Residents annexed by China Grove sound off on town services
By Jessie Burchette
CHINA GROVE ó Residents lined up Tuesday night to complain about town services and pepper town officials with questions.
Mayor Don Bringle, who normally limits public comment to three minutes, gave up halfway through the broadside from residents.
Bringle did apologize to Tessa Wray, a resident of the N.C. 152 West area, which was annexed into the town four years ago.
Wray had a litany of complaints about the town’s failure to provide promised water and sewer within two years.
She pointed out that her taxes had doubled, but the town isn’t providing dependable garbage service.
“It’s been three weeks since our garbage has been picked up,” said Wray, “My tax dollars are paying for service I’m not getting.”
“The town will be there tomorrow to pick up up your garbage, not Waste Management,” said Bringle, instructing staff to make sure Waste Management has accurate route information on serving the area. Waste Management provides garbage service for the town.
Other residents complained about the town’s brush pickup and the board’s decision to spend $25,000 fixing a parking lot for the Little League Park.
Pete Kluttz, of Railroad Avenue, criticized the board’s decision last month to pave the parking lot. Kluttz said by the time the lot is ready for cars, there will be only three weeks left in the Little League season.
Kluttz said $25,000 is a lot of money to spend for three weeks of parking.
Town officials initially planned to wait until grindings from an upcoming paving project could be used to fix the lot at almost no cost to the town. That project now appears to be several months away.
Kluttz asked board members about how much money the town has spent on the park, and how much money the Little League and Civitan organization raises and spends.
Kluttz said the town residents are due a full accounting of expenditures.
Johnny Miller, of Hickory Nut Lane, also weighed in on the parking lot issue. “If the town has that much money to blow, cut my water bill in half,” said Miller, adding that Little League games should be moved to China Grove Middle School.
Miller also took the opportunity to let aldermen know what he thinks about the town’s debris pickup. He said the town refused to pick up a pile of sprouts his son had cut off a tree stump. Instead, the town provided a truck free of charge, which family members loaded. Town workers than hauled the debris off.
Miller called it a waste of money.
– Alan Corriher, of Stevens Street, suggested the town find a place to stockpile asphalt grindings from the street to use for future road or parking lot projects.
The town is considering a major resurfacing and paving project to fix dozens of streets in poor condition.
In other matters, the board heard information or acted as follows:
– Approved closing Main Street June 13 for the annual 5K race. The street will be closed from Ross Street to Kimball Road from 8 to 11 p.m.
– Unanimously adopted the updated town ordinances. All of the ordinances have previously been adopted, but had not been updated and codified since 1993.
The ordinances deal with town operations other than zoning and development.
– Authorized Bringle to sign a contract with Sherrill & Smith CPAs of Salisbury to do the town’s audit for the current year.
The town is in the final year of a three-year contract with the firm.
– Held a closed session to confer with Town Attorney Tom Brooke.
The board agreed to hire Salisbury attorney Andy Abramson to represent the Zoning Board of Adjustment in the ongoing legal dispute with Steve Stroud over his home-based business.
Abramson, who represented Lois Elliott, chairman of the ZBA, in her complaint against Stroud, will now replace Brooke as ZBA attorney.