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No thanks to new sidewalks, say some in China Grove

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
CHINA GROVE ó Who wants new sidewalks?
Some residents of China Grove apparently don’t want new sidewalks in front of their homes.
And they have a suggestion on what the town can do with more than $760,000 in federal dollars earmarked for sidewalks. Several miles of new sidewalks are planned.
Harry Mills told aldermen Tuesday night he has yet to find a single person in his Bostian Street area who wants sidewalks.
“I know we got the grant,” Mills said. “Can’t we send it back?”
He suggested the funds could better be used for schools that are short of money and having to lay off teachers.
Mills said a petition is in the works to demonstrate opposition to the sidewalks. He plans to present the petition at the town board’s June meeting, but he promised if it turns out more people want sidewalks than oppose them, “I’ll hush.”
Another resident, Mickey Blackwelder, questioned why some streets will get sidewalks and others won’t. Blackwelder said he finds it odd that some small streets will get sidewalks, but other connecting streets won’t, leaving gaps for walkers.
In other matters, the board:
– Approved rezoning four parcels on Main Street between Ketchie and Ross streets. The Planning Board discovered that during the adoption of the Unified Development Ordinance, the lots ended up with mixed zoning ó central business in front and mixed residential at the back. The Planning Board initiated the rezoning.
Aldermen approved rezoning all the parcels to central business, except a narrow section of one lot extending to the rear of two residential lots on Ketchie Street. That portion will remain residential.
– Approved new floodplain maps and an agreement that allows the county to handle enforcement.
Alderman Allen Welter voted against the three resolutions related to the passage, pointing out he didn’t get several pages of the various chapters of the paperwork.
– Agreed to try a portable toilet at the Community Memorial Building Park for those using the tennis courts and park after hours.
The board opted to go with a handicapped-accessible version.
And the board gave the green light to remove a tree and do necessary grading to fix a walkway through the park.
Earlier town staff put up a barricade to keep walkers off a bad section of the walkway to prevent injury. David Ketner, public works director, told aldermen determined walkers kept moving the barricade.
– Set the public hearing on the 2010 town budget for the June 2 meeting.
Aldermen begin work on the budget with a meeting at 6 this evening at the Municipal Building, 205 Swink St.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254.

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