• 66°

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

Comments

BREAKING NEWS

Eastern Fence selects Rowan County for new facility, will create 142 jobs, invest $17.5 million

Business

Planning board talks through new rules for solar farms

Crime

Concord man charged in other shootings pleads guilty to 2014 murder

Local

Faith family honors grandmother during Rowan-Cabarrus Alzheimer’s fundraiser

Local

Volunteers needed for Rowan County Christmas Bureau phone bank

Local

United Way’s suicide awareness walk will bring participants “Into the Light”

Local

Rowan County moving forward with Woodleaf community park

Nation/World

Barrett confirmed as Supreme Court justice in partisan vote

BREAKING NEWS

Faith, Enochville elementary schools will close at end of school year

Crime

Police: Mini excavator towed by Rockwell man killed Concord motorcyclist

Coronavirus

13% of county’s COVID-19 cases currently positive

Crime

Blotter: 911 call, foot chase produce charges for man found behind dumpster

Crime

Mother, son killed in weekend homicide

Ask Us

Ask Us: What are plans if hospitals reach COVID-19 capacity?

Elections

County tops 38,000 ballots cast during early, absentee voting

Elections

Political Notebook: Rowan Board of Elections receives more than 60,000 pens for voters

Nation/World

New storm Zeta a hurricane threat to Mexico, US Gulf Coast

Crime

Blotter: Teenager charged with felony firearm and drug offenses

Elections

GOP slowly gaining nationwide as early vote total surpasses 2016

Local

BlockWork returns for 10th year of beautification

Local

Big Chili Cook Off changes format, sells 250 tickets

Lifestyle

Kiwanis Club names five recipients of Centennial Awards

Lifestyle

Rowan County bridge dedicated to local police officer who made ultimate sacrifice

Local

Camp Barnhardt to host drive-in movie, trick-or-treat