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Appearance Commission looks for ways to reach out

SALISBURY — The Community Appearance Commission met Wednesday to discuss Neighborhood Leader Alliance meetings, grant recipients and future projects.

Commission member Diane Hundley started the meeting with a discussion of how to make the neighborhood alliance meetings more productive for residents and allow more opportunities for discussion.

“The last couple of meetings have been so report heavy, the neighborhoods haven’t gotten to talk with one another,” Hundley said.

Diane Moghrabi, senior administrative specialist, brought up a concern voiced by Isaac Heggins at Tuesday’s City Council meeting and how the commission can provide discussion topics.

“Let me plant a seed here,” Moghrabi said. “I was reading in the paper today about the statue, and Isaac Heggins said, ‘Nobody ever asked me,’ so we might want to think of questions or topics that nobody ever asks people. Maybe there are some topics that neighborhoods would want to weigh in on.”

Alyssa Nelson, the city’s urban design planner, said something similar was done with a CAC survey handed out during Salisbury Pride.

Hundley said commission members would have time to prepare for the Oct. 18 meeting and talk to neighborhood leaders.

The commission talked about three Municipal Service District grants it awarded.

Hundley announced that Rachel Davis, who owns the new Maison Monroe at 105 W. Innes St., was approved for the Innes Street Grant to update awnings and add benches and a logo on the windows. The commission awarded her 50 percent of her request as the first grant of the year.

The second is to Stitchin’ Post to paint the side of the building after window installation. The commission awarded the business $1,500.

The last grant was awarded to Lora Belle Baby for the front and back of the business. The owner was awarded $5,000 for front awnings. The commission also awarded a grant to redo the back of the building for outdoor events and birthdays.

“We’ve spent a good amount of our MSD money for the year,” Hundley said. “We’re making the best uses of it as we can. Both of these, I think, are going to be great.”

Shelley Harper-Palmer said this is a goal of the Community Appearance Commission — to use the grant money so it wouldn’t be taken back in March.

Allyssa Nelson gave an update about BlockWork, saying organizers are working on getting donations and volunteers. BlockWork will be Oct. 27 in the 400 block of South Lee Street.

City Council liaison Tamara Sheffield spoke about three events mentioned at Tuesday’s council meeting. She told the commission that 191 landlords have signed up for the Remedial Action Program’s landlord training and added she is glad landlords are embracing it.

“When it got started it came across as we’re going to pick on landlords, but now actually that landlords who have signed up have been, ‘Oh, my gosh, you have no way of knowing everything that’s going on,’” Sheffield said.

Sheffield said at 10 a.m. Friday, a portion of the greenway near Prescott Drive will be renamed for the late former Mayor Bill Stanback.

She also asked what involvement the commission has with the state Department of Transportation’s Litter Sweep program. Moghrabi said it was organized by the state and the commission has considered it in the past but DOT recommended against it.

The commission also unanimously agreed to move the location of its meetings from City Hall to 1 Water St.

The next Community Appearance Commission meeting will be at 4 p.m. Oct. 3.

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