Council encourages businesses to apply for reimbursement

After seeing a slow in applications, the Mecklenburg County Small Business Recovery Assistance Fund—in place since September 2020—has amended the program’s design and is opening up to allow businesses to use funds for utility expenses such as water, sewer, electrical and gas. The program has already awarded a total of $334,738.79 funds and has another $165,261.21 remaining.

Previously, the program capped at a total $10,000 but has now been changed to allow a cap of $15,000. Businesses that weren’t able to apply previously due to not having a rent or mortgage payment may now take advantage of this opportunity for reimbursement.

Applications and instructions can be found online at mecklenburgva.com. Jeff Jones encourages businesses to apply ASAP as the funds are doled out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Jeff Jones and the Clarksville Town Council praised Public Services Director Richard Elliott for he and his team’s work at Lakefest this past week. Jones lauded, “They worked tirelessly to get the Town ready for Lakefest. It was a hot, rough time, but these guys worked really hard and then they left Lakefest and went home to get some rest and got called back in for various issues that happened.”

There were only a handful of incidents that occurred during the festival, including the defacement of this year’s sand sculpture Friday night. Sheila Cuykendall commented, “The only disheartening thing was that night some one threw a beer bottle at the sand art and messed up the corner of the basket.” Police Chief Wilkinson also cited that a group of North Carolina visitors were spotted heckling other tourists Saturday night.

Jones shared that he is still looking into ideas of what to do with the $604,000 ARPA funds awarded to the Town. Thankfully, this round does not need to be used up by a certain date as the first round did, giving the Council time to consider what needs to be addressed first. Jones did state that he has ideas for structure replacement and broadband coverage in the Town. He hopes to have a solid idea for the Council to look at in August.

Regarding the Clarksville Fire Department’s negotiations for a new fire truck, the Town is looking at spending $663,966 between the truck and the equipment. Equipment is estimated to be about $54,000. A decision must be made by the end of this month.

The Mecklenburg County Planning Commission will be reviewing a special exception permit application by Evie Gordon to operate a neighborhood business on the southside of Highway 58 Thursday, July 29. The Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors will consider the application come Monday, August 9.

Greg Gordon—an adamant supporter of the proposed solar facility on Noblin Farm Road that was shot down by the Board of Supervisors in July—offered public comments at the Town Council meeting.

Gordon stated that there were several inconsistencies in the resolution offered by the Council. He first asked if anyone from the Council had sat down and talked to the two Planning Commission members that represent the area.

He stated, “both of them supported this. Both were in favor of it. They looked at the project and decided it was a worthy project and the term ‘not substantially in accordance’ is not correct. They were just about all in accordance with everything except for the suggested one-mile location… and that was a suggestion in the comprehensive plan. It was not an ordinance.”

He continued, “You go back to Mrs. Dennis and Mr. Watson; do you feel like they are incompetent with their recommendation? I don’t understand why we can’t discuss this, and I have the same issue with the Board of Supervisors. There were three members that were on the Planning Commission that were in favor of it.”

Gordon claimed that the Council and the Town are discriminating against solar farms; "I would hate to see us—in order to generate income—slice property up that’s on the road front. You put house trailers or rental properties in when good projects like this allow the land to be saved.”