Norwood receives $2 million grant

Published 9:04 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

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At Monday night’s meeting of the Norwood Town Council, Town Administrator Ray Allen announced the town has received a $2 million grant to repair and replace aging pipes and equipment.

“These funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), through the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality,” Allen said. “The funds will help replace or remediate old water pipes, some of which contain lead.”

Allen noted that 17 North Carolina governmental entities were awarded such grants, and that Norwood’s allocation was the largest. He expressed thanks to Rachel Carter of Chambers Engineering, who formulated the grant proposal.

Earlier, the board conducted a public hearing on a text amendment to the town’s zoning ordinance which would allow building contractors within the town’s central business district under certain conditions.

“Currently, building contractors are allowed in areas zoned as general business and industrial, but not in the central business district,” said Town Planner Michael Sandy in explaining the amendment to council members. “The amendment will allow this on a case-by-case basis upon review of the planning board and in observance of four conditions already stated in the planning ordinance.”

After the hearing generated no public comment, council members voted 4-0 (Mayor Linda Campbell was absent) to approve the amendment.

Code Enforcement Officer Justin Bateman reported on a number of properties within the town which have been cited for minimum housing code and nuisance complaints, generating several questions and comments from council members.

Councilman Robbie Cohen, expressed concern that a structure at 140 N. Main St., which was damaged by fire and has since been “boarded up,” is hazardous, but was informed by Sandy that the owner has secured a building permit to begin repairs.

Concerns with conditions at a residence on Lehue Parker Road were expressed by Councilmen Wes Hartsell and Keith Morgan. Bateman replied that a notice of violation had been issued to the property owner.

“He is at fault,” stated Morgan, who lives nearby and said he had spoken to the property owner. He encouraged Bateman to pursue the matter.

“Stay on him,” Morgan said.

In other matters,

● Police Chief James Wilson swore in the town’s newest police officer, Thomas Harrison;

● Council unanimously approved award of a $75,000 bid to RDR, Inc. for a sewer pump on the Carlie Street Pump Station project;

● Council unanimously approved Don Forkey as the new chairman of the town’s ABC Board;

● Council unanimously approved an expenditure of $30,000 to McGuireWoods Consulting for state legislative services;

● Council set a Feb. 21 date for a budget retreat.

The next meeting of Town Council will be Feb. 5.

Toby Thorpe is a freelance writer for The Stanly News & Press.