A long-awaited master land-use plan for downtown and N.C. 115 in Statesville generated continued controversy Monday as the city council shot down a staff request for a $28,000 "concept plan development."
In the draft proposal, city planners asked for the money so their consultant, Land Design of Charlotte, could "add clarity to the vision concepts that were proposed" earlier.
Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Johnson, however, voiced strong objection to the proposal. "Last month we authorized $75,000 for an 'as built' survey to be done. To change or develop further concepts now before we have the results of that study is premature."
As-built surveys are surveys of existing facilities. They usually depict the location of all existing improvements on a site, including buildings, parking areas, utilities, trees, storm drainage systems, sewers and other physical features.
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Councilman Cecil Stallard agreed with Johnson. "We are putting the cart before the horse if we proceed with the $28,000 measure now," Stallard said.
After a brief discussion, the council rejected the request 6-2.
In other action on Monday:
Judge Christopher M. Collier installed Mayor Costi Kutteh and council members Bonita Eisele, John Gregory, Cecil Stallard, Ron Matthews and Jap Johnson. "The fact that all of you were re-elected demonstrates the confidence that the people have in your services to the city," Collier told them.
The council re-elected Mike Johnson as mayor pro-tem. Before the vote, councilman Jap Johnson (no relation) nominated Cecil Stallard, saying he thought an at-large official, rather than a ward representative, should be mayor pro-tem. The majority, however, decided to go with the incumbent for another term. City Manager Rob Hites and City Attorney Ed Gaines were reappointed at their current salaries.
The council authorized a write-off of $91,492 in uncollectible utility accounts. Kutteh noted the figure represented "less than one-half of one percent" of the total collected by the city each year in utility payments.
The council approved a request by Providencia USA to participate in the city's economic incentive program. The Brazil-based nonwoven fabrics manufacturer plans to locate on 43 acres in the city's West Industrial Park. Its phase-one request calls for a $70million investment and will result in up to 56 new jobs, many requiring computer and advanced manufacturing skills. Providencia is working with Mitchell Community College in Statesville to develop a customized training program for its new hires.