by Mike Parks
INDIAN TRAIL – A few weeks after approving a 4-cent tax increase in Indian Trail, town leaders talked this week about a plan to use that cash for the Pathway to Progress.
The plan, detailed Tuesday night, July 10, by town manager Joe Fivas, involves a number of projects that would help establish an investment district in town and the “Indian Trail Pathway” that would help get people easily around town to all the new hot spots. Such a pathway would include Old Monroe, Wesley Chapel-Stouts and Faith Church roads and the Chestnut Parkway, which could eventually connect U.S. 74 with Old Monroe.
The four roads will wrap around the planned investment district, that could, among other things, hold a new cultural arts center and municipal complex for the town – including a town hall – and connect to Crossing Paths Park, a potential new park on 51 acres off Old Monroe Road and maybe even another park for 147 acres a little further north.
Pathways to Progress would include improvements to area roads like Wesley Chapel-Stouts, with council agreeing Tuesday night that much of the focus in the immediate future of the plan should be on improving roads.
As of now, the plan just touches on some possible projects with little details about what work would actually be done in Indian Trail. Council asked Fivas to come back soon with a plan with more details about what would go into the individual projects, and the town will soon start making trips to civic groups and homeowner associations to discuss the plan in more detail with residents.
These discussions come about after council voted last month to approve increasing the town’s tax rate to 18.5 cents per $100 of taxable property. It’s the first property tax increase for the town since a 5-cent increase in the 2007-08 fiscal budget. The increase gives Indian Trail around $1.18 million extra in the budget per year.
In other town news:
• Leaders approved the new solid waste service contract with Waste Pro. Services under the new contract beginning Sept. 1, and will include a number of upgrades for residents.
People will get new 96-gallon closable recycling roll-out containers to replace the bins residents currently use. Recycling will be picked up every two weeks. There also will be bi-weekly yard waste removal, and curb-side bulk pick-up and E-waste pick-up, like for televisions and computers, three times a year. Leaf pick-up will occur in the fall and winter.
Included in the contract is a deal for new trash carts, along with the recycling carts, as well as a recycling program for schools in Indian Trail, a new education program for community recycling and more. The company will buy the town’s old carts and have a local facility.
By signing the agreement, the town effectively is putting a burn ban in place for Indian Trail, which caused some concern at Tuesday’s meeting. State law dictates that towns can’t allow burning of yard waste if pick-up is offered, meaning the town likely will soon develop a burn ordinance that falls in line with that state rule in the near future.
Councilman David Waddell worried that puts a burden on homeowners with a large plot of land who will now have to bag all those leaves instead of just pushing them into a pile and burning them. The rest of council voted to approve the contract as is.
• Construction will start soon on the Poplin Road sidewalk project. Council approved the contract for the work, which will connect the Fieldstone Farm, Annandale and Bonterra neighborhoods with nearby Poplin Elementary School.
“We’ve had a significant number of concerns about the safety of walking and driving to school in this Poplin Road area. We are confident that these safety improvements will enhance these areas,” said Indian Trail Mayor Michael Alvarez in a news release about the project.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation will install some traffic-calming measures to insure pedestrian safety in the area, as well.
Construction will start in the next few weeks and should be done before school starts back. Future sidewalk projects will start soon on Chestnut, Unionville-Indian Trail, Sardis and Rogers roads.