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Granite Quarry working to name Larry Smith permanent town manager

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

GRANITE QUARRY – The town is expected to name interim Town Manager Larry Smith to the position permanently.

Smith has served as interim for about a year and was tapped by the board at the end of January as the likely hire when it agreed to enter contract negotiations with Smith. The town has been without a permanent manager since Phil Conrad stepped down on Feb. 11 last year.

Conrad, who is director of the Cabarrus-Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization, stepped away and cited not having enough time to apply to the position due to other obligations. 

The Granite Quarry board, meanwhile, has cited hiring a permanent manager as a top priority for 2020. It originally scheduled a meeting to discuss a contract with Smith on Jan. 29. It cancelled that meeting due to scheduling conflicts. Smith declined to comment on the negotiations at the time citing an ethical standard as the manager to remain neutral.

But negotiations have been ongoing and the board discussed the issue again on Monday after it returned from recess on its annual planning retreat on Feb. 28.

Mayor Bill Feather said a single word has been changed from the version of the contract the board viewed on Monday, but that he anticipated signing a finalized contract within 24 hours of an interview on Tuesday afternoon.

Smith’s draft contract has a base salary of $79,900 and a $350 a month automobile allowance along with a benefit package that includes insurance, vacation, sick leave and retirement among others that apply to all other town employees. The contract includes a severance amount equal to three months of salary.

Smith previously served as Spencer town manager from 2005 to 2015. He graduated from N.C. State University and served in the Marine Corps.

The board this week also awarded Vertex construction the contract for its town hall upgrade project for $298,120. Vertex had the lowest out of a group of four bidders, with less than a $4,000 difference between each, which a letter from said means that is the ‘market’ for the facade project.

The project will include removing the cladding of the current facade on the town hall and installing aluminum panels and storefront windows on the upper level in masonry walls, new signage and new exterior lighting.

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