Granite Quarry discusses $100,000 rollover for Joint Police Authority

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 7, 2020

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

GRANITE QUARRY — At the beginning of the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen’s Monday regular meeting, Alderman Doug Shelton noted his concern with the town’s Joint Police Authority with Faith having more than $100,000 left over from the previous budget year.

The authority is funded by Granite Quarry and Faith and provides services to both. Shelton said he is aware Police Chief Mark Cook has had difficulty recruiting and the extra amount is unusual, but the town budgeted a similar amount in the previous year, about $690,000. Shelton said, if the positions go unfilled, it could result in a similar spending shortfall.

The general consensus was 2019-2020 was an unusual year, and the amount of funds left over for the police authority would generally be around $15,000-20,000.

Alderman Kim Cress said it is better for the authority to have too much rather than too little funding. More than one alderman said they wished Cook was at the meeting so he could elaborate on the issue.

The board also discussed and gave the Maintenance Department some guidance on mowing areas around the town. Some things, like mowing curbs and clearing the area of sidewalk directly in front of a home is the property owner’s responsibility. The town’s Maintenance Department Director Jason Hord said the department has been mowing some areas as a courtesy on private property, at the request of residents or where areas are not quite being kept up with by property owners.

Mayor Bill Feather noted some inconsistencies with how the town mows — that some areas which are not the town’s responsibility are mowed while others are not.

Hord said the town mows a path through the town once a month. Feather said the town should be able to tell people who call in to ask about overgrown grass the town does not normally cover it.

Shelton said the town should keep the main thoroughfare up to a decent standard, and the town has a couple avenues to accomplish that.

Maintenance crews could take care of the grass or the town could notify property owners and set up an ordinance to compel them to correct the issue.

The general consensus was the maintenance department should exercise discretion.

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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