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City approves permit for new business

 

SARAH LOWERY

Staff Writer

A new powder-coatings business can move forward with plans to make use of an existing Lincolnton facility following approval by the City Council Thursday night.

The Lincoln Economic Development Association’s request on behalf of the company for a conditional-use permit to locate in the former Carolina Mills building on South Grove Street received unanimous support.

Roughly 82,500 square feet of vacant space, on 5.8 acres of property, will go toward the venture, with no additional buildings or driveways expected.

Should the proposal come to fruition, between 12 and 15 people will be employed at the business, with more potentially added later.

The proposed hours of operation would be a first shift from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. five days a week and a second shift from 2:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. four days a week.

“I’d love to see those buildings out there be revitalized,” Mayor John Gilleland said.

Also during Thursday’s meeting, council members were updated on the East Main Street and Generals Boulevard intersection project, with Leonard Fletcher of TGS Engineering noting that studies were completed and meetings had been conducted with officials from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Several of the improvements will be geared toward safety, with the intersection having the highest number of wrecks of any other intersection in Lincoln County, Fletcher said. These measures will include signal improvements and potential medians put in place to prevent certain turns.

Based on estimates from May, the project is expected to cost roughly $600,000, though final numbers aren’t in yet. The city received some grant funding to go toward the work, and Fletcher said that the DOT is in talks to pay for asphalt, among other items.

“We’re just trying to get as much as we can get,” he said.

Councilman Devin Rhyne questioned why more up-to-date figures weren’t available.

“I’m not going to give you a number I can’t guarantee,” Fletcher responded.

In other City Council action:

  • City Manager Jeff Emory said the city is still waiting to hear a final answer regarding insurance coverage for damages, estimated at $700,000, from the recent flooding. At the council’s last meeting, he informed the members that there was some question as to whether all their claims would be eligible.
  • As previously requested, Emory provided council members with the cost to the city of last month’s Apple Festival, totaling about $12,000 for employees’ overtime pay.
  • Planning Director Laura Simmons reported that changes to the city’s Special Events Ordinance were being drafted, to be presented at the November meeting. This will include revisions for handling film and TV projects, with research being gathered from other municipalities.
  • An update was given regarding recently discussed contracts with Lincoln County. Emory said he delivered the revised agreements, approved in September, to the county for consideration on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Gilleland said discussions with Cherryville to try to strike up a water-sale agreement had started, but Cherryville officials aren’t in particular need of water and would have to see the suggested price of $1.25 per 1,000 gallons come down quite a bit as they can produce their own for much cheaper.

 

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