In Granite Quarry, drainage issue forcing Brookstone Way residents to fight snakes, bugs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 7, 2016

By Mark Wineka

GRANITE QUARRY — Snakes alive, residents on Brookstone Way say they have a problem.

Wally Karutz, of 210 Brookstone Way, told the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen Monday night some drainage issues behind his property have led to a “prolific” number of snakes, including copperheads, posing a serious danger to residents.

Standing water also has created a breeding ground for mosquitos.

“It’s become a habitat for varmints, and I’m very concerned,” Karutz said.

Heavy rains in March somehow changed the way things drain in the area. Karutz said the water issues are causing his and other backyards to sink. His fence line has gone down, and it’s impossible for him to mow on the other side of the fence any longer.

The copperheads he and his neighbors have seen and/or killed have been “big ones and small ones,” Karutz said. Three other residents of Brookstone Way also were in attendance at the aldermen’s meeting.

Brookstone Way is located off Legion Club Road.

One resident said at least three storm drains carrying runoff from the streets funnel into the area in question.

“Believe me when I say, it’s getting worse,” Karutz added.

Spencer Lane Construction has been the contractor which built homes in this development. Town Attorney Chip Short and aldermen agreed the first step should be to determine who owns the area where the water is not draining properly.

It could be a homeowners’ association, the original contractor, or it could be part of an easement belonging to the property owners, the officials said. Feather said maybe the county’s environmental office also could be called in to address the concerns over mosquitos and snakes.

“I don’t know what to do,” Karutz said.

Donnie Pressley of 524 N. Salisbury Ave. lodged another complaint with aldermen Monday night. He said trucks using their “Jake brakes” coming down hills on Salisbury Avenue (U.S. 52) are causing big concerns for residents on both sides of town.

Jake brakes or Jacobs brakes are compression release engine brakes installed on some diesel engines.

According to an industry definition, when activated, the Jake brakes open the cylinders after the compression cycle, releasing the compressed air trapped in the cylinders, and slowing the vehicle.

A loud noise accompanies the braking action. Pressley said the braking noises are generally worse at night, and he and his wife have considered growing a row of trees in front of their house to serve as a sound barrier.

“They’re louder than the train,” Pressley said of the brakes’ noise.

Aldermen asked Town Manager Phil Conrad to investigate what other towns might have done through ordinances to address this kind of noise problem.

In another matter, aldermen approved by consensus the language for a social media disclaimer, as the town tries to develop a Facebook page. Conrad presented the town board with the text Monday night.

The disclaimer stresses the Facebook page, which allows comments, “is a moderated online discussion site and not a public forum.

“We recognize the web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time,” the disclaimer says. “However, given the need to manage our staff resources (your tax dollars), we generally only monitor comments and postings during regular business hours.”

The town reserves the right to delete submissions that contain vulgar language, personal attacks, discriminatory comments or spam or links to other sites. Comments also can be deleted if they are “clearly off topic;” advocate illegal activity; promote particular services, products or political organizations; infringe on copyrights or trademarks; include personally identifiable medical information; or include information that may compromise the safety, security or proceedings of public systems or any criminal or civil investigations.

If there are repeated violations from commenters, the town will ban participation, the disclaimer says.

It also adds, “Please note that the comments expressed on this site do not reflect the opinions and position of the town of Granite Quarry government or its officers and employees.”

Conrad said he had input from newspapers and other towns in fashioning the disclaimer.

In other business, aldermen:

• Asked Conrad to solicit bids on sidewalk stamping that could be done at the U.S. 52 intersections of Church and Bank streets.

• Set 5 p.m. June 27 for a hearing on its 2016-2017 fiscal year budget.

• Heard that the town’s Fish for Fun Day at Granite Lake Park will be held June 18.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.