PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners approved plans for a community garden project as well as heard a report of rescue squad activities at its regular meeting on Tuesday. Mayor Earl Sheppard requested approval of a raised garden bed community garden at the Pilot Center.
Sheppard, who is also a member of the Pilot Mountain Ruritan Club, said the garden would be in honor of Charlie Joe Sutphin. He said the project could be located near the current green house at the center. He said Ruritans would take care of the beds and donate the vegetables to the local food bank. He also said fresh produce from the community garden would be available to citizens.
Sheppard said members of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service would be involved in designing and locating the garden.
Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad Chief Darin Manuel gave a brief report of squad activities. He said the squad had logged a total of 4,384 man hours on calls.
“We had a busy year,” reported Manuel to the commissioners. He said the squad, which is a first responder unit, had helped on 68 motor vehicle accidents in the city and county as well as 370 ambulance assists. When asked why the squad routinely helps on these calls, he explained sometimes the number of injuries cannot be known at an accident and in many cardiac cases every moment counts.
“I would much rather have someone there who can step in to help in case an ambulance breaks down, than having someone wait for another ambulance,” said Manuel. “We are there for the people.” He also told the board the squad had logged a total of 86 community service events.
Manuel said response had been good to a program the group had put together advising middle school students about the dangers to themselves and others from texting and driving.
“The response from the middle schools has been tremendous,” said Manuel. He also outlined the squad’s involvement with the Layne Creed Ride for the Rescuers project to develop a sonar program to help locate drowning victims. He said Pilot Mountain hopes to lead the rest of the county in outfitting a boat with the specialized equipment for this purpose. He appeared enthusiastic about opening up more access for citizens to the squad.
“I want citizens to be allowed to see more of what we do,” added Manuel. He said he hopes to examine broadening the ladies auxiliary to an auxiliary or forming a reserve program. He also told the board the squad hopes to continue working with the state on the Life Pack 15 defibrillators project which supplies a bigger monitor which allows first responders to get more information on victims’ injuries.
Manuel told the group the defibrillators allow first responders to get more information so a quicker determination about where to transport victims for treatment can be made.
Chairman of the Pilot Mountain Alcoholic Beverage Commission Marshall Atkins gave the board a brief summary of sales in November and December. Atkins said November sales were up 14.22 percent or $470,643 over last November. He reported December sales were up 3.74 percent over the same month last year for a total of $97,569.
“This gives us a full 12 months of increases over the previous year’s,” said Atkins.
The commissioners approved a recommendation by the Charles H. Stone Memorial Library Board of Trustees that Jane Snow be appointed a trustee. The request was submitted to the commissioners by Branch Librarian Anna Nichols on behalf of the trustees.
Town Manager Homer Dearmin invited the board to participate in a memorial walk honoring fallen Pilot Mountain Police Department Officers Glenn Branscome and Ralph East. The free walk is scheduled for Saturday at 8 a.m. Dearmin told the board the walk will begin following a brief ceremony in the parking lot of Tlaquepaque Mexican Grill at 511 E. Old Highway 52 Bypass.
Participants will walk ( or ride) the 1.5-mile distance to the location of the tragedy. Dearmin said van transportation will be provided for those who wish to participate but don’t feel they can walk any of the distance. He said transportation back to the restaurant will be provided for participants. Persons may obtain more information by contacting Chet Jessup at 374-5409.
In the town manager’s report portion of the meeting, Dearmin told the group a grant would be submitted to the North Carolina Rural Center for Sewer Study and Mapping to have the town sewer system accurately mapped. He reported that engineers had determined in a preliminary study for the grant the town’s estimated length of its sewer system was 11 miles of lines was wrong. He said the engineer’s estimate sets the length of lines at 23 miles.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.