Following a 20-minute closed session Monday night, the Elkin Board of Commissioners decided to open a bid process for town property originally purchased with the intent of building a second fire department on CC Camp Road.
The property sits two lots east of the Coffee House restaurant and was purchased initially for $200,000 by the town at least six years ago, explained Town Manager John Holcomb.
“A company called out of the blue and said they are looking at the property,” said Holcomb, who added the town is looking at other options for the fire service, such as only having one new station in a more centralized location rather than building a second fire station.
He said the property was worth far more than $200,000 when the two bought it compared to other lots along that commercial stretch of CC Camp Road/N.C. 268 Bypass.
The town will accept sealed bids on the property following a 4-0 vote on the issue, with Commissioner Dr. Skip Whitman formally excused from the meeting, Holcomb explained. “We’re accepting bids, but we don’t have to approve any of them,” he said in the case the bids aren’t what the town deems the property is worth.
“Once a bid is submitted, we will publicize the bid and there is a period of time for others to upset it.”
The property is about an acre and a quarter of land.
Donation ordinance fails to pass
After discussing at length a way to address citizens’ requests to make donations and sponsorships on town property at their February board retreat, the commissioners had before them a new ordinance, created under the majority direction of what the board expressed was their desire at the retreat.
Commissioner Terry Kennedy wasn’t satisfied with the direction in which the rest of the commissioners wanted to see the ordinance take, one where donations would include the name of the person or organization making the donation, the name of the person being memorialized or honored and the date. Kennedy explained during the retreat he thought the town was limiting what could be included because they were afraid to be sued and it wasn’t right. He said people should be allowed to include Bible verses or sayings on their donations.
The issue of donations and the policy and procedure to follow when making one came up after an alumnus of Elkin High School delivered a bench in memory of a classmate’s son who was killed in a car accident in the fall. The bench appeared on the side of the trail in Elkin Municipal Park over a weekend rather than having permission for it to be installed there.
When the town removed the bench so the donation could be considered, family and friends became upset and asked the town to reconsider its placement.
Adam McComb, recreation and parks director for the town, and Holcomb said the procedure and policy noted in the proposed new donation and sponsorship ordinance is what the town staff has been doing all along, including an application which must be filled out, but it had never been written as town law.
When the approval of the proposed ordinance was brought up for a vote a motion was made to approve it by Commissioner J.L. Lowe and a second from Commissioner Bob Norton. While the vote was 3-1 in favor of the ordinance, since it is an ordinance it either must pass unanimously or come before the board for a second vote with it also being a majority for it before it can take effect. The ordinance will be address again at the commissioners’ April 11 meeting. Kennedy had the no vote, and Whitman was not in attendance at the meeting, being formally excused at the beginning by the board.
Lifesave awards presented
During the meeting, several area emergency responders were awarded lifesave honors by Jose Butron of Surry County Emergency Services for their efforts in two separate calls in the past year.
Butron explained the calls involved members of both Elkin Fire Department and Elkin Rescue Squad, but squad members were unable to attend Monday’s meeting to accept their awards.
“Not every call results in a life save or is a life or death call,” said Butron. “It is cardiac arrest and traumatic calls where responders play an important role.”
Commendation awards are given to a person who didn’t have hands on the patient during the incident, but the person’s actions helped the call run smoothly leading to a life save. William Rountree was awarded a commendation award.
The two incidents for which lifesave awards were given Monday both resulted in the patient surviving, with one being present at the meeting, Butron said.
Lifesave awards are given to those who have hands-on patient care leading to the saving of a life, he explained. Those given awards included Elkin Fire Chief Mike Morton, Jane Hendrick, William Rountree, Mike Bovender, Stephen Kelly, Blake Markle and Kevin Carter. Some of them received two awards, one for each incident.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.