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Norwood approves salary increase for employees

In addition to approving an across-the-board salary increase for town employees, Norwood council members adopted a new solid waste collection policy and approved updates to the town’s water shortage response plan as part of a light agenda during Monday’s regular meeting.

A revision to the the town’s solid waste policy, which would divide the town into zones for trash collection as well as seasonal leaf collection, was approved by the board.

“This policy is not going to solve all problems related to solid waste collection, but it will help make the procedure more efficient,” said Interim Town Administrator Ray Allen.
Allen noted all town residents will be provided a copy of the policy, which will become effective on Aug. 1.

Commissioners also adopted a resolution to update the town’s water shortage response plan, which could be activated in cases of severe drought or other emergencies affecting the town’s water supply.

Allen, who had examined the plan and compared it to those of other area communities, said “no obvious changes” were needed.

“The levels in the plan are pretty standard,” he said, “and they are consistent with similar policies in surrounding cities and towns.”

Councilman Wes Hartsell asked how the policy would be enforced should it be enacted.

“Penalities for violations are listed in the policy,” said Allen, who noted in a worst case scenario, a customer violating the policy could have his/her water service cut.

The board unanimously approved a 2 percent compensation increase for all town employees.

“The 2019-20 budget includes funds for salary increases,” said Mayor Harold Thompson, “but did not specify whether increases would be merit-based or implemented for all employees. The next administrator who comes in may wish to go to a merit system next budget year.”

In other actions, council members:

• conducted a public hearing on vacating, closing and demolishing a non-compliant structure at 545 Fork Road. The council voted to direct the town housing inspector to move ahead with this action.

• voted to continue enforcement of a no-parking zone in the 400 block of Pee Dee Avenue.

• approved two change orders authorizing return of a number of small water meters to United Metering Services for credit toward 15 larger meters needed to accommodate businesses and industries. The change order will result in an expense of $6,260.

Allen announced that on July 31, UMS will conduct a workshop for town employees regarding the new metering system.

A closed session to discuss personnel matters and to consult with the town attorney was also held, with no information disclosed afterwards.

The next regular meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 5 at Town Hall.