Chatham this week: Rising sales tax, EG-GILERO incentive, and rezoning requests

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Notes for Chatham County’s Board of Commissioners meeting from February 18, 2019

  • Local control of school calendars
    • The Board of Commissioners has joined with the Chatham County School Board to grant school districts control of the calendars as opposed to how it’s currently controlled by the state
    • All commissioners supported the resolutions
  • Article 46 Sales Tax
    • It’s a ¼ increase in state sales tax (doesn’t apply to unprepared food or gasoline—prepared food means restaurant purchases are included)
    • Advantages: revenue brought directly into Chatham County
      • Applies to all eligible purchases in the county, so it would apply to visitors and online purchases
    • Legal requirements: referendum—it would need to be added by the local and state boards of elections
      • This wouldn’t be able to be on the ballot until 2020 (Nov. or May)
    • Other rules: no restrictions or earmarks on the revenue—can be used for all allowable use by counties
      • County can’t stipulate how the funds will be used on the ballot but they can create a resolution with how it’s intended to be used (this isn’t legally binding, meaning they could use it on other things not in the resolution)
    • Implementation: the earliest effective date would be October 2020—this is dependent on quarterly schedule
    • 42 counties in the state have approved it, including Durham, Harnett, Lee, Orange and Randolph counties (all neighboring counties have published resolutions)
      • Neighboring county resolutions: education, school construction, community college capital, DPS debt service, training
  • Citizen-initiated text amendment to change zoning ordinances
    • Planning board actions: rezoning request
    • Board denied the motion on the grounds of inconsistency
    • Also made a motion to consider nonprofits and other places of assembly instead of just churches
  • Incentive request and recommendation: EG-GILERO
    • EG-GILERO is a medical device and manufacturing company based in Morrisville, NC
    • They purchased a building in Pittsboro but it’s been vacant for several years
    • They’re proposing an investment of $3.9 million over 5 years that would create 60 new jobs in Chatham County
    • Time: years 1-5 will be the construction phase; full employment will begin in year 5
    • Recommended for a level 1 incentive based on Chatham’s incentive policy
    • It’s estimated that the 60 employees would be employed by 2022
  • Rezoning of 5545 (about 51 acres) from industrial to residential
    • Close to the Chatham/Wake line
    • Most of the surrounding areas are residential with some being conditional use
  • Rezoning of 12236 between Pittsboro and Siler City to conditional/business use zoning
    • Applicants are owners of the cricket fields
    • Part of the property is already a soccer field so they wouldn’t have to do total reconstruction
    • Functional as an open play area for community members to meet
    • No plan to use the buildings that will stay on the property
    • No plans for parking lots, asphalt or gravel since they won’t expect a large number of visitors
    • Plan to use portable toilets instead of a restroom facility
  • Public comment: Linda Smith, resident
    • Opposed to the aforementioned rezoning because the plans or the construction affect her home property
    • Argued that the amount of people coming in and out for the games would affect the grass parking lot (which would turn into mud), disturbing the alpacas and interrupting her peaceful area
    • Concerned about portable toilet maintenance and the smell
  • Public comment: Marty Raynor, owner of the alpaca farms
    • Not opposed to the fields but suggests an entrance on the backside that doesn’t come from US-64 because that wasn’t what the easement was intended for upon initial construction
  • Commissioners’ Reports
    • Karen Howard: ALC training—suggested that it be mandatory because the things she learned there are “critical to what we do”
    • Diana Hales: Empty Bowls Fundraiser works to raise money for Chatham County’s hungry

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