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Granite Quarry sings praises of leaf vacuum

By Steve Huffman

Salisbury Post

GRANITE QUARRY — Members of the Board of Aldermen here got an update Monday night on the town’s new leaf vacuum.

The briefing came during the board’s monthly meeting.

The leaf vacuum was purchased by the town a little less than a year ago, meaning this is the first season where it has been put to full use. It’s a big creation that chews through leaves like nobody’s business, town leaders said.

Maintenance Supervisor Kim Cress said the leaf vacuum has been well received. He noted that in years past, the only pick up the town would do of residents’ leaves was if they were bagged.

Now, Cress said, the vacuum is used every Monday, with residents only having to rake their leaves to the curb and town employees doing the rest. Cress said the amount of leaves the town has retrieved this year has “doubled or tripled” the amount they’ve picked up in the past.

“It’s a whole lot easier to rake them to the curb than bag them,” Cress said. “Citizens are thrilled to have this service. I’m glad to see it’s being used. It’s paid off.”

He said the town is working to mulch and recycle the leaves, making their collection environmentally friendly.

In other matters handled Monday, board members:

* Heard from Mayor Mary Ponds who said she received letters from a pair of fifth-graders at Granite Quarry Elementary School who wrote her about work being done to Granite Lake Park.

Ponds said she figured the students would simply be writing to tell her how proud they are of how the park is shaping up, but said that, instead, the letters were a bit of a surprise.

The students were writing, Ponds said, to complain about workers at the site who they’d seen drinking coffee.

Ponds chuckled as she relayed the story to aldermen. She said she then visited the school to explain to students the work that’s taking place at the park, and the need for workers there to take an occasional coffee break.

“The kids are also excited about that park,” Ponds said.

* Welcomed the police department’s new reserve officer, Adele Fischer. Town leaders said she’s the first female officer in the history of the Granite Quarry Police Department.

Fischer told board members she’s a native of Long Island, N.Y., but has lived in Charlotte for 11 years. She said she plans to move to Rowan County soon.

* Heard that Heather Miller is joining the town’s fire department as a firefighter. Aldermen said Miller is a full-time paramedic with the Rowan County Emergency Medical Services and should be an asset to the Granite Quarry department.

* Heard from Planning Administrator Susan Closner who said the visit by Santa Claus to Town Hall on Sunday went off without a hitch. Closner said that more than 70 children had their pictures taken with Santa.

* Heard from Mayor Pro Tem Bill Feather concerning the opening of the new Fred’s Store, which is located on U.S. 52 in the former Winn-Dixie. Feather spoke at the store’s opening last week and said he was excited to learn that they sold milk and bread, along with an assortment of other items.

Ponds referred to Fred’s as a “mini Wal-Mart.”

* Heard a compliment from a resident concerning the town’s Christmas lights.

“The lights look nice,” said David Marple.

Ponds agreed.

Granite Quarry is a beautiful town, especially during Christmas time,” she said.

Ponds said the town’s maintenance workers deserve the credit for putting up the lights.

* Approved a series of zoning map amendments recommended by the planning board. The amendments were approved following a public hearing. A handful of people spoke in favor of the changes while no one spoke in opposition.

In recommending the changes, planning board members said the changes follow the comprehensive plan of Granite Quarry to be mostly residential and also brought the properties more in compliance with surrounding properties.

Contact Steve Huffman at 704-797-4222 or shuffman@salisburypost.com.

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