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By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post
CHINA GROVE ó The town can now effectively deal with dilapidated or deteriorating commercial buildings.
The town hasn’t adopted a new ordinance, but discovered an old one.
Emily Jackson, a planner from Benchmark of Kannapolis, reported to the Board of Aldermen Tuesday night that she had found the town’s non-residential building maintenance ordinance.
It was adopted on June 2, 1998 ó and has been in effect almost 10 years.
While some previous aldermen thought one had been adopted, no one could find it.
Jackson found the signed and dated ordinance in the files at Benchmark, which has provided contract planning services for the town for more than a decade.
Mayor Don Bringle thanked Jackson and asked that the ordinance be copied and included in the overall code of ordinances for enforcement. The town has been relying on the county to handle code enforcement on commercial buildings.
In other matters, the board heard information or acted as follows:
– Briefly discussed the need to identify two stops for the Rowan Express bus service now scheduled to start in October.
The service will connect with Salisbury, Kannapolis and Concord transit systems, offering low-cost transportation to work, shop, keep medical appointments or take care of other business.
Acting City Manager Bill Pless said they need to identify two spots in town that are visible and will attract ridership. With the price of gas headed upward, Pless said people may be willing to park their car and ride the bus at least a couple days a week.
– Considered three bids to grade, compact, and gravel a half-acre lot near the Little League Field for a parking lot. The prices ranged from $24,400 to $31,000. Alderman opted to wait until April to give staff time to find the money in the current budget. The town bought the lot three-years ago for $11,000, but it has remained unusable as a parking lot, drawing repeated criticism at meetings.
– Agreed to begin work on the 2009 budget a workshop on March 25 at 5:30 p.m.
Interim Town Manager Bill Pless said he will have updated information available on the current year’s budget which will serve as a base.
– David Ketner, public works director reported that he found 19 street lights that weren’t working and reported them to Duke Energy.
– Reappointed nine members of the Park Advisory Board to create staggered terms. Members with terms expiring in March 4, 2009, are Jimmie Higgins, Alan Corriher and Rachel Masagee. Those with terms expiring in 2010 include Butch Bivens, Pam Mishak and Don Web. Members with terms expiring in 2011 are: Charles Seaford, Jim Soloman and Jamie Morgan.

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