Ideal cleaner needs to sweep sand in Calabash

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

CALABASH — A street cleaner that won’t vacuum sand isn’t worth buying in the Seafood Capital.

That’s the conclusion reached by the Calabash Board of Commissioners at their monthly meeting Tuesday, July 9.

For the past couple of meetings, the board has mulled the possibility of buying an electric street vacuum for a cost of about $1,600. If the board was interested, it was to direct town administrator Chuck Nance to obtain three estimates and conduct a purchase.

But the cleaner doesn’t vacuum sand, which is the town’s main focus for having one, town clerk Kelley Southward said this week.

Instead of approving the purchase, the board directed Nance to look into using an inmate work crew, contracting out work or look into the use of street sweepers.

The board did approve purchase of another piece of equipment: a new JCB backhoe for $70,000. Town officials said that’s a good price for a new backhoe that normally costs nearly twice as much — closer to $130,000.

Southward said the lesser price was possible because the backhoe is under contract through the N.C. Department of Transportation.

The town board approved financing purchase of the backhoe for three years at an interest rate of 2.39 percent.

Other business

The board also approved a 1.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) pay increase for town staff. The amount is in accordance with state and local government increases, Nance said.

The board also approved an ABC board travel policy, consisting of no changes from last year, as required by the state each year.

It also approved a special meeting for 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, for county emergency officials to demonstrate national-incident management systems (NIMS) and training specific for elected officials. The session will be taught by county emergency services director Anthony Marzano or deputy director/fire marshal Scott Garner.

As a result of a closed session at the end of the meeting, the board approved hiring new town office assistant Lisa Smith, who was scheduled to begin duties Monday, July 15.

The board also approved merit raises for two town employees: a 3-percent increase for interim tax collector/accounts payable employee Sherri Robinson and a 1.5-percent increase for town services technician/animal control officer Bill Danford.


Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.