Lake Norman & Mooresville

Troutman ponders options for ABC store

By a margin of almost 2 to l, Troutman voters on election day gave the town the go-ahead to establish an ABC store. Now, town officials must decide whether to establish a store supervised by a Troutman ABC board or by a neighboring board in Statesville or Mooresville.

The Statesville ABC Board operates two stores in Statesville; the Mooresville ABC Board oversees three in Mooresville.

The issue came up for discussion at the Troutman town board’s Nov. 13 meeting

Town Manager Ann Bailie said the next step will be a meeting with the Mooresville ABC Board. “We’ve already met with Statesville, and now we need to see if there is interest from Mooresville in partnering with us,” she said. “Then the town board will decide if they wish to form their own ABC board or join with either of the other two municipalities.”

No matter which way the town decides to operate its ABC store, an array of community services would eventually stand to benefit from its profits.

According to the distribution plan approved by the town before the vote, 50 percent of any ABC profits will be divided evenly among help ministries, an interdenominational group of 10 churches that respond to the needs of town residents; the J. Hoyt Hayes Troutman Library; the four Iredell-Statesville Schools located in Troutman; and Troutman ESC Park. The other 50 percent will be directed to the town’s general fund.

The funds that will eventually flow to community groups can be significant. For example, in Statesville, more than $10 million has been distributed to local groups since their ABC’s formation in 1973.

Board members also unanimously approved a resolution thanking the Troutman Business Council, a branch of the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce, for its help with the special referendum process.

In the resolution, Mayor Elbert Richardson thanked the council for “the time and effort they invested in influencing a positive outcome.”

Also at the meeting, the town board revealed that anonymous donors have provided sufficient private funds to cover the costs for a resident’s water and sewer bill, which had been unusually high due to leaking pipes.

The board had initially agreed to forgive the bill, but the aldermen concurred that accepting the private funds was a better remedy to avoid an unwanted precedent.