Granite Quarry board tries to address ‘horrific’ congestion at elementary school
GRANITE QUARRY — The Board of Aldermen moved Monday night to address an on-street parking problem next to Granite Quarry Elementary School.
In other Granite Quarry business ...
Here’s a look at other things discussed Monday night by the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen:• At the recommendation of Town Manager Dan Peters, Granite Quarry will continue its contract with Waste Management for solid-waste pickup in the town. The existing contract called for an automatic renewal in April unless aldermen gave notice it wanted to renegotiate.Peters said he’s hoping Granite Quarry can reach an agreement next year with a contractor who can provide both recycling and solid-waste collection.• RowanWorks, the economic development commission for Rowan County, has asked Granite Quarry and other municipalities to nominate someone to represent municipalities on the commission.The term of Dr. Carol Spalding, the former municipal appointment, expired in December. Nominations will be submitted to the county municipal association, which will vote on an EDC appointment April 25.“This actually was designed to give us more input,” Mayor Pro Tem Bill Feather said.• Aldermen will hold their budget retreat March 12.• Peters said he will recommend in April the installation of a three-way stop at the intersection of Depot and Main streets. It’s part of traffic changes to be connected with the future closing of the Lyerly Street railroad crossing.• Meanwhile, the town is still waiting for the state Rail Division to complete an environmental impact study on improving the grade at the Bank Street rail crossing, where another tractor-trailer got stuck on the tracks last week.Feather asked what possibly could be the holdup.“It is an area of frustration,” Peters said.• Zoning Administrator Susan Closner reported the Trexler Creek Flood Study map is now available for public inspection and comment, and notification letters have been sent to property owners affected. Closner said 52 notifications went out.After the Federal Emergency Management Agency is satisfied all requirements have been met, the map will be placed on the federal registry, meaning insurance rates could improve for people whose properties may no longer be in the creek’s flood zone.“We’re so much closer than we were,” Closner said.• Kim Cress, the town’s maintenance supervisor, said the town has been working with the N.C. Department of Transportation on sidewalk repairs along U.S. 52.• Closner reported the Planning Board has set up a meeting for 5 p.m. March 11 at city hall to discuss what sign changes can be made along state-maintained U.S. 52. DOT Division Engineer Pat Ivey is expected to attend.The look at signs is an outgrowth of a downtown revitalization effort, whose core team will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at city hall.• The town’s Easter Egg Hunt will be held at 2 p.m. March 24 at Civic Park.• The annual “Plants in the Park” event will be held April 27 at Granite Lake Park.• The annual Fish for Fun Day will be held May 18 at Granite Lake Park.• Police Chief Mark Cook said his department had 508 calls for service in February, made nine criminal arrests and investigated four wrecks.
Police Chief Mark Cook said having cars parked on both sides of South Walnut Street creates “horrific congestion” mornings and afternoons during school days.
Sharon Gardner, representing Rowan-Salisbury Schools, asked aldermen to consider prohibiting parking on the school side of South Walnut Street to ease the congestion.
Aldermen agreed, following Cook’s recommendation to ban parking on the school side from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, between Bank and Lyerly streets.
The town board also asked Cook to come up with a recommendation to protect the on-street parking spots of residents across from the school.
One idea suggested Monday night was to provide parking permits for residents on South Walnut Street.
Gardner acknowledged school staff members parking on the street were part of the problem. But Principal Vicki Booker has corrected that problem, and school personnel are using the parking lot, Gardner said.
Cook showed aldermen photographs of the problems created for fire trucks and police cars when vehicles are parked on both sides of the street.
Two-way traffic is eliminated and the street easily becomes blocked if a fire truck has to respond to a call at the school or near the school, Cook noted.
He said it becomes difficult for a second fire truck or police car to get around the first fire truck.
“That was a major concern,” Cook said.
Cook said he didn’t see a reason why the parking ban on the school side of South Walnut had to extend beyond school hours. Several of the residents along South Walnut Street have to park their cars on the street because they don’t have driveways, Cook said.
Gardner said the no-parking rule on the school side will have the additional benefit of allowing the post office to move a mailbox closer to the school.
The Postal Service had kept its on-street box two blocks away from the school because of the parking congestion.
Cook said his department had received “quite a few complaints” from residents about the volume of parking during school hours. One resident has resorted to putting out cones to save his on-street space.
In other business Monday night, Town Manager Dan Peters reported he has received the resignation of long-time Granite Quarry Fire Chief David Morris, effective March 12.
Morris and his wife are expecting the birth of a son next week, and they have three other children. A full-time battalion chief with Salisbury Fire Department, Morris wants to spend more time with his family.
Peters said the resignation is “very difficult for me to accept,” given Morris’ dedicated service to the town.
Mayor Mary Ponds echoed those sentiments and thanked Morris, who was in attendance at Monday’s meeting.
“We’re certainly going to enjoy some family time,” Morris said.
Morris thanked the aldermen for making Granite Quarry “a pleasurable place to be a part of.”
In another matter, Sarah Cross updated aldermen on recycling, reminding residents that two companies are providing residential pickup in Granite Quarry.
One company picks up recycling for its customers on the first and third Wednesdays of the month; the other, on the second and fourth Fridays.
Residents may call Cross at the town office to sign up, and she’ll take care of the arrangements.
The companies provide rollout containers, either 64-gallon or 96-gallon.
Alderman Eloise Peeler said residents should be made aware the smaller 64-gallon carts are available.Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.