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Chemical spill in Granite Quarry discolors stream

GRANITE QUARRY — Town officials called in the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to investigate a chemical spill that flowed from a Rowan Street business into a town stream.
A water-based coating or cleanser used on springs made at Southern Atlantic Spring Manufacturing apparently overflowed from the plant into a stormwater drain, which fed into the creek.
Town Manager Dan Peters said representatives of the town went door to door to notify affected property owners of the spill.
He said it posed no danger to humans, but residents were advised to keep their pets away from the water.
Fire Chief Mark Troublefield said the solution was not thought to be hazardous, but it did discolor the water. It was called in about 6:30 Sunday night, and the fire department traced the spill back to the spring company.
CCI is doing the cleanup. Peters said he did not know whether Southern Atlantic Spring would face a fine.
“We got ahead of it last night,” Peters said Monday.
The spill was contained to a retaining pond off Main Street, Troublefield said.
“We’ll probably know more tomorrow,” Mayor Pro Tem Bill Feather told residents attending Monday’s night meeting of the Board of Aldermen.
In another matter Monday, Feather said town and state officials have identified a “glitch” in the online payment of vehicle registration fees and town property taxes through the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.
If the information for a Granite Quarry resident has been entered incorrectly, he could end up paying Salisbury taxes, which are higher, Feather said.
Salisbury city taxes are 63 cents per $100 valuation, compared to 40 cents per $100 valuation in Granite Quarry.
It’s imperative, Feather said, for vehicle owners in Granite Quarry to check the registration fees and determine they are paying the town tax rate, not Salisbury’s.
“I hate to have anybody pay any extra taxes,” Feather added.
If residents see an error, they should go in person to the DMV office in Salisbury, where it can be corrected, Feather said.
Some of the confusion apparently comes for Granite Quarry residents (and others) with a Salisbury address.
“It is a concern,” Feather said. “We are working on it from our end here.”
In other business, the Board of Aldermen passed a proclamation honoring the Military Order of the Purple Heart and making Granite Quarry a “Purple Heart Municipality.”
As with other Rowan county towns, Granite Quarry has had several residents who are or were Purple Heart recipients.
The Purple Heart is awarded to any member of the armed services who is wounded or killed in combat with a declared enemy of the United States.
It is the oldest military decoration presently in use and the first American service award made available to the common soldier.
Mike Stubbs, commander of Chapter 634 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, appeared at Monday’s meeting with three other members of the chapter, whose area takes in Rowan and several other counties.
Stubbs said he expects the Carolina Panthers to make an announcement today that it will become the first Purple Heart sports franchise in the country.
North Carolina is a Purple Heart state.
In other business:
• Peters reported a demolition permit has been secured on the town-owned house near Granite Lake, and the tenants will be moving out in seven to 10 days. He added 70 percent of the materials from the demolition will be recycled.
• Aldermen passed a proclamation honoring Granite Quarry resident Fannie Gaither on her 107th birthday, which was Oct. 25.
• Maintenance Director Kim Cress said Granite Quarry’s Christmas lights will go up Nov. 20 and be turned on for the first time Nov. 27.
• Aldermen approved the rezoning of a parcel at 235 Dunn’s Mountain Church Road from suburban residential to central business district. The Planning Board recommended the change, and there has been no opposition from adjoining property owners.
• Aldermen amended the Unified Development Ordinance to allow sandwich boards in front of businesses, with a minimum spacing of 20 feet.

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