By Jessie Burchette
CHINA GROVE ó Town officials want a meeting with county and Landis fire officials to clear up questions about why the China Grove Fire Department is being dispatched to calls in and around Landis.
Mayor Don Bringle said there appear to be some gray areas in the coverage.
Bringle specifically cited the area along Chapel Street in Landis and the area behind the former Kannapolis Wal-Mart, which has often been called a “no man’s land.”
China Grove firefighters are also dispatched routinely to calls along Mount Moriah Church Road near Landis Elementary School.
Bringle said it’s not mutual aid responses ó where a fire department responds to help a neighboring department ó that are in question, but calls where China Grove is the first unit dispatched.
Fire Chief Jeff Gledhill said China Grove contracts with Rowan County to provide fire service for the areas at a rate of $2,000 a year. When the contract was signed, Landis aldermen refused to allow their department to respond outside town limits.
Bringle said the idea of China Grove fire trucks skipping over Landis to answer a call doesn’t make sense to him. He also asked the fire department to provide figures on the cost of responding to calls in these areas.
Bringle said it’s time to take look and understand what the obligation is and if the dollars received from the county are sufficient to offset the cost.
Bringle appointed Aldermen Allen Welter and Troy Elliott, Town Manager Eric Davis, and Gledhill to meet with Rowan County Emergency Services Director Frank Thomason, County Fire Marshal Tom Murphy and Landis Fire Chief Reed Linn to resolve the issues.
In other matters, the board:
– Delayed action on a proposed amendment to the unified development ordinance that would allow for planned unit developments to mix commercial, retail and office development in one project.
The town’s Planning Board has unanimously recommended adopting the amendment.
Town Planner Lindsey Hobbs said the text would have no effect on residential development. He said the primary purpose would be to allow a mix of uses, which is currently not allowed.
Alderman Allen Welter asked for a delay to give the amendment additional study.
– Approved a bid by B&E Custom Cabinets to renovate the main office area at the Municipal Building.
Town Manager Eric Davis said the current cabinets and configuration are pre-computer. By reconfiguring existing space, Davis said, one person will be able to handle two workstations when activity is slow. The town handles bills for Duke Energy as well as its own sewer and water bills.
– Agreed to a contract with Court One for $9,380 to make improvements on the tennis courts at the Community Memorial Building.
Public Works Director David Ketner said work will be minimal. Contractors recommended a major renovation at a cost of $30,000 to $50,000.
Bringle recommended going with Court One of Granite Quarry instead of North State of Raleigh, the low bidder with a price of $8,975. Bringle favored Court One in part because of the company’s proximity to China Grove.
By Jessie Burchette