• 73°

China Grove quietly passes smoking ban in parks

CHINA GROVE — With no discussion, the Town Council on Tuesday unanimously passed a ban on smoking in all parks within the municipal limits.

No members of the public spoke during public comment about the ban. Town Council members didn’t address it, either, before passing the ban as part of the consent agenda — used for items without opposition.

The ban was last discussed in 2014, when the council questioned whether it could actually be enforced. The ban applies to all lighted tobacco products. Smoking would be banned in “any local government-owned building or park owned, leased, occupied, or operated by the Town of China Grove.”

Parks owned by the Town of China Grove includes Cannon Park — the little league field — near Liberty and Harris streets, Hannah Park, Village Grove Park on Walnut and First streets, Westhaven Park on Mitchell Avenue and Westside Park on Harry Street. The ban would also apply to the China Grove Community Building on South Myrtle Avenue.

Visitors and employees would both be subject to the ban.

China Grove’s ban doesn’t appear to apply to vapes or E-cigarettes, which vaporize flavored liquid rather than produce smoke.

A violation of the ban would come with a fine of $50 or less.

The town’s ordinance cites medical research stating “there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.”

In other business from Tuesday’s meeting:

• Interim Fire Chief Mike Zimmerman announced the town had placed an order to purchase a new fire truck for about $573,000.

Zimmerman expressed confidence about the quality of the end product. The truck, Zimmerman said, would be delivered to China Grove in about a year.

The town is purchasing a new truck because one of its current vehicles is overweight and has been declared unsafe by Zimmerman. China Grove’s current tanker truck violates several safety standards. Some of the violations stem from initial construction, he said.

During a budget work session before the 2016 fiscal year began, Zimmerman estimated the truck could cost up to $675,000, making the purchase price about $100,000 lower than his top-end estimate.

He said the Town of China Grove wouldn’t need to pay for the vehicle until it arrives.

• China Grove revisited a zoning decision related to a staffing company opening an office in downtown.

Previously, the town decided not to take action on a requested rezoning for 118 W. Centerview St. from residential to a classification that would suit the staffing business. Adjacent pieces of property were added to the request to make zoning consistent with actual property use.

The town board unanimously approved the rezoning after considering it for the second month in a row. Property owner Bobby Power spoke against the proposed rezoning and said he never planned to use the adjacent property as a business.

In a memo delivered to the town board on Tuesday, Planner Franklin Gover said the rezoning wouldn’t affect property values. Gover said he based his assessment on conversations with staff in the Rowan County Tax Assessor’s office.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246


Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?


Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road


Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business


Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges


Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting


Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest


N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding


RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest


Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction


Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured


Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12


Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September


Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers


Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners


Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs


Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers


Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class


Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow


States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes


Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack


NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line


Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting