Friday, March 22, 2019
Commissioners participating were (from left) Board Chairman Tracy Philbeck representing Dallas Township, Jack Brown of Gastonia Township, Ronnie Worley of South Fork Township, and Bob Hovis of Crowders Mountain Township. Unable to attend were Vice Chairman Chad Brown of Riverbend Township, Tom Keigher of Gastonia Township and Allen Fraley of Cherryville Township. Lisa Clement-Bryant (second from right), director of employer clinical services at CaroMont Health, presented the sponsor welcome, and Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events presided.
Impact of growth major topic at Business Buzz breakfast
Growth and its impact on transportation and schools occupied much of the discussion as four members of the Gaston County Board of Commissioners met with about 50 members and friends of the Chamber at the Kimbrell Campus of Gaston College in Belmont on Friday morning, March 22, 2019. CaroMont Health sponsored the program, which was the Chamber’s first Business Buzz breakfast of the year.
Commissioners participating were Board Chairman Tracy Philbeck representing the Dallas Township, Ronnie Worley of South Fork Township, Jack Brown of the Gastonia Township and Bob Hovis of the Crowders Mountain Township. Unable to attend were Vice Chairman Chad Brown of the Riverbend Township, Tom Keigher of Gastonia Township and Allen Fraley of Cherryville Township.
The need for the Catawba Crossings bridges connecting southern Gaston County to the airport area of Mecklenburg County was mentioned by all of the commissioners and by member of the audience. Concerns were aired about the potential for gridlock stemming from the planned widening of Interstate 85 and replacement of the Wilkinson Boulevard bridge crossing the Catawba River.
There was discussion about the need for a program here like Pennies for Progress, a sales tax that is helping fund local highway projects in York County.
The need to find more dollars and better strategies to efficiently build new schools and repair and improve existing school buildings also was discussed.
A high degree of enthusiasm was expressed for light rail being extended from Charlotte into Gaston County, along with recognition that the service would come at a considerable cost.
Commissioners were surprised more questions weren’t raised about the recent property re-evaluation, which saw values increase countywide by an average of more than 20 percent.
Chamber Business Buzz breakfasts are planned several times each year on issues of local interest.