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Mooresville voters to decide on $30 million in road and recreation bonds

Mooresville voters will decide on $30 million in road and recreation bonds in the May election – money that would improve bottlenecked intersections, the town-owned golf course and various parks.

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners on Monday night voted 5-1 in favor of placing the $30 million in bonds on the May 6 ballot.

Commissioner David Coble voted against the measure. He said the town already completed a $25-million, multiyear recreation bond package and that all of the money this time around should go to Mooresville’s roads.

The general obligation bonds on the May ballot would include $20 million for transportation projects and $10 million for recreation improvements.

Town Manager Erskine Smith said the bonds would be split in two phases. Projects whose costs would be reimbursed 80 percent by the federal government, because they improve air quality, would probably be completed first, Smith said.

The reimbursed money would go to other projects in the two bond phases, Smith said.

Projects eligible for 80 percent reimbursement include the intersections of N.C. 150 and Talbert Road; N.C. 150 and N.C. 115; N.C. 150 and N.C. 801; and N.C. 115 and Faith Road.

The bonds would also pay for sidewalks along N.C. 150 and leading to schools. Sidewalks to schools also are eligible for 80 percent reimbursement because children walking to schools reduces the number of vehicles on the road.

Work on the Mooresville to Charlotte Thread Trail would also be eligible for 80 percent federal reimbursement, so it’s included in the first phase of proposed projects.

A proposed $1.9 million road connecting Cornelius and Mazeppa roads is also part of phase one, along with improving Liberty Park and expanding Cornelius Park.

The connector road would vastly improve 18-wheeler access from the town’s industrial parks to Interstate 77, town officials said. The rigs would no longer have to use already traffic-clogged N.C. 150.

If the bond referendum passes, Smith said, the town could sell the bonds for the first phase of projects as soon as spring 2015.

The projects in the first phase also are “shovel-ready,” meaning they could be completed in two to three years after the bonds are sold, Smith said.

The most expensive project in the first phase would be the $4.3 million in improvements to the golf course off West Wilson Avenue and U.S. 21, followed by the Cornelius Road-Mazeppa Road connector project.

Marusak: 704-358-5067; Twitter: @jmarusak
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