Hunter favors amendment

Published 10:19 am Monday, June 20, 2016

RALEIGH – A measure approved here Tuesday by the Transportation Committee of the NC House of Representatives contains welcomed relief for public K-12 schools across the state.

That committee, of which local District 5 House Representative Howard Hunter III of Ahoskie is a member, approved an amended version of NC Senate Bill 778. As part of that proposed legislation – “Performance Guarantees/Subdivision Streets” – the Committee directed the NC Department of Transportation to reimburse all state public school systems for expensive parking lot / driveway paving projects.

Currently, DOT does not pay for such work for public charter schools in North Carolina.

Hunter – who represents Bertie, Gates, Hertford, and a portion of Pasquotank County – voted in favor of the amendment to the proposed bill.

“I am proud to help my counties with these school and transportation expenses,” Hunter said. “Every time we can cut red tape and save the counties money, I want to do it. With this bill, we can make our local school board budgets go further.”

The proposed legislation also limits cites/towns to require only street improvements related to safe ingress and egress to the municipal street system and will be reimbursed by NC DOT. Cities/towns will not be allowed to require of the school more improvements than are directly necessary for safety. Zoning regulations shall permit schools as a matter of right in all zoning districts.

Senate Bill 778 has already passed the Senate. It has been calendared for a vote by the full House.

As far as the subdivision streets language in the proposed legislation, that section of the bill applies to county subdivision streets located outside municipal jurisdiction, developments approved on or after Oct. 1 of this year and retroactively to all county residential subdivisions or development plans approved on or after Oct. 1, 2010, that include an offer of dedication of roads and the roads have been constructed and opened for travel and are fully completed.

Senate Bill 778 calls for performance and residual performance guarantees to be provided as follows:

A county ordinance may or may not provide for performance guarantees for new streets offered for dedication. If a county ordinance does not provide for performance guarantees for new streets offered for dedication, that county shall not require the successful completion of the new street improvements prior to allowing a plat to be recorded.

Ordinances shall provide for the residual performance guarantee.

Developers may choose not to provide a performance guarantee. If a developer chooses not to provide a performance guarantee, the developer shall be permitted to record a plat and proceed to construct the street. Prior to the issuance of any building permit for a structure to be constructed within the subdivision or development, the developer shall provide the residual performance guarantee.

The amount of a street performance guarantee shall not exceed 125% of the reasonably estimated cost of completion provided by the engineer of record at the time the performance guarantee is issued.

If the performance guarantee is extended beyond the first year, the principal amount for the revised guarantee shall be properly adjusted for any anticipated cost increase or decrease. The performance guarantee amount includes the reasonable cost to the county to administer, mobilize, and collect the guarantee.

A performance guarantee on a street shall only be used for completion of the required improvements and not for repairs or maintenance after completion.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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