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Kannapolis approves bond order for downtown

By Susan Shinn

For the Salisbury Post

KANNAPOLIS — The Kannapolis City Council members kept it short and sweet Monday evening, moving quickly through a short business agenda of just three items.

Council voted unanimously to approve a bond order for $11 million in special obligation bonds, which will be used to purchase the downtown business district.

“This is the last step in the process,” said Eric Davis, finance director. “This ordinance authorizes us to get this deal done.”

The bonds will be purchased from Capital One Public Finance at a rate of 4.77 percent over a 15-year payback period. The city has budgeted for all known expenditures of the deal, and raised the property tax rate by 3 cents to cover debt service payments, he said.

Planning Director Zachary Gordon then presented two related requests, both of which passed unanimously.

The first was an in-kind request in support of the Cabarrus Soil and Water Conservation District’s application for a Partners for Green Growth pilot project grant funding. Gordon said the planning department would provide in-kind support in the amount of $2,400. He said other municipalities in Cabarrus County are also being asked to provide similar support. City Manager Mike Legg noted that the City of Concord had approved its request.

Council also passed a resolution to protect riparian (river bank), wetland and wildlife buffers surrounding natural areas and water bodies.

“The city has a long history of being environmentally conscious and supporting conservation and wildlife preserves,” Mayor Darrell Hinnant noted.

As part of its consent agenda, council unanimously authorized the purchase of 13 Ford police sedans, 2015 models, at a cost of $319,735.

Legg reported on the progress of a demolition project at the Wyrick mobile home park. Legg said that demolition costs of $40,000 would be covered by CDBG grants. Although there could be a possible delay regarding asbestos abatement, he said he hoped that demolition would be complete by mid-November. The city could then investigate alternate uses for the property, he said.

“I’m glad to see this coming to an end,” Councilman Tom Kincaid said. “This has been a long, drawn-out procedure.”

During the comments period, Bobbi Hague asked council to consider the purchase of a community swimming pool she said was not being properly maintained.

Tim Vaughn, general manager of Hilbish Ford, asked council to reconsider taking advantage of embellishing the Kannapolis exits as part of the I-85 widening project. Last month, city council pulled funding for the project, citing concerns with the upcoming budget and the purchase of the downtown as major reasons for its collective change of heart.

Finally, Mitchell Johnson applauded council for its recognition of volunteers of the month and others who contribute to the community.

In other business, council recognized Ruth Curry as Volunteer of the Month, and presented Martha Macon with a plaque of appreciation for her 13 years of service on the city’s planning and zoning commission.

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

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