Lumberton Chevrolet to sponsor city athletics

By Sarah Willets -

John Franklin

LUMBERTON — Lumberton Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac will be the official sponsor of most Lumberton recreation programs.

The dealership’s agreement with the city of Lumberton, approved Wednesday by the Council Policy Committee, is part of its push to return to a tradition of giving back to the community.

“What we’re proposing is to kind of get back into what Jerry Johnson Chevrolet used to do a lot of,” said General Manager John Franklin.

The Johnson family owned the dealership from 1988 to 2011 and during that time was a longtime sponsor of the Chevy to the Levee running event, sponsored a golf tournament and supported United Way of Robeson County.

Under the sponsorship contract, the dealership will contribute $13,000 a year beginning Sept. 1 and ending Aug. 31. The dealership will be “identified as the sponsor for all your athletics originating through the city of Lumberton Recreation Department, with the exception of T-Ball,” which has long been sponsored by McDonald’s. The dealership’s logo will be displayed at city athletic fields, gyms and recreation centers and on 1,200-plus league T-shirts. Representatives can also set up a promotional table during recreation events.

“We plan to have more of a presence at the events, the games,” Franklin said.

Recreation Director Tim Taylor said although companies do sponsor individual teams and sports and can continue to do so, this agreement is the first citywide sponsorship. The sponsorship does not prevent other businesses from entering into similar agreements with the city.

“Mr. Franklin, we just want you to know we are very appreciative of your consideration,” said Mayor Bruce Davis.

The council also voted to tweak a deed for the Robeson County Humane Society’s building on West Fifth Street, which the city conveyed to the organization in 2005. The deed contained a clause stating that if the property was no longer going to be used as an animal shelter or if the Humane Society attempted to sell the property, it would revert back to the city’s ownership.

Jason Britt, Robeson County Humane Society president, said that clause has caused some hesitation among those looking to donate their time or services to update the 60-year-old building.

“A lot of people say, well this is not your building,” Britt said.

The clause would also prevent the organization from selling the building if it outgrows the space.

“We turn a lot of animals away and the reason we do is because we don’t have the facility to do it,” Britt said.

The council agreed to remove the clause, but added that the city would have right of first refusal on potential buyers of the building.

In other business the council:

— Directed the building inspector to demolish unsafe structures at 701 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, 2312 Burke St., 2740 E. Elizabethtown Road, 310 Whiteville Aven. and 2314 Burke St.

— Denied requests to delay hearings on the condemnation of two buildings, at 14 Marion Road and 617 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. In both cases, the owners had appealed the condemnations. The hearings will be held during the council’s Monday night meeting.

— Approved the purchase of a portable sewer bypass pump for $35,303.

— Approved the purchase of a spare influent pump for the Wastewater Treatment Plant at a cost of $81,628.50.

— Awarded a $50,000 engineering agreement to the Wooten Company to study extending Lumberton ’s sewer lines to the St. Pauls area and the county landfill. The study will be paid for by a grant from the North Carolina Division of Water Infrastructure.

— Approved a $15,000 service agreement with the Wooten Company for the design and construction management of a project that would separate stormwater and sewer infrastructure around Elm and First streets.

— Forwarded to the Planning Board a request from U.S. Cellular to amend the city’s zoning codes so that it can place a cell tower near Exit 20.

— Forwarded to the Planning Board a request from Malanie Godwin for a conditional-use permit to operate a day care at 2208 W. Carthage Road.

— Authorized the city clerk to investigate a petition to annex a third land parcel at 465 Kenric Road. Two parcels at the KOA campground have already been annexed.

— Approved the following designation of Community Revitalization Funds: $500 for Community Watch in Precinct 4 and $400 to Breath of Life Ministries.

— Discussed protocol for awarding Pride in Lumberton awards, which are given to residents who contribute to their communities. Davis requested the discussion, and suggested that the names of award recipients be brought to the Council Policy Committee before the award is given so that all council members are informed. The council voted unanimously to discuss nominees for Pride in Lumberton awards but not vote on them.

John Franklin Franklin

By Sarah Willets

Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter.

Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter.

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