2008-07-10 / Front Page

Commission to proceed with park; city receives grant for new truck

The Lincolnton City Council gave members of the Historical Preservation Commission the nod to proceed with efforts to develop a historical park on Groves Street, where Founders' Spring is located.

The action was taken at the regular meeting of the mayor and council held Monday, July 7.

"This is a very significant historic property," noted Jamie Reese, a representative of the preservation commission. "The spring was a determining factor in deciding where to locate the town. Our goal is to preserve the history of Lincolnton."

Located on .88 acres, tentative plans are for the park to feature a walking trail, which would include a bridge over the creek; a gazebo; and a viewing wall, with steps leading down to the spring.

"We will complete the project in stages," said Reese. "Currently, we are looking for financing - we need the money up front."

Mayor Dwaine Biggerstaff indicated that the city has $5,000, which was allocated by the General Assembly for this purpose. "This will give you some starter money," he said.

In other business, the mayor informed those present that the city has received a $40,000 Economic Impact Initiative Grant (EIIG) from USDA-RD (Rural Development) to help with the purchase of a new garbage truck.

The city plans to borrow the balance of the purchase price from USDA-RD. The loan cannot exceed $65,000 and is repayable over a period of 10 years.

In further business, the council:

.. Heard the Water Department Report given by Mayor Biggerstaff in the absence of Water Superintendent Stanley Parton.

According to the mayor, total water production increased quite a bit last month, climbing from 13.9 mg (million gallons) in May to 17.5 mg in June.

"The lake is dropping slowly but steadily. As of July 2, it was at 319.16 feet (full pool is 330 feet)."

Biggerstaff likewise noted that the city is currently using its lowest water intake valve, which is set at approximately 311.5 feet. "We still have over 7.5 feet of water above the valve."

In conclusion, he apologized to city and county water customers for the high concentration of manganese in the water, saying it is now under control and water department employees are in the process of flushing some problem areas in the system.

.. Heard the Zoning Department Report given by Zoning Administrator David Griffin, who said his office issued six building permits and conducted 13 building inspections last month.

In other items of information, he reported on the status of various nuisance complaints in the city.

Regarding an illegal private dump at the end of Hogan Lane, the zoning administrator said he had initiated proceedings to rectify the situation, but on June 26, one of the city councilmen stated "he had received some complaints and all efforts and letters are to cease until he arranges a meeting with myself," another unnamed councilman, and Mayor Dwaine Biggerstaff.

He said he understood that the injunction was to apply to "all cases regardless of city ordinances."

In further comments, Griffin said, "The Zoning Department cannot operate through a committee. You have to answer to somebody directly, through a chain of command."

In other items of business, the zoning administrator asked the council to consider adopting the 2006 International Code Council's (ICC) Property Maintenance Ordinance to give the city the teeth it needs to enforce code requirements.

• Heard a report on the GMA (Georgia Municipal Association) convention given by Councilman Henry Brown.

.. Voted to adopt a new sewer ordinance. The ordinance, which is being required by the EPD, deals with grease abatement and other issues.

.. Voted to table awarding a contract for cabinet work in the kitchen at the Lincolnton Clubhouse to give the group time to investigate the matter more fully.

.. Voted to turn a proposal to increase garbage rates over to the Streets and Sanitation Committee, which will bring back a recommendation to the full council.

It was reported that the city is losing money on the garbage collection service.

.. Heard a report from Stephen Brown, filling in for city attorney Barry Fleming, on the status of plans to build an access road to the new high school that will be constructed in the vicinity of Metasville Road. As it now stands, plans are to extend the access road to Highway 378.

According to the attorney, "The proposal is that the board of education will build the access road in front of its property, with the help of DOT funds, and the DOT will totally fund the cost of extending the road to Highway 378. To get the DOT funds, we have to certify that the city has title to the entire right-of-way, and right now, we do not."

It was noted that the acquisition of the property necessary for the construction of the road would be discussed in executive session.

.. Reviewed the Police Department Report submitted by Chief Jim Justice, who indicated that his officers responded to burglary, criminal trespass, theft by taking, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and other types of calls during the month of June.

.. Voted to enter into executive session to discuss personnel and real estate. Upon returning to regular session, no action was taken.

The next regular meeting of the mayor and council will be held Monday, August 4, at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

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