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Cornelius News

Mayor taps chair of Cornelius Early Scholars for special service award

Photo by Jason Benavides

Dec. 19. By Dave Vieser. Rev. David Judge, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Cornelius, received the 2023 Mayor’s Award of Excellence at the Town Board meeting last night. It was presented by Mayor Woody Washam for his work in establishing the Cornelius Early Scholars pre-school

“Rev Judge is a hard-working member of the Cornelius community and has truly earned this award. He and his committee placed a strong focus on parenting education, recognizing that our children need parents and guardians to be involved in their education for it to be successful.”

The nonprofit program raised $100,000 so that in September of this year, 14 three- and four-year olds were awarded scholarships to jump start their education.

“With one out of four children unprepared to enter kindergarten and private preschool tuition running at $400 per month, we knew that something had to be done for these kids,” Judge said.

As chair of Cornelius Early Scholars, he said the faith-based preschool plans to educate parents as well.

“Kids need their parents or guardians to be involved in their education if they are to be successful. Unfortunately, many parents just don’t have the skills or training to help their kids at home,” he said.

Cornelius Early Scholars raises funds through private donations, grants and other sources. A town proclamation was also presented to them at the meeting, congratulating the board of directors for their accomplishments.

Rev. David Judge

Board members include Rhonda Cheek, Michael Miltich, Bonnie Little, Tricia Sisson and Manny Rosado.

Other action

The commissioners received presentations on rezoning proposals which could bring two new breweries to Cornelius:

Royal Bliss seeks to build a 10,000 square foot microbrewery and restaurant facility on 2.98 acres at 19149 West Catawba Avenue. The existing zoning district is Village Center and the proposed zoning district is Conditional Zoning. The property behind the Griffin Building on West Catawba is currently vacant.

According to Larry Griffin Jr. of Griffin Brothers Acquisitions, conditional zoning will permit them to locate the entrance and parking in the “desired sections of the site.”

A community meeting has been held, which attracted one resident supportive of the project. The application will now be sent to the Planning Board for their consideration.

Aspirational Adventures has requested amended zoning for a one-acre parcel at 20219 N Main St., immediately north of the Food Lion parking lot. The owners—two brothers and their spouses—plan a 5,251 square foot microbrewery called Fruitful Roots The existing zoning district is Neighborhood Mixed Use and the proposed zoning district is Conditional Zoning. One parcel is currently vacant and the other two parcels are currently occupied by a duplex dwelling unit.

Susan Haskins spoke on behalf of the Mulberry HOA and asked that the developer keep noise levels reasonable. She also requested that the parking be structured so it doesn’t interfere with the needs of the neighbors.

Planning Director Rox Burhans indicated that the town was still communicating with the applicant to clarify some aspects of the proposal. Once this has been completed it will go to the Planning Board for a hearing and recommendation.