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First Yard of Month Award for 2008 given

By Kathy Chaffin
Salisbury Post
CLEVELAND ó The town’s appearance was a hot topic at Monday night’s Board of Commissioners meeting.
First, Nancy Brown, wife of Mayor Jim Brown and chairwoman of the Cleveland Beautification Committee, gave out the first Yard of the Month Award for 2008. The May winners were Brenda and James Miller of 100 Hendren Lane.
“Their yard is very well-kept,” Nancy Brown said. “It’s neat and well-groomed.”
Brenda Jones accepted the award, saying her husband was just getting off work and couldn’t be there. She was pleasantly surprised to find out the honor came with a copy of Evelyn Allison’s book, “Life Stories from Cleveland,” and a check for $100.”
“And we weren’t trying,” Jones said of the award.
Nancy Brown encouraged town residents to nominate people for the Yard of the Month Award, which will be given out monthly through November.
Residents’ efforts to beautify the town are paying off, she said. “Cleveland’s really stepping up, really looking good. Even though the water line (replacement project) is messing up a little bit, all in all, it looks good.”
Mayor Brown thanked town residents on behalf of the board for keeping their yards up. “Cleveland is a really pretty town to live in,” he said, “and we really appreciate the people who strive to keep their yards in order.”
The town’s appearance came up later in the meeting when former resident Jason Josey ó who still owns two half-acre lots in Cleveland even though he and his family have moved to China Grove ó called on board members to follow the same standards they set for citizens.
Josey, who said he received a letter last week asking him to comply with the town’s ordinance requiring all grass over 18 inches to be cut, brought photographs showing property owned by Cleveland with high grass.
Brown said the grass in two of the photographs is grown for hay and has purposely not been cut. He said he would look into the other properties in question, including an open field between the back of the Cleveland Town Hall and the Southern Railway train tracks on Mimosa Street.
Josey said he couldn’t understand why town officials would send him a letter asking him to cut the grass on two vacant lots when they haven’t made sure the grass is cut on town property.
“There’s not any reason that should not be taken care of,” Brown said. “You’re right there.”
Commissioner Pat Phifer said one reason the grass behind Town Hall has not been cut is because some of the equipment for the water line replacement project is being stored there.
Josey said it could still be cut with a weed eater. “I feel that there are times when the citizens are pushed,” he said, “and told ‘Here’s the tape measure and here’s the standard and we’re going to hold you to the standard, and yet we’re not going to hold ourselves to the standard.’ “Brown responded, “I will look into it, and I will see that we live up to our own standards.”

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