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Granite Quarry board rejects offer for freight depot

By Mark Wineka
mark.wineka@salisburypost.com

GRANITE QUARRY — After a closed session, the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen rejected a couple’s $5,000 offer for the old freight depot, which sits abandoned at 316 S. Main St.

DeWayne and Tammy Hodges submitted the offer, but Mayor Bill Feather said the town puts the fair market value of the piece of property the couple wants at $9,561.

Feather stressed the couple’s offer was denied strictly for that reason. The town would be open to a revised bid, Feather said. The property in question measures 75-by-250 feet and includes the rundown depot building.

Granite Quarry’s original passenger depot was moved to Dan Nicholas Park years ago. This smaller baggage or freight building had been positioned for years along the tracks and across from Shiloh Reformed Church. In the 1970s, Garland Bringle arranged to have it moved to this spot near the corner of Rowan and Main streets to save it from demolition.

DeWayne Hodges indicated he would like to save the old depot now and use it for a shop. He spoke briefly during the aldermen’s public comment period Monday night. Hodges, who lives at 306 S. Main St., said he has a pecan tree that hangs over the old building and it is bearing pecans for the first time in several years.

In connection to that, Hodges asked aldermen not to burn down the depot. In rejecting the couple’s $5,000 offer for the property, aldermen made it a point to say they were not going to burn down the structure.

Late last year, the town purchased the larger corner property at Rowan and Main streets, including the old depot, for $51,123 in hopes it could be redeveloped and put back on the tax books. It included a vacant home.

During the executive session, the town board also discussed the vacant town manager’s position but took no action.

In another matter, town officials continue to look for a new piece of property on which to store brush (limbs) collected by the town. Maintenance Director Kim Cress and Feather said parcels the town has inquired about have been too expensive.

Cress said the temporary site now being used probably would last through January. Alderman Mike Brinkley said the board needs to get busy in finding a permanent spot.

In a somewhat related matter, aldermen approved paying Mid Carolina Construction Services and Patrick Miller Grading $18,125 for grinding and hauling services performed at the old water treatment plant/dump site.

In other business, the board:

• Approved an $88,000 contract with A. Morton and Thomas Associates Inc. for planning and design of sidewalks and multi-use paths in association with a federal grant.

• Approved the acceptance of Chamandy Drive from the N.C. Department of Transportation as a town-maintained street, effective July 1, 2016.

• Voted for Dan Peters, former Granite Quarry town manager, as the municipal representative on RowanWorks, the county’s economic development commission. Peters also was nominated for the spot by the towns of Faith, Rockwell and China Grove.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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