For more details, call 704-972-4700 or visit www.cbcc.us.
Have Coffee & Conversation With Local Legislators on April 11
Here’s your chance to ask questions of and make suggestions to your local legislators
before the N.C. General Assembly convenes in May. Sen. David Hoyle, Rep. William Current
and Rep. Wil Neumann are scheduled to participate in a Chamber Coffee & Conversation
on Friday, April 11, at Queen of The Apostles Catholic Church Family Center, 503 N. Main St., Belmont.
Coffee and juice and a light breakfast will be provided starting at 7:30 a.m. The program will start promptly at
8 a.m. and end at 9. The cost is $5 at the door. Registration is requested by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, call 704-825-5307, or go to the Chamber website at www.belmontchamber.com.
Both the papers are now reporting that a 1,500 bed federal detention center most likely will not be built in Gaston County.
We kinda wonder why our county officials had to travel to Washington “for discussions” about this project? Wouldn’t have been a bit cheaper for Sue Myrick and former Mecklenburg Sheriff, Jim Pendergraff to have visited Gaston?
The Gazette, ever hopeful for downtown revitalization, expressed an interest for an “ala carte” project that would be less expensive.
Seems to us that the project tab of $150 million fits into “Big Plan” Palenick’s vision for Gaston — right along with the laundry list of a “conference center/hotel”, restaurants, a hidden homeless shelter, and an $18 million baseball field.
This is leaving us wondering what sort of earmarks that Ms. Myrick is planning to dangle for us as her re-election campaign gears up. Our schools who qualify for Title I funding are shrinking even when the number of poor students grows. The estimated $1.6 Billion (yes, billion) “Garden Parkway” is still an apple of David Hoyle’s eye, but without federal funding and passage of a Toll Authority from the state, that will be out of his lifetime. Maybe he and Ms. Myrick could talk – surely there is still a bit of money at the bottom of the pork barrel for good ‘ol Gaston.
Almost 3,000 new homes are planned, along with a 36-acre “regional” park, and an additonal 30-acres for an elementary school site.
It is great to see their plans, but some of the land reserved for the park and the school site are basically very difficult and expensive terrain to develop.
It is both a good news and bad news type of story. The good news is that they plan a long term build out of the project — 15 to 20 years; The bad news is that the road plan is also a bit questionable. It is relying heavily on the use of South Point Road and an unfunded “spine” road closer to the South Fork River, connecting with Armstrong Ford Road(Main Street) near Timberlake and connecting to the Garden Parkway.
We hope that this particular road is built BEFORE the proposed houses and towncenters are approved. If you think South Point Road is busy now, wait for this development to take off.
Unfortunately — well maybe fortunately — the state builds roads, Senator Pittenger has a very cozy relationship with the development firms around the state. We would not be too surprised if this “spine road” gets fastracked. As former city councilmember Irl Dixon once stated, the TIP ( transportation Improvement Program) had already designated that a road needed to be built and overlayed a road path. The Comprehensive Land Use Plan by the City of Belmont accepted this overlay, so all things considered, the road could be a go…
Hopefully, the funding will be forthcoming from the state legislature. We know that Representative Wil Neumann of Belmont is supportive, if not for re-election purposes at the very least.
Other good news on this project is the developer. Haden Stanziale is a recognized leader in large tract development. The project will certainly be first class. The bad news about this developer is that it contributes to the notion of economic cleansing concerns that many in-town and long-time residents have expressed.
When the property taxes on revaluation of property goes sky high two things happen. Pleople sell their property, or they can’t afford the tax bill. In this “bubble-burst” period of housing slowdown, both the resale of existing homes and new homes may help keep the tax values from rising too quickly.
We have a county commission that is very averse to raising pennies on property, but willing to hit the sales tax side for “good causes” — this is a whole ‘nuther story completely so we won’t talk about it right now.
The Gaston County commissioners are planning to discuss a request by the County Schools to add a 1/4 cent sales tax to help build and maintain the school system.
This will be an interesting discussion because the residents just approved a $175 million bond referendum last November, and the schools have a multi-million dollar shortfall from the previous bond funds.
The “no-tax-but-will-fund-silly-projects” county board of commissioners will be televised tonight for your entertainment. Of course, it will be on the non-consent portion of the agenda after the consent agenda approves over $1.7 million of money including additional “donations” to DSS.
Over 100 nonprofit organizations benefit from contributions to the Community Foundation through this event. Since its inception, the Run For The Money event has raised over $5 million with $1.4 million coming from the Community Foundation itself.
With the recent cutbacks by the United Way to emergency service organizations, it is a prudent and wise investment of donor directed funds to this annual event.
Mark April 19 on your calendars and participate in the 5K run or 2K fun-walk, but more importantly, make a contribution to one or more of the organizations listed and approved for participation.
You do need to obtain and official form and those can be received directly from participating agencies and the Community Foundation.
Gastonia’s super-secret-deal $16,000 contract consultant backs off his own report. Could it be that Atlantic Hospitality Advisors are worried about the possible business connection back to “Big Plan” Palenick?
We have to give a lot of credit to councilman Kirlin for wanting to explore this issue in more detail.
Tonight’s Gastonia City Council meeting will be televised (Gaston County Access Channel 16 on the TW cable). We hope Mr. Palenick wears some makeup.
The consultant’s fees for this market study don’t appear to be too well-earned. Most of the data looks to be lifted from several earlier studies of the Gaston County area and accessible data from both the Economic Development Commission and the Census Bureau. So, taxpayers footed the bill to tell the Gastonia City Council what they already knew?
You can read some of the fiction yourselves right here:
The report is a 2mb file and might take a bit to download. Pretty hefty you must admit for $16,000.
Mr. Palenick’s “revised” plan that will be discussed at tonight’s meeting: