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Kannapolis, developer agree on thread trail, street repairs

KANNAPOLIS — Faced with a long closed session, the Kannapolis City Council dispatched business quickly during its regular meeting time on Monday evening. A public hearing on rezoning in the Summers Walk Subdivision merited the most attention.
In the fall, after much discussion, council members decided that the minimum lot size for the subdivision was too small. Ultimately, city staff presented a list of some 19 conditions as part of the development request. The developer, LStar Management, did not agree to three of the conditions, and the Planning Commission unanimously denied the request in December.
However, staff members and the developer have since resolved those three conditions, which centered on a 60-foot lot width, construction of a greenway as part of the Carolina Thread Trail, and street repairs in Shiloh Village.
The construction related to the thread trail is multijurisdictional as the trail will wind through multiple counties, City Manager Mike Legg explained. “We’re fortunate to have a developer committed to the trail. We’re going to be building pieces of this trail for some time. We’re going to have to fill in a lot of gaps.”
The developer is paying $100,000 to the city toward the construction of the thread trail.
During the public hearing segment, Thomas Robinson, who lives in Shiloh Village, inquired as to whether the streets would be fixed. The roads were not bonded by the previous developer, and it became the city’s responsibility to provide the top surface of asphalt. The developer will pay $57,500 toward street repairs, to be performed by the city. The money is due when the final plat is approved.
Wilmer Melton, the city’s director of public works, said the amount would cover the administration of the contract and repairs to Clark Street and a portion of Bennett Street. The third street, Bivens, is totally the city’s responsibility, he said.
“We are not the only community dealing with unfinished streets,” Legg said. “With developer participation, it should be done sooner than later. I think this is a pretty good deal on both sides.”
The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

In other business, council:
Heard a presentation by Donna Carpenter, CEO of the Cabarrus County Tourism Authority and Michael Bonoffski, its senior vice president of marketing and communications. The duo outlined the organization’s marketing plan for 2013-14 entitled, “Livin’ on the Edge!”
Council members are keen to draw visitors from exit 49, the Concord Mills/Bruton Smith Boulevard exit, down to Kannapolis exits 58 and 60. In particular, The Dale Trail — local stops highlighting Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s career — is especially popular for visitors to the area, most notably during NASCAR race season. Councilman Ryan Dayvault said he’d like to see more physical reminders to lure visitors here.
Mayor Pro Tem Roger Haas asked about a tour of Cabarrus County sites, called Experience Cabarrus County — Destination Training Tour for those in the tourism and hospitality industry. Carpenter said that the popular tour covers attractions across the county and said she’d be happy to arrange such a tour for council.
“We’re storytellers,” she said. “That’s our job.”
“As members of city council, we need to know the whole story to tell,” Councilman Tom Kincaid said. “This would be a good way to get the word out.”
• Unanimously approved a motion to award a construction contract for sewer improvements to Carver Street to Propst Construction Co. for $72,083.55.
• Presented two proclamations, one recognizing Jan. 20 as Martin Luther King Day, and a second recognizing Whitley’s Funeral Home for its 100th anniversary in business.
• Recognized Blanca Murillo, a fifth-grader at Kannapolis Intermediate School, as poster contest winner for Fire Prevention Week. Her work will be displayed all year on the Kannapolis Fire Department’s Public Safety Simulator.
• Heard a presentation from Noelle Scott, CEO and president of Cabarrus Arts Council, during which she expressed appreciation to council for its partnership with the arts council. Mayor Darrell Hinnant reciprocated.
Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

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