City Council to hear public opinion on historic preservation master plan

  • Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 1:06 a.m.

SALISBURY — Residents will have another chance to comment on the Salisbury Historic Preservation Master Plan when City Council holds a public hearing at 4 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall.

Mayor Paul Woodson pulled the public hearing from a lengthy agenda at the last City Council meeting. A large group had turned out for the hearing, many wearing stickers in support of the Chestnut Hill neighborhood, where historic preservationists are focusing a new revitalization effort.

But this week’s City Council agenda is shorter, and the public hearing is first on the action items.

The Historic Preservation Master Plan is an action-oriented road map for improving the city’s preservation programs and a tool to help strengthen collaboration on preservation issues.

The plan includes more than 100 specific recommendations, distilled from community input that included three public forums, 50-plus stakeholder interviews and focus groups, as well as an online moderated forum.

Organizations that participated in interviews included all historic neighborhoods, Downtown Salisbury, Rowan County Visitors Center, Historic Salisbury Foundation and others.

The plan was funded by a $15,000 federal Historic Preservation Fund grant, along with $8,000 local match. Salisbury received the grant through its participation in the Certified Local Government Program, which is a national program to promote effective preservation at the local level.

Many of the recommendations in the plan are simple and can be accomplished without additional expense, while others would need to be programmed into future budget cycles as funding allows.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda:

• Woodson will proclaim May 27 as Veterans Memorial Day and Nov. 9 as Purple Heart Trail Day.

• The consent agenda includes several donations and grants to the Salisbury Police Department.

Council will approve $19,000 in donations to the department to be used for purchasing body cameras for all officers, a bar scanner system for evidence and items for the recruiting program.

The department also has received a $24,221 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant that will be used to upgrade a van so it can be used as a command post for events and crime scenes, as well as purchase of chemical munitions kits, night vision goggles, gas masks and body cameras.

• The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has reimbursed the city and HS&E Inc. $430,060 to pay for contamination clean-up at the proposed site of the downtown school central office at 329 S. Main St.

The city and HS&E removed orphaned fuel storage tanks and supply lines. HS&E oversaw the remediation of contaminated soil.

The city and Rowan-Salisbury Schools are working on an agreement that would spell out the financing, construction and lease of the $8 million central office. The city would borrow the money and build the facility, and the school system would lease it and pay back the loan with state sales tax revenue.

• City Council will consider an application from Timothy Rogers to operate a pool hall located at 723 Klumac Road.

Rogers wants to have two pool tables at the Stars and Bars Tavern. Police said they are comfortable with Rogers’ plan to maintain an safe environment.

Council members will hold a public hearing.

• City Council to hold a public hearing regarding financing, acquisition, construction and equipping of certain telecommunications capital improvements to upgrade the city’s 800 Mhz trunking system.

• Public comments.

• City Manager Doug Paris’ comments.

In other city news:

• The Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department will host “Movies in the Park” May 31 at City Park. Pre-movie activities begin at 8 p.m. The movie will begin at approximately 8:45 p.m. Bring a blanket or chair to watch the featured movie “Brave.” The event is free and open to the public.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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