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Granite Quarry improves its website, starts work on street resurfacing

GRANITE QUARRY — The town of Granite Quarry has gone live with its new website, and Town Manager Phil Conrad describes it as a significant improvement and “exciting milestone.”

Conrad shared a look at the website with the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday evening. For residents, it appears user-friendly, offering ways to download town forms and documents and helping with things such as reserving park shelters, learning about upcoming events and having questions about recycling answered.

The website also allows residents to be interactive with town staff members.

“We’ve received our first complaint,” Conrad said Monday, “so it works.”

The complaint was referred to the maintenance department, Conrad said.

The website address is www.granitequarrync.gov.

Town employees have received training and now have the ability to update information, change photographs and generally reshape the site if needed. Conrad encouraged citizen input to help make the site better.

In another matter, maintenance supervisor Jason Hord reported that work on resurfacing several town streets began Tuesday, and he asked residents to have patience with the process.

Sections of Maple Street, Sycamore Street, Frick Street, Brookwood Drive, Loganberry Lane, Martin Street, Crowell Lane, Rowan Street and Mulberry Lane will be milled first, which leaves a rough driving surface.

Tar and gravel will then be applied to fill in cracks. The final paving will follow that procedure.

“We’re spending more money to get a better job,” Mayor Pro Tem Mike Brinkley said. “… It’s really a total rebuild of the road.”

Hord and town board members emphasized that residents should not think the tar-and-gravel laid over the milled street section is the final product. Asphalt paving is.

In other business, aldermen approved technical corrections to the zoning map. Town Planner Steve Blount said soon after he started work earlier this summer, he realized the large-scale zoning maps posted in his office were out of date. They did not always match the town’s Unified Development Ordinance.

Computer files of Granite Quarry’s zoning map on Rowan County computers had been corrupted, so the Rowan County Planning Department reconstructed the town maps. Blount found some areas that had to be edited, and an overall map created Aug. 14 was presented to aldermen Tuesday evening.

Blount said more corrections probably will be coming as he makes further reviews of the zoning maps. Conrad said former Town Planner Susan Closner started the review process and Benchmark continued some of it until Blount’s recent hiring.

The Granite Quarry Planning Board has new officers, including Sandra Shell as chairwoman and Joy Fisher as vice chairwoman.

On another topic Tuesday, Brinkley encouraged the board to explore the possibility of collecting a fire department service fee from insurance companies. He said most homeowner insurance policies make money available for a fire department’s service to the home in case of fire.

Brinkley said he would not expect collection of the fee from insurance companies to fund the fire department, but if it’s available the town should take advantage of it.

Alderman Jim Costantino, a longtime insurance salesman, said he has been with AllState for 30 years and no one has used that provision.

Town officials will pursue the matter. Brinkley said it would not cost homeowners because they already are paying for the fire department fee in their policies.

In other business Tuesday:

• Gail Gurley Robbins, during a public-comment period, said she was concerned about reports that Mayor Bill Feather was using Town Hall as his business office. Feather said that is not the case. His business office is in the Ballantyne section of Charlotte, he said.

Feather added he does work from a laptop at home and he has a personal cellphone.

• The board officially appointed Graham Corriher as the town attorney. He takes the place of Chip Short, who had served as town attorney for roughly 30 years, according to town officials.

• The board also appointed Tanya M. Word as the new town clerk. Word had served as executive assistant to the city manager of Worthington, Ohio, since 2006, before her relocation to North Carolina.

• The board approved the auction of several surplus items from the maintenance department, including a John Deere 770 tractor, an edger, a pole saw, two trailers, a battery charger and a cordless drill.

• Feather and Conrad reported that property for a new Faith Road residential subdivision should be closed on later this month. Conrad said the project should begin in earnest by the end of the year. Feather said LGI Homes, which he described as one of the better builders in the country, has plans for 235 homes as of now.

• The board will not pursue for now the introduction of solar panels on the Town Hall roof. Feather said under the proposal considered, it would take 16 years for the town to see a return on a $162,000 investment. “To me, that would be a poor business decision,” he said.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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