Bailey moves forward with $2M grant request

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BAILEY — Town commissioners approved a resolution Monday evening to move forward in the town’s efforts to secure $2 million in federal grant funding in hopes of beginning the work to lift its 16-year sewer moratorium.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant is an income-based program that “helps local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities,” according to its website. Joe Dooley of the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments provided commissioners with a proposed target area of streets based on need in order to survey residents who possibly meet the income threshholds necessary to qualify for the grant.

Dooley asked the town to send a letter informing residents that a surveyor from Upper Coastal Plain as well as a town representative would be conducting door-to-door income surveys in the coming weeks.

During the police department’s monthly update, Chief Steven Boraski praised Cpl. Kathy Calahan’s investigative work. Calahan has made three felony arrests within the last two weeks, including one for bank card skimming.

Credit card skimmers are devices attached to card acceptance terminals like those on bank machines and gas pumps. They copy cardholders’ names and account numbers, allowing scammers to steal consumers’ identities to make unauthorized purchases.

“She really went above and beyond,” Boraski said. “I know being a boss, people don’t ever give compliments to employees, but I’m very fortunate to have her.”

Boraski then turned his attention to Raleigh-based public works contractor Envirolink, which he said had been slow in fulfilling repeated requests to have traffic signs installed or repaired. He also referenced an accident last week that required street cleanup.

“If we’re spending X amount of money to provide a service and something like that happens, we need them to jump on it,” Boraski said.

Following a closed session with Envirolink representatives, Mayor Thomas Richards said a meeting is in the works with the company’s owner to discuss the town’s expectations in light of ongoing issues with the contractor.

In other business, commissioners approved a motion to hire David Miller Engineering to conduct a structural inspection of the dilapidated downtown hardware building at a cost of $1,500. The town finalized the building’s purchase on June 5.

Commissioners also approved a motion to hire Tony Silver to repair the sidewalk in front of the Girls Round Here store on Main Street at a cost of $5,390. They also moved forward on replacing two hydrants at a cost of $4,230.02 each.

Commissioners also approved the 2019-20 town budget after a public hearing that drew no comments from town residents. The budget does not include any property tax or fee increases.