Granite Quarry resumes culvert project after delays
By Mark Wineka
GRANITE QUARRY — The Brookwood Drive culvert project, hampered by weeks of delays, is back on track, but its completion date has been pushed back to late October or early November.
The Board of Aldermen received another update on the project Aug. 1 from Town Engineer Jeff Moody, who said overheard utilities have been relocated and the contractor was returning to the site last week.
The relocation of a power line — the main reason for the project’s delays — was beyond the contractor’s control and, for now, there would be no late penalty assessed, Moody reported.
He said the delay was approximately 85 days, and he recommended the adjustment of the contract to reflect a new completion time.
The project was originally supposed to take 85 to 89 days, Moody said. The delay connected to utilities has doubled that time.
Mayor Pro Tem Bill Feather expressed concern that citizens had been inconvenienced by all the dirt, gravel and mud connected with the work.
Danny Gay, maybe the Brookwood Drive resident most affected by the new culvert, had asked when a late fee would go into effect for the contractor.
Gay, who is running for a seat on the board this November, also told aldermen that an embankment in front of the post office along Bank Street appeared to be sinking on one side. Gay said he had been told it was a “special design,” but he expressed his concern that a sinkhole was being created.
Gay asked that this matter be put on aldermen’s agenda for September, along with issues related to the Brookwood Drive culvert.
On another matter, Gay questioned the closing of Lyerly Street and asked whether the same kind of notifications to residents had gone out about the Brookwood Drive project.
Mayor Mary Ponds said notifications had been sent out on the culvert project.
Aldermen held a public hearing at the same meeting for the closing of the Lyerly Street railroad crossing. No one spoke for or against the closing during the hearing.
Ponds said the notice of the public hearing had run in the newspaper four times, adjacent property owners were notified and signs were posted.
Aldermen voted later in the meeting to close the crossing, which has been requested by the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Rail Division.
Granite Quarry Police Chief Mark Cook said citizen concerns expressed at the July 5 meeting about noise and drug activity on North Oak Street have been addressed and that action plans already were in place prior to July 5.
He said a house that had been a trouble spot has been vacated. Meanwhile, the department is working with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office’s vice squad.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.
In other action
These other topics were discussed at Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen’s Aug. 1 meeting:
• Granite Quarry junior firefighters have organized a school supplies drive for Granite Quarry Elementary. Supplies needed include things such as book bags, notebook paper, pens, pencils, crayons and markers. Donated supplies may be dropped off at the Granite Quarry Fire Department, 143 N. Salisbury Ave., through Aug. 19.
Supplies will be distributed to students at school Aug. 23. Sparky, the fire dog, also will be there to greet students. For more information on how to donate, contact the fire department at 704-279-5596, extension 228.
Junior firefighters include Andy Ciarmello, Candace Fraley, Emaleigh Herring, Chris Streetman, Alaina Webb and Sarah West.
• The annual Rowan County fire muster will be sponsored by the Granite Quarry department Aug. 27 at Civic Park. Ten teams from across the county have signed up for the event, which starts at 9 a.m.
• Aldermen approved the appointment of Buddy Poplin, Mary Grabowski, Gordy Peeler and Joy Fisher to terms on the Planning Board. Their terms expire in 2014.
• Aldermen approved a $350 budget amendment to pay for a front lobby security door at Town Hall.
• Aldermen approved a memorandum of understanding among the towns of Granite Quarry, Faith and Rockwell for continuation of the Rowan Express East bus service. Mayor Pro Tem Bill Feather said the cost of providing the transportation is about $75,000 annually, while Granite Quarry’s share is $3,000.
Stops for the new fiscal year will be at White Rock Garden Apartments and the Brinkley Center.
• Feather said the extra-territorial jurisdiction zoning agreement between Granite Quarry and Salisbury is 15 years old and should be updated and more concise.
“What we’ve been missing,” he said, “is a clear drawing and a map.”
Feather presented a new map, dated July 14, and an agreement, titled “Sphere of Understanding.” Aldermen approved the map and agreement.
• Two musical groups are scheduled to perform from 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday at Civic Park.