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Council to review challenges city faces in fair housing

By Mark Wineka
mark.wineka@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Salisbury City Council will review Tuesday obstacles to fair housing that were cited in a 2014 analysis done for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The review follows public comments about fair housing made at council’s Sept. 15 meeting.

Council meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 217 S. Main St. Council meetings are streamed live at www.salisburync.gov/webcast.

City staff will present a summary of Salisbury’s 2014 “Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing.” As a requirement for receiving HUD formula grants, the city must prepare this report every five years to evaluate and identify impediments to fair housing choice in the city.

The report outlines obstacles to fair housing in the public and private sectors and includes a list of recommended actions the city could take to address those problems.

Tuesday’s discussion will go over some of the measures being taken by the city, along with new rules recently released by HUD designed to strengthen the requirements related to fair housing.

HUD defines impediments to fair housing as “any actions, omissions or decisions taken because of race, color, religion, disability, familial status or national origin which restrict housing choices or the availability of housing choices, or any actions, omissions or decisions which have this effect.”

In another matter Tuesday, council will consider an agreement with Tribek Properties that would reimburse the company roughly $615,000 for road construction costs in connection with its development of commercial sites along both sides of Newsome Road Extension.

Newsome Road Extension will be a short section of road between Faith Road and East Innes Street, and it has been adopted as part of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s 2021 Transportation Improvement Plan.

To accommodate its commercial development plans and ensure the sites have proper ingress and egress, Tribek Properties has asked the city to reimburse its road construction expenses before the 2021 TIP funds become available. The DOT would pay the estimated $615,000 back to the city no later than fiscal year 2021.

Until then, the city would have to reimburse Tribek out of funds in the 2016-17 budget.

A preliminary drawing given to council shows Tribek has two phases of development planned in this area. The first would include three attached spaces along East Innes Street of 5,000, 4,000 and 2,300 square feet with parking and access from the interior.  The second phase would have two attached spaces of 2,000 and 2,500 square feet, the backs of which would be along Faith Road.

Vehicle access to both phases would be off the Newsome Road Extension.

In other agenda items Tuesday, council:

• Will receive a first-quarter financial update for the current fiscal year.

• Will consider the $142,726 purchase of a dump truck from Charlotte Truck Center. The dump truck would be used by the street department.

• Will consider a stormwater incentive grant of $22,307.50 for First Presbyterian Church.

• Will hear a presentation from the Rowan County student leaders organization.

• Will consider the appointment of Misty Fields and Gayla Long as deputy finance officers.

• Will consider adopting an ordinance that would allow the city to designate certain streets or alleys in the downtown for pedestrian use only, if that were ever desired.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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