Granite Quarry board wants to change mayoral term to four years
By Mark Wineka
GRANITE QUARRY — The Board of Aldermen approved a resolution of intent Monday to elect future Granite Quarry mayors for four-year terms, not two.
The change, which would require amending the town charter, would take effect with this year’s municipal election in November. A public hearing on the proposed charter amendment is scheduled for 5 p.m. April 20.
Granite Quarry voters held a separate mayoral election for the first time in 2015, and Bill Feather won. Because he was elected to a two-year term, he will be up for election again this year.
Before 2015, the town board’s five aldermen voted for a mayor among themselves every two years, a process that the city of Salisbury still follows after every municipal election.
Granite Quarry aldermen already serve four-year terms. In November of this year, the seats of Alderman Arin Wilhelm, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Brinkley and Mayor Feather will be up for election.
In another resolution Monday night, the town board approved asking Rowan County to take over fire inspections for the town.
Fire Chief Dale Brown said the county’s taking over of the Granite Quarry fire inspections would take a big burden off his department’s back. Brown said the resources the Rowan County Fire Division’s office has would only make the town better.
Rowan County already does fire inspections for all municipalities in Rowan County except Granite Quarry and Salisbury.
Deborah Koontz Horne, fire division chief for Rowan County Emergency Services, said she now will seek county commissioners’ approval for taking over Granite Quarry’s inspections.
Brown said he currently had no one in house who was qualified to do the inspections. An inspector must have level 2 training or higher, he said.
Brown said about 80 inspections are conducted in Granite Quarry, including Granite Quarry Elementary School, which is overdue for an inspection.
Horne promised the school would be the first facility inspected once the county takes over.
Brinkley first suggested the handing over of the fire inspection duties to the county be made temporarily. “I still have some reservations,” he said.
Brown said he didn’t think “temporary” would work from the county’s perspective. He said fire inspections conducted by the county would result in a “cleaner, neater process” because so much of the building construction and permitting issues are handled by the county already.
Horne and Brown said the county’s expertise, because it has highly trained inspectors, also will help with the town’s overall insurance rating.
In another matter Monday night, aldermen passed a resolution asking the General Assembly to designate discretionary funds supporting a left-turn lane from Dunn’s Mountain Church Road onto U.S. 52.
The town thinks the traffic volume will increase significantly on Dunn’s Mountain Church Road with development of a business park, which will include a new State Employees’ Credit Union branch.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or firstname.lastname@example.org.