Water drainage issues took up much of the discussion at the Wadesboro Town Council’s regular monthly meeting Monday night.
To start off the discussion, David Harrington appeared before the council during the public comments portion of the meeting to discuss work on the ditches on Ingram Street. Harrington said this was the third time he’s spoken to the board about the problem, and he wanted to know why the work on the drainage ditches had never been finished.
Nella Ratliff also complained about drainage issues in her neighborhood, on Montgomery Street. She said after recent heavy rains, her yard was flooded.
Public works director Hugh James said that the work on Ingram Street’s ditches had been done about 10-12 years ago, and that the work performed was what the town had contracted for, so it was not left unfinished.
James also presented the council with an estimate of $71,000 to repair the drainage issues on Ingram Street, which, he added, did not include paving costs. Paving would probably cost another $20,000, he said.
Mayor Bob Thacker asked James to look into what could be done to repair the problems on Montgomery Street as well. “We will continue to look at the situation and come up with some kind of solution,” Thacker said. He also asked James to look into any grant money options for repairs to Ingram and Montgomery streets.
Later in the meeting, James pointed out that a sinkhole has formed near the entrance to Old Towne Estates, with another on Lennox Street. He recommended that the town council approve moving forward with a permanent fix, rather than simply repairing the sinkhole. “I’m scared the road will do the same thing that happened at McDonald’s,” he said, referring to the giant sinkhole at the driveway of McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Harvest Ministries on U.S. 74 East in Wadesboro.
Councilman Fred Davis asked that James prioritize the needs. “We’ve got problems on Ingram, Montgomery, Lennox, at Old Towne, McLaurin Street and East Wade, too,” he said.
James said he would look into prioritizing the projects, but feels that the Old Towne Estates is the most urgent need.
In other business, the council unanimously approved a request from Shirley Britt for an extension on her permit for a mobile home on Franklin Street.
The council voted 3-2, with John Ballard and James David Lee opposed, to deny a request from Ralph Teal for a reduction in price on four water taps he needs installed for a new apartment building off Morven Road. Mayor Thacker said his concern was that allowing a reduction in the price would set a precedent.
“It isn’t bringing any jobs in,” Councilman Bobby Usrey said. “It’s not like an economic development case.”
The council did unanimously approve a reduction in the water taps prices for Garden Scapes, which will bring 12 new jobs to Wadesboro at its location on Morven Freight Lane Road.
The council also directed James to look into the costs of heating a new evidence room in the Tollison Building for the Wadesboro Police Department. Police Chief Janie Schutz said that the need is dire, and the department is running out of space to store its evidence.
The council briefly discussed the possibility of moving Town Hall and the police department into the former bank building on Wade Street in uptown Wadesboro, but made no decisions.
The council unanimously approved a COPS grant to fund 75 percent of a current police officer’s salary for the next three years, and lowered the garnishment fee for town employees from $20 to $2.