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Spencer creates new stormwater management program

SPENCER – An effort to educate and build a partnership with citizens to understand and take part in preventing Stormwater Pollution and Flooding caused by clogged drains is underway through an educational initiative by the town’s police and code officers.

“A Guide to Understanding Stormwater,” a brochure created by the Land Management Department, details how pollution occurs, why it’s important to prevent and offers pollution solutions for residential and commercial properties.

The Citizen’s Guide is available at town hall or on the town’s website at www.ci.spencer.nc.us.

Pollution can enter the storm drains through activities such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves, performing auto care, septic systems, pet waste, residential landscaping and commercial activities.

“Stormwater Management affects all of us and it’s everyone’s responsibility to pitch in,” Town Manager Reid Walters said.

The Land Management and Police departments have partnered to help get the message out and distribute the brochures.

“Education is essential to creating change,” said Troy Powell, Land Management director.

Police and code compliance officers are distributing brochures for ordinance violations such as leaves, grass clippings, limbs or debris are placed in the street or on the sidewalks where they can easily wash into the street and into the storm drains.

“These items can be placed behind the sidewalk or between the curb and sidewalk, if there is room, and we can pick them up,” said Joel Taylor, Public Works director.

The code enforcement officers will be responsible for issuing any civil citations that become necessary, but hopefully will not be needed.

At the last Board of Aldermen meeting, Powell told the board that the Land Management and Police departments signed a memorandum of understanding to focus on education before issuing citations. Both departments will be on the lookout for violations, but officers will give warnings before taking other actions.

“We want to keep the best relationship with the police officers … We’ll keep a good relationship with the code officers, too, but maintaining that good relationship between police and the citizens is ideal,” Powell said at the meeting.

Police and code officers have had a tremendous amount of success through the educational initiative over the last three weeks without any citations issued, said Powell.

For more information on Spencer’s Stormwater Management Program, contact the Land Management Director at 704-633- 2231 Ext 28.

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