Transportation issues are expected to again take center stage during Holly Springs leaders’ annual retreat, which will begin on Friday in Southern Pines.
The Town Council and about 15 staff members are scheduled to commute Friday morning to the Mid Pines Inn, where they’ll stay until Saturday afternoon.
The trip is expected to cost about $4,900, according to Town Clerk Joni Powell. The town spent roughly the same amount on the retreat to Southern Pines last year, when it focused on fixing traffic problems at the intersection of Avent Ferry Road and the N.C. 55 Bypass.
They came up with a plan to fund a traffic realignment plan, among other capital projects, and ultimately succeeded in acquiring funds for the $1.6 million realignment project over the past year.
This year, town staff will seek direction from town staff on broader transportation policies, said Charles Simmons, the town manager.
The council also is expected to talk about downtown development, the budget, the progress of the North Main Athletic Complex and improving communication strategies with residents and the media.
“We have more engaged citizens now,” Dickson said. “When they understand and see that you’re letting them know what’s taking place, it puts them at ease.”
For the transportation discussion, the engineering department will present its report on how local roads are expected to fare as Holly Springs continues to grow rapidly over the next several years. The staff will then ask council members to prioritize a list of needs.
“This one (retreat) is going to be more big-picture,” Simmons said. “We’ll project our biggest needs over the next several years and then propose strategies to meet those needs.”
Holly Springs Road, in particular, will likely be at the top of the priority list for councilmen Hank Dickson and Jimmy Cobb.
The intersection of Holly Springs and Bass Lake roads recently came into focus after the council approved amendments to a mixed-use subdivision known as Rhamkatte Village.
“I’d like to see us widening Holly Springs Road from Main (Street) to Linksland (Drive) and then ultimately to Sunset Lake (Road),” Cobb said.
The council will also consider using the police station next to Town Hall as a co-working space once the department moves to a bigger location near the intersection of Holly Springs and Bass Lake roads later this year.
“There’s a growing demand for that type of space,” Simmons said. “Initiatives like this make us feel like we’d be more attractive.”