Marvin pushes for intersection improvements

Ciera Choate/UCW photo

Ciera Choate/UCW photo

MARVIN – Western Union County has experienced high growth in recent years, something that has many local leaders working to plan for their towns’ future. And the biggest part of that plan in Marvin is improving roads that were never meant for the high levels of traffic they see today.

The realignment of Marvin School Road with Waxhaw Marvin Road on New Town Road and intersection improvements at Marvin and New Town roads (pictured) and Waxhaw Marvin and Bonds Grove Church roads are the three main areas of concern for the Marvin Village Council. Town staff is beginning to develop plans and work with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to bring some relief to traffic problems with elements like traffic lights and roundabouts. Marvin leaders have heard from NCDOT that improvements are needed in the area, Marvin Mayor Joe Pollino said, though no plans are moving forward at this point.

And if the projects aren’t at the top of the state’s list for funding, Marvin council is ready to use money from the town’s fund balance to start the improvements. Funds from the village would only supplement the state’s funding and would not pay for the projects in full.

“I think that’s a good use of tax payer dollars. We just haven’t discussed a dollar amount yet,” Pollion said.

Council recently made changes to the village ordinance requiring developers to contribute to road infrastructure improvements when going through the application process to build in Marvin. Toll Brothers, which recently began developing property in Marvin, has given money that could be used for the realignment of Marvin School and Waxhaw Marvin roads, Councilman Lanny Openshaw said.

Although improvements on roads in Marvin aren’t right around the corner, the village council has been working to implement short-term solutions to lessen traffic problems.

Council partnered with NCDOT to lower the speed limit on Bonds Grove Church Road from 55 miles per hour to 45 after hearing many complaints from concerned residents. The Union County Sheriff’s Office also now has an officer at the intersection of Marvin and Newtown roads directing traffic in the evening rush hours. More officers help direct traffic in the early morning hours when school is in session.

“It’s kind of a quick fix for now,” Pollino said. “… We are probably looking at over a year once the go-ahead is given. It’s between one to two years with NCDOT working to get those intersections finished, that’s what I’ve been told from them.”

NCDOT also recently announced a policy change for Union County requiring municipalities that accept Powell Bill funds – a portion of transportation funding collected by the state – to maintain all new subdivision roads moving forward. Marvin councilmembers decided to send back the $122,523 allotted to the village for the 2013 year and will no longer receive transportation funds from the state.

“It’s very difficult to get into the road business (with a tax rate of) 5 cents,” Pollino said of Marvin’s taxes. “This is an issue we have looked at and we’ve gone back and forth (on). I would like to see some support from the community (regarding) would we like to be in the road business or would we not?”

Municipalities must have a minimum 5-cent tax rate to receive Powell Bill funds.

“It would almost require us to raise taxes,” Pollino added.

But for now, the three problem intersections are at the top of the list as council works with NCDOT to help alleviate traffic problems. Pollino has reached out to North Carolina Sen. Tommy Tucker, who represents the area, in hopes that he can talk to NCDOT about fixing the roads sooner.

“I have been talking with Sen. Tommy Tucker,” Pollino said. “We met briefly and we discussed the areas of concern as far as roads go, and he was going to look into working with NCDOT to try and get some funding from the general budget.”

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Ciera Choate

About Ciera Choate

Ciera Choate has been with the Union County Weekly since summer 2011 as an intern while she attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. After graduating with a degree in English and political science, Ciera joined the team full-time in early 2012. She has since been promoted to News Editor, with a main focus on town governments in western Union County, the Union County Board of County Commissioners and Union County Public Schools Board of Education, in addition to the paper's crime beat. Have a story idea or question for Ciera? Contact her at ciera@unioncountyweekly.com.

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