In Pittsboro

Pittsboro board approves letter of support for roadway, but no funds

BY JOHN HUNTER
Posted 11/29/18

The Pittsboro Town Board of Commissioners agreed Monday to offer a letter of support to Chatham Park Investors for a portion of a roadway that would create an eastern bypass around Pittsboro.

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In Pittsboro

Pittsboro board approves letter of support for roadway, but no funds

Posted

The Pittsboro Town Board of Commissioners agreed Monday to offer a letter of support to Chatham Park Investors for a portion of a roadway that would create an eastern bypass around Pittsboro.

But the matter of how an allocation from the North Carolina Department of Transportation will be spent is still in discussion between the town and Chatham Park investors.

Tim Smith, the manager of Chatham Park Investors LLC, contended during multiple meetings with the DOT, that the project structure and funding was agreed upon with NCDOT secretary Jim Trogdon, NCDOT Chief Operating Officer Bobby Lewis and NCDOT Division 8 Engineer Brandon Jones.

The entire project will include creating a new road that will connect U.S. 15-501 north of Pittsboro to U.S. 15-501 south of town, and thus creating an eastern bypass around the town.

Phase one of the project will be construction of a new road that runs from the northern terminus of the existing portion of the Chatham Park Way at its intersection with U.S. 64 Bypass to U.S. 15-501 north of Pittsboro.

The second phase of the project will be the construction of a new road that runs in southerly direction from the southern terminus of the existing portion of Chatham Park Way, at its intersection with U.S. 64 Business and U.S. 15-501 south of Pittsboro.

As part of the agreement between Chatham Park Investors and NCDOT, Chatham Park will pay $9 million for the first phase of the project. The funding helped increase the score of the project on the State Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP.

In return, NDOT will reimburse the Town of Pittsboro $4.5 million. The money will not come in a lump sum, but rather would be an allocation for future road projects. The Town of Pittsboro would have no out of pocket contribution to the project.

According to Smith, the structure agreed upon from Chatham Park Investors and NCDOT officials would see the Town of Pittsboro disbursing the $4.5 million back to road projects within Chatham Park.

“We’ve been working on this for years,” Smith said.

Pittsboro Planning Director Jeff Jones, however, said that in his meetings with Trogdon, Lewis, and Jones that he was informed that Pittsboro would be able to use the $4.5 million for NCDOT projects of the town’s choosing.

“This was my understanding, too,” Pittsboro Mayor Cindy Perry said.

Ultimately, Pittsboro’s town board unanimously agreed to direct town manager Bryan Gruesbeck to write a letter of support, with the understanding the use of the $4.5 million would be discussed in the future.

“The DOT needs this by November 30, or we don’t get any of it,” Smith said. “We can discuss the $4.5 million later. Right now, getting this in is the important thing.”

Matt Day, a principal planner with the Triangle J Council of Governments, said that the town could decide later to opt out of supporting the project later. The NCDOT would then flag the project and start a review process.

“They cannot hold you or other boards to future plans,” Day said.

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