Indian Trail approves sub-agreement with Carolina Courts

Mar. 14, 2013 @ 03:59 PM

The Indian Trail Town Council vote next week on a sub-agreement with Carolina Courts for its new location in the town's future Chestnut Park.

The document is a supplement to the town's master agreement with Carolina Courts approved by the council in August 2012, Town Manager Joe Fivas said. In it, the town agreed to convey roughly three acres to Carolina Courts for a new 48,000 square foot facility for a payment of $5,000. The official transfer of ownership should happen within ten days of the Tuesday meeting, Fivas said.

The council approved Chestnut Park and some construction has begun, he said. The first agreement stated that the land would be conveyed to Carolina Courts. This new agreement outlines the conditions for transfer, easements, egress, shared facilities and other guidelines important for a private business operating in a public park.

The sub-agreement is also required before banks will loan Carolina Courts money to start construction, Fivas said.

"One of the things to get done moving forward is to get that property conveyed so the lending agencies have that documentation," he said.

The N.C. Turnpike Authority bought Carolina Court's current location on Stinson Hartis Road last year as right-of-way for the proposed Monroe Bypass. Construction on the bypass has since been delayed at the federal level.

Indian Trail officials offered a new home in a town park. The town and business forged a limited liability company, Partners in Hoops. The agreement approved in August outlined the sale price and conditions of the sale. The town agreed to rezone and prepare the building site. The agreement also restricts Carolina Courts to use the land as a recreational facility only. The new Carolina Courts facility will open by the last day of 2013, or the building and any other structure build by the business will automatically revert to the town.

In exchange for its placement in a town park, Carolina Courts agreed to several town requests. Town residents will be able to use the facility during open court time with no direct cost to the individual. The Town of Indian Trail will, however, buy resident use time from Carolina Courts for $150,000 over 15 years. Carolina Courts also agreed to hold a free week-long camp for disabled or at-risk youth, host eight town events and bear the town seal on the interior or exterior of the building.

The sub-agreement defines rights of ingress and egress. Both parties have vehicular and pedestrian transportation rights across both properties. Town and business will also agree to easement for utility connections and access to construction areas. The agreement also requires both parties to carry insurance covering public liability, fire and casualty and construction.

Where practical, the town and Carolina Courts will share use of parking lots and other necessities.

"In part of some of the discussions, it was decided to partner with them to build a trash enclosure," Fivas said. "There's no sense in building two huge trash enclosures within the same area."

Carolina Courts will pay $100 a month for use of shared common facilities.

Councilman David Waddell said he received an email pointing out that the water and sewer capacity permits for Carolina Courts were taken out in the town's name.

"It looks like we're pulling the permit for the water and sewer. Is that correct?" Waddell said.  

Fivas said the original agreement stated the town would be responsible for those permits. Town officials were already getting permits for the park's capacity.

"The issue of why you would have to do that is because the timing issue and the legal issue with the lenders is to actually convey and sell the property and for Carolina Courts to get their loan, they need to know that they have access to water and sewer," Fivas said. "Because they won't sign off on a loan unless they have that."

Since Indian Trail still owns the property, it was the town's responsibility for securing capacity, Town Attorney Keith Merritt said.

Waddell asked if Carolina Courts would take over water and sewer payments once it owned the property.

"The original agreement that was approved is that we would make it pad ready," Fivas said. "We'd have the sewer and water, just like when you do a business partner standpoint. It's usually to have it pad ready and they can come in and hook up and use it, and that was the process of what was approved with that."

Waddell said he was concerned that the town was using public money to act as the site developer. He asked if any money used was connected with any voter-approved bonds. Fivas said there was not.

"The only bond money that was used is there was some of the street bond to use for the first leg of the Chestnut Parkway," Fivas said.

"What about the parking area?" Waddell said. "Will that use bond money?"

"The council will have to make that decision when we get to that point," Fivas said.

The sub-agreement passed with council members David Cohn and Christopher King voting in favor. Waddell voted no. Council members Darlene Luther and Robert Allen were absent.