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Mooresville board opts to consider two ward maps for re-districting
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Mooresville board opts to consider two ward maps for re-districting

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Junior Girl Scouts with Troop 12725 asked the Mooresville Board of Commissioners on Monday to consider creating an ordinance banning mass balloon releases because they are harmful to the environment and dangerous for animals. The work is part of the troop's efforts to earn a Bronze Award, the highest award given to Junior Girl Scouts.

Plans are moving forward to re-district the town’s four voting wards after 2020 U.S. Census results showed a 50 percent growth in Mooresville’s population over the last decade. The Board of Commissioners opted Monday to consider two new ward maps later this fall in efforts to bring each ward’s voting populations back within acceptable ranges.

No dates have been set yet but the public will have a chance to attend a public hearing at an upcoming Board of Commissioners meeting to give input on the preferred re-districting plan. The board has until Nov. 17 with a fallback deadline of Dec. 17 to approve a new re-districting plan, Adam Mitchell, an attorney with Tharrington Smith in Raleigh, said Monday.

The town’s population has increased from 32,711 in 2010 to 50,193 in 2020, causing each of the four wards to deviate from acceptable size ranges, Mitchell said at the Sept.7 Board of Commissioners meeting. To achieve true equality among the town’s four wards, each ward should have the ideal number of 12,548 people, he said. That number was reached by dividing the town’s current population by the number of wards. For local government districts, the permitted deviation from this ideal number is plus or minus five percent which allows between 11,921 and 13,176 people per ward, he said.

None of the town’s current wards fall within that range, Mitchell said. Ward 1, represented by Commissioner Eddie Dingler, currently has a population of 13,992. Ward 2, represented by Commissioner Thurman Houston, currently has a population of 9,998. Ward 3, represented by Commissioner Barbara Whittington, currently has a population 11,553. And Ward 4, represented by Commissioner Lisa Qualls, currently has a population of 14,650. Commissioners Gary West and Bobby Compton represent at-large seats.

Commissioners seemed to prefer Option A with a second, modified version of the plan to consider at the next meeting.

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In other business, the board authorized Mayor Miles Atkins to sign a letter of promulgation directing the board to adopt adopting the Public Utilities Response Plan in the event of an emergency, said Public Utilities Director Allison Kraft.

In other business, the board unanimously approved in a 6-0 vote a $7.9 million contract with Hall Contracting Corp. for construction of the third and final segment of the Wiggins Road sewer project. This is the final construction contract for the Wiggins Road Pump Station project, consisting of the remaining forcemain serving the new pump station and gravity sewers to remove two existing pump stations from service. Included in the motion to approve the contract was a budget amendment supporting the cost of the construction, Kraft said.

The board also unanimously approved in a 6-0 vote a $70,372 contract to Bell Construction Company, Inc. for the installation of a crosswalk and associated pedestrian improvements on Plantation Ridge Drive at Joe Knox Avenue. The board also approved the associated budget amendment which appropriates the necessary fund balance to complete the project. This project will improve pedestrian safety in the area particularly relating to the bus stop at the YMCA.

The board also approved in a 6-0 vote to approve a 10-70 watershed provision request from BJ McLeod Motorsports, Inc. The company wishes to construct an addition on its 3.5 acres at 121 Goodwin Circle and the provision request would allow the property to be developed up to a maximum of 70% impervious coverage, said Planning and Community Development Director Danny Wilson. Currently, BJ McLeod has 44,940 square feet of impervious coverage on their property, or 29.06%. The WS-II Balance watersheds allow up to 30% impervious coverage without utilization of the 10-70 provision, according to town documents. The proposed project would be an expansion of approximately 14,521 square-feet of impervious coverage, which would bring the total site to 38.45% impervious coverage, Wilson said.

If approved, the 10-70 provision would allow this property to have impervious coverage up to 70% of the site and would allow for the proposed expansion to occur. The board approved the watershed provision request with the condition Iredell County transfer the water shed to the town. Wilson said town staff could not find proper record the water shed had been transferred many years ago as required.

In other business, Girl Scout Troop 12725 made a presentation to the board the dangers of mass balloon releases and asked the town to consider laws or ordinances banning them.

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