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China Grove postpones vote on road weight limit

CHINA GROVE — The town council on Tuesday postponed a vote on an ordinance that would restrict the weight limit on town roads.

The weight limit in the resolution initially called for any truck over 6,500 pounds to be banned from traveling on roads owned by the town. Instead, the vehicles would be asked to use state maintained roads, such as U.S. 29. Vehicles making deliveries to a business would be exempt from the ordinance.

After questions were raised about the weight limit and the town’s ability to enforce the ordinance, the council tabled the measure. It could be considered at a called meeting or the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting in September.

After Mayor Don Bringle described the intent of the resolution — to prevent trucks hauling loads for the railroad from damaging streets — Town Council Member Steve Stroud mentioned problems the proposed weight limit might cause.

“I will point out that in the proposed ordinance it says 6,500 pounds,” Stroud said. “That just about covers everything above a car. I couldn’t drive on the streets of China Grove with any truck I’ve got.”

Town Manager Ken Deal said representatives of the N.C. Department of Transportation recommended the number — 6,500 pounds. A member of the audience asked if the ordinance was supposed to say 6.5 tons, which would be 13,000 pounds. Deal said yes.

Then, China Grove Police Chief Eddie Kluttz mentioned another concern.

Kluttz said trucks hauling dirt or rocks to railroad construction could technically be classified as making a delivery.

“If I’m reading this ordinance correctly, then there’s nothing we can do because the railroad is either taking on or discharging,” Kluttz said. “I know what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to prohibit them from driving on our streets, but it excludes those people taking on or discharging merchandise.”

He recommended taking another look at the ordinance.

Stroud, then, made a motion to table the ordinance until another meeting.

In other business from Tuesday’s meeting:

• The town board reviewed a land use plan and set a public hearing for September’s meeting to gather input from China Grove residents

The plan outlines goals and priorities for the town until 2040.

Planning board Chairman Dave Morton and Planning Board Member Rodney Phillips described months of work put into the land use plan.

Morton and Phillips discussed potential improvements the town could make as part of the land use plan, such as encouraging and investing in the development of easily walkable areas.

Morton said the town should realize that different things improve quality of life for different people.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re doing things that improve the quality of life for every age group,” Morton said.

• The town board briefly discussed the purchase of a new fire truck

No firm cost has yet been determined for the fire truck. Interim China Grove Fire Chief Mike Zimmerman has estimated the truck could cost $675,000.

Town Council Member Charles Seaford said China Grove could begin seeking bids for the fire truck by the end of August.

Deal said the town would obtain bids for the truck before looking to take out a loan to pay for the vehicle.

• Bringle announced Town Clerk Amanda Eller plans to resign from her position. He said Eller’s last day is today.

Eller said she plans to help homeschool her children and be a stay-at-home mom.

Administrative Deputy Clerk Pamela Mills will be promoted to Eller’s position.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

 

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