June 4, 2023 at 1:03 a.m.

Lincolnton City Council Approves Budget, Lowers Tax Rate

Lincolnton City Council Approves Budget, Lowers Tax Rate
Lincolnton City Council Approves Budget, Lowers Tax Rate

Wayne Howard- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

The Lincolnton City Council made several important decisions at its meeting on Thursday (June 1st). One of those was a reversal of sorts to a decision from the April 6th Council meeting.

Carolina Elite Builders sought and got a rezoning of property at the intersection of S. Grove St. and Burris Blvd.

At the April 6th meeting, nearby residents spoke against the request. Many of them said they feared the property would be used for duplexes, although the applicant said he instead intended to build eight two- or three-bedroom homes. The applicant said the property will likely never be developed for manufacturing because to access the city sewer system would require going under adjacent railroad tracks. Duplexes would also need sewer access, so the only way the property could be developed is with single family homes and septic tanks.

In April, Councilman Kevin Demeny attempted to make a motion to approve the request, but Council member Christine Poinsette had already begun a motion she later clarified to turn it down. Poinsette wanted a conditional approval that would not allow duplexes, but that would require a new revised application.

The Council approved Poinsette's motion; Demeny voted against the motion and Mayor Ed Hatley, who usually votes only in case of a tie, joined Demeny in voting against the denial.

On Thursday night, Carolina Elite Builders revised request was approved with only one 'no' vote--from Councilman Roby Jetton, so they can now go ahead with plans for the eight new homes.

The decision came on the same day that Bosch announced plans to expand its Lincolnton operation, adding 400 new jobs. With the local unemployment rate at 2.7%, there's no doubt there will be a need for more housing since most industries are already having trouble finding enough workers.

The Council approved a contract for the July 4th fireworks. City Manager Ritchie Haynes said the fireworks this year will be at City Park on N. Aspen Street. The Lincoln County Schools high schools will all have artificial turf this year, and that means no fireworks at LHS or at East Lincoln High School. Haynes said to avoid possible damage to the new football field, the Lincolnton fireworks will move from Lincolnton's stadium to the park.

The Council also approved a contract for work on the improvements to the Marcia Cloninger Rail Trail and First Federal Park. A stage for smaller music events on the side of the Rail Trail opposite the park is one of the planned changes. Public Works Director Nathan Eurey outlined the bid proposals the City received and the contract was awarded to Carolina Metal Buildings.

The Council also approved the fiscal 2024 budget and tax rate. Nobody spoke during the public hearing on the budget. The tax rate will be lowered from 56 cents to 50 cents per hundred dollars valuation, but like the County, taxpayers will still get a bigger tax bill in July thanks to revaluation. The Council also approved giving a 2% discount--like the County--to those who pay their tax bill for 2023 before September 1st.



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