Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
LANDIS ó Money was a hot topic at the Board of Aldermen’s Monday meeting.
A few organizations asked the town for contributions, most of which the board denied.
The Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission asked the town for $1,000. Several people voiced opposition to the request, and no one made a motion to give the commission money.
Mayor Mike Mahaley said he’s not seen the group “do anything” outside of Salisbury.
“They probably do some good, but just not on this side of town,” he said.
Alderman Craig Sloop said the group has yet to do anything with Landis.
The board also denied funding a request from the Cabarrus-Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization regarding a transit service through Landis.
The agency asked the town for a maximum of $7,500 annually to participate in the planning and development of the Rowan Express, a transit service linking the Salisbury Transit System with the Concord-Kannapolis Area Transit System. The agency allocated $120,000 in grant funds, leaving a $30,000 annual cost that would be split among local participants.
Town Administrator Reed Linn said he’s received a few calls from residents who would like to see the town participate.
Alderman Will Beaver said there’s just no more money available.
Mahaley said that although the program would be a good one, he couldn’t fathom spending money for it while denying the police and fire departments new equipment because of budget constraints.
“The timing is not perfect,” Alderman Sloop said.
If the board had known about this request before it finalized this year’s budget, he said, it might have included the allocation.
The board approved a $1,020 request from the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce for membership dues.
Beaver asked if the town had the money. Aldermen George Pless and James Furr said it was already earmarked in the budget.
The board delayed approval of an agreement with the N.C. Department of Transportation for a Central Avenue grade crossing extension to give town attorney Rick Locklear more time to review the contract.
Several agreements between Landis, the Rail Division in Raleigh and the N.C. Department of Transportation cover the crossing closure and financial incentives tied to the projects. But there is no agreement allowing the state to construct the Central Avenue extension to the new crossing. Approving the contract will allow the state to do so.
Linn also informed the board of a burn exercise the fire department will conduct Sept. 1. The board agreed to temporarily close West 5th Street to Pine Street for the exercise.
Furr wanted to know how much water would be used during the exercise since the board has just adopted a voluntary water conservation plan.
Linn said the fire department wouldn’t use large amounts of water.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or