Despite the hopes of one resident to see the town’s yard sale ordinances removed, the Wadesboro town council made no immediate decisions regarding the fate of its yard sale policy during the council’s meeting on Monday evening.
Town resident Terry Lane Helms has approached the council about four times, asking it to remove or revise the town’s current ordinance concerning yard sales. Currently, residents are limited to no more than two two-day yard sales per year. A $3 permit is required for each yard sale.
As Helms and the council has noted, many people ignore or are unaware of the ordinance and fail to limit their sales or purchase permits. Council members have agreed that the police department has little time to devote to policing illicit yard sales.
Helms asked the council to remove the limit and set an annual fee for yard sale permits, but Mayor Bill Thacker and town manager Alex Sewell said that the town will have to hold a public hearing to change the ordinance.
The council discussed the possibility of limiting yard sales to the first and third weekends, but some members were against it.
“I’m included to eliminate the fee and allow yard sales on Fridays and Saturdays,” councilman Bobby Usrey said. “If we try to pick weekends, what if someone had the wrong date?”
Councilmen James David Lee and Jeremy Burr agreed.
Councilman Fred Davis suggested adding a $250 or $500 fine for anyone who leaves remnants of a yard sale in their lawn overnight. Burr said he would agree to a fine, but only if a verbal warning was first given to the offender.
The ordinance limits yard sales to residential areas, which brought those held by churches and other organizations on non-residential property into the spotlight. The council questioned whether sales held on church property or in areas such as the Burger King property would be allowed to continue. The consensus was that they would, though no formal vote was held.
“To some extent, we’ve opened up a can of worms here,” Sewell said.
Sewell said the ordinance would give the police authority to take action, though he admitted that most officers won’t be concerned with taboo tag sales.
“Chief, am I going out on a limb here to say you won’t prioritize them?”
Spencer advised the council to stick with regulating sales on residential properties.
Sewell will draft an ordinance for the council to review during its August meeting. The council agreed that the draft should limit sales to Fridays and Saturdays to avoid the creation of illicit front-yard consignment stores, and a time limit to have evidence of the sales cleaned up will also be added. The draft will also include a ban against yard sales on Easter and Christmas weekends.
A date for a public hearing will be announced.
Town service awards
Eight town employees, including police officers and sanitation employees, were honored for their work during the meeting.
Thacker presented the plaques to each employee.
Jeff McCormick, a retiree with the Wadesboro Police Department, was recognized for 25 years of service. Wadesboro Fire Chief Marc Sessions received recognition for his 20 years with the town.
Gene Standback, an employee with the sanitation department, was recognized for his 15 years there.
Sgts. Scott Gulledge and Eprhaim Davis, both with the Wadesboro Police Department, were each honored for 10 years of service. Bebe Gaddy, an administrative employee, and Brandon Newton, a water department member, were also honored for their 10 years with the town.
Police Sgt. Gerald Cannon was not present. His award for 15 years of service was given to Chief Thedis Spencer to present to him at a later time.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.