News Column

Lexington City Council approves funding for Hillside pool renovation

August 26, 2014

By Sharon Myers, The Dispatch, Lexington, N.C.



Aug. 26--Lexington City Finance Director John Overton said the ordinance provides the budgetary authority to award the necessary contracts and undertake this project in anticipation of future debt proceedings. The renovations of Hillside Pool are to be included as part of a larger combined debt issuance for multiple projects, including electric system improvements and improvements to various public buildings, including City Hall.

"We are planning to request the Local Government Commission to approve this financing at their December meeting," Overton said. "We can't go forward with that yet because we don't have the construction bids in hand for the public building part. But this the time of year to start pool construction, so if we are going to be ready for next summer, we need to go ahead and get started."

In the unlikely event that the Local Government Commission does not approve a debt issuance, the city would be obligated for these contracts and would have to provide funding out of current city resources.

The Lexington City Council also moved forward with a funding request of $75,000 for future support from the Lexington Tourism Authority wayfinding project. Council instructed city employees to come up with a funding plan which will be officially approved at a later date. A wayfinding program is an initiative to make it easier for residents, commuters and tourists to find local destinations and attractions through signs placed at various points throughout the city.

Robin Bivens, executive director of Lexington Tourism Authority, gave a presentation to the council and said this is a project will increase tourism as well as enhance and beautify the area.

"This is a very extensive program, the design itself is very forward and innovative," Bivens said. "One of the things folks tell us is they can't find what they are looking for. We want them to be able to find what they are looking for, but we also want to give them opportunity to visit other places that they didn't even know what they were looking for."

According to estimates from Charlotte-based design firm, ACSM, the total cost for the project will be $264,021. In July, the Lexington Tourism Authority Board of Directors approved $100,000 in initial funding from its fund balance to kick-start a wayfinding program. Bivens reported that Uptown Lexington has pledged $20,000, and she will also be appealing to the Davidson County Board of Commissioners for support as well.

"We feel the wayfinding signage program will have and immediate, direct impact on the businesses here in our area," Bivens said. "It will have a direct impact on our tourism dollars, the visitors' spending we see coming into our area. Therefore all of that will have an impact on the sales tax that is collected in our area. We feel this is not just a program we want to see because it looks pretty, which it does, but we feel like it will have an impact for our area economically."

Also during the meeting, the city council approved a major zoning permit submitted for the development of a 10,827 square foot veterinary hospital facility at 300 U.S. Highway 64 East, which currently houses Jordan Veterinary Hospital.

Sharon Myers can be reached at 249-3981, ext, 228 or at sharon.myers@the-dispatch.com. Follow Sharon on Twitter: @LexDisptachSM

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(c)2014 The Dispatch, Lexington, N.C.

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Source: Dispatch, The (Lexington, NC)


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