The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

April 9, 2012

City honored with 2012 Arbor Foundation “Tree City USA” Award

Monday, April 9, 2012 — Elaine Nelson, chairman of the Albemarle Tree Commission, presented the Albemarle City Council with the “Tree City USA Five-Year Award” from the National Arbor Day Foundation during Monday nights regular council meeting.

To qualify as a Tree City USA community, a town or city must meet four standards established by The Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters to ensure that every qualifying community would have a viable tree management plan and program and that no community would be excluded because of size.

Albemarle met those criteria with its Tree Commission, a Tree Care Ordinance, a Community Forestry Program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.  

Among the 15 reasons that the Arbor Day Foundation cites for cities to pursue this award, most importantly, it “touches the lives of people within the community who benefit daily from cleaner air, shadier streets, and aesthetic beauty that healthy, well-managed urban forests provide (and) recognizes and rewards communities for annual advancements in urban forestry practices.”

Nelson went on to explain how vital trees are to reducing energy costs along with bringing health and aesthetic benefits in providing shade and beauty, and closed by saying that the award “honors our community and its commitment to a better environment.”  

Also during the meeting:

n A dedication of the customary prayer was made to honor the memory of John Valentine, a veteran of the Albemarle Police Depart-ment, who recently passed away.  

n Moving to amend ordinance 11-35 to regulate locations for collecting clothing and other items for charity in Albemarle, Ordinance 12-14 was passed. This law attempts to curtail the “for-profit” drop boxes from taking away from what is intended for charity.

n Raymond Parker requested a peddler’s license for a lunch stand which was promptly approved, as Parker explained that the required paperwork was in place. Martha Sue Hall’s questions about his business relationship with Spare Times Lanes were answered, as he explained that he uses a freezer and stores utensils at the site as a commissary.  

n Garry Lewis, Public Housing director, updated and clarified the Public Housing Agency Plan and the capital fund grant which was awarded earlier this year.  

He noted that HUD conducted three audits last year, and that the HUD  format has changed for residents.

A new definition of income is in place, and residents are now allowed to have a satellite dish contingent upon signing the dish policy, which further states that section 8 and public housing customers cannot be indebted to the city. Rents can only be adjusted at the annual re-examination, and a $50 non-refundable pet fee is applicable and now is incorporated into the lease.

A public hearing regarding these matters will be held next Thursday at Amhurst Gardens and at a later date at Elizabeth Heights.  

n A public hearing was scheduled for May 2 to consider condemning and authorizing demolition of the structure at 412 Colston Street.  

n Michael Lambert, director of Public Works, addressed the road re-surfacing situation and was announced that all recent projects have been completed on time and under budget.

n The Public Works Street Division requested funds to be used north on Melcher past Larkhaven Lane to Park Ridge. Councilman Jack Neel recommended continuing paving further on Colonial Street; Lambert will return with an estimate for the additional paving.

Council announced it is ready to approve the road work on Melcher Street between North Crest and Smith streets.

Councilman Townsend inquired about paving Midwood Road and Dunlap Street, which are currently gravel. Lambert will  appear before the council again in July with a proposal.  

n Ellen Huntley, director of Public Utilities, addressed the engineering services for the water treatment plant on U.S. 52, pointing to the need to re-do the building, which has been deemed salvageable by engineers. She stated this must be done before the city sells water to Concord.

Enough is left in the budget to do the PER (an acronym for Professional Engineering Report) this year, a structural report for the building and one for water plant.

n Councilwoman Martha Sue Hall indicated that the funding is already there. Huntley explained that grant applications will precede the design phase, and will be in place either by Sept. 1 or next March 1.  

n Dexter Townsend provided a detailed report on the NLC Congressional Conference in Washington, D.C., that he attended with Martha Sue Hall.  

n The Albemarle Community Appearance Commission and the Planning and Community Development Department are sponsoring a city-wide cleanup event from April 9-14.  

n A household hazardous waste and electronics recycling event will take place at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center on April 14, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sponsored by Stanly County and the city of Albemarle Publics Works Department, the public is encouraged to participate in this important and heretofore successful effort to properly dispose of toxic and dangerous materials.

The next regularly scheduled Albemarle City Council meeting will take place at 7 p.m. April 16 in the council meeting chambers of Albemarle City Hall, 144 North Second St

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