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DOT says contractor’s street work in Granite Quarry ‘not up to par’

By Mark Wineka

GRANITE QUARRY — The N.C. Department of Transportation will ask a contractor to return to Granite Quarry and fix some previous street repairs, according to Interim Town Manager Barbie Blackwell.

Blackwell reported to the Granite Quarry Board of aldermen Monday night that a DOT representative told her the contractor’s work in Granite Quarry was poor and “not up to par” on four roads in the area.

In Granite Quarry, Bank, Main, Peeler and Lyerly streets are state-maintained, along with U.S. 52. Aldermen had received complaints about recent work on West Bank Street in particular.

DOT representative Bill Key was supposed to attend Monday’s meeting but could not make it. Blackwell said the DOT apologizes to residents.

“They are working on solutions,” she said.

In other business Monday night, aldermen reviewed town policies related to credit card use and leaf and limb pickup.

For now, the board approved use of a town credit card for administrative staff and the board itself, but the whole policy will be taken up again in August.

Credit cards are issued to the town manager, one card for the board and administrative staff and one each to the Fire Department and Police Department for travel expenses.

“I don’t want the cards used now until we come up with something,” Alderman Mike Brinkley said, “… because it’s being abused, quite literally.”

Brinkley said the town has an excellent travel reimbursement policy, and if it were adhered to, the town wouldn’t need credit cards for fire and police travel. The town reimburses employees for qualifying mileage, meals, registrations, tuition and hotels, as long as the employees submit a “request for reimbursement,” along with all receipts.

Brinkley later agreed to the use of one credit card over the next 30 days. By policy, that card is kept in the town vault. Use by staff must be approved by the town manager, finance officer or town clerk. Board-member use must be approved by the mayor or mayor pro tem.

The town originally approved credit card policies Sept. 9, 2010.

Aldermen made a a few minor changes to procedures and policies for leaf and limb pickup that are actually a return to what was in place several years ago. The board will be looking for ways to advertise it so residents know what to expect.

With leaves, the town’s leaf vacuum will be going through the streets every Monday between Oct. 1 and March 1.

All leaves put out along the town right of way must be free of debris such as plants, rocks, bricks and sticks. The leaves should not be bagged, except for the period between March 2 and Sept. 30 when bagged leaves are picked up as part of limb pickup.

Limb pickup occurs on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Limbs are not supposed to be longer than 10 feet and no wider than 8 inches in diameter. No stumps are allowed.

Each property owner is allowed up to one dump-truck load of debris per each pick-up cycle. All debris should be in one pile and stacked with the cut ends toward the street.

Residents are encouraged to call the town office with any questions related to the pick-up schedule.

In a related matter, aldermen accepted a July 1 check for $46,150 for property the town sold off North Main Street. The town had been using the tract as a landfill for its limb and leaf debris.

While the town searches for a new permanent site, it approved Monday the use of Hilton Lingle’s property as a temporary dumping site for the limbs and leaves collected in town. The cost will be $50 a month.

In other business Monday, aldermen:

• Decided on Aug. 8 as an open house day for residents to see the town’s new fire truck, which arrived June 25. Fire Chief Dale Brown said the truck is being prepared to go into service. It will have a pump test today, for example.

The truck made an appearance in the Faith Fourth of July Parade.

• Learned that after expenses were paid, the Merchants Association raised $1,221 from the June 13 Duck Derby at Granite Lake Park. The money was given to the town and will go toward the consultant expenses related to developing a revitalization plan for Granite Quarry.

Deputy Clerk Sarah Cross said the Duck Derby sold 261 ducks. “It turned out to be awesome,” she said.

• Learned the Fish For Fun Day at Granite Lake Park attracted about 35 kids, and a total of 150 to 175 fish were caught. The N.C. Wildlife Commission oversaw the event.

• Thanked the Granite Quarry Civitan Club for helping to purchase body cameras for officers of the Granite Quarry-Faith Police Authority. All officers now have body cameras, except for Chief Mark Cook.

Civitan President John Walser and Secretary Harold Brown attended Monday’s meeting. “We’re always looking for another project,” Brown said.

• Approved its annual agreement with N-Focus Planning and Design of Kannapolis. The company helps the town with specific code enforcement, compliance and inspection duties. Representatives are compensated per each specific job at $65 an hour.

• Learned an urban archery season has been approved for Granite Quarry by the N.C. Wildlife Commission. It will run from Jan 9-Feb. 13 next year.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.



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