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Council cautious on price tag for sidewalk project

SARAH LOWERY
Staff Writer

The installation of sidewalks on and around Newbold Street was discussed by members of the Lincolnton City Council Thursday night.
After being presented with a cost estimate by City Manager Jeff Emory, council members agreed that they would need additional price quotes before deciding whether to proceed with the project.
The proposal originated from requests by residents of Newbold Street during a recent meeting for the city to consider constructing a sidewalk from East Main Street up toward the residential area of Newbold Street.
In total, the estimate presented by Emory for the project was roughly $137,000, though he recommended splitting the work into phases over a two-year period or else cut funding to paving. There is currently between $75,000 and $100,000 allocated for sidewalk construction in the new fiscal year’s budget.
Emory suggested the first phase of construction, costing roughly $55,000, be completed this year. This phase would include installing a sidewalk from East Main Street to Timken Drive on Newbold Street, and then from Timken Drive to Generals Boulevard.
Council members will be presented with additional estimates for the project at their August meeting. Should they decide to move forward, construction would likely begin this fall.
Also during Thursday night’s meeting, the council decided in a unanimous vote to continue the city’s current water agreement with Lincoln County on a month-to-month basis for a one-year period.
Emory said he had spoken to County Manager George Wood and received no promises about a more permanent extension. Nonetheless, in a memo to the council regarding the issue, Emory noted that discussions on the contract should take place within the next few months.
As the Times-News previously reported, the county’s Board of Commissioners signed off on a study in April to assist in water-purchase negotiations with the city. The study’s intent is to compare the cost of buying needed water from the city with the cost of the county expanding its water-treatment plant on Lake Norman to produce the extra water.
In other City Council action:
Council members unanimously approved Murphy Oil Corporation’s request for a conditional-use permit to construct a store on the west side of North Generals Boulevard, roughly 900 feet south of the intersection with Sigmon Road. As previously reported, the Lincolnton Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend approval of the request last month.
A roughly $276,000 contract with Eaglewood, Inc. for completion of Phase III of the Marcia H. Cloninger Rail-Trail Project was unanimously signed off on by the council.
Council members unanimously passed amendments to the city’s Personnel Policy regarding both retiree insurance and dependent insurance coverage for new hires. The years of service required to receive insurance benefits has now been bumped from 20 to 25 and from 10 to 15 for disability retirees. Additionally, those hired on or after July 1 will be responsible for paying dependent insurance coverage.
The city’s Finance Department was presented with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association, making it the 22nd consecutive year Lincolnton has received the recognition.
Fire Chief Mike Lee and Mayor John Gilleland presented Lincolnton Volunteer Firefighter Tom Montgomery with a special commendation for initiating Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and continuing life-saving efforts until additional help arrived during an emergency situation in March.

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