One of Elkin’s department heads received a promotion in title Monday night as the board of commissioners voted to add the role and duties of assistant town manager to Adam McComb’s already held position of parks and recreation director.
No assistant town manager had been named since John Holcomb, who had served as finance director and assistant town manager, was promoted to town manager, keeping his role of finance director. But that changed during Monday’s commissioners meeting as those duties and title were bestowed by McComb through a change in the town’s personnel job descriptions in a unanimous vote following a motion by Commissioner J.L. Lowe and second from Commissioner Dr. Skip Whitman.
At this point, the new role does not include any immediate pay increases, although Holcomb expects that to be worked out as McComb gradually takes over the duties of assistant town manager.
In addition to the new job description for McComb, a job description was approved for the new role of fire recruitment and retention coordinator, a full-time position with the fire department which will be fully funded for four years through the recent SAFER grant received by the town’s fire department.
Along with the new job descriptions being approved, the commissioners unanimously approved the changes to the salary schedule for town employees to accommodate those.
The title of assistant town manager/recreation and parks director will fall in the salary range of $53,265 to $76,094, while the fire recruitment and retention coordinator is in the $37,855 to $54,078 range. The SAFER grant funds the coordinator role at about $41,000 a year, Holcomb reported.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the board approved the rezoning of property at 943 N. Bridge St., from R-12 Residential to B-2 Highway Business.
A public hearing was held prior to the vote, but no one spoke for or against the action. According to town Planning Director George Crater, the neighbors were at the town planning board meeting when the recommendation for approval was given for the commissioners’ action, and the neighbors were in favor of the rezoning.
A small portion of the property, which sits off the roadway behind a barbecue restaurant and the former location of US Safety of NC, will remain zoned R-12.
Martha Smith, branch librarian at the Elkin Public Library, gave a short report on the status of the library attendance and use during the 2015-16 fiscal year and thanked the commissioners for their contribution to the library budget.
“We have had an increase in people entering the library and the number of items circulated,” Smith said.
She reported that 54,500 items were circulated during the year, a seven-percent increase over the previous year. Also, the number of people through the door increased to 40,300, a six-percent increase; and there were 11,200 program attendees, which was a 26-percent increase.
Smith credited two things for the jumps — more programs being offered and the Northwestern Regional Library joining the Cardinal program, which provides more offerings for library patrons to check out.
Ed Lankford, a resident of Woodrun Apartments, which is just off CC Camp Road/N.C. 268 Bypass near its intersection with North Bridge Street, addressed the commissioners during the public comments session. He expressed his concern with the road noise from the use of jake brakes, or engine brakes, by tractor-trailer drivers in town as well as the trucks’ use of straight pipes without mufflers, noting that federal law requires them to use mufflers.
Lankford, who said he was a truck driver for many years, also shared his disdain for the noise at all hours of the day and night coming from the area of Sheetz, either from small cars with special mufflers that create noises, or from tractor-trailers who park there, or nearby at Food Lion, to sleep for the night and keep their refrigeration units and trucks running. He also took issue with the dumpster at Sheetz being emptied between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Another noise problem Lankford highlighted was with vehicles at the car wash on North Bridge Street, who choose to air loud bass from their radio systems with their doors open while vacuuming their cars.
After doing research, Lankford said he learned the town can pass an ordinance and erect signs to prohibit the use of jake brakes in town, and he asked if the property owners near Sheetz can erect signs requesting no overnight parking by tractor-trailers.
Mayor Lestine Hutchens said the town officials would speak with Police Chief Monroe Wagoner about increasing patrol to monitor the sound in that area of town.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.