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Landis in ‘good position’ to exceed revenue for current budget

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

LANDIS — Town aldermen on Monday night received positive news that this year’s revenues could exceed what was budgeted for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Diane Seaford, the town’s finance officer, briefed board members on revenue and expenditure reports for the end of September, which also marks the end of the first quarter of the fiscal year, emphasizing that the town is “in a good position to potentially exceed our revenue budget this year.”

Seaford said the town’s revenue for the general fund is currently at 41%, with the fiscal year start on July 1. She added that revenues are currently exceeding expenditures in all funds. In the general fund, revenues exceed expenditures by $241,125, by $147,950 in the water fund, by $14,955 in the stormwater fund, by $44,665 in the sewer fund and by $1.44 million in the electric fund.

Seaford said two checks for property taxes were recorded in September, and that a number of residents have already paid their property taxes. Though, they’re not due until January.

So far, the town has received $950,879 in property tax revenue.

Additionally, Interim Town Manager Leonard Barefoot told the board on Monday that he has consulted the city of Mooresville regarding the town’s consideration of implementing a speed bumps policy. While the discussion was just an update from Barefoot and no action was taken, he said policies could be developed and presented for board approval at the Dec. 7 meeting.

Using the model from Mooresville, some requirements for implementing speed bumps would require a minimum of 75% of adult residents of a residential street. Other requirements state that that the road must be owned by the town, the posted speed limit is 25 mph or less and that the average daily traffic is more than 500 and fewer than 4,000 vehicles per day.

Additionally, a request for speed bumps must be reviewed and receive favorable recommendation from the town’s police chief, fire chief and public works director.

On Oct. 5, the town voted 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. At that meeting, it was determined the town would look into implementing speed bumps in an area of concern that includes a curve just north of West Third Street and includes any vehicle with more than two axles.

Barefoot said at the Oct. 5 meeting that he’s received numerous complaints regarding the safety of the area, particularly within the curve, ranging from speeding to 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. Barefoot said that while the board has the authority to reduce the speed limit, he’s not confident it will actually deter speeding.

Aldermen at the Oct. 5 meeting 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.

Also at the meeting:

• Aldermen adopted the Rowan County Hazard Mitigation Plan, which was passed by county commissioners in June. That plan allows for the identification of hazards that could potentially affect communities and necessary actions to reduce the loss of life and property from a disaster. It also vests the county emergency services department with the responsibility and authority to cooperate with federal, state and local agencies to study and survey floodplain areas and ensure the plan is evaluated annually.

• Barefoot presented the board with a revised town seal and logo the town is currently exploring for future use, noting that it was created to “incorporate important pieces of our community representing the past, present and future.” The seal contains a dark red color, which pays homage to the South Rowan High School Raiders, while the gold represents Corriher-Lipe Middle School and Landis Elementary. Additionally, a light post in the logo represents “the important part the town plays in providing critical services to our citizens,” he said, while the oak tree represents future growth. The seal is encompassed by a railroad track that represents the heart of the track that runs through the community.

• Town aldermen also declared a temporary road closure on South Main Street beginning at its intersection with Sixth Street to North Main Street at its intersection with Coach Deal Drive due to the Southern Rowan Christmas Parade. The closure will span from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 24.

• Town aldermen also approved a declaration of withdrawal for an unopened portion of North Kimmons Street by essentially formally declaring the land abandoned. Gary and Misty Key of West Blume Street requested the town close or abandon the remaining unopened portion of North Kimmons Street. The two requested the closure in order to build a garage on the eastern side of their property, which is adjacent to the unopened portion, and allow for sufficient space to meet side yard requirements.

One of the benefitting property owners, Nadine Cherry, opposed the request as she wanted it to remain open in the event that the trees on her two parcels were ever timbered and because she didn’t want to bear responsibility for the property, Barefoot said. His recommendation was that the board approve the request because it would be difficult to find use for the unopened portion of the street. He said the other adjacent property owners could bear the responsibility of surveying the property and excavating the trees in the area.

• Barefoot also told the board that the town conducted an assessment board for its finalists for the the public safety director position and hopes to reach a decision in the near future.

• Barefoot said he received a letter noting the pending retirement of the town’s longest-standing employee, Debbie Goodman, who will retire on Dec. 31 after more than 49 years of service.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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