City seeking $675,000 sewer grant


Approves rezoning requested by Carnegie Library

By Charles Warner - cwarner@civitasmedia.com



UNION — The City of Union will allocate nearly $69,000 to match a state grant to help pay for sewer line improvements in the Foster Street area of city

During its April meeting Tuesday evening, Union City Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution committing the city to provide a local match of $68,948 to a Community Development Block Grant the city is seeking to help fund the project

A report prepared for council by Kimberly Herndon of the Catawba Regional Council of Governments states that the city is in the process of applying for the grant through the SC Department of Commerce’s Community Infrastructure Program. The purpose of the grant will be to help pay for the replacement of dilapidated sewer lines currently serving the Foster Street area. The report states that the sewer lines need to be upgraded to continue provide adequate sewer services to residents in the community.

The resolution states that the project will involve upgrading 5,266 linear feet of 8-inch sewer lines and 27 manholes at a cost of $743,948. It further states that the project will serve an estimated 80 residences, five businesses, and one church.

In order to fund the project, the city is applying for $675,000 in CDBG funds. The resolution states that the program requires matching amounting to at least 10 percent of the grant being sought. It futher states that the City of Union agrees to provide a local match of $68,948 as well as any additional funds required to complete the project.

Library Rezoning

Council also voted unanimously Tuesday to approve first reading of an ordinance rezoning three properties adjacent to the Union County Carnegie Library.

The rezoning of the properties was requested by Library Director Rieta Drinkwine who, in the Zoning Map Amendment Applications she submitted to the city, stated that the rezonings were being requested because “we are looking at expanding our library.”

The properties Drinkwine is requesting be rezoned are located at 208 South South Church Street, 309 South Mountain Street, and 307 South Mountain Street. The sites are each less than one acre in size and include the current parking lot area the back of the library (307 South Mountain Street), a vacant lot adjacent to the parking lot (309 South Mountain Street), and another vacant lot next to the parking lot (208 South Church Street).

In her applications, Drinkwine stated that the library is considering expanding either the library building or the parking lot into the vacant lot at 208 South Church Street; would like to continue using the 307 South Mountain Street as a parking lot; and may, as part of its expansion plans, need to expand its parking lot into the site at 309 South Mountain Street.

The ordinance rezones the properties from R-6 Residential to A-4 Office, Residential and Institutional to allow the planned expansion of the library.

In explaining the requested rezoning, the Rezoning Analysis Report presented to council states that it was being requested “in order to ensure that the current library and future plans are compliant with the Zoning Code. Since the R-6 district does not allow libraries or parking lots as permitted uses, the parking is ‘grandfathered’ or non-compliant. This situation hinders the plans for expansion. The Union County Carnegie Library has considered expansion for several years and received a Community Development Block Grant in 2015 to help fund this endeavor.”

The report further states that the R-6 Residential Zone “is established to provide for medium population density. The principal use of land is for single-family, two-family and multi-family dwellings and for related recreational, religious and educational facilities normally required to provide an orderly and attractive residential area. The regulations for this zone are intended to discourage any use which, because of its character, would interfere with the development of or be detrimental to the quiet residential nature of the area included in the zone.”

The A-4 Office, Institutional and Residential Zone “is established for a compatible mixture of residences, businesses and professional offices, hospitals, clinics and other institutional uses.”

The Union County Carnegie Library is in the process of finalizing plans for the $2.2 million expansion which will include making the library accessible to disabled persons. Those changes will include accessible parking; an accessible entrance; accessible bathrooms; any needed accessible doorways; a fire alarm system with audible and visual warnings; accessible stations for computers; and an elevator to the lower level of the library. The upgrade of the library is projected to benefit 5,407 disabled persons age 18 and older, all of whom are considered low- to moderate-income.

The library has received a $1.25 allocation of lottery funds from the state for project along with a $304,346 Community Development Block Grant. Another $150,000 has already been raised through private donations and fundraisers and the library is continuing to work to raise the balance of the required funding for the project which is scheduled to be completed by November 2017.

Bid Awarded

Council also voted unanimously to award the bid for engineering design services for the North Pinckney Street and North Gadberry Streetscape Improvements Project to The Land Plan Group for $50,900.

Annexation

The City of Union will soon be a little larger once the annexation of a property on Stutts Avenue is completed.

Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve first reading of an ordinance annexing a tract of land on the South Side of Stutts Avenue into the city.

In recommending that council approve the annexation, the City of Union Building and Zoning Department stated the property will be annexed into the city with R-10 Residential zoning classification. The department states that the property is adjacent to properties which are already zoned R-10 Residential and it complies with the requirements for that classification.

Contract Extension

Each year, the city, like all municipalities, undergoes an audit of its financial records and transactions. For fiscal 2015, the audit of the city’s finances was conducted by Terry Fant of Terry R. Fant P.A.

At Tuesday’s meeting, council voted unanimously to extend Fant’s contract with the city for one year for $32,210. The extension will cover the audit for the fiscal year ending June 30 of this year.

Emergency Mutual Aid Agreement

Council also voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing Mayor Harold Thompson to execute a Natural Gas Emergency Mutual Aid Agreement.

In recommending council approve the resolution, City of Union Utility Director Joe Nichols stated that the city is a member of Carolina Public Gas Association which has 21 member cities in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Nichols stated that the resolution is a mutual aid agreement between those cities to assist each other in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

Date Change

Union City Council will meet on June 7 instead of June 19.

Council approved changing the date of the June meeting because Thompson and the members of council will be attending the SCAMPS meeting which will be held June 19-22.

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Approves rezoning requested by Carnegie Library

By Charles Warner

cwarner@civitasmedia.com

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

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