NEWLAND — In keeping with social distancing measures, the Newland Board of Alderman met via teleconference on Tuesday, April 7.
After not meeting in February, the board began its monthly meeting with the approval of emergency meeting minutes, allowing the board to meet via teleconference due to the situation surrounding COVID-19. The board had previously held an emergency meeting on March 25, in which they decided to lockdown the main lobby of the town offices to the public and require town employees who feel sick to quarantine for 14 days.
In an effort to show support for seniors at Avery High School, aldermen approved a motion to hang banners around the town of Newland congratulating the Class of 2020. The first set of banners will be for senior athletes, and plans for the banners in honor of the rest of the Class of 2020 will be made at a later meeting.
“Some of the parents got together to think of ways to congratulate senior athletes,” Joielle Calhoun said, who is a parent of a senior athlete. “The banner would have their picture and name on it and would be put up in the town of Newland. We have a donor who would purchase the 13 banners that would encompass the spring senior athletes. Mountain Electric has told us that their guys would help us hang them as well.”
Newland Police Chief Byron Clawson updated the board on the police department’s activity. Notable calls included 10 motor vehicle accidents, an investigation of a sexual assault on a female, seven counts of obtaining property by false pretense, one stolen vehicle, one involuntary commitment order and one homicide investigation involving a firearm.
Phase one of the maintenance building construction and improvement project on Sokassa Street is 90-percent complete. The utilities department replaced several water meter boxes and setters and submitted its Local Water Supply Plan to Public Water Supply Section for approval.
Additionally, the utilities department worked on the Ingles lift station pulling pump, and reinstalled an activated sludge pump at the wastewater treatment plant and checked all generators. The department also met with the contractors at the high school to discuss installing or improving the water lines.
The public works department picked up trash and debris around town as well repaired storm drains and performed other maintenance. The board approved moving a maintenance worker to full-time and retroactively implemented his benefits. The board also approved a contract with Republic Services, a garbage collection company out of Hickory serving residential and commercial customers.