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An in-depth look at our region's emerging economic, social, political and cultural identity.

Lake Norman Transportation Commission's Future In Doubt

David Boraks

Local officials  are discussing how to save the Lake Norman Transportation Commission, after three of the four member towns voted to withdraw.

Mooresville, Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville founded the commission eight years ago to lobby for transportation improvements in the rapidly growing Lake Norman area. Davidson Mayor John Woods says it has worked:

"It has evolved into a very effective means for the towns to speak with one voice, to gain a seat at the table, if you will, with transportation officials who are deciding where roads and road funding should occur," Woods says.

But after a change of leadership in last fall’s election, Huntersville commissioners voted Feb. 15 to drop out. The new mayor and several commissioners were unhappy the group didn’t fight the NCDOT’s plan for toll lanes on I-77 in the Lake Norman area.  

Last week, both Davidson and Cornelius followed suit, mainly concerned about who would pay the commission’s $90,000 annual budget when a new fiscal year begins July 1st.  Only Mooresville remains.  

Elected officials and staff from the four towns met in Davidson Monday to talk about the LNTC’s fate.

"Each town is going to go back and talk to its full board of commissioners to make sure that each town’s goals are met. … And we’ll re-gather in in a few weeks and continue the conversation," Woods said.

Woods thinks the chances are good to reauthorize the group in some form before June 30, but not without addressing critics' concerns.

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.