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Residents ask Kannapolis City Council for improvements to Goodman Road

By Susan Shinn
For the Salisbury Post
KANNAPOLIS — Cabarrus County residents living on Goodman Road love their little corner of the world. But they also recognize change is coming.
Two Cabarrus residents on Monday evening asked Kannapolis City Council to consider improvements to Goodman Road as part of a new connection from Glen Afton Boulevard. The request for the connection was made by Gordon Food Service so that the food distributor could have an alternate exit from its warehouse in Afton Ridge Business Park.
“This is largely a back-up for them if Glen Afton Boulevard was ever blocked,” City Manager Mike Legg explained. “They want to be ensured of a second way out.”
The City of Kannapolis has obtained a $453,300 Golden Leaf Grant to accomplish just that. But residents in the area would also like improvements to Goodman Road, which they say is a tar-and-gravel roadway.
Mayor Darrell Hinnant said that DOT would be making improvements to Goodman Road, but those improvements have not yet been specified.
Wanda Williams, who lives on Goodman Road, said the road “is already torn up quite a bit.”
She also wondered if the area would eventually become part of Kannapolis.
“I like you folks, but I don’t want to be part of Kannapolis,” she said. “Progress comes and change comes. We’ve lived there a long time, and we’re comfortable with our rural area.”
Neighbor Nancy Smith agreed. She has property on both sides of Goodman Road. Her 58 acres are bordered by Kannapolis on one side and Concord on the other.
“I like my little corner of the world,” she said, “but I know change is coming. We’re an island to ourselves. We kinda like it. Now we have the airport and the rock quarry.”
And more construction.
“We want upgrades, but in very small phases,” she said.
Council received feedback on two agenda items from its Oct. 27 meeting.
• Returning to council, Jerome Blakeney, the city’s warehouse and facilities manager, and Sharnelle Simpson, environmental outreach coordinator, presented a recommendation — named Alternative 1 — to hire a new e-waste vendor at a cost of $38,400 a year and leave the e-waste disposal program as-is.
Other options were to terminate the program and hold site-based events, which did not sit well with council.
Blakeney said he anticipated a higher volume of e-waste in the coming year because Cabarrus County charges to accept old televisions and electronics.
“The program is working,” Councilman Tom Kincaid said. “I definitely support Alternative 1.”
Councilwoman Dianne Berry inquired about curbside pick-up, which Blakeney said would be cost-prohibitive at upwards of $100,000 a year.
Mayor Darrell Hinnant said he’d heard from local business owners who want to leave the program as-is.
“If we are truly committed to our healthy living brand, then keeping these materials off the streets and out of the woods is consistent with that brand,” he said “I think it’s working and I think we should go forward with it.”
Council voted 7-0 on the suggested recommendation to hire a new vendor at a cost of $38,400 annually.
• Wilmer Melton, the city’s public works director, presented his findings on quiet zones in Rocky Mount and Asheville. Council was considering the addition of such a quiet zone for trains passing through the area from East 1st Street to Rogers Lake Road.
Melton said Rocky Mount has had two such zones for more than 30 years, with no safety concerns. A developer-driven quiet zone in Asheville began in January and overall has been well received.
He noted that the application fee for these quiet zones is $2,800 per application, but that all four crossings could be handled in one application. An annual maintenance fee for the four crossings totals $15,200 a year.
Council members for a time discussed whether to pay for just one crossing to determine how well the quiet zones worked.
“I think everybody should benefit from this,” Councilman Ryan Dayvault said.
“This will create reduced horn noise along the entire area,” Melton reminded council. “It won’t be completely quiet, but there will be much reduced noise.”
Resident Deborah Carter said she would love not to be awakened at 3 a.m. by the passing train.
She was overjoyed when council voted unanimously to apply for the quiet zones for all four crossings.

In other business:
• Council passed a budget ordinance on its consent agenda to allocate $5,000 for the Kannapolis Christmas parade.
• Assistant City Manager Eddie Smith recognized 16 citizens for the Fall Citizens Academy and 18 employees for the Fall Employees Academy. The eight-week program delves into all facets of city government.

Smith let out a Ric Flair-worthy “whoooooo!” when the administrative department received its first Peacock Award for receiving the highest overall evaluation score. Members of both groups received handsome portfolios emblazoned with the new Kannapolis logo — even before City Council, Smith noted. He said the citizens’ course already has a waiting list for the spring session.

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

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