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Thursday, July 17, 2014
The following is an interview of a group of concerned Startown area residents that are currently opposed to Hickory Inc. annexing property on Startown Road that will be used to build the proposed 1764 Business Park that is part of the Bond Referendum that will be on the November ballot. The interview was conducted on 1290 WHKYam Radio's First talk program with Hal Row.
WHKY does not archive these programs and make them available to the public, so I am putting this important public interview up under Fair Use guidelines.
Segment 1 - Eddie Ide was the man who had called in during the Monday Morning Meeting with the Mayor on Monday. He was interviewed along with (pardon if incorrect spelling) Debra Strauther, and former County Commissioner Glenn Barger. Mr. Barger stated that they aren't against Economic Development or a Business Park, but this is a high dense area. They had believed, initially, that this was a Catawba County project and now they have found out it is a 50/50 project with Hickory Inc. This is in the county and as developed it will be annexed. A certain portion of the bond will be invested in this park. This area is designated as residential/agriculture. Their are a number of areas designated for business that have not been filled.
Segment 2 - Ms. Strauther wanted to live in the country and that is why she moved to Startown. She says that they have been working on this since 2011 and they are just finding about this now. She believes it will be an Industrial/ Manufacturing Park. She believes that they will be widening Startown Road. She says that there are already 13 sites that were zoned, but aren't developed. The 321 corridor was built to take traffic off of Startown Road and build industry down there. Hal contends that the site looks pretty good and has protections. Mr. Barger rebuts this with a contention about Robinwood Road. They want Startown residents to be heard.
Segment 3 - The people of Startown want this process slowed down. They want citizens informed and questions answered. Teacher from Startown Elementary, Margy Butterfield calls in with several issues and is offering a petition. Another lady called in favor of the park and talked about misinformation. There will be no building built until parcels are sold. Five lane road isn't happening. She says she has a child here that would like to work here, but there is nothing here and this offers a real possibility. She said that people should read about what is actually happening. Ms. Strauther wants more restrictions on this property. They talked about the meeting of the County Commission next Monday night. Caller Jeff brings up Lowe's on 127 and lack of issues there. Ms. Strauthersays kids aren't getting off the school bus on that road. They are on Startown and Robinwood Road.
Segment 4 - Caller Lewis says Startown has no representation, because their planning board representative had to recuse himself, because he is related to the property owner. No EDC or Planning Board reps showed up the the meeting held the other night. Mr. Ide spoke about other buildings that are available. We have plenty of spaces available. Good park, Good idea... wrong location. Ms. Strauther says this will bring people from other areas. We need to focus on our area and growing the economy in our area. Mr. Barger states that this park violates present community development plans.