2017-10-19 / Front Page

County votes to repave roads in Hidden Harbor subdivision

By JANE ELLYN AARON
news editor

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted to have five roads spanning 1.59 miles located in the Hidden Harbor subdivision repaved, and will utilize T-SPLOST funds to pay for the resurfacing.

According to Planning and Zon­ing Director Roby Seymour, the roads include Mallard Lane, Wood Duck Trail, Bambi Trail, Oak Court, and Bryant Road. It will cost $142,732 to be paid for out of the T-SPLOST fund – which is specifically designated for repaving work – but is only a small amount of T-SPLOST monies in comparison to the roughly estimated annual intake of $580,000 from the sales tax.

As the fall and winter seasons are fast approaching, Chairman Walker Norman explained that not all of the roads will be complete by the end of the year due to the change in weather, however they will be completed as soon as possible.

In other business, Chamber of Commerce board member and chairman for the organization’s festival and events committee Xa­vian “Zay” Banks approached the board in a request for $3,000 worth of sponsorship for the Holidays in Olde Lincoln Towne festival and parade – an amount that would match the sponsorship pledged by the Lincolnton City Council.

Banks also asked for permission to use the courthouse and court­house grounds for “Christmas at the Courthouse.”

“This year we’ve changed the date so that we do not interfere with any other festivals in the CSRA. This year the parade will be on Saturday, December 16, which is the third Saturday in December. The festival will begin around 1 o’clock and probably end around 8 p.m.,” Banks said.

“We have several activities that we are incorporating to make sure that this is an all-day festival. I want to make sure the community understands that when you have a festival it’s going to be more than just having funnel cakes, cotton candy, and just going home, it’s actually going to be a festival this year,” Banks added. “We’ll have an entertainer of some sort starting off the festival with some good singing, and we’re making sure we do a lot to incorporate everyone and get the spirit going for the holiday time.”

He included that the parade time has been changed to 3:30 p.m. “so you can have a better visual of the floats – everyone can see the parade, and the children, and the different participants on the floats.”

Banks explained that a children’s corner, Christmas at the Courthouse, and a special historic presentation on Lincolnton’s bicentennial cel­ebration are expected, along with a tree lighting ceremony, and a hoped for fireworks finale.

“This year we’ve been in contact with WJBF to not only spotlight our news channel 13 for the county, but we’re going to have WJBF here as well. We have been in contact with WBBQ, 104.3, Power 107, and KISS 96.3, as well to promote this. We have been marketing this as the’ biggest small-town festival in the CSRA.’ Eventually we’re going to say ‘in the state of Georgia’ – that’s how confident we are in this festi­val,” Banks said.

Due to a funding shortage in the hotel/motel tax, the commission was unable to give the Chamber of Commerce the requested $3,000, however Norman expressed that he and the board fully support the festival and parade.

“We certainly support the Cham­ber of Commerce, and on behalf of the board we appreciate what y’all have done to revive the Chamber of Commerce. I think the Chamber was pretty much on its last leg, but now I think we’ve got some exciting times coming from our Chamber of Commerce, and I applaud each and every one of you for what you’re doing for the community,” Nor­man said.

In an effort to clarify the lack of funds in the hotel/motel tax fund, Norman explained that while Lin­colnton has several outlets that they receive intake from, the county re­ceives funds from only Elijah Clark State Park cabin rentals and rentals at Soap Creek.

Looking at last year’s intake, Norman noted that this amount changes year to year, however they are estimating for a similar amount for this year.

“Once the county receives its $23,500 plus dollars, we have to give back to Elijah Clark State Park [48 percent] of that,” Norman said, referencing last year’s numbers. “Out of of that $23,564 we had to give Elijah Clark back $11,426 of that money, then we give the de­velopment authority $7,281.42 of the sales tax money, which leaves the county $4,854.28. In our budget we gave last year the Chamber of Commerce $1,500, Jeff and Sherri Easter’s homecoming $1,000, and Little Roy and Lizzy’s bluegrass festival $1,000. For a total of $3,500 out of our $4,800, and we have oth­ers that will come to us.”

The commission would have to take away funding from other expected tourism events in order to meet the $3,000 request, so the board could only mirror that of last year’s pledge, and voted to give the Chamber $1,500.

The chairman did, however, suggest that the Chamber go back to the city and ask for additional funding, since it receives a greater sum for the hotel/motel tax, and to request funding from the develop­ment authority.

The board likewise informed Banks that conducting Christmas at the Courthouse should be no problem.

A public hearing was also held, which addressed a rezoning request by Earl McKellar who wishes to move from a C-1 neighborhood commercial district to a C-2 so that he might operate a wholesale/retail sales lot for manufactured homes.

Having passed through the Plan­ning and Zoning Commission, members agreed that they would approve McKellar’s request only if he meets 12 conditions.

“We would not issue a business a license, or move forward with the rezoning, until he has met all these criteria,” Seymour said, noting that the planning commission would grant unanimous approval if McK­ellar meets all the criteria listed.

Due to the many criteria to be met by McKellar, the board voted to send the request back to the Plan­ning and Zoning Commission for further discussion.

A public hearing was also held for the abandonment of Choctaw Road, and county attorney Ben Jackson explained, “It is ready to go forward. As far as the legal require­ments go, they have been met.”

In other business, the board ap­proved text changes to a zoning ordinance, and they approved the surplus of old county equipment and vehicles to be sold via auction.

The board likewise voted to pur­chase a work vehicle for the chair­man, and are considering a Ford Explorer 2018 with a full warranty for $30,593 to be paid for out of LOST collections, which are monies dedicated to the road department.

In his comments, Chairman Nor­man informed the public that an upcoming Pop Warner football game will be televised on channel 13, and that Red Devil radio narra­tor Leighton Taylor will provide the color and stats just as he does for the high school games.

“I thought it would be neat for the young boys and cheerleaders to hear their names on TV, and it would be something good to put on TV besides the commissioner’s meetings,” Norman said.

Additionally, Norman provided an update on new residential build­ing permits that have been issued in Lincoln County this year.

“I thought it would be interest­ing, but I asked director Seymour a couple of weeks ago if he could get us a little data on it that we don’t have, and asked him to start includ­ing this in our reports, but it’s new residential building permits. I asked him if he could look at how many new building permits that were issued by Lincoln County since January 1,” Norman said.

Throughout this year 25 new resi­dential building permits have been issued, and in an effort to compare Lincoln County’s growth to neigh­boring counties, Norman reported that Wilkes County has issued five permits, and McDuffie has issued 22. The chairman explained that they will probably check Jefferson and Warren Counties for further comparison.

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