Indian Trail moves toward vote to buy park land

$1.25M installment loan would buy 140 acres, likely for park

by Mike Parks

INDIAN TRAIL – Town council is moving closer to a vote on taking out a loan for property that could become the next Indian Trail park.

Council members will vote July 12 to approve an installment loan for $1.25 million to buy 140 acres of land on Oakwood Lane to be used as a park. At the same meeting, council will first start discussing designs for what future parks could look like with the public.

The July 12 meeting will be a continuation of discussions between the town council and staff that took place over the past few weeks, ever since the topic of putting a new bond on the ballot for parks money was raised. Council eventually voted to ask voters to approve a $8.5 million bond for parks which could possibly pay for two parks. This comes a year after voters narrowly turned down a park bond.

The town already has Crossing Paths Park, at 120 Blythe Drive, but the roughly 1-acre lot is mostly for events like movie showings and concerts.  It’s also where Family Fun Day was held earlier this month.

Adding a large-scale park, or two, would give the town something the majority of council said is badly needed. Quality of life additions such as a park will help keep people in town, council members have argued, instead of seeing people drive to Charlotte or other Union County towns for parks.

But some residents, and council member David Waddell, have argued that it’s not worth raising taxes or going into debt for a park. While a recently approved 4-cent tax increase could be used to pay off the park bond if it’s approved, some are concerned the park would require an additional tax increase in the future.

The money generated from the current tax hike is around $1.18 million. For a homeowner in Indian Trail with a $150,000 home, their tax bill will increase by about $5 per month – $60 a year.

There’s also the question of what to do with all that land if voters in November decide not to approve the park bond. Council member David Cohn, speaking at a meeting earlier this month, said that wouldn’t be the worst scenario, because the town would still get the land for a good price, and, if the economy improves the town could eventually sell that land for a profit.

The issue comes up for a discussion and vote Thursday, July 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the town hall civic building on Navajo Trail Road. No one spoke at the meeting Tuesday night, June 26, during a public hearing portion of the town’s meeting.

In other town news…

• The council honored William Jesse Leugers for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. The Indian Trail resident is a member of Boy Scout Troop 198 based at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Mint Hill. He’s currently taking classes at Central Piedmont Community College.

For his project, William designed and built a shelter with storage space and information boards at Colonel Francis Beatty Park.

• Council also honored Greyson McCluskey for his work in the Wouldn’t It Be Cool If… competition. Read more about McCluskey’s job as grand marshal of the town’s Independence Day parade on page 26.

• The town is accepting applications for people interested in serving on a number of boards. Applications can be found at the town’s website, www.indiantrail.org, for positions on the Indian Trail Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, Transportation Board, Parks, Trees and Greenway Board, Stormwater Board and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. For more information, call town staff at 704-821-8114.

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2 Responses

  1. Be sure you are “unbiased” when applying for Board and Committee openings! Whatever you are suppose to be unbiased for or against, who knows!

  2. I am not sure what this council is thinking, with the exception being councilman Waddell. It seems the last council bought 50 acres on Matthews-Indian Trail Road over a year ago for a park and now that land is just sititng undeveloped (we the taxpayers voted down the bond to develop it). Before putting the town further in debt ($1.25mil) for more land (140 acres), why not use the forced $.04 tax hike ($1.18mil) to develop the 50 acres we already own?