City Council refuses to take sides in alley dispute

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 4, 2012

SALISBURY – City Council decided Tuesday not to take sides in a neighborhood dispute over closing part of a gravel road.
The closure would affect four property owners. Three owners asked the city to close a portion of Brawley Avenue from Corriher Avenue to Lantz Avenue and the alley behind 304 W. Corriher Ave.
The closure would turn the short, public gravel road into private property, split among the adjacent property owners.
Supports were Niven Bayer, 303 Lantz Ave.; Pete and Millie Stout, 304 W. Corriher Ave. and Michael and Myra Meyerhoeffer , 219 Lantz Ave.
The additional land would give them more space for improvements such as a garage and fence, they said.
But neighbor James and Beth Slate, whose property at 224 W. Corriher Ave. is also adjacent to the road, opposed the closure, saying it is not in the public interest and would decrease their property value.
“We need to strike some kind of compromise,” Mayor Paul Woodson said.
When it became obvious the parties would not reach an agreement at the City Council meeting, council tabled the issue and directed City Manager Doug Paris to negotiate a compromise and bring back a recommendation.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, City Council:
• Learned that in June, Lutheran Services for the Aging and Lutheran Family Services in the Carolinas created a new collective ministry called Lutheran Services Carolinas.
Going forward, Lutheran Services Carolinas will offer senior services in place of Lutheran Services for the Aging and child and family services in place of Lutheran Family Services.
The new name and affiliation represent the coming together of two long-established social ministries that have provided nearly 90 years of service in the Carolinas.
Councilman Brian Miller said Lutheran Services Carolinas is a community asset.
“I think the world of this organization,” he said.
• Approved a change to the city’s solid waste ordinance directing people to place rollout recycling bins next to the street on collection day, but not in the roadway.
Clyde, who only uses one name, asked the council to clarify where the carts should be stored at other times. Clyde complained of the cart’s “vile blue color” and shared a photo of a house where the cart is stored on the front porch.
According to the ordinance, that is allowed, said Joe Morris, the city’s director of Community Planning Services.
“Many people who want to cooperate will put the bin out of sight,” Morris said.
The city is relying on residents to “exercise some sense of civic pride, I suppose, and do what they can to conceal the containers,” he said.
• Learned that Salisbury has one of the lowest business license fees for Internet gaming machines.
Salisbury charges $500 per machine, while other cities charge up to $2,500. Many municipalities also charge an establishment fee for sweepstakes cafes, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Salisbury does not charge an establishment fee.
Three cities in the staff comparison have cheaper fees than Salisbury.
Woodson said he opposes changing the fee in the middle of the fiscal year. Council members agreed to discuss raising the fee for the next fiscal year during their annual retreat in February.
• Agreed to restrict parking in the 1100 block of South Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue on the north side between the entrance and exit drives for Rufty Holmes Senior Center.
Center director Rick Eldridge said parked cars are restricting the sight distance of seniors leaving the center.
• Asked residents to volunteer to serve on a task force that will make recommendations to City Council regarding nuisance animals and responsible dog ownership.
Only three people have applied. Morris has said ideally, the committee will encompass a variety of viewpoints, with 10 or 11 members including a code enforcement officer, an animal rights advocate, a veterinarian, a neighborhood representative and an animal shelter volunteer.
Woodson said residents complain to him about nuisance animals every day.
“People want us to move on this,” he said.
To apply, call City Clerk Myra Heard at 704-638-5224 or email
• Closed the 500 block of South Fulton Street from 5 to 11 p.m. Oct. 12 for high school reunions.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.