INDIAN TRAIL – Soon town council will make its annual budget amendment that will allow staff to pay $1 million to NCDOT for planned Monroe Road widening.

Mayor Pro Tem Marcus McIntyre explained at council's July 13 regular meeting that the payment is supposed to happen every year for five years. But this year he was a little hesitant.

It's not that council members weren't excited about the road improvements. They just wanted to make sure the town gets what it pays for.

We paid $1 million last year, COVID hit and everything went down south,” McIntyre said. “This bond was approved back in 2011. It's 2021 – 10 years now, it's gonna expire soon. The citizens of Indian Trail have waited long enough for this road. We'd like to see it get built, but just speaking for myself, I'm not comfortable giving $1 million again when there has not been much movement.”

Mayor Michael Alvarez floated the idea of passing the amendment now and paying later, after staff had the chance to talk more to DOT.

Tell them the check's in the mail,” Alvarez said jokingly, “as they've told us numerous times.”

The way the agreement is written, if Indian Trail doesn't pay up NCDOT can hold a reimbursement that the town is owed on another project. For now, council believes they're still in a reasonable window, so they decided to hold off on the budget amendment until their next meeting, July 27.

NCDOT reports on its website that right of way acquisitions should continue through August 2021, so that construction can begin on Monroe Road in 2024 for the sections stretching from Morningside Meadow Lane to Wesley Chapel-Stouts Road and from I-485 to Morningside Meadow Lane. Construction for Trade Street to I-485 isn't projected to take place until after 2029.

McIntyre said he'd like to see “something concrete” and “some good faith progress.”

I don't think two weeks will kill the process,” Town Manager Mike McLaurin said, “but at the same time we don't want to delay it too long.”

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