Landis aldermen ask for resolution to address school consolidation

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2018

LANDIS — Although the issue was not on the agenda, the Landis Board of Aldermen got into a discussion of how to address the school consolidation plan and the potential effect it would have on the town at Monday’s meeting.

Alderman Bobby Brown said he wants a resolution to be considered at the next meeting showing the town’s support to keep local schools open. One of the options the school board will consider is closing Corriher-Lipe Middle School and Landis Elementary School and building a new school, but it’s not certain in what town.

Alderman Tommy Garver said he understands the economic reasons for closing schools but no one wants it to be in their municipality.

“If you just look at the money and the math, they’ve about got to do it. It makes a lot of sense to do,” Garver said. “If we’re looking at the politics or the popularity of not losing my school versus some other community loses theirs, you have to oppose it. I would not want to be on the school board. That is a tough situation.”

Police Chief Kenny Isenhour, a former educator, said the plan is only a proposal and is going to take many years to implement.

Brown, though, continued to say he wants a resolution, especially with the impact it would have.

“When you talk about closing the school in Landis, you take a lot of people out of the town.” Brown said.

Isenhour agreed, saying the town’s population doubles whenever school is in session.

The board unanimously voted in favor of having a resolution brought for consideration at January’s meeting.

In other business, the board agreed to move forward with the paperwork to receive disaster relief funds from FEMA at the state level.

“During Hurricane Florence, we suffered quite some extensive damage at one of our levees over at Landis Lake, which is adjacent to the Lake Corridor Wilderness Park,” Town Manager Reed Linn said. “We also suffered damage at city hall, council chambers, fire station and one of the other buildings in town. All that was submitted and Rowan County was and has been approved to be a FEMA recipient, so hopefully everything that we spent during Hurricane Florence will be reimbursed, including our repairs.”

Several members asked if this could be a full reimbursement, including the cost of labor. Linn responded yes.

The aldermen agreed to approve a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy, Southeast Power Administration and the town of Landis.

“It’s an agreement that we do every year where we can purchase any excess power at a cheaper rate through the Southeast Power Administration,” Public Works Director Ron Miller said.

The board approved continuing with the same members on the Transportation Advisory Committee, the Technical Coordination Committee and the Electricities board of commissioners.

During public comment, Katie Sells asked for an update about the paving on Fifth Street. Linn said the contractor has had some setbacks with cold weather but is making pavement that will be for paving Fifth, Sixth and Davis streets.