City council to receive financial report, consider ‘sister city’ relationship with Monrovia, Liberia

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, January 4, 2022

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Salisbury City Council today will hear a presentation about an audit of the 2020-21 budget today along with a resolution to establish a “sister city” relationship with Monrovia, Liberia.

Today’s meeting will be held virtually at 6 p.m. and streamed live at salisburync.gov/webcast or via the city’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Both Finance Director Wade Furches and Leanne Bagasala of the Charlotte-based Elliot Davis PLLC will present findings from the city’s annual audit of the 2020-21 budget. Later in the same meeting, Mayor Karen Alexander will present a joint resolution to establish a “sister city” relationship with the city of Monrovia located in the African Republic of Liberia. Such a relationship emphasizes the sharing of information related to economic development, cultural exchange, educational advancement, law enforcement, sanitation, trade, human capacity building and technology, according to the resolution.

Livingstone College, a historically Black college, has a long history with Liberia through its founding denomination A.M.E. Zion Church and through its collaboration with the Liberian Organization of the Piedmont, located in Winston-Salem. Livingstone College sponsors two Liberian students every four years. In October, Livingstone granted a full scholarship to Liberian teenager Emmanuel Tuloe, who became a national hero after returning tens of thousands of dollars to the rightful owner.

In November, Alexander met with Monrovia Mayor Jefferson Koijee and Liberian Ambassador to the United States George S.W. Patten Sr., along with other local educational and economic leaders, to discuss the “sister city” relationship.

Salisbury currently shares a “sister city” relationship with Salisbury, England.

In other agenda items:

• Council members will consider a request to order the demolition of a structure located at 418 South Craige St., located in the West End. The property has been on the Code Services chronic abatement list since 2018, and $12,000 from a public donation will help the property owner with the cost of demolition, which will total $22,800.

• Council members will consider Land Development District Map Amendment Z-03-2021 to rezone one .97-acre parcel located at 1035 Mooresville Road from neighborhood mixed-use to corridor mixed-use. The request comes from Mark Kraus, owner of Integrity Auto Repair, who wants to expand his business. The Salisbury Planning Board approved of this request at its Dec. 14 meeting.

• City Attorney Graham Corriher will discuss the revision of the city’s code of ordinances to comply with Senate Bill 300 relating to criminal justice reform, which was passed in the General Assembly during the legislative session in 2021. The bill decriminalizes certain local ordinances, and revisions come at the recommendation of the Salisbury Police Department. The revisions will be considered “a first reading,” with a request for the council to take action at its Jan. 18 meeting.

• Council members will consider adopting an ordinance amending section 13-40 and Section 13-41 of the City Code to increase the overtime parking fine from $5 to $15 and the repeat offender fine from $50 to $75.

• Council members will consider several ordinance amendments to the 2021-22 budget, including a $25,000 grant from the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program to provide overtime funds for traffic enforcement; a $23,960 grant from the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission to replace outdated equipment in the booking area, a transport chair, mobile stop signs to aid in reducing traffic accidents in high crash zones when the power goes out, replacement Taser cartridges and digital optics; a $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to support social justice and racial equity initiatives; and $69,814 to appropriate Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grants for 2019, 2020 and 2021 for the purchase of a benchmark management system, two interactive whiteboards, a license plate reader, duty pistol replacements, weapon lights and holsters, handcuffs and baton replacement.

• Council members will consider making council liaison appointments to the city’s various boards and commissions. Additionally, the city will consider a nomination to appoint Greg Alcorn, CEO and owner of Global Contact Services in Salisbury, to the Rowan Economic Development Commission. The city has two appointments, and one expired on Dec. 31. Appointees can serve two terms.

• Council members will consider authorizing Interim City Manager Brian Hiatt to execute a contract for $354,364 with Level Solutions Group, LLC, for the purchase of replacement technology equipment. Equipment has reached its end of life and funds for this purchase were approved in the 2021-22 budget.

• The council will consider ordinances amending parts of the city code, including Section 13-338 regarding prohibited parking, Section 13-341 regarding reserved handicapped parking, Section 13-366 regarding loading zones and Section 13-362 regarding off-street parking lots. Changes are to match existing and updated markings from the Main Street Road Diet and for uniformity.

• Council members will consider an ordinance amending Section 13-336 regarding general speed limits in the city’s code to lower the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph in the 600 and 700 blocks of North Ellis Street.

• Council members will consider an ordinance amending Chapter 10, Article III of the city’s code to authorize filing a Notice of Lis Pendens, or notice of a pending suit relating to claims on properties, in minimum housing cases.

• Council members will consider a right-of-way encroachment for Spectrum in the 100 block of South Ellis Street.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.