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City Council to decide on separate mayoral election

By Liz Moomey
liz.m0omey@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The City Council will decide on Tuesday whether to place a referendum for a separate mayoral election on November’s ballot.

The meeting will be 6 p.m. at City Hall, 217 S. Main St.

At the previous council meeting on Aug. 6, members opened a public hearing to get feedback regarding a separate mayoral election.

Citizen opinions varied, with some saying the council should continue with the tradition of the highest vote getter becoming mayor. Others wanted to hear a report from the election committee that researched and surveyed citizens. Some said they thought the council was rushing the process and others advocated for a separate mayoral election.

The council can add a referendum to the Nov. 5 municipal election, but in order to do so they must decide at Tuesday’s meeting. The council also has the ability to decide itself to hold a separate mayoral election. Regardless of any decision, the November municipal election would not be affected. That is, the mayor’s race will not be separate this year.

One option is for the council to delay the process and put it on the March primary ballot.

At the Aug. 6 meeting, council members also spoke about possibly opening a courtesy hearing Tuesday to receive more comments from citizens.

In other business:

• The council will consider awarding downtown revitalization incentive grants to five downtown locations.

Gianni Moscardini, of Salty Caper Pizza, 115-117 S. Lee St., requested $75,000 to assist in the renovation and expansion of the restaurant.

Reid Leonard, with Meroney Theater, 213 S. Main St., requested $43,818.75 to modernize its outdated HVAC systems.

Joshua Barnhardt requested $106,774 to assist with the rehabilitation and residential production project located at 112-114 E. Innes St., the future Lofts on Innes and relocated Barnhardt Jewelers.

Wivianny DeHaas, of Heart of Salisbury Yoga, asked for $50,000 to uplift the 120A E. Innes St. building.

Todd Littleton requested $100,000 to assist with a historic rehabilitation and residential production project located at 117 South Lee St., the Firehouse Lofts.

The council will have to decide to whom it wants to award grants.

This is the first year the amount of grant money is lower than the requested amount. At the previous council meeting, members said, if all projects were worthy, they all would be awarded at an equal percentage.

• Mayor Al Heggins will discuss a cycling network committee to work to make the city more pedestrian and cycling friendly.

• The council will consider renaming the dog park at the Salisbury Civic Center to the Pitner Dog Park and consider establishing a 30-day period for public input.

• The council will receive a report from planning staff on the Comprehensive Plan Update Project and consider soliciting new appointments to the committee.

• City Manager Lane Bailey will ask council to execute a change order for the third phase of the Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation project with Atlantic Coast Contractors Inc. for $600,000.

Bailey will also ask council members to approve an agreement with McKim & Creed in the amount of $157,366 for engineering services associated with the St. Luke’s Lift Station Rehabilitation project.

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