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July 4, 2020

Granite Quarry rezones leaf and limb property, views proposed budget

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

GRANITE QUARRY — The Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen corrected a zoning issue for its new leaf and limb site on Monday night.

The piece of property on Balfour Quarry Road was previously zoned for residential housing and heavy industry to light industry.

The piece of land is made up of three parcels owned by the town, and there are other heavy industry and light industry zoned areas surrounding it housing apartments, communication equipment, quarries and waste management.

Light industry, according to Town Planner Steve Blount, allows multiple uses that are “low impact and are meant to be acceptable to adjacent residential areas with required buffering in place.”

The Board of Aldermen approved the change after holding a public hearing. Two adjacent landowners spoke during the hearing and noted they were glad to see the property being put to use.

One speaker noted his concerns about trespassing enforcement, and during the hearing it was noted police department has already cited trespassers around the property.

Alderman John Linker noted he would like the town to look at putting a closed fence around the property.

The site will be used to store leaf and limbs with periodic grinding into mulch and “incidental” storage of town equipment. The site would not be for storing garbage and covers 6.53 acres with access via Mar Rock Drive.

In 2018 the board rejected rezoning a 5-acre property off Irby Lane for use as a leaf and limb site after a public hearing drew 30 people to speak against the project.

The board also viewed the proposed budget prepared by town administration for the upcoming fiscal year.

Town Manager Larry Smith’s budget message included a 41.75 cents per $100 of valuation property tax and a $12 monthly environmental fee for revenues and expenditures of $2.4 million.

Like other towns, Granite Quarry is preparing for lost revenue from sales tax due to the COVID-19 pandemic

The message said due to uncertainty, the revenues dependent on economic factors were based on a worst-case scenario.

Revenue sources for the town include property tax, unrestricted and restricted intergovernmental funds, permits and fees, sales and miscellaneous general revenues.

The town’s joint police force with Faith is the largest departmental expense at $687,135 followed by $540,338, $517,323 for fire and $540,388 for administration.

Smaller departments like maintenance were set to receive $298,796, $201,568 for environmental $57,669 for the governing body and $40,000 for parks and recreation.

The town set a budget workshop for June 22.

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