The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)


June 11, 2014

Red Cross discusses budget, new town sign

Thursday, June 12, 2014 — A large brick Red Cross sign to be located where the town hall driveway meets N.C. 24-27 will take less than 7 percent of the municipality’s newly approved 2014-2015 budget. But discussion of the sign’s size, the color of granite and lettering to be used dominated discussion at Monday night’s meeting.  

No one spoke during a public hearing on the $215,000 annual spending plan, which includes $63,000 for waste disposal; $52,000 for general funds; $27,140 for fire protection; and $20,000 for police. The capital outlay budget is $12,000; zoning, $10,860; and insurance and memberships, $8,000. The budget maintains the town’s property tax rate at 16 cents per $100 valuation.

The cost of the new sign, for which the Council voted to spend up to $15,000, will make up the majority of the town’s $22,000 capital improvement budget. Morgan Masonry had estimated the construction of a 14-foot wide by 8-foot high by 16-inch thick structure at $6,000 to $6,500, which would not include the marble inset but would involve digging and pouring footings and laying the brick. Locust Monument gave a variety of prices for the inset, from $1,724 to $7,555, depending on the color and size of the granite.

After much discussion, the board settled on black granite with “flash frost” lettering. They also decided to seek an estimate for lighting at the sign and to ask Duke Power to run an underground service to the lights.

“I want everybody happy,” said Mayor Larry Wayne Smith as he passed around black and blue-grey granite samples and a picture of frost lettering on a black granite monument at Ridgecrest Fire Department as an example for the board to consider.

Councilman J.J. Curlee said he had checked with the Planning and Zoning Board to make sure the sign would not violate the town’s or Stanly County’s zoning ordinance.

In other business, the Council:

 voted to send a letter to the N.C. Department of Transportation to request a delay in the study of a new draft policy that would replace the Strategic Highway Corridors since the study could change recommendations regarding the future of N.C. 24-27.

“It’s easier for NCDOT staff to delay a study if the request comes from the jurisdictions,” wrote Rocky River Rural Planning Organization Director Dana Stoogenke in a memo to the town. Planners have been working for months to get consensus on a Comprehensive Transportation Plan for Locust and Red Cross.

 approved a motion for an Urban Archery Season that would extend deer season for bow users inside the town’s limits for roughly a month after gun season ends.

“Most of the time deer hunting season pushes deer into the city limits anyway, so you have a pretty good opportunity of harvesting deer,” Councilman Kelly Brattain said.

“That’s what the purpose of it is, to try to get some of them off the highways.”

 voted to contract with John A. Pollard, CPA, to audit the town’s financial records for 2013-2014 at a cost of $2,400.

 agreed to participate in the N.C. League of Municipalities’ Regulatory Technical Assistance Fund, a lobbying effort aimed at protecting towns’ interests regarding water quality and/or electric regulatory issues. The cost for Red Cross is $52.25 per year.

 voted to renew the town’s property and liability insurance through the Interlocal Risk Financing Fund of North Carolina at an estimated cost of $2,403.

 were informed by Curlee that the Planning and Zoning Board will not meet in July.

 made plans for Curlee and Councilman Jerry Jordan to take a two-hour ethics webinar course required of municipal officials.

Luanne Williams is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News & Press.


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