5/26/2017 5:13:00 PM Council Nixes Renaming Street, Holds First Reading On Budget
BY P.E. MARSHALL Staff Writer
IRON GATE — Iron Gate Town Council will not take action to rename 7th Street after a former mayor.
Town council Thursday night held a second public hearing on a proposal to rename 7th Street after the late Alan Williams, who died Jan. 27 at the age of 57. Williams was a former mayor of the town, serving in the office for 14 years.
“The request has died,” Mayor Chuck Unroe said following Thursday night’s hearing.
Unroe reminded the public of hardships residents living on 7th Street would endure with a name change. He informally polled council and residents in attendance for their thoughts on renaming the street.
Most who spoke said they desired to leave things as they are. Resident Brandon Marshall, who recently moved to Iron Gate, suggested leaving things as they are as he’s having enough problems with his residence because it doesn’t exist on the post office’s delivery grid.
After reading a statement listing some of Williams’ accomplishments as mayor, former councilwoman Jennifer Tyree said she agrees with adding a green sign to the 7th Street sign but not renaming the street. Some residents and council members said they would like to see Williams recognized but did not agree to rename a street after him.
Council also held a first reading on the proposed budget for 2017-2018 — $138,369 for the general fund budget and $271,277 for the utility fund.
There are no employee raises, no changes in health benefits coverages, no increase in taxes and no increase in the water and trash rates. However, there will be a $5 increase in the sewer rates, from a monthly base rate of $49 to $54.
After Unroe called the regular meeting to order, council approved the minutes of the regular meeting and public hearing held on April 27 and work session held on May 15, as corrected; approved receipts, disbursements, and the payment of bills; and approved requests for two adjustments and one extension to utility bills.
During the mayor’s report, Unroe commented on several issues:
— He said that despite recent rainfall, there has been no overflow of man holes;
— A water leak on 10th Street has been fixed;
— A list of properties needing their lawns mowed to comply with town regulations will be notified shortly after the rain ends;
— The Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office will step up patrols in the town park and anybody in the park after dark is trespassing;
— Two computers will be set up in the library in the very near future;
— Town hall has a commercial shredder that residents may use, free of charge.
In response to a public comment about whether or not the town would have Town Day, Unroe responded, “We want to have these things but every time we have a meeting it’s the same three or four people who show up.”
Unroe, with Vice Mayor Robert Daniel, explained that it would take a minimum of 20-25 volunteers to “put on an event the magnitude of Town Day.”
Unroe added that he would advertise to solicit interest.
Alleghany County Deputy Sheriff Sgt. Chris Fisher thanked Iron Gate for its support of the recent Alleghany Highlands Bike Rodeo and announced that the sheriff’s office will do more evening and some late night patrols in Iron Gate.
“We appreciate the support of the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office,” said Unroe.
Council announced that the ordinance committee will meet Tuesday, May 30, at 5:30 p.m.; the Finance Committee will meet Wednesday, June 7, at 6 p.m.; the Parks and Recreation Committee will meet Monday, June 12, at 7 p.m.; council’s next work session will be held on Monday, June 19, at 7 p.m., and a second public hearing on the proposed budget and the next council meeting will be held Thursday, June 29.