January’s regular monthly meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners was held Monday evening, with the board casting the deciding vote on several rezoning requests, as well as a pair of resolutions.

The commissioners voted unanimously in favor of six rezoning requests, which were presented during a joint meeting with the planning board a week ago.

The first request, submitted by BBC Sifford LLC, will bring a 19-lot subdivision with new public roads to a 29-acre plot of land on Sifford Road, near The Gates at Waterside Crossing. A sidewalk will be required on one side of the new roads built to accompany the subdivision, and street trees will be required on both sides. The lots will be served by individual wells and septic systems. 

Neighbors in the area expressed concern about the project’s effect on Grice Road, which intersects Sifford and is home to only six houses. The developer has agreed to prevent construction traffic from using Grice Road until such a time that the street is opened for public use.

Several acres on the east side of N.C. 16 Business, between the Denver Industrial Park and Balsom Ridge Business Park, will be developed. The owners of Race City Steel in Denver plan to construct a building similar in appearance to their location near Stacy’s Restaurant at the site. 

The building will be intended for commercial use, although the specifics have yet to be decided. Race City Steel’s Damon Lusk ensured the commissioners that he has no plans to open any sort of car lot on the property. 

The remaining acreage in that area will house a self-storage facility. The plan calls for approximately 200 units at the site, 60% of which will be totally enclosed, while the remaining 40% will be open/covered units. 

Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Denver is planning an expansion, and can now move forward with approval from the board. The church currently operates out of an old school building that measures less than 10,000 square feet, but the plan is to construct a new church not to exceed 20,000 square feet, with the old church to be demolished and a new classroom/administration building to be built in its place at a later date.

The final rezoning approval allows a family to build a detached garage in front of the front building line of their home on the banks of Lake Norman. 

In other county business, the board received an update from Keep Lincoln County Beautiful executive director Jeanette Johnson. It’s been nearly a year since the organization was named an official affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, and much has been accomplished since.

The organization and its volunteers have completed several cleanups, including five at the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional Airport alone, with more than 26,000 pounds of litter collected in total through various roadside litter cleanups. Keep Lincoln County Beautiful also organized spring and fall cleanups around Lake Norman, as well as several cleanups of the Marcia H. Cloninger Rail Trail that runs through downtown Lincolnton.

Other projects of note include beautification work at an abandoned gas station on Flay Road and the spreading of mulch at East Lincoln Christian Ministries. Keep Lincoln County Beautiful has also been working to promote better recycling habits, including working with a local girl scout to have Lincoln County Parks and Recreation install recycling bins at Rescue Squad Park in Denver. 

The board also voted unanimously to reclassify a position within the Lincoln County Health Department from “health operations manager” to “deputy health director.” The position already served in the capacity of second-in-command, but the reclassification results in a pay increase to better reflect what those in similar positions are paid in neighboring counties. The total increase in annual salary is nearly $15,000, although the increase is nearly $20,000 when accounting for all fringe benefits.

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners will meet again Monday, Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln County Administration Office. The board will also hold a joint budget meeting with the Lincoln County Board of Education Thursday, Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the school system’s administrative office on Jeb Seagle Drive. 

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