Town finances from the 2011-2012 fiscal year were highlighted in a financial audit report given at the Holly Springs Town Council Dec. 18 meeting. The town’s net assets increased by $11 million during the fiscal year. The town’s debt decreased by $2.8 million to $46,489,186. In the general fund, expenditures were $903,881 less than revenues. In the utility fund, expenditures were $793,264 less than revenues. The savings go into the town’s reserve funds.
“We’re in much better financial shape than, I think, a lot of other places,” said Town Manager Carl Dean. “We feel like we’re in a very strong position.”
The town received $1,292,005 in grant funds during the year, and the town’s tax base growth has averaged 11 percent since 2003.
During the consent agenda, the council adopted a $2 million budget amendment to allocate funds for acquisition of parkland. The location of the parkland was not disclosed, and the council went into closed session following the meeting. One of the items councilmembers were to discuss was acquisition of property for parks and recreation.
Also at the meeting, the council approved a development plan for Womble Park. The town is to add artificial turf, lighting, a restroom and concessions facility, 51 additional parking spaces, two youth tennis courts, a picnic shelter, and more. The town also is to install an 8-foot, black vinyl-coated chain link fence along Stinson Ave. The white picket fence along Stinson will remain. Inside it, an asphalt trail will be place. And, inside the trail, the chain link fence will be located with netting above the fencing. The town Parks and Recreation director said the need for the taller fence was because the soccer fields, which currently are smaller fields used with younger age groups, will be converted into larger fields for adult soccer players.
The council approved a development plan for Creekside at Sunset Lake. The plan calls for 47 lots on more than 23 acres off Sunset Lake Rd. A subdivision road will connect with Quarry Rock Rd., which leads to an adjacent subdivision.
Multiple nearby residents voiced concerns about the development, from buffering and disturbance of natural areas to traffic and more.
The engineer of the project said that, while the development plan meets the town’s requirement for landscape buffering, he was willing to double the buffer in one thinner area. And he said the developer plans to leave the existing trees in the open space alone as nearby residents requested. He said he expected the road connecting the development to the existing subdivision to be barricaded until near the end of construction, which would prevent construction vehicles from driving through the neighboring subdivision.
Councilman Chet VanFossen asked the development engineer to meet with town staff to see if widening to Sunset Lake Rd. in addition to what the development plan calls for could be completed.
“See if there’s something we could work out,” he said.
Also, the council approved a development plan for Woodcreek Townhomes. The plan calls for 79 townhomes in the Woodcreek subdivision near the clubhouse property off Lockley Rd. and near the future 540 corridor.
Dean mentioned that the G.B. Alford Hwy. conversion to superstreets will occur soon, but at the council meeting staff did not have an exact date from the NC Department of Transportation.
“We’re trying our best to make sure our residents are notified,” Dean said.
He encouraged residents and businesses to check the town’s website for updates.
“It’s kind of a moving target…but it’s going to happen,” he said, also noting that the shopping center is still scheduled to open in March.
As part of the consent agenda, the council allocated $30,900 received from the City of Charlotte to reimburse Holly Springs law enforcement officers who served at the Democratic National Convention. The council also allocated $4,150 received from a recycling project to purchase new radios.
During the public comment period, a local resident asked the town to consider rearranging fitness equipment and removing trees from the fitness room at the Hunt Center to allow more space for floor exercises.
Before the meeting, Mayor Dick Sears noted that Businessweek named Holly Springs as the best town in North Carolina for raising children.