DOT silences North Main music festival

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 20, 2011

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Party poopers.
The N.C. Department of Transportation has given the thumbs down to a music festival planned for Aug. 27 in the 100 block of North Main Street.
Miller Davis/3 Dudes Productions asked the city in April to close the street from midnight Aug. 26 to 6 a.m. Aug. 28 for an all-day event headlined by a Sugarcreek reunion concert.
Promoter Mike Miller said the festival could draw 3,500 people.
Too risky, the state says, because construction of the Yadkin River Bridge increases the chances for a traffic mishap, and Main Street serves as the detour route.
DOT officials also said the estimated time it would take to disassemble the large stage on North Main Street and remove it from the roadway is too long.
Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins delivered the news in a memo to the city.
While state officials disapprove of the street closure, they are leaving the final decision to City Council, Collins said.
“DOT was clear, however, in stating that all responsibility and liability for this closure would be totally that of the city’s,” Collins said in his memo, “and that the Department of Transportation were washing their hands of any level of liability, should any type of negative incident occurs as a result of the closure.”
Council agreed to close the street, contingent upon approval from the DOT.
Council will discuss the issues at 4 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 217 S. Main St.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, City Council will consider:
• A jobs-based economic incentive grant for the Universal Forest Products expansion project known as “Project Tree.”
Council will hold a public hearing.
Universal Forest Products, which employs 144 people at a facility at 358 Woodmill Road, is considering buying, refurbishing and occupying the vacant Maxon Furniture Building at 520 Grace Church Road.
The expansion would employ 49 people with an average wage of $37,000, with benefits equal to 30 percent of the average salary. The company would make a $1 million investment in the expansion and keep the original facility open.
RowanWorks Economic Development is requesting an incentive grant of $37,500 from the city, as well as Rowan County, to be combined with assistance from Duke Energy.
• Lowering the speed limit on Institute Street.
• An ordinance regarding parking on Old Plank Road between Thomas Street and Craige Street.
• Public comment.
• City Manager David Treme’s comments, including the fiscal year 2011-12 budget ordinance, a 2011 Department of Homeland Security Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant and Hill Street Tower Fire Protection.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.