Council to meet in-person, hear report on diversity, equity in Salisbury Police Department

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 20, 2021

By Natalie Anderson

SALISBURY — During its first in-person meeting since pandemic restrictions were implemented, city council members today will hear a diversity, equity and inclusion assessment of the Salisbury Police Department.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and also be streamed live at or on the city’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Anyone who wishes to speak during the public comment period virtually must sign up by 5 p.m. today by contacting City Clerk Kelly Baker at or 704-638-5233. Those who wish to speak at the meeting can sign up in the Council Chambers where the meeting will be held, located at 217 S. Main St.

Council members will receive a presentation from Willie Ratchford and Dr. Anthony Wade of WPR Consulting as well as Human Relations Manager Anne Little and Chief Jerry Stokes about the firm’s climate assessment of the police department’s diversity, equity and inclusion.

Also at the meeting, council members will receive a presentation regarding changes made to the city’s local historic landmark ordinance. Council members enacted a six-month moratorium on designating local properties with the historic landmark designation in February. The intent of the moratorium was to set goals, objectives and standards for what qualifies as a landmark property. Council members voiced concerns with the 50% property tax deferral accompanying the landmark status serving as the only incentive for the requests.

Since then, city staff have met with local stakeholders in the historic preservation community to propose two categories for the status and make clarifying changes to the overall ordinance. The revised ordinance cleared a hurdle last week when the Planning Board approved it after requesting more clarity during a June meeting.

Other items on the agenda:

• Council members will receive a presentation on a request for voluntary annexation of 8.8 acres owned by PFJ, Southeast, LLC, which comprises two parcels located near Peeler Road. The current tax value is $2.9 million, with $20,935 of that estimated to be received in property tax revenue in the 2022-23 fiscal year.

• Council members will also consider a request to rezone 1.09 acres located at 120 Dollie Circle, which is in the 4000 block of South Main Street, from light industrial zoning to corridor mixed-use.

• The council will receive a presentation to consider an ordinance allowing golf carts on public streets.

• City Council will consider authorizing City Manager Lane Bailey to enter into a contract with STS Cable Services in the estimated amount of $146,661 plus incidentals for installation of conduit in preparation for the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s resurfacing of Main and Innes streets.

• Council members will consider approving an application to the 2021 North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program grant in the amount of $25,000 for Salisbury Police to provide for overtime and additional patrols for “high-crash” and speeding locations.

• The council will consider a $34,022 application for a U.S. Department of Justice Assistance Grant, with Salisbury Police to receive $22,828 and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office to receive $11,194. A memo states Salisbury Police will use the grant to fund the replacement of current duty pistols that have reached the end of the useful lives.

• Council members will consider extending a right-of-way use permit in the 100 block of South Lee Street and the 200 block of East Innes Street for work being performed at 201 East Innes St. until Aug. 10.

• The council will consider a resolution of support for funds to make safety improvements on Brenner Avenue between Jake Alexander Boulevard and Milford Hills Road. The project includes installing a roundabout at Milford Hills Road and the installation of a median from Jake Alexander Boulevard to just west of Milford Hills Road. The total cost is $1.03 million, with the city responsible for $205,152.

• Council will consider a budget ordinance amendment to appropriate $290,000 from the water and sewer fund cover the cost of a $580,000 project for construction of the Peeler Road Water Main extension project. Pilot Travel Centers, LLC, has requested the city install a water main to continue serving the existing commercial development near the Interstate 85 interchange. The developer has provided the remaining 50% match for the project.

• Another agenda item includes a budget ordinance to appropriate an additional $100,000 for paving in an existing $388,993 contract with NJR Group, which was approved in December to mill and pave various city streets. In its bid to the city, NJR Group estimated $89.35 per ton for 3,800 tons of asphalt, $65 for each of the 53 manholes; $55 for each of the 46 valve boxes and milling at 1.5 inches for 15,100 square yards. The project includes West 11th Street from North Main Street to Jackson Street; Clubhouse Drive, from Jackson Street to Confederate Avenue; Filbert Street, from Roy Street to Willow Street; and Roy Street, from Old West Innes to Filbert Street.

• Council members will consider a resolution approving a memo of agreement between the state and local governments on proceeds relating to the settlement of opioid litigation. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has directed 15% of those funds to go to the state, with lawmakers having the authority to appropriate funds to address the epidemic. Local governments will receive 80%, and the remaining 5% will go into an incentive fund for any county or municipality with at least 30,000 residents based on 2019 population totals.

• City Council will also consider resolutions transferring ownership of retired Salisbury Police K-9s. The resolutions state police dog Arnie will be transferred to Rebecca Markas, Zuul will be transferred to Southern Police Canine, Inc. and Zeus will be transferred to Sgt. Justin Crotty.

• Mayor Karen Alexander will declare the month of July “Independent Retailer Month.”

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at or call her at 704-797-4246.

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