Several community members spoke about the homeless population during the public comment session of the last Lincolnton City Council meeting held on January 6. Rex Rhyne, owner of Trim Barber Shop, expressed his concerns saying he had to run an individual. of his hairdressing salon who harassed clients. He also told board members about an incident at the dance studio near his business in which a woman was found in the facility’s restroom and at another business who was robbed of music. equipment in a truck. Rhyne said he was unsure whether the theft was committed by a homeless person or not.
“You have made great strides in attracting businesses, but if they continue to be hassled they will close their stores,” he said.
Jonathan Austin, a dentist practicing within the city limits, also spoke about the homeless population, saying he had a person defecate on his porch.
“Thanks to Chef Jordan, we made the area less friendly for them,” he said. “I recommend that you turn off the power to the light pole in front of the library, as it serves as a charging port for the homeless. I hate coming to you with an unanswered problem, but I promise I will meet with many charities in the area to find out what they are doing, why they are doing it and how they are doing it. I’m not saying to be anti-Christian, but we really need to make the county and town unattractive to the wanderers coming in.
Austin told board members about his recent trip to San Francisco and how someone had just been robbed outside of the airport rental car center.
“We are at the start of this,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s going to get that bad, but I think we have to start now. I think getting rid of the services where they feed them is going to make us unattractive and move them. The police department has done a lot, but I think we need the wages to fall behind them and need to be increased. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.
Another person who lives on Startown Road near Clarks Creek spoke about the planned development, Clarks Creek Landing, Phase 1 was recently approved by council. This person said that there was significant opposition to this project, but these people were not aware of the public hearing. She proposed that the municipal council propose to the developer that the density be reduced and spread over phases 1 and 2.
At the only public rezoning hearing that evening, a community member spoke out against rezoning a lot on North Flint Street during a public hearing held on the application. of Dynamo Holdings, LLC requesting the rezoning of 0.638 acres of land from Residential-10 to the Conditional Multi-Family Residential District for the purpose of constructing two duplex units. The subject property is located on the west side of North Flint Street, approximately 200 feet north of the intersection of North Flint Street and East McBee Street.
This community member’s concern included any potential changes to what the applicant proposed, whether the duplex could be sold or rented, the type of tenant to whom the property can be rented, and concerns regarding drainage. She requested that foliage be added as a barrier between her property and the potential duplex for security.
The community member who spoke did not attend the planning board hearing, where these concerns could have been raised and addressed, according to Mayor Ed Hatley. Council members suggested postponing the decision for a month, but this was not acceptable to the applicant, so it was agreed that the discussion of the neighbor’s concerns would be brought up in the hallway during the meeting.
After discussion, the installation of greenery was agreed and the prevention of water runoff by the installation of a berm. Council members unanimously approved the rezoning with the compromises in place.
Lincolnton Fire Department Chief Ryan Heavner approached council to discuss purchasing a used fire truck / tanker for the city to keep insurance rates low. The current model, Heavner explained, was a 1990 that the state of North Carolina prevents firefighters from mounting in the back.
“It doesn’t have any safety features, which is good because it’s a limited-use vehicle,” he said. “Trying to be a good steward of money, I approached the city manager and instead of suggesting that we buy a $ 450,000 fire truck, the Denver Fire Department got the hang of it. kindness to let us be the first to review a tanker they are trying to sell. . It’s kind of a check-off fire truck, we have to have one because the state of North Carolina says we have to have it to have a good insurance rate.
The fire truck that the Denver Fire Department is selling costs $ 50,000 and is in excellent condition, according to Heavner. This tanker will be sufficient for the Boger City fire district, part of which is also rural.
Council members unanimously approved the purchase of this fire truck with funds from the general city fund with the Boger City Fire Department.
In other cases, City Clerk Daphne Ingram has been recognized as having obtained the designation of Certified City Clerk by the International Institute of City Clerks.
In its director’s report, Ritchie Haynes reminded board members that it is coming on budget time, and with the upcoming budget, it is time to decide what to do and create an action plan regarding the old Lincolnton police building, a plan of action for the homeless population, the downtown cityscape plan, suggesting that money be put in the budget to hire an architect and develop a plan for action for affordable housing.
Haynes also presented a proposed site plan for the parking lot to be installed next to the Lincoln Times-News building as well as a list of cases of code enforcement within city limits that are currently underway.