The Troutman town board has agreed to pay up to $100,000 to complete a permanent pavilion at the new town park behind town hall.
The remainder of the $237,000 needed to construct the pavilion will be covered by private donations previously collected during a fund drive.
The motion to earmark the $100,000 was made at the town board’s July 14 meeting by Councilwoman Betty Jean Troutman.
“Its time for the town to step up to the plate and help get our park pavilion completed,” Troutman said. “This has gone on long enough.”
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Her motion passed unanimously (5-0), and also provides a cash cushion for unexpected contingencies, said Town Manager Ann Bailie.
“The Fundraising and Parks committees have successfully raised $159,104, which is about two-thirds of the funds necessary to construct the pavilion,” Bailie said.
“With an estimated cost of $237,000, the difference is $77,896. The $100,000 approved by the town board covers that and allows some additional money for contingencies.”
Bailie said construction should begin this fall with an expected ribbon-cutting next spring. The new pavilion will be the permanent home for the town’s farmers market and will provide shelter for picnics and other organized activities. It also will provide room for a concession stand and restrooms. The town’s $100,000 commitment will come from their fund balance, a sort of savings account that municipalities retain for nonbudgeted expenses.
The new park, Troutman’s first, is behind town hall on vacant property previously owned by a local employer, Engineered Sintered Components. ESC and the town worked out an agreement in which the property was made available to Troutman for a small fee. The first phase of the project, which includes several soccer and ball fields, as well as a playground and walking trail, was funded by a $500,000 state grant and donations from the community.
Also at the July 14 meeting, Jonathan Guy from Kimley/Horn consultants presented a review of their Phase One Study about the U.S. 21 / N.C. 115 corridor through Troutman. As expected, interviews with local businesses and residents confirmed that congestion navigating the corridor, especially during weekday rush hours, is by far the community’s greatest transportation concern. The next phase of the study will focus on ways to address the congestion factor.
Troutman is especially prone to such congestion issues because its only main street often functions as an alternate route for commercial tractor trailers diverted from I-77.
Dave Vieser is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.