Landis takes next step toward generator purchase

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Landis mayor’s vote was required to break a tie over an issue that has divided the town’s board of aldermen since discussions about it began — the purchase of a new generator for town hall and the adjacent fire station.

Landis aldermen Tony Corriher and Darrell Overcash oppose the generator’s price tag, $147,300, and its perceived net benefit. Meanwhile, supporters of the generator, board member Katie Sells and Mayor Pro Tem Ashley Stewart, have argued that when the time comes that the generator is needed, it would be worth the cost.

The 2-2 vote of the board of aldermen forced Mayor Meredith Bare Smith to break the tie, who voted to approve the funding.

Interim Landis Town Manager Phil Conrad explained that American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding would cover about two-thirds of the generator.

“We would be using ARPA funds for a good portion, as well as allocated funds from Rowan County for about $50,000 of the purchase,” Conrad said.

Landis has already received the first tranche of ARPA funding for $500,000 out of a total expected allocation of $1 million. The remainder is expected to be distributed to the town within the next 12 months.

Those funds are only authorized to be spent on public health measures, addressing negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, replacing lost public sector revenue, providing premium pay for essential works or investing in infrastructure.

To date, the town has spent about three-fourths of the total allocation. Other large-ticket items include a new leaf truck and a new fire truck.