ROWLAND — The construction of a Lumbee Tribe elders housing development and community center on N.C. 130 outside of Rowland has taken a significant step forward, according to Town Clerk David Townsend.
Townsend told members of the Rowland Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that he recently met with tribal officials who indicated the tribe will seek “full annexation” of the 16-acre site, which is about one mile outside of the town Annexation provides the development access to Rowland’s water and sewer systems.
“The tribe will be putting in sewer down to our pump station,” Townsend said.
The development of the housing complex for Tribal District 1, which includes Rowland, has been talked about since 2008. Although there has been money in the tribal budget to fund the project for five years, it wasn’t until recently that property in the desired location could be obtained for a negotiated price.
The tribe’s total investment in the project will be about $1.6 million, and includes the cost of the property and construction of nine or 10 single-family units and a community building.
In other business, Townsend told the commissioners the town’s new system for allowing residents to pay property taxes and utility bills with debit and credit cards is “up and running.”
“I’ve used the system three or four times to see how the transactions show up on records and it seems to work well,” he said.
Currently, town residents wanting to use cards to pay for town services must go to Town Hall and have their cards scanned.
Commissioner Marvin C. Shooter Jr. asked exactly what services can be paid for with a card.
“It can only be used to pay for taxes and utilities within the town,” Mayor James Hampton said. “It can’t be used to pay county taxes or for such things as county utilities.”
The commissioners also:
— Passed a resolution honoring Bishop Raymond F. Davis, who started a church on Canal Street in 1957. Davis worked with 14 churches in North Carolina and South Carolina during his 61-year career, Townsend said.
— Heard an update from Townsend on the status of the town’s draft audit for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The clerk said auditor John Masters has submitted the audit to the state for approval. The auditor will make a formal budget presentation to the board after the audit receives state approval.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.