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January 20, 2022

Town Council considers burning question

By ANGELA FARR KING

On Tuesday, January 4, 2022, the Taylorsville Town Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting. Mayor George Holleman opened the meeting with a devotion and prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

The main item on the agenda was the consideration of changes to the current Section 91 Fire Prevention Ordinance for the Town of Taylorsville.

The current ordinance, which was adopted in 1949, prohibits the burning of trash within town limits with a fine of $50.00 per violation. Burning in streets or on sidewalks is also prohibited. These are the only burn policies under the jurisdiction of the Town Council at this time.

Review of the current ordinance was necessary after complaints were registered when a plot of land was cleared and burned in the Princeton Forest Subdivision. Town Manager David Odom noted that the trees being burned were green and created smoky air for the entire weekend, which was a nuisance to other residents.

Those who had cleared the property had obtained a legal burn permit, but were not within the state guidelines that prohibit large fires within 500 feet of other structures.

After discussing the current town ordinance, Odom reminded the board that state guidelines for burning can be accessed on the NC Dept. of Environmental Natural Resources website under Air Quality. This is the same website where citizens can go to access burn permits. Odom also stated that those wishing for further information on burning regulations can read the 1900 Series of Fire Prevention Laws.

After the discussion, the board voted to leave the town ordinance regarding Section 91 Fire Prevention the same and to make the public aware of the above website to access more information pertaining to burn permit laws.

In the next agenda item, Odom put forth a budget amendment for receipt of proceeds from FEMA distribution related to the Nov. 12th, 2020, flood in Alexander County. The total of FEMA recovery funds sent was $78,528.58. The board voted to accept these funds. Odom noted that this will only cover a portion of the funds needed to repair the damage from the 2020 storm, but the money will help reimburse some of the incurred expenses.

Aaron Wike, head of the Department of Public Works, added that additional funds will be coming soon from the state.

In his monthly report, Wike described several pieces of equipment that are no longer usable to the town and need to be scrapped or sold. All of these items were approved, with the exception of a 1994 DOT truck, which may be needed for parts.

In his report, chief of Police Douglas Bowman stated that there were 13, 293 911 dispatch calls to the Police Department in 2021, which he noted as a high amount. These calls did not include fire or EMS calls, but police only. Bowman also stated that police calendars are available to pick up at the police department.

David Odom shared a response letter to the LGC regulations auditor who had presented a loss in funds for the town water and sewer operations. Odom noted that these losses were due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, which caused a loss of revenue from the Alexander Correctional Institution. The prison is the number one consumer of water in the town and their consumption was down 41% for the previous year due to a reduction in inmates.

The minutes from the December 7th meeting were approved and the agenda for the January meeting was adopted with no changes.

During the open forum portion of the meeting, Taylorsville resident Charles Coxon of 2nd Street SW, Taylorsville, thanked the board for their approval and addition of speed bumps on Second Street SW. Mr. Coxon made an additional request to have pavement adjacent to his home “covered in permanent black top.” The board said this matter would be considered within the appropriate department.

The next Council meeting will be February 1, at 5:30 p.m., at Town Hall.

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