FAIRMONT — The town Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved for a second time a policy that was passed unanimously, and then rescinded, last month.
The Department of Public Safety’s Towing and Wrecker Policy was adopted when Mayor Charles Kemp broke a tie vote. Commissioners Wade Sealey, Kim Ammons and Wayland Lennon voted for the policy, and Commissioners Carol Leak-McKenzie, Charles Townsend and J.J. McCree voted against.
The policy was approved without the added restriction that no employee of the wrecker service can have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, an addition that passed unanimously at the board’s Sept. 18 meeting after McCree expressed concern that those with a criminal history should not be allowed access to a vehicle owner’s personal items. At a special meeting called by Lennon on Sept. 27 and attended by Lennon, Sealey and Kemp, the policy was rescinded because Lennon felt it was too restrictive.
McCree was the first to raise his hand against adoption of the policy.
“The change wasn’t as strict as it should have been as to the charges dealing with larceny and breaking and entering,” he said after the meeting. “So now, if you’ve been charged with a larceny you can be on the wrecker, and if that’s the case, if you have your stuff in the car traveling through, would you trust someone like that?”
The policy requires that a wrecker service that wants to be on the town’s rotation must answer calls for service seven days a week, 24 hours a day and respond within 30 minutes; have proper safety equipment; and allow the vehicle’s owner to collect the vehicle from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and not charge a storage fee on days the business is closed.
Also during the meeting, Mayor Charles Kemp introduced the Fairmont Farmers Festival Queens as Tiny Miss Dajasha Lynn Fields; Little Miss Aniyah Lanae Taylor; Wee Miss Marley Grace Johnson; Miss Ivy Deanna Page; Teen Miss Taylor Brooke Locklear; and Junior Miss Tristen Carole Rich.
“We’re very fortunate to have such talented, bright and charming young ladies to come forward and put themselves on the stage in front of so many people when many times timidity and shyness rule the day,” he said.
Also on Tuesday, the board:
— Held a public hearing on closeout of the Harger Community Development Block Grant, which has run its year-long course. The $400,000 grant funded an expansion to the Harger Lighting and Grounding Cooperation on N.C. 130 and created 10 jobs.
— Heard from Police Chief Danny Parker, who announced that the Department of Public Safety had been awarded a grant to purchase bulletproof vests.
— Heard from Landa Gaddy that her organization, Youth Self-Improvement Inc., will be holding a “unity meeting” on Thursday at Rosenwald Elementary School at 6 p.m.