Rockwell Board of Aldermen discuss town maintenance, upgrades

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 18, 2017

By Andie Foley

ROCKWELL — After a July vote to approve extended hours for Sunday alcohol sales, the Rockwell Board of Aldermen met Monday to hear committee reports and schedule a public hearing on proposed zoning amendments.

Rockwell was the first Rowan County municipality to vote on the “Brunch Bill,” which allows the sale of alcoholic beverages in licensed establishments to begin at 10 a.m. Sundays rather than noon. The board voted 3-1 July 10 to amend a town ordinance to allow the change.

Monday’s meeting was short in attendance and duration. Mayor Beauford Taylor was vacationing, and Alderman Charles Wingerson was recovering from an injury. Mayor Pro Tempore Chuck Bowman led the 30-minute session.

The board moved to hold a public hearing on zoning amendments at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 during their next meeting.

The rest of their discussions focused on town maintenance and growth.

A motion to send out bids for street repairs carried unanimously. Timothy Linker, the town’s public works director and fire chief, said most of the repairs will be patchwork rather than complete resurfacing.

“We did a lot of resurface work last time,” he said. “This work will help us when we go for the resurfacing of some of these other streets later on.”

Other public works items of note included acknowledgement of mowing delays because of rain, as well as updates on renovations to the Civic Center. Linker reported a recent two-day effort to clean off and repaint the ceiling. Permitting for the space has been updated to prohibit the use of pushpins and tape.

“It looks really nice up there now, but that’s just one part of us trying to get some other work done,” Linker said. “We still need to redo the ceilings and electrical work.”

The board was told that Salisbury-Rowan Utilities is experiencing delays in its effort to change out water meters across the county. Some 8,000 meters have been changed so far, putting the utility about five weeks behind the estimated September completion date.

Residents can expect a blue postcard in the mail about when the meters will be changed. A number will be provided for scheduling in the event of health needs, such as dialysis.

The new meters will enable remote readings and maintenance checks, though Salisbury-Rowan Utilities plans to physically check the equipment once or twice a year.

“I talked to a guy reading a meter today, and we had a little moment of silence. We won’t be seeing him any more in a couple of months,” Alderman Chris Stiller said. “Nothing beats a physical check.”

Monday’s meeting concluded with information about camera surveillance at the park aimed to decrease vandalism, as well as personnel additions, promotions and vacancies in the police and fire departments.

The Rockwell Fire Department has hired two part-time staffers for the 10 p.m.-6 a.m. shift on Mondays and Wednesdays. The Police Department will soon announce the promotion of a staff member to sergeant, with advertisement for the resulting patrol vacancy to follow within 30 to 60 days.

Police Chief Hugh Bost said, “We’re slowly growing. We’re getting prepared and getting ready.”

The Board of Aldermen meets the second Monday of each month at Town Hall, 202 E. Main St.