Streets and sidewalks rank high on Granite Quarry’s priorities

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 29, 2020

By Carl Blankenship

GRANITE QUARRY — The Board of Aldermen Friday placed streets and sidewalks at the top of its list of priorities for discussion at its annual planning retreat.

Aldermen voted on a list of topics ranking the importance of each as low, medium or high. The board unanimously voted high on streets.

Town Planner Steve Blount has identified areas that need work, and aldermen expressed concern about poor conditions of roads, saying they wanted to complete a roadway project rather than continually patch them.

Some roads in Granite Quarry have foundations laid decades ago — before current regulations. Though, not every road that goes through the town is Granite Quarry’s responsibility because highways are maintained by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Besides streets, Blount pointed to several critical issues for the town: industrial park property, multi-family housing, utilities expansion, stormwater management, sidewalks and trails.

Sidewalks and trails are needed to help achieve walkability, which has been a discussion point during recent meetings as the town looks at revitalizing its downtown area along Salisbury Avenue.

Blount also pointed out the growth trend that is occurring around town, including annexed industrial sites along Chamandy Lane and the Village at Granite subdivision, west of Faith Road.

Most of the town’s commuter population travels to Charlotte or Cabarrus County for work, though some residents commute to Salisbury as well.

The town currently requires sidewalks in all of its new major subdivisions, with whoever purchases a lot paying for them. The town can use grant funding from the state to build sidewalks and, occasionally, tax revenue to pay for them.

Blount included a comment on the board’s rejection of rezoning an area outside of downtown for a new Dollar General location at its last regular meeting, saying the board “made an eloquent appeal to the future of this community” as it appears in the Downtown Master Plan. The board rejected rezoning the area from residential to highway business, citing concerns over the location of the new business not aligning with the plans of the town.

Other high priority projects for the year include a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant for Granite Lake Park, which has a target date by the end of this year, as well as a state utility fund grant to extend utilities at the town’s industrial park.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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