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Iredell County continues to grow and the prices of homes continue to rise.
During a request from Tax Assessor Fran Elliott at the Iredell County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, she said the county was growing with the median sales price of homes on the rise. According to multiple listing services data, the median price rose from roughly $265,000 in 2019 to $389,000 in the third quarter of the 2022 fiscal year. She said building permit requests have doubled over the past seven years as well.
The hope, Elliott said, is to fairly assess real estate values and the taxes that should come from them. Landowners can appeal their individual assessment if they feel it isn’t correct on several grounds, which include if the value is much higher or lower than the perceived market value, or if it is unfair compared to similar properties. Elliott said the assessor’s offices expect a significant amount of appeals. That process begins April 27, 2023, and runs until June 15, 2023.
This comes as the 2023 reappraisal is in process and requires the development, submittal, public notice and review, and final adoption by the commissioners of the Uniform Schedules of Values, Standards, and Rules. According to the county, there are two schedules, one to be used in appraising real property at market value and one to be used in appraising property at present-use value.
The adopted schedules will be used to uniformly and equitably value all real property from 2023 through 2026. The tax schedules will be presented at the Oct. 4 for a public hearing.
The board of commissioners approved $2,088,520 for renovations to the more than 100-year-old courthouse that is part of the Iredell County Government Complex.
The county said in the request that leakages were the biggest issue, and over the last five years, the roof and basement areas were restored and waterproofed. That still leaves the exterior brick and windows renovation to be completed as part of the waterproofing project.
Renaissance Roofing and F.L. Blum were the contractors that submitted the applications for the project, with Iredell County Project Manager David Saleeby recommending that the board award F.L. Blum the contract.
The following items were approved as part of the pre-meeting agenda, as they are considered routine and administrative.
West Iredell Volunteer Fire Department: Allocate up to $8,000 to West Iredell Volunteer Fire Department from the All-County Fire Service District Reserve for building repairs in its training room and offices.
Jennings Park playground: Approved Parks & Recreation to apply for the 2022 Accessibility For Parks (AFP) Grant from the N.C. Parks and Recreations Trust Fund (PARTF) to install a playground at Jennings Park that will meet the needs of children with physical and developmental disabilities. The application is for $500,000, which would require Iredell County to match with $100,000. The county said the amount it needs to match comes from the county’s 2023 budget as part of the second phase of the project there.
The board also approved Stewart Engineering for engineering, consulting and design services for Phase II and Phase III of the Jennings Park project on June 22. Only one response was received to the RFQ, from Stewart Engineering, which was also the designer for Phase I of the project.
Additionally, Edifice General Contractors was selected as the construction manager for the Jennings Park project, and the county manager will be allowed to negotiate and approve a contract with Edifice for the services. Edifice was selected over Miles & McClellan Construction and Samet/WC Construction.
901 Convenience Center Site: Approved request from solid waste for a lease agreement for the site located on N.C. 901. The property was sold last year to Ronald D. and Jayne G. Taylor. The board had previously approved a 3-year lease in 2021 with the new property owners with no payment being due until June 30, but the lease was never executed. Now, the property owners prefer a one-year lease with the option for two additional one-year renewals. Rent will be $3,780 this fiscal year, with a 5% increase each year if renewed.
Teddy Boller, director of the Solid Waste Department, said the owners expect growth of their nearby business and don’t want to tie up the land for multiple years. Commissioner James Mallory noted that with this in mind, it should encourage the commissioners to find a long-term solution.
Tax Department: With approval from the board, the electronic listing of personal property and authorizing electronic signature when listings are submitted electronically starting in 2023. It also approved the refunds and releases to be disbursed to the taxpayer.
2030 Horizon Plan: The following people volunteered or elected to serve in the 18-month process of the 2030 Horizon Plan: Kristi Pfeufer, Andy Webster and Jerry Santoni, Farmland Board representative James Dobson, Economic Development representative Jenn Bosser, Jeff Cernuto, Richard Coleman, Harry Tsumas, Sean Turner, Jeff Cheek, and Bill Johnson.
Planning & Development: Approved a resolution to amend the map review officer list. According to the county, Statesville and Mooresville needed changes to the list of review officers. State law requires all counties to appoint review officers to review each plat or map before it is recorded and certify that it meets the statutory requirements for mapping.
LED project: The Finance Department requested approval of an amended project ordinance for the LED project with Iredell-Statesville Schools and to close the fund. Deb Cheek, finance director, said the money, $465, remaining would be transferred to be appropriated to control and boiler upgrades.
American Rescue Plan Funds: The finance department requested approval to appropriate ARP Enabled fund balance to fund a loan program for fire and rescue departments. Mull said the funds would be used to loan money to the departments for equipment and then repay them in the next budget year.
Emergency Communications: The Emergency Communications Department requested to purchase two additional Evans Consoles for the ECOM 911 Center, which cost $62,270.
Ambulance box remounts: Approved the purchase of three ambulance box remounts for the Emergency Medical Services Department. The cost is $471,531, which comes from ARPA funds.
N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Approved a lease to N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for office space at 444 Bristol Drive. The renewal is for 36 months, at the current lease rate of $5,351.28 annually, or $445.94 monthly.
ICATS: Iredell County Area Transportation System requested to begin the process of seeing if a parcel of land in South Statesville would be approved through federal guidelines so a new facility could be built there. County Manager Beth Mull said the county wanted to contract a group with experience with the process. Once a company is selected, the county would negotiate the cost, Mull said.
Fairgrounds Master Plan: Approved the scope of work and authorized the county manager to sign the contract with CPL Architecture Engineering and Planning for developing a Fairgrounds Master Plan.
Operation Green Light for Veterans: Some of the county’s buildings will go green — at least in hue — as the board approved taking part in Operation Green Light for Veterans. According to the county, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers (NACVSO) invite county governments to show support for veterans by lighting buildings green from Nov. 7 to 13.
Fire/Rescue Emergency Response Standards Committee: The ECOM Governance Board named its committee for the fire/rescue discipline.
Follow Ben Gibson on Facebook and Twitter at @BenGibsonSRL
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