Gurley resigns as city judge, Griffin hired to fill position


Sparta Mayor Jerry Lowery addressed the board of aldermen during the Nov. 17 meeting and stated that he had received the resignation of Macey Gurley who had been serving as city judge.

 Lowery immediately said he would entertain a motion to appoint Brandon Griffin to fill the vacant position. A motion was made, seconded, and all members of the board approved the appointment.

In other business, the first item on the agenda, after approving the minutes from the previous meeting, was to approve the first reading of Ordinance No. 23 – 968. The ordinance will authorize the rezoning of a piece of property located at 605 N. Spring St. The property owner is seeking to have the property rezoned from Commercial D to Residential A. The city’s Planning Commission approved the rezoning of the property that sits on the corner of North Spring Street and Walker Cove Road across from Fairgrounds Lane. The board of mayor and aldermen approved the first reading, which means that another reading will have to take place next month, along with the opportunity for public comment, before the change can be made official.

The board had three agenda items listed under purchasing:

  • The approval of a low bid for a truck load of 8 cubic yard solid waste containers in the amount of $9,261. The bid came from FleetGenius of North Carolina.
  • Approved the low bid for 200 residential Toter containers from Toter, LLC. The bid was in the amount of $12,290.
  • Authorize the solicitation of bids for certain chemicals.

City Administrator Tonya Tindle explained the need to solicit bids for only certain chemicals because one of the four companies that the city works with would not allow them to hold their bid for longer than six months.

“Since the economy is starting to slow down, three of the four companies we buy chemicals from are letting us hold our bid that we got in June for a full year,” Tindle said. “One company would not let us do that, so at the end of December we won’t have a bid, and we will have to rebid.”

Lowery also asked the board to approve entering into an agreement with Danny Rader, attorney, for legal services if the city attorney, Caroline Sapp, is unable to give legal advice or needs to recuse herself at any time.

“This would be an ongoing agreement between Rader and the city of Sparta,” Lowery told the board.

He stated the board would only be responsible for paying Rader at the rate of $250 per hour, if and when they used him for legal advice.

The board also approved the hiring of Leslie Melton to fill the position of administrative clerk for the city.

During the portion of the meeting set aside for board members to ask questions of the various department heads, the use of vehicle charging stations at residential homes was discussed. Belva Bess, electric department manager, told the board it would be helpful if residents would let her department know if they will be charging vehicles so they can make upgrades and not overload transformers.

The board was also told the caboose that sits at the City Cemetery has received its second coat of paint but that a window had been broken, presumably by vandalism, and that would need to be repaired. Tindle said once that repair is made, the caboose would be ready to have the logo put on it and then the upgrades would be complete.

The next meeting of Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be 5 p.m., Dec. 7, at Sparta City Hall.       


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