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Landis town staff will look into adding speed bumps near curve on North Zion Street

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

LANDIS — Aldermen voted Monday to prohibit trucks from traveling on North Zion Street from West Blume Street to West Limit Street out of concern for speeding and potential traffic incidents.

The town also will look into implementing speed bumps in the area. The specific area of concern includes a curve just north of West Third Street and includes any vehicle with more than two axles.

Interim Town Manager Leonard Barefoot said he’s received numerous complaints regarding the safety of the area, particularly within the curve. Complaints include speeding, drivers veering off the road and hitting nearby mailboxes.

It was noted that the speed limit for southbound traffic is set at 35 mph, while northbound traffic is limited to 25 mph. Landis resident James Meacham, who said he’s lived in the town for 30 years, suggested lowering the speed limit for both northbound and southbound traffic. He suggested 15 mph.

Barefoot said the board has the authority to reduce the speed limit, but he’s not confident it will actually deter speeding.

“I do not think that alone will solve the problem,” he said.

Meacham joined several other local homeowners in the area in a letter read aloud to board members. The letter suggested implementing speed bumps to deter speeding because people use the road to travel to and from Kannapolis.

Aldermen voted against adding a stop sign on South Zion Street for southbound traffic, right before entering West Third Street, as well as one on South Zion Street for northbound traffic. Instead, the town will continue to determine if speed bumps need to be implemented and how best to handle the two speed limit discrepancies.

Also at the meeting:

• Finance Director Diane Seaford provided the board with an update on the town’s finances. She noted a rebate from Electricities in the amount of $950,433 has been received, and that the town has paid off its leases for a small bucket truck and chipper.

Seaford said more than 550 debt setoff letters were mailed on Sept. 30. Debt setoff is used as a way to collect outstanding balances for utilities accounts that are no longer active. If the customer is unable to be reached for payment, the debt will be submitted to the state and those outstanding fees will be garnished from the former customer’s tax returns.

Seaford added that current system limitations prevent staff from providing utilities customers who have a payment plan the ability to see the exact amount due for their plan each month on their bill. To help eliminate confusion, she said door hangers with exact amounts will be distributed to those customers’ doors by Oct. 14. Payment will be due Oct. 25.

• Board members approved Barefoot’s suggestions for changing and following the town’s public comment policy following concerns that it has not been conducted properly. While citizens were only allowed to sign up in person prior to the aldermen meetings, comments can now be emailed due to the pandemic. Additionally, public commenters are only allotted three minutes of speaking time, while the public comment period as a whole will be limited to 30 minutes. During that time, speakers cannot discuss public hearing items, comments related to candidacy of someone seeking public office, matters in current or anticipated litigation or matters within closed session meetings.

• Board members authorized the sale of a 1.7-acre residential lot on Coldwater Street to John D. Eckard in the amount of $40,000. The property is located on the south side of the street and within the East Landis water district, and is a former D.C. Linn property donated to the town in 2013. The appraised value is $66,000. Eckard’s offer was advertised for 10 days without receiving any upset bids.

Eckard said at a Sept. 16 board of aldermen meeting that he plans to create rental property for himself and his family close to their home. Tax revenue generated from the property will go into the town’s General Fund in its budget.

• Local Landis residents Sam Deadmon and Ronald Fite were appointed to the Landis Planning Board. They replace Charlie Brown and Darrell Overcash, who gave up his seat when elected as a board alderman. The two appointments leave open one regular position and two alternate positions.

• Barefoot told board members that he has reached out to “N Focus,” which is contracted for the town’s planning services, to request a certified code enforcement officer be available on an on-call basis. Funds for this purpose have already been appropriated in the 2020-21 budget, he added.

• Barefoot told board members that the town is conducting background checks on applicants for the open public safety director position, with anticipation to conduct full interviews later in the month or early November.

Barefoot also announced the the Landis Town Hall would continue to operate as it has been amidst the pandemic despite being in phase three of reopening. The construction of the external pay window and drop box, paid for by coronavirus relief funds received by the county, is scheduled for the week of Nov. 16, and allowing limited visitors is an extra precaution as flu season approaches, he said.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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