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City Council Approves Matching Funds for Grant Project

Daniel Prince

Council passes community needs assessment among other business at the meeting

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, George Ashmore was recognized for 24 years of service on the Board of Zoning Appeals. February work anniversaries included Tom Alexander, serving 19 years with the Union Public Safety Department, and Michael Weaver, with 9 years of service in the gas department.

Council unanimously passed first reading of an ordinance annexing 439 North Duncan Bypass into the city at the request of its owner. According to Stephen Allen, Planning Director with Catawba Regional Council of Governments, this will close one of the city’s doughnut holes on the zoning map, as the KC Mart property is completely surrounded by properties designated A-2 Highway Commercial. Mayor Harold Thompson said he would like to see the city look at annexing other such properties, as he has noticed at least two other doughnut holes on the zoning map. At council’s March meeting, they will hold a public hearing and second reading on the ordinance.

Council unanimously approved the city’s Priority Needs List for 2022, a move that is required in order to apply for Community Development Block Grants from the SC Department of Commerce. Infrastructure is the top listed priority, including supporting other Union County localities in accessing funds for regional infrastructure improvements, as well as seeking funding for improvements in the Union Mill Village, Excelsior Mill Village, and Monarch Mill areas in cooperation with the county. Downtown revitalization efforts is the #2 priority, with streetscape, side street sidewalk improvements, building renovation and facades, farmer’s market, and beautification projects listed. The #3 priority is upgrades to water, sewer, and stormwater services, as well as street and sidewalk repairs around the city. In all, there are 13 items on the list.

In addition to pledging support for the Jonesville industrial sewer project, council voted unanimously to provide matching funds for a CDBG grant to run sewer lines to the Midway Green Industrial Park to serve MycoWorks as they move to that location. The project is anticipated to cost $410,400, and the council voted to provide local funds of $46,000 as a local match to the potential CDBG grant.

Council also voted unanimously to approve the engineering firm KCI to conduct the City of Union Water and Wastewater Feasibility Study for the towns of Carlisle and Lockhart. They had the low bid of $98,700, which comes in under the $100,000 the city received in CDBG funding for the study. Tommy Anthony abstained from voting, as he was on the selection committee that voted to recommend KCI’s bid to council.

Council unanimously approved a request from the Monarch Fire Department to purchase a truck from the city’s replacement fleet at a fair market rate. The truck would replace a 1980s model truck the department currently uses. City Administrator Joe Nichols said this is something the city has agreed to do for the Union County School District and the Town of Carlisle at different times.

The final bit of business from the meeting was to approve the budget workshop dates. Council will begin the process of setting the 2022-2023 fiscal year budget on March 29 and 30 at 3 p.m. in council chambers at Union City Hall.

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