Mayor Aneralla: Focus on road improvements


By Dave Vieser. Fresh on the heels of a convincing re-election victory, Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla views the start of the long-awaited Main Street upgrade as the town’s marque project heading into the New Year. He feels the improvements will be a major step forward for businesses, as well as the town’s 55,000 residents.

Aneralla defeated former town commissioner Rob Kidwell for a third term.

A self-employed investment advisor, Aneralla led Huntersville’s push for a town-owned charter school while Kidwell called for closer ties with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Aneralla won handily, with 56 percent of the vote, but there doesn’t seem to be any traction right now for a split from CMS.

Transportation improvements are front and center.

“After 20 years of discussion and planning, I’m happy to say that Huntersville’s Main Street improvement project is set to begin,” the mayor said in an exclusive interview with Business Today. “When completed, this will allow easier movement through our downtown, eventually attracting private sector development to the area.”

Specifically, the plan calls for establishing an alternative route to NC 115/Old Statesville Road to run through downtown Huntersville.

The objective is to upgrade Main Street and provide a connection to 115 at both Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road and Fourth Street. This connection is intended to provide significant north/south capacity in downtown Huntersville without widening 115.

The project will take approximately two years to finish. Also slated to start in 2020 are improvements to Gilead Road and US 21.

Meanwhile, Aneralla sees continued strength on the economic development front.

“All indications are that the North Meck area and Huntersville in particular remain attractive for new businesses to locate here as well as current businesses to grow,” he said.

The town’s proximity to Charlotte/Douglas Airport, the businesses in Charlotte and the other amenities located in Charlotte actually works to Huntersville’s advantage. “We’ve found that our lower tax rate, cheaper land costs and small town feel are very attractive to businesses looking to locate near a major metropolitan area,” he said.

When asked what the biggest challenge is to the town’s economic growth, Aneralla’s answer mirrored those from local business leaders: Recruiting and retaining skilled workers. “With unemployment in Huntersville below the national average, many businesses and companies are struggling with this,” he said.

The town continues to connect their business community with area high schools, the community college and other organizations in an attempt to link the work force of the future with the jobs of the future.


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