401. The park is located at 120 Blythe Drive, in Indian Trail.
Find more information on the town and upcoming projects at the town’s website, www.indiantrail.org. Or, attend the next town meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the town’s meeting room located at the corner of Navajo Trail and Indian Trail Road. People can sign up to speak on town issues important to them prior to each town council meeting.