Granite Lake Park improvements moving ahead

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 6, 2020

By Carl Blankenship

GRANITE QUARRY — Planned repairs and improvements at Granite Lake Park aim to solve the erosion issues.

Engineer Wes Webb during Monday’s Board of Aldermen meeting outlined plans for retaining walls at the lake and said the project has received a floodplain development permit from Rowan County at the regular meeting. The park was damaged by an inland rain surge from hurricane Florence in 2018, and the town has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund repairs and improvements that should prevent the park from developing the same issues when faced with heavy rain.

Webb described issues with the lake overflowing, saturating soil and causing the erosion damage. There was a wall failure near one of the piers around the lake.

Webb said bid documents for the project will be put together over the next month and brought back to the board.

The walls will be precast concrete gravity walls. Webb said the walls are stable due to their mass. Webb said the walls typically do not require additional material behind them. If the project was not dealing with water, it could use segmented walls. There will be a grass strip between the new wall and a walking path.

Alderman Kim Cress asked if the project would affect piers on the lake. Webb said they would not.

The lake will have to be completely drained for the project. Mayor Bill Feather asked what impact that would have on wildlife.

The lake is home to fish, turtles and ducks. Webb said the ducks and turtles would migrate on their own during the project and be able to return, but the town would have to create a plan to move fish elsewhere to preserve them. The town also would need to move the fish back.

“The turtles typically move upstream or downstream,” Webb said.

Webb said there are plenty of suppliers to restock the lake, if needed.

He said the hope is to begin the project in mid-to-late winter and finish in the spring.

In other news from the meeting:

  • Eagle Scout Candidate Christian Stebe presented his project to replace and add identification plaques at Centennial Park. Stebe plans to identify 14 trees in the park and show the board a sample plaque. Stebe asked for $500 for the project, but the board agreed to fund it for $600 to cover the cost of concrete to help stabilize the plaques.
  • The town fire department will host its annual open house and trunk-or-treat events on Oct. 10 and Oct. 31, respectively, though this year there will be mask and social distancing requirements. Fire Chief Jason Hord said kids will not be able to try on turnout gear at the open house this year either.
  • The town fire department auxiliary will host its annual port-a-pit fundraiser on Oct. 8. Auxiliary Vice President Brittany Barnhard said anyone interested should purchase a ticket from the town before they sell out. The fundraiser sold about 600 plates last year.

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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