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Ask Matt ... about right on red, training center cost

Dal-Kawa manager Corey Noble says sales of Sea-Doos are surging. Dal-Kawa manager Corey Noble says sales of Sea-Doos are surging.

Q. What’s in all those yellow crates on the vacant lot at Busy Bend on Kanuga Road?

Sea-Doo jet skis. There are about two dozen stacked on the vacant lot across from Dal-Kawa Cycle Center, the motorcycle and motor sports dealership at 312 Kanuga Road. For the record, “jet ski” is actually a Kawasaki brand name for personal water craft, just like Sea-Doo.
I spoke to Corey Noble, Dal-Kawa’s general manager. The dealership has been in business in Hendersonville for 47 years. They carry Suzuki and Kawasaki motorcycles plus Kymco, which makes ATVs (4-wheel all-terrain vehicles). Noble shared some big changes in the motor sports business. Last spring Hunter Volvo in Asheville closed its Patton Avenue business and at the same time acquired Dal-Kawa. After the merger, Hunter moved the Bombardier brand of power sports equipment and the Sea-Doo “jet skis” to Hendersonville, which is now the new market hub for a large region that reaches as far as Knoxville and Charlotte.
The new Sea-Doo is not your father’s power watercraft. Noble said models range in price from $7,000 to $30,000. OK, but what do you get for the high end model? “Speed and power,” replied Noble. “It’s a monster with 300 hp and it can pull a water skier.” Noble expects to sell out of the Sea-Doo inventory just as they did last year. See you on the water.

Q. What happened to House Bill 48?

Last March I did a piece on HB 48, a bill that would have extended the “cooling off” period for state legislators where, if passed, they must wait 12 months (rather than six) after their terms end before they can become a registered lobbyist. Well, as predicted by Rep. Chuck McGrady, the bill’s sponsor, the measure died in committee.

Q. What would be the increase to the county tax rate to pay for the construction of the sheriff’s proposed training facility?

Technically none, according to Henderson County officials and the Board of Commissioners. The county doesn’t pay cash for major capital projects. When it’s time to start the project, which has not been approved in a final form yet, the county will borrow the money and pay it back over time. Although the law enforcement training center is budgeted in the long-range capital plan at $20 million, Sheriff Charlie McDonald is working now on cutting the cost. One might argue that taxpayers could receive a tax cut if the project was not in the county budget. Interestingly, the debt service for the law enforcement training center, $1,282,000 a year, is almost exactly the amount that 1 cent on the tax rate generates — $1,283,332. The current county tax rate is 56½ cents per $100 valuation. The county’s financial forecast shows that total debt reaches $192 million in 2019 while debt service peaks at $21.9 million in 2020. The outstanding debt goes back as far as the county jail (2001) and includes newer projects such as the Health Sciences Center, the Innovative High School, Edneyville Elementary School, Hendersonville High School and the emergency services headquarters.

Q. Before I get a ticket, when driving from Asheville exiting I-26 onto U.S. 64 going toward Hendersonville, can I make a right turn on red at the stop light? There is no sign that says you can’t.

Better not. This is not a true “T” type intersection; in fact, it’s more of a “Y.” Four Seasons Boulevard has multiple lanes and according to the Hendersonville police, driver visibility is poor. A right turn on red is an unsafe movement and you could be cited. That intersection is similar to the northbound turn from Spartanburg Highway to South Main Street, where there is a “no turn on red” sign.

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