Salisbury City Council will discuss uses of environmental cleanup funds, $525,000 grant

Published 6:45 am Monday, November 15, 2021

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Salisbury City Council members on Tuesday will hear a presentation about the use of a grant to clean up environmentally contaminated properties as well as potential uses for a $525,000 federal HOME grant.

Before the virtual regular meeting at 6 p.m., council members will meet at 4 p.m. to discuss in closed session a personnel matter. The meetings will be streamed live at salisburync.gov/webcast or via the city’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Anyone who wishes to speak during the public comment period must do so by contacting City Clerk Kelly Baker no later than 5 p.m. today via kbake@salisburync.gov or 704-638-5233.

The city joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Program in 2014, which has allowed it to receive targeted funding to assist with the clean-up of potentially contaminated properties, assess environmental risks and reposition properties for reuse.

The city hired Cardno, an environmental engineering firm, to assist. Today’s presentation will outline how the $300,000 grant received in 2018, which expired in September of this year, was used.

The city received $400,000 for a community-wide study in 2014, and then another $300,000 in 2018. A separate grant of $500,000 received is being used to clean-up the Kesler Mill site located on Park Avenue. Debris removal is set to begin this month.

The 2018 grant was used to assess several sites, including Kesler Mill, Monroe Street School, Salisbury Plaza and Salisbury Depot.

Also at the meeting, council members will hear a presentation regarding potential uses of $525,000 in federal HOME funds from the American Rescue Plan, funneled from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Approximately $5 billion of the federal ARP funds must be administered through the HOME partnerships program, which benefits those who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or within another vulnerable population.

Eligible expenses include development and support of affordable housing, tenant-based rental assistance and other support services. For Salisbury to receive its share, it must first conduct a public hearing. Funding applications would be due on Dec. 7, with a proposed budget and plan for the funds presented to council members on Jan. 18. The public would have time before council’s vote to provide input on the best uses for the funds.

For more information about the HOME program, visit hudexchange.info/programs/home-arp/.

In other agenda items:

• Council members will revisit a presentation outlining provisions for the Downtown Revitalization Incentive Grant program.

• Council members will receive a presentation of the 2020-21 annual report from Downtown Salisbury Inc.

• Council members will consider approving the final plat for the second phase of Ashton Manor, a subdivision approved in 2002 proposing 111 single-family townhomes off Sunset Drive. Plats are similar to site plans except they also describe legal descriptions such as dimensions and easements to subdivision projects. Brindle said in a memo developers have posted a guarantee of improvements, and she expects to come back before council members in December for final acceptance of infrastructure, establishment of the one-year warranty and STOP conditions for city-maintained streets that will be part of the subdivision project.

• Council members will consider adopting an ordinance to demolish a structure at 918 North Main St., which has been vacant since at least 2006.

• Council members will consider a 2021-22 budget amendment ordinance to appropriate $197,000 in revenue from the sale of a home into the special projects fund for the Neighborhood Stabilization program, which invests in housing. On Oct. 27, the Salisbury Community Development Corporation sold a house at 712 S. Jackson St. using funds from the program.

• Council will consider authorizing the sale of a .32-acre parcel located in the 1700 block of North Long Street, which is owned by the city and Rowan County governments. The upset bid process was advertised on Sept. 28, with a deadline of Oct. 8. The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 25 declared the lot surplus property and transferred their portion of the warranty deed to the city. The lot is landlocked with no public road access, and the Rowan County Assessor determined the $800 bid was sufficient. The property will be granted to Rowan Funeral Services, Inc., which made the bid. Its tax value is assessed at $19,872.

• Council members will consider approving appropriation to the 2021-22 budget of a previously accepted FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant in the amount of $110,909.

• Mayor Karen Alexander will proclaim Nov. 20 to be both Transgender Day of Remembrance and International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Nov. 27 is Small Business Saturday, and Nov. 20 to Dec. 20 is Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.