Lake Norman & Mooresville

Town seeks design grant

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners has endorsed a request to apply for a $20,000 Corridor Design Grant for the Carolina Thread Trail.

The Carolina Thread Trail would connect 15 counties with trails. Iredell County is included in the 11 counties in North Carolina along with four counties in South Carolina. The trail will eventually connect more than 2.3 million people. The proposed trail will connect the regions to places of interest as well as conserving natural areas.

Neil Burke, transportation planner with the Town of Mooresville, said the Corridor Design Grant is the first step needed to make the Carolina Thread Trail a reality in Mooresville.

The Carolina Thread Trail will review the grant this summer and let the town know its decision by September, said Burke.

"If the grant is approved, the funds would be used to hire a consultant that has prior Carolina Thread Trail experience and will work directly with the town and landowners along the proposed corridor design," said Burke.

The corridor design is a 6.3 mile trail that would link downtown Mooresville to Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties.

Eventually, the goal of the Carolina Thread Trail is to have 160 miles of trails through Iredell County with Mooresville having 12.6 miles in the town limits. Mooresville will have the largest thread trail in Iredell County.

Randi Gates, community coordinator with Carolina Thread Trail, also spoke to the board of commissioners about the status of the Carolina Thread Trail in other counties.

Nine counties have completed the planning for the trail, which includes 1,000 miles of planned trail, she said. Sixty-nine miles are open.

Gates said the Carolina Thread Trail will provide implementation grants to counties that apply.

"We have been very successful with our private capital campaign," said Gates.

"We have a long-term goal of raising $40 million, $25 million in cash donations and $15 million in land. So far, we are up to around $19 million. A lot of that was due to large donations from Duke Energy, Wells Fargo, Bank of America," said Gates.

Gates said the Lowes Foundation has earmarked $250,000 strictly for The Thread Trail in Iredell County.

The Carolina Thread Trail will not be completely finalized for many years, but Gates and Burke are optimistic that by getting the planning funded, they will then be able to move forward to make the Carolina Thread Trail a part of Mooresville.