Faster path for Rowan road names
By Karissa Minn
County commissioners unanimously approved changes to the county’s addressing ordinance Tuesday.
County GIS Coordinator Adrian Rollans said staff from the county’s telecommunications, emergency services and planning and development departments met several times in 2009 and 2010 to consider updates to the ordinance.
“I think the last time the ordinance was amended was in 2001,” Rollans said. “Prior to that, the ordinance was adopted in 1989.”
Rollans said the objectives of amending the ordinance were “to streamline the process for road naming/address changes for the Board of Commissioners,” “to clarify administrative assignment of addresses” and “to define and establish address procedures for greenways/trails and campgrounds.”
In a memo to commissioners, he wrote that correct addressing and proper posting helps emergency responders locate residents and improve response time.
Chairman Chad Mitchell said after the meeting that county staff periodically updates ordinances like this one as needed.
The road naming process now requires a petition with up to three possible names. The naming can only be processed with a majority of all adjoining property owners’ signatures if initiated by the public.
“We also streamlined the process a little so that if it’s unanimous, and everybody who owns property with the road agrees to it, then the county staff can just take care of that without it coming before our board,” Mitchell said.
The ordinance also establishes fines for removing, defacing or posting road signs or address numbers when not authorized.
Commissioners had planned on discussing a proposed resolution opposing privatization Tuesday, but the item was delayed until Feb. 7.
Terry Osborne, general manager of the Rowan-Kannapolis ABC Board, submitted some more information to commissioners earlier that day, so they agreed to take more time to look it over.
The issue did come up briefly during another item on the meeting agenda — legislative goals proposed by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.
The board voted to determine Commissioner Jim Sides should vote on certain items as its delegate to the association’s Legislative Goals Conference on Thursday and Friday.
Sides asked the board’s approval to vote “no” on a goal seeking legislation to “protect local control of the local ABC system.”
After the meeting, Sides said he isn’t necessarily against privatization but is waiting to see results from a study requested by the governor before fully supporting it.
“I don’t think it’s the proper function of government to be in the liquor business,” he said.
Mitchell and Vice Chairman Carl Ford agreed with Sides’ vote, while Commissioners Jon Barber and Raymond Coltrain dissented.
“I am all for privatization of any government function backed up by a solid plan,” Barber said. “But all I know is this was a concept thrown out by state of North Carolina.”
Sides received unanimous approval to vote “no” on a goal seeking legislation to “authorize counties to offer broadband through partnership or direct service.”
He also was authorized to vote “no” on a goal seeking the “repeal of public employee personnel record changes” in House Bill 961 and “legislation that will better clarify issues regarding privacy.”
Coltrain again dissented, saying “99 percent” of government personnel information was available to the public before the law went into effect.
“All it really does is make it easier for someone to give a particular employee a hard time,” he said.
Sides also got approval to amend the goal to “modernize annexation laws,” allowing county commissioners to call for a referendum on any proposed involuntary annexation — not just those where public services already exist.
Commissioners also agreed unanimously with Ford’s request that Sides vote to amend the public education policy statement to remove a sentence supporting the funding of one school system per county.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
In other business
Rowan County Commissioners also:
• Considered an ordinance supporting the continuance of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control System and opposing any efforts to privatize it.
• Approved a special use permit for Orica USA at 2075 High Rock Road in Gold Hill.
• Approved the road name of Trexler Memorial Lane for an unnamed road off N.C. Highway 152.
• Approved the Community Child Protection Team’s annual report for 2010.
• Approved an $85,400 contract for roof renovation at the Rowan County Museum, a $66,943 contract for transit scheduling and routing software for Rowan Transit System and a $54,900 contract for softball field lighting at Ellis Park.