State offers to reduce fines for GQ safety violations

Published 12:05 am Sunday, May 1, 2016

By Mark Wineka

GRANITE QUARRY — A proposed settlement agreement with the  N.C. Department of Labor could reduce fines the town of Granite Quarry is facing for safety violations to $3,250.

After a surprise safety inspection in March, the Labor Department’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health informed the town it faced $6,500 in fines related to five “serious” and five “non-serious” safety violations.

As part of an appeals process, the town asked for an “informal conference” with the state’s safety division, and that meeting has led to the proposed “informal settlement agreement.”

Five of the 10 citations carried fines with them, and in each case, the settlement agreement reduces the fine.

The biggest fine had been $3,500 for an exposure control plan in the Fire Department that had not been updated and reviewed since 2013, according to a state compliance officer. It was reduced to $1,250.

The town contended the plan was up to date and blamed a documentation error.

Other fines were reduced by a third — one from $1,200 to $800 and three others from $600 to $400.

The Board of Aldermen will consider the settlement agreement at its May monthly board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at Town Hall.

Aldermen also will consider a new residential garbage collection contract with Waste Management of Carolinas Inc. The proposed contract would last five years, through June 30, 2021.

The proposed contract provides for once-a-week curbside collection from what is now 1,148 residential units. The cost to the town is $7.74 a month per residence.

In other agenda items Monday night, the board:

• Will consider architectural fees of $8,000 for renovations to Town Hall.

• Will discuss a final inspection of Chamandy Drive, the new road leading to the Granite Quarry Industrial Park, developed jointly by the town and county.

• Will consider an invoice from the town engineer for $3,243.

• Will consider an auditing contract with Eddie Carrick.

• Will consider a contract with Duke Power for lighting on Chamandy Drive

• Will consider entering a contract with Benchmark for updating the town’s Unified Development Ordinance.

• Will consider bids for the dismantlement and disposal of the South Rowan Street depot.

• Will consider a $1,000 donation toward the United Way Day of Caring in support of Granite Quarry Elementary School.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.