The Northcross Property Owners Association says the state should reconsider plans for Interstate 77 toll lanes from Charlotte to Mooresville because the managed lanes will only worsen congestion, the group contends.The association represents at least 60 properties covering about 280 acres straddling I-77 Exit 25 in Huntersville.“The Northcross Master Association Board is very concerned that the proposal will be extremely detrimental to business along the I-77 corridor and counterproductive to promoting road use across all economic classes,” association treasurer Alex Kilgour said in an email to the Observer and other media.“Our members represent the majority of businesses in Huntersville at Exit 25 on I-77,” Kilgour said. “We would like to make public our concerns in an effort to stop the HOT proposal in favor of a conventionally funded upgrade to I-77 with access to all.” State transportation officials have said they plan to select a private consortium in August to build and operate the I-77 toll lanes. The contract would be for 50 years. Construction is set to begin in summer 2014, with some segments opening in 2016, officials have said.The winning bidder would be responsible for the design, construction, finance, operations and maintenance of the lanes.The project calls for adding two toll lanes on northbound and southbound I-77 between the Brookshire Freeway in Charlotte and Exit 28 in Cornelius. Cars with at least three occupants would avoid a toll to use the lanes. One toll lane in each direction would continue between Exit 28 and Exit 36.Toll rates would vary throughout the day, depending on traffic volume, though no rates have been proposed. No toll booths will be required; drivers will pay electronically. The Lake Norman Regional Transportation Commission backed the use of toll lanes on I-77 in 2010. Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville and the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization also have endorsed such lanes. The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce backed the idea in 2011, and the nonprofit Lake Norman Economic Development Corp. recently endorsed the concept.But the project has met resistance in recent months from the lake-area community group Widen I-77. The Cornelius Transportation Advisory Board in early January urged the state to consider all options, not only tolls, to pay for expanding the interstate.In its Feb. 12 email, the Northcross Property Owners Association said “road infrastructure is a government responsibility and should promote commerce instead of impede it.” The association contends that such privately operated lanes “are the most expensive way to NOT fix the problem of congestion.” Such contracts with a private consortium “ensure a profit for the private company that ‘owns’ the toll lanes at the expense of the community without reducing congestion,” the association said.Such lanes, the association added, “damage the local economy due to the overflow of congestion into adjoining roadways and the transfer of discretionary income to the toll operator.”Villages of Mecklenburg OK’dIt will be a smaller project moving forward, but the sketch plan revision for the Villages of Mecklenburg was approved 6-0 by the Huntersville Town Board at its Feb. 18 meeting. The skilled nursing and assisted living facility for senior adults can now develop the second portion of its Hunton Lane property, located along the west side of Ranson Road, south of Stumptown Road.Board approval is contingent on receiving sketch plan storm water approval from the county’s Land Use and Environmental Services Agency, something Principal Planner David Peete said was approved in the previous version of the plan. However, the applicant –Villages of Mecklenburg Assisted Living LLC – made significant changes to the plan about two weeks ago, Peete said, when it eliminated the proposed independent living facility: 60 beds in a three-story building and its corresponding parking.The changes were made after board members and neighboring property owners from Timberview Lane expressed concern about density; noise and light pollution; stormwater run-off and the color and material of the proposed fence barrier. Peete said the applicant clarified the assisted living facility would have 100 beds in 75 rooms and the expansion of the skilled nursing facility would not increase the bed count.Other changes include the height of light poles being lowered – not because they were in violation of current town lighting standards, Peete said, but in deference to neighbors’ light perception – the public street connection to Stumptown Road has been eliminated and a wood-toned, 6-foot vinyl fence will be included in the vegetation buffer between the facility and Timberview Lane resident’s property. Hilary TrendaFresh paint for Charles Mack CenterWinning bidder Charlotte Paint Co. of Mount Holly will remove wallpaper in the hallways and banquet rooms and repaint the walls of the Charles Mack Citizen Center, 215 N. Main St., Mooresville.The town received bids for the project on Dec. 20. The Mooresville Board of Commissioners awarded the $29,044 contract at its Feb. 18 meeting at town hall.Ground broken for training facilityRowan-Cabarrus Community College broke ground recently on its fire and emergency services training facility in Salisbury. The project is the first in a series of Rowan County-bond funded construction projects planned over the next few years.The training facility will include a 3,500-square-foot burn building and mock fire station for training. Training pads for various props and a driving course for fire and emergency vehicles are included in the project.The college hopes to complete the facility this summer and host a grand opening on Sept. 30.Details: 704-216-RCCC (7222), www.rccc.edu. Franklin Avenue work continuesPhase two of planned utility work along Franklin Avenue N.W. in Concord began Feb 15.A related detour is in place at Franklin Avenue N.W. and Georgia Street N.W. The city is providing upgraded sewer lines for area properties. Phase one upgraded area water lines.Phase two is expected to be complete by May. Motorists should expect delays and use caution, officials said.Details: Concord Engineering Department, 704-920-5425.