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Cornelius News

Town supports and prioritizes life ring legislation

Mayor Washam, Cade Redmond | Photo: Cornelius Today

Dec. 21. By Dave Vieser.  A requirement that life rings be installed near private lake access points has been added to the Cornelius 2023 legislative agenda.

While the details still need to be worked out, commissioners joined Mayor Woody Washam in expressing support for the idea, which originated this summer after a construction worker drowned in Lake Norman.

Elise Redmond, a Cornelius Realtor, and her family, were the first to suggest that life rings be installed on every dock. The Lake Norman Marine Commission also supported the suggestion and the idea will now be among the town’s 2023 legislative priorities. Cade Redmond has launched a Float it Forward campaign to have  waterfront property owners purchase a life ring for docks. So far, 138 life rings have been purchased.

The entire agenda was approved unanimously at the town board’s Dec. 19 meeting, and includes several other high priority items:

—Accelerate NC Department of Transportation roadway project  schedules that have been delayed by cash flow shortage, including West Catawba Avenue and Highway 73 widening, Bailey Road flyover and NC 115/Hickory Street.

—Maintain NCDOT roadway project schedules, including Northcross Drive Extension US 21 dual roundabouts, Torrence Chapel intersection, Potts roundabout , I-77 shoulder lanes and Bailey Road extension.

—Funding for a future Westmoreland interstate Interchange (Exit 27) for regional economic development and improvement to the transportation network.

—Maintain Powell Bill funding at FY2023 levels to ensure that local governments can maintain road networks and continue to contribute to the state’s economy.

—Support and advocacy with North Carolina Railroad and Norfolk Southern in order to allow future public transit along the existing O-Line corridor.

—Funding from the State to the Cornelius Community Development Corporation for the development of affordable housing throughout the Town.

—Funding for town-maintained infrastructure projects (road, sidewalk and stormwater) in the Smithville neighborhood and funding to be provided directly from the state for the implementation of the Smithville Revitalization Plan.

—Funding for the acquisition and restoration of the historic 1930s-era Cornelius High School.

Town leaders adopt a legislative agenda every year to identify state and local priorities.