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Spencer requires builder to remove store windows

SPENCER — Spencer is holding a pair of developers to their original agreement with the town, even if it means removing more than a dozen windows.
Town Hall is requiring the owner and builder of the new Family Dollar to take out windows with shiny aluminum frames and replace them with a type of window that was approved by the town’s Historic Preservation Commission. The store is not open yet.
Joe Strickland and Rick Register won approval in January from the commission to build a Family Dollar in the parking lot of a mostly vacant shopping center they bought from Karen and Henry Alexander. The existing Family Dollar will move into the new 8,000-square-foot brick building at the corner of Salisbury Avenue and Fourth Street.
Their company, Premiere Development of Landis, installed shiny instead of brushed aluminum window frames, said Kathryn Clifton, the town’s new land management director. She told the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday that the town will enforce the list of materials approved by the Historic Preservation Commission and require the builder to change the windows.
Resident Bob Oswald during the public comment session awarded a “laurel” to the town for holding the Family Dollar builder to the standards that were agreed upon.
The developers were not at the meeting and could not be reached for comment.
In other business at Tuesday’s meeting:
• Police Chief Michael James encouraged Spencer residents to take advantage of a new free service at www.reportit.Leads0nline.com, a citizen property inventory system where people register their valuables online. Users create an account and securely store serial numbers, item descriptions, pictures and scans of receipts so valuables are easier to identify if they are lost or stolen.
• The Public Works Department has hired a new mechanic, as well as a temporary part-time employee for the garbage truck. The parks and recreation master plan is done and will be presented to the board in September.
• Clifton hired new full-time code enforcement officer, who starts on Thursday.
• North Rowan High School was chosen as the site for the first back-to-school bash for Rowan-Salisbury Schools employees. Town Manager Larry Smith said he expects 3,000 people and 80 buses at the school for the event on Aug. 21.
• While Oswald praised Town Hall for taking action in the Family Dollar situation, he also criticized the Town Board. The town’s Community Appearance Commission has not met for months due to lack of organization, and property owners who have worked to beautify the town are not getting the recognition they deserve at the annual awards banquet, he said.
Oswald challenged aldermen to serve as a temporary Community Appearance Commission and host the awards until the group can be reorganized and reappointed.
• Pete and Patsy Iossi praised the progress of Spencer Woods and thanked the town for its involvement in the project, as well as the Carolina Thread Trail. Pete Iossi offered to lead a group of volunteers to do some trail work in the 42-acres forest, which the town owns.
• Aldermen respectfully passed on an offer to buy a lot on 7th Street for possible expansion of the 8th Street Ballpark.
• Property owners who have yards with weeds or other noxious vegetation more than 8 inches high now have 10 days to mow, as opposed to 15 days, once they are notified of the code violation. Aldermen asked town staff to look into using door hangers in addition to certified mail to notify property owners.
• Jon Palmer update aldermen on Small Town Main Street activities, including a fire hydrant painting project, possible wayfinding study that could include a review of signs in the downtown, cross-promotion with events at N.C. Transportation Museum, promoting available downtown properties, improving downtown streetscape and facade grants.
Palmer will update the board every month.
Small Town Main Street meets again at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
• Aldermen will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss a future stormwater utility and 6 p.m. Sept. 9 to talk about housing strategies.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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