The Mooresville Board of Commissioners on Tuesday recognized lifelong Mooresville resident Mike Cook with a proclamation honoring him for receiving the Funeral Director of the Year award by American Funeral Director magazine late last year.

Cook, president and owner of Cavin-Cook Funeral Home and Crematory, recently celebrated his 50th anniversary in the funeral home business, but friends said Tuesday it is Cook’s compassion and dedication to the community and his craft that makes him so worthy of the magazine’s prestigious title.

“I have the real honor and privilege to represent the board and to recognize a tremendous citizen in our community,” Mayor Miles Atkins said.

Commissioner Bobby Compton said he worked for Cook for six years. He said Cook taught him how to be courteous and generous, answer people’s questions and be receptive to suggestions, all skills he has applied to his position as a commissioner.

Commissioner Thurman Houston said he and Cook have been lifelong friends and used to play together as young boys. “If anyone deserves this award, this man deserves this award for all he has done for this community,” Houston said. “He’s just the image of what Mooresville should be and how people should be treated.”

Cook said it was humbling to be nominated and named as the winner. “There is nowhere that I would rather be than right here in Mooresville to receive this proclamation tonight because this community means so much to me,” Cook said. “I love each and every person here. It’s easy to be a part of this town.”

The Board of Commissioners also recognized former Continuum CEO David Auger, who died May 17, 2019, with a proclamation honoring his service to the town. Continuum board Chairman Larson Jaenicke accepted the proclamation on behalf of Auger’s widow, who did not attend the meeting.

The Board of Commissioners also honored Jaenicke and Continuum interim CEO Bob Guth with a separate proclamation thanking them for their assistance in the sale of the community-owned and locally operated communications company. TDS Broadband Service, LLC purchased Continuum Communications System for $80 million in August 2019.

In other business, the Board of Commissioners, in a 5-1 vote, denied a utility service request by EPCON Communities for a proposed project on 95 acres at 1828 Mecklenburg Highway west of Bridges Farm Road.

Town interim Planning and Community Development Director Craig Culberson said the applicant had not yet submitted any formal project plans but noted EPCON Communities is a residential developer. Town water and sewer services would need to be extended at the developer’s request, Culberson said. Fire officials said the development would be located at the edge of their five-mile response area and such a development would require a new fire station and personnel, Culberson said.

Public Works does not yet service this area, Culberson said.

The OneMooresville plan, the town’s comprehensive plan, indicates this property is located in the “employment center” designation, which is intended to support various types of employment uses like offices, light production, business incubators or warehousing, retail, restaurants and multi-family workforce housing that would integrate with development in the area, Culberson said.

Any residential development would not be in keeping with the OneMooresville plan, Culberson said.

Dan Brewer, civil engineer with ESP Associates, said the utility service request is just the first step in a yearslong process to build a less-dense development on the vacant land. Brewer called the proposed development “high-end, mostly age-restrictive.”

In July 2017, the Board of Commissioners rejected a request by developer Hinckley Gauvain to bring a mixed-use development on 137 acres off Mecklenburg Highway at Bridges Farm Road. The public met that proposed project — 115 single-family units, 300 condominiums, 120 town homes and 300 multi-family homes with 130,000 square feet of office and commercial space — with extreme opposition.

Commissioner Lisa Qualls motioned to deny the utilities request Tuesday because it did not meet the requirements of the OneMooresville plan. Qualls said the southern part of Iredell County, at the Mecklenburg County line, isn’t yet ready to support such a development.

Commissioner Eddie Dingler said he wanted to see an actual concept plan before agreeing that the town would provide utility service.

Commissioners Gary West, Thurman Houston, Bobby Compton, Qualls and Dingler voted to reject the utility service request, while Commissioner Barbara Whittington voted against rejecting the request.

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