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Badin Council supports sales tax increase

Badin Town Council unanimously voted Oct. 9 to approve a resolution supporting a one-quarter cent increase in the county sales tax.

The option for voters to choose whether to support the increase will be on the ballot this fall. If passed, the money is earmarked for safety and security upgrades at county schools. Information on the planned purchases is available at stanlycountyschools.org.

Karen Lowder, who identified herself as a parent, retired teacher and representative of Concerned Citizens for Safer Schools, addressed the council to ask for support for the increase.

“For three years, the one-quarter cent sales tax has been on the ballot, and three times it has been voted down,” she said. “The major reason for this is education. The people of Stanly County have not been educated about what this tax is all about. This year, we have worked intensely to educate our citizens and pass this tax.”

Lowder noted that anyone visiting or traveling through Stanly who makes a purchase will be supporting the students’ education rather than putting the full responsibility for the money on county residents.

Each year, the schools would get about $1.5 million in revenue. Lowder noted that for individuals, the sacrifice is small since a quarter-cent increase would result in customers paying $0.25 extra in taxes per $100.

“You already pay this tax in every surrounding county besides Union County,” Lowder said. “When you stop to go out for dinner, when you shop, anytime you go anywhere outside Stanly County, you are paying a quarter-cent sales tax for their education. Our sales tax is 6.75, and other counties are 7 or 7.25 percent.”

The council also unanimously decided to pass a proclamation declaring October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The proclamation was requested by the Esther House, a non-profit in Stanly County.

A proclamation supporting Thank You For Your Service Day next month for veterans was also unanimously approved. For more information on the event, visit stanlyrod.net.

10 Days of Uwharrie

The council noted that there will be three events in town for the 10 Days of Uwharrie, the official outdoor festival of North Carolina.

The Mayor’s Walk will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 26.

While the website, ncoutdoorfestival.com, lists the Mayor’s Walk as two separate events in West Badin and East Badin, Town Manager Jay Almond said they are truly one event with a short break in between. Mayor Anne Harwood will lead the tours that will show businesses and historic buildings in the area.

Festival-goers can also participate in the Run the Valley 5K, 10K or “North Carolina’s most challenging half-marathon,” according to the website. The half-marathon will go from Badin to Morrow Mountain and back.

The third event, Badin Lake Paddler, is advertised as a “family water event” and will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Information on each event or the entire festival may be found at ncoutdoorfestival.com.

Almond said the festival began in Montgomery County and Badin, as part of the Uwharrie region, is able to participate. Other locations will hold fishing, equestrian, music and many other events.

Almond said that Harwood first mentioned the event.

“We worked on talking with local vendors who might want to do events, and we worked on scheduling events during that timeframe, and we managed to get three that fit,” Almond said.

Public Works

Almond told the council that he is meeting with a representative from the North Carolina Department of Transportation soon about a matching grant program that would allow the town to have repairs made to some of its sidewalks. The town would be responsible for 20 percent of the cost, Almond said.

Almond and the DOT representative will look around the area for spots that would qualify. He said he believes the town is “in a very good position” to win the grant.

Town Property Maintenance Supervisor Wayne Carter and Almond told the council that a part-time position the town opened in property maintenance has not been filled. Both men recommended closing the opening until early spring since the town is going into a season that will require less mowing, brush collection and other property maintenance.

Only two individuals had applied for the position, Carter said.

Councilmen Larry Milano and Ryan Hatley asked that the position remain open until a qualified applicant is hired, giving the department time to train the new employee before maintenance duties begin to increase in the spring.

Hatley said since the council had made the decision to hire someone, he felt the council would have to agree to purposefully delay filling the position.

The council, Almond and Carter decided to follow Hatley and Milano’s request, and will hire someone when they find a good fit.

The council went into closed session. Upon re-opening, the council held a unanimous vote to fund a project on Willow Street through Powell Fund reserve money.

The next regular council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 in the town hall. The council has also planned a work session at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the town hall.

Imari Scarbrough is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News and Press.