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Granite Quarry board tackles several property issues

GRANITE QUARRY — Though a neighbor has expressed interest in buying the property, the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen has decided for now that Faith Road land designated for youth athletic fields should stay with the town.

Several aldermen said Monday night they would like to see how the coming sports seasons play out as a newly formed nonprofit organization, the Granite Quarry Athletic Club, tries to establish teams and set up funding for that spot.

Alderman Kim Cress said the town could always sell the property in the future, but he expressed a willingness to see what materializes this year.

“If we had to sell it, it would be different,” Cress said.

Marcel Renn, the owner of Renn Bee Farm at 2495 Faith Road, previously sent the town a letter expressing an interest in purchasing the approximately 2 acres, which the town had bought for $20,000.

But Renn’s letter included no specific monetary offer. The aldermen tabled any action on the letter in January because Alderman Jim Costantino was absent from their meeting.

Costantino said Monday night he would like former Alderman Arin Wilhelm’s input and to hear how the new athletic association is progressing.

Costantino and Town Manager Phil Conrad said they are members of the athletic association. Wilhelm has been leading efforts to establish the athletic club and form teams for youth (and possibly adult) soccer and lacrosse.

Wilhelm was a strong supporter of the town’s purchase of the Faith Road property.

Alderman John Linker said the town shouldn’t consider any offer for the land until it knows and sees more about the athletic association’s plans.

Mayor Pro Tem Jim LaFevers suggested that maybe the athletic club representatives would want to meet with the town’s Parks and Recreation Committee and give an update.

“Some things are in progress,” Costantino said.

In another property matter, Mayor Bill Feather reported the town is seeking approval from the Rowan County Board of Commissioners for an access route to Granite Quarry-owned land within the joint industrial development off Heilig Road.

If access is granted, the town could potentially sell the parcel to parties interested in building a cold storage facility on the site.

Feather noted the town has been discussing the potential cold storage facility with the parties in question for roughly nine years. It would provide cold storage for chicken producers, such as Tyson, when their own cold storage facilities are filled.

In a third property matter, the aldermen decided to decline Paul Fisher’s offer to donate to the town the Fisher half of two parcels at 381 S. Salisbury Ave., between there and South Clio Avenue.

Those parcels — roughly 6 acres — are owned jointly by the Fisher and Brinkley families.

Since Fisher’s donation offer was disclosed in January, Conrad had contacted David Brinkley to determine whether his family also wanted to donate its 50 percent share of the two parcels. Conrad said Brinkley was not interested in doing that.

Aldermen discussed one more property issue Monday. They approved a letter Feather will send to Clifton “Tom” Byrd of Blythewood, South Carolina. The letter aims at reopening discussions about Byrd’s possible donation of long-held family-owned property off Faith Road.

The 9 acres at 2790 Faith Road are on the western side of the Byrd Road-Faith Road intersection.

In other business Monday, the aldermen:

• Proclaimed February Black History Month in Granite Quarry.

“The black history observance seeks to promote racial harmony, respect and understanding of cultural and ethnic diversity among the people of Granite Quarry and Rowan County,” part of the proclamation states.

• Approved a contract with Martha O. Cranford, an instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, for her accounting services over the next six months. Conrad said Cranford will help during a transition period while Town Clerk Tanya Word is interim finance officer and finance analyst Shelly Shockley is bookkeeper.

Cranford will be paid $5,000 for the six months, not to exceed three hours of work a week.

• Approved an agreement with the N.C. Department of Transportation for the improvement of Veronica Lane to state standards at an estimated $101,040 cost, which will be borne by the state.

• Approved an agreement with the DOT for installation of curb and gutter and other drainage improvements along U.S. 52 from Church Street to the entrance of M&K Barbecue. The state will pay up to a maximum of $82,390 on this work.

• Approved the listing of a giant vacuum leaf machine (10-yard capacity), a paper shredder and bench grinder — all equipment from the maintenance department — as surplus items that will be put up for sale on a government website.

This fall and winter, maintenance crews have been renting a 30-yard leaf vacuum from Waste Management.

• Approved the sale as surplus items a 2007 Crown Victoria with 136,500 miles and 18 Size 16 stud tires that fit a Crown Victoria. The car and tires belonged to the Granite Quarry-Faith Joint Police Authority.

• Approved an increase from $65 to $100 in what the town will spend for bereavement flowers or memorials for employees and board members. The board also increased to $40 what the town will spend on flowers for someone in the hospital. The former limit for hospital flowers was $30.

• Learned Feb. 16-17 will be set aside for the board’s annual retreat at Town Hall. The retreat allows for some presentations, capital needs discussions and long-range planning.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.





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