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Highway renaming to Lou Donaldson Boulevard inches closer

Donations to help rename part of N.C. Highway 740 in Badin as “Lou Donaldson Boulevard” have been steadily coming in.

During the Badin council meeting Tuesday evening, Town Manager Jay Almond said the town had received $850 of the $2,000 it needs to apply to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the name change.

Almond said he has completed nearly all of the paperwork for the application, adding he anticipates the town will receive more donations for the project. Both individuals and organizations have donated or expressed interest.

“I think looking back at it years down the road, they’ll feel good about participating,” Almond said.

Donaldson is an alto saxophonist born in Badin. He was admitted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame, according to his website. The town plans to honor him by naming the stretch of highway after him.

Animal Control Ordinance

The council discussed potentially updating its animal control ordinance, citing public complaints in previous meetings as the reason for the changes.

Councilman Larry Milano questioned whether the town could look into having owners separated from their animals if they repeatedly violate the ordinance.

“When do you say, ‘The animals are gone?’ ” he asked.

Almond said he would have to review state statutes to see what the town could do.

Milano also advocated for changing the ordinance to dictate the maximum number of animals a household could have as well as adding requirements for people to clean up after their animals.

“I agree we need a more aggressive approach,” Councilman Ernest Peoples said.

Peoples wants to see a consequence adding for “failing to comply with written orders.”

Mayor Anne Harwood said the issues surrounding pets are practical ones for Badin.

“We’re a little town with little yards,” she said, pointing out that residents of the quadruplexes have an even smaller shared space.

Councilman Gary Lowder suggested adding a fence size minimum to the ordinance.

Peoples made a motion for the council to table the issue. Milano requested all council members turn in their notes on the ordinance to Almond by the end of November so Almond can compile them for the council to review at the December meeting.

West Badin School

The council discussed code enforcement issues surrounding the former West Badin School building. The building was dedicated in 1925 and needs a substantial amount of work done — most immediately replacing the roof.

The property is owned by Church of the Living God, but the school building is not currently in use.

The roof is “going from bad to worse,” Almond said.

The church did receive an estimate to replace the roof, but it $500,000, he said.

“I think they want to do something other than put a roof on a building they’re not using,” Almond said.

Almond said he consulted with a company that specializes in re-purposing buildings, using apartments as an example, but no decisions regarding the property have been made.

DOT Grant

The town received an 80-20 grant to add or replace curb ramps and crosswalks at several intersections in order to make them ADA compliant.

DOT will use federal money to pay for 80 percent of the cost while the town will pay the remaining 20 percent. The total project will cost about $122,000, according to the estimate in the agreement. The town’s portion will consist of about $24,400 and will come from Powell Bill funds.

Alcoa Badin Works Site Remediation

Nick Jimenez, a representative for the Southern Environmental Law Center, asked the council to attend a meeting by the North Carolina Hazardous Waste Section. The meeting will address remediation concerns at the old Alcoa Badin Works site, letting residents give their opinions.

Jimenez said the meeting will be an opportunity for residents to ask the state to make Alcoa provide ample means to clean the site.

The meeting will be from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the county commissioners’ meeting room in Stanly County Commons in Albemarle.

Tourism

Chris Lambert, chairman of the Stanly County Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the council that the county’s tourism is doing “very well,” adding that tourism has been steadily increasing since the financial crash.

“The events you have help,” he said.

He said more tourism equates to tax savings for residents.

The Badin council will hold its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 10.

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