Granite Quarry won’t put up helmet law signs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Mark Wineka
GRANITE QUARRY ó For now, kids riding bicycles at Granite Quarry parks will have to know on their own that the law requires them to wear helmets.
The Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen decided Monday night against posting informational signs about the helmet law, which was passed in the 2001 session of the N.C. General Assembly.
The Child Bicycle Safety Act requires bicyclists under the age of 16 to wear helmets while riding.
Younger children shorter than 40 inches or weighing less than 40 pounds have to ride in restraining seats when they are passengers on bicycles and must also wear helmets. Parents can be fined $10 if their children ride bicycles without helmets.
The town’s Parks and Recreation Commission recommended that signs about the helmet law be placed at Centennial Park, Civic Park and Granite Lake Park.
But after a brief discussion, aldermen decided against additional park signs.
Alderwoman Eloise Peeler expressed concerns, however, about the town’s liability should pedestrians in the parks be hit by kids on bicycles. Peeler said she was for kids having fun, but the town has been fortunate there haven’t been any serious accidents yet.
Alderman Jake Fisher said he hadn’t heard of any complaints about bicycles and added he didn’t see a need for the park signs about helmets.
Mayor Pro Tem Bill Feather encouraged the Fire Department to have a program connected to bicycle safety in the spring.
In other town business:
– On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the town is making its “Fall Dumpster” available to residents who want to get rid of household items beyond what they normally put out for regular garbage collection.
The dumpster will be located at 913 S. Main St. from 2-5:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
No appliances such as refrigerators and televisions will be accepted, as well as tires, sharp objects and hazardous materials (paints, oils, refrigerants).
The dumpster will be manned, and only Granite Quarry residents are eligible to use it.
– Granite Quarry will erect three “Traffic Safe Community” signs at $90 each, pending their approval by the N.C. Department of Transportation.
AAA recently named Granite Quarry a Traffic Safe Community, and the organization will reimburse the town for the signs.
“Our goal is to have another one in 2010,” Sgt. Todd Taylor said in presenting Mayor Mary Ponds a plaque from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Monday night.
– Taylor announced that Cpl. Rodney Seamon has completed training that now qualifies him as the town’s first crisis negotiator.
– The United Way campaign is coming to a close for town employees. Town Clerk Becky Shives reported a 78 percent participation as of Monday, “which is really good for us,” she said.
– The town has been encouraging its employees to obtain flu shots, the cost of which will be reimbursed to them.
– Mark Troublefield has been promoted to assistant chief for inspections for the Granite Quarry Fire Department.
– Deputy Fire Chief Bill Fraley said an ISO (Insurance Services Office) team will be in Granite Quarry for three to five days during the week of Jan. 4, 2010, to inspect Fire Department operations. The last ISO visit was in 1988.
The town’s ISO rating is important to homeowners in the cost of their insurance.
“We’re working hard for that, getting all the paperwork in order,” Fraley said.
– Leaf pickup in Granite Quarry started Monday.
– The town’s Christmas lights will go up Nov. 11 and will be turned on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving.
– Santa Claus will be at the Granite Quarry Town Hall from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 6.
– The Hill Street water tank will be undergoing several improvements. It will be cleaned inside, painted outside and have some electrical upgrades.
– Salisbury-Rowan Utilities has approved an emergency backup generator for the town’s pump in the 700 block of North Salisbury Avenue.
– The town will hold its annual Christmas party for staff and volunteers Dec. 11.