By ANGELA FARR KING
The Taylorsville Town Council held their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 6, 2024. Rev. Allen Fox, Pastor of Beulah Baptist Church in Taylorsville, opened the meeting with a prayer for the town.
This was the first meeting for the new Finance Director, Zachary Greene. He has been on the job for three and a half weeks. Yolanda Prince, Town Clerk, said that “he has already been very helpful in the office.” Greene earned his undergraduate degree at Guilford College and a Master’s Degree in Accounting from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He has spent the past three years doing private bookkeeping.
The Town Council unanimously passed a “Resolution Designation of Applicant’s Agent” for a Building Resilient Infrastructure in Communities (BRIC) Grant application. Town Manger Aaron Wike is designated as the Primary Agent for the application. This was one piece of the grant application process.
In the second piece of the application, the board unanimously approved a Local Match Fund Commitment Letter. Wike explained that the letter commits the Town to match 10% of the grant funding in the amount of $191,505. He went on to explain that the scope of the grant project includes:
• Improvements to Sewer Pump Stations: replace four pumps with heavy duty pumps; replace two control panels with units having all-weather enclosures, electrical surge protection, and rain hoods and elevate electrical equipment at Fairway Oaks Pump Station.
• Sewer Stream Crossing: fortify 15” sewer pipe exposed in embankment near Stirewalt Creek and in floodplain; fortify with earth and natural rock and vegetation (no concrete).
• Road Culvert: replace existing undersized road culvert (subject to frequent flood damage) with nature-based solution.
• Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Improvements: relocate chemicals/equipment out of floodplain; eliminate the use of chlorine gas in floodplain by converting to new ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system in existing chlorine contact tanks; restore Stirewalt Creek stream and floodplain to its natural state along north/upstream side of WWTP property, to serve as a nature-based solution for reduction of flooding impacts.
Wike was asked about the timeline for the projects. He said there is no guarantee the grant will be funded, but is hopeful it will be, since the Town has received it in the past. He expects the Town to be notified by March or April of the grant decision. Wike added that if the Town receives the grant, there will be a bidding process and he anticipates the projects to begin in the fall of this year.
Manager Wike then presented a request for a “No Truck Right Turn” sign to be placed at the intersection of NC Hwy. 16 South and Main Avenue Drive. He said he had been contacted by Adams’ Funeral Home about trucks cutting the corner making right hand turns from Hwy. 16 South onto Main Avenue Drive and damaging their retaining wall. If a truck driver does not stop, Adams’ Funeral Home has to either pay for the repairs themselves or use their own insurance to cover the costs. Wike went on to explain that there is currently a “No Truck Right Turn” sign in the middle of the sidewalk on Hwy. 16 South prior to the intersection, but it is in a bad location. He contacted Scotty Abernathy from the Department of Transportation, who inspected the location. Abernathy recommended a sign be placed on the actual traffic signal. The board was asked to vote on a public hearing about this matter and they unanimously voted to hold a Public Hearing at their next board meeting on March 5. If passed, the police department will have the authority to ticket any trucks that make these turns.
In budget amendments, the Council approved to receipt $3,500 in donations from private citizens for Hometown Christmas into the General Fund. They also approved for $18,181.59 to be moved into the General Fund, which was a reimbursement from a Police Radio Grant that had been received.
The Alexander County Partnership for Children submitted a request for the closure of one block of First Street SW between Main Avenue and Main Avenue Drive on Thursday, April 11, 2024, from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. for their annual Spring Fling. They also requested the closure for their rain date set for April 18, if needed. The board unanimously granted this request.
In staff reports, Taylorsville Chief of Police, Mike Millsaps, said that there had been 137 self-initiated calls for his department in January. These are calls where an officer initiates a stop or approaches a vehicle because he/she is already on the scene. There were 361 dispatched calls for the month of January. This is a total of almost 500 calls in one month, which Millsaps noted was a very high volume of calls.
Aaron Wike gave the Public Works report. He said that on January 9, there was a rain event that resulted in 4 and one- half inches of rain falling quickly. This resulted in four sewer system overflows. He said the Public Works Department had taken preventative measures prior to the rainfall by replacing one pump proactively, yet the overflows still occurred.
Wike also informed the board that when heavy rainfall occurs, it seeps under the back door of Urgent Care of Mountain View, Taylorsville, because it is situated below ground level. He said it creates a “river” flowing behind their building. Wike added that this is also creating a problem with water seeping through the side wall located on the 2nd Street side of Urgent Care. He said a solution to this problem will likely cost in the neighborhood of $50,000, but it needs to be addressed “sooner rather than later.”
The Town Council will meet for a Work Session about the “Downtown Commitment to Revitalization” on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m. Their next monthly meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, at 5:30 p.m.